Monday, November 24, 2014






This year Niegel had run two 5K’s before Thanksgiving. I volunteered for one at the campus and the other was at our town. Both of us decided that could be our tradition before Thanksgiving. We usually plant bulbs after Thanksgiving it was a tradition that we have kept for two years. 

This year we decided that we would make an attempt to run at least one 5K. If we can’t run we will attempt to walk. In addition to this we make a donation to the local food pantry. 

November is a month that we are conscious to be thankful to simple things around us including our own family members. I enjoy taking part in these activities with my children. 


Little Nicolette has been asking me to buy her sneakers so she could run a with her brother. I promised her that we are going to participate the FrostyK.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wide Rice Noodles







I remember when I was a kid I would ask my mother to make noodles. It was such a big preparation, because it needed vegetables to thinly cut and cook the meat. Getting all the ingredients together was a such a big task. I can recall to this day I was so eager to help her to make this dish because it was one of my favorite; which my mother prepared. No one to this day was able to make this lovely dish for me, but I am not complaining glad that I can cook. 

I decide to make this one pot meal to my children. The feedback is not so great but I know they liked it. My oldest really liked this because it includes his favorite meat and fish. I have make my own twists to this but still stick to the main old recipe which was handed me to by my mom. I knew how to make this by watching and helping her. 

I feel like I always make this extra because it takes a long time to prep. 

Ingredients:
1 leek white and green part
1/4 of white cabbage
2 carrots thinly sliced as matchsticks
1 medium white onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 ripe tomato diced
choice of your meat chicken/pork/beef thinly sliced drizzled with soy sauce and extra sauce for cooking
shrimp coated with soy sauce
egg omelet cut into stripes
salted fish cut into thin small piece for frying (salted cod works fine)
1 pkt of wide rice noodles
Oil for frying and cooking
sesame oil
Chili oil 

Add two tablespoons of oil to a big wok and fry the salted cod and place aside. Add beef with soy sauce to the pan and cook until  brown and turn over to cook the other side. Once this is cooked move to another bowl. Cook shrimp  and set a side. Basically cook meats and the omelet and set a side. To the same pan add two more tablespoons of cooking oil and brown the ginger and garlic mixture. To this add the carrots, cabbage, and leeks white and the green part. Cook the vegetables until they are wilted then add all the cooked meat including the omelet. Do not add salted fried fish at this point. Mix them well and add the noodles. At this point drizzle some soy, sesame, and chili oil to the mixture and add the salted fried fish and serve hot.








Sunday, November 9, 2014

Planting Garlic


I skipped planting garlic last year for no apparent reason. I knew I was disappointed that the first year when I planted them I did not get any garlic scapes. This is the reason number one I did not plant them last year. Garlic scapes are simply beautiful and elegant. I would arrange them as flower arrangement because for me they are so much full of character. I use to buy them from the farmers market when I was a resident in the state of VA. 

So this year, I decided to go to town with panting garlic. I bought few bulbs from the store and ordered few from an online seed company. They came from west coast so I do have my doubts on them. We will see how well they are going to do in this east coast climate. 


I am planting five varieties this year including a hard neck which is bound to give to garlic scapes. The varieties include Elephant Garlic, Regular soft neck garlic, Harry’s Italian Late, Rosewoods, Broad Leaf Czech soft neck.  I will be panting them soon. We have dedicated a raise bed only for garlic this year. I am very keen on Elephant Garlic, I don't know for what I might use it yet. The store kind wont produce any scapes for sure I know this from practice, but I am eager to see what will happen to the elephant garlic will it produce any scape, or not? The other kinds are from a certified organic farm which gives some informations about its characters. Have to wail till mid June to find the results. I might not have to buy garlic from the grocery store who knows… 

Monday, November 3, 2014

 


Above is a picture of our garden before we decided to pull all our green tomatoes. Yes, with some help before everything freezers we thought it was a good idea to pull our tomato plants and add them to the compost. The result, I ended up with so many green tomatoes. Again I have not make fried green tomatoes. Because I have been making salsas and chutneys. 

First I made a batch of green tomato chutney then salsa and then chutney again. That is exactly how I finished all our green tomatoes. One reason not to have fried green tomatoes. I have not yet, open any of my chutneys. Mainly I think it needs some curing time to get all the flavors to blend in.

That being said we had our first snow showers this past weekend, and our chicken did layed eggs on that day. I think we have two ladies on the clock laying eggs for us. Yeah!!! For the Rhode Island Reds they are the best layers. 


Back to green tomatoes, This years salsa has some extra heat from habanero chillies and jalapeños. I have been using the left overs to add heat to curries and sambols we make constantly to keep us warm. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pear Vanilla Jam...





It is the season for pears, apples, pumpkins, and in few months oranges. I remember couple of weeks back we had too many pears in our fruit bowl and some were getting bruised. Pears are one of my favorite fruit next to figs. Yes, I love figs but I don't get to enjoy them a much. Mainly I have not found a good reliable source to get good figs to enjoy. I have not found them in huge quantities to jam them yet. I am being hopeful that one day I might. 

I decided to jam my batch of pears. We love it. I followed a recipe from “Food in Jars” which I have come to love very much. It was a great recipe amazingly I had everything I needed at my finger tips. That is a one reason to can. Second reason I have become extremely sensitive to throwing food away. I enjoy donating to the local food pantry whenever I can. I am big on donating during Thanksgiving month which I get to do a lot. I have notice that I use all my produce before going to the grocery store more often. 


I know Marisa, the canning queen is working on a, more of a smooth textured jam on pears. But I do like the texture in this and the combination of pears and vanilla, it is almost equal to heaven, Yes, it is that good. I will be baking more homemade wheat breads this winter to spread this delicious jam. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Posting...



























I feel a bit unbalance not making any entries in my blog. We have been so busy lately mainly running around to get things done during weekends. When I look back my blog entries for me are collection of activities I get to get done. One day I can look back at my energy level, and say ah yes, I remember I use to work on this project a lot. Not that I am not making any projects but something gets in the way. 

I promise to myself I will be blogging more in 2015. I will continue to blog for the rest of this year as well. That is a promise I am going to make for myself and I dearly hope that I will be able to make it.

That being said this, I wanted blog a bit about this past weekend. It was a bit crazy weekend for us actually on a second thought it was a lot more crazy weekend, events, cooking, meets, and fair play time. I was toasted on Sunday and decided to do nothing. Which I could say, that I spent one entire day doing nothing, watching movies with my children, connecting with teenage friends, and a bit of reading. 


I like to think having few minutes a day to blog will make my schedule more organized so I can still keep a somewhat detailed record of my activities to look back in later years. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tomato and Peach Jam,

This is my second year of making jam, I guess you become more seasoned as you go along. I had few tomatoes from the garden and two peaches sitting on my fruit bowl almost mocking at me. 

I hate to throw away vegetables, and I have become really good at not practicing to waste food. 

I know as I write there are many countries cannot have access to fresh water and fruits and vegetables. I use to toss vegetables all the time but I have become a better person. 

I happy to have our flock, so somedays nothing goes to waste. Back to jam, recipe I followed is from Food in Jars, but I add two peaches to this jam and cook the living daylight out of this batch of tomatoes and two peaches. I slightly burn a bit as well, which I am not that happy though. 


I have to admit, the final product with some undertones of peach is just divine on a piece of toast. I tried a bit on baked fish it was delicious.