Tag Archives: Gardening

Summer Love


I’m obsessed with fruits and veggies right now! I feel like any minute summer is going to end and the abundance of (cheap!) local produce will be gone. So right now, I’m doing my best to incorporate them into ever meal. My newest favorite?


Zucchini Tots! Continue reading for recipe!



How are you! I’ve missed you so much! The family and I snuck off for an island getaway to this lovely place…

It is actually Kelly’s Island! If you are unaware of where that is, it is a little island in Lake Erie. I highly recommend a weekend visit! We ended up camping up there for six nights and still felt like we didn’t get to do a few things we would have liked to do. In the mornings, I rode my bike around the entire edge of the island. I was constantly torn by checking out all the houses and looking at the water. One time I may have ridden off the side of the road into the grass because I was caught up in sight-seeing. Don’t worry no one saw me! HAHAHA!!

At our campsite, I was surprised by what I found on the treeline of our campsite.


Lucky for me, I had packed some Greek yogurt so a few mornings I picked some of the berries and tossed them together!  We were even able to take our dog camping with us.

She loved swimming! I’m pretty sure she is part fish. We had to keep her on a rope because she would try to swim out to boats in the water. Actually, I’m not sure where she would have ended up if we would have let her keep going. Sadie was enjoying herself perhaps a little too much. Whenever we left her in the camper this is what would happen…

Such a priss! She knows she isn’t supposed to be on the furniture and yet as soon as I’d walk out I could hear here jumping up on stuff. So I would go back in and she would look at me like she had no idea what the problem was!So vacation was great! However when we came home…not so great! We got hit hard in our area with a storm the night that we left for the island. Lots of damage and lots of people without power. Did I tell you it has been riding stead around 90-100 degress where we live? We invited whoever needed a place to stay or any other uses access to our house. When we got back, home was a little busier than normal. Even though we had been gone for 6 days, there was still lots of people without power! I’m glad we had it, and that we could help out. Things were made really hectic though because our renters moved out of our rental and they left it a mess!! AHHHHH!!! So my husband has been working over there since we got back and today I’m headed over to paint and clean. It was ridiculous! Did you know cobwebs can turn black if you leave them long enough??? Bleck! I know some awesome people that do a great job taking care as a renter. It wasn’t these people! It breaks my heart because it was our first house and we LOVE that house, just too small for our family. Oh well! I could sit here and cry (literally) about it, but I’ve got an audiobook downloaded, Starbucks in hand and a day of burning calories ahead of me!!

Golden Egg


Guess what we got!!??

Our first egg! Actually, this is the second egg but the first was laid in the yard and was soft shelled and broke. I was the first one up this morning and the first to check on the girls. Go figure someone laid the second one after I left for work and so I was left out of the discovery!
We still don’t know who the layer is!


I’ll let you know if we ever solve that mystery. I’m beginning to think we need to have an egg recipe contest just so I can get new egg recipes!
Today, I got home a little later than normal. Since everyone was hungry, I decided to try out a new fajita sauce.

This sauce made quite a zesty fajita!

I’m trying to use up the veggies I have left before they get funky! This dish came together super simple.
Here is what I used:
Chicken breast
Sour cream
Green pepper
Button mushrooms (I used tiny ones!!)
Tortilla shells

1. Add oil to a pan and bring up heat to medium-high. Cook chicken until it begins to brown. Add in onion, green pepper and mushroom and continue to cook until chicken is fully cooked and veggies are soft.
2. Stir in sauce and cook until warm all the way through.
3. Heat up tortillas according to package. Fill tortillas with meat and veggies and top with avocado and sour cream.

Sandwich Time!


It’s hot out. We are constantly on the run. Not from the law, just either going to the gym, swim practices, meets or  out playing. During the week, dinners need to be quick and easy. However they can still taste great!

Turkey, Bacon, Avocado Sandwiches!
So yummy and super simple. I remember growing up and my uncle always making up sandwiches that were stacked with everything the fridge contained. They were awesome.


Here I what I used:
Bacon, cooked

1. Toast your bread. Stack up as much of the rest of the ingredients your until heart desires or until you run out. Eat it up!

This would also make a nice club if you added addition layers of bread and ingredients and cut into four sections!

Want a great side dish? How about these adorable zucchini cakes!


I found these darlings on Pinterest. The great news is that are pretty low calorie!


I modified this dish by adding Parmesan Herb Panko and omitting Adobo spices. These cakes were great and the perfect way to use up some of that zucchini I know many of you will have an abundance of before long!

The original recipe for this dish can be found at Shape by clicking here.

Flew the Coop!!


This morning, we had a potentially disastrous situation on our hands. Turns out our chickens are getting agitated by the confines of their run so one of them literally flew the coop. What makes this a real poor decision on the chicken’s part is that our dog would like nothing better than to sink her teeth into them. Normally, we lock her up in the house when we let them out so there is no way they can actually cross paths.
So today, you can imagine the surprise and instant fear when we realized that one of the chickens were out in the yard with the dog.

read on

Kale Crazy?


Do you garden? Do you have kale coming out the wazoo? I only ask because we do! Some days I’m not sure what to do with it all.


This girl would suggest you hand it over to her and her friends, muy pronto. They love kale and I’m often chasing them out of my garden. Typically, they put up a pretty good fight by separating and taking turns attacking the veggies while I’m chasing the others. I won’t even start rambling about the workout you can get raising chickens.

So how did I get started on this tangent about kale? Well earlier today I saw a new idea of blending kale and watermelon to make a smoothie. Huh. I’m going to have to try that out! For more regarding that idea I suggest you click here.

My neighbor recently asked me how to cook kale. Although I’m sure there are lots of ways, today I’ll share my two go-to versions.


Garlicky baked kale and bacon!

This is fairly quick and easy.

What you need:
kale, rinse and rip the stems out (I use lots since it shrinks so much!)
garlic clove, minced
olive oil, a dab will do!
2-4 strips of bacon, chopped (I use center cut)

1. Not sure if this is necessary but bacon freaks me out if I think it is undercooked and to me it seems to cook slower than the kale. With that said, the first thing I do is partially cook bacon in a pan.
2. In a bowl, add kale and garlic. Drizzle (or spritz) in olive oil just enough to lightly coat kale and garlic (don’t use much since you are adding bacon soon which will render a little more fat.)
3. Mix in bacon. Pour everything into a cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Serve!!

Need something a little more hearty? Add more…stuff!


Sautéed Kale and Beans

This version is cooked in a deep skillet. Here is what you’ll need:
kale, rinsed and stems removed
2-4 strips bacon, chopped (still using center cut)
garlic clove, minced
olive oil, just a mist
great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup (or so) broth, I used chicken
red pepper flakes, just a tiny bit to freak your husband out 🙂

1. Spray pan with olive oil and bring up to medium, medium-high heat. Toss in bacon.
2. Allow bacon to cook for a minute or so and add minced garlic and onion. Cook until onion starts to become translucent.
3. Add in kale, beans, pepper flakes and broth. Cover and cook for about five minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until broth has evaporated. Serve!

Clearly I love to eat kale with sandwiches?? Not sure what that is about 😉

So any other suggestions for kale? Casserole? Sauce or something else? I’d love to hear about it!

Little Bit of Everything


I have taken so many pictures of our yard lately, I just wanted to share!!

First off, my lovely flowers!! I know I’ve posted my lilacs (which smelled amazing), but here are some other beautiful ones.







Pretty flowers!!! I love them. I really clipped that rose bush last year and apparently they appreciated it. Also that is our ginormous hosta. We have split that baby a few times but it is relentless.

Here are garden updates!







Lots of leaf lettuce and kale. The chickens love kale! We also have some onion and potato plants that seem to be coming along great. Today at the farmers market they had starts for 1.00 a plant, I got two cucumber, two zucchini and a yellow pepper plant. Last year we didn’t have luck with zucchini but we will give it another shot. Oh and the little sprout is a sunflower I planted. My husband made the compost bin out of old wood. Seems to hold up much better than our old contraption.

Also here is a quick dessert we had with dinner tonight!





Pineapple pops!

So simple! Just melt some chocolate, dip, sprinkle and freeze!
Here are a few tips though. 1. Pat pineapple very dry or chocolate won’t stick. 2. Use a spoon to coat pineapple, dipping the pineapple seemed to mess with the consistency of the chocolate very quickly. 3. I sprinkled a few with sea salt and I hated it, stick to the coconut or almonds!

Hope you are having a great day too!!

Lesson Learned


For the last few weekends, I have been traveling all over the place. I guess I’ve learned a thing or two while I was out. Today, I have the best visuals to share with your kids as to why they shouldn’t put things in their mouth.



Not only do you not know whose germs may be on it…..



You never know where they might have put that thing!

Tell me that’s not funny!!

So this weekend, I had the best time visiting family in Dayton, Ohio. We visited tons of places including a fantastic market and a farm. Clearly the farm had some comical animals. I will save you from meeting the goat that pees at people when they get near his fence.

At the farmers market, I made out on some great produce and some other quality products. The best part of the market? Breakfast!



How have I lived without trying crêpes for so long! If you have not yet tried this awesomeness, I insist that you do! Also if you already make crêpes, I’d love to hear about your process.

I have some great dishes to share with you from my bounty I brought back from the market. Until then I share with you a cute (and tasty) idea I found on Pinterest. It is so easy you don’t need directions. It is one of those, why didn’t I think of that, moments.


White chocolate raspberry bites! My pin linked back to veryculinary.com. Woot woot!

Spring Is Here!


My eyes are slightly itchy today:( I guess that is just how it goes when you spend the day outside! Between pulling weeds, walking and hanging outside the allergies are bound to get stirred up. We have way too many flower beds. Have I ever told you that? They are LARGE flower beds. The flowers and I are at war with the weeds. Since I try not to use weed killer (or let my husband), hours are spent pulling weeds. So redundant! In addition to the weeds, there was a lot of other overgrowth from where our house sat vacant for so long before we bought it. My husband has spent lots of time clearing land for various projects. One we started last year was the garden….the garden is a work in progress. We may have delayed that progress a wee bit when we borrowed the wood that enclosed it to finish the chicken coop! It will be replaced…soon…


My husband cleared the land last spring for the garden, we weren’t even sure if anything would grow because the land is really rocky. Fortunately we were proved wrong! This year we got some early spring produce in and everything seems to be coming along great!




So if you were debating about your own garden, I would say to try a variety of things and see what works for you. We can’t grow regular tomatoes but cherry tomatoes go nuts.

To go with the spring theme, I had to share a springy dish!


Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad!

This is such an easy recipe and pretty guilt free!


When I made this dish, I wanted to have plenty of leftovers of lunch. This made roughly 4 servings.

Here is what you’ll need:

2 large chicken breast cooked and shredded (rotisserie would be great!)

1 1/2 cups halved grapes

4 stalks celery, cut thinly

1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt

3 tsp honey and dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

honey roasted almonds (chopped)

1. Mix yogurt, honey, Dijon and salt and pepper

2. In a bowl, combine chicken, grapes and celery.

3. Stir yogurt mixture into chicken mixture. I allowed mix to chill before serving and sprinkled about 1/8 cup of almonds on top. I also served everything over some fresh romaine. Enjoy!

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats