Friday, June 22, 2012

Organic Veggies Box #4

We are loving our new CSA box of veggies this week. Hey, didja know it's officially summer now? I'm thrilled! This week is a good one (aren't they all?). Here's the low down of our veggies, fruit and goodies down from the farm.

Cornelius was really into the fennel. He even tasted some. He's such a funny cat!



We got eggs, cucumbers, squash, grape tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, fennel, white onions (not shown), feta cheese (humanely made we were informed) & local honey. One of my favorite things each time (we get our box every other week) is the last little extra thing. We got jam once, molasses once & honey this time. So fun, and all local and organic!





I'm hoping to make some summer squash and corn soup and a cucumber and fennel dish that they provided the recipe for. There is also a fennel and cucumber recipe - totally different... right. what? We finally used the kohlrabi from 2 weeks ago. I made a slaw. It's pretty good. Smells like potato.

To check out our previous organic CSA box adventures see: here & here.
To enter to win a free bag of natual cat litter: enter the World's Best Giveaway here!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

internet inspiration and food

Hello! Just a quick mid week (okay Thursday) post. One thing that has totally inspired me today - this small batch canning article. http://www.thekitchn.com/why-small-batch-canning-is-awesome-and-what-you-need-to-get-started-urban-preserving-from-marisa-mcc-172475. While we have done canning at the house with homemade farmers market tomatoes it's a big project. I long to do more but the hugeness of it is daunting. We have a big kitchen sure but the upfront costs and the pressure to do it right or else you're out tons of jars of whatnot is yikesters. Maybe this will be a cool little project.

2012-06-08-UrbanPreserving.jpg
Again here's the link: http://www.thekitchn.com/why-small-batch-canning-is-awesome-and-what-you-need-to-get-started-urban-preserving-from-marisa-mcc-172475.

Next up: oh you know just some cool photos of homemade bread. Yumm! We admittedly didn't make it by hand from scratch, but still from scratch. We used our bread machine here to mix, kneed, & rise the dough. Then baked it a day and 2 days later to make paninis for dinner. I may have gone overboard with the scoring.




We had lunch meat in the house for once (gasp!) so piled on the veggies (eggplant, onions, mushrooms, greens) to make an indoor grilled dinner with our fresh bread. All photos by Tony.


Psst: Are you a feline friend? Enter to win a free bag of the World's Best Cat Litter here! Contest ends soon. I want you to win!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things we love about Richmond!

Since we've been living here in Richmond for almost a whole year (wow!) I thought I'd do a quick update of life here in list form.

Things we love about Richmond:
  • The river (even though we can't afford to go on any cool rafting trips now)
  • Belle Isle
  • All the local trails near our house
  • Forest Hill Park
  • The amazing farmers market near our house
  • pretty great selection and quality of radio stations (hey that is important!)
  • Nice weather
  • Cool concerts - again can't afford to really go to many but we see that they're available
  • Great restaurants - still can't really go to that many but the ones we have been to have been yum!
  • our new CSA box co. (see week 1/intro here)
  • Big local, sustainable & organic movement here
  • Short commute to Tony's school - saves time & gas
  • Great events throughout the city like festivals, food truck events, etc.

Beautiful lake at local park - Forest Hill Park. Fall was colorful!


Oh yeah it wasn't so great when Richmond got hit by a hurricane. Also we got an earthquake that same week. What a natural disaster crazyiness!




downtown


We love parts of our house. The rental is sorta great... at times. See why we love to hate our house here (also where we hate to love it).

Things we don't love about Richmond:
  • It's not Raleigh/Durham
  • the city is vvveerryy patchy
  • sketchy neighborhoods are not fun
  • Basically driving through either of VCU's campus is a downer
  • No typical college campus for Tony; very urban, not great for students. 
  • Trader Joe's is too far away from our house! 25-30 minutes in no traffic
  • (as with most cities) parking is expensive downtown
  • worst traffic light timing. ev.er.
  • Too many cops? Tony thinks Richmond has a higher than average amount of cops on the streets. I think it's just because we drive through downtown a lot. Is this bad...?
That's just a quick recap of life here in Richmond so far. Only 16 more months of grad school left for T! So far so good. We aren't broke, homeless, or killing each other yet!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The World's Best Giveaway!

**This giveaway is now closed. Congrats Heidi & Corey!**

I have a great giveaway for you readers today! This goes out to all the cat parents who are semi organic like myself. You're really going to love this!

When I adopted Cornelius I used pretty standard clay litter for his... business. It worked fine I suppose. Stunk though. Pheww uuu. Then a couple years ago I saw World's Best Cat Litter in the grocery store back in North Carolina. It was on sale and I figured I'd give it a try. SO much better!

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The World's Best Cat Litter is great because it's so much more natural and better for your cat, yourself, even the environment than clay litters! It makes the chore of cleaning the box easier too. It's made of U.S. grown corn and unlike traditional cat litter material doesn't have any silica dust for your feline friend to breathe in. I feel comfortable using it knowing it's safe for him, safe for the environment, and works great too! Yep it does the great stuff like clumping, super duper odor control and the rest. Wanna replace your litter box with a bag of the World's Best Cat Litter? For free? Okay!

  • Prize: First prize winner gets 2 bags of The World's Best Cat Litter, second prize winner gets 1 bag (you're still a winner in my book!). 
  • Giveaway Ends: Monday, June 25th 2012 at 5pm EST.
  • How to enter: go check out http://www.worldsbestcatlitter.com/ then come back here and leave a message in my comments section below! That's it.
  • Number of winners: Two
  • Semi interesting stuff: One entry per email address please. Winners will be chosen by random.org. Entries must be in the US or Canada. Address and phone number required to win (I'll collect that later). Cornelius squeaks "good luck" to you.
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Even if you don't win here World's Best Cat Litter has a great rebate deal currently now where you can try a free bag. Go to their site and don't forget to save your receipt!
World's Best Cat Litter - Try a Free Bag

Friday, June 15, 2012

Celebrate

This is very quick blog shout out to... well us! Go R & T! This week we celebrate 2 years of marriage. I couldn't ask for a better husband or partner for life. Love you Tony!

Does this mean we're not newlyweds anymore?

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In true form we each got the other a classic gift for the year. Second anniversary is cotton. T gave me a new duvet cover and I gave him a bow tie! Not too expensive and perfect us. They'll each last a long time! 

Cotton check.

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Cornelius has even given his approval on the duvet, no word on whether he's a fan of bow ties. 

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or is he....?

But back to gifts. I bought his snazzy grey bow tie on etsy. It just gets better every time I go on that site. I bought it at the shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FoxandBrie. I highly recommend this etsy shop. They were great! If you're looking for bow tie, regular tie or set of ties or a wedding they're awesome!

Over the weekend we'll celebrate more, and perfect our real bow tieing skills. Dang that is not easy!

Happy Friday!

ps. Got a great giveaway coming next week! It's purrrfect!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A-mazing

This is a special week. Two years ago we got married!! To start celebrating our 2nd anniversary early the gift giving began. Wahoo!

I recieved this A-mazing gift of... an A! It's a for Amato and I love it! Tony was so thoughtful for knowing I've been looking for the perfect decorative A for over 2 years. I really have! Target (of course) had one that I'd been eyeing. He secretly bought it and couldn't resist giving it to me early.

Some people cannot wait to give gifts. Literally cannot wait. I got a wedding gift from him 6 months before we got married! lol

Look how pretty it is sitting on our mantle!



Last night we made chocolate covered strawberries to celebrate (and to use our CSA strawberries!). Yummmm.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Insta photo dump

Here is a little update with instagram photos of our semi organic life. First we finally went to our local farmers market this season. I mean finally! We bought a few plants since ours at home haven't been doing that well. We've been growing a few tomato and basil plants from seeds but they're sorta at a stand still. We think it's because they ran out of room to grow. After some repotting we'll see how they fair. Should we plant them in... gasp, the ground?! #gardeningbeginner

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We walked to the farmers market since its' close to our house and along the way stopped by the creek. 

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Did I mention that we bought our first tomatoes of the year?!? Hip hip! Sure that big one has some gross parts but we didn't care. Not cheap either, but we didn't care! Guess what they went on?

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PIZZA!! We split a TJ's dough to make 2 thin pizzas with white sauce, onions, fresh tomatoes, CSA box mushrooms and basil. We picked up a huge thing of unshredded fresh mozzarella at the grocery salvage Fresh to Frozen for $3. It was one of our best pizzas we've ever made. Ever. Top 5 at least.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

CSA kale soup

We got some great things in our local CSA box this week. I took a recipe from my good friend Kelly @ Zest blog. It's a simple soup with kale, white beans and broth.

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Here is the stuff you'll need. Oops forgot that I used our farm spring onions instead of this grocery store yellow onion. Also carrot is not shown. We used farm kale and some organic spinach for the greens in this soup. You could use any braising green you want. If it takes good regular it probably tastes good in soup. We actually only used 1 can of white cannelli beans instead of two shown. Slight recipe adaptation. 

Semi Organic memo: For some reason we always always get the organic baby spinach from the grocery store. Don't know why its a must have organic but it seems to be. We also always get organic whole carrots too. They are just like 10 cents more expensive for organic than regular so its a no brainer. 

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You'll have to check out Zest for the full recipe. But basically you shop some onion, carrots & garlic. Saute it then add your greens, beans & tomatoes, then add broth and simmer. Beautifully quick and easy.

We cooked it in our IKEA Senior (yep) since our 2nd go to pot died recently. Good thing we got senor. He wasn't getting enough use anyway. Now he's on the stove all the time. Totally comparable with LeCrueset. Okay no fancy warranty but for a fraction of the price we have exactly the same thing. One the few cooking items you can even remotely say about IKEA products. I highly recommend the senor line.

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It actually was our first forte into the kale world. And we gotta say. It was pretty good! We actually bought more yesterday. I found a huge selection of glory large kale bags for $1 at our local food salvage Fresh to Frozen. Win!

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Happy Spring soup!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Teflon is not yumm

Sad day. We've had a dead pot cooking for some time now at our house. Bad joke.

We've been using a pot to cook with that is totally unfit for normal kitchen use. Bad us. Let's start at the beginning. Tony got this pot from Target years ago when he got his first apartment in North Carolina. A very apologetic roommate used a hand mixer in it to whip up some mashed potatoes. Thus ruining the Teflon coating in the pot. It was a nice pot to start with but we should have known it'd be no good after that incident.

Fast forward 2 (or more!) years and we're still using the pot. We're at home making Jeni's ice cream recently with a guest and I see tiny black specks in the milk. No not vanilla beans. Our pot's Teflon layer had been slowly disintegrating!!!

We're probably both poisoned, getting cancer and never having children due to this. Let's hope not but it's probably on the not healthy list of things to do. Eating Teflon coating reminds me of an article you'd probably see on Yahoo Shine (Ladies I know you read) listing the top common health traps in your home.

Teflon is not yumm

Teflon is not yumm

The pot you can see is very worn and has probably been giving us tiny specs of Teflon in our pasta water for a year or so. I cannot belive we never thought more into this!! We're smart adults! (also weird.) We did know that it had been scraped but I guess never really thought that far into actually retireing the thing.

It is now retired. Still not sure if I should even donate it to Goodwill. Should I?

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Check out how talented my husband is! He drew/painted this!


Veggies Box Week 2

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It's week 2 with our Dominion Harvest local CSA type box deal. What a mouthful. Speaking of... check out all the goodies we are prepped to eat! Lots of eggs (cake anyone?), strawberries, brocolli, kale, lettuce, beets, spring onions, mushrooms & local goat cheese.

Since we get the box delivered every other week we have 2 weeks to eat all of this. Ideas to go through all these eggs?

To check out week one click here!
Happy Friday. Happy vegetables!

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