A Week or Two in Pictures (3/12 – 3/27)

We started the week off with a gorgeous – HUGE – full moon.

P1050025

After a bout of cool weather, Spring hit and the temperatures have been lurking somewhere about the 50-60° range. It’s been so warm that I’ve moved my seedlings outside along with my citrus trees.

P1050044.JPG

One of my lemon trees has been doing especially well and is covered with sweet smelling blooms. I attempted to hand pollinate some of the blooms but after moving it outside, I’m hoping that the bees will take over the job for me. I just realized yesterday that I had an orange tree. My citruses were all left at mom’s for the year or so I was transitioning to Robb’s house and included a lime tree. One tree died and I was so certain it was the orange. I was sad to discover that it was my lime!

P1050050

Robb and I went down to the beach last weekend and had a great time, depsite the rain. We ate at Two Roads Tavern, picked up donuts from Duck Donuts, and had a fun time at the Manteo Aquarium. For more of a recap and a review of Two Roads Tavern, visit The Edible Coast.

20170318_153757

This past Sunday was a great day for outside chores. We messed with the chicken coop (the chickens received new straw under the coop and new pine shavings inside of the coop), planted Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts, and generally enjoyed the good weather.

P1050057

Our newest chicken, Ipsy, is the chicken on the left hand side (below photo). She is a Silver Laced Wyandotte and as you can see, she is missing quite a few feathers on her backside from an overzealous rooster. Since I’ve brought her home, she has already put on a little more weight and I can see feathers starting to grow back.

P1050067

The straw from the chicken coop gets put into the garden to give the plants an extra boost.

P1050068

We officially listed our house for sale! We are going by the route of “for sale by owner” and I am confident that I can get the house sold. We are determined to move forward with finding a place with more space so we can grow our homestead.

P1050047

I tried to get a nice picture with Belle as we were all relaxing on Sunday, this is the one that came out the best. She saw the camera and just started acting like a diva.

P1050074

I decided to make fish tacos on Sunday, so I made a fresh pico de gallo. Unfortunately none of the produce was from our garden but hopefully the next time I make it – it will have all homegrown items (except for lime… sadly).

P1050079

Our delicious Alaskan halibut tacos with cilantro, pico de gallo, coleslaw, and a lime crema. What a great end to a busy weekend!

P1050090

Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s Haul

Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been working on clearing out my pantry in anticipation for my quarterly Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods excursion. My boyfriend and I almost messed up. The weekend before Christmas, we went to Moore County to visit his family for the holidays. On our way up, as we passed through Raleigh, we decided that we would stop to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Cabela’s on our way home. Monday came and it was a dreary day as we set off back to our house with a truck full (and I mean jam packed) with gifts.

We stopped to Cabela’s but decided to bail on the other two stores. We were tired, ready to get home, and most of all – our truck was FULL! So we decided to stick to our original plan of making a day date of it while I was out on break.

That same Monday night, I attacked the kitchen in a whirlwind after we arrived home. I cleaned out our pantry – putting items that have been in our pantry for months – into a bag to donate to the local food bank (I ended up with two large bags full), throwing some expired items away. Then I started on the spices. There were spices in there from back in 2011! I let Robb go through everything before I tossed it and if he said keep it, we kept it (fair trade).

When we went to Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s the day after Christmas, neither of us were feeling at our best. That may have been why we didn’t go as crazy as I had anticipated. But that’s okay. It still ended up being a good “date” day for the two of us and I enjoy spending time with Robb. Even if it’s doing something that seems as mundane as going to the grocery store!

Here’s what we purchased:

p1040891

Some of our favorite purchases were:

  • Growler of Ginger Kombucha from Barefoot Bucha (first tried at the Heritage Festival at Monticello) from Whole Foods (Me)
  • Olives from Whole Foods (Robb)
  • Creamy Corn & Roasted Pepper Soup  from Trader Joe’s (both of ours)
  • Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes (mentioned before in this post)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina Flour from Whole Foods (Me) – this is for homemade corn tortillas using the tortilla press I got for Christmas!
p1040903
Molten Chocolate Macarons from Trader Joe’s – this thing is HUGE!

Since we went on Monday, we were able to take advantage of the Pasta Night at Whole Foods. For $12.99 we were able to get a pound of fresh cut pasta (our choice was spinach pappardelle), 16oz of Severino sauce (we went with the Fra Diavolo) and 4oz of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

p1040895
Our pasta night deal from Whole Foods with chorizo, mushrooms, and onions thrown in. Delicious!

A few nights ago, I was able to try out my new tortilla press. I know that a tortilla press is a weird thing to ask for but I love the idea of being able to make fresh corn tortillas. I still need to practice but I think I did okay! I paired my homemade corn tortillas with homemade pico de gallo, homemade lime crema, cilantro, coleslaw mix, and pan seared Alaskan halibut (with a adobo seasoning purchased from Whole Foods).

p1040908
Tacos?? A good first try.

I’m already looking forward to our next trip!

Taco Tuesday

Guys. It’s Taco Tuesday. When I made the rough draft of my meal plan for the week, I did not realize that I would actually be serving tacos on Tuesday. But in an effort to use up some of the many pounds of North Carolina shrimp in my freezer, I decided to go with shrimp tacos.

It also seemed like a rather fitting dish to celebrate the ending of Summer. When I awoke this morning, the air in the bedroom was crisp and I snuggled back under the warmth of my covers for a bit. I do love Fall. It is my absolutely favorite season, right after Summer.

My boyfriend arrived back home yesterday after being out west in Idaho the past few weeks on fire duty. On my way to pick him up from the airport, I made a stop to Target. They always have the best food items there that I can’t seem to find around here – Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, pancetta, etc.

I found the Frontera Key Lime Cilantro Taco Skillet Sauce that is made for shrimp and fish. I didn’t realize it until I got home that this was a line developed by the Rick Bayless. I knew that this would be a good dish. I followed the directions pretty much spot on, only I used a can of diced green chiles instead of fresh peppers.

333.png

I feel like I cheated on my tacos using a store bought sauce. But I did make my own pico de gallo using fresh tomatoes and jalapenos from our garden, a diced onion and a splash of lime juice. Our tomatoes are fading fast and I wanted to enjoy them at least once more. We never seem to have cilantro on hand when I need it though.

I served my tacos on flour tortillas with lettuce, fresh avocado, the pico de gallo, and another squeeze of lime juice. Delicious!