Weeds, Thunder, and Crunchy Bean Soup.

SONY DSCThe weeds are out of control. Friday and Saturday Greyson and I tackled some of what has been taking over our garden. It’s cyclical…I’ve come to accept that for the sake of my sanity.SONY DSC

We had a pretty nice thunderstorm roll in Sunday afternoon. It started while I was reading my latest book (very insightful by the way!) tucked under a blanket with a cup of tea.

The pounding on the metal roof woke Greyson up from his afternoon nap. This was his third serious thunderstorm in his entire life (I wrote about the first one over a year ago!)

So a thorough lesson about thunder and lightning were absolutely necessary….so his uncertain wide eyes, that followed the boom and grumble, would be calmed.

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Grey came home with a coconut water for Greyson, a kombucha for himself, and a 72% dark chocolate bar for me….yum. ;)SONY DSCWe moved our seedlings inside and ate the bean, sausage, and vegetable soup I made in our crockpot…. before the beans were completely finished cooking. Delicious…and crunchy?

That one may need to be refined a bit. ;)SONY DSC

Happy Monday, friends.

Love, Grey & Brianna

Up Close and Personal with Springtime Things.

SONY DSCIt’s here! Happy Spring!!! We have been so busy in the garden getting everything ready by tending the tiny plants that will be full bloom/production by summer.

We’ve harvested our first spring radishes, and gotten almost all of our planting underway. It’s nice to step back (or step in really close) and enjoy the progress so far. Here’s a close look around at some pretty springtime things….

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sage

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chives
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lavender

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SONY DSCRight now, most everything is in tiny sprout form,with the exception of our fava beans, radishes, onions, leeks, garlic, chives, sage, lavender, and the pretty little flowers I planted right outside our kitchen window. I’ll be posting an updated look around the vegetable garden later this month.

Happy spring, friends.

Love, Grey & Brianna

Our First Spring Radishes.

SONY DSCTwo days ago, we harvested our first spring radishes. We, of course, could have waited until these baby radishes were a tad larger….but we were just too excited ;)

These are “purple plum” radishes…super mild, and somewhat sweet. We left the rest in the ground to pick fresh over the next couple of weeks for salads…and snacks! :)

Happy (radish eating) days.

Love, Grey & Brianna

Lately.

SONY DSCSt. Patrick’s Day correspondence.That green paint can also be found on our floors, bar stools, clothes,  and cabinets…courtesy of the little mitt pictured above.

SONY DSC. Someone discovered his shadow a few weeks ago. Priceless entertainment…for the both of us. SONY DSCThey (our seedlings)….

SONY DSChave….taken over.SONY DSC

Our kitchen table? A shuffling ordeal between us and the tomatoes plants at mealtime.SONY DSCEarly Sunday mornings=pancake breakfasts. <3

SONY DSCSpring is officially here in three days, and I’ve got planting fever already.

Happy almost spring!

Love, Grey & Brianna

 

 

Apple Glazed Corned Beef

SONY DSCWe don’t do a lot for St. Patrick’s Day in our house. There may be a few crafts and special recipes, but that is about it…. the corned beef is the star of the holiday though. We only make it once a year so it’s kind of a big deal ;).SONY DSC

I remember my mom making it every year and serving it with yellow mustard. I loved this as a kid. Not much has changed. I still enjoy corned beef, around this time of year.

A couple of years ago we made, a not as traditional recipe St. Patrick’s Day recipe and swapped the cabbage for brussels sprouts, Grey asked me to do it this year, but I wanted to have a slightly traditional meal, so I roasted cabbage instead.SONY DSC

This is our favorite recipe for corned beef so far. The apples and the Dijon pair so well with the saltiness of the corned beef. A lot of apple glazes are made with apple jelly, but we used apple butter just to amp up the richness. SONY DSCThe apples that top the beef have a hint of nutmeg, which to me definitely puts this meal into the “holiday” category. :)

Serve with steamed carrots, oven roasted potatoes, and roasted cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. :)

Apple Glazed Corned Beef 

Ingredients: 

Corned Beef: 

1 corned beef brisket (2 lbs), with spice packet

Glaze:

1 cup apple butter

4 tablespoons dijon mustard

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup red wine

Apple Garnish:

2 cooking apples

8 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup water

Directions:

Place the brisket and spice packet in a large pot, and cover with water. Over high heat, bring the pot to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer slowly for about 3 hours, or until very tender when tested with a fork.

Meanwhile,, mix the glaze ingredients together and set aside.

When the meat is done, remove it from the pot and drain. Place the meat in an oven proof serving dish and pour the glaze over the top to coat  beef. Bake for 30 minutes or until glaze is browned.

While the beef is in the oven, core the apples. Slice to desired thickness. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add apple slices, sauté until browned about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar to the skillet and stir until it dissolves. Add the water and nutmeg, bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Remove the meat from the oven slice against the grain of the meat. Place brisket on a heated platter. Garnish with apples and sauce.

Love, Grey & Brianna

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Roasted Cabbage

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!SONY DSC I know cabbage is usually cooked with the corned beef, but we really enjoy having our cabbage or (brussels sprouts) roasted separately. It seems to not fill your home with same pungent cabbage smell…if you know what I mean ;). SONY DSCCooking it separately, allows the cabbage to have it’s own separate flavor from the corned beef (that’s why we roast our potatoes as well.)SONY DSC

We usually cut our cabbage into wedges, season it up and roast it until it is tender and yummy, throughout cabbage season.

I love recipes that are super simple, only a few ingredients, because it allows the produce to really be the star, not to mention it’s time effectiveness. ;) Happy cabbage eating day…

Roasted Cabbage

Ingredients:

1 head of cabbage, sliced into steaks, or into wedges (we prefer wedges)

olive oil

salt

pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle a little olive oil over the surface. Lay cabbage on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast cabbage for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Love, Grey & Brianna

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Oven-Roasted Potatoes

SONY DSCPotatoes are best eaten straight out of the garden. Like tomatoes, store-bought and homegrown potatoes just do not come close to being of the same quality. We just planted potatoes and don’t have any ready for our St. Patrick’s Day feast. :( So…I bought some reds to make this recipe. We pretty much like every type of potato, but yukons and reds are our favorite for roasting.SONY DSC

Of course, just like in our rustic potato and leek soup, we leave the skins on; however, you could peel them–if that is what you prefer. We are making these for our St. Patrick’s day dinner of corned beef and cabbage (with potatoes and carrots!). Hope you enjoy them!

SONY DSCOven Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:

10 medium red potatoes

¼ cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

garlic powder, to taste

paprika, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil. Slice the potatoes to ½ inch thick pieces. Put the slices into a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil, and toss to coat well. Place the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Put the baking sheet in the preheated oven, and bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Flip the potatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Roast for another 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.

Love, Grey & Brianna 

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Tiny Sprouts.

SONY DSCIs there anything that says “spring is almost here” more than tiny vulnerable sprouts? Our radish sprouts that I mentioned in this post, are practically teenagers, but we’ve got the cutest brand new tomato and ground cherry sprouts that just arrived a few days ago.

SONY DSC They join us for dinner every night on our kitchen table, because right now our kitchen is also our greenhouse…pretty handy huh? ;)SONY DSC

It’s hard to believe that Easter is less than once month away! I just put out some Easter things that my grandma sent me that she used to set out around this time of year when I was little.SONY DSC

Every morning Greyson asks me twist  the knob on a sweet music box that plays “here comes Peter Cottontail…hopping down the bunny trail…” SONY DSC Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about:

….the newness that this time of year brings.The tiny little light green oak leaves pushing through the branches on very old oak trees around our house remind me of that….

…the meaning and magnificence of the resurrection…..

…..giving my house a fresh new start with my bi-annual cleaning routine…

….and a whole lot about Greyson and our little sprout that will be here in 12 weeks! SONY DSC

This time of year is a reminder that all things can be made new.

*Blessings!*

Love, Grey & Brianna

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

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Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread French Toast

SONY DSCAll the talk of healthy soda bread yesterday, just for this: a less than healthy syrupy breakfast treat. That’s what the omission of sugar and the addition of whole wheat flour are for, though…right?SONY DSC

In all seriousness this can be kept light if you just top this Irish Soda Bread with fresh fruit, homemade plum jam, or home canned cherries. We like 100% maple syrup in our house because, after all, this is a treat!SONY DSC

This would be a great breakfast for St. Patrick’s day morning. It’s traditional and sure to be a hit with the kiddos…or those french toast loving adults, like myself. ;)SONY DSC

Hope all is going well with you and yours.

Irish Soda Bread French Toast

Ingredients:

1 loaf Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

3 Tbsp butter

3 eggs

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

for topping:

100% maple syrup, raisins, berries, bananas, butter, powdered sugar…or whatever else you can dream up.

Directions:

Slice the Irish Soda Bread loaf into thick slices. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over low-medium and lightly grease with butter.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, and whisk together to break up the yolks.  Add the milk and cinnamon. Whisk to combine with the eggs.

Dip both sides of the Irish Soda Bread slices into  the milk, egg and cinnamon mixture. Transfer dipped bread onto top of the greased hot skillet  Keep on for 3-5 minutes and then flip the slice onto the other side. The top should be golden brown. If it is not, you may want to flip the slice back over until that side is fully browned to your liking.

Repeat for each slice and serve hot with desired topping.

Love, Grey & Brianna 

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Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread

SONY DSCHappy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day! I’m always looking an excuse Any type of bread is definitely a treat in our house! Traditional Irish soda breads use eggs, sugar, and/or butter in addition to the buttermilk and all-purpose flour. (My little sous chef loved helping me form the dough!)SONY DSC

I wanted to simplify the recipe and make it smidge healthier. This recipe uses whole wheat flour and only has five ingredients.. SONY DSCThe “soda” part of soda bread is from the acid in the buttermilk reacting with the baking soda,  creating bubbles of carbon dioxide which rise the bread. SONY DSCSo, the baking soda and buttermilk are a must for this bread! The greatest thing about starting with a healthier bread, is that it leaves room to dress it up in other ways ie: jam, butter, or the recipe I will be sharing tomorrow.) It is a fast bread to put together in the morning…for a special St. Patrick’s day breakfast. Enjoy!SONY DSC

 Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.

Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean the dough off your hand.

Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool, for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

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