Urban farming

It’s official… we’re urban farmers! The tricks to our success? Creating a nutrient-rich environment (tilling our own organic soil and compost, sand, coconut husks, and organic fertilizer) for our fruits and veggies to flourish in and doing nothing.

About six weeks ago we constructed and planted some planter boxes. After planting, we basically did nothing but monitor nature doing it’s thing. Job well done, nature!

Here’s how our kale box started in early March:

Raised bed #1: Raspberries, strawberries, kale, beets, garlic bulbs and carrots!

Raised bed #1: Raspberries, strawberries, kale, beets, garlic bulbs and carrots!

And at the end of March:

They're growing! The raspberries took the early lead in growth

They’re growing! The raspberries took the early lead in growth

Easter Sunday:

Kale has taken the lead, but the raspberries are holding on strong

Kale has taken the lead, but the raspberries are holding on strong

The next week:

Holy greens! Nothing like April showers and sun to get that garden growing!

Holy greens! Nothing like April showers and sun to get that garden growing!

This past weekend:

Kale progress: ready for harvest!

Kale progress: ready for harvest!

And today:

Harvesting our first kale crop!!!

Harvesting our first kale crop!!!

Thanks, kale, for a delicious dinner!

Yum! Kale, sausage and mushroom pasta for dinner tonight

Yum! Kale, sausage and mushroom pasta for dinner tonight

Super Super Bowl successes!

Using ideas featured in last week’s “super Super Bowl” posts (snacks and sips), the following ideas were inspired by Megan’s Island!

Football bean dip with sour cream laces!

Football bean dip with sour cream laces!

Skittles vodkas for the whole party!

Skittles vodkas for the whole party!

A homemade football bread bowl with kale dip!

A homemade football bread bowl with kale dip!

A big thank you to my readers for a) reading and b) sharing your works of art with me!

UPDATE: The kale and artichoke dip in the football bread bowl received rave reviews! Here it is for you to enjoy!  

 

 

Christmas food wrap-up

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday and hope that you did too! We celebrated with Brandon’s family in Idaho the weekend before Christmas, cooking and bringing nothing but a few bottles of wine.

Our Christmas Eve feast

Our Christmas Eve feast

We celebrated with my family on Christmas eve and brought several varieties of sweets. They look really nice plated together, don’t they?!

Christmas 2014 desserts

Christmas 2014 desserts (not pictured: raw chocolate macaroons)

All of my sweets were gluten-free and while none of the recipes were my own, I put my own creative flare on each of them. Here are the recipes for you to use as you see fit:

  • Polar bear peanut butter cups (So cute! However, these are crazy sweet! You’ve been warned! )
  • Raw chocolate macaroons (So good and so easy!)
  • Christmas tree meringues (We made several batches of these and while I would follow the instructions again, I would advise you to work quickly — the meringue liquefies if too warm — and don’t get too ambitious with the size of these trees. We found that keeping the base the size of a silver dollar worked best.

On Christmas day, Brandon and I had a leisurely morning and then hosted a brunch with my parents and Grandma. We cooked a feast and it was delicious! The frittata especially drew rave reviews.

Here was the menu:

  • Kale frittata
  • Aebleskivers with jam (a Danish Christmas specialty!)
  • Perfectly crispy hashbrowns
  • Turkey breakfast sausage
  • Assorted fruits
  • Orange juice

I started with this recipe for the frittata and then changed it… again.

  • Using the same technique, I made the following alterations:
  • I swapped the pepperoni for thin-sliced honey ham from the deli
  • I also swapped the Parmesan for reduced-fat smoked gouda from Trader Joe’s
  • I halved the onion, using only 1/2 a medium size onion
  • I added 1 c. of diced mushrooms. I cooked these and the onion down for about 10 minutes, prior to adding the other ingredients
  • I added a couple of pinches of the Pasta & Co. House Herbs (similar to Italian Seasoning)
  • Finally, I used too large of a frying pan, so I added 2 more eggs to even things out. It turned out great!
My off-the-cuff kale frittata

My off-the-cuff kale, ham and Gouda frittata

Abelskivers and sausage

Aebleskivers and sausage

Our Christmas morning spread!

Our Christmas morning spread!

After we went for a nice long walk, we also made tamales (from scratch!) on Christmas evening. I’m still working on that post and will share it soon!

I hope you’re enjoying your holidays and I’ll see you here {and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter} soon!