Saying Goodbye Still Stinks!

Had such a wonderful few weeks. As always, we loved having the kiddos home and the week went by WAY TOO FAST. They left yesterday. I gave myself the day to be sad and for my heart to hurt.

I looked back at a few pictures from the week. This one, while watching Moana together (which we loved), isn’t great quality, but it makes me smile.

I was productive through the tears yesterday. I did some cleaning and planted the cabbage and broccoli in the garden. I had some help over the weekend to get the tomatoes and peppers in. We usually wait until at least Memorial Day to plant, but the tomatoes were out of control tall and spindly. Hoping the forecast is right and there are no surprise frosts.

Hoping to get my brain, and my body, back in gear this week.

Not Your Momma’s Meatballs

A few days ago I came across a recipe for Italian Veggie Meatballs. It was on the same site as the Ginger Chewies (LOVE THESE) and the Pumpkin Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies. They looked pretty interesting and I had some homemade spaghetti sauce from the Fall I had defrosted and needed to use.

italian veggie meatballs

I used a mini cupcake tray. The only thing I would do differently is bake them for longer (but I was too hungry to wait). They really could have been browner.

veggie balls cooked

Can you see the beautiful kitchen power tool photobombing the “meatballs?”

Hubby and I both thought the taste and texture was pretty wonderful.

veggie balls in bowl

As I write these posts, I sometimes wonder if the girls would have opted to go to school closer if they had known this is what I’d be doing with my empty nest time. Kidding, but I do feel guilty at times that I didn’t do all of this when they were growing up. Tried to make up for it a little by sending out a batch of Ginger Chewies yesterday.

I haven’t brought the kids up in a while, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t miss them every darn day. We feel pretty lucky to have the technology we do in order to keep in touch and, of course, to send them pics of the food and goodies they are too far away to enjoy 😉

On the house project front, we finished painting the stairs yesterday morning (this picture is from when we had half of the stairs painted):

half painted stairs

They look great. And we’ve finished painting the doors, trim and walls. These pics are during the painting to show the difference. It used to be completely white.

partially painted stairwell

almost done painting

We love it! There will be more rooms with paint colors like this…next winter that is. The floor still needs to be put down and the bathroom still needs to be re-done and that will take the rest of the winter.

At that point, it will be time to start turning our attention to…

tim garden

 

So Many Food Blogs, and some other stuff

Before I started this new baking (blogging) venture, I was apparently oblivious to the food blog industry. I knew that people posted recipes here and there from different sites. Of course I would look up recipes online and get google results for Martha Stewart or Allrecipes, etc, but I had NO idea there was a food blog world.

After my love affair with The Great British Bake Off began (thank you again, youngest), and we bought the pretty power tool mixer, I followed a link posted by a facebook friend to a Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe. This led me to peruse Sally’s site and I realized it was not just about the recipe. It was about the story with the recipe, and the oh so pretty food pictures, and the layout of the site, and the comments/interactions with followers, and so on.

I found another food blog, JoCooks, with the Dutch Oven bread recipe I’ve made a dozen times so far. And then Pinch of Yum, and then another blog, and then another, and another, and holy cow, you can get lost in all of these blogs. Each one has a unique personality, and cooking/photography style and more recipes than someone could ever sort through. A few of them include tips and strategies for people who want to start their own food blogs, and even earn income through blogging.

Very few of the food blogs are on this platform, most have their own websites. Thanks to my tech savvy mom, I now have my own site too, though it’s not set up yet. My blog is not a food blog, but food is a focus, right? I have no idea if people will be interested, as I am not providing unique recipes that I developed. I am using the blog as a way to share the every day, and the new in life, with the girls away.

We worked very hard to help our girls be strong, independent women. To think and choose for themselves, to problem solve. People compliment us on doing such an amazing job with our girls, that they were/are confident enough to have chosen the path they did. We worked hard to Teach Them to Fly, but we never, ever thought they’d fly quite so far. We are insanely proud parents, with a quiet house.

And now, we are trying to move forward, filling our time with a crazy puppy, experimenting with new foods/baked goods, gardening/food saving, running/training and (for me) blogging. Hubby dedicates time to his outdoors pursuits, and thankfully, keeping the wood furnace going in the COLD temps.

Back to the food blogs – found a new recipe for the rotation – so very yummy. I did add kale, because I had some and wanted to use it up:

http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2013/01/butternut-squash-and-black-bean-enchilada-skillet/

black bean butternut enchilada bake

Also, our wonderful friends invited us to dinner the other night. They had used the Hubbard Squash puree in a lasagna recipe. The recipe was vegan, though our friends used dairy milk instead of milk substitute. They also used half the garlic and a little extra spinach. Also an incredibly delicious recipe which we will try to replicate:

http://holycowvegan.net/2013/11/lasagna-for-twoor-four.html

Yes, I took food pictures at our friends’ dinner table…

vegan lasagna