Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My First Garden

I've been talking about growing some vegetables of my own for a while now, and had an idea of how I wanted to do it. I got started with research early and was able to set up my first vegetable garden this year. I hope it turns out, cause it was a ton of work!
First, getting the ground ready was the toughie. Luckily, with all the rain the ground was nicely saturated so it was easy to dig and till the ground in the area that I saw had good sun most of the time (obviously not in picture below!).

Then I wanted to have a small garden to start with. I found a 4x8 garden "kit" at Home Depot for less than $100. If I tried to build myself, it would have been a hot mess and well over $100 due to mistakes. This was really easy to build and took me about 15 minutes total!

Not pictured, but still essential to the project, adding soil. RESEARCH, read the reviews, its the best advice I can give. This is still really brand new, so I don't have my review yet, but I chose an organic soil that had rave online reviews.  I put a couple of bags down, watered, raked, then put another bag down, watered and raked. I kept doing this until I thought there would be plenty for the plants to root in. I added around 8 inches high, with my 32 sq ft boxes. I used about 7 bags.

Now to the good stuff!  I got my starters from a local greenhouse and they all had convenient detailed instructions on how far apart and how deep to plant them. I just followed the instructions as best I could, so help a girl out and cross your fingers and hope I did it right!

These are my pots with the herbs we use most!



And here are the garden choices. I went for 'relatively easy' to start with for my first time, so it might look way simple, but you gotta start somewhere, right!?

 Summer squash
 More summer squash
 Bell peppers


 Cherry tomatoes

 More lettuce! I heart salads, and I think I will feel a huge sense of accomplishment if I get to eat a salad that I personally grew! I also have some jalapeƱos that I didn't take pics of (it would have been a picture of soil, so sorry!)
 All together now:

Checking out the goods.

That's it for now, a cage for keeping the critters out is built and I owe that to my sweet Joey and his best friend Scott. They know how to keep a gal happy!

If you have a garden, what do you have growing?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Into It

A few things I am into lately this fine spring season...

 Into this candle scent. It is fresh and perfect for spring. I found it at anthropologie.

Digging this brew lately. It's a great grilling beer. Drink while you grill, you know the drill.

 Childhood flashback? I HATED PB&J when I was a kid. I now super love my grown up version with JIF and strawberry jelly on toast. All day.

 This sweet face. Who am I kidding, I am into her all the time, not just lately.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tomato and Spinach Israeli Couscous

I am really into Israeli couscous lately -  it randomly caught Joey's eye at the grocery the other day and we had it plain cooked in chicken broth and it was really good. So this time I thought I'd jazz it up a bit with a couple of fresh additions. There are so many flavor combos out there in the www for me to try. I think next I may try a lemon/bacon combo - goat cheese with tomatoes and basil - mint and citrus? I might get a little carried away - but it's SO easy to make so why not play around with it a little?

1 cup israeli couscous (I got mine in bulk section of my specialty grocer)
1 1/4 c chicken broth or chicken stock
1 handful spinach (make sure to rough chop)
2/3 c sliced grape tomatoes
s&p to taste

How to do it (easy!)
Bring broth to boil on high heat in small sauce pan -  as soon as you see it boil, add couscous, bring back up to boil - should take 10 seconds or so. Add a pinch or two of kosher salt and a couple of spins of black pepper. Then cover, and turn heat down to low. Don't bother it for about 7- 8 minutes. Give it a quick stir and add your spinach and tomatoes. Cover again until the spinach wilts - about 2 minutes. You will see the couscous has absorbed all the chicken broth. Finish with a hit of olive oil, stir and serve!

Enjoy! A super easy side that is faster to make, and more delicious than most!


Date night this week was at Mojito's. Mega plus: it was Thunder Over Louisville, so no wait on a Saturday night! Win!

The food is delicioso. I also would like to point out I helped save a woman's life....

j/k (kinda), but I did help a lady open a pill bottle that she stated the pill inside is crucial to her mother's life, so I basically saved the world.

To the food!

Because we hungry folk, we both got 2 things each after we ate guac with plantain chips. Go hard or go home, friends. This is a tapas restaurant so no judging.

Duck confit flatbread

Fish Taco

Mussels (Muscles? I kid)

Garlic Shrimp w/ house made mayo
These were all dynamite, I want to go back and order a whole large pizza sized duck confit flatbread and share it with NO ONE. There is FIG JAM on that thing.

Another great night out!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Slow as what?

You know the saying, "slow as molasses"? Yeah, well I learned that molasses isn't as slow as all you peeps make it out to be. Maybe it was a little warm in my house, but my friend molasses was anything but slow. Girl was running for her life towards my measuring spoon.

Also jusssst now noticing the clever brand of this said molasses - you'd think with it's reputation it'd be something along the lines of "Field Tortoise" molasses....but, apparently lives up to her name. (Yes, this particular molasses is a girl.)

Happiest Monday Friends!

**Thanks Alexis for the post idea! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I Heart Burritos

I received my early birthday gift, a new cam, so now I am able to annoy you with pics of my food 24/7. After my dog was tired of being a model, I played around and took a few of my delicioso Qdoba burrito. Here for your viewing pleasure!

And one of my faves of the beautiful model of the day:

And because I like to embarrass people, here is a McDonald's burger going down the hatch ever so beautifully by Joseph himself:

There's a lot more where these came from. Stay tuned. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Perfect Salmon

I'm always a little nervous about cooking fish. I don't want to go into overkill and make it too overdone, but I don't want to poison my family with raw fish (j to the k). I have been working with a couple of ways to cook salmon and have figured out my favorite and what works best for us.  Baking it!

I also always thought salmon was a more challenging dish to make. After figuring out the right temp and time for baking it, it is just the same or easier than baked chicken breasts. And for my chicken hating husband, definitely more delicious.

At any butcher, you can specify how you want them to cut your salmon. In our case, we just picked a large piece from their selection, cut it in half with a sharp knife at home, and I freeze the rest for a rainy day. Tastes just as good, in my opinion! On this particular day the salmon was on sale! Yah!

I put a piece of foil on the baking sheet, spray with non-stick spray, and put the skin side down. I cook with the skin on, and when you are done you can easily flake the salmon away from the skin when eating or if you are careful not to burn yourself you can peel the skin right off.

Here's what I used;

1 lb salmon (we hungry folks- in all honesty, this could have served 3-4 people)
Lemon slices (however many you like...I'm not a huge lemony person but 3 was just right)
Olive Oil - drizzled about a tablespoon to coat before I added the s&p and lemon

Preheat your oven to 375. Bake for exactly 22 minutes.

Too good to be true? No, really, it's that easy.

Serve with your favorite beverage - I have taken a comfortable front seat on the Fat Tire bandwagon - and a couple of your fave sides and you are set!

Now that it's grilling weather, my next challenge will be to attempt salmon on the grill.

Now make this over the weekend and tell me how you like it!