Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life happenings

Eek, another quiet few weeks. Still here! And I got a job! Just a few hours per week helping with administrative and organizational stuff at an insurance company, but it'll pay me and get me out of the house--WIN! I've also signed up for a 30-day beginner's membership at the local hot yoga studio and have used that in between running several days already. I'm determined not to gain anything throughout this holiday season; simply maintaining is realistically what I'm hoping for. So... how've you been?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Did you know...

that I grew my own acorn squash this year? We've gotten 10 or so from two decent vines (I stashed several throughout the yard), and have given a half-dozen more to the animals that started helping themselves anyway. Actually, this year we had our biggest garden ever. Since May, here's what we've planted:

Acorn squash - good
Zucchini - good without being overwhelming
Butternut squash - small, haven't eaten any yet
Pattypan squash - fail; never produced
Basil - good
Cilantro - good
Parsley - good; I'll do much more next year
Rutabaga - greens look great; haven't tried digging any yet--likely too crowded to grow large
Kale, two kinds - good
Broccoli - surprisingly good; it was put in as an experiment for the little guy
Brussels sprouts - HUGE leaves, but nothing edible-sized yet
Green and wax beans - decent, after I replanted when the bunnies ate our first planting
Green onion - super cute! but we haven't eaten any
Beets - nice looking greens, but super-tiny roots; only three plants sprouted anyway
Tomatoes (three kinds) - the tiny grape-sized ones produced best, with a few Roma and even fewer Purple Cherokee
Raspberries - truly pathetic this year; I think we got three fruits total

WOW that's a ton of produce for someone who really isn't a gardener. I think I "weeded" twice this summer. We have a great spot in the backyard for a more organized garden next year, but we'll need a rototiller and about eight friends who want the crazy prolific lilies and irises back there first. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Veggies galore

Seems like that's been the theme in my kitchen for the last two months. Yay, right? A friend of mine got me hooked on bruised kale salads, which has only increased my adoration of the leafy green. Preparation of this salad is literally more hands on than other salads we make, but it's so worth it.

After the kale has been torn, washed, and spun dry, I drizzle some olive oil on it and start mooshing and smooshing it around in a large bowl (wedding ring off for this step!). Once the leaves are softer and starting to wilt down, I add some salt and pepper, then shake on some vinegar or lemon juice and a drizzle of agave. These are all to taste, so of course I don't have any measurements. When I get the flavor I want, I start adding the goodies: cheese, fruit, nut, seed. One day it might be grapes, gorgonzola, pinenuts, and chia; the next time might be goat cheese, dried cherries, sliced almonds, and hemp. Whatever the combination, it's always delicious as long as the oil/vinegar/agave was right to begin with.

It's no surprise, then, that this is on my meal plan this week. Since The H will be on a business trip, I'm trying to cook as little as possible but still feed the little guy and myself without resorting to fast food. Here's what we'll have:

Chorizo-apple stuffed acorn squash (my lunches--I made four halves last night and froze them)
Homemade (and frozen) tomato soup and grilled cheese
Leftover pasta with meat and hidden veggie sauce/roasted brussels sprouts with walnuts and bacon
Leftover GF pizza/seared ahi and kale salad
Homemade (and frozen) chicken nuggets, corn on the cob, roasted broccoli
Butternut squash ravioli (thank you, Costco), fresh green beans/spinach salad
...and if we need one more meal before The H gets home, black beans with cilantro rice