Sunday, January 5, 2014

Busy in the kitchen & trying new things on a Sunday

It's been a super busy & productive day, & I'm exhausted! :-) We got up this morning, & after breakfast, decided to harvest the rest of the ripe produce. We typically do this 1x/month to avoid the fruit rotting and falling off the trees.

What we picked today:

And, here's what I made. I juiced over 100 lemons & oranges. With a hand cranked juicer. I'm considering that my strength workout for the day. ;-) Check out this epic lemon!

The avocados will go on the counter to ripen, along with the six others. Fun fact about avocados - they don't ripen on the tree. I kept waiting for them to ripen, feeling them on the tree for about a month. Finally, I did some research online. You need to wait for the avocado to grow to a large size (my Haas are giants!) & then pick. Ripen in a brown paper bag with a banana. It typically takes at least a week, sometimes up to 10 days to ripen. We'll be making guacamole for the next few weeks!

And, post-harvesting, here's our mandarin tree. Love this fruit. How gorgeous are they, all cut up & ready for juicing? (We juice rather than eat raw, as the kids struggle with the seeds. The adults eat them raw. ;-))

After the fruit was juiced, I whipped up these amazing hamburger buns (thanks, Carla, for the recommendation!). We had them with grilled burgers tonight & they were absolutely fantastic. I used some of the leftovers for school lunches (groan, back to lunch packing with school starting again tomorrow).

I also made homemade pizza dough. I was planning to make pizza tonight, but after the buns turned out so well, I decided to switch up the menu & take advantage of the gorgeous day. I ran to the store to grab ground beef, & Nick & I discovered a huge sale on pasta - $.25/package. Pasta is probably our number one staple in our house, so we picked up 10 packages. I hope to go back this week for more. In other news, we found this GIANT bag of spring mix salad for $1.49 at the local produce stand (note the highlighter for size reference).

We also took the kids to the elementary school, to roam around on their scooters, & I ran laps. Three miles, so not a huge run, but very enjoyable in the sunshine.

I also tried my hand at homemade hummus (again, yum! I need to tweak the recipe a bit, but it was great!) Served with cucumber, broccoli, & a few pita chips.

And, on to the chit chat! Thanks, as always, to Carla for providing the inspiration!

  • Reading: A book on my Kindle - "To Dye For", I think? 
  • Listening to: The boys, playing Kinect Bowling.
  • Watching: Ditto above.
  • Cooking/Baking: I made so much - hamburger buns, hummus, pizza dough, & juiced 200 citrus fruit. . .
  • Happy you accomplished this week: Happy I survived my first week back, even if it was just two days.
  • Looking forward to next week: Getting back into a routine. I'm hoping to spin a few times, and do some yoga. Also, I have a girls evening planned on Wednesday!
  • Thankful for today: I'm thankful for a happy, healthy family, & the energy to work in the kitchen & enjoy my life.
  • Bonus Question (do you like any winter sports): Absolutely! We love skiing. I got a late start (I was 25 when I learned), so I'm very average, but love it just the same.
And, in "living in the moment" news, I was off on a leisurely walk in the sunshine on Friday, when I started getting "urgent" text & calls from work. I was responding on my phone, when I looked up & almost tripped over a deer! It was only about five feet from me, & I hadn't even seen it. Let that be my lesson for being distracted by work in the midst of such gorgeous scenery.

Happy Sunday! What did you do today?


  1. i'm hungry! lol!! Glad you liked the buns, they smell fabulous! I've never eaten one, (kills me, lol!) but my hubby & kids love them and they smell sooo good! lol! Love the deer... wow!! So close too! Lucky you!

    1. They are totally amazing. I typically don't eat my burger with a bun (just a fork, with mustard & tomatoes to go with it), but the kids love them. Today was too tempting - the smell - so great! The deer & I were both shocked to see each other. ;-)

  2. On the avocados, DH puts them into the bag with a tomato or two. We've been buying avocados and organic beefsteak tomatoes at Costco and neither of them are ever ripe, so into the paper bag they go and within a few days both are ready to eat. I think this is something he read on the internet when he banned bananas from the household.

    1. Do I want to know why bananas are banned? ;-) I can't wait to start growing our own tomatoes! I agree - they are rarely ever ripe. I'll try the avocados with tomatoes & see which ones ripen faster. Thank you!

    2. Again, something he read on the internet about bananas aiding and abetting weight gain. He'd been injured and his weekly mileage dropped from 35-45 to 15 and weight was creeping back on ... ban bananas and things will surely return to normal? Life with a retired ultramarathon runner is sometimes an exercise in patience. :)

  3. You had a very busy day! I live in the cold North. It would be awesome to be able to grow citrus fruit!

    1. It's quite a novelty for me as well - Seattle was never known for a good growing season, & the trees are very little work. It's a huge win to be renting a house with all of this produce. I consider a (VERY) tiny offset of the rent. ;-)