The Umpteenth time is a charm

Happy July and it welcomed us with surprisingly cool weather. June was eventful in a tense way and it felt like it took a long time to complete the month BIL #2 moved out, Teddy had a lot of his teeth taken out, and it’s been incredibly hot. Then June ended with Lana getting croup. I had to ask BIL #1 to not smoke near the house to support Lana’s recovery. I’m not sure for how long he’ll have to do this, let’s just say it’s going to be for a while. I did weigh my options: I could have bought an air purifier or bought more indoor plants (to only be killed in a few weeks). But I thought asking BIL #1 to not smoke near the house was the most cost effective direction. Since then he’s been spending his days out of the house (side note: he could have just worked on quitting). I hate to admit this, but the house has been smelling better.

Continue reading The Umpteenth time is a charm

Home Garden Project Reset

The first week of a new job is complete! For many weeks up to now, I was so nervous. I kept wondering if I made the right decision. Was this lateral move step back for me? Should I have stayed in my old job until the right opportunity came around? I kept thinking that a promotion would happen if I stayed long enough and kept seeking the internal job board.

After completing my first week, I think I have made the right decision to move on. I appreciate that my new supervisor is transparent and detailed with the growth that could come out from my position as it is a newly created position. And that growth also comes with a promotion too (don’t forget pay bump) which made me very happy.

Continue reading Home Garden Project Reset

Produce box

When I go to the grocery store I usually get spinach, cucumber, kale, apples, baby bell peppers, and bananas. Occasionally I like to pick up a random fruit — something unusual and unique for the season. To change things up, I decided to pick up a produce box at my local community garden to support the work that they do. Also at work the other day we had a mobile food drive for the community and there was a leftover produce box I took home too.

So anyways I wanted to go through all the produce I received and figure out what to do with them. I enjoy cooking and food prep. My favorite activity to do on a Sunday is go on a food prep marathon to plan for all the meals to make for the week. Usually I plan meals up to Wednesday. Thursday is for leftovers/cleaning the fridge and Friday we like to dine out or do takeout.

Celery — and there’s lots of it too! Celery is generally in my grocery rotation. I can make celery juice and sweeten it with a little bit of apple but I think celery juice alone is just fine. I also like to have it by itself as snack. I do find the celery in the center not taste as good. So what I do with the less appetizing celeries is chop it up and freeze it in a bag. I have bag of chopped carrots, onions, and celery so I always have a mirepoix on hand.

Oranges – These were in the pantry box I got through work. I usually eat these as a snack. Maybe I can use it to brighten a salad.

Dandelion greens – I got this from the community urban farm. Honestly this was arugula but it tastes different — it’s less bitter and the stems are a little thicker. I made a salad yesterday along with the lettuce.

Pakistan mulberries – these have an interesting taste. It’s earthy yet citrusy.

Asparagus – I’ve been eyeballing to make a cream of asparagus soup.

Avocado – Well there’s lot of things to do with an avocado. You can put it in toast and in salad. If I am feeling indulgent, I make an avocado smoothie — it’s just banana, almond milk, and half an avocado.

Radishes – I love eating radishes as a snack — raw and nothing else. I also like to put it on butter (or avocado) and toast. A couple years ago, I was on a pickling kick because I was learning how to pickle stuff. Maybe I could pickle the radish? Honestly, I’ve never cooked radishes — maybe I could try this garlic roasted radish dish.

The radish greens could be a stirfry to get rid of that fuzzy texture.

Kale (or are they collard greens)- I would eat kale raw in a salad or a smoothie. I would eat kale cooked if it was in a stew. In the winter time, I like to make a kale, bean, and sausage soup.

Carrots – save the carrot tops for a pesto. The carrots can be roasted on a cast iron skillet for a side dish.

Fennel – for the bulb, I would make this green shashuka. For the fronds, I would make a pesto (could I mix it with the carrot top?) or cook it with salmon.

Lettuce – I used it to to make a garden salad yesterday along with dandelion greens.

Potatoes – Maybe for a challenge, I could make these honey butter potato chips and top it with ice cream.

Yellow squash – I received lots of yellow squash from the leftover mobile food pantry. Could I experiment with yellow squash in place of zucchini bread? Or could I make a squash noodle lasagna?

Any recipes or dishes you recommend with any of these produce above? Comment below!