Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Okay.. This was a total experiment but it was rather good.
The hot peppers gave it a real kick. It was nice to have the combination of hot and then the cool cucumber and berries. The blueberries were from our picking adventure. The cucumber was from the Farmer's Market. The garlic from my mom's garden. The dill was organic that I bought at our local co op.
Blueberry Cucumber Salad
2 Cucumbers, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 - 1 cup of blueberries
1 hot pepper, minced finely
3 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 carrot - grated
1 tsp dill
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 c olive oil (or more as needed)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or more as needed)
juice of 1 lime.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. It is best to wait to add the oil, vinegar, and lime juice just shortly before serving. Enjoy.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
We went blueberry picking on Sunday. Same crew as before: me, Zach, my sister and my niece. We had a great time. The blueberry patch was set back from the road, up on a hill and all around you could see farmland. It was a beautiful sunny day, with blue skies and white, fluffy clouds. You could sit right down near the bush and pick the berries. Zach would sit on my lap with me. I cannot even tell you how many blueberries that little guy ate. I didn't have my camera with me, which is a shame because I missed the cutest picture of him with his hat on, carrying his little pint container with some berries. They were only $2.50/lb and all the blueberries in the pictures only cost me $7.50. I think I want to make a blueberry sauce, some muffins and a cucumber/blueberry salad. I'll post all the recipes once I do. I also have some raspberry recipes to post.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
So much to say on this subject. First of all, most all cows these days are injected with growth hormones. The main purpose for this is to make the cows produce more milk. Some will argue that this is more sustainable, which is bunk. What tends to happen, is that the cows will get mastitis (Inflammation of the nipples), and various other sicknesses requiring antibiotics. So, then they are administered antibiotics. All of this is passed on through the meat and dairy that we eat. With antibiotic resistance at an all time high, do we really want to set our kids up this early to being exposed to all of these antibiotics? With kids hitting puberty at earlier ages, do we want to expose them early to all these hormones?
Sure, we use hormones and antibiotics. There are downfalls to that to, despite the good things. Take a look at the ever popular HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for postmenapausal women... It's been shown to cause cancer at alarming rates.
I just ask that you all educate yourselves on this. If you make one organic change in your diet, make it meat and dairy. I made the commitment to give my son organic milk and soon as he turned 1 year and we stopped formula. The cost wasn't that much different. I figured I was spending about @25/week on formula. A gallon of organic milk runs me $6.00 and he goes through 1 /week right now. I'm even still getting ahead.
Friday, July 25, 2008
So, I finally made the pesto using the basil from last week's farmer's market purchases. It was very tasty. I made some organic wheat pasta and mixed the pesto in it. I sprinkled a little bit of low fat cheese on it too, and served it with a salad.
It was very simple to make, although you really need a food processor, or a blender might work.
Here is the recipe:
Classic Pesto: (from homecooking.about.com)
2 tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts. (I used half and half)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups basil leaves (about 4 ozs)
1/2c (2 ozs) grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1. With the motor running, drop the pine/walnuts and garlic into the food processor. Process until finely minced.
2. Add the olive oil and pulse 3 times.
3. Add basil, parmesan cheese and salt.
4. Process until finely minced, scraping down sides.
You can also put in ice cube tray and freeze cubes for later use.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The first picture is of my sister and Zach walking through the patch.This is Zach and my niece.
The big helper! Could only get that pacifier away when he was shoving raspberries in his face.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I am so excited because my peppers are taking off!! I've got quite a few of them that are medium sized already. It's so exciting because we take for granted where our food comes from and the miracle of it growing from a seed.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Green peppers (6)..........$2.00
Scallions (2 bunch)..........$1.00
Basil (2 bunches).............$2.50
Peas (1 pint)....................$2.00
Baby plums (14)..............$2.00
Cherries (1 pint)................$2.50
Baby peaches (10)............ $2.00
Lemons (3)...................... $1.00
Total = $19.00
I'm going to make some pesto with the basil!! I'm real excited to do my own.
And then there was this beauty!!! It's a little plant with hot peppers all over. They are very small, like 2-3 inches long. They start out green which is mild, then they turn purple which is medium and if you keep them going they turn red which is hot. I used a couple of the red in my salsa and OOooh boy are they hot. This plant cost me $5.00 and the pepper will keep growing!!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Zucchini Fritters - From Simply Recipes
Cucumber dipping sauce
Mix all of the ingredients in food processor. Chill several hours before using to allow flavors to blend. You can add or delete any of the seasoning to make it your preference.
2 apples, diced
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2c strawberries, finely chopped
1/2c almonds, finely chopped
1/2c walnuts, finely chopped.
1/4c olive oil
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Cook couscous per directions on box. Drain and add 1/4c olive oil. Set aside.
2. After chopping apples, place in a bowl of water combined with lemon juice. Soak for 5 minutes.
3. Combine couscous, apples, strawberries, almonds, walnuts and cinnamon together. If it seems dry, add more olive oil. Serve warm or cold.
I made a quick trip out before heading to our Aunt/Uncle's home. I forgot to put the snap peas into the picture. Here's how it breaks down.
I had to hurry, so I didn't get to really buy all I wanted.. I knew there were a few things I had to get like the berries. You might wonder why I bought bananas. I was out of them at home and they are a staple in Zach's diet.. and being that were gonna be gone overnight, I wanted to take some with us.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I got the basic recipe from simply recipes.com and tinkered with it a little.
Here is the recipe.
- 4-5 medium tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1-2 hot peppers (ie jalapeno) stems, ribs, seeds removed
- 2-3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tsp each of salt and pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tsp each of oregano and cumin (or to taste)
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/4 c fresh cilantro (and basil if desired)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Ziploc bags are my weakness in the fight to reduce waste. It's the one area I've had troubles with. I mean, face it.. they're so handy.. you can store anything in them.. and then you don't have to clean it.
On another blog that I read, these handy things were suggested. The Wrap -n- Mat.
The inside is lined with a clear plastic, I'm not sure you can tell on the picture. So you wrap your sandwich, chips, vegetables, whatever and it seals with velcro. You open it up and it's a placemat!! The clear plastic is easy to wipe down. Voila!! I bought 3 of them.. and they're great for packed lunches. I still have Ziplocs. Old habits die hard, but at least I'm using them sparingly now.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
This is the Foogo insulated sippy cup by Thermos. The cost of this beauty is $14.99. It is stainless steel, so there are no worries about polycarbonate plastic leaching. While that was in the back of my mind... I had a new reason why I wanted to purchase.
Let me tell you a story. I was home with my little guy last Wednesday. I was sitting on the couch taking a little break, when all of a sudden... I got a whiff of something that smelled like vomit. I flew into action, looking all over when Zach was standing there, shaking a sippy cup. The valve was clearly not in place because you could hear it being shaken inside the cup and milk was flying all over the front of him. He thought this was hysterical. I realized he had the sippy cup that came home from daycare with him the night before. Immediately I panicked, wondering if he had drinken any of the tainted beverage.
So, the added benefit of this cup is that it keeps beverages insulated warm or cold for up to 6 hours. While that wouldn't even have helped me in that scenario, it was worth checking out. You would think this cup is too heavy for them, but he handles it just fine... carries it around under his arm, just like all of his other precious cups.
Was it worth the money??... Time will tell I guess. It is very easy to clean which is a bonus for me, along with a little piece of mind.
My picture is kind of odd, but we'll dissect it.
Red peppers (2)........$2.00
Friday, July 4, 2008
.. you've heard it a million times.
Paper or Plastic? Neither?
Taking cloth bags to the store seems like an exhausting prospect. I started when my local grocer was selling them for 99 cents at the checkout. So I started by buying 2 of them. Well, you can imagine what happened from there. I would go to the store and forget the bags. That was the biggest obstacle to overcome. So, then I would buy a couple of more when I got there. After a while, if I left from the house to go to the store, it got easier to remember.
When they pack these bags, they seem to put more stuff in them. When they pack the plastic bags, they put 3-4 items in and then start a new bag. How obnoxious is that? So, because my groceries were neatly packed in the cloth bags, that motivated me to bring them to the store. If I stop unexpectedly on my way home from work... that is where I struggle, because I don't always have bags in the car with me. I'm trying to make sure I leave 2 in the car for the surprise trips.
It got me to thinking as I was shopping, how wasteful putting the produce in the plastic baggies is. But I wouldn't dare just put my naked produce on the checkout for any old germs to crawl all over it. I did some looking around online and was surprised that they make cloth bags exactly for this reason.
I got some nice ones from www.reusablebags.com -- http://tinyurl.com/2k8sml
They are decently priced too and made from organic cotton!! And I put them right in my cloth grocery bags. I've gotten pretty good at making sure I bring everything to the store. I've even gotten some nice comments inquiring about my produce bags.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. It's offered by a farm and you pay a subscription fee. Then you get a box of produce weekly throughout the growing season. They will give you whatever is in season. It's kind of fun to figure out what to do with things that you are not normally used to. Most of these average out to cost ~$25.00/week to feed 4 people.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The produce this week was amazing!! Everything looked so wonderful! Cherries and Sugar Snap peas were local and fresh. Here's my breakdown:
Apples (16) .......................... $3.00
Scallions (2 bunches) ................ $1.00
Cherries (pint)....................... $2.50
Zucchini (1).......................... $.50
Yellow squash (1)......................$.50
Sugar snap peas (pint).................$2.50
Red seedless grapes (pint).............$2.00
Green peppers (4)......................$2.00
Red peppers (2)........................$2.00
Chocolate mint (herb)..................$1.00
Grand total: $22.00 --- What a bargain!
and....I bought a cilantro plant for my garden ($2.00)
I took my peppers, tomatoes, scallions and made salsa. Added lime juice, cilantro, salt & pepper, hot peppers. It was my first attempt at my own Salsa and I was very pleased!!
Tomorrow I am going to try Zucchini cakes w/cucumber dip.