Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer Bliss: Our Garden

Sometimes it's hard to live in an area that gets as hot as the Sacramento Valley. I won't lie. I'm not always the most fun to be around when the temperatures soar over 100 degrees. But, admittedly, there are perks to the heat.

Swimming in the lake, for instance, is not quite as refreshing when the temperatures are cooler.

Another is our garden, which, unlike myself, thrives when the heat is at its peak.

Last year we didn't get our veggies planted until mid-July, and our crop suffered as a result. But this year we planted at the end of April and the fruits of our labors are already starting to show. There's nothing like a juicy, sweet, perfectly ripe strawberry right off your own plant (if you can get to them before the birds or slugs do!) or a plump red tomato with a fresh leaf of basil.

We grew onions for the first time this year, and we're starting to see their bulbous little heads peaking out of the soil. 

We also grew green beans again. We've already harvested these plants three times and started giving them away because we can't eat them all ourselves!

For Christmas, Jim bought be a salad dressing mixer. (Get your own from Amazon here). It is my new favorite kitchen toy.


I've whipped up so many delicious dressings with herbs from our garden and olive oil and balsamic from our Lucero Olive Oil Club. Here is one of my favorite combinations. The beauty of it is that you don't really need to measure anything. Just taste as you go and you can't really go wrong.


Mr and Meatless' Fresh Summer Salad Dressing

1 part Lucero Rosemary Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 part Lucero Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
1 handful of fresh herbs from the garden (we planted rosemary, sage, chives, thyme, basil, parsley and oregano. I usually grab a little snippet of each)
1 squeeze dijon mustard (optional...but SO delicious!)

Throw it all in your handy dandy little whirly device and squeeze that little handle until everything is mixed.

And in case you're wondering, no, I am not being paid to endorse Lucero Olive Oil. We just love it and it's so versatile, and I like to share my wisdom with others.

We get so much joy from our little garden. It's such fun to watch the plants or seeds we've lovingly placed in the soil grow and mature and start to produce food for us to eat.There's a satisfaction in going out and pulling the weeds, picking off the dreaded aphids and waiting impatiently for the fruit to be just the right size and color.

Do you have a garden? What do you like to grow?

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I saw this quote today, and it struck a chord with me. I feel compelled to move, and I've kind of been moving with a blind faith that I'm going in the right direction. But the path is starting to take shape in front of me, and I'm starting to see what life has in store. And I've never been more excited to take steps into the darkness.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Super Squashy Breakfast Hash

When I was in college, I lived in the cool dorms that had a kitchen I got to share with three other girls. It was in that kitchen that my adventures in cooking on my own began. My roommate and I became pros at chocolate mousse and bruschetta and, well, heating frozen appetizers mostly.

It wasn't until I got an apartment of my own that I realized I should probably learn to cook something nutritious (of course we'd convinced ourselves that the bruschetta was plenty healthy because it had tomatoes).

One of my favorite simple dishes to make was breakfast hash. It basically consisted of anything and everything I had in the fridge, sauteed up with an egg on top. It's delicious and packed with veggies and sooo easy to throw together on a Sunday morning or a busy weeknight.

This variation made use of the multiple varieties of squash that came in my Farm Fresh to You shipment last week.

Super Squashy Breakfast Hash

Serves 2

1 tbsp oil (you can choose here. I used coconut)
2 small red potatoes, chopped
1 cup delicata squash, chopped (but not peeled. It may seem a little tough, but the skin is quite edible!)
1 cup butternut squash, chopped (peel this one!)
1 small crown of broccoli, chopped
1 cup leeks, chopped*
1 small zucchini, chopped
1-2 leaves of kale, you guessed it, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (nope, not chopped!)
Fresh herbs, minced (I used sage, rosemary and thyme in mine)
2 eggs, prepared however you like
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a pan until it is hot. Add potatoes and squash and let them cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and the rest of the veggies and cook until everything is just soft enough to chew. Separate into two bowls, top with an egg each and enjoy!

Super simple, right? And you can add whatever herbs and spices you fancy or substitute whatever veggies you have on hand.

Since I know you're wondering about my funky round egg, here's how I made it.

Jim found this super cool egg poaching device and gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. You boil your water like normal, then you float the little cup on the water, crack the egg into it, cover the pan for 4 minutes and wha-lah! Perfect poached egg with no mess. The handy dandy handle thing helps you lift the cup out of the water and the opposite end can be used to loosen the egg from the cup.

*Here's a tip for cleaning leeks: cut them first. Then put them into a mesh strainer and rinse them well. Leeks are notoriously dirty and this will help you get all that grainy junk out of them.

Do you have a simple go-to dish that you know you can throw together in a pinch?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My word for the new year

Its the first day of a brand new year, and I have a feeling it's going to be a fabulous one.

Along with a few minor life tweaks I'd like to make such as taking more photos for fun and having more parties at our house, I've chosen a word, a sort of driving force for the year to come.

I've spent the past several years waiting for the right moment, the proper level of experience, a feeling in my gut that it's time to take steps in the direction of my true purpose in this life. And I'm not sure if I've achieved those things or if I'm just tired of sitting around, but 2015 is the year that I start moving forward.

I'm terrified to step out of my comfort zones. I've always been terrified to fail. But I've learned that standing still is its own kind of failure.

So 2015 is about moving forward. Taking steps, small and large, to becoming the person I was meant to be. I'm not sure where these paths will take me, but for the first time in my life, I'm willing to find out.

Happy 2015, my friends!

Do you have a word of the year? Or any goals that you hope to achieve in 2015?