New Journey

  A lot has happened in the past year and a half. We have started to explore new cooking methods such as the recent addition of a pressure cooker. As we look to expand our knowledge in the kitchen we are simplifying our lives and focusing on the things that really matter. At the end of the day you define what perfection means to you. Here’s to living the perfectly imperfect life.

Summer Time is Salad Time, Salad Time is Summer Time

Any summer meal can use a good salad, and any good salad can be a summer meal. A while back I posted about a favorite farro salad we make for lunch. This summer we have been enjoying tons of fresh produce from our garden, the farmers market, and when in doubt the grocery store. The best thing about a fresh salad is you can use whatever you have.  My go to has been anything with cucumber because our garden has been exploding with them!

Ingredients
2 cucumbers chopped
3 ears of corn removed from the cob (cooked)*
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved (regular tomatoes would work)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta
6-10 leaves of fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

*I cook my corn for this recipe in the microwave. Simply remove the husk, wrap each cob in a damp paper towel and microwave for 2 to 2.5 minutes per ear of corn. I place mine in a bowl of cold water and ice to help cool it down quickly after cooking.

In a medium bowl mix the vegetables, feta and olive oil, season with salt and pepper. This salad leaves little room for excuses, it is quick and tasty! What kind of summer dishes do you enjoy making?

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Gar·den \ˈgär-dən\

Our evenings and weekends have been filled with family and friends as well as caring for our gardens. Whenever we moved into our new house in March winter was ending, we had no idea how many beautiful gardens we had until everything thawed and started to grow.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

IMG_1952

Growing up outside of the city, I enjoyed gardening with my dad. Whenever we were little we had our own garden plots where we could plant a small vegetable garden. I looked forward to having my own garden one day. This year we have opted to not have a CSA and to grow our own vegetables. Within the upcoming weeks our harvest will be ready!

IMG_2117

IMG_2046

We are fortunate that our gardens have so many perennials. It is obvious that the previous owners enjoyed the gardens. Everything is timed perfectly, since the daffodils and lilies started to bloom a day has not passed where we were without flowers blooming.

IMG_2050

IMG_2120

I enjoy being able to go outside and pick flowers to have as a centerpiece instead of purchasing flowers at the store. (Who knows where they came from and how much energy it took to ship them!)

IMG_2075

IMG_2119

We have also enjoyed the “wildlife” in our yard and gardens. There was a nest of baby robins under our deck, they have since left the nest, it was fun seeing them grow!

Processed with VSCOcam with s6 preset

IMG_2023

After a long day at work it is relaxing to come home and spend time outside. What are your favorite things to plant?

res·o·lu·tion \re-zə-ˈlü-shən\

Every year in January resolutions are made to change habits and become better at daily tasks. A few months later resolutions have fallen by the wayside and it’s back to old habits. What if you didn’t wait until January to start new resolutions?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

We have become very successful practicing all year round resolution making. Last year we decided that we were going to buy a house within the next year which lead to months of being conservative with our spending. We are now happy homeowners! (Part of the reason why the blog has been slow this year, now that we are settled in I am back!)

In December I finished reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion which was an eye opening look into how the fashion industry has moved away from quality to quantity. After learning where my clothes were coming from I decided to stop buying new clothes/shoes/accessories for 6 months. It seems like a long time but it hasn’t been too difficult, I have been shopping in my closet and I really don’t even miss buying clothes! During this time I have been teaching myself how to sew. My first project was an apron, I found the pattern from whollyKao. I am looking forward to new projects over the next few months!

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

6 months ago whenever the weather was turning cold I decided to join the gym again (since our lovely evening walks were coming to an end). The gym has not only helped me become more fit but also has is an outlet to get my mind off of  work. Instead of vowing to go to the gym every day (which I knew would be an unrealistic goal) I made a decision to go at least 3 days a week, anything beyond that is extra credit. Prior to starting I had always dreaded going to the gym, it was more of a chore than something I enjoyed. Thankfully there is an awesome class at lunch that I have been attending. Class provides the accountability factor that the treadmill does not and Adrienne, who teaches the class is great at providing a great variety of workouts as well as motivation!

aweosme inside and out

These are a few things I have started over the last year, I find it is easier to make one commitment at a time to change. What resolutions have you made in the past year that you are still going strong with?

Holiday Cookie Traditions

One of my favorite holiday traditions is make Christmas cookies. Whenever we were little cutout cookies were alway the highlight of baking season because we were able to pick out whatever cutouts we wanted and decorate them with fun icing and sprinkles.

cookie cutter

Every year I look for a new kind of cookie to make in search of new traditions. A few years ago it was meringues which turned out to be a lot harder to make that I expected! Last year it was chocolate brownie cut out cookies.cut out cookiesThis year I decided to be ambitious again and try to make homemade oreos  from Smitten Kitchen. I had been eyeing up this recipe for sometime and finally decided it was time. Needless to say we have a winner! These homemade oreos are a game changer (and not just around the holidays)! I would make the cookies without the icing for a nice chocolaty treat. Of course they don’t end up as perfect as the store bought cookie but they sure are tasty!

What new holiday cookie recipes  did you try this year?