Spring Treasure; Marinade

We had our first barbecue of the season last week and ribs yesterday.For our first barbecue; I marinated pork chops in a curried mango sauce. Then my husband barbecued them on low flame, to perfection. They were sooo good! I made a cream cheese and chive mashed potatoe and roasted veg.

I am always wanting to change up my marinades for steak and chicken. I’ve tried stock with different herbs, made pastes with chilis and lemon, the traditional BBQ sauce and pre-made teriyaki or souvlaki.

Why not use sauces that are usually marketed for other uses as a marinade, such as:
• Italian salad dressing(very good for steak)
• butter chicken sauce
• pasta sauce
• condensed soup
• zucchini relish
• broth with puréed sweet potatoe or other veg
Try them out.

Break out of your routine recipe box.

Living Wall/ Green Wall

A living wall inside my home is a great use of space and a beautiful health-wise addition. I will now be finding a way to make one work for our family in hopes to grow herbs and food indoors. Happy Earth Day!

inspirationenergy

GREEN WALLS 3

 

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A living wall is either a hedge that is entirely composed of plants, such as trimmed shrubs, or a wall that is partially or completely covered by plants. The latter is commonly referred to as a “green wall”, particularly with the development of recent technological innovations that allow for walls to be entirely covered by irrigated living plants.

Living walls help to reduce local wind speeds, traffic noise, and localized temperature extremes (urban heat islands) by shading and converting liquid water to water vapour (evapotranspiration) which cools the air. They help to improve air quality by reducing dust and particulates and help to reduce the amount of heat lost from a home. Another significant benefit is the increase in biodiversity, along with aid for food and shelter for wildlife.

Living walls may have a positive impact on both physical and mental health and wellbeing. Green views and access to…

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Spring Treasure; Starting Seeds

If you are garden savvy or want to try your hand at growing your own food, it is easily done with the right information to start you off. It is easiest to buy a plastic seedling tray, or humidome, with a lid if you are trying this for the first time.

Most seeds should be started between 4-8 weeks before the last frost, depending on what it is. Some seeds such as flowers and peas are sowed directly in the soil after all frost probability has passed. Each pack of seeds has instructions as to how to handle planting.

Once you have your Humidome, fill each rooting cell with pre-moistened ‘seed starting soil’ about 2/3 full. Place a couple of seeds on top and cover with a thin layer of soil. Mist all cells with warm water, lightly. Be sure to label or separate between different types of seeds. Cover, keep moist and in a bright sunny spot, but not somewhere that gets direct sunlight. Take the lid off when your plants are an inch or so high. Once you see fine white roots you can plant them in large containers or in your garden after the last frost.

I have failed with starting seeds of some flowers at the point when I have to take the lid off. I still am not sure why. Nevertheless, it was much easier than I thought. All you need to do is read the seed requirements, keep soil moist and watch the progress. I listened to my intuition as well.
Either way, it is very rewarding when they grow those tiny little plants right in front of your eyes.

I encourage people of all ages, abilities, time and space restrictions to try a garden of their own.
When my mother-in-law visits us from El Salvador, she frequently watches and picks from the garden. She seems to take pride and much joy in choosing what she wants for us that day.
It is especially relaxing. I am adding this self-sufficient, observant, patient, gross and fine motor activity to my daughters learning right now.

I’d love to hear what you grow and what worked or didn’t in your garden!

Spring Treasure; Bring on the beef!

Can you smell that??
BARBECUE SEASON!!!!

We are in the last week of needing to put in our beef orders with the farmer before all his cows are accounted for and so he can set up what the butcher needs to do with all that meat! Pigs aren’t far behind either.

We usually get roasts, ground beef and steaks; t-bone, rounds, sirloin. Of course you can’t always choose how much of each unless you buy an entire cow. In the past we have ordered a half a cow or a quarter. The quarter was just fine for the year. Also, the beef is ready about a month from ordering, depending on the maturity of the cow, which is right when it’s warmer.

I recommend filling up your freezer, in this way, whenever you can. It tastes superior to store bought, saves a lot of money and gives you a year supply! I even marinate some steaks, assemble skewers and make meatballs or chili right when I get my order; so also a wonderful future time saver.

Make sure to try barbecued pineapple. Brazilian cuisine finishes each meal with pineapple skewers. It is refreshing, sweet and aids in digestion.

Wake up Mr. Barbecue!

Loving These; Ode to Food

fruitI am one very satisfied carnivore after a good meal or snack. Food can make or break your day, at times.

1} What’s cooking- Kraft recipe book: kraftcanada.com
Online you can search by product, ingredients you have to make recipes, type of meal and in many other features. Wonderful, quick meals and snacks with items I usually have in my pantry(soups, stuffing).

2} Crispy minis: Yet another trick. With brown rice and corn as the two first ingredients, these are a great snack. Mommy also has trouble finding caramel corn, so yeah for Crispy Minis Caramel Kettle Corn.

3} Aloe Vera drink (Paldo): Anything my daughter loves, I love. This drink is yum! It has actual pieces of Aloe Vera. Although it has quite a bit of sugar, I mix 2/3 water with it. Great way to get them drinking water.

4} Chili is our family’s staple winter meal: Sofia eats it with little toast shapes. I should invest in more cookie cutters. She might wonder why, in spring and summer, I am still giving her Xmas stockings and gingerbread men; although I think she would agree that gingerbread is fantastic and special enough to have year round.

THE RECIPE: CHILI
Note: I usually only measure when I bake, so I will give approximates for some ingredients. Adjust to your familys’ taste. I also use whatever ingredients I have on hand.

2 lbs of ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup onion (green or Spanish)
• cook together in a big pot
• stir in seasonings
Turmeric, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder
• stir until meat is covered (it’s best to mix seasoning in before liquid so the taste is throughout)
Add: vegetables (carrots, red pepper, zucchini) approximately 3 cups total
• cook and stir for a few minutes
• boil 8 or so yellow potatoes and 1 sweet potatoe(don’t tell my husband), diced cubes, in another pot.
• To your veg. and meat mixture add:
1 large can pasta sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 box of chicken or beef broth
1 can black beans or any bean(lentils)
1 cup of frozen corn
Potatoes diced
• Simmer for 1 hour
• Season with salt and pepper and add any extra spice

LEFTOVERS- mix in with scrambled egg for brunch, top fries or rice, in a wrap with sour cream and cheese, blend it into a thick paste then add sour cream and a little mayo as a dip.

Now I’m hungry.