Friday, August 08, 2008

Thankful


It's been so busy around here, that I have been doing everything but resting. I decided to take the summer off teaching ESL students so I could "take it easy" since I had a really rough first trimester. Let me tell ya, even without having ESL students 24-7, things haven't slowed down a bit here!

In a way, I'm glad I took some time off (and that I was able to take time off). I definitely wouldn't have been able to handle all the chores around here (living on a farm, there's always something unexpected that happens every day), the lesson prepping, teaching, cooking for all the students, cleaning for all the students, taking them on field trips, and all the other drama that comes with operating an ESL business. With my first 2.5 months of being pregnant, I couldn't eat anything without being sick. Everything made me nauseous. I was even losing weight.

Now that we're in our 14th week of pregnancy, I'm feeling much better. I'm thankful for no more ALL DAY sickness and I'm even more thankful that all is well with "Junior". I keep laughing because Hubby keeps calling the baby "Junior", and because he keeps doing that, I bet the baby will be a girl! :) Either way, I'm excited! It would be nice to have a little girl or a little boy!

I'm thankful for having lots and lots of produce from our gardens. Everything is best eaten fresh, but since we've got so many veggies, some of them will be great prepared and frozen for winter use. Now I know why Hubby doesn't really like eating beans! I LOVE beans, but Hubby said that if I had to eat beans (and LOTS of them) ALL THE TIME while growing up, I'd feel the same way he does about them! I still love them though!

What to do what ALL those peppers, onions and tomatoes from the garden??? Make some Salsa Fresca, of course!Salsa Fresca basically means fresh or uncooked salsa. I serve it on top of my grilled salmon or have it handy for our nieces to eat with tortilla chips when they're at our house. Our two nieces keep telling me how much they love my Salsa Fresca, and I feel good about giving it to them because it's basically ALL vegetables!!

C's SALSA FRESCA RECIPE
Ingredients:
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 or 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
a few splashes of lemon juice
salt & black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. It's that easy! You can spice it up with a few dashes of hot pepper flakes or a few dashes of Tobasco sauce. I don't make it spicy for the girls though. You can also try similar Salsa Fresca recipes like this one. You can serve the salsa with tacos, chicken, or whatever you feel like. It's a truly tasty, refreshing accompaniment to whatever you're serving.

Trying to find even more ways to use all those peppers, onions and tomatoes, I concocted something a little different. I sauteed some chopped onion, diced red and green pepper, diced mushroom, and a bit of prosciutto (for Hubby, but mine didn't have any meat). I put 2 Tbsp. of the sauteed ingredients on some puff pastry, topped it off with Manchego cheese (ummm...not sure if pregnant women are supposed to eat these kinds of cheese though), brought the corners of the pastry to center of each "basket" or "flower"(or wrap...or whatever you want to call them), and popped them into a preheated 350 degree oven for 13 minutes. You can make your own puff pastry. I've tried it before, but if you're hard pressed for time you can always buy some ready made puff pastry at your local supermarket. It's a lot less hassle to just buy the ready to use puff pastry! :)

Another thing I'm thankful for is the kindness of people like Karen. Karen has become such a great pal over the past few years that I've been blogging. I also had the chance to meet her in person, as she is friends with my IRL friends, Fancy, Danielle and Dina (the last two were also former roommates of mine and Dina and I used to teach together) in Toronto! As big as Toronto is, it's funny that Karen even knows one of my aunts who lives in her neck of the woods! What a small world!

Karen just awarded me with this lovely bloggy bling:
I'm passing on the bloggy love to:
J, because I always enjoy my visits at her blog. J has got to be one of the most thoughtful and insightful writers ever. I love all her interesting posts.
Starshine, because she always brightens up my day.
Jane, because she's been a wonderful friend.
Mrinz, Louann, Ellie, Trish, Shannon, and Rebecca because I've grown to love your blogs and the five of you have been really great blog pals.

I also received this award from my dear friend, Ellie.
Ellie has been a true gem and great to talk to about everything! Thanks for being so awesome, Ellie!

Here are the 'rules' for this award
-Once an award is received, these are the rules:
-Put the logo on your blog.
-Be sure to add the link from the person that sent it to you!
-Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
-Be sure to add those links to your blog too!
-Oh, and leave a message on their blogs so they know they are nominated!

As you can see from my sidebar, there are just way too many blogs that I love! It's really tough to choose just seven! Here goes!

I am passing on this award to:
Jan, Lisa, Rick, VE, Sandy, Fancy, and Mrs.Mogul. I think all of your blogs are brilliant and I always enjoy reading and commenting! :)

Lastly, I'm thankful to be surrounded by so many beautiful things. These day lilies are ones that my father "created" himself by pollinating the lilies himself and making his own flowers. He invited me over to his house one morning last week to "create" my own day lilies. His words on the phone were, "Come on over this morning and you can be Picasso for the day!"
"Uhhh...okay."
"You can pollinate the lilies and make your own special day lily!"
He hasn't named any of the flowers in these photos yet. Photos taken by my gal pal, Gadget Girl (and her fancy shmancy camera)!

30 comments:

louann said...

C, being thankful for even just the "littlelest" things always goes a long, long way. And have you noticed how much it makes you feel better when we're thankful? =)

Thank you for the award C!! I hope you know how much you also mean to me! =)

caninecologne said...

those puff pastries look great! i am going to try to make that! you're so lucky you have so much fresh produce from your garden.

C said...

Louann:
Awww! :) You are so sweet! You know, I was about to pop over to yours and let you know I had something for you on here, but you beat me to it!

Canine:
Would you try making your own puff pastries or buy them ready made? I have a miserable time with making my own. LOL! I guess I don't have "baker's hands"...you know, your hands have to be ice cold so the pastry or dough doesn't get too warm. My hands aren't cold enough (except in the winter!!!)! LOL! Warm hands, warm heart! Or so I've been told! ;)

C said...

Canine:
Now I feel like experimenting more with puff pastry fillings. The possibilities and varieties for fillings are endless!

Hmmmm...I think we should create a new challenge for ourselves and see how many different kinds of combinations we can create for puff pastries! LOL! Is that too ambitious?

Hopefully when my parents return (I'm taking care of their place and their animals and garden right now), I'll be able to call you so we can catch up! xo

Ellie said...

Hi C! I have nominated you for a blog award, when you get some time stop by my blog to pick it up!
Thanks for the email, I will email you back soon!

Thanks for the award btw!!!

Jeanna said...

Funny, lilies have invaded my weed garden. Not that kind of weed even though I've been burning through three seasons of the show.
Wow, the salsa fresca is looks better than the best looking salsa I've seen anywhere. And that puff pastry.
Yum!

C said...

Ellie:
Awwww! Sweet! Thank you! I'm off to yours now.

C said...

Jeanna:
Tee hee! Too funny! You just made me think of something funny I saw the other day on my way into town to run errands. At one of the garden centers, they had their truck in the parking lot and on the truck it read "IF IT'S LEGAL, WE GROW IT"! I don't know why, but that had me laughing. I wish I had my camera with me! The funny thing was when I came home later, I told Hubby about it, and he didn't think it was nearly as funny as I thought it was! LOL! I guess I just have an odd sense of humour!

Yes, the salsa fresca looks really colourful, doesn't it? It's sooooooooo easy to make! The flavours just seem to "pop" when it's fresh. Not like the other salsas I make and preserve. I like it much better fresh.

Calfkeeper said...

Hey, thanks so much for the lovely award. I appreciate it. I love being your blog buddy. Esp since I know I can come cry on your shoulder...we got a new heifer calf yesterday, but she's dying. *sigh*

The lilies are beautiful. So is the salsa by the way. I will have to try something like that. It all looks so yummy.

Am so happy you are feeling better and are taking time off for yourself.

Rebecca

C said...

Rebecca:
Ohhhhhhh!!! The birth of a new calf is always a magical moment. On the flip side, calves that are weak or dying...now that's really difficult to handle :( I ALWAYS cry when the animals are sick or when we lose one. It's so sad to see.

My MIL told me that male calves seem to lose the will to live more than the female calves. Have you found this to be true? She says that females seem to have more "fight" or "want" to live.

TJ said...

How cool is this entry.
I had a mouth watering experience and your shots are inviting.
Thanks for sharing.
TJ

caninecologne said...

hi c- i wouldn't even attempt to make my own puff pastry. too time consuming. store bought is fine for me! :)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Wow, C, thanks for the lovely award! You made my day. And Louann is right, being thankful is one of the gifts in life...to be thankful helps us to enjoy our life so much more.

Thinking about your pregnancy, don't worry, losing weight is normal in the first trimester. I lost a few pounds myself (only 3), but my mom lost 25 or 30, she was SO SICK. She would force herself to eat, and then throw up every bite of it. She used to faint from lack of nutrition. Scary, huh? But my brother came out fine, and she didn't have the same problem when she was pregnant with me. So no worries. :)

mrinz said...

Ahh food - you must be feeling well again!

Thank you so much for the bloggy love bling award! I accept it with pleasure and will think a while before I pass it on! It has cheered up my day - I am battling a head cold and chest infection at the moment - the winter blues.

Love the day lillies - I have just planted some in my garden to give me some spring and summer colour. I bet they won't be as beautiful as your father has created.

Sandy C. said...

Thank you so much, C!!! You are the sweetest thing :)

I'm so glad to hear that your appetite has finally taken a turn now that you're towards your 2nd trimester. I felt the best during this part of my pregnancy :)

Those pastries look DIVINE! Anything with puff pastry is delicious in my book ;)

Hope you're having a lovely, relaxing weekend!

Karen MEG said...

Wow, talk about catching up, C!
You've got so many wonderful blog friends; your awards are so well deserved!! It really is a small world, isn't it?

And so, I really think you should put a cookbook together or something... everytime I pop over here and see a recipe and mouthwatering photo, I can barely handle it!

Your dad "created"those? How absolutely stunning, I love lilies...

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, C!

C said...

TJ:
Thank you for popping by and commenting :) I'm off to check out your blog now.

Canine:
I hear ya! I've done it all from scratch before, but it's really time consuming and frustrating. I'm just not really great with making pastry dough! Whenever people request a pie, I'll make the pie crust from scratch, but I don't enjoy it.

As for the puff pastry, I used to feel like if I didn't make everything myself then it was considered "cheating", but now I don't really care. I'm buying that store-bought puff pastry dough, baby!

C said...

J:
:)
Yes, so true! Amazing how often people sometimes forget to be thankful for even the little things in life. You do appreciate things more when you remember to be thankful.

Thanks for the words about the weight loss during pregnancy. It totally freaked me out when I saw the numbers on the scale keep dropping. I think I've lost about 6 lbs in total. I was thinking, "GAHHHH!!! This was supposed to happen when I wasn't pregnant!!"...like it would have been nice to be a few lbs lighter when we were on vacation in the Dominican! LOL!

Thanks again for the reassuring words :) It really helps!

Mrinz:
Oh! I hope you feel better soon! It's never fun having a cold and chest infection.

I really have to get used to it being winter where you are, because we're in the midst of summer here! :)

Day lilies always brighten things up. So pretty!

C said...

Sandy:
:) Yes, I must say that I really am enjoying this part of the pregnancy!!! Amazing how for the longest time, I couldn't eat anything without getting sick and all of a sudden, the all day sickness went away!

You are so right! Anything with puff pastry is divine! LOL! I think I'm going to try out a bunch of new variations. I'm feeling pretty creative these days!

Karen:
Hmmm...Neat idea about a cookbook! That's something to think about! :)

Yes, my dad did create those day lilies. He likes experimenting with different things, making hybrids, cross-pollinating, etc. He even taught me how to differentiate the "male" and "female" parts of a flower and how to manually pollinate them to make a new variety of flower. He's quite the "Mad Scientist"...in the coolest possible way. I've learned a lot from my dad and I love how excited and enthusiastic he gets about his hobbies. He specializes in things and then when he gets tired of them, he goes onto something completely different.

First there were fancy Japanese goldfish. Then there were bonzai, and then orchids, and now it's day lilies and racing pigeons!

jan said...

Thanks for the lovely recognition. I always enjoy coming here for your great recipes, scenery and just your general interesting content.

Diesel said...

Isn't salsa supposed to have cilantro or something in it? It sounds kinda bland.

lisaschaos said...

I love your lilies!! Congrats on the awards and thanx for passing one on to me. :) I too seem to be way too busy lately. Hope you are doing well. :)

And I'm so jealous that everyone seems to be making salsa and I'm still waiting for my first red mater.

Rayrena said...

The funny thing about life is that it always expands. When I became a SAHM, other parts of my life just grew and filled up all the extra space and time I thought I would have.

Glad to see you're enjoying food and cooking again. Around here, we call uncooked salsa "salsa cruda" or pico de gallo. I've always like the term salsa cruda... what's not to like about something crude?

Your puff pastries look great, as well as your dad's lilies :)

C said...

Jan:
:) I enjoy your blog too, Jan. I'm so glad I happened to stumble upon it one day (it seems like ages ago) via Jimmy/Uncivil's blog!

Diesel:
Yeah, the original recipe calls for cilantro, but my husband and my nieces aren't really big fans of cilantro, so I just omitted it from my recipe. Oddly enough, the lemon juice really brings out all the flavours. It just really brings all the flavours to life :)

C said...

Lisa:
I know what you mean :) I've been having a hard time keeping up with the blog and with reading everyone else's blogs. Summer is really bad for that! LOL! ;) Great weather = lots of things to do and zero time for blogging!

The weather and temperature have been really good this summer for the garden. Everything is just popping now. LOTS of fruits and veggies to be picked!

The only unfortunate thing this year is that I don't think there were many bees out to pollinate the apple trees. We didn't have the apple blossoms that we normally do AND there doesn't seem to be any fruit on our trees :(

Rayrena:
Tee hee! I always thought it sounded a bit crude too ;) It's also called "salsa cruda" here. I always liked the way the word "fresca" sounds. I sometimes call it salsa cruda, but more often I call it salsa fresca.

Got any recipe ideas for someone who has got LOTS of string beans and lots of green peppers?

Jeanna said...

I bet John would like it if the lots of green beans and lots of green peppers go with lots of meat. I feel a stir fry coming on.
Now you have me thinking about stuffed peppers.

VE said...

Awww...thanks C! I really appreciate the award. I have a strict ethic on my blog to not feature awards and ads so I will be holding to that but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate it any less. Besides, you are the ONLY blogger I've ever handed out my address to and gotten something in the mail from...

WoodPelletGuru said...

Thank you for the puffy heart- bright spot of my day :)
Beautiful flowers and yummy looking salsa, too!

Starshine said...

I puffy heart you!

Thanks for the bloggy love, my friend!

jane - mom generations said...

Oh, C! YOU brighten up MY day all the time!

XOXO,
Jane

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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