Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sleeping and cooking

I have been doing a lot of sleeping lately.  Sleeping because I've been so tired, and the weather so nice and cool that it makes sleeping that much more comfortable.  And cooking up what I can in the kitchen between visits and other commitments.  I used a bread maker for the first time last week.  It's so much easier than making bread from scratch, I have no idea why I didn't try it sooner.  I used a 2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat mixture.  My husband has had better success with a bit less whole wheat and, surprisingly, a little vanilla flavoured almond milk.  His loaf filled the pan and was sooo soft and fluffy with a chewy crust.  YUM.  But don't ask me why he tried the vanilla almond milk because I didn't ask, I just enjoyed.

We went to a pig roast on the weekend and I was asked to bring a salad.  There are so many wonderful salads out there that I had a hard time choosing what to make.  I decided on a pasta salad and used some of what I had on hand - red onions, avocado, grape tomatoes, cooked chicken, canned corn and black beans.  For the dressing I used chives, plain yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic and a bit of mayo.  I will make this again, it was delicious.  This was before I added the dressing.  

I made a cake for my girls to share, yellow cake with chocolate chips, butter cream icing (not from scratch) and sprinkles - I wish I had taken a pic when I was done.  My girls love my home made cakes but next time I was asked to make my home made lemon frosting and that it didn't need chocolate chips.  

And my last food pic is of some delicious yellow beans that we were given and some onions from our garden.  The onions are still pretty small but they are popping up out of the ground so my sister grabbed these two.  I went down and stepped on all of them to bend over the green stalks - my mom told me that doing this sends the energy down into the onion so they will get bigger, fingers crossed.  I cooked the yellow beans for dinner one night and the next day added them to some pasta, peas, red onion and tuna - added a dollop of mayo and called it tuna salad.  I'm wishing now that I had planted yellow beans - another note for the garden next year.  

Happy foodie Thursday everyone!

Monday, 28 July 2014

I found my cucumbers!

After my vacation my garden was FULL of weeds.  Discouragingly full.  You almost couldn't see the vegetables full.  My hubby ended up tilling out between the rows to help me out but what it really took was a lot of elbow grease and effort.  Did I mention that this was just my small garden?  The other one is still full of weeds - which is where my cucumbers are planted.  I do go down there occasionally and pull as much as I can but I honestly don't have a lot of time for weeding!  Next year I'm putting down landscaping cloth and straw between the rows to try to keep them at bay.  We have these large perennials surrounding the entire garden, they are very tall and green (I have no idea what they are called) and so when I planted my cucumbers it was between these perennials and then they grew in an surrounded them.  Yep, they are in there.
I'm sort of glad I made the larger garden the squash garden because they will grow in a bunch of weeds happily.  That is one gardening decision I wouldn't change.  I think about my gardens all the time, I really wish I had more time for them.

The one item that is thriving at my house, besides the weeds - are the flowers.  The lady that lived at this house before me did a wonderful job with the flower beds, I can't take any credit for those.  She very thoughtfully planned those out to bloom all season.
Someone got Pink hair on the weekend.
I really must get a book on wild flowers as well, we have so many varieties. 
We are enjoying this place to much, it being our first summer here.  Walks in the pasture, pig roasts with the neighbors and meeting so many great people.  Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Busiest summer ever

One of the things we worried about when moving a hour out of the city was whether and how often we would see our friends.  It turns out that we are busy all the time with people stopping by, coming for dinner, spending the night and popping in.  They are enchanted by this place as much as we were when we came here the first time.  A house on a hill, next to a barn, surrounded by trees and nature, what's not to like about visiting here?  In fact, I'm often over booked on the weekends which causes my better half to give me "the look."  I can't help it, I love having the visitors.  Even with my busy work schedule, I'll take the time to make a cake or a potato salad for their visit while I tidy up again and try to make this old farm house presentable and clutter free.  It's not easy with two little girls home for the summer and a hubby who is more often outside than inside but we make it work.  This summer I've had to travel for work, stay in the city for events, attend a wedding and had visitors almost every weekend.  My garden has suffered a bit (although I do enjoy those visitors who come to work and send them promptly over to the garden to weed) - I still haven't found my cucumbers, I'm sure something ate my spinach and my green peppers are decidedly NOT happy.  But this is all part of the learning process with gardening as Soulemama always says.  So today I work from home and on my lunch break will run to town for potatoes - for potato salad - and host more friends for dinner - on a Tuesday night, why not - and enjoy this wonderful summer full of visitors and gardening which are very nicely balancing my very busy corporate life.
Welcome friends!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Monday, 14 July 2014

Back from vacation

Oh I had so many grand plans to blog and be online during this vacation and it simply did not happen.  I brought my ipad but never once picked it up for work or pleasure.  We visited with friends and family and generally just ate / drank / played and slept and it was wonderful.  I came home to a garden full of weeds and a solitary beet and some kale and lettuce that were ready for harvesting.  My bush beans, spinach, second planting of lettuce and sugar snap peas are coming up nicely.  I can't find my cucumbers and my green peppers are doing very poorly so I hope the new seedlings I am growing will do better.  A few pics of my favorite moments last week:
Bon fires
Time at the beach
Lots of swimming
Sunset walks with the dog
Hikes with friends
A birthday on a rainy Tuesday
Muskoka - Murph's first time in a lake
Home again

And back to reality with a big smile on my face.  Happy Monday!

Friday, 4 July 2014

This Moment

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  Linking up with

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Vacation time

I plan to spend some good, quality time on here next week.  I will be on vacation, in the middle of almost no where, with nothing to do but read and write.  And swim, and walk and fish and maybe get in a round of golf.  I'm SO looking forward to it.  Life has gotten tremendously busy.  And while I will worry about my garden and that the weeds will take over, I will let it go and just be with my girls - for 9 whole days.  As such, I have no post today from my kitchen even though bread was made, more kale chips were made, more veggies were roasted and lots of cooking happened.  Until next week!