Oh my lovelies I have missed you so much. This summer was a tad busier than I expected, not an excuse I know, but I promise to fill you in on all the fun this summer.
I took a few classes over the summer which puts me on track to graduate in May, very excited! We also fostered three dogs
and ended up keeping one of them! Meet Jordan, the newest member of our family.
Jared & Jordan
I thought I would have an amazing garden this summer, unfortunately school and work kept me busy. Nonetheless, we got some nice tomatoes
A pumpkin! I don’t really remember planting this, it may be a kabucha that morphed into a giant, hope it tastes OK.
My peppers have done well, I didn’t think they would survive the transplantation and they took forever to bear fruit.
And a sunflower!
I have also enjoyed eating the dandelion and the plantains that have popped up in the vegetable garden. I don’t pull them anymore, I now cut the young tender leaves and eat them as salad greens. I only wish we had some purslane growing, we used to have tons.
I started volunteering at a food pantry, everyone should do this. It gives you a different perspective on the whole feeding the hungry issue. Remember people need food all year long, not just during the holidays. If you think only lazy people and illegals need food assistance then think again. I see people that work hard but don’t make enough, people that have lost jobs and can’t find work, old pensioners and young families. There but for the grace of god… It could be any one of us out there. OK rant over.
We had our annual Maine vacation and the drive up
Luke & Jordan
Jordan even went in the water at the little beach!
Jordan at the beach
The boys got to spend time with the grandparents
Dad H & Luke
In September I started the last year of my DTR program and a new job at a local hospital, the first steps in the process for my RD – yippee!
Of course I have to include a photo of my princess!
I hope all of you have had a great summer! Now on to Halloween – woo hoo!
Posted in Dog, Flowers, Foster Dogs, Garden, Health Coaching, Jordan, Kabucha, Lola, Luke, Maine, Middlesex County College, Nature, Peppers, Self-Improvement, SNAP, Sunflowers, Tomatoes, Vegan, Vegetables
Tagged Compassion, Food, Food Industry, Garden, Health Coach, Health Coaching, Healthy Lifestyle, Hunger, Jordan, Lola, Luke, Maine, nutrition, Peppers, Pumpkins, School, Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Summer, Tomatoes, Vegan
Well it’s definitely spring time in Jersey, it’s going to be in the 80s next week… I went ahead and took an inventory of what’s popping up – other than a ton of Lamb’s Quarters – UGH!
We have tons of scallion that Jared has been cultivating
They’re pretty huge – I thought they were the leeks we planted years ago. We also have some pretty mint weed that been taking over one side of the yard. Jared believes it’s Creeping Charlie.
And of course we can’t forget about our Dandelions
Personally I love the way the yellow and the purple looks together, since they are complimentary colors it’s obvious they would be compliments in nature
On the other side of the yard we have a couple of our veggies coming in, here are Collards, Spinach and Kale
Our Asparagus is also doing pretty well. This is the year we can finally harvest them – yay!
Our herbs also did pretty well. We have some Sage
Let’s not forget the rogues, here is some Lemon Balm that sprung up in an unexpected spot
and a Kale that popped up in the yard.
And of course we can’t forget the Catnip that Lola found!
Posted in Asparagus, collards, Kale, Lemon Balm, Lola, Mint, Oregano, Sage, Scallion, spinach, Spring
The garden plan for this year is a fairly simple one. Jared and I are splitting the four beds so I will have two and he will two. Since last weekend was beautiful here in NJ and we were without plans it was a great excuse to set up the garden. And no I haven’t forgotten about the why we need the cold post it will be coming soon I promise!
So you want to know what I planted? Doesn’t matter, I’m going to tell you anyway! Especially since I took notes in the pretty book that Mom H gave me for the holidays.
Here you go:
So what’s under the containers are the more tender seeds and the flowers. The greens don’t need to be protected. I’ve also planted a few things for the first time: broccoli, cabbage and celery. These are cool weather crops and can usually be planted in spring when the soil is workable. I’m wondering if it may be too warm for them? I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes up and I’m also looking forward to seeing more hummingbirds this summer – that’s always a treat!
Kitty Update: Lola’s doing much better, thanks for the well wishes. They think she might have IBD – I have a feeling it might be more FTWT (Fish Tank Water Tummy)
|Old JC photo
Sprouting is really easy. I mean it’s super easy. The best part is that you don’t need any fancy tools to sprout. All you need is a large jar, cheesecloth, a decent rubber band and a trusty guide for soaking time and sprouting days. I like the one in The Raw Food Book
It’s pretty easy to follow and doesn’t have too many crazy things to sprout.
So this week I am sprouting alfalfa sprouts in one jar and a mix of green peas and French green lentils in an other. I chose the pea and lentil mix because they both have the same amount of sprout days.
Determine your quantities
1 TBSP Alfalfa = 1 CUP Alfalfa Sprouts
1 CUP Green Peas = 2 CUP Pea Sprouts
1 CUP Lentils = 2 CUP Lentil Sprouts
I used 2 tbsp of Alfalfa and a half cup each of the peas and lentils
Cover your jars
Cut a double swath of cheesecloth large enough to cover the mouth of the jar. Hold it in place with a rubber band
Soak your seeds – yes everything you soak is a seed!
Alfalfa = 4 – 6 hours
Green Peas = 10 – 12 hours
Lentils = 6 – 8 hours
Sometimes I follow the soak times and sometimes I just let them go overnight. This week I let them go overnight.
Wash & Rinse
This is why you cover the mouth of the jar with the cheesecloth. Rinse the seeds with fresh clean water then place in a bowl at about 45 degree angle. You want them to drain to prevent them from getting moldy. You need to do this at least twice a day. Each seed takes a different amount of time to sprout.
Alfalfa = 5 days
Green Peas = 2 – 3 days
Lentils = 2 – 3 days
Once your sprouts have reached your desired sproutiness you can enjoy in a salad, a sandwich, soup or on their own with a little lemon juice. I’ve heard of people having them in their smoothies.
I guarantee that once you have homemade sprouts you won’t want to spend your hard earned cash on expensive sprouts. Especially not when they are so easy to grow at home.
|mother’s little helper
Today is my birthday and I want to thank all the well wishers – all 800 million of them, wow Facebook, rock on… Now as I take inventory of my life I see that a couple of things are not where I would like them to be. While I try to take care of myself I haven’t been doing such a great job of it – so with the purring kitty on my lap as my witness
|Yeah, I know I am just looking for excuses to take her photo
I will now take care of me. I did have a wonderful facial today at Eden Organix in Highland Park, NJ. If you are in the area I highly recommend it. They are running a fall harvest special and the pumpkin masks and moisturizers are divine!
That top row has the 100% Pure Organic line that I live and die for. That’s what I really like about Eden Organix, they use natural and organic skincare lines. We expose our bodies to so many chemicals day in and day out. There has to be a better alternative and there is! Do your research and find products that that don’t contain parabens, pthalates, artificial coloring, hydroqinones… you get the picture. Go to the Cosmetics Database to see how your skincare AND haircare products rate.
Getting the skin covered is easy but what about the weight, UGH!!!!! I really really wanted to be about 10lbs lighter today. I was half way there 2 weeks ago but it’s been a crazy ride at work so I have been eating a lot of comfort food. My weakness is Alternative Baking Company cookies – oh my!! Those of you that are dairy-free and/or vegan and have not discovered these cookies I suggest you stay far far away!! They are sooo gooood but sooo fattening. An entire cookie is about 400 – 500 calories. Granted they are large so it could be a meal, but that’s never the case for me. I’ve had about 5 – 6 of those cookies in the last two weeks. I ALMOST got one today for my birthday but will maybe bake cupcakes instead.
I did have a great lunch, not a cupcake lunch like I was fantasizing about at Papa Ganache but at The Orchid in Metuchen, NJ. They are a Kosher restaruant they are not open Friday evenings or on Saturdays so it was a real treat to be able to sit at a table and have the combo platter with Hummus Spread, Baba Ganoush and Quinoa Salad. Since it was a special occasion I even had a caffeinated chai spice tea, I’m just breaking ALL the rules today!
It can’t be a New Year’s resolution without committing to exercise. I can’t believe I said that… I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus on the workout and it’s obvious – everything is a big mush and I can’t walk up a flight of stairs. No more Ms. Softy. This morning I did one of my Kathy Smith step DVDs on the BOSU and I’ve asked for a new heart rate monitor and the P90X workout system. I’ve contacted my beachbody coaches for a vegan diet plan and will probably buy The Engine 2 Diet book in the near future (unless I get it as a gift – another subtle hint…)
I know what you are thinking, what about work, mental, school – well I can only do so much. I’m a vain creature so let’s work on looking good, because as Fernando used to say “it’s better to look good than to feel good”
Well all of our veggies plants are dead with the exception of the greens, which will hopefully keep going for a while. Here’s a shot of the last of the tomatoes I picked today and the two butternut squashes we got.
Here’s a collection of Lemon Boys, Brandywines, Romas and Yellow Pear tomatoes. Oh and the mystery tomato that was the only seedling to survive was a Black Krim. The yellow ones in the bowl were ripened on the counter so I hope we can get most of these to ripen as well.
We got a dehydrator this weekend AND a copy of Diet for a Small Planet, both are hand me downs and boy am I excited! I have some portobello mushrooms going, this model is apparently a very slowww going dehydrator, it will take about a day to dehydrate the shrooms. Looks dehydrating will be more of a weekend thing since we won’t keep this on while we’re away from the house.
I have the thermometer to see how high the temp goes. It’s at almost 120, raw foodies don’t like their food cooked over 118 or so. I have a feeling this might go a bit higher. It’s been going for about four hours.
I think Lola likes it too…
As many of you know we lost Pippin a month ago. I’ve been very sad as she was a very special kitty. It was hard to get back into the garden as she had quite a few favorite spots and would always run to me from them when I would go into the yard. It’s still a little hard for me not to get teary eyed when I go out there.
This has been a tough summer, it began with my mother’s death, with a drought in the middle then closed with the death of Pippin, let’s just say that 2011 will be a much better year for the garden
So… Today was my first day back and was pleasantly surprised at what I found. We had lots of Kentucky Wonder Beans and I have to say they are absolutely delicious. if you come across any seeds they are a definite go.
We also decided to pick the peppers we had since it’s now getting cold. These beauties were grown from seed. And while we only got about 4 -5 peppers all summer, I still feel a little proud that we were able to grow them.
In addition to the peppers, we also picked all of our tomatoes, all the green tomatoes, including a few that were from seeds, if any of you have recipes, please share! I picked some dandelion and sauteed it with loads of garlic, shallots, peppers and green tomatoes. I also added some earth balance to thicken it up and boy was that yummy. Ha, we ate it before we could photograph!
I did manage to pick a couple of ripe tomatoes but the pickin’s were slim
I also was able to get seeds off of our radishes and the collards that went to seed. It’s fun to let something go to seed because now we’ll have for next year. It makes so much sense to save seeds. So when you are eating a great vegetable that has seeds, save them! It’s always worth a try to see if they will sprout. You can put a few in a moist paper towel and if they sprout then you will be good to go. We store our seeds in airtight containers in the fridge and they keep pretty well.
|Radish & Collard seeds in pods
The collards and Swiss chard we planted this year were from seeds we kept last year.
Lemongrass makes me very happy and our lemongrass that we planted in the yard has done beautifully. But now with temps dipping into the 30s we need to bring it in. Jared was inspired and has started making lemongrass tea. WOW! I have a new love, and it’s lemongrass leaves steeped in hot water, so simple yet so delicious. I highly recommend it.
From lemongrass bush comes lemongrass tea
Last but not least, we can’t forget that our little Lola has been such a saving grace during this difficlut time. And while she’s starting to do a lot of things Pippy did she’s got her own sweet personality. Here’s a phot of her hitting jackpot with a nice big pot of catnip.