Friday, April 30, 2010

15 foods

So, I was cruising the internet looking for interesting information about CSA's (I am obsessed and soooo excited about it right now) and after reading about the different things that people are receiving in their CSA boxes around the country (also interesting) I came across the topic of if you had to eat 15 items day in, day out for the rest of your life, what would you choose. Water is a given, and for my list, I am going to say that salt and pepper are also givens.

So here goes my list, and if I make changes along the way, I'll post those too.

My initial inclination is to be general, and thus get away with more (i.e. citrus, berries) but I think that's cheating.

1. Chicken (one of my favorite meats, we don't eat much else)
2. Salmon (my favorite fish)
3. Egg (Such a versatile ingredient, just in how you can cook it, not counting all the things you can do with it)
4. Angel Hair Pasta
5. Tortilla
6. Strawberries
7. Orange
8. Lemon
9. Tomato
10. Onion
11. Zucchini
12. Feta Cheese

13. Olive Oil
14. Basil
15. Coffee

I think I could survive on this list. It is totally less than ideal, and there are definitely some favorites of mine that I would miss (especially depending on how long I had to eat like this) like salsa, spicy foods in general, bread other than my tortillas and pasta etc. It was actually a tough call between tortillas and a more general bread, but I decided that tortillas add for more versatility in meals (tacos, burritos etc.) where bread would not give me as much variety. If I could add one more, it would probably be cilantro, but most Mexican foods still are good with tomato, onion, salt and pepper.

It was really fun to try, and I encourage anyone reading this to see if you could find 15 foods that you could handle eating for the rest of your life if you had too.

Mostly though, it was good reminder of how much I enjoy the variety that I can have because I have no such limitations on my food! Yay!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010



I am SOOOO excited.

This week, Blake and I signed up to be part of a CSA.

According to, a CSA (which stands for community supported agriculture) is " a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season."

I first read about it in one of my magazines as a way to get organic, local produce for a reasonable price. Apparently lots of farms all over the country offer this kind of program. The price is comparable to what we are paying now a week for produce, but it will be all organic.

We decided to do the small box, since there are only two of us, but the larger box is also an option. It is a random assortment of fruits and vegetables that the farm has in season at that point. You never know what you are going to get until that day or sometimes a day before. Some people would be put off by the randomness, but I am excited, and I think it will give me more direction to my meal plannings. I expect to spend very little in produce to supplement.

I intend to post about our cartons of produce once we pick up our first one, but at this point, I am just really excited.

The farm that our produce is coming from is Morning Song Farm. Their main fertilizer is from the llamas that they keep, and they are completely organic.

I cannot vouch for this yet, but if you are as excited as I was when I first heard about it, I encourage you to check yourself and see if there is one near you that offers the same service.

Poor Lily

Our little cat Lily has bad teeth.

When she went in for her check up, our vet found that her gums were red and irritated, and since we haven't been brushing her teeth, she now needed to go in, and have a dental cleaning under anesthesia.

We didn't love it (or the price) but we don't want our cat to lose her teeth, so we took her in.

However, once under anesthesia, it turns out that it was worse than our vet originally thought. She not only had irritated gums, apparently she has some condition where her immune system attacks her enamel of her teeth, wearing them away into nothing. She had to have her worst tooth removed, and another is close to follow if we don't start regularly brushing her teeth. Apparently it was nothing we were doing wrong (although brushing would have helped) but just a genetic condition.

The worst is that even IF we are faithful and dedicated to brushing our cute feline's teeth, she will still most likely have no teeth when she is an old kitty. The positive is that even if she loses all of her teeth, she can still eat fine, its just going to be wet food that she gums down, and she will still live a happy life.

It hurt paying more than we expected for her visit, but the saddest news for me is that even if we do everything right... she still will lose her teeth, just slower. The vet assured us she will be fine... but I wouldn't want to live without teeth. Sigh...

Did I mention it also makes me ache to see her little shaved wrists from where they had to draw her blood?

How will I ever manage having my future kids get hurt, if having my cat go through things is this tough?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Four Random Photos and their stories


Okay, so this is totally random, and I am probably weird because I decided to take a picture of it, but what looks like just a bowl of yogurt with granola and fruit is actually the first yogurt that I ate entirely with fruit from our garden! All of the strawberries and blueberries in the picture were picked fresh from my garden before they went into my breakfast. Also, I am now eating plain yogurt with fruit and granola instead of already sweetened stuff.


Roxie LOVES carrots, and she loves them to the point that anytime we are making anything with carrots (in this picture he was grating carrots for carrot cake) she sits near us in the kitchen staring at the food in hopes that we will give her some (and we usually do). I thought it was so cute I wanted to share.


Sorry this is blurry, but it officially documents me joining more of the trendy world of fashion with my first pair of skinny jeans. I think they look pretty good on me, even though I was super nervous that they would make my legs look too long. This is thanks to my mother in law who (at my request) got me a ton of clothes for my birthday, and I think she has good taste (don't worry, she doesn't wear the young stuff, she just knows how to tell what looks good on people).


My girl cat Lily's favorite place to be right now is the sink. It is a trifle bit annoying if you were hoping to use the sink that she is currently laying in, but then you think AWWW how cute... and you use another sink.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Wonderful Husband

I always love my husband, and I know that he is a wonderful guy, but there are some days that he blows me away with his thoughtfulness!

Today Blake and I were crossing paths because I had a class from 4-6:30 and he goes to the gym at 6:20-30 ish because that is when he is scheduled for his personal trainer. I was a bit bummed about it, and when I got off early, I hoped to catch him, but alas I didn't.

As I was leaving my car, I sent him a text saying that I was bummed I missed him, and then I walked in and saw this:


He had made dinner for the two of us, cleaned the kitchen, bought me a bouquet of flowers and wrote me a note saying that he was sorry that he missed me, but he was looking forward to seeing me after the gym.

I love him so much!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garden's setback

I have been fairly faithful about taking pictures of the garden, and in some of the last ones I showed how some of our plants are already growing, and we would have produce soon.

Well... we will have to wait a bit more on the produce.

We had probably about 5 peppers growing, one or two big enough to pick, and in fact we had planned a meal around using our first peppers from the garden this week.

Even more exciting, we had some cucumbers getting ready, I would say about 4, and they were already 5 or 6 inches long, and just needed to fill out a bit more first.

But today when we came home from church, we walked into our backyard and saw that one of us had left the garden gate slightly unlatched, and our lab got into the garden, messed up the sprinkler system AND sigh... ate our first produce.

She was very thorough, not a single pepper survived, although thankfully the plants are still intact, and a few even have flowers on them so more are coming. Also, none of our cucumbers made it, but again, the plant is still alive. Guess she was excited she found some tasty little veggie treats.

We were both extremely frustrated and disappointed about losing the produce we were so excited about, but we are counting our blessings that no plants were completely destroyed, they will all be able to recover and bear produce again. Its just a setback.

Tying this post with the other one I wrote today, my friend Emily doesn't even have most of her plants outside yet, much less bearing produce because of how cold it is in Oregon, so just the fact that I still have happy, healthy, tall plants enjoying the sunshine already is a good thing... even if my produce takes a bit longer.

She's a dog, she saw an opportunity for more food, and took it, I don't blame her (anymore), I am just learning patience in yet another area of life. :-)

Trip to Oregon

On April 5th through 7th, I went to Oregon to visit my oldest friend Emily. Incidentally, she married my cousin, and so she is also my cousin in law.

Even though it was my first time flying alone ( I know, how did I make it to 25 without doing that before lol) I had a wonderful time. We hadn't seen each other in over a year, and hadn't talked that much in between visits, but from the time we greeted each other in the airport to when she left me to do security check, it was like old times, and there were no awkward moments or pauses.

One of the best parts was that it was a really relaxing trip. We didn't do anything that spectacular, but we did go shopping, have coffee, walk, talk and play some board games together. It was wonderful simple bonding time.

I have the few pictures that I took from the trip, but I did mess up and failed to get a single picture of the two of us together lol. Oh well, guess I'll save that for the next trip.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Weekend in Morro Bay

We had a wonderful weekend in Morro Bay for my mother in law's 50th birthday.

We drove up on Thursday, and had a nice dinner with everyone Thursday night.

Friday morning was our bicycling tour to do tasting at the vineyards. It started out fabulously. I hadn't ridden a bike in a few years, and so I was nervous about doing it again, but the phrase "it's like riding a bike" is an apt phrase, because it really was easy to pick up again.

It was exhilarating to be riding in the fresh morning air around all of these beautiful vineyards, and it was fun hanging out with everyone during the tasting times too. The trips to the first few vineyards were just fun. Then we had a 5-6 mile stretch to get to the place where we were going to have lunch, I was getting rather tired by this point, but I pushed through and made it.

Although the stretch to lunch was tiring, it also was a moment where I was extremely proud of myself for making it, and so the tiredness was worth it.

We had a very pleasant lunch, and then the next stretch was 3 miles or so. What you have to know about this point is that Morro Bay has crazy winds that pick up in the afternoon. Every day we were there these afternoon winds appeared, and made our activities that much more difficult.

So at this point, I have already been biking all morning, and am already tired, then the wind was blowing against us making every pedal that much harder. There was one point where my bike was on the absolute lowest gear it could be, and I was still exhausted. My thighs were BURNING, but I kept pushing through because I wanted to finish the whole bike ride. I did, with Blake's encouragement, make it to the next vineyard... but just barely lol.

I got there, and I was waiting to see where to park the bike, but it was hurting just to stand, so I just handed it to Blake. Then I sat... but my legs were still hurting, so I just laid down (I know... pathetic... but I was so tired, and my legs hurt so much, that was the only way I felt comfortable at that point.) After resting for a bit, I did feel better, and was able to sit and join the rest of the group. Meanwhile... Blake seeing how entirely exhausted I was at that point put my bike on the van that was with us on the trip (for those who didn't want to do all of the riding, but still join us at the tastings), and made the executive decision that I should be in the van for the rest of the trip.

Some people might be offended if their significant other made this call for them... but I wasn't. If he had asked me, I might have still tried to go on, even though I was exhausted, just to prove that I could, or to not look like a wimp to him. But since he made the call, I knew that he wasn't disappointed, and he also reassured me that I did great, and that he was proud of how far I was able to go (about 15 miles total to that point). The other thing was that he was way holding himself back staying with me, and I felt bad about that, so I was kind of glad that he could continue without going slow for his less in shape wife.

Turns out, there was only one other female in the group that went past the vineyard that I stopped riding at, and she had been training for two months to be able to do the whole ride (unlike me and the other women who trained... none... and we were done lol). Even though there were about 20 of us that started the ride, only 6 people finished the whole trip... and Blake was the first to finish. It totally wasn't a race, and it was made more even because we all stopped at the vineyards, and left them at the same time to keep us together, but I am still extremely proud of him for finishing, and for finishing first of the 6 that completed it. Especially since if we had done this bike ride a year ago, I doubt he would have ridden past lunchtime, and even that would have been a struggle for him.

But I digress. The first batch of pictures are of the last vineyard we were at (and I remembered to take pictures) and of some of the last 6 taking off, Blake is the one with the white shirt and black shorts. Isn't it beautiful there?

That night we had my mother in law's dinner, which was nice, but probably not my favorite meal of the trip because it was much more formal than all of the others, and I think I felt more myself at the informal dinners than the formal one.

Saturday morning started with a hike to the kayaking place, and it was a beautiful hike, and I regret taking only one picture, because it is only such a small part of the beauty that was around us.

Kayaking was a ton of fun. This was just Blake, I and my father in law. Blake and I were in a double so that even when I got tired paddling (which was often lol) he was able to keep us with the rest of the group.

We got to see a bunch of wildlife on the trip like an otter (who came within 3 feet of one of the people kayaking with our group), a bunch of harbor seals, birds, etc. We even spotting the fin of a small shark out in the distance.

We kayaked to some sand dunes in the middle of the harbor, and many of the pictures are of us on those dunes, and one of them shows us in relation to Morro Rock, which is what the bay is named after. The wind made the trip back difficult, and Blake and I really had to work hard to get back to the dock against the winds, and also against getting into too shallow of places where your paddle hits mud as you try to go.

That afternoon we went to Hearst castle, and saw his gardens and got to look out over his extensive properties. I wouldn't want to live in such an extravagant place... but I sure wouldn't mind having his views!

Before going back to our hotel, we stopped at an elephant seal viewing area, and got a bunch of pictures of these very large vocal sea animals.

We had a fantastic informal dinner Saturday night at a pizza place in town, and the younger portion of the group (Blake and I, his brother and girlfriend, and a college age son of one of Lori's friends) played a bunch of the video games at the pizza parlor. One crowning moment was when first my brother in law's girlfriend beat him at the arcade game, and then I was able to beat Blake the next round... it felt very victorious!

Our room at the hotel had a jacuzzi on the balcony, and we invited the younger group to our room for a jacuzzi party, which was a great time of hanging out and joking around until it got late.

Sunday we drove back home.

Overall it was a really fun vacation, and it made me want to do more of those kind of outdoor activities at home (kayaking, biking, hiking etc.) without waiting for the next vacation to do them again.