Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Last week we were on vacation, and this week since getting back home, I have been totally exhausted. You know, I need a vacation from my vacation kind of thing. Well anyway while we were away I was a bit concerned about leaving the garden. One of my community garden friends watered it while I was away, but I just still worried about it. Is that silly to worry about a garden? Well I think not! So this past weekend, even though being tired as all get out, I went to the garden early Sunday morning and found a bounty of squash and zucchini waiting for me-big ones, overgrown ones~

So as you might have suspected we have had some form of squash or zucchini for dinner every night this week and tonight won't be any different. Those big squash make good "boats" for stuffing-so tonight it's stuffed zucchini and squash.
I simply browned some onions and about a pound of ground turkey with some seasonings, an adequate squeeze of ketchup, salt and pepper. Then the "boats" are stuffed with this mixture and now they are in the oven baking-at the end I'll add a little feta to top it off...I'm sure I've told you about my love affair with feta right?

And I'll just keep serving up the squash and 'chini in as many ways I can think of-
~plethora of casseroles
I'm going to have a good time with this, I see.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

right now I'm...

liking my hot pink toes

making coffee

using my ironing board as a table

braiding hair

loving this book

Have a good one!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Originally uploaded by *nichole*
My youngest turned five today and she has been so excited the whole day. Something about five seems big, she's ready for new experiences, I see it-and at the same time I'm realizing my subtle resistance to this change is futile.
Our children can't stay small forever, they grow, they cry, they laugh, they tell us when they need us and let us know when they don't. Being a witness to this growth is both overwhelming and awe-inspiring.
I am so blessed, truly blessed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

pizza made and more culinary ramble

Pizza is what we had for dinner last night. It was quick, a total "go to" recipe. As I was making the pizza I thought to myself "hey let me grab my camera and take a picture of this pizza creation" -but as I thought more about it, I realized that maybe I wouldn't talk about making pizza specifically, but rather what items/staples I find helpful in my everyday cooking.
I spend alot of time in the kitchen, whether its washing dishes, loading the dishwasher, cleaning counters, prepping food, making food, putting food away-you get it. If I am to be found, the kitchen is a good place to look. My family is also a family of eaters-we all like to eat and eat well. In fact I would rather spend money on good food than on fancy clothes, is that strange? If so that's ok-I'm not really striving for total "normalcy" (:
So here I'm going to list a couple of things I find so very helpful in my daily cooking life:

~some type of acid-vinegar, lemon juice
I use vinegar/lemon juice for a multitude of things-to make vinegarettes, marinades, as a rinse agent in my dishwasher, and I use a capful of vinegar in a big bowl of water to help clean off really dirty produce.

a pinch of salt is great for just about everything, It brings out the flavor in veggies and just the right amount can work wonders for stews and soups, however too much salt, you know- is hard to remedy. I usually use Real Salt or Morton's Kosher Salt.

In most of all my cooking I add some type of fat. If I'm sauteeing veggies or scrambling eggs I add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the pan . Olive oil is also used for salad dressings, pasta, and meat marinades. For baking I either use coconut oil or butter. I don't like butter substitutes. Butter makes life better.

Our staple cheese is feta. Its stinky, salty, but so, so good, I add it to salads, pasta, pizza, eggs, salad dressings, believe me I'll find an excuse to add feta to something. If you don't like feta, just keep a good quality cheese around in the fridge-it can really help out a meal.

~my messy recipe notebook
I have so many recipes crammed in this folder. Sure I could probably digitize/organize this paper mess, but I like having recipes that I can hold in my hands. When I want to make something and can't exactly recall the steps-this folder is where I go. Perhaps one day I'll at least organize it by recipe type (main course, salad, dessert, etc.)-but that would just be too easy.
So as I tackle each dish, I rely heavily on these above items and know that if the food is good, then we're all good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

quiche made

spinach feta quiche

We had quiche for dinner last night and it was a great simple meal. I really enjoyed the quiche, which is especially significant since I'm not much of an egg person. For the recipe I loosely followed my Betty Crocker cookbook, but then I did some improvising-for instance the cookbook called for 2 cups of half and half or cream, instead of this I used 1 cup of whole milk and increased the number of eggs by one(the cookbook recipe used 4 eggs, I used 5). Here is the recipe:

*five large eggs
*1 cup of whole milk
*1 medium onion minced
*1 clove of garlic minced
*1/2 cup of white sharp cheddar cheese
*1/4 cup of feta cheese
*1 cup of fresh spinach
*1/2 teaspoon of salt
*1/2 teaspoon of pepper
*one homemade pie crust or premade pie crust I used this one~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, pre-bake pie crust for 10 minutes, take out and cool for about 5 minutes. While unfilled pie crust is cooling combine eggs with milk, salt, pepper, whip thoroughly. On the bottom of pie crust add onion, garlic, and cheeses. Add spinach to egg mixture mix in, then pour on top of other ingredients.
Bake quiche for about 45-50 minutes until eggs are set (if crust is browning too fast cover top of pie loosely with foil and/or turn oven down a little bit, I have an old oven so I make adjustments according to how the dish is cooking). After the quiche is done, cool for 10 minutes, then dig in.
There you go an easy weeknight meal, I think I'll be embracing the loveliness of quiche more often now.

*note: when baking the quiche I think it's a good idea to place a cookie sheet underneath it-since the possiblitity of spill over is very likely.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday morning...

~beds are still left unmade

~the rain is watering the plants, so I don't have to

~coffee is being sipped from my "new" thrifted mug

Today I have a couple of errands to run, then here at home I have some laundry to do (of course) and then I need to make dinner (my husband suggested quiche for dinner, which was a bit of a surprise). So quiche and a salad for dinner sounds simple enough. I'm enjoying summer but it seems to be going at warp speed. After fourth of July summer goes fast!
I haven't scheduled many activities this summer for the girls, no camps or anything like that-I'm a procrastinator when it comes to registration forms -but I think they will attended at least a week of Vacation Bible School and maybe some swim lessons in August, but for right now our daily schedules are pretty much flexible and I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the community garden-photo update

here are my wonderful cucumber girls-they are always so excited when they find something that is ready to be picked

kale, chard, and lettuce-seeds sown late in the season, still growing, tasting good

dahlias, tomatoes, snapdragons, and watermelon-all squeezed in here. I over planted, I know that the watermelon is going to take up a lot of space, but its right next to the lettuce and chard area and once that is all harvested I'll leave that space empty for the watermelon to happily spread out

tiny verbena and more tomatoes-I love planting flowers along with the veggie plants

rainbow chard

the hot and humid weather has really got things going in the garden (that includes the weeds as well). Its exciting and the girls are so helpful, I'm so glad we decided to participate in this gardening adventure.

Monday, July 6, 2009

this fourth of July weekend we...

crossed big bridges to visit family

ventured out toward the water at night

saw fireworks

collected seashells

hope you had a great Independence Weekend

have a Happy Monday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I can only imagine how it would be having a sister. I was raised as an only child so I mostly related to older folks at home when I was a kid. Now from my daughters I see that the sister relationship is one of both simplicity and complexity. Simplicity in that who else would be better to play with than my own sister, complexity in that I don't always want to play with my own sister. Intensity in arguing over wanting the same thing at the same time, intensity also in sharing and having so much fun as sisters together at the same time. Difficulty in figuring out how much room to take, difficulty in figuring out how much room to give.
However, despite all of this the one thing I know for sure about sister relationships is that they are special-only in a way that sisters can understand.