Tag Archives: gardening

So this Friday I am linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk (my first link up ever!).   High Five for Friday is a post dedicated to your 5 favorite things from the week.  Here I go…

1. I could not be more excited for tonight after work.  Justin and I are traveling to Bloomington this weekend to visit our alma mater, Indiana University.  We will be visiting with some close friends while there, Nate and Kelsie.  We are also bringing our road bikes to do some cycling on the hilly roads!  High on our priority list is grabbing some donuts from Cresent Donuts in Bloomington.  It’s Justin’s all-time favorite donut shop.  We even had their donuts as our wedding favors.  They were a big hit.  We cannot wait to indulge in their deliciousness!  Stay tuned for more details in the weekend wrap up on Monday 🙂

Image source: Photo by puffclinty on Flickr

2. My lilies in the front yard are beyond gorgeous! The orange ones just bloomed last night.  I can’t get enough of them.  Every morning they greet me hello and every evening they welcome me home.  It’s just a delight.

The pink ones are my favorite.

3. I’ve been loving this new OPI nail polish.  I think I love it even more because of the name, Hot & Spicy.  Perfect summer orange-y color. Love!

Image source: Welcome to Crazy Town Blog

4. I mentioned in my weekend wrap-up that I was sick and tired of the chain grocery store Jewel.  Wednesday I checked out the local Hispanic grocery store called Cermak’s.  And man, was I impressed.  The produce aisle was full of beautiful color and healthy looking fruits and veggies. Did I mention it’s only 3 blocks from my house?!  This is where it’s at.

Fresh produce 🙂

Fresh aloe vera plant. You can use it to make medicine for sun burn and upset stomachs.

5. Yesterday while I was riding the train I saw the cutest, and I mean THE cutest old man. He was talking on his cellphone, actually his iPhone, and was speaking very loudly.  I could tell he had hearing aids and he was trying to write down an address on a piece of paper.  I was so impressed by his ability to multi-task at his age.  I think sometimes a lot of seniors assume they are too old and then they get stubborn and refuse to try and do what they used to do.  But man, if he can take public transportation, work an iPhone, and write all at the same time, he’s doing pretty well.  And as a fun fact about me, I would say I definitely have an affinity for old people.  My mom sells and services hearing aids and works everyday with the elderly.  I have spent a lot of time working for her and interacting with her clients.  I think that opportunity really opened my eyes to how important they are and how crucial it is for our generation to understand them.  I find that they have so much wisdom to offer and honestly love hearing from a young, fresh heart.  They love to share their favorite stories, recipes, and shower you with love and food.  So if you get the opportunity remember to spend some time with a grandparent or help an elder with their groceries.  You won’t believe how much they will appreciate you.

Image source: Rosie O’Beirne on Flickr

Hope you enjoyed my first High Five for Friday Post!

Check out Lauren’s Blog @ From My Grey Desk

What are your top 5?

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!

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So the other night I decided to be pretty resourceful and make dinner with whatever I had in the fridge and in the cupboards. I rarely do this.  Normally I pick out a recipe and then go shopping for whatever ingredients I need.  This sometimes can be hassle and counterproductive.  Hopefully as my cooking skills improve I will become more of a natural rather than a strict-recipe-follower.

First I went to the backyard to check out how our basil was looking.  When I first planted it, I nearly killed it.  I’m not much of a green thumb and often forget the basics aka WATER YOUR PLANTS.  In college I was given one request by my roommate who was going to be gone on a trip: take care of Rosie, her rosemary plant. Bad babysitter choice.  I completely neglected Rosie.  Whoops. Don’t worry, my roommate revived her when she came back.  My mother-in-law and stepmom hopefully will instill some better gardening skills soon.  Anyways here’s Mr. Basil…

I thought he was looking pretty good (minus the fact that someone has been snacking on him).  So I picked a bunch of the leaves off.  I had to tell myself I was only pruning him, not killing him.  My mother-in-law taught me that its good to snip off all the dead stems so then plants can grow new ones.  But I get really afraid that they won’t grow back.  She’s pretty trustworthy, so here’s to pruning!  Afterwards I gave the leaves a good cold bath.

As soon as I started washing them, the scent from the herb was incredible.  It’s amazing how different herbs smell when they are home grown vs buying them at the store.  It was like a little snippet of heaven for my nostrils.  Next, time to scour the cabinets and fridge for all the ingredients: olive oil, garlic cloves, pine nuts, parmasean cheese, lemon juice.

I then stuffed all the ingredients into my handy Ninja chopper.

And boom, pesto sauce.  So incredibly easy. Here was my outcome after some taste testing and mastering.

Next I took my 3 chicken breasts and cut them into strips.

I greased an 8×8 cassarole dish.  I took my basting brush and brushed half the pesto mixture on the bottom of the dish.  I then laid in my chicken cutlets.  I brushed the rest of the pesto mixture on top of the chicken, making sure I got every bit of the poultry covered.

I dashed a bit of salt and pepper on top and covered with foil. I cooked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees and Voila!, dinner is served for me and my Mr. Good Lookin.

And you thought it ended there… My husband and I can’t have dinner with out dessert hardly ever.  So I went back to my cupboards and fridge and realized I had all the ingredients I needed to make my wonderful friend KT’s easy fruit cobbler (P.S. She’s a master chef in another life, highly suggest following every mouth-drooling blogpost).  It was delicious and seriously the easiest thing ever, just like she said.  We used blueberries and here’s how ours turned out… (I think I may have over done it on the sprinkle of cinnamon, whoops, still tasted good though!)

And here’s how it ended…

We are masters of the Clean Plate Club!  Yum. So good, so stuffed, so ready for bed after all that.

 

Pesto Chicken

Adapted from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

(Beware: I threw a bunch of stuff in the chopper for the sauce and added things here and there until it tasted the way I wanted, here’s a rough estimate)

  • big handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup parmasean cheese, fresh or store-bought
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • dash of sugar
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry basil leaves.  Cut stems off leaves. Set aside.  Mince garlic. Put basil, pine nuts, parmasean cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in your chopper (maybe it’s called a food processor, whatever, I call it a chopper or Mr. Ninja). Blend. Add dash of sugar. Blend again. Tweak sauce as you like. Grease 8×8 glass casserole dish. Cut chicken breasts into thick strips (I got 3 strips out of each breast). Use basting brush or spoon to cover bottom of dish with half the pesto sauce.  Place the chicken strips on top of the sauce.  Cover the chicken breasts with rest of pesto sauce, making sure all parts are covered. Dash with salt and pepper. Cover dish with tin foil.  Bake 27-30 minutes.  Cut into chicken to ensure cooked through.

Serve over noodles or rice or whatever you like. Top with additional cheeses if you desire.

Enjoy!