Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tuna Two Ways...




This summer, I will be primarily contributing to the other blog I have, called 1700 Miles of Cooking. The blog is a joint venture with my best friend, Diane.  We've had the blog forever, but we almost never update it.  This summer we have committed to bringing it back!

Here's the link, so go take a look at the post on cooking tuna!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

My First Coffee Cupping (Tasting)

So I'm going to let the pictures I took speak for themselves...


Summer Lunches



This is what summer lunches look like at our house sometimes. To tell the truth, these are my favorites. I get to clean odds and ends out of my ice box- and get away with eating cheese and crackers for lunch. Plus I found beautiful figs at Whole Foods and this is my favorite way to consume them. 

Here's to many more summer lunches!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cheater Calzones and Thoughts about My Blog...

Lately I've been a little bummed about the state of food blogging.  I've had this blog for almost 8 years, and although I've never monetized it, I admire people who make money from their blogs.  It seems like the days of being paid "per click" are gone, so the only way to make money on a blog is to do sponsored posts.  And sometimes, that feels dishonest.  People should be able to blog about whatever they want, not choose what to blog based on their ability to pay the bills.

Anyhoo, I've never had much traffic or comments here.  I get much more play on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.  Which has been making me think.  I have mainly been using my Instagram to journal about my cooking day to day.  I really only use the blog for original recipes.  It makes them easier to share.  I feel like my online presence is shifting from the blog to other, shorter forms of communication.  And I'm ok with that.  My blogging will never pay the bills.  I'll stick to teaching for that.  At least for the time being!

On to today's recipe.  It's a total cheat.  A few weeks ago I opened a box of puff pastry to make some savory ham and cheese pies.  They were awesome!  But I only used one sheet of the dough.  The other sheet had been languishing in my ice box, begging to be used.  So one night this week, I got it out and got creative.

I preheated my oven to 400 degres, then rolled the sheet out a bit, and cut it into 2 huge triangles.  I had about a third of a pound of Italian sausage in the ice box, so I browned it with chopped onions and peppers.  I also had a little dish of canned tomatoes leftover from another adventure, so I used them as well.  I layered shredded mozzarella cheese, then the sautéed sausage, onions and peppers, then a few canned tomatoes, and lastly, more cheese.  I popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Oh- and I snuck some goat cheese into mine- it was lovely!



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Farm Tour!

The official Osage Farm Cat


So I celebrated my first full day of Spring Break 2015 by taking a tour of our local organic farm, Osage Farms.  I took about a thousand pictures. I find loading pictures on my blog to be absolutely tedious, so I'll link you to my Flickr page and you can see them there.

I have been a customer there for about 2 years, and I really love the place.  I buy my eggs, milk and most of my other dairy there, as well as fresh veggies and organic, local cheeses.

My husband and I plant a garden every year, and it was cool to get to ask questions and get information about how some of these plants behave in our climate.  When I lived in Savannah, it was easy to grow things because it's so warm.  Out here, I've had to learn everything by trial and error.  I never know what things will thrive, and what things will die.

In a few weeks they'll have their bedding plants for sale.  I like to buy their stuff because I know it was raised organically, and I know it will grow here, because it was grown right down the road!

Anyway, if you are near the Rifle/Silt/Newcastle area, you should definitely check them out.  I'll link to their webpage, which has their store hours and dates for future farm tours.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Natural Product Review- Tea Tree Oil

Next on my list of items to replace was my acne cream.

Although I've never had awful acne, I do suffer from occasional breakouts, usually associated with PMS.

Because of the frequent breakouts, I used to keep acne cream on hand.

After reading up on natural remedies, I noticed tea tree oil kept coming up in magazines and books as a very effective treatment for acne.  So I decided to give it a try.

So far, I've been impressed.  You can use the essential oil straight up, or combine it with other things to make it a bit less powerful.  I use it straight up.  I put it on a cotton ball and apply it wherever I need it.  Actually, I've begun using it once a day in the spots I know I have trouble, to see if I can ward off breakouts before they happen.  I'll let you know if it works.

I will say that this stuff is fairly odiferous.  I don't mind the smell- it's sort of piney.  But some folks might not like it.

Natural Product Review- Jane Iredale Dream Tint Moisturizer

This was one of the first natural products I invested in when I decided to eliminate chemicals from my daily routine.

This was pricey.  I mean, like it hurt to place the order.  I paid $39.00 for this stuff.  I think I sat and stared at the screen for about 5 minutes before I mustered up the courage to hit the "confirm order" button.  But I'm so glad I did!

I read about this company in the book No More Dirty Looks.  I highly recommend this book for people who want to learn about the dangers of chemicals in personal care products.  Dream Tint was a product they recommended by name.  After looking at the whole line of Jane Iredale products, I'm pretty sure this won't be my only purchase from them.

I adore this stuff.  Firstly, I don't use very much, so this tube could last at least 6 months.  The coverage is light.  It makes my skin feel so soft, and the tint is very subtle.  It almost has a matte effect.  And I love the fact that it has safe SPF built in!  I have used other BB creams in the past.  My biggest gripe about most of them was that they looked cakey on my skin.  I'm 46, and I am developing lines and wrinkles around my mouth and eyes.  Normally, tinted moisturizers and liquid foundations find those lines and wrinkles and pile in.  I look worse with those products on, than I do when I go without makeup at all!  This is very different.

I know it's hard to commit to eliminating chemicals when the natural products come with a price tag like this.  But I guess the reason I finally did it was the thought that treating all the conditions that could present themselves because of exposing myself to chemicals would be more expensive than investing in safe products and paying more for them now.  Not to mention, I don't hesitate on splurging in other areas of my life that aren't nearly this important for my overall health.

My next purchase from these folks will be their mineral make up loose powder.  Sometimes I feel like I need a bit more coverage in the winter.  I'm going to order the powder as soon as we get paid this month.  I'll be sure to post about it after I've tried it out.
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