Garden Update

Oct 1, 2013 by

About one week ago, I cleaned the garden up and tore out everything that was done for the season.

I decided that broccoli and cauliflower are NOT worth the valuable space it takes up in my compact deck garden.
I would rather have more green beans.

I enjoyed growing basil; we have pesto every couple of weeks. I use my green onions and carrots regularly. I really like being able to just pick what I need, when I need it.

I got ONE tiny Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe out of the six melon plants I nurtured. We gave it a try about 1 1/2 weeks ago. While it was tasty and sweet, it was so small, it was barely a bite or two with the seeds and all. And, since we only got one, there wasn’t much to enjoy. I thought it was interesting, the day after I picked the melon, the entire plant shriveled up and died…I didn’t know that would happen.

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I have one butternut squash growing; it started to grow a little over two weeks ago. I am not sure if anything will come of it with our Minnesota weather that can change at anytime. But, I will tend to it and hope for the best.

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When I picked green beans this past Saturday, I was shocked to find that my pretty Purple Podded Pole Bean plants were loaded with flowers ready to produce more beans. Just 5 days ago I almost yanked them out thinking they were done. So excited for the beans that we will enjoy this week. Did I mention I wish I had more bean plants. Next year!

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The purple podded beans that looked like they were done for the season.

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The new blossoms will bring us beans this week!

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Bush beans

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and more beans…can anyone have enough green beans?

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Some pea pods growing for the cooler, fall season. Just getting flowers on them this weekend; yum!

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The corn and sunflowers were a bit of a bust this year. We got a few sunflowers. While the corn was very tall, the animals snuck in and trampled it. We did try one ear and it was mushy and tasteless. I need to find a tasty organic corn to grow!

What did you love about your summer and what are you looking forward to this fall?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Back!

Sep 30, 2013 by

I am finally back to my beloved blog and my handful of readers…are you still out there?

I really enjoyed my time away, but I think fear of trying to keep up with the five days a week posting I set up for myself, is what kept me from returning. Blogging is time consuming and if you are like everyone else in the world, time is limited, right?

I spent August and September enjoying the rest of the summer with my son and then adjusting to school again. Yuck, I sure don’t like that 6 AM alarm! Oh, and honors physics has definitely added to the stress in our household. I am just thankful that I don’t have to do the work and take those tests! I don’t know that I ever took physics in school. Actually, what is physics?

I have tried some new recipes and made my favorites over and over.

I have enjoyed the fruits of my garden and also wished I had more green beans.
I really can’t get enough green beans!

I will do a garden update tomorrow, stop back! Here are some of my favorite memories of August & September.

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We had some days with a morning fog that was so hauntingly beautiful. This is the view from our deck.

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Sharing this grasshopper, or “hop grasser”, as I always call them…simply, because he looks so cool!

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My sister’s awesome gluten free birthday buffet; you CAN entertain family and friends and keep with a largely gluten/dairy free menu and no yucky GMO’s. Way to go sis! Yes, those are Spongebob’s crabby patties…too cool…and check out that fruit platter!

 

 

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Summer Slide

Aug 7, 2013 by

awe sum organics

 

I am definitely in the Summer Slide!

I have great intentions to post a blog entry and I have loads of new products, recipes and videos to share…but, alas, it just isn’t coming together for me. So, like many other bloggers, I am taking the rest of August off. Since I am giving myself permission to do this, I will stop feeling bad that I haven’t done an update.

I am so excited to share with you about new products I have tried from Edison Grain and Hail Merry!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and see you after Labor Day!

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Trader Joe’s Tuesday

Jul 30, 2013 by

Today you get a two-fer on Trader Joe’s Tuesday; the summer joys of organic cherries and non gmo sweet corn.

Last night for dinner, we enjoyed two summer favorites courtesy of Trader Joes.

I was excited to see organic cherries yesterday while shopping. They were priced at $4.99/pound. They were delicious and there is nothing more summer-like than grilling chicken on the grill and eating cherries and spitting the pits off the deck (not that I was doing that, really!)

Trader Joe's organic cherries www.naturallykristi.com   Trader Joe's organic cherries

 

I am really struggling with the presence of gmo sweet corn now. I believe that is all they sell at WalMart now.

Trader Joe’s sells non gmo sweet corn for $.49/ear. It was sweet and delicious!

sweet corn

 

 

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Meal Monday: Stir Fry

Jul 29, 2013 by

Meal Monday’s recipe is for a quick stir fry; it is a delicious quick, healthy meal and the perfect way to use your readily available garden veggies.

stir fry

Last week while my family was away, I prepared quick meals for myself. One of my favorites was a stir fry using the organic vegetables from my garden. Since my garden is small and things are coming available at different times and there isn’t enough to feed my whole family, it worked perfect to use my little harvests every couple of days.

veggies

I don’t have an exact recipe; that is a the beauty of a stir fry, you can use whatever you have on hand.

First, chop up your veggies and get everything ready…stir fry moves fast and you need to be prepared. If you are using meat, either cook it quick in the pan before stir frying or use leftovers from the fridge/freezer.

stir fry veggies

Next, I like to get my skillet or wok nice an hot with either olive or grapeseed oil. Saute the onions and carrots; I like to throw in some chopped garlic towards the end. When those veggies are getting softer, throw in the rest of the veggies that don’t take as long to cook. I like to add some chicken broth or even water to the pan to get a little steam going. Keep the veggies moving to cook evenly. When they are getting close to being to your liking; throw in the meat and add whatever sauce you like. I used San-J Teriyaki…it is gluten free and non-gmo. Keep stir frying until everything is hot and cooked to your desired tenderness. Enjoy by itself or over cooked rice or quinoa. Delicious and nutritious!

stir fry

 

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Trader Joe’s Tuesday: Organic Honey

Jul 23, 2013 by

A staple in my pantry is Trader Joe’s Raw Organic Honey.

Sure, I buy honey from my local farmer’s market, but the convenience and quality of Trader Joe’s honey is wonderful. I used it in yesterday’s recipe, BLT quinoa salad.

I was curious about the benefits of raw honey and found a few interesting sites if you are interested in looking further. I never knew it could help heal a wound! I will have to give that a try.

Raw Honey: Liquid Gold in Your Pantry

The benefits of Raw Honey

Add the honey to your list next time you are at Trader Joe’s.

raw organic honey

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Meal Monday: BLT Quinoa Salad

Jul 22, 2013 by

BLT quinoa salad

For Meal Monday, I am so excited to share a new recipe with you; BLT Quinoa Salad…it is delicious!

What a gorgeous weekend we had here! Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a delicious salad. I am always on the lookout for a new salad to bring to a gathering or enjoy for dinner at home. When I opened an email recently from one of the blogs I follow, Peas & Crayons, I was so excited to try this salad. The photos looked enticing.

A weekly family BBQ was the perfect occasion to give the recipe a try. I am always safe trying new recipes on my husband’s family; they eat whatever I make and never complain. I knew I had hit a home run when I received an email the next day from my wonderful mother-in-law telling me that they were enjoying the leftovers the next day and she wanted the recipe for bringing to an upcoming gathering. Win!

For me, this recipe is still in progress…not 100% sure on the amounts, as I made the original recipe x5, as you can see the Peas & Crayons recipe, BLT Salad with Toasted Quinoa is written for two servings. Making 5x the recipe gave me more quinoa that I used and some extra dressing. Maybe next time I will do quinoa x3 or x4 and the dressing x4. It was wonderful to have the leftover quinoa, as I used it to whip up another wonderful Peas & Crayons recipe Quinoa Fried Rice.

quinoa for salad

The quinoa all cooked up and ready to eat

onions for BLT salad

Caramelized onions in bacon grease…they smelled amazing, it was hard not to just eat them right up!

BLT quinoa salad

The salad ready to go to the party

I will provide the recipe as I made it for the party; for a large group. Check out the original recipe to get the measurements for two servings.

Trust me, make this salad soon, it was delicious!

BLT Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 10-15

BLT Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • 2 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 3/4 cup water or veggie broth
  • 1- 1.5# organic/nitrate free bacon (you will love the bacon in this salad, don't skimp on it)
  • 5 heads organic romaine lettuce (add as much or as little as you want, torn in bite size pieces)
  • organic tomatoes; cherry tomatoes or diced, as much as you want
  • Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing:
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup organic mayo
  • 2/3 cup diced/minced Vidalia/sweet yellow onion, caramelized
  • 3 TB vinegar
  • 10 tsp organic honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried minced onion or onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer
  2. Shake out any excess water from quinoa and allow to dry for a bit
  3. While quinoa is drying. get bacon cooking
  4. I like to cook bacon in the oven on parchment lined trays; put bacon in cold oven, turn on 350 degrees and cook until crispy; about 20-25 minutes (when bacon is done, remove to pat off grease, but save that bacon grease in the pan, you will use it!)
  5. Back to the quinoa...add dry quinoa to medium pan and turn heat to medium and toast your quinoa to remove any leftover moisture
  6. While toasting, continue to move the quinoa around frequently so it doesn't burn
  7. After 1-2 minutes, add in your water or broth and increase heat to high
  8. When the quinoa reaches a boil, reduce to simmer and cover, allowing some steam to escape
  9. Cook for 12-15 minutes; until all liquid has been absorbed
  10. In skillet, use a small amount of bacon grease to caramelize your onion. Saute on medium low heat, stirring frequently until golden brown
  11. When quinoa is done cooking, you can toast it in a large skilled with more of the leftover bacon grease...this is optional, but adds some additional great flavor...season quinoa with salt & pepper to taste
  12. Combine dressing ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  13. Depending on where you are serving the salad, you can pile lettuce, quinoa, bacon, and tomato in bowl until ready to serve then add dressing and toss before serving.
  14. Or, pile on plates for individual servings.
  15. Enjoy; it is a delicious salad!
http://www.naturallykristi.com/2013/07/22/meal-monday-blt-quinoa-salad/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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