Saturday, April 27, 2013

Beautiful Spring Day = Yard Work

After a delightful trip to the CNY Regional Market, we spent the afternoon doing yard work.  I love the acts of making our new house our home!  We planted 2 lilac bushes, one rosemary, an English lavender, a French lavendar, and two currant plants (one red, one black). 

I am very excited about all of these plants as they each represent something special, besides their contribution to our lanscape.  The lilacs are something we grew up with and I'm looking forward to their sweet fragrance wafting in through my office windows.  I'm looking forward to utilizing the rosemary and French lavender in the kitchen.  The English lavender will make lovely sachets to use throughout the house and as gifts. 

Finally, the currents.  I never planned to add currants to our yard.  I think I read something recently that said they are not as common as they used to be.  Therefore, I was surprised to see them at the market last week. I was especially excited because my grandmother used to make red currant jelly from her backyard currants.  I took note and decided to talk to my husband about this possible addition to our yard.  I returned home, got wrapped up in the day, and promptly forgot.  Thankfully the currants were there again today and my husband was with me!  We decided to buy one red and one black starter.    I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with them.  They'll take a few years to produce enough for any projects (an exercise in patience!), but I'm excited nonetheless.

If you ever get a chance to visit the CNY Regional Market, or a farmers market closer to your home, I highly recommend it.  Not only did we buy plants, but we bought pre-baked pizza crusts (which I put in the freezer for future use), fresh bread, pasta, pasta sauce, and mushrooms.  Normally I would buy more produce, but since I didn't know if I would be able to make it to the market this week, I loaded up at the grocery store and my fridge is full.  Anyway, we purchased all of this from local vendors, supporting local, small businesses and the local economy.  It's nice to be able to talk to the people who are actually growing/making our food.

I hope you all had a wonderful Saturday and are able to enjoy a day of rest and relaxation tomorrow.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Videos of the Week

As we enter into planting season, I thought you'd all appreciate this series of "how-to" videos from the National Gardening Association.

How-To Videos

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Challenge!

My sister has just challenged me to remake this recipe:

Crazy Cake

It doesn't have any meat, eggs, or dairy, but it does have oil and a lot of sugar (it is a dessert).  I'll let you all know what we come up with.  What a sister I have, asking me to test a cake recipe!  You don't think she's trying to sabotage my whole-foods, plant-based weight loss do you?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Video of the Week - Rip Esselstyn

Plant-strong & healthy living: Rip Esselstyn at TEDxFremont 

 "Rip Esselstyn, a former firefighter and author of The Engine 2 Diet, advocates a plant-strong diet to combat chronic diseases. Esselstyn inspired his fellow firefighting crew at the Austin Engine 2 station to follow a plant-based diet and dramatically heal their health."  from video description.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

2 mangos, peeled and cut off seed
1/2 red onion
1 anaheim pepper
1 lime, juiced

Place ingredients in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.  Serve with crackers, chips, rice and beans, or on Hawaiian Chickpea Teriyaki from Happy Herbivore.

This freezes well for future use.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

NASA is still hard at work and Space Shuttle Discovery

NASA To Launch Planet-Hunting Probe 

Space Shuttle Discovery

I recently had the privilege of seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport just outside of Washington DC.  For the Air and Space nut in me, this is always a thrilling stop. 

Last time we visited, the museum was host to the Space Shuttle Enterprise.  While trilling to see, Enterprise was never sent to space.  It was used as a test vehicle for landings. 

On the other hand, we were able to see Discovery on the launch pad.  We just happened to be visiting the NC coast when that same mission was launched, following a flight path up the east coast.  We got up early and were able to see the glow of the main engines as Discovery made its climb into space. 

Discovery was our first shuttle to go into space and our go-to shuttle for returning us to space.  I recall sitting in my junior year history teacher's classroom as a group of us watched Discovery lead our return to space after the Challenge accident.  Our family also watched as Discovery returned us to space after Columbia.

To see any shuttle up close is amazing.  Seeing Discovery was especially personal.  To see the scars of launch, space travel, and re-entry - wow!  It was truly breathtaking!  I hope you get a chance to see any of our shuttles on display for us around the country.  It's worth the trip!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kale Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite foods.  It's great on crackers, sandwiches, pasta, etc.  However, traditional pesto is loaded with oil, butter, and cheese.  So, time to find/create a new adaptation.  This recipe pretty much comes straight from the Engine 2 Diet.  They call it Kale Butter.  I've added a clove of garlic and some salt and prefer to call it closer to what I'm used to - pesto.  I hope you enjoy it!

Kale Pesto

One bunch of Kale
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup steaming liquid or vegetable broth

Strip kale leaves from ribs and steam (see videos by Lindsey at Happy Herbivore).  Put garlic, walnuts, and cooked kale in food processor.  Process to desired consistency, adding steaming liquid or vegetable broth as needed.  Season with kosher salt to taste.  Enjoy!

Later note:  Bought some purple kale yesterday.  I'm looking forward to trying it and seeing how it goes over as pesto.  We love pesto on pasta too.  Can you say Purple Pesto Pasta 3 times fast?  I wonder how well it will go over with the younger set...  Colorful is good!