Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Eat Your Colors: Curry Zoodle Soup Recipe

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This collage of colorful fruits and vegetables just screamed, “TAKE my picture!”

So I did. And then I cooked them all. That’s what they get for drawing attention to their beauty. A healthy diet is a colorful diet. So to this food art, I added a few more things to make curry noodle soup. Yummy!

 

Curry Zoodle Soup

2 T. vegetable oil

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. ground turmeric

Saute’ over high heat, about 1 minute, stirring the whole time.

 

Gently add:

4 cups chicken broth

1-15 oz. can coconut milk

5-6 cups cubed butternut squash

1 sliced red pepper

1 sliced onion

Bring to boiling, reduce heat, and cook until squash is soft (about 15 minutes).

 

Add:

1 med. zucchini, zoodled

1 bag or half a plastic container of fresh spinach, stems removed

Juice of 1 lime

Heat 5 minutes. Stir well. Serve over cooked and shredded chicken breast.

 

This soup is so fragrant and tasty. You can also add any other favorite veggies (pea pods, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower). Good thing there’s plenty more for tomorrow!


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Weeds Are Winning (Gardening Gone Bad)

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A hectic summer schedule has provided ample time for weeds to take over the garden.

Despite some attempts at control, a busy travel itinerary leaves much to be desired in the ‘finding edible items in the garden’ category. Is everything growing? Yes! All experiments and plant combinations are thriving with unbridled passion.

But alas, the weeds have accepted the challenge and are rising to the top, willy-nilly.

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Enter gardening goal: Fill to overflowing one wheelbarrow full of weeds each day I am home. At this rate, the garden will look spectacular by October 1.

Gardening gone bad, you lose!

Until then, we play garden hide-and-seek for prized veg and fruit.

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Monday Mouthfuls – Breakfast Sandwiches

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We love breakfast sandwiches! Or at least I used to, before cleaning up my diet. But my honey still enjoys taking a break from muesli and yogurt to eat a yummy protein-rich breakfast sandwich. I make these at home, usually 3 at a time. They freeze very well and he can pop one in the microwave any day he feels like a little something different. The filling possibilities are endless.

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Whole Wheat Egg, Ham, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients:

3 whole wheat English muffins

3 slices ham (we prefer thinner slices)

3 slices cheddar cheese (Swiss or pepper jack are also great)

3 eggs

black pepper

olive oil

Dijon mustard

plastic wrap

ziplock bags

 

Directions:

1. Toast the English muffins. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on each sandwich. Place open-faced on a cutting board.

2. Layer ham and cheese on one half of each muffin, cheese is on top.

3. Fry the eggs in olive oil, liberally doused with black pepper. For freezing, cook the eggs all the way through. For immediate consumption, a runnier yolk is fine.

4. Place one egg on top of each cheesy muffin. The egg will melt the cheese. Leave open-faced to cool. Unless you are eating right now, then close it up and enjoy!

***If you want, quickly place eggs on a folded paper towel to remove excess oil, then add to sandwich.

5. For freezing, let sandwiches cool completely. Add muffin tops and wrap snuggly in plastic wrap. I also like to put mine in sandwich ziplock bag. Pop in the freezer until time to eat. Rewarm in the microwave.

Delish!

Other things to add: baby kale or spinach, turkey, onions, sausage patties, bacon, different mustards. For fresh sandwiches (not frozen) you can add tomato slices, thinly sliced zucchini, mushrooms, or any other fresh veggie from the garden.

The sky is the limit! Or should I say the amount of space between muffin top and bottom and what you can hold together in your hands is the only limit. 🙂

Bon appétit!

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What’s Growing in the Garden?

Strawberries, raspberries, lavender, and radishes fresh from the garden.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

What’s growing in the garden? I mean besides cat fur.

The strawberries are slowing down and I think ready for a big break to build up their energy. Whoa! This was the most prolific strawberry (also known as strawbabies and beebes around our house) harvest I have ever had. Not counting the minimal loss from slugs, sow bugs, ants, and raiding grandchildren.

Raspberries are coming on! Beautiful, tasty, sweet-tart lovely bursts of flavor – be still my heart. I love me some raspberries (also known as raspbabies and beebes at our house).

My miniscule crop of French radishes is nearing readiness for being pulled up, roots and all. I planted a roasting pan with radishes in hopes of avoiding above mentioned pests who annually decimate my peppery red and white treats. Take that, you vermin! Today Donavyn and I pulled up a few to check for size. And we gobbled them all up, just like Goldilocks ate Baby Bear’s porridge. Just right.

Lavender, one of my favorite flowering herbs, is starting to bloom strong. I haven’t seen many bees this spring, so I am pleased the purple blossoms are attracting several from somewhere. If only a swarm would descend in our area and we could capture it . . .

As always, parsley, thyme, dill, and sage are available free of charge to any and all. The sunflowers look like they will put on a great show in another couple of weeks. Birds delight, but beware the two slinking gray girls who blend in to the bricks and sand beneath your dinner table.

One of my failures this year is okra. I really wanted to grow some for my mom who grew up in Missouri. I’ve done 3 plantings, and there is nothing to be had but munched sprouts. I guess they taste good?

I’ve also done multiple plantings of echinacea, or cone flowers, for the bees and butterflies. This last batch is finally showing promise. I may just have to buy half grown plants.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row.

There is always a furry body helping me. This one particularly loves to sleep on the strawberries.

My friends, how does your garden grow?


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National Garden Week – 2nd Week in April

You have no idea how happy I am to see this many blooms on the blueberry bush! The weight of winter snow broke off at least half of the plant.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

 

Next week is National Garden Week –

the 2nd week of April.

Fading beauty. I’m so sad to see my tulip season conclude.

I am so onboard for this celebration. It’s time to plant my garden!

The strawberries are looking future-tasty.

Actually, I cheated. I’ve already started to plant seeds, since we are expecting highs in the mid to upper 80’s today, it may be past time for new sprouts. But I think that is a freak of too-hot-too-early weather and it should drop back to the 60-70’s.

Half planted beds. Waiting for seeds.

Here are some National Garden Week photos from my yard.

Garlic, parsley, and sage – all repeat visitors from last year. Plus a cat tail of one who wanted to be featured.

Oh, each new bud, flower, and sprout is so exciting.

We even planted a tree trunk for the cats to scratch and climb. It won’t grow…but it is part of our garden.

I’m already dreaming about tasty blueberries, sweet-tart strawberries, exquisite raspberries, and savory herbs and vegetables.

 

Dabbling to pretty-up a very hot corner of the yard.

Join me. Let’s celebrate our gardens.

 

The dogwood is just beginning to burst into bloom.

 I would love to see photos of your garden.