Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Friday, August 24, 2012

GSW {menu plan} :: thirteen

elegant dinner at our house

1. grilled chicken with avocado & grilled corn salad

2. pork ragu over noodles serve with green salad topped with apples, almonds, and bleu cheese tossed in a simple vinaigrette {weekend dinner alert!}

3. salmon with chickpea, feta, and parsley salad {salad keeps well in fridge for lunches or snack time}

4. grilled pork tenderloin with peaches

5.  black bean stuffed peppers

going to a party? bring dessert and a hostess gift...
fruit crisp + place mats

put aside cleaning your house and freeze some tomatoes...
how to freeze tomatoes
we'll be finishing our {play}barn this weekend and hoping for rain.  thankfully, our friend, tony, is coming to help and his daughter will be here to play with hendrix.
if you are looking for something to do this weekend in the omaha metro, try...millard days, shopping the furniture sale at oh darling!, dundee day on saturday, take a road trip to the nebraska state fair, or go to the world O! water festival at chalco hills on saturday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

GSW menu :: twelve

if hendrix can make dinner. so can you.

it's thursday! which means that it is one more day until friday and the weekend! it also means it is time for next week's menu plan.  this weather is making me want to give mother nature a big ol' wet one.  right on the lips.  if only she'd send {more} rain...
onto the menu.  we're going to still celebrate summer's bounty, but we're going to add some fall flavors, too.  because why not?  some kids are already in school and this summer was one giant heat wave. here it goes...

1. shrimp tacos with spiced peach jam
2. slow cooker jambalaya
3. eggplant stuffed with couscous + pine nuts (sub other nuts if you like)
4.  chicken, butternut squash, and quinoa stew (weekend dinner alert!)
5. quick miso glazed salmon with your freshest veggies on the side

make a pie because the weather is nice....

salad for lunches...

herb garden going a little too crazy? start freezing!
how to freeze herbs

kids already back in school and you are frazzled?
top 10 quick {DALS} weeknight dinners

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the joy of color

watermelon is ready!

let's make some marinara.

zinnias make food gardens happy.

eggplant on the move.

butternut squash almost ready to be soup.

nature makes blue. naturally.

black beans. hooray!

Friday, August 10, 2012

things i love

this week has certainly ended well, hasn't it?  this weather is killer.  the rain on wednesday was blessed.  we haven't done a {things i love} post in here it goes:

someone else doing the dishes after dinner
chevron dressers

asking hendrix "what the favorite part of his day was" at dinner

peace of mind in the fridge

taking morning walks with summer + kids

silver repurposed

seeing old friends, pregnant & happy, at baby showers

open houses

seeing old friends, holding their new babies

family breakfast

having a dream that mike was a monster truck driver and the truck's name was "methodical"

pinning fall style ideas

hendrix going to preschool (!!) next month & actually getting to buy school supplies

goldenrod {appearing on the roadsides} + zinnias

Thursday, August 9, 2012

GSW menu plan :: eleven

tomato, corn, + basil salad and cucumber salad

happy thursday!  it rained and is so cool this morning...we are loving it!!  last week, there was no menu plan, but we are back.  i figured you had leftovers. ha! also, i got too busy.  to find more dinner ideas and the other {garden says what?} menu plans go to our what's for dinner page.  in zone 5, we are still celebrating all of summer's bounty and there is a huge variety to pick from, but with the constant sunny, dry, and hot weather i am a little sick of it.  hence, the casserole and summer stews on this week's menu plan.  let's get started.

1. chicken, sausage, + corn summer stew
2. fish BLTs with avocado and a summer salad of your choice
3. chili relleno casserole
4. slow cooker eggplant + chickpea stew
5. caprese tart (for a big meat eater...serve some grilled italian sausages on the side)

preserve your tomatoes.  an easy and delicious way (yields 6 pints)...
tomato + basil simmer sauce

plan ahead and make your own yogurt to go pouches....
homemade gogurt

Monday, July 30, 2012

monday musings

hendrix got a new swing this weekend.  i forgot that we had this old sky chair in storage.  it works better then that the tire swing idea i had, although he still calls it his tire swing.  we also got a new washer and dryer.  which has brought me more happiness than it probably should.  but laundromats are soul crushing and the units seem to symbolize that we are in the beginning stages of climbing out of our streak of bad luck.  the county is also here doing work on our road and i do believe redoing our driveway.  the driveway that is a safety hazard and we have been trying to figure out how we could afford to repair it.  well, the county came to clear trees and replace drainage.  you know, the 15 feet of trees mike was going to clear out by hand and chainsaw.  now, they are redoing the driveway after they replaced the drainage below.   turns out, bulldozers and backhoes are much better equipped and if the county will do it - even better.  even if they don't make the driveway better it will still be great to have the trees cleared and the drainage replaced.   our road kind of gets ignored since there are no other homes that are on it for miles.  now there is a school going in down the street, though, so they will be able to devote more time to the road.
last week was a rough one, but this week is already looking better.  i am waiting for news that i hope is good and that i can share later today.  hendrix and i are going to the wizard of oz exhibit at the children's museum (which he is beyond pumped for) on thursday.  friday, i get to see my dear friend at her baby shower.  plus, this weekend is the sarpy county fair.  ya'll should is so awesome and what fairs are made of.  hendrix and i might even go bowling this week if the weather stays hot.  speaking of weather...saturday was so beautiful here, wasn't!?!? it sure seems like it wants to rain today, too.  *fingers crossed* oh, and i really want to check out the bittersweet bakery in ashland this week.  you see? it's guaranteed to be a good week!
....also going on this week in the omaha metro (all free!)
jazz on the green on thursday, free family flicks at aksarben cinema, and the westroads kids club science show about weather.  have any other ideas or events to make this week great?  please share!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

GSW{meal plan}::ten

found via google images

it's rained!  can you believe it?!? and there is more in the forecast. hallelujah! now.  onto next week's dinner.  lots and lots of summer produce to celebrate, so let's get to work. 
again, these are all very simple recipes, requiring little technique, instead relying on the fresh produce to do the work. and since you rely on produce your grocery bill will be cheaper since you are buying in-season or practically free if you have a garden (or a friend's to poach).   if you weren't here last week then check out GSW::nine for a printable pantry checklist. if you are finding that you need to build your pantry then stretch the expense out by adding a few pantry items to your grocery list for a few weeks until you have a completed pantry. 

1. clementine's ratatouille (vegetable stew - french style)
2. yogurt grilled chicken with cucumber + mint salad (30 minute dinner!)
3. macaroni alla norma (eggplant pasta in 15 minutes)
4. open face sandwiches with watermelon, feta, & basil salad
5. roasted bbq chicken with corn + basil cakes
for drinking....
strawberry cucumber smoothie

for freezer cooking...
basic pantry marinara
great to get a head start on the macaroni alla norma (jarred would be just as great).  this is also my go-to, favorite marinara.

for dessert...
peach pie

Monday, July 23, 2012

what the drought means to my family and families like ours

i think by now most people in nebraska and beyond understand that there is a serious drought happening in the corn belt.  perhaps, not all people understand what that means to family farms such as ours and  our fellow farmer friends. our family is in recovery mode from a few years of bad luck, effects of the bad economy, and unplanned, major life changes.  so if we had a gotten a bumper crop, like it looked like we would in april, then that would put us on the path that brought us closer to financial security.  however, at this point we may be lucky to make any money at all.  and if farmers cash in their crop insurance they basically have their inputs covered but no profit.  also, if the snow fall is minimal this winter and does not adequately replace all the lost water we might have to consider just planting beans, which bring in much less money than corn, since they don't require as much ground water as corn.  thus, prolonging recovery mode for us. there are still plenty of family farms out there that are not farming 10,000 acres and rely on farming to feed their families.  farmers that are still operating off the homesteaded land of their families. families that have only ever farmed and have rode the ever changing wave of farming.  for my family it means a significant loss in this year's income, a possible loss in next year's income, and a few years more of  not being as financial secure as people need to be in  this world.   for a lot of families it will mean a tighter budget, postponement of debt payoff, less christmas presents, and for some it may just push them out of farming.   a lot of farmers will not be able to pay the rent on the land, make the payments for their equipment, so on and so forth.  farming was one of the last industries doing well in this economy so in the end, this drought will affect all of us. weather related issues are always a factor when you are farming.  no matter what you are growing.  however, this particular disaster is, of course, historical and record breaking.  so, do me a favor will ya?
do a rain dance. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

GSW::nine {meal plan}

this week i have been surrounded by busy, busy ladies.  some of them already mommas.  others getting ready to be mommas.  some not mommas.  all of them busy and hoping to get a home cooked meal on the table.  so this meal plan will make use of basic pantry items.  it will still celebrate the bounty of summer produce, but it will mostly be dinners you can throw together when you walk in the door from a long day of being super woman. all them will take no longer than it takes to make a box of macaroni + cheese. as always, try to get some dinner prep done the morning of or the night chop the veggies for dinner, thaw the meat, pound chicken out, etc. you'll start out the day feeling pretty accomplished and then when dinner comes, you will have saved yourself some extra time.

1. easy shrimp tacos

2. sesame noodles with chicken, cucumbers, and snap peas

3. blt's add some avocado
 make the blt with your favorite tomatoes and add some sliced avocado for extra protein.

4. green bean, mushroom, and sausage skillet supper
put a pot of water on to boil. heat oil in a skillet, add 1/2 chopped red onion and 2 chopped sausage links.  saute until sausage is cooked through and onion is soft. add 1 container of mushrooms, sliced and cook until soft.  meanwhile, boil a generous handful of green beans for 3 minutes. add a 1 T. minced garlic to the pan and cook 30 seconds. add drained green beans. add a couple glugs of white wine and simmer.  season with salt and pepper.  let simmer for 5 minutes.  serve with blue cheese on top and crusty bread on the side.

5.  chili rubbed chicken with avocado, corn, tomato, and shredded spinach

instead of dessert, how about some time saving and organizing tools?
my printable pantry checklist
my printable menu plan + grocery list worksheet

after all of this {super}woman's work, you're going to need a drink....
stone fruit sangria

Thursday, July 12, 2012


howdy! i finally made it out to a farmer's market last night and was so happy to see all the beautiful, colorful produce for sale.  our garden is really starting to offer up variety, as well.  this week's menu really celebrates the variety we are enjoying these days in zone 5 of nebraska. 
also, if you want to be served some locally and seasonally inspired foods {with a side of excellent reading material} check out edible omaha's summer release party tonight at dante from 4:30 to 6:30.  go here for more information.


1. eggplant parmesan {weekend dinner alert!}
2. haricot vert with shallots served with dill tuna salad {prep ahead}
3. mexican stuffed peppers with quinoa and black beans {prep ahead}
4. swiss chard fritatta {super quick dinner alert!}
5. bbq chicken with campfire potatoes and cabbage + corn slaw {delicious dinner alert!}

the stone fruits are making an appearance, why not make this...
stone fruit lattice pie

hope this menu brings a lot of color and flavor to your dinners next week. xo!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

breakfast of champions

last week i mentioned that breakfast was my nemesis.  it used be lunch but now it is breakfast.  hendrix doesn't do well with a bowl of cereal and milk.  meaning...he won't eat it.  he will eat eggs.  eggs for days.  and i am over it.  so we are mixing things up.  here's what i came up with...with a little help from my friends. 

these should all take about the time it takes for your coffee to brew.  or your tea to steep.

julie's almond butter + banana grilled breakfast sandwich
{optional: add mini chocolate chips &/or dip into a french toast batter before grilling}
the how to: smear bread of choice with almond butter and add some sliced bananas...grill & eat.

whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, tomato slices, and baby greens
the how to: toast bagel, smear with cream cheese, add baby greens and tomato slices. eat.

homemade granola with greek yogurt, honey, and fruit
{prep ahead: make a batch of granola weekly and keep in the freezer to preserve the crunch.  you can even make your own greek yogurt}
the how to: mix granola with yogurt.  top with honey and fresh fruit.

hard boiled eggs with "toddler" muffins (this is a running out the door breakfast)
{prep ahead: the muffins can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month.  the eggs can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week}
the how to: throw in it in your bag and eat it in the car.

quinoa pancakes with nut butter and fruit
{prep ahead: the pancakes can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month}
the how to: reheat pancakes in your toaster.  smear with nut butter (peanut, almond, whatever) and top with fruit. eat.

the tofu scramble
{prep ahead: save the bits of last night's veggies to throw into this scramble in the morning}
the how to: scramble your veggies with tofu just as you would with eggs. season well and eat.

cottage cheese with tomatoes, basil, and pepper
the how to: add chopped tomatoes and basil to cottage cheese.  mix.  top off with black pepper. eat.

these are for a more leisurely morning.  you can make all these while you drink a couple cups of coffee. or whatever your poison is.

julie's breakfast hash
{prep ahead: chop veggies up and keep in fridge for up to a week.}
the how to: shred a potato or a sweet potato (for each person) in your food processor, saute in a skillet with olive oil.  add veggies and cook until everything is softened.  season.  add an egg on top, if you please.  eat.

egg quesadillas
the how to: i'll let heidi of 101 cookbooks direct you on the ways of the egg quesadillas.  they are delicious.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


peace love ice cream buy here

somehow i was under the impression that it was not thursday.  i don't know what day i thought it was, but it wasn't thursday in my head.  holidays in the middle of the week really throw a momma off.  i sure hope you all had a good one.  now i am here to give you a plan for next week's dinners.  all of the dinners are quick, veggie heavy, and have some element that can be prepped in the morning or the night before. 

1.  fish tacos with cabbage and confetti salad
{to make the salad combine 1 can of rinsed black beans with 2 ears of roasted corn (kernels cut off the ears), 1/2 a red onion ( chopped), 1 red pepper (chopped), the juice of 1 lime, salt, and a handful of chopped cilantro. this salad keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge.}

2. italian sausage topped with roasted red peppers and onions served with coleslaw
{roast one red pepper and one onion in the oven for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees.  once skins look blistered, remove and put in a ziploc bag for a few minutes.  carefully open and peel off the skin of the red pepper and onion, cut into strips.  can be done up to one day on advance. the coleslaw should be made the night before. grill sausages and top with peppers and onions in a hoagie bun.}

3. grilled chicken* with a blt salad
{*DALS is pretty much the authority on grilled chicken so just go with whatever looks good over there if you need an idea for your grilled chicken*.  if you are going with a marinated chicken, prep the marinade in the morning and let the chicken steep all day. for the salad...cut up romaine lettuce and arrange a thinly sliced, sweet onion on top with some halved cherry tomatoes. in a skillet, fry 1/4 lb. of bacon until crispy.  add 1/2 c. of cider vinegar and 1/2 c. sugar in the skillet with the bacon, bring to a simmer.  cook until sugar dissolves.  immediately pour over lettuce and onions, combine and serve immediately.}

4. egg salad sandwiches with cucumber salad
{make the salad the night before and the cucumber salad in the morning.  and, yes, this qualifies as dinner when it is 1000 degrees outside and/or you have 1000 million things to do...or you have a lot of eggs and cukes.  plus, it is faster, cheaper, healthier, and better than takeout/fast food.}

5. french bread pizza stuffed with summer's bounty
{go to the store and buy a loaf of french or italian bread from the bakery section.  cut in half, lengthwise.  hollow out the slices a bit.  shred or thinly slice some garden or farmer's market goodies...zucchini, kale, onions, eggplant, swiss chard are all good options.  saute in a pan with a bit of garlic and olive oil.  add mushrooms or ground sausage, if you like. you can prep the filling the night before.   spread some marinara or pizza sauce on the bread and top with your fillings.  top with mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  or until the cheese is melted.}

cool treat AND a boredom buster...
make ice cream in a ziploc bag

it's still hot. have a cool drink...
minty orange iced tea

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

hello, july!

art by katie rodgers of paper fashion found via pinterest

hi, friends.  it seems like july just appeared out of nowhere, doesn't it?  maybe it is just me. we had a nice relaxing, yet productive, weekend.  on sunday, we had hendrix's cousins and friends over...there were 6 children under six...for supper, swimming, tie dye, and watermelon eating.  hendrix had a blast.  however, our poor kitty, whitey, started getting sick over the weekend.  i thought she was really sick, but thankfully it is just some bad teeth. she is in surgery right now and hopefully will be home later today.  we've been surviving the heat wave in our non-air conditioned house, but i am looking forward to a break in the heat.  tomorrow is the fourth and we are planning on laying low perhaps we'll try to hit the ralston parade and, for sure, the fireworks. we'll try to get some swimming and eating in, too.  i think i am going to make this red, white, and blue salsa.   i'll be back soon with a weekly menu plan and more.  whatever you do for the holiday tomorrow...i hope it is grand and spent with all those that you love. xo!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

GSW:six {holy moly, it is hot!}

alright, it is officially summer which means that our farmhouse is officially hot.  you know, because we do not have air conditioning. well, we do.  we have one window unit. see here for the explanation.  so this week's menu is all about doing as little cooking as possible...meaning avoiding turning the oven on at all costs. i found have written about this at length when i reviewed the archives.  it is not all bad, though, since hendrix and i have already snacked on four tomatoes from our garden this week!!  good times, good times. onward, we go....

shrimp + sausage kabobs with a green salad + rice pilaf
{boil some extra potatoes to make a potato salad with for dinner later in the week. see what i did there?  saved you some time, is what i did. you're welcome.}

grilled lemon + dill salmon with best potato salad
{this will take you less than 15 minutes to prepare if you make the potato salad in advance}
for the salmon just brush them with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and lay lemon slices and fresh dill on each piece.  wrap in foil and grill for about 5-8 minutes depending on thickness or broil in the oven.  serve with potato salad}

japanese pizza
{this looks delicious! if you recieved a cabbage from us this might be just the thing to use some of it this lovely article for more thoughts on the forgotten vegetable, cabbage}
if you live with a man like my husband...i would just add a nice grilled piece of meat to this and i would just eat the pizza as it is.  we all have to compromise in life.

slow cooker chili colorado burritos with rice + beans
{listen here and listen good: the crockpot is your friend even when it is summer.  i'll make an exception for these and turn on the broiler just long enough to make that cheese melt.  throw some cherry tomatoes on top of these burritos, too!}
i really like the VIGO brand of rice and beans for convenience.  they come in flavors like red beans and rice, saffron, black beans and rice, etc.. almost all grocery stores carry them and they can be found in the hispanic foods aisle, usually.  serve any variety with these burritos and you will have a happy belly.

zucchini boats with grilled italian sausages
{hendrix will go to town on this dinner and will really love me if i add some fresh fruit as a side.  also, super easy to prepare, less than 30 minutes}
these zucchini boats are a perfect way to use those cute little zucchini we are already seeing in our neck of the woods/  throw some sausage on the grill and call it dinner!

and you know what?! it's effing hot. so make some of this, too....
raspberry pomegranate sorbet

and as far as healthy snacks go...please read this and consider making a donation to an organization that is near and dear to my heart.