blendtec, fresh, garden, gardening, grateful, pure goodness, recipe, summer, vegetables, wellness

tomato round up, yeehaw

20170913_132317-1_resizedThis year, the first weekend in May,  we planted 2 tomato plants.  The varieties were Early Girl and Big Boy.  One we purchased and the other was a free start!

Boy Howdy did we have a good year!  Gorgeous color, amazingly rich, bold flavor.  These beauties made some of the best sauce to come down the pike.

Sad side note:  Because of the wildfires in Canada and Eastern Washington and wind,  our tomatoes had a light covering of ash.  While good for the soil, we did rinse them off before bringing them inside.

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Once ripe, we ate fresh tomatoes almost daily.

20170907_180035_resizedOne older neighbor wanted one, plump, beautiful tomato to enjoy.

We gave away 3 bags full along with fresh picked Basil.  (I save those small gift bags through the year, then use them to nestle fresh picked produce in to share with the neighbors. So much cuter than filling a used grocery bag.)20170919_172531-1_resized

Then I kept track of how many pounds we picked & brought inside for us to process and use.  Are you ready?  Hold onto your cowgirl hats!

We had a grand total of 27.4 pounds!  That was from just 2 plants!!!!!

After I make yard sauce, which I use as a base for other sauces (rough chop a pan full of tomatoes, onion, and basil, sometimes Rosemary… olive oil, S & P, roast for 50 minutes on 425*, plop in Blend-Tec and push the button)

 

or spaghetti sauce, I freeze the bags flat.  I can stack the frozen packages book style, save oodles of space in the freezer and can easily see what each package contains.

 

 

Our evening temperatures are dipping into and below the 50* mark.  That means our on the vine tomatoes will not ripen any longer.

We do have a couple left ……………

I spy with my little eye………………something green.   I have a wonderful feeling that Fried Green Tomatoes will be making a debut on our plates in the very near future! 20170921_112458-1_resized

We are so grateful to have grown such a beautiful, lush, prolific garden with enough bounty to eat, share, process and freeze for later.

Already planning on what to plant next year and where.  Yes indeed, we will be rotating where we plant things.  We will nourish and feed our soil this winter.

How did you do?  Did you have extraordinary success this year?  I would love to hear how your harvest turned out this year and share any tips/tricks or common sense ideas you figured out from this season.

In this together, friends. Happy Harvest.

Chat soon.

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cooking, farmers, fresh, fresh berries, Uncategorized

tis the season

20170610_134346-1_resizedOf course, you know what season I am talking about!

Fresh Strawberries and just picked Rhubarb season!!!

This past weekend Mr. Right brought home our first flat of fresh berries to indulge in.  Oh man, this is good stuff! 20170610_084932-1_resized

Oh, la la.  Love berries & rhubarb. (and Mr. Right, I think they call that a trifecta?)

The rhubarb tartness and strawberry sweet somehow mingle together on your tongue to create this amazing flavor combination of perfection.

The first thing I made was a Galette and then I made a sauce.

Enough chit-chat… let’s move to pictures…..

 

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Clean plate club members.  enough said.

The end.

Whatcha been cooking in your neck of the woods?

 

 

cooking, fresh, recipe

so green, so good

20150419_161018Yesterday, I came up with an idea of how to get Mr. Right to take a break from yard work.

a snack.

Yep, that did the trick.

If you have never stopped by the VegKitchen with Nava Atlas, give it a try.  mouth-watering recipes to fill your belly and soul with goodness, seriously uplifting blog.

Okay, I made the Very Green Avocado Tahini dip.

Start to finish, with clean up………..maybe 7 minutes.

4 ounces spinach, 1 ripe, peeled and diced, avocado, 1/3 cup tahini, fresh juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 Tablespoons combined: parsley, dill and cilantro.  You need and will love the flavor. Real Salt and fresh ground pepper.

Rinse the greens (I use raw, you can also cook if you want)

Place all the ingredients plus 1/4 cup filtered water into your Blendtec or some other fancy blender.

Push play. Wait for magic.

Serve with tortilla chips, veggies or my favorite, Black bean chips (yum-oh) .

Say Grace before you walk out to the back yard to serve.  There won’t be time, once your mouth starts watering.

so green, so good.

fresh, grace, great marriage secrets

let’s trade

  Trade phones with your spouse/significant other for one week.

Yesterday, while browsing blogs, I came across this challenge/idea/suggestion.

Can trading phones for one week make your relationship stronger?

While it has been brought to my attention that this was a “game” lesson in trust…….my first thought was empathy.empathy

Oh my stars, if I had to answer all the questions and text that Mr. Right receives…….yikes.  I am not sure I could go on and on about the shipping industry, Army, politics, golf or hockey playoffs.  Nor do I think he would be that interested in my friends talking about quilting and recipes and kids and spouses, dog treat orders or the new website for ordering dresses.

(Okay, we are not REAL scientists here, so don’t get all twisted in knots over this experiment.  If you don’t have a spouse, substitute the word girlfriend or sister, adult child, co-worker.  Maybe even try it for a weekend?)

The idea is you trade phones and have to answer text and emails in place of the other person.  Not in their voice nor can you say, “Hi Joanne, this is Mr. Right, I am using Daleen’s phone for the week, she will get back to you in seven days.”

You have to answer the greeting and have a conversation.   “Oh Hi Kathy, this is Mr. Right, do you like the orange fabric for the border of the quilt or do you think teal would be more shocking and fancy?”  or   “Oh my goodness, I am sincerely sorry your friend passed away.  We will begin praying for you.”   Then go get a sympathy card and get it ready for mailing.  “Will you join us for the potluck on Tuesday?  Yes, and I will be bringing a vegetable tray.  Thank you for including me”.  Then write down veggie tray on the calendar.

Will your spouse say NO?  My work is much too important for you to dabble in it!  Will your spouse say NO, my phone, my private life?  Will your spouse say NO, I am vital and no one, not even you can take my place? 

Or will your partner in crime say, SURE, I will gladly let you see how my week unfolds.  Yes please, you talk to these folks for a week, see what I go through.  Here you go, can we start NOW? 

Now, I don’t think the experiment means answering specific work related questions.   I don’t want to answer a government question about shipping something to Argentina or if I think the Toronto Maple Leafs should get a coach (which, by the way I do think they should GET A COACH, any coach).

I think there are some questions you can politely answer.  However, let’s leave the work specific questions to the pros.

I think the general idea is to walk a week in your spouses shoes.  polka dot shoes

plain blackThe idea of me carrying a plain black phone is sort of sad.  I love my teal colored case.  It has “diamonds” that sparkle all over it and a lovely quilted pattern.  Under my fancy, girlie case, my phone is gold.  Yep, you guessed it, Mr. Right’s phone under the black cover is black.teal phone case (seems rather dull and boring)

So, once we trade phones, the discussion begins.

Wow, you have a lot of friends who check in with you.  My goodness, you sure keep in touch with lots of folks.  You must get tired of answering some?  How do you manage to stay kind and friendly with some mean and grumpy folks at your business?  How on earth do you keep all this straight?

Will this experiment give us more understanding of what our significant other walks through daily?  Will we be more understanding when, at the end of the day, they say, geesh, I am tired.

Will we find it charming that they still lift up and continue to cheer on friends from 30 years ago, or do we find ourselves being a bit jealous?

Will we have more empathy and act more loving toward that person?

I am like a 6th grade girl twisting and twirling a lock of her hair.  Smiling.  I think it will be a lovely experiment and a look behind curtain at how the magic happens. I think it will bring to light just how kind, generous with time, considerate my spouse really is.

Are you game?   Are you brave/curious/thoughtful enough to take on the challenge?

fresh, great marriage secrets, haPPY, healing

trilogy

I didn’t see it.

I didn’t take the time.

It was 1982 and Mr. Right and I were sitting on a blanket in the middle of a city park having our picture taken with our new baby.  I am guessing the car was packed full with all kinds of supplies that new parents think they “need” for a 30 minute trip. Our entire focus was to make that new baby HAPPY.  As young, brand new parents we wanted a great family picture.  We wanted that brand new baby boy to be the star.  So just outside “the” perfect shot was a stack of clothes, the stroller, diaper bag and on and on. The behind the scenes “magic” to help keep a baby happy and picture ready.

Our mission was to set up “camp” and have our photograph taken.

The park was a beautiful scene.  It measures 10 city blocks right smack dab in the middle of a big city, our city. The park was established in 1886  & I would guess, thousands of people have had their wedding, baby, family, engagement, Sunday afternoon in the park, pictures taken somewhere in those 27 acres.

Side note:  my grandma used to go to church across the street from Wright Park.  I wonder if she ever had her picture taken in her Sunday best?

We were so caught up in trying to make a baby happy and focused on our photos, that honestly we did nothing else.

20150405_142337 20150405_144610We did not explore.  We did not even walk 50 feet ahead and take in and enjoy a brand new piece of art.  The sculpture was created by Larry Anderson.  It was placed in the park in 1978. He named it “Trilogy”.

I didn’t see it.

I didn’t take the time.

Sunday afternoon.  We took the time.  The year is 2015 and we did not have a baby with us.  We strolled, hand in hand through the beautiful hometown park.  We took in the Seymour Conservatory.  Yes, in this day and age, we still have a stunning, breathtaking Seymour-ConservatoryConservatory to explore and soak in.

It was the perfect way to “fill up our pitcher”.  We all need to do that now and then.

20150405_143739I wish someone had told me that when I had a 4 month old baby.  I should have taken the time.  I would have been a much better wife and mom.  I/we were so busy trying to take care of and learn about a new baby, we had blinders on.  We forgot to fill our pitcher and take care of our souls.

We didn’t see the beauty.  Only had eyes for our family of three. The mechanics of everyday life overshadowed the beauty that was right before us. 20150405_142836

This past Sunday we experienced “Trilogy” in the park, we drank it in.  We took pictures, we talked about it.  Heck, I even sent the photo to a few friends and asked for first three words that came to mind:

joy fun family

breathless moving goodness

adventurous playful carefree

contentment confidence optimistic

joy adventure love

20150405_142607When I was reading a bit of the history of Wright Park, I noticed 21 other parks listed in the Metro Parks of Tacoma line up.  You can guess what I am going to say next.  ha

Sometime, during this spring and summer, Mr. Right and I are going to visit all 21 parks.  We are going to explore, look around, soak in the beauty and fill our pitchers to overflowing. 20150405_142418

We are going to take the time, open our eyes and see the beauty right before us.

fresh, grace

ding dong, spring is here!

The dull, boring nothing on the front door screamed out to me. To be honest, it has been screaming for about 3 weeks now.

The neighbors are starting to talk.

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest.

20150330_154204Time to get a little creative and celebrate the season.

As far as wreath making days……only one glue gun burn.  not bad. 20150330_160331Get your coupons cut out, high tail it to the craft supply store, plug in those glue guns and might I gently suggest some jaunty polka dot ribbon for the “sass” factor!  (my budget was $20.00 and I came in at $17. and some change)

Happy Crafting…..Happy Spring!

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fresh, haPPY, healing, recipe, thankful, wellness

Groovy Granola Bars

Can you teach me how to make granola bars?
Sure thing.  Easy Peasy.
Buckle up………..oodles of ingredients………….(secret, you can use pretty much whatever you want, just keep the amounts similar)  I think everyone has their “own” recipe.  This just happens to be the framework for mine.
So easy, you will slap your forehead and wonder………..WHY on earth have I not made these before now?
Here we go:
2 cups gluten-free oats (or 1 cup oats & 1 cup toasted quinoa, so good)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup raw, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds (great calcium)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins or blueberries … I like cherries (no sulfates, please)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Himalayan Sea Salt (be generous)
1/2 cup almond butter
3/4 cup raw honey
3 Tablespoons flax-seed oil
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
preheat oven 350*
20150320_102334In a 9 x 13 inch pan……….I like to toast my main ingredients prior to mixing up a batch…..
Mix oats, seeds, coconut, wheat germ, nuts,  and toast 10 minutes……..stir….toast 6 more minutes.
In a medium saucepan combine…. salt, almond butter, honey & oils.  Bring to a boil.
Pour over oats.  Stir.  Stir in cherries (or raisins etc)… stir some more………let cool a bit more…. Stir in mini dairy free chocolate chips.
Press mixture down into pan.  20150320_105726
Bake 20 minutes.
20150320_111201 (1)Cool 2 hours (hardest part).
Cut, generous bars.  Wrap in wax paper then plastic wrap.  Store in a big container.
Take on a road trip.
Amazingly delicious.
Love to hear what you add or subtract.  What’s your secret ingredient?