Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Little Of This…A Little Of That…Catching Up…and a Recipe!

 

Phew! We have been really busy this summer! I feel like I hardly get a chance to catch my breath…before we are on to the next thing. Luckily, I am back to “normal” work weeks (no more overtime…I hope). Last weekend I even enjoyed my first FULL weekend off in 3 summers!

I will get right to it!

This is what our garden looks like right now…

garden 2013

The Lord has certainly blessed us with an abundant crop! We are currently harvesting cabbage, lettuce, green beans, peas, cucumbers, kale, beets, green peppers, jalapeños dill, cilantro and basil. We look forward to tomatoes, eggplant, corn, squash and pie pumpkins soon!

Everything was planted and tended by my green-thumbed husband. He is AMAZING! We do not use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Eric goes through the garden every night and squashes bugs and eggs by hand…sometimes it takes him hours. Love that man.

canning 1

Canning has become a main focus lately. With all of those delicious veggies, we simply can not eat the amount we produce. Preserving and freezing seem to be the best way to save some of the summer goodness for winter. We are also looking into fermentation…

When we are not working, gardening, cooking, canning and cleaning…

bike trail 1

We enjoy taking our kiddos on a local bike trail, which is right on Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay. Gabe loves to ride his scooter, while Lily practices for the day we remove her training wheels (next month!)…and Eric and I walk.  I take a ton of pictures, making everyone CRAZY. But…come on! We are BLESSED to live in one of the most beautiful areas in this state! (And my kids are way too adorable not to constantly be snapping pictures ofWinking smile)

Unfortunately…the stress of summer has caused some major acne issues for me. So, a few weeks ago I decided to purchase a Clarisonic Mia2. The cost initially freaked me out a bit. But, I went to the Sephora website, and read all of the reviews. Yep. ALL of them (it took a few days). I decided to give it a try. There was a Sephora money-back guarantee…so I figured I did not have anything to lose.

clear skin

Here are my results this far! I am using it on the high speed, with a normal brush. I also use Philosophy’s Clear Days Ahead cleanser. I really happy! I have noticed some smaller breakouts…that only last for a day…but I think that my skin is just getting rid of impurities and all of the gross stuff.

I can not wait to see my 4 week results Smile 

Sidenote: I am not being compensated in any way for this post. These opinions are 100% mine. These companies do not know me, from Adam Winking smile I just genuinely like the products and companies.

For my last trick…not really a trick, just a recipe. My brain is whacking out right now…haha!

Italian style bake

My mom suggested that I try this recipe. It is in the new issue of All Recipes Magazine (the one I have a PUBLISHED recipe in…not bragging at allWinking smile). She told me that she left out the crescent rolls (ICKY, processed nattiness) and baked it as a casserole. I took it a step farther (maybe two) and added some extra cheese…and tweaked the seasoning a bit.

Italian Style Zucchini Bake

  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • 1 cup of sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter (please use grass fed, pasture raised…if not…use extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (6 oz.) (grass-fed, pastured)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar (4 oz.) (again, pastured and grass-fed…pretty please)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (2-4 oz.) (At this point do I even have to tell you what kind? Hehe!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the sliced zucchini and onions. Cook for about 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until veggies are tender. While the veggies are cooking (remember to stir them occasionally), shred the cheeses. Beat 2 eggs into a medium size bowl. Add the cheeses to the eggs, and stir.

When the veggies are tender, add the seasonings. Remove skillet from heat. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over top and stir a bit to combine.

Using oven mitts (very important…I am now nursing a blistered thumb…doh!), put the skillet into the preheated oven.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

This was REALLY killer delicious!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer! I know some of you are already dealing with the back to school season. We do not start until after Labor Day (thankfully!)…but I have already started shopping…

back to school

Zappos is my lifesaver when it comes to shoes for Gabe. His autism interferes with his fine motor function…and the DiGeorge Syndrome is at fault for low muscle tone…so I have to find him “cool” shoes with velcro…or laced shoes that he can just slip on. We always love Vans…and this year we are trying Merrells. For the past few years we have gotten him New Balance, but last year they frayed in the first week! I know…they are spendy…but we pay for quality in our house. Other, less expensive shoes, can not take the beating that child doles out!

That’s all I have for you people. I am writing down endless ideas for posts this fall (Sunday Suppers, anyone?)…so I am hoping the stars will align, and the angels will sing (going a little far?), and I will finally be able to make my blog a priority!

Jessie

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