Saturday, August 11, 2012

The fruits of my labor

...or vegetables, if you want to be technical.

It's been a pretty productive weekend so far. Mom and I started our water fitnessing. I have no idea what else to call it. I am taking a stance and putting myself first - I'm going to get healthy and get rid of this weight. I have to. Otherwise there will be no little mini-mes. As if the world really needs that!

Anyway, mom and I started working out at the community center. Tomorrow will be our third day and I'm still excited about it. My dear readers, please post comments and send encouragement! I need all the help I can get. And nose plugs. I'm like a little kid and still can't get myself to put my face in the water.

Most importantly, this weekend, I've found time to relax a bit and enjoy this crazy life. My squash plants died from the powdery mildew, but I've plucked my first pepper and made my very first batch of pesto FROM MY OWN GARDEN!

My first pepper!  

The first batch of pesto made from my garden

yeah, that's right - load it up that garlic bread with pesto.

I'm beyond thrilled - I'm ecstatic.

Then, to top it off, Steve tried my pesto...AND HE LIKED IT. This is the things dreams are made of. My hubs doesn't like anything unless it's meat, potatoes, or junk food...especially if it's green. He liked it, he really liked it!

I'm not much of a cook, but I do like baking and trying to make things that my grandmother used to make. One of my favorite treats at my Grandma Frannie's house was her candied orange peels. I've tried to make them time after time and it never works out. During one of my most memorable endeavors, I managed to ruin my roommates saucepan because I thought all the syrup had to boil into the orange peels. In retrospect, I have no idea what I was thinking or why I would try to make candy without a recipe. It was a complete disaster - the pan had to be thrown away. It was as if the saucepan had been taken over my a colony of rock candy monsters. I'm sorry Nicole, I really am...still.

I figured candied orange peels were destined to just be a memory.

Until today.

I tried again and it worked!

I found the recipe on and gave it another shot with the orange peels I had left over from lunch and the little strips of candied deliciousness turned out great! My mom hasn't been able to stop nibbling on them...and for the second time in one day, STEVE LIKES SOMETHING I MADE!

I remember them a bit differently and I'm thinking that my grandma must've let the sugar get hotter first - almost to hard crack stage - because hers weren't shiny or slippery when we'd eat them. When I asked mom, she didn't know the answer on how to get them that way, but remembered that they were dry almost instantly after cooking. Mine have been "drying" on the counter for most of the day.  Have you ever made candied orange peels?

When I got them at the Godiva store a few years ago, that's how they served them - slippery, sweet, and covered in chocolate.  How do you prefer them?

getting closer!

Tomorrow brings another day of fitnessing, relaxing, creative food-making (it's too hot to cook), and maybe even going to meet our dear friend's new chickens. bawk-ba-GAWK!

I hope you're having and equally great weekend. What have you been doing?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What do elephants play when they are in a bus?

I finally got to pick my first yellow squash from my raised bed garden. There were 20+ sprouting when I first saw the babies, but a few have rotted, a few are too small...and there was just this one gorgeous specimen of a squash.

So, of course, I brought it in the house to eat it!

I waited for a special occasion - my Friday Night Fun Night with my mom. Tonight we went swimming at the community center and talked about how we should go swimming every other day for "exercise". Hopefully it works. My strong desire to learn to swim with my face in the water like Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin - or just to play Ponyo - makes this the most attractive form of exercising available. Plus, it cools you off. Thank's been so hot lately. I wish I lived in Alaska or the Northern reaches of Canada - in a remote igloo with ice furniture and a pet wooly mammoth!

Anyway, I steamed the squash with some delicious Italian garlic seasoning from Tastefully Simple and it turned out fantastic. Mom loved it!

I've got two more babies that still need some more time in the garden, but I'm looking forward to making a summer squash gratin with those. Anyone growing and zucchinis that you want to get rid of? LOL...everyone growing zucchinis needs to get rid of some! Send 'em my way!

So now, my dear readers - I need some gardening help. Do you know how to make it so the squash doesn't rot while it's growing? I don't understand it, the ones that I had to throw out today were just little  (maybe 6"-7") and they were just all smushy. Why is that? What did I do wrong to kill my little squashies? Any help would be appreciated. I'm so new to this whole gardening thing. Heck, I think my cucumbers are diseased. 

"I Saw it on Pinterest" Experiment #1: in the freezer

FROZEN YOGURT DROPS posted on onegoodthingbyjillee

Mine look nothing like her beautifully-swirled drops. The candy melting bottles didn't have a big enough hole in the tip, so I did end out using the sandwich bag trick...which takes some practice. The big globs of frozen yogurt will be a delicious treat when I bust them off the tray tomorrow morning. Cross your fingers! I'll let you know how they turn out.

And i'm outtie.

'hugs and chainsaws'

(is it 'p' for penny?....or is it Ponyo?!?!?!)