Spring Blooms Eternal

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We met the neighbors and immediately determined that we were paying too much to hanging baskets for far too long.

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We were lucky enough to have our farm land on the west side of the state to transplant some gorgeous iris’ and hosta plants. Also we transplanted a bunch of daffodils. The verdict is out on them.

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This is our lawn mower. She was free and also a free spirit, meaning she works when she wants and frequently takes sick days.

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We were gifted with beautiful peppers and tomatoes by my step-dad who was nice enough to help us move in.

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And my Irish heritage proved true with our resounding potato crop.

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My furry friends never fail to remind me to take it easy and to take it one day at a time…

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A Six Month Hiatus; Summarized

It’s been a busy few months. I know people like to say that, but I feel that Michael and I have been truly BUSY these last few months!

Michael got a fantastic new job as a district manager for Taco Bell. He has been loving it so far and it is proving to be both fun and challenging for him. (He’s super excited to have this neon sign they were going to throw away. I was not impressed…)

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Also, we are officially home owners!!

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We will be moving to Columbiaville, MI in the next few weeks! The sellers spend their winters in Florida, so it took some time to coordinate them coming home, moving out, etc. But now it is springtime and it will be easier to move now anyway.

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The view from the front

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Michael’s favorite part; his very own man cave/workshop!

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It is on 10 acres and butts up to State Land. We’ve gotten up there a few times since the weather has gotten nice to explore the woods and get some shooting practice in before spring turkey season started. (Side note; no luck with turkey hunting again this season. We went to our farm land on the west side of the state and I literally had a Tom walk in front of me so closely that when I lifted up my gun I scared him and couldn’t get a shot…I can hardly even talk about it.)

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As I mentioned before, the sellers are still living in the house until later this month. But they were nice enough to be open to us coming up to start our garden for the year. We rented a rototiller last weekend and tilled up a large chunk of land.

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We planted some of our cold weather resistant plants like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

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Yesterday, we went up again and added some fertilizer. We bought 12 bags and it was barely enough!

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We are trying potatoes and onions for the first time this year too. I am excited to see how they turn out. We also put in seeds for carrots, okra, cucumber, watermelon and pumpkins. We will be going back over next weekend to put in a few more seeds we forgot to pick up at the store. We have started our tomatoes from seed at our other house but won’t be putting them in the ground until all chances of frost are behind us. We will also be digging up lots of our flowers and hostas at our current home to plant around the house as well.

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This is one of my favorite parts of the house! There are 3 STOCKED ponds full of bluegill and bass. Here are the two that you see driving up to the house and there is a deeper one in the backyard. We can’t wait to be officially moved in but has been fun gardening and dreaming about all the fun projects we could like to do on it. We feel unbelievable blessed and thankful and can’t wait to share lots of fun times with family and friends here soon!

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Late Fall Updates and Squash “Hashbrown” Casserole

Fall is almost at it’s close and winter is not shortly behind. Our little garden is mostly dead save a few lingering tufts of spinach and some of our more hearty herbs.

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As we turn our attention away from our garden harvest, Michael turns his focus on to harvests of other kinds…

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Don’t tell him I told you because I don’t want him to get cocky…but he’s a pretty great shot with a bow!

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His hunting gear getting that “earthy aroma…”

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We have a few lingerers from the garden. We got a few more spaghetti squash then we were planning on so we have been trying to get creative. I found a recipe on Pinterest for spaghetti squash “hashbrown” casserole that tasted very similar to Cracker Barrel’s potato version. 

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I halved one large-ish squash and a small one as well and scooped out the seeds.

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Place the halved squash in 1/4 inch of water and place in the microwave for 10-12 minutes

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Scrape out all of those glorious spaghetti squash bits! Mix in 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

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Bake in an oven set for 350 degrees for 15 minutes until bubbly hot…enjoy! 

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Fall Turkey Hunting: 2013

Sometimes when it comes to turkey hunting; you come out to be the turkey…

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We scouted…

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We set up our ground blind in a prime location where we found turkey feathers and  scratchings…

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We covered  ourselves in the best camo…

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“You can’t see me!!”

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We even rose before dawn! But, after several patient hours we were unable to call them in or get close enough to break them up and call them back.

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So, we took a few hour break to go eat Amish chicken and mashed ‘taters and pie in Middlebury before heading back to the woods.

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We pressed on….

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And while we didn’t get a turkey…

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I think I got an even better prize out of the deal….

We’re getting married!!!

October 2014 here we come!

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Four Days ‘Til our Fall Turkey Hunting Trip

Wish us luck! Any Fall Turkey Hunting words of wisdom?

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Canned Creamy Tomato Soup

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I can hear the old saying “be careful what you wish for…” every time I walk by our 20+ tomato plants. 

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This was about 2 days worth of fresh tomatoes. It looks like a lot, but surprisingly was just about 7lbs worth which is not enough to make many canned tomato recipes. But I found a recipe I modified for the crock pot online for Creamy Tomato Coup and thought that this amount would be just enough to try it as an experiment. I used regular tomatoes, Roma and Cherry for this recipe. 

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*This is not a low fat recipe*

Cut 4 Tbs off of a stick of unsalted butter.

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Dice up 1/2 an onion

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After you have quartered your ‘maters and removed the stems and cores, toss it all in your trusty crock-pot. Mine’s named Sally.

Salt generously and add pepper to taste. Let everything hang out in there for a good 4 hours or so.

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Warning: Your house WILL smell like heaven at this point. Neighbors may show up with flimsy excuses for why they are stopping by hoping to score a dinner invitation. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

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Blend your crock-pot mixture into a smooth consistency in SMALL BATCHES and a LOW SPEED. I’m not pointing any fingers but a certain someone might have done the opposite and ended up with a mess and a mildly burnt hand. Pour into wide-mouthed pint jars with about a half-inch of head space if preparing to can. 

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This yielded about 5 and a 1/2 pints for me. Process in a hot water bath for 40 minutes.

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Drink that little half pint remaining right out of the jar! 

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Pair it with a nice glass of Trader Joes cheapest boxed wine. Enjoy!

 

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Preserving Summer Herbs

What’s a gal to do when her cute little herb garden has gotten totally out of control?

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I’ve felt guilty and not very creative for using them so few times and not even coming close to using them up! Recently they started to flower so I knew I had to think of something, fast!

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I saw this awesome idea on Pinterest from good ol’ Martha Stewart’s website… why didn’t I think of this! It couldn’t be more simple. 

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For one of my trays, I made an Italian blend of herbs. I used Oregano, Basil and Flat Leaf Parsley.

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This slightly scary looking guy is Curry! I’ve been waiting to do something fun with him… I used another tray with a side of Curry and the other half Rosemary and Thyme. 

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This was the final product after freezing it overnight!. My guess is I used a little over 1 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in each cube. This was so simple and it will be great to have a taste of summer herbs in our cooking this winter. If you wanted to get all fancy-pants you could use chili or garlic flavored oil to give it an extra kick! 🙂

Any other ideas to use up summer herbs? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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