CG Blog Swap Review and Reveal

My package has arrived! I was a first timer participating in the CG Blog Swap. You can see from this post how excited I was. The point in a nutshell is to find local favorites and send them to a blogger that you have been matched up with somewhere in the country. It’s a really cool idea and I loved doing it. I sent lots of edibles from the middle Georgia area like honey, peach preserves, and bread and butter pickles all made locally. Unfortunately, the blogger that I was assigned to flaked out on me but Beth and Angie were great about it and sent me a wonderful package instead. I was just like a child opening up a Christmas present. My son was so excited and helped me along the way. He commandeered the yo-yo and button immediately.

Here is my reveal:

CG Blog Swap

He actually kissed the first package before we opened it. #excitement

Bob's Red Mill Bread Mix

blog swap from Washington

This fantastic package included:

A postcard from Washington (the state not the capital),

A canadian yo-yo

Two packets of edible flowers from Agrilicious (I have already planted this weekend)

Sea salt from San Juan Island

A travel bug

Cedar Cove on DVD based on the book by Debbie Macomber

Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Bread Mix

A pen from a local tech company

A magic unicorn pin

Chicaoji Hot Sauce!created on Lopez Island, Washington

My overall thoughts on this swap was it was fun, exciting, and I highly recommend participating if you can. Beth and Angie offer more than just this swap on their blog. They are currently hosting a book swap. Check out their website here.

//

Easter

Image-1We’ve had a great Easter so far. I volunteered to chair the Easter Committee at church. Probably not my brightest idea but we managed to have a great day with lots of fun. NuWay hotdogs and hamburgers, craft time, and of course, the main event-the egg hunt itself. Although I was completely wore out afterwards, the joy that the kids got to experience was priceless.

Weekly Reflections

This post is a little late because I was a little preoccupied with my broken phone, broken dryer, and stolen tax refund.

Parents that travel for work.

I was in Savannah for a work conference for only four days and you would have thought I was locked up never to see my family again. I was constantly calling, texting and skyping to make sure they were surviving without me. When I got home, my husband informed me that my son had been asking when I was coming home. He said they don’t missed me terribly and that he appreciated all the things I do for them which brought me great joy for sure. I thought about all the prep work I did to prepare to leave for this trip which wasn’t even a whole week-cleaning the whole house, doing all laundry, buying enough groceries to last them, leaving emergency cash, pick up arrangements for my son’s school day, notes to get the parents at the baseball practice I would miss, etc, etc. All that work for just a few days away.

It made me think about all of those working parents out there that travel a lot for work. What they must feel when they are away from their children so much. The activities that they miss, the lunches they don’t get to pack, the bedtime stories that someone else has to read their children because they are not there, the amount of tears they must cry because they miss all these things and more. All in the name of supporting their family. To give them the things they need, like lights and running water and things they want, like an Xbox or Elsa dolls. All the sacrifices that they make-that the whole family makes. I don’t see how they do it. And I don’t mean that in an ugly way. I just think that they are such strong people. I envy that strength. I was a pile of mush after 4 days. I was ready to just steal a car and drive 100 miles an hour home just to get to see my little boy a few hours sooner. I guess the kids and the spouses get used to all the travel after a while though. It probably becomes the norm. But still, parents that travel for work are incredibly brave and strong people-what they do is such a sacrifice.

Garden Recipes: Zucchini Bread

Image-1 (2) I have grown zucchini since I started gardening four years ago. I still remember my first garden. It was two garden boxes that my Dad built for me. They were way too long and wide. It costs me almost $100 to fill them up with “good” soil because I didn’t know anything about manure or compost. I was so proud of my very first tomatoes and squash. I even grew some lima beans and my son and I sat on our kitchen floor and picked them out of their little pods.

Image-1 (1)

I got these from Kroger in the damaged section. They might not look pretty but they taste great!

Since I have never eaten zucchini by itself before and I love to bake, I made some zucchini bread. This recipe is moist and sweet. It is a favorite for my family. My husband (who never brags about anything) told his co-workers that I make the best zucchini bread ever!Got this zucchini from Kroger in the damaged

The one disclaimer about this recipe, and I don’t want to sound like a Martha Stewart because all my recipes are super simple and easy, if you use store bought zucchini, be prepared for less moisture. Garden fresh zucchini is super moist and it makes your batter very wet before going into the pan. It still takes great but I had this experience when we got hooked ob zucchini bread over the Summer and I tried to replicate it this Winter.

What are your favorite garden recipes?

When it rains.

IMG_20150302_081022_291

Breakfast session

You know that saying-When it rains, it pours. I do. It does seem like bad things tend to build up and explode on you all at once. At least they do for me. I spent 4 days in Savannah for a work conference and although I had a blast, it was the prequel to some rough times. First, my phone broke up with me. It’s been on the fritz for a while but decided to dump me completely this weekend. Just like a scorned ex-boyfriend, it left me with no way of getting my photos, videos, or contacts-definitely a bummer. Second, my identity was stolen. I couldn’t figure out why in the hell turbo tax would not let me submit. I called the IRS, waited 27 minutes, spoke with someone who put me on hold, we got disconnected, I called back and couldn’t get through again. Sooo..I called the next day, waited for 1 hour and 2 minutes to speak to a lady who told me that I was a victim of identity theft and that someone had filed a fraudulent return on me in 2013 (We didn’t file in 2013). I was shocked and saddened. It will be roughly 180 days before they can process this year’s return after I turn in my identity theft affidavit which will take 4-6 weeks to process. Third, my heating element went out in my dryer. The good news is that I ordered a replacement that will be here in 5-10 business days. Until then, I’m bumming some heat from my sister’s dryer. help_a_1

Fourth, I was told by one of my bosses that many teachers that work in another building (not even in my department) are anger that I got to attend a conference about my job. I know that professional jealousy is just a part of life but seriously?. What the hell is wrong with people? . It’s like they have the mean girls syndrome. More like a cross between mean girls and the bitchy housewives of “The Help” They are unhappy so they want you to be unhappy too.mean-girls

So I did what I always do-call my mama, ate junk food, and drank some wine. Chalking it up to a crappy week, scraping the mud off my face and reminded myself that haters gonna hate-I must be doing something right.

Soothing Soup Recipe

I woke up on this beautiful Valentine’s Day morning, I’m being facetious-it was actually a very cold morning. A chilly 25 degrees to be exact.., with a sore throat. I downed three cups of coffee hoping it would just go away but to no avail. I had a romantic lunch time Sushi date with my husband at our favorite restaurant followed by ice cream and a long nap. The one thing about living in Georgia is the constant sinus problems. We have a lot of really hot days that trick our trees, grass and other nature into believing it’s time to disperse pollen and then the temperature drops to 20 degrees at night. This is an ongoing cycle for us here. I actually wanted to research today if we are the state that sells the most sinus medication in the United States. We have to be at least at the top.

Copyright: Food Network

Copyright: Food Network

To soothe my sore throat, I made a pot of green cauldron soup. This is a recipe that I got back in October when I watched the Halloween episode of Farmhouse Rules. I LOVE Food Network especially simple recipes. In this episode Nancy makes a batch on broccoli and cheese soup for a murder mystery party. I’ve made this recipe at least three times since October. It is very good, easy to digest and simple to make.

I’m a firm believer in working with what you got. Some of my favorite kitchen recipes have some from me just working with what I had. So here are a few tweaks I made to the recipe:

I did substitute the soft herbed cheese with regular ol’ sharp cheddar. The closest thing to soft cheese around here is kraft mozzarella and I’m not driving for an hour to pick up the “right” kind of cheese. It’s just as good with 2 cups of regular sharp cheddar.

I also don’t have an immersion blender. Or a food processor. Or a normal sized blender. I scooped out the tender broccoli and onion pieces and blended them in batches in my single serving blender that I use to make smoothies. It turned out just fine.