Garden Update (last one?)

>> Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our summer garden is winding down. However, Yardsnacker is working on prepping it for some winter gardening. Yeah, you read that right. A winter garden. Lettuce, kale, peas, and lots more. So while this may be my last post about our summer garden (or maybe one more, we'll see) you will still see some future garden posts throughout the winter.


We are still harvesting strawberries. I mean, like at least a couple of pints every two days. Most of the time they don't last the trip home. We just inhale eat them right there in the garden. Homegrown strawberries don't last long anyway before they start to get mushy after a few hours it seems so it's best to just eat right away. Just doing my part to make sure they don't go to waste (Caleb too).

YS2 snacking in the garden

YS2 snacking at home: The Aftermath

Maybe you know this but there are rules for growing strawberries in their first year. Like snip off the runners and don't harvest, all to encourage root development. Runners were kept under control but the harvesting...well, you see the evidence above. ha ha! Well worth it too!

Our artichokes really took off! We gave some to a neighbor but are going to let some go to seed. We've never grown them before so we're just experimenting a bit.

Some weed-wackin' going on in the background

We discovered a rogue striped beet so washed it up and gave it to YS2. Another snack he enjoyed. I love that he loves most foods we give him to try. I don't normally like raw beets myself unless they're juiced but I sampled our one beet and thought it was kinda tasty!


We've also harvested quite a few potatoes. I don't remember the varieties that were planted but I do know that homegrown potatoes taste über delish! They're great in stews and hold up really well (not all mushy).

Here's a bucket o'taters - please excuse the sour candy wrapper in there. It's not ours (honest!). I just didn't get it to the trash before snapping this pic. Notice the jalapenos in there too. And a couple carrots.

What's up doc?

We got PUMPKINS! Not the orangey jack-o-lantern kind but they are huge (seriously, camera does not do it justice). Last I checked, there were at least four big ones (twss) and a few more smaller ones. I think we'll have full bellies throughout the winter from these alone. I also think we'll be making all kinds of pumpkin things - ideas welcome.


One thing I love about community gardening are the friendly and giving people. Most are willing to share their abundance. Or make you things. One gardener harvested our lavender (it's been harvested 3-4 times now and just keeps blooming!) and made us some salve. She also gave us these:

lemon cucumbers

Again, YS2 loves these cucumbers! I do too. Very refreshing - typical cuke. ;) Julia of Easy Eco to Go recently talked about these on her blog. Cute little things don't ya think? Maybe next year we'll grow our own.

Another thing I love about gardening, or just being outdoors is looking UP. The sky is so beautiful and I love seeing the birds (besides the thousands of crows) soaring above. I get to see eagles and hawks and sometimes cranes (blue heron maybe?) and many other beautiful birdies. But besides the flying critters, the clouds and sun always amaze me.


One thing I will say that I don't like about gardening or summer, my favorite season, for that matter (I can't believe I just wrote that) is ALLERGIES! Holy [bleep] they suck! We narrowed it down to what it is I'm allergic to. Chenopods. Dummy me, I was manhandling them, not knowing what they were, admiring their flowers (hey, look how pretty!) while I was picking strawberries. Yeah, not good.

Lil YS2 is a wonderful garden helper. Okay, maybe not exactly helping but he loves to be there and go exploring, which means a very dirty boy by the time all is said and done!

Look what I found mama!

And can't forget some piggies! These are dirty garden piggies on their way home. Tis a good day when that happens.


Speaking of piggies though. I cannot for the life of me get shoes on this boy! One of his online aunties (hi Lisa! if you're reading this) gave him a pair of red Chuck's when he was born. For the longest time, his feet were too small for shoes but now, he wants nothing to do with them. And when I can sort of get them on he curls his toes. Anyway, "i has a sad" because these shoes no longer fit and he never wore them. Aren't they so Caleb though?


Well, time to put this post to rest, much like our summer garden. But there are those pumpkins and strawberries. A few more left to pick I'm sure. Winter gardening awaits. But for now, ta ta!

A few more gems

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Good Eats with a Side of Crabbiness

>> Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hey there! Thank you for all your sweet comments on my "brag" video - the one of YS2 talking and laughing. He is our pride and joy and truly a dream baby in so many ways so once in awhile I just have to show him off. Thanks for allowing me to do that. I try not to get carried away by doing it all the time here but you'll still see some pics of him and maybe the occasional video too. I just don't want to do it too much that you'll go ugh, not another one! ha ha! You wouldn't do that though, would you? :)

Switching gears, I gotta gripe. I complained about this next topic on twitter recently so here's my question for you: have you ever won a giveaway in which you didn't receive your prize as promised (or expected)? It happened to me and I have to say it makes me a little crabby and disappointed.

I supposedly "won" something four months ago from a blogger who's sponsor was an Etsy shop owner. The blogger failed to follow up on it (I emailed her 3-4 separate times about it, got apologies and excuses on behalf of the etsy person) so now here I am four months later with still no prize for me. Actually for YS2.


I just think it's pretty lame. I feel that if you're going to host a giveaway there has to be some responsibility on the part of the blogger. I know sometimes things happen but hopefully, the blogger can prove they've done all they can to ensure the item gets in the right hands. Probably easier to track and follow up on with actual companies vs an independent person. I had been reassured that the etsy person was working on my handmade item and that I would be getting it soon. Uh yeah. Didn't happen. So I sent a "just forget it" email the other day to the blogger (I was nice but expressed my disappointment) - not an apology or any word from this person in return. Double lame.

I won't say who it is - I have a feeling most of you don't even know of this blog so no harm done there but I know I won't be entering any more of their giveaways! Don't worry, they're not on my blogroll (anymore) so you won't click there by mistake via my blog.

Anyway, I think I've griped enough...moving on...

I made Nelly's sesame crusted tofu the other day along with some Asian salad. Yum yum is all I gots to say 'bout dat.


On the tofu, I didn't have shoyu so I used Bragg's instead (thanks to twitter peeps answering my question if I could use it in place of). In the pic, you might notice I ran short with the sesame seeds - still yummers. I loved it and snarfed it (YS2 got a few bites and he loved it too). So thanks Nelly!

Oh, and I didn't burn it or anything else for that matter. Yay! Glad that many of you had stories of kitchen mishaps to share. I wasn't alone.

For the slaw with peanut dressing, I used two cabbages, green and purple, green onions, red bell pepper, and carrots. Salads like these though, you can put in whatever you want.

Peanut dressing (adapted from allrecipes.com)
6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
5 tbsp EVOO
5 tbsp creamy peanut butter or almond butter
3 tbsp nama shoyu/tamari/Bragg's/coconut aminos/soy sauce
3 tbsp sucanat/turbinado sugar/brown sugar
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
2+ cloves minced garlic

Blend well, pour on salad, mix it all up and enjoy! Makes lots of salad but we enjoy the leftovers.

I also finally made socca! That is purty tasty! Sorry, no pic - we were too hungry and dug right in. I made it for another batch of lentil soup Sam made; went great with it.

If you're looking for recipes for socca/farinata I know the Twins and Nelly have both posted them, and I'm sure there are many others who have too. In fact, check out Lori and Michelle's lastest stellar socca creation. Holey moley!

My first attempt at socca was savory. I added in oregano only because that's what we had. I baked it a bit too long so we had crispy edges but we actually liked it all the same. I'd like to try it with onion and rosemary. But, I also want to try the sweetened versions that Lori and Michelle have experimented with.

Anyway, I highly recommend if you haven't jumped on the socca wagon yet. :)

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WINNER: CSN Stores $100 Gift Certificate

>> Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Thanks to everyone who entered - some of you were even die-hard tweeters!

I'm not sure how to properly capture the result window (tried ALT+PrtScn but it didn't work - not very well anyway) so I took a picture. :)


Congrats to eeeks!!

Their winning entry: eeeks 08/19/2010 07:49 PM

                              I love that they carry eco-friendly luggage. I suddenly think I need a new set! :-)

Eeeks, you have 48 hours to respond to my email. CSN Stores will provide you with an electronic gift certificate to use at any of their 200+ online stores. Happy shopping!

Thanks again, everyone! Be on the lookout for future reviews and giveaways.

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My Sweet Baby

>> Monday, August 23, 2010

Okay, today's post does not have to do with raw vegan foods, nothing to do with a fabulous find or healthy info. Instead it's all about my baby boy, lil Yardsnacker II (Caleb).

YS2 is 15.5 months old now and learning to talk. This video is him showing off his new vocabulary. Plus some kisses to share.

Hope you enjoy!



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Fruityliciousness

>> Friday, August 20, 2010

You gotta love summer. Summer is all about seasonal fruits and veggies and lately we’ve been having our share of fruityliciousness (like that made up word?).

Okay, this post isn’t going to be revealing anything new and might be more exciting to me than to you. In fact, Lauren just did a fruity post so I almost feel like I’m being copycat but really, I had intentions of doing this post before I knew she was (not saying she was copying me either) but apparently we were on the same fruity wavelength so here’s to great minds thinking alike (*wink*)

Baby was getting hot so getting some yummy juicy fruit was a top priority! He's really not crabby as he looks but he was getting a little hot in the car. A/C to the rescue!


We picked up some organic champagne grapes. They’re so cute! A little tedious picking them off because they’re so little but they are soooo delicious! So sweet and flavorful. Of course, YS2 loved them. Perfect size and texture for him (softer skin than regular grapes).

Half gone:


All gone:


Excuse the play-by-play of grapes, I just thought the empty vine looked cool.

Organic local cherries. Pricey so we don’t splurge on these often but so tasty! Another YS2-approved fruit. (Sorry for the blurs)


We picked up a Tuscan melon, or what we thought was a Tuscan melon. Turns out no. They were either misplaced or mismarked melons so the one we picked up was either a honeydew or something similar. Whatever it was, YS2 LOVED it! He ate a whole HALF! There’s an oxymoron for ya.


There was lots of organic watermelon too; another fave around here. No pics but I'm sure you know what a watermelon looks like.

So YS2 had been eyeing this apple on the counter and finally I let him have it. The whole apple. He knew exactly what to do with it.


Aren’t those bites so cute?!

YS2 and I went for a walk in our neighborhood where I spotted some blackberries. Blackberries around here grow wild. I mean, there is absolutely no need for you to grow your own. Take a hike/walk anywhere and you’ll find blackberry bushes galore.

I’m not a fan of blackberries (yeah, I know, another one of those weird things about me) but I picked them for YS and YS2. I have no idea if the ones I picked were ripe. Most came off the vine easily though.


Here I sacrificed my hand for a berry.


See those little thorns? Ouchie!


When YS2 and I got back from our walk, I began working on my lone task YS left me to do while he was gone: cook lentils. No big deal right? Just turn on the pot and cook till done.

Uh yeah…look what happened…


Hee hee! Major whoops! One of our bamboo cutting boards was left on the stove; guess which burner I mistakenly turned on?

All this smoke was just billowing out from under it and filling up our house! It was awful! I opened up every window and door to get the smoke out. Smelled like we’d been camping. I’m sure our neighbors were wondering who was cooking burning what. Our house still smells like we’d been camping. But like Bitt pointed out, at least it wasn’t plastic. Yes, thank goodness for that. Reasons to be more raw dontcha think?! ha ha! Kitchen misfit that I am.

By the way, dinner turned out awesome (lentil stew) and this is no thanks to me. I managed to do my job of cooking the lentils (after burning up everything first) but the rest was done by YS. And thankfully, the house is still standing.

By the way x 2, I'd share the stew recipe but I have no idea how hubby made it! Other than it began in an iron pot and had homegrown potatoes in it. Mmm...

Anyway, lesson learned: PAY ATTENTION!

Before I end this thought-provoking post (ha!), I just want to remind you there's still time to enter the CSN Stores $100 gift certificate giveaway. Click here.

Now, I leave you with a complimentary pic of some cute lil piggies, courtesy of you know who. :)


Have a happy Friday!

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Giveaway: 100 buckaroos from CSN Stores! {CLOSED}

>> Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yes, you read that title correctly. I’m giving away another $100 online gift certificate to CSN Stores to use at any one of their 200+ stores, like upholstered headboards.


Maybe you'd like a hammock for lounging in the summer sun while eating grapes, or shop for some baby stuff for your own little one or for someone else. Of course, there are back to school supplies too for all the kiddos excited to be going back soon (ha!). For me though, I like to peruse the kitchen stuff; a mandoline would be cool.

Wasn’t too long ago I gave away a CSN Stores $100 gift certificate to one lucky winner so I was happy when CSN Stores contacted me again for another opportunity for another winner. Could it be you?!


Before you get all excited and skip to the comments to enter, let’s talk RULES.

*Must be a resident of US or Canada to be eligible. Sorry international folks, really I am.
*Please please please DO NOT comment on CSN’s Facebook page!!!!! (extra exclamation points for emphasis)
*Must provide a valid email address to contact you with; winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
*Only valid entries posted below will count so please follow entry rules carefully (meaning, I will not be held responsible if you don’t *wink*).
*Be sure to do the mandatory entry. Doesn’t have to be done first; it just has to be done otherwise any extra entries will not count.

To enter:

Mandatory:
     ~Visit CSN Stores and then come back and tell me something you like. (1 entry)

Optional:
(leave a separate comment for each entry; if entry counts as more than one, please leave that number of entries)
     ~Follow @CSN Stores on twitter (1 entry)
     ~Like CSN Stores on Facebook [reminder: do not comment on their fan page per FB policies] (1 entry)
     ~Follow me, @HiHoRosie, on twitter (1 entry)
     ~Tweet this giveaway:  Enter to win a $100 gift cert to @CSNstores via @hihorosie ‘s blog! Ends Wed, 8/25. http://is.gd/eioRx  (1 entry for each tweet)
     ~Follow me via GFC (1 entry)
     ~Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS feed (2 entries)
     ~Blog this giveaway with a link back here (5 entries)
     ~Name a health benefit of kale (1 entry)

Giveaway ends Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 at 9:00 PM (Pacific Time). Winner will be selected at random. Reminder: winner will have 48 hours to respond.

Good luck!

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All Hail to Kale!

>> Monday, August 9, 2010

King Kale that is.

Are you in need of some vitamin K, A or C? Well, King Kale has got a boatload for you! It’s got so many great health properties (i.e. cancer-fighting) which I won’t get into now assuming you already know about them. But did you know that its leaves become sweeter from a little frost bite? Obviously, not going to be happening now with summer but you know. Note for the future. You're welcome. :)

As previously mentioned, I bought some local kale bunches in hopes of making chips. Well, I did. Yay me!

I made some cheesy ones courtesy of Averie.

I mixed them up (I added some cayenne to the cheesy goodness):


Put them in the dehydrator:


And then…they never made it out. It was like *poof*! They disappeared. Yeah, so no pics. Ha ha! Guess that should tell ya they were that good. Thanks Averie!

I made another batch of kale chips; this time courtesy of Ani (chipotle ones from her new book [awesome book btw - get a copy if you don't already!]).

Sorry – I forgot to take pics. Just imagine all those pretty green leaves fresh from the D.

I didn’t like these as much for some reason. I liked the mixture well enough (sweet and spicy = yum!) but I think I just like cheesy chips better when it comes to kale. I bet I would love this mixture on zucchini. I like my zucchini chips made simply with EVOO, garlic, and sea salt but I don’t like my kale chips that way. Anyway, just a thought.

Maybe next time I’ll do a combo of the two by adding in chipotle to the cheese (instead of or in addition to the cayenne I added - ???) for extra cheesy goodness.

Question: has anyone made a cheesy mixture using another nut besides cashew? I tend to make my cheesy dips with a cashew/macadamia combo but I never seem to have enough cashews around here (or macs for that matter) and I have some brazil nuts that could be used up. I don’t want to make something (aka experiment) and have it turn out to be gross or weird. I’ll save myself the hassle if someone’s already done it for me. :)

Now, I need to go back to the u-pick farm for some more kale. I need more cowbell chips! Hopefully, we can discipline ourselves by not eating them before they’re done and actually have some to share or enjoy for a couple days. Ha ha! Yeah. Good one.

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