Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Month of Pinterest Recipes - Pickled Asparagus

Spring means fresh veggies are starting to appear.  Thanks goodness.  With a lack of variety in grocery stores you are limited to what you can get at Walmart and Meijer in terms of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Meijer far outweighs Walmart in terms of quality and selection.  So when local fresh yumminess becomes available, we grab it up while we can.

The first vegetable to pop through the winter madness is asparagus.  YUM!  We love it grilled, broiled, or pickled.  Cameron informed me last week that as he was driving past the asparagus farm they had a sign out that it was finally available.  So he used all the cash in his pocket and bought a bunch.  Thank goodness he only had about $14 in his pocket.  We got 7 pounds of asparagus.  Some was immediately grilled for dinner and the rest was used for this:

We all love pickled asparagus.  Especially the hot and spicy kind, but at $6 a jar, it is kinda pricey!  So I set out to find a good recipe and after reading lots of reviews on lots of recipes, we decided to try this one.  You can find the original recipe here.  We do not like the sweet so we left out all the sugar and added garlic to each jar.  We also added a Serrano pepper to most jar and left some with just the pepper flakes to see which way we liked best.

Hot Pickled Asparagus
These are so good.  We love the pickling juice and will be using it this summer to do our pickles also.  So good.

So far we have only tried the one with just a Serrano in it.  It was delicious and after it sets for a little while it is only going to get better.  Yummo!  Better go get some more asparagus because these jars are going to disappear quickly.

Next up on Month of Pinterest recipes:  Mushroom and Cheddar Stuffed Onions!

Summer of Festivals - Tulip Time - Holland, MI

This will be our third summer in Michigan.  Michigan is a place FULL of festivals.  They have festivals for flowers, vegetables, fungi (a.k.a. mushrooms), cars, antiques, historical events, and on and on.  Every year we say we are going to go and every year we are insanely busy, the menfolk don't want to go, we forget, or mostly we are just plain broke.  This year we decided we are going to these festivals no matter what.

The first festival on our list is one that my Mom chose.  The Tulip Time Festival in Holland.  She went when she was young with her parents.  This weekend A. was off with her buddies at a Taylor Swift concert and the boys were hanging out with Grandpa and Dad getting the garden ready for me to plant.  So Rachel, Mom, and I headed off to Holland for the Tulip Time Festival.

First festival lesson learned, it may not be such a great idea to go to a festival on the very first day.  It was crazy busy there.  People and cars everywhere and we really had no idea where we were going.  Just about every festival has a section like a county fair with rides and games and such and we didn't want to go to that part of the festival.  Not sure I could get my Mom on a ride even if we had wanted to go that portion.  But trying to get around all of those people was ridiculous.  Eventually we found a parking spot and found the free tulip garden.  I never knew there were so many varieties of tulips.  Just gorgeous colors and variations in the petal size and shape.

We all had our favorite.  Of course as we walked around that kept changing.

All the streets were lined with these gorgeous trees.  Not sure what they were but they were all in full bloom with the pretty pinkish purplish blossoms on them.  Just beautiful.

All in all for our first festival, and not knowing where we were going, or what exactly was happening there, we had a good time, saw a new city that we plan on visiting again, and got one thing checked off of our bucket list for the summer.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Month of Pinterest Recipes - Nutella Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

So after pinning many delicious recipes and only trying a couple I have decided that May is going to be my month of Pinterest recipes.

First recipe of the month is the pile of deliciousness:

You can find the recipe for this awesomeness here

A. has a slight obsession with Nutella.  Not even a generic or off-brand will do for her.  So her and I headed to get some Nutella and chocolate for this recipe and came home to discover that we had forgotten the chocolate.  Big GRRRRRRR!!!  So I googled and found a simple Nutella brownie recipe that required only three ingredients.  And thankfully they were ingredients that we had on hand.  Nutella, flour, and eggs.

I can't wait to try these again following Nutmeg Nanny's recipe.  I think it will be even more delicious.  On a side note, be sure to make these when there will be LOTS of people around so you don't devour the whole pan by yourself.  No, seriously!  They are that good.

These are our yummies.  My frosting didn't come out as thick but I think I could have used a little more peanut butter and a little more powdered sugar.  I was in a bit of a time crunch and just wanted to get them done.  Even so, these were so good.

One Pinterest recipe down, endless possibilities to go.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Let The Gardening Begin

Be warned, this post is going to be full of randomness.  Complain enough and I will eventually post something.  I know I am so behind.  We went to the butterfly exhibit in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago and I promise to get those pics up soon.  In the meantime, enjoy my random, scatter-brained, musings.

Last Wednesday we woke up to snow on the trees.  One week later, I get a sunburn while out in service this afternoon.  Go figure!  And silly me, I have been in sweater mode for so long that I wore a sweater again today and Whamo! we made it up to 85° today.  Wow!  On the plus side, this means that the trees are in overdrive blooming out, and it is officially get the garden ready time.

So this is our plan, or the start of our plan anyhow.  This year we are going to try "wide row" gardening.  Sounds a little easier, a little better.  Anything that involves less weeding I am all for.  Nothing is planted yet, so if you have any requests, you know, cause you are going to come visit late this summer and you want some homegrown goodness, better get it in quick.

All the little birdies are back including this cute little Chickadee.  Spring is for sure finally here!  It seems like it took forever this year.  But we are very glad for all the extra rain.  After a fairly dry summer last year we need that extra rain for the garden.  All the rivers and lakes around here are so high.  We went to Grand Rapids earlier this week and all the buildings that are built right on the edge of the Grand River have water up over their first floor windows.

This is Gilbert (the dog) and June (the cat).  This is their normal perch where they scope out the squirrels who love to come and torment them.

That is all my randomness for today.  I promise I have stuff in the works to post and some pics of our little faces for you to see.  We miss you all so much!