Posts Tagged 'garden'

cucumbers and colors

It’s officially cucumber season in our household!  I’m picking an average of about 10-12 per DAY in the yarden.  Please keep in mind that it’s just Daniel and me here, so I have been busy figuring out some different ways to use our cucumbers (you can only eat so many plain or in salads).

So far, I have a few favorite ways of using our abundance of cukes.

Cukes

First, they are perfect for fresh juice.  This one was a no brainer considering how much I love making fresh green juice.

Greenjuice

The second way is another type of juicing, but it’s for later use in smoothies or blended juices.  I juiced about five million cucumbers and then poured the juice into ice cube trays and transferred to the freezer.  Once frozen, I put them in freezer bags.  Seriously, how easy is this?  Now whenever I want a little extra green in my smoothies, I can just pop a few cucumber cubes (not an appealing name if you ask me) in the blender and voila!  I’m also planning on using them in blended juices (I’m thinking pineapple, orange, spinach, and cucumber will be a perfect combination!).

Cukesicecubes

Finally, I used them in my quick pickles (also known as marinated cucumbers).  This is one of my favorite summertime snacks of all times.  

Slicedcukes

Quick Pickles

2-3 large pickling cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber

1 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

Thinly slice cucumbers (the mandolin made this very easy for me – I used the 1/8 inch setting) and place in bowl medium bowl.

Heat vinegar, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.  

Pour vinegar mixture over cucumber slices.

Let sit for about 15-20 minutes and then enjoy!  

(I prefer to chill mine before eating and then store in the refrigerator.)

Marinatedcukes

This is a quick and simple recipe that makes a great snack or the perfect side dish for a summer cookout or picnic.

With all the different ways to use these green beauties, I’m sure none of them will go to waste!

Now, how about something NOT green?  This is the pedicure I got today for vacation.  The guy who did it kept asking me if I was completely sure that was what I wanted.  Apparently he thought it was strange. 🙂  I like it.

Pedicure

Yes, I do know that two of my toenails are orange.  And yes, I know they are not the same toe on each foot.  I tried to blur out my super bony feet, but there was no way to fix the stubby pinky toes.  Sigh.

While we are on a color theme in this post (do you see it?  first everything was green, then neon pink and neon orange, and now…..), let’s take a look at one other little thing I had done recently.


Colortattoo

Just kidding!  Mom, are you okay?  Did I fool anyone????  When I get my next tattoo, I will definitely show y’all, I promise!  And don’t worry, no swirly pink flowers will be involved.  (source)

This is what I actually had done last week.

Bluehair

Blue streak underneath – I love it!  This isn’t something I did myself (I don’t do anything to my hair except wash and dry it – no dying, cutting, or anything like that for me).  It’s an AVEDA color treatment, in case you were wondering.

The colorful post now comes to an end.  Time to start packing!!!!!!!!!

much love,

natalie 

so tell me…

Do you have any recipes or serving suggestions for all my cucumbers that will be waiting for me when I get back???

What’s the most colorful thing on you at the moment?

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first little harvest and a workout

Happy Wednesday, people!  Am I the only one off on my days this week?  Long weekends AND being out of school means I have no idea what day it is at all.  I definitely thought yesterday was Monday all day long until it was time for me to figure out where I was teaching zumba last night.  

Since I know y’all want to know what goes on every second of my life, let’s start with Monday afternoon.

On Monday, Daniel and I hung out with my family at my cousin’s pool.  Of course we had to enjoy some delicious food before jumping in and swimming around (no, I didn’t wait 20 minutes or two hours or whatever).  I opted to skip the bun and just have bbq (pulled pork) and my dad’s famous hot slaw.  On the side I had a random combination of homemade cheesy salsa dip and guacamole, edamame, cheese, and a pickle.

Memday2012

As I took this picture, my cousin Jackson kept asking, “Nalale [how the boys say my name – it’s so cute – sounds like nah-la-lee], why you takin’ pictures of your foooooood?”  It was too funny, and I just ended up telling him I did it because I’m a weirdo and like pictures of food AND pictures of my favorite boys!

Memdayjackson

Before we could let the kiddos head out to the pool, we had some snake business to take care of.  I don’t know about y’all, but we have had more snakes this year than I can ever remember.  The first guy we found was coiled up in the yard, but thankfully he was already dead.  The other guy was in the koi pond and kept moving around under water.  He finally made a mad dash for the woods and got away.  He was almost three feet long!  

Snakecollage

After our pool time, we headed back home to check the garden and relax a little bit.  Guess what is coming in!!!!!!!!!!  Squash and zucchini!!!!!  We should have a few ready at the end of this week, but in the next two weeks I think we’ll be picking every single day.  I’m pumped!  I also picked some of my Brussels sprouts on Monday (apparently these are supposed to be planted and harvested wayyyy later than we did – oh well – we’re learning by trial and error here, people).  I hope that my cucumbers and tomatoes start coming in soon!  The rest of Monday night included lots of lounging around, playing with dogs, and some tv.

Hatfields and mccoys history channel miniseries

Anyone else watching this???  It was obviously Daniel’s choice, but now I’m sucked into the story.

Yesterday started out with a humid early-morning run.  I set my alarm for 5:30 (this is NOT what I expected to do on summer break, but oddly enough it didn’t bother me in the least) and I was out the door by six.  Instead of jogging to the park this morning, I decided to take my time and walk.  I ran 2.5 miles at the park and then walked by home just in time to kiss Daniel goodbye on his way to work.  For my post-workout meal I devoured a breakfast cookie made with mashed banana, sun warrior, almond milk, cinnamon, pb2, and a few chocolate chips.  It was incredibly delicious, and it sure didn’t last very long!  After cleaning up, I ran some errands and then came back home for lunch.  I roasted up my freshly picked Brussels sprouts and used them as a salad topper.  This baby has red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, freshly sliced smoked turkey, pickles (I know, I’m a little strange sometimes), edamame hummus, chia seeds, and a little cottage cheese.  Enjoying my first little harvest from the garden made the salad that much better!  I remembered about midway through my lunch that I meant to put avocado on it, but it was too late then.

Saladbeast

After an afternoon of cheer practice and then teaching SHRED, I started planning my workout for this morning.  Since it’s officially swimsuit season, I really want to focus on toning/firming/lifting my booty and my legs.  I found these two awesome Brazilian butt workouts the other night (via Pinterest, of course), and decided to give it a go this morning.  I have a feeling that I’ll definitely be sore!  This workout is on my pinterest workouts board, but since there is picture that could be offensive, I decided to retype it.  Please see the link for the original posting of this workout.

Buttworkout

 

Okay, I have definitely said WAY too much in this post!  I guess since it’s summer now I should go back to daily posts instead of cramming it all in to three posts per week (or maybe I should just talk/write less??).

 

So tell me…

Are you scared of snakes?  I’m not, but spiders are another whole story!

Have you ever tried the Brazil Butt Lift workouts (from the infomercials)?  I’ve always wanted to!

My garden, y’all…

Remember that sweet little farmers market haul I showed you on Saturday?  Well, we successfully got all those plants into the ground.

We knew we needed a few more things to plant, so while Daniel was mowing the grass on Sunday afternoon, I ran to pick up the few items we wanted to finish off the garden.  Ummmm…..yeah.

I may have gone a just a little overboard.  To add to the ever-growing garden, a very kind gentleman secretly loaded up the back of Daniel’s truck with a flat of tomato plants and squash and zucchini plants.  It’s hard to give back something that was done as a “surprise present” for you!  So, in the garden (which is approximately 30×60 – I know), we now have the following plants:

10 Brussels sprouts

5 cabbage

6 onion

10 zucchini

10 squash

8 jalapeno

6 bell pepper (2 red, 2 green, 1 orange, 1 yellow)

1 cayenne

4 banana pepper (2 hot, 2 sweet)

1 eggplant

8 cucumber (4 regular, 4 pickling)

2 spaghetti squash

1 butternut squash

and the kicker…

23 tomato plants (2 Cherokee purple, 3 better boy, 1 power pop, 16 jet star, 1 unknown)

WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?!?!?!?!?!  Just in case you were wondering, we don’t supply food for the entire city, and we don’t run a restaurant.  This is just for TWO people.  Two non-vegetarian people.  I’m guessing that I will spend a good amount of weekends canning tomatoes, making pickles, and putting away as much as possible for the fall and winter.  I’m sure I’ll end up giving away quite a bit of fresh veggies to family and friends as well.

Y’all know that once this stuff starts coming in, you have to pick every. single. day.  Instead of being worried about what we will do this all food, I’m just excited (and I think it’s absolutely hilarious that we “accidentally” planted so much)!

So tell me…

Do you think I’m crazy???

Will you please come help me pick veggies this summer?!?!?!

Farmer’s Market Haul

Hey hey!  I hope you are enjoying your Saturday so far!

This morning, I went to a community event with some of my friends from Solus.  We did a warm up and demonstrated stretching techniques before the participants set out on a walk/run through downtown Jackson.  Since I was already downtown, I decided to head over to the farmer’s market after the event.

Today was the first day that the market had a full house, and it made me so excited to think about all the options that will be available there this summer!  I love going to the market on Saturday mornings in the summer – talking with the local farmers, sampling products, smelling the fresh berries, enjoying the hot summer breeze…it’s the perfect way to start a weekend if you ask me.

I was excited to find some good tomato plants, zucchini and squash plants, cucumber plants, and jalapeno plants.  I think I might have paid around $35 for everything together, and it was quite the haul.  It overjoys me to think that spending $35 up front and then growing these in our garden will keep us from buying imported produce at the grocery store for a long time.

The tomato plants are already fairly large, and I cannot wait to get them in the ground!  I bought two Cherokee Purple tomato plants and one other type.  I can’t remember the name (and I’m too lazy at the moment to go outside and look) of the other type.

I bought eight jalapeno plants today, but we may end up planting more.  We go through fresh jalapenos with incredible speed at this house, and we also plan on pickling some this year.  I bought regular cucumbers and pickling cucumbers as well.  Who wants to come over late summer and help me for a full weekend?  I’ll teach you my grandmother’s recipe for homemade bread and butter pickles!  I’ll even let you star in your very own vlog (and you may even get the window unit from my kitchen as a bonus prize). 🙂


After loading up my car with my vegetable plants, I wandered around the other venders and came away a few awesome finds.

Fresh rosemary!  I cannot wait to use this!

Fresh crab cakes!!!  I cannot tell you how awesome these are.  There is a couple that drives from Florida to our farmers market every weekend, and they have the best fresh seafood ever.  I love these crab cakes because they are FULL of crab, and they are spicy!

Fresh chocolate milk – this stuff was a total impulse buy.  It is crazy delicious.

I’m about to get ready and go to a bridal shower for my niece, and then tonight we are attending the wedding and reception of my sweet friend, Cara.  It should be a great night!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

So tell me…

What is your favorite thing to get at the farmers market?

What are you up to this weekend?

Spring Garden & Spaghetti Squash

Hello loves!  I hope that you have had a wonderful Wednesday!

It has been incredibly gorgeous here all week, and I am absolutely loving it.  I love being able to wear all my wedge sandals again!  I hope that you have been having some warm sunny weather wherever you are. 🙂

I have news…. exciting news!

Do you know what that is?!?!?!  It’s part of our spring garden!!! (Can you tell I’m excited?!)  This one little cutie is one of my favorite vegetables – Brussels sprouts!  Daniel has also planted onions, corn, and purple hull peas.  We will end up planting broccoli, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and possibly eggplant.  I cannot wait until I can walk outside and pick all the veggies I need instead of buying them.

Oh, and I’m sure I will also plant some herbs, but I’ll more than likely kill them after about 5 weeks.  That seems to be the trend. 🙂

I have to share my dinner from tonight with you – it was so easy and delicious.  I knew I wanted to use up my spaghetti squash tonight, but it turned into something much more than I was expecting.

  • One spaghetti squash, halved and scooped out, roasted at 350 for about 30-40 minutes

  • 3 (I think) wedges light swiss Laughing Cow cheese

  • 1 tbsp goat cheese

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • sauteed mushrooms

  • 2 Trader Joe’s jalapeno chicken sausages, heated in a skillet and then sliced

  • garlic powder

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

It was scrumptious and extremely filling.  Best part – leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

So tell me…

Do you have a vegetable garden?  If you do (or if you wish you did), what would you plant?

Have you ever cooked with spaghetti squash?


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