Recent Happenins

Spoiler: the past few months haven't JUST been weddingsandcabinsandfun. We DID manage to get a few smallish projects done. So here's a little recap on some updates!

A fresh cut
There was a time (all of last year) where I was all "I'm going to RIP these bushes out and replace them with new ones." BUT then I was like, well, I want to keep the same look, so i'll just replace them with the same things and OMG why don't I just try to get a green thumb and resurrect them from the living?! Ya see, they were NOT growing in well last year, super spotty/gross. Well, THANKFULLY nature had my back. And after these bushes looked sup's shotty last year, they started to grow back with vengeance. So we hacked and whacked away at them. AND DID YOU KNOW that actually HELPS the bush grow? It's like split ends, gotta get the little trims to keep your hair long and healthy

NOTED. Thanks Nature.

I've handed over ALL lawn care duties to the fiancé and awhile back he was like BTW there's hornets in the backyard and I was all suuuuuuuure. Then we had people over and they were ALL up with my bizznash and even bit someone. So I was after blood at that point. Also, I wanted to paint this lower part and almost got attacked. They were hiding under the top panel board - so I MURDERED them one afternoon and haven't heard a peep since!

Anywho, this is the 'siding' on the workshop and, instead of ACTUAL siding, good 'ol plywood was put up. It's going to be a whole DEAL to rip it out, probs repair some concrete and ask all the spider families to leave. So, in an effort to get it through another winter (Surprisingly it's lasted just fine the last two, but the paint was peeling harrrrrd) I wanted to slap a fresh coat on.

First I scraped any loose bits, then put on two heavy coats. Good as new.

It's been AWHILE since I've had a good 'ol furniture update job. It was nice to dust off the sander (LOLJK it'll always be full of sawdust) and see what this beauty could be. My parents' friends (hey Mark and Pam!) were getting rid of a few things and I'm sure my parents told them of my hoarding OBVIOUSLY I took it.

It's a SUPER cute dresser, it just needed some love (lots of scratches), I tried this new Rustoleum chalk paint (Cheaper than Anne Sloan!), I was a little disappointed after the first coat (It says it only takes one), but figured had I used a rolled instead of a brush maybe I'd have different results?

Anyways, after two it looked amazing, I sanded down a few spots to reveal the original wood. Then I spray painted the brass handles to an oil rubbed bronze and she's good to go! The color is a SUPER light grey which I'm currently obsessed with.

This past weekend I cleaned out my storage area (peace out college papers and middle school photo albums (NOone needs to see those anymore)) and living room basement (which was basically a garage sale waiting to happen) to put everything on Craigslist, so GO BUY IT ALL. Or don't whatever. But it feels good to get that space semi-cleaned?'s going to need to be EMPTY so I can remove the lava carpet and light a fire under my ass to get the basement in DECENT shape. But first, a little revamp of the storage area...


Check check this thing on?

I LOLed at myself the other day whilst reading one of my go-to blogs. She wrote something along the lines of August being so busy with endofsummer beginningofschool stuff with kids and woah extended dead silence on the interwebs. And I'm like LOL right girl?! Only, I have no children, and I'm not in school anymore. But! BUT! This summer WAS busy, in a great way. So many weddings and cabin weekends that I'm thinking a good 'ol detox is in order.

Unfortunately, fortunately? That halted any house projects that I had in mind. Which, honestly (can I be honest?) I was a little burnt out after the kitchen/dining room renovation. So many hours of painting, sanding, tiling, installing and uninstalling and reinstalling everything. I hit a wall (literally and figuratively?) so this was a MUCH needed unintentional break.

BUT I'm not here to talk about house projects (later, pinky swear!), I'm here to talk about CSA and what forced me to eat my veggies during such a busy summer.

CSA: Community Sponsored Agriculture.

This is the second year I have participated in a CSA and let me tell you...NEY, let me SHOW YOU...

A Half Share
Sorry, Iphone pics FTW (broke my lens in Rio, RIP!) 

Every other week I pick up fresh, farm grown veggies from a neighborhood pick up. The farm is located in Prior Lake, MN, and is called Green Earth Growers. I cannot POSSIBLY eat this much in two weeks, so I split this share with my sister and it works out PERFECTLY. 

Each share comes with a variety, based on what is ripe at that time of the summer. All summer we typically get zucchini, cucumbers, kale/chard, tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic. Towards the end of summer we see more corn, beets, hot peppers and potatoes (in ADDITION to everything else). 

One thing that this CSA has done is re-shape my summer diet (oh, if only this could continue in the winter hibernation months!) and forced me to try new recipes. SO, I thought i'd share a few that i've been heavily rotating. I'll let you know, I don't like complicated recipes. If it has like 10 ingredients or more I flip the page. "okay now a DASH of cumin, some dandelion root extract and a pinch of red wine vinegar, bread crumbs..." NO. I mean YES, it's probably delicious. But I like fast, I like easy. 

One thing I've gotten better at this summer is prepping the food RIGHT when I get my CSA. It kills me when food goes bad (sorry last week's corn!) because of my neglect! My FIANCE (!!) bought me The CSA Cookbook this year which was AMAZE (so is her blog, gimme some chickens!). What's GREAT about this book is it taught me how to properly take care of veggies straight from the garden. Once they are pulled you are basically cutting off their water supply (which is why they get wilty so quickly). Oh and BTW, did you know you should keep your tomatoes OUT of the fridge? Literally never done that, UNTIL NOW.

Mason Jars, you da best.
OKAY, now for a few recipes. In the mason jars above I have TWO different kinds of salsa and a salad (that i've had for lunch...for the past two weeks).

Salsa 1:
Chop the following items, then let it sit overnight
  • 4-5 large heirloom tomatoes
  • One onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos (no seeds!)
  • 1/2c chopped cilantro
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Salsa 2:
Set the oven to 400*, then in a baking pan add the following items, covered in coconut oil
  • 2-3 tomatoes cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 2 jalapenos (or more for some HEAT!)

Place the pan in the oven until the skin on the tomatoes cracks. Pull it out and place everything in a blender. Once blended, add 1/4c chopped cilantro. This is a great warm salsa and is ready right away.

Mason Jar Salad:
This was made in an effort to use up zucchini, which is a daily struggle for CSA participants. Add the following ingredients, in that order, into a mason jar. Will keep for about a week.
  • 2 TBS Avocado Dressing (Mix Avocados with Olive oil (or Coconut water))
  • 1/4c Shredded zucchini
  • 1/2c Cooked Quinoa
  • 1/2c veggies (I used corn and frozed peas)
  • sprinkle feta cheese on top

CHEESE! Note to self: work on your food photo game.
I LOVE Caprese salads. I found a recipe awhile back that takes out the bread and adds zucchini so I thought i'd try it and OMG.

Zucchini Caprese:

  • One small zucchini
  • One tomato
  • Basil
  • Mozzarella cheese

Put some olive oil in a pan and place slices of zucchini in it (you could also bake it!). Once crispy on one side, flip them over and add Mozzarella cheese on top to melt. Cut up some tomatoes and basil - super easy dinner, but FILLING!

I paired that with some Chard chips. Kale/Chard chips are a staple in my house these days. Basically every night we toss a pan into the oven. They are a great snack/dinner side dish. Just chop up some kale (dino kale is the best for this) or chard. Coat with coconut oil and toss in the oven at 400* for about 10-15 minutes (depending on how crispy you like it. sprinkle with some salt and YOU'RE DONE.

Zucchini Fritters (Basically Zucchini Pancakes)
1 Medium Sized Zucchini
1 Egg
2TBSP Flour (or more)
1 Avocado
2TBSP Greek Yogurt

Grate the Zucchini and drain the excess water out. Mix the Zucchini, Egg and Flour together in a bowl until its the consistency of a pancake. Pour into small pancake size rounds on a hot pan with oil in it. Once crispy, flip over to bake the other side.

Sauce: Mash up 1 avocado and 2TBSP of Greek Yogurt, dip fritter in it and yummmmmm.

Zucchini Muffins
(trying to stuff zucchini in EVERYTHING)
This recipe is LEGIT, super good brekky food. Sometimes Zucchini muffins TASTE like Zucchini muffins, but these DON'T.

1 2/3c Whole Wheat Flour
1TSP Baking Powder
1TSP Baking Soda
1TSP Cinnamon (I double/triple this, yum)
1/2TSP Salt
1/2C Maple Syrup (Honey will work too!)
1/2C Milk
1/4C melted coconut oil
1TSP Vanilla Extract
1 1/2C Grated Zucchini
1/3C Uncooked Oats
Chocolate Chips for topping :)
^^I KNOW this doesn't meet my 5 ingredients of bust motto, but like 99% of this list can already be found in your cupboard, pinky swear

Preheat the oven to 350*. Mix dry/wet ingredients (except Zucchini/Oats/Chocolate) separately, then slowly mix together. Fold in the Zucchini and oats. Spray a muffin pan and portion batter into each cup. Top with oats and chocolate chips. Bake for 18-20 minutes, keep in a Tupperware, should last about a week!

Do YOU have any good go-to recipes that don't involve a laundry list of magical ingredients only found at the summit of a mountain?