The Sugar Snap Peas are Back!

April CSA Box

As if the scent of roses, lilacs, and orange blossoms wafting around our yard hadn’t been enough of a clue, the arrival of sugar snap peas in our CSA box is a sure sign that spring has definitely, absolutely arrived.  While I know that the weather hasn’t been very pleasant in other parts of the country, it’s been mostly warm and beautiful here punctuated with a few brief bouts of much needed and prayed for rain.  It’s actually sprinkling on and off as I type this.  It’s one of those strange and beautiful early evenings where the sky is dark and stormy but the setting sun is low enough to break through and brighten everything down below.  It’s a striking contrast and especially beautiful since everything is wet and sparkling from the afternoon showers.

For the last month we’ve been working around the yard and slowly getting various beds in shape for planting.  My dad helped us put in an absolutely beautiful raised bed on top of an existing bed in the middle of our patio.  He designed it and did most of the work but Phil helped and I offered to help but mostly just documented the process with my iphone and went on lunchtime taco runs. Below you can see some before, after, and construction photos courtesy of my Instagram account.

New Raised Bed

Picking up dirt from the ranch

New Garden Bed

My uncle was nice enough to load us up with some great dirt out at his ranch yesterday so we’re all ready for planting.  The first thing to go in was a Tarocco blood orange tree.  This bed will be mostly flowers this year but I may stick a few herbs in at the corner closest to the kitchen.

Well, it’s time to get in the kitchen, unpack this CSA box, and make some dinner.  If any of you have started planting gardens already, leave a comment and let me know what you’re growing.  So far I have a couple tomato plants in, but I still need to decide what else I want to put in the ground.  I’d love to hear what everyone else has planned!

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After the Rain

Mini Succulent Garden

Meyer Lemon

cecile brunner rose

Lilac

Lilac

Tangerines

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Goodbye, November

Today is the last day of National Blog Posting Month and the NaBloPoMo challenge of blogging every single day this month has finally come to an end.  Since today also happens to be my birthday, I decided to give myself a break and not worry about uploading photos, sharing recipes, or even talking much about food.  I spent a relaxing day with my fiancé, opened some fun presents this evening, and had a nice home-cooked dinner with family.  It really was a perfect end to a busy, stressful month and rather than feeling burned out, I’m charged up and ready for December.  I have new recipe ideas to test and share, sourdough starter to play with, a stack of new cookbooks to try out and review, and some great products to give away.  See you in December!

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Memories of Leftovers

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a really nice Thanksgiving celebration yesterday at my cousin’s house.  There was lots of family, lots of laughing, and lots of delicious food.  All the leftovers we made off with went to work with Phil this morning so there’s no cold pumpkin pie for breakfast and no turkey sandwiches for me today, something that’s a little unusual.  But I had my fill of turkey and all the trimmings yesterday and I’m feeling okay about bucking tradition and just eating a light lunch today.  I am, however, sitting here enjoying some memories of what Thanksgiving was like when I was younger and rather than feeling melancholy about loved ones lost, I’m feeling pretty lucky to have so many wonderful holiday celebrations to look back on. Continue reading →

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Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Lattice-Top Apple Pie

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and lots of pie.

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Wordless Wednesday: Comfort
Smack by the Fire

Photo by @phillip_x on Instagram

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This Week’s CSA Box

CSA Box November 26

I just picked up our T&D Willey Farms CSA box and thought I’d let you peek inside again.  It’s a good one!  We have carrots, celery, yellow onions, russet potatoes, garnet sweet potatoes, winter squash, winter savoy spinach, satsuma mandarins, cranberries, red bell pepper, rosemary, and Italian parsley.  I think my favorite thing about this week’s box is the complete lack of lettuce.  We haven’t been eating many lettuce salads lately so I still have an entire head of lettuce from last week. Continue reading →

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Non-Pie Thanksgiving Desserts

Pumpkin Praline Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

While it’s honestly a little hard for me to imagine, I know there are some of you out there who don’t really care for pie.  I may not agree with that sentiment, but I can accept it.  And I can agree that there should always be room for delicious, seasonal, non-pie desserts on the Thanksgiving table.  As long as there is also pie.  Here are some ideas: Continue reading →

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