February 26, 2015

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting and Walnuts

I've got some exciting news. I've taken on a big garden project this spring. I am going to convert our pitiful backyard, into a giant edible garden. Speaking out loud about it, here on the blog, I am hoping this will make me a little more accountable and on schedule, and actually fall through with my plan. I have no idea what I am doing and no idea what I am talking about, but I guess that's the fun of it all.

On Valentines weekend Brent and I went to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  Initially, I had planned to attend the event to get some ideas and hopefully scout out a landscape designer. But then I slowly realized that we were attending a large conference center with neatly lined booths trying to sell various gardening related tools, DIY green houses, and backyard fire pits, and the chances of finding someone to redesign our backyard was slim. There were some pretty grand flower displays set up by a few landscapers from the area, but they were grand and magnificent and likely built for royalty, and not in my price range. While there, I was also interested in seeing a few speakers they had lined up. One talk in particular really resonated with me - Mow No More: Beautiful No-Mow Yards by Evelyn Hadden. She talked about the idea of transforming a traditional backyard, one with a neat square of grass, into an oasis of plants and trees. It all made so much sense to me. If you would like some information on the pro's and how-to's, I highly recommend getting a copy of her book.


February 13, 2015

Heart Shaped Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

This month I have teamed up with the folks over at DOLE to bring you a heart healthy, heart-inspired recipe for American Heart Health month. It also just so happens to be Valentines Day this weekend, so if you're looking to make something healthy, delicious, and sweet (and in the shape of a heart!), this recipe is for you.

February is such an easy month to get off track, forget about all of those health related New Year's resolutions that we made only a month ago. The winter doldrums are in full effect, winter seems like it's been here forever, and spring seems like it's nowhere in sight. All we want to do when we get home from work is put on our favorite pair of pj's and plop in front of the couch with our favorite snacks, amiright? I find that I have to dig deep for will power this month. I have to make a concerted effort to get some sort of exercise daily, to eat healthy most of the time, and to resist the urge to purchase post-Valentines Day reduced price chocolate. And by the end of the month I usually feel pretty good. March seems closer to spring than ever. The temperature has warmed enough to make outdoor activities enjoyable. We see a shift from winter produce to spring produce, and I not gonna lie, I am getting pretty excited for fresh local asparagus, greens, onions, and radishes.


February 10, 2015

A Simple Olive Oil and Parsley Pasta

I'm pretty sure the last time we chatted, I had lost my passport, then later found my passport, and am still trying to make it up to Brent for being the one to find it in the printer after a 5 hour scavenger hunt. Despite the whole passport drama, our trip to Big White was a success (except for when I left the interior car light on for 7 days, killing the battery, and then Brent locking the keys in the car). The weather was warm, the people were friendly, and the hill wasn't too busy. The conditions weren't the best that I have ever seen, but the sunny skies and the company made up for it. We rented a condo with a hot tub and an amazing view. We took my niece and nephew tubing, skiing, and snowmobiling and they thought it was the most amazing thing ever. So amazing that they wanted to do it all day and every day. Our trip coincided with Australia Day, which is a BIG deal at Big White considering 90% of the employees are Australian. For three days straight there was a lot of drinking and screaming and hoopla in the village. A large proportion of the skiers were wearing bathing suit attire, which just seems like a really bad idea. Considering my travel companions liked to rise at 6am and go to bed at 8pm, I didn't really get to experience any of the festivities, but to be honest, I didn't really mind. There is nothing cuter than seeing a tiny adorable faces in the morning, and I am sure that a night of drinking would've just ruined that.