Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apologies...

Thank you for being ever so patient while I work out the kinks with my blog changes!
Oh, how I wish I had more technical skills :).

~Julia

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today I Love...



The smell of spiced plum butter wafting through my cozy kitchen as the sun through the windows warms the room.
The plums are organic Green Gage, a spectacular heirloom variety, which were picked from our own tree.



Wishing you  the best of Tuesday's!
For me it means harvesting swiss chard to freeze, cutting back flowers in the yard, and cleaning bathrooms. Oh joy!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September is Beginning



This September time of year? Oh, it's my favorite.
The garden is all late-summer and romantically bushy, and I forego weeding as the rows show-off in one exasperated last bloom.
I pull sweet carrots with fluffy tops out and nibble right out of the dirt.
The Hollyhocks bow down and other flowers are muted by crisper mornings, but we are still eating heartily of potatoes, carrots, beets, and tomatoes.
My vigorous Sweet Peas continue to dance in the breeze and I so enjoy the delightful aroma in the kitchen.
I can hold back the simple days of summer with that one vase full of such goodness.
~~~~
We are settling in to our second week of school and the smell of new books and paper arouse plenty of excitement.
We just started this book and it is such a sweet way to tie into all of our recent experiences showing at the Fair .
So, we lull into the new routine of cool mornings spent in school and warmed afternoons catching the last grasshoppers, harvesting the garden, and clinging to the very last of summer.

I think I will just plain enjoy this day.

























~Julia

PS: You may notice a few changes/updates with the blog soon...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gluten Free Apple Pie Muffins

OK...so I know it is still summer, but as of late it FEELS Fallish.
Crisp mornings brought this recipe. 
It is perfect and a delectable morning treat or after school snack.

Gluten Free Apple Pie Muffins

2 cups oat flour (or grind rolled oats ground into flour in your blender)
1/4 cup Truvia (click here for a chart to convert Truvia to sugar)
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt 
2 cups apples, diced
1/2 cup egg whites
3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. butter, melted 
1/2 cup honey                                                                                                                                        
1/2 tsp. maple extract                                                                                                                                 2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 18 muffin cups, then stir flour through apples in a medium sized bowl. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt and stir to combine. In a large bowl, mix together egg whites, Greek yogurt, butter, honey, maple, and vanilla.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until done. 
Enjoy with a little pat of butter on top!

~Julia

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How to Freeze Most Everything from Your Garden

Are your gardens bursting at the seams with luscious produce? 
Mine is coming along nicely, and I am just starting to harvest the beautiful bounty.
Eating fresh and preparing meals straight from the garden is lovely.

Here are a few great posts on freezing vegetables for winter use.
You can also visit my Preserving page for many more ideas!













Happy harvesting!

~Julia

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Freeze Kale

It's about the easiest thing ever to freeze kale.
My garden had a nice healthy row of kale growing, and I harvested most of it today.
I love kale in soups, sauteed in olive oil, in casseroles, and in green smoothies.
It will be nice to have some put away in the freezer.


Here is how to freeze kale...

1. Separate the kale leaves and cut out the stems....if you want.

2. Fill a clean sink with water and add 1 cup of vinegar.

3. Soak leaves for a while and then rinse as you pull out, making sure there are no dirt particles.

4. Allow to fully dry on a towel.

5. Flash freeze kale on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

6. Take out of the freezer and quickly put into freezer bags. You have to move fast because the kale starts to thaw.

7. Squeeze as much air out as possible before putting in the freezer.

That's it!

Hope you are having a lovely day!

~Julia


Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2014 Garden Tour

I think gardening is one of my most rewarding pleasures in life.
My garden is a source of peace and I love being out there to see what is happening, pick, and harvest.
Every day something is new and each year it looks a little different.
I definitely can't categorize myself as a "neat" gardener.
Nope.
I like it kind of untamed and loosely beautiful.
Many of the flowers self-seed and I like to see what becomes of God's green thumb.
I doubled my vegetable garden, so the weeding has been tremendous, but I am enjoying the harvest.
Lately, I have been toying around with the idea of selling out of my garden.
I have always wanted a road-side stand, and was so inspired to create something like this...{link here}
What fun!
I will need to plant a little more, as I am already noticing that we are needing most of what I am harvesting.
I will have a little extra to sell, though.
We'll see how it goes!

So...here is a little tour~ because I LOVE to snoop in other people's gardens.
And mine happens to be weeded....sort of...


 I have four raised beds in an enclosed space where I grow tomatoes, peppers, and lettuces.




This year, I am not sure what happened...I CANNOT grow lettuce.
Every attempt has failed.
I am lost....lettuce is THE easiest green to grow!

Most of the flowers in the garden were bought as starts from a local sale every year.
Gradually, they have either self-seeded, or I have divided the plants and planted in other spots.
I also have been gifted so many different flowers from neighbors who are willing to share.

{Back of the fenced garden.}

Off to the right of my enclosed garden is the row garden.
It's like going to the grocery store.
I take my bowl and fill it to the brim with vegetables for lunch and dinner.
It is lovely.






{Kale}
{Rainbow Swiss Chard}


I always, always plant a huge row of zinnias.
They are just so cheery!
 This year I included a row of sweet peas and my Mom let me borrow this cute little fence to let them climb.
Today I found the first bloom!

In the back of my fenced garden I have an herb garden tucked between fruit trees, the chicken coop, and the raspberries.



 And then there's Maud, the tin can scarecrow.
She has quite the suntan and ruby red lips.
Maud sits at the edge of the garden...watching over things.



Usually, I keep my chickens in their coop when the garden is in full swing because they think it is their personal snack bar.
Mabel is the exception....
 She sat on 12 eggs for over three weeks and hatched just one sweet little chick.
I let her roam just because :).

 
Hope you enjoyed a little snoop into my garden.
Enjoy these lovely, long summer days...
 

~Julia
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