New Year, New Post!

We're glad to be back!
Hey everyone!

I know it's been a long time since I've/we've posted. There have been a lot of things getting in the way of quality blogging time, like all-day marching band shows, lesson planning, the holidays, and traveling. But, if we're totally honest, the biggest reason why we haven't posted is because.....


WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!
(I know most of you know this already, but oh well)




We've been hating enjoying the process of looking for homes, sending in offers, dealing with appraisals, buying appliances, finding ideas on Pinterest, picking paint, and moving through escrow. We were so lucky to have friends and family who are willing to help us with this process--especially on moving day and the week afterward. I promise to post pictures soon!

Ten Things That Excite Me About Our House: 

1) Palm trees in the front yard that we wrapped with Christmas lights
2) Our new fridge
3) New washer and new dryer
4) Having a dishwasher again after a year without!
5) Space for a big garden
6) Buying area rugs
7) Having a silverware drawer!
8) The garage
9) More storage
10) Finally putting our money toward owning something!

I hope the New Year finds you well. Rick and I just finished a week-long juice cleanse which was one of the toughest things I've experienced, but was at the same time pretty inspiring. I suppose that should have been expected when all I could do was look at recipes on Pinterest all week but not cook anything! I feel more motivated to make complete breakfasts and lunches, and to pack meals ahead of time. Let's just say that I was definitely ready to eat food again! 

Here are three recipes that we can't get enough of since coming off of the cleanse: 
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Tara's Cranberry Citrus Hemp Granola - I absolutely love granola and can't believe I've never made any at home! It's super easy and this recipe is delicious. Rick loves it, too. The only adaptations I've made to the recipe are omitting the wheat germ, doubling the amount of almonds (I use slivered), and baking for a few extra minutes. We've eaten our way through one batch and I made a double batch tonight!


via

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars - I happened upon a new food blog, 86 Lemons, last week while wistfully dreaming about solid foods. Livvy has great recipes, and is also a gluten free vegan! It always helps to find recipes that don't need veganizing or gf modifications. I modified her recipe for the bars by using hemp seeds instead of sesame seeds, increasing the amount of almonds and cashews, using honey instead of agave, and mixing peanut and almond butters. These are all wrapped up in individual wax paper packages to take to school this week!



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Native Foods Blog's Roasted Fennel and Potato Soup - Ever since receiving a fennel bulb in a CSA box last year, we've enjoyed making roasted fennel soups. This was our first one with potato, and it was amazing. It tasted like a warm baked potato and was hearty and filling. The toppings of almonds and chopped fennel were the perfect accent. I'll be adding this one to our permanent soup repertoire! 


Of course, I can't leave you without some sort of recipe of my own! The latest and greatest culinary adventure in our house is crock pot veggie stock--super easy and super delicious!

Crock Pot Veggie Stock

Start by saving leftover veggie scraps. I have a 64 oz Glad Tupperware container that I keep in my freezer, so the scraps don't go bad before I can use them. Once it is full, you're ready to go! Good things to save: onion skins and extra peels, garlic skin and pieces, celery leaves and piece of the ribs, carrot skins and pieces, kale/chard stems, pepper stems, etc. I have also used chunks of potatoes that were getting old, Brussels sprout stalk pieces, and sweet potato. I love that this is yet another way to get the most out of the things I'm not using!

Place all saved veggie scraps in slow cooker. Cover with water, until the crock pot is full. I like to flavor with rosemary, thyme, and three bay leaves. 

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Veggies will be soft and wilted and broth will be a rich tan brown color. 

I have been freezing the broth in 8 cup amounts, ready to use in soups. We tried out the broth  for the first time in our version of this soup and let me tell you--it was fantastic! I can't wait to figure out the next thing I'm going to make!

Thanks for your patience during our hiatus. I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, but here's hoping that this blog gets a little more love in 2013 :) 

--E&R

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