Friday, June 17, 2011

Nature is Watching You

We went on a hike with some friends today.  It got a little muddy, but we still had fun.
Along the trail, we noticed this painted rock in a tree:

This was a nice reminder to stay on the trail and treat the park with respect. Nature has her eye on us!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Apple Bacon Pie

What is as American as apple pie, but has the trendy flavor of bacon? That's right: apple bacon pie!
We attend an annual party called MeatFest. It is always fun to see what meaty concoctions people create.  This year we were treated to meat brownies, bacon fudge, pancake and bacon cupcakes, and chocolate covered bacon, among other dishes.  My husband added bacon to a delicious apple pie, using some frozen apples from the fall.

 He added a few fresh apples from the store.  The result was beautiful. 

* Photo credit goes to my fantastic daughter. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Things I Do for Scouting...

Those are coffee grinds. They are spread all over my patio to dry in the sun.  The kind people at Starbucks have been giving me their leftovers so that the 400 cub scouts in our district day camp can make dinosaur fossils with me next week.  My car, my yard, and my house smell like coffee. 

At least it's good coffee. 

And at least I finally got a sunny day with no rain. 
My husband ran out to rescue all my coffee the other day when a sudden storm caught us off-guard. Not a pretty sight!

Learning to Cook

School is out, so it is the perfect time to teach my teenager how to make some of our go-to dinners, using what we've harvested from the garden.
We started with her favorite, pesto pasta.
 Tonight we used basil (frozen in an ice cube tray from our harvest last summer), toasted pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and a little salt and pepper. (Nothing tastes better than fresh basil pesto, but our little basil plants are just getting started this summer.) 
Another pesto we like uses walnuts, walnut oil, and sage leaves.  Pretty much any combination of fresh herbs from the garden with toasted nuts and some oil will make a great pesto.
 She made a very simple salad while the noodles boiled. She tossed some fresh blueberries in a bowl of lettuce.  It doesn't get too much more simple, but it'll do.
 Making dinner is so exhausting.  Thank goodness there is time for a lie-down while the noodles keep on boiling.  If she is this tired in the kitchen now, I don't know how she'll manage making dinner after working all day when she's older.  (Add three children running around the house and maybe a cat and some chickens in the mix and I feel like having a lie-down starting every day at around 7:30 a.m.)
 Here is the plate she assembled for her littlest brother:
 Gotta love that plate.  It is by a company called "Fred". 
Here is the dinner everyone else got:

Very delicious!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Harvest Shot

It is blueberry season, which means avoiding thunderstorms and our vicious cat to pick for an hour a day.  Sweet rewards!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Land of the Little People

After a weekend of yard sales --"yard sailing"-- with the grandparents, my children typically bring home bags of toys that sellers are happy to unload.  I have more Happy Meal toys in my house than any person should, but since it is a more environmental, cost effective, and healthier way of obtaining toys than actually going to McDonald's, I try to tolerate it.  My parents thought it would be especially funny, then, to see my reaction to my son's latest yard sale find.  To their surprise, I embraced it.
 My son found a treasure in the form of several large pieces of aquarium decor.  (How big this aquarium was, I can only imagine.)  Declaring himself a huge fan of ancient Greek architecture, my son bought the whole lot for pocket change.  Many thanks go to his grandfather for demonstrating superior haggling skills on my son's behalf.
 We put the ancient ruins near this other area in our garden where Tiny Folk frequent.
 Because these items were intended to be under water, they are perfect for the outdoors.  Once the area was set up, it was only a matter of time before a battle ensued...

During the battle, the boys interacted with each other, the cat, and a slug. Great things happen when children play in the garden.  :  )