Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Drinks...

This summer I have been making some of my favorite summer cocktails at home. However, we decided to buy some sangria from the store instead of making it home and we love ours. It is a quick and easy way to have something refreshing  in a few seconds. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cooking - Sri Lankan food

This past week has been super exciting for us and kind of full to the brim with busy schedules. However there were plenty of time to take long breaks, which is what summer break allows us to do. 
I went to town with that long break to re create one of my favorite dish from Sri Lanka, some might call this as a side dish. I recall when I was a kid I did not like this as much, but when I got older I love having this with rice for lunch. 

Bitter gourd is a vegetable you can find in south east Asia in local markets. This vegetable has many benefits to health such as controling the blood sugar. I don't know how much that is believed in western medicine, but I simply love this fried sambol. You might wonder where can you get this, you can get bitter gourd from an Indian supermarket or an Asian supermarket. 

What you need:

1 lb bitter gourd
1 - 1/2 purple onion
4-6 birdeye green chillies (according to your pallet)
1 lime
few grape tomatoes if you have them
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
dried sprats if you can find them ( I did not)
2tsp salt (to presoak bitter gourd)
salt to taste
Oil for frying

How you prep this:

Wash and clean bitter gourds, and thinly slice them. Add this to a bowl and add 2 tsp’s of salt. If you want you can add more. It is almost like giving a salt water bath to sliced bitter gourd, you will notice it will produce more water  and becomes a bit softer to handle. Some believe this process takes the bitterness out of the bitter gourds. After few minutes squeezed the salt out of sliced bitter gourds using both hands as much as you can. 
Deep fry the sliced biter gourd until golden brown and set a side to drain excess oil. Meanwhile, slice onions very thinly, chillies, and add the halves tomatoes to onions and chillie mix. Finally add crushed pepper flakes, lime juice, and salt. Taste and mix well to incorporate all ingredients. Now add the fried bitter gourd slices and mix loosely and enjoy with white / brown rice yum!

This what summer allows us to do!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Backyard fun

Nicolette has been asking me to have a picnic with her friends. I finally did, It was so much fun for her but it was a great experience for us to have more picnics in our backyard during summer. 
We had our sprinkler on, blankets laid out, we used cloth napkins, fresh garden flowers, sandwiches, fruits, chips, popsicles, and tie-dying shirts. It was a blast we might do more of this during this summer. 

Chickens were bit frazzled with all the excitement in our yard, they did not mind the occasional feed of watermelon rinds from their friends. 

Tie-dying is super easy, we can’t wait to see our end product, unfortunately it does take some time to absorb the dye to the fullest. We decided to wear them on the same day so we can take few pictures! Nicolette went to bed early, and was super excited and gave me a super tight hug and thanked me! It was a great day for her!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dear Chickens

Our young chickens get handle a lot by my little Nicolette, she adores them as she name them with her friends name. Over time she has change few names, I guess she has observed them and name them according to their character. Which makes me laugh when I listen to her rattles. She some times treat them as her friends. 

Very recently I was on the hammock outside dosing off, and It was a beautiful day. I could hear little Nicolette being so upset and telling one of the chickens “This is your home why can’t you go to your home, please let me help you to get to your home”

I woke up, sure enough one chicken is roaming in the garden enjoying the chase and Nicolette was crying. She was asks not to take them out and if she does she is responsible to get them back in their coop. 

I did helped her te get the young chiken back inside the coop and wiped her tears. She was happy, the lesson here is she understood that it is better to take them out if some is watching her. Mainly we do not have a fence around our yard. These chickens bring so much fun to our yard we love them dearly. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rose Beds

I have been neglecting this area in our garden mainly because I have being busy. As you can see some of these bushes could use a trim. Crab grass and weeds have been ruling our roses since spring. 

I keep postponing the work schedule mainly I cant get to focus on weeding this year. The roses keep blooming in this poor condition and inviting me to get a handle of this area. I will soon one of this day. 

Perhaps that will be a good excuse for me to buy few more bushes to add to this area. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Raised beds are going to get a generous amount of compost from our compost pile. I am very excited it worked I had my doubts on this project because we have been adding our kitchen scraps diligently everyday, but I did not see anything happening. I wanted it to be split and move bit further to the front, and this is what I got when I got home from a class. It was a fun day!

Now that the compost is already turned it is time to add it to vegetable beds. I am not totally done working  with this. We have few more things to add around this box. We totally love our compost area.  I know we had to limit items we add to it, because of the space issues and had to haul some to the dump such as clippings and leaves in the fall but not any more! 

Now that we have chicken we get to add more to the compost and our soil can be enriched with compost. Some areas in our yard can use compost seriously. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Few Spots that Caught My Eye

Whenever I take a stroll in our yard there are few spots that really caught my eye depending on what is growing. In early spring I love the beautiful faces of pansies and violas merging through other plants.