Zucchini Pizza

I have not posted about zucchini pizza boats and that makes me sad. I posted a photo of the boats on my Facebook once and wrote, “When you bout that healthy life but pizza is life.” Seriously, if I could never eat some form of pizza again I might just die. And the best part about eating different versions of pizza is the fact that you start to realize that it isn’t (always) about the bread, it’s about the toppings. So you can eat the cauliflower crust or these boats and still love them and feel like you’re eating pizza.

But this blog is not just about the recipe. The main idea of this post is to boast about how proud I am about this particular meal today for lunch. The first thing… look at the size of this zucchini!!!

20170528_144409

That’s a trenta cup! It was my daughter’s idea to take this next one…. a fun perspective photo.

20170528_144518

And guess where I got this beauty! MY GARDEN! It’s the first harvested crop from this years’ garden! I am beyond excited! I cannot wait to taste this thing. And just to add to my excitement, this meal will be enough to feed both my husband and I. I alone usually eat at least 1 and a half zucchinis because the store-bought ones are so small.

So here’s what I do. You’ll need a couple zucchini’s cut in half, olive oil, pizza or spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, mini pepperonis, s&p and garlic. You can always add other pizza things but these are my go-to.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the insides. I cut the insides a bit so that I scoop square-ish pieces out. You don’t have to get all the middle out, just make a little divot like a boat. Put the insides in a fry pan and add some olive oil with a bit of s&p and garlic. Cook on medium. While that’s cooking, put your boats on a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with s&p and garlic, and put them in the oven while it’s heating up. You’re just cooking these a little so they are beginning to get soft. Stir your pan full of zucchini pieces until they start to get soft. Add about a cup of sauce and stir. Once everything is heated, remove the boats from the oven. Pour your pan contents into each boat. Top with mini ronis and cheese.

20170528_150003

I also added fresh basil from the garden!!

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Then broil for about 3 minutes just to really crisp up the cheese. ENJOY!!

20170528_152430

 

Babies!! #FarmlifeFriday

Happy Friday, everyone!! I am so excited about all the babies in my farm right now! So far I only have vegetable babies but we are hoping to have some chicken babies, too!!

My garden is looking rather splendid these days! We’ve had some really warm days and a lot of rain last week so everything is nice and happy. I have zucchini, yellow squash, a variety of tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepenos, a “Mexican” pepper that I am hoping isn’t just a fancy name for a jalepeno because I have 4 of those already, cucumbers, artichokes, cabbage, red potatoes, basil, and some lettuce. The coolest part is that I started all of these from seeds! I did all the work. I didn’t buy any of the vegetables in the garden. And look!! Baby squashes already!!! This makes me so happy!!

PhotoGrid_1495157395548

I did buy some flowers for the garden. I love marigolds and I have seeds but they take a while to sprout and I wanted the instant gratification. I have some on the outside of my garden as well as throughout the inside, just to add some flare. And I think marigolds will deter some bugs but promote the good ones, like bees!

20170516_080740

I have another cinder block planter on the left side. And a new banana plant. A guy at the local farmers marker was selling those for only $5 a couple weeks ago. How could we pass that up? We also bought a taro plant and 2 elephant ears from him for a whopping $1 each. Did you know they produce a potato-like veggie you can eat? They aren’t just pretty decoration. We’re happy to try something new.

The other babies on the farm could be chicks! We have a broody hen. Broody basically means she wants to lay on eggs and hatch them. Broodiness has been bred out of chickens but sometimes the urge strikes, kinda like baby fever I guess. You can put them in a secluded area without hay or eggs for a while and try to break them out of the habit, but we figured why not see what happens? The worst that can happen is that none of the eggs she’s on are fertilized and then we just try again with other ones. (Yes, we have a rooster, in case you are wondering how the eggs would have been fetilized).

We noticed our girl was not leaving the nesting box. I’m just going to call her THE French girl because Lagertha and Frenchie look identical and I am not sure which one is broody. She would get super pissed when we came to collect eggs and make herself huge and yell at us and peck us whenever we got near her. At first we kept taking the eggs out from underneath her because we weren’t sure we wanted to try to have her hatch any. But after about a week of taking the eggs she wasn’t going to give up. So last night after she went into her coma-like sleepy state, my daughter and I moved her and her eggs to a cozy box in the garage.

20170519_101114

When I first put her in the box the eggs were on the opposite side of where she is, and the darn automatic light was on in the garage, so she decided to eat rather than lay on the eggs. When she was done she was laying where she is now and I went out and put the eggs underneath her. She’s still there now so this is a step in the right direction.

A funny side story, like I said before about not knowing which girl is which, I think I tried earlier in the week to put the other French girl in the hatching box. I brought her and different eggs into the box but she refused to stay in the box. I left her and went to my yoga class and when I came back I couldn’t find her. I was like, “She abandoned the eggs? And disappeared!? What’s happening?” I finally looked UP a bit.

20170516_200855

She found a nice roosting spot on our tool shelf. HAHAHAHA!!! So I put her back with everyone else, and when I did, I looked in the nesting box and found the other French girl (the current broody one). OMG! I told my husband I have to mark them somehow. Maybe a ziptie around their feet.

Anyhoo, so far we’re on day 2 of laying on these eggs. I will have to continue to Google how to candle the eggs to see if they are in fact fertilized. I am no expert at any of this so this is going to be a really fun adventure. Updates as they happen so stay tuned!!

Ranch De La Chrissy #FarmlifeFriday

It’s about dang time for a new #FarmlifeFriday post. Sheesh! Life starts to catch up and I forget that I want to blog. But I am not complaining. I cannot complain about life.

The chicken coop is DONE!!! I think the last time I blogged about the coop we were just finishing up the building. Now it’s painted and decorated!! I found a warm, not rainy, day in March and painted the entire coop. I decided to do it barn-like, but since we don’t have edges, I made my own. I taped off all the edges, painted the entire thing red, then hand-painted all the white.

Isn’t it adorable? Just like this it’s pretty awesome but I wanted to add some Chrissy flare to it so I added some art. The original coop had a sign that said, “CHICK-INN.” I wanted to keep that but update it. So I added the white around the original red paint, and then made a new sign to go with it. And every Bed and Breakfast needs a tagline. 😉 Also, the B&B sign was made with a piece of wood that had fallen off the “creepy house” next door. #Recycling!!!

20170409_110657

I went on Amazon and bought some cheap tin signs. Then I had this brilliant idea to paint a rooster on an old cookie sheet. I mod podged over the roo so hopefully he will stay nice for a while.

20170409_110703

If I see any other cool signs I might add a couple more, but as of now, it’s doneskies!!

20170409_110649

After I painted one rooster on a cookie sheet, I found a stack of really old and nasty cookie sheets at a thrift store to paint more. I painted one for my friend Heather a couple weeks ago. It’s her bantam rooster name Squiggy.

20170406_154724

Chickens are all doing great. Did I blog about Ragnar passing away? I am not sure if I did. It was an unfortunate accident. He was left out over night and was killed by an owl. It was a terrible loss. #Farmlife 😦 So besides that, all the other chickens are doing great. Everyone is still laying and we’re selling eggs like crazy!!

===============================

My next ranch project was expanding our garden. Operation “Not Buying Produce” has begun. I have been growing seeds in my bedroom since February and just yesterday put 90% of them outside. We started with a garden that was probably 10x20ish. I doubled it. I tilled the grass, added a bedload of compost, then re-tilled everything to get ready to plant.

20170420_093341

I currently have tomatoes (various kinds), cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, artichokes, cilantro, basil, and peas growing nicely. I also planted a few seeds directly into the ground and those are, lettuce, cucumbers, and broccoli. Still in my room are all my peppers, bells, jalepenos, and another mexican pepper (not exactly sure what that one is) but those aren’t quite ready to be put outside yet. We are well on our way to self-sustained living!! Or at least on our way to make less trips to buy produce and eat right out of the garden.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Avocados: My Nemesis. #FarmlifeFriday

If you’ve followed me for a while, you will know that I love to garden. And I’m pretty darn good at it. I always have something growing inside, I grow a lot of things from seed, I love to rehab plants, and I love having a garden. But, the one thing I failed at over and over and over and over annnnnnndddd over, is growing an avocado sprout from a seed. I’ve grown pineapples from saving the tops, but I can’t sprout an avocado. EVERYONE tells me how easy it is, but I have tried a gazillion times to do it and it never happens. Why do I fail at this? And why am I trying one more time even though I swore I would never try again?

Well, while scrolling Instagram the other day I saw a picture of several avocado seeds growing in a windowsill. I commented that this was the one plant I have failed at. Another person commented, and they said the most interesting and most likely true reason I have ever heard and have never thought of before. He said that most store-bought avocados have been bred and hybridized and basically messed with so much that the seeds are probably sterile. DUH!! Makes total sense. He then said I should try an organic avocado because it would be less messed with. GENIUS!

So off to the store I went. One $2 avocado and one 89cent avocado later….

20170221_173827

When I cut them open I tried super hard not to score the pit at all, and I scooped it out rather than using the knife trick to get it out. I wrote the date on the mason jars so I can keep track and put the organic sticker on the organic one so I can know which is which. Here we go again. Millionth time’s the charm!!

20170224_084251

===============================================

Chickens are doing fabulous!! And laying like champs. This is what I see regularly. Isn’t it so cute?

20170224_133827

Yesterday and today in Virginia it’s been about 75 degrees. So I spent the day outside and conquered the front flower beds. Over the winter I let the weeds grow but I learned my lesson…never do that again. It got too out of control. Also, I pulled up all that black tarpy stuff because it was very clearly not doing it’s job!!

Here’s the front before….

20170224_08125920170224_081252

Those weeds are crazy! They are a trailing weed so they just COVER everything. And you can see the tarpy stuff which drove me crazy.

8 bags of weeds and trash later… (I only actually trashed one bag. The rest I emptied in the woods to decompose)

20170224_151009

Voila!!!

20170224_153133

20170224_153145

The birds sure did love it today! They hung out with me all afternoon and ate all the worms I was digging up. And then they took dirt baths of course.

My heart kept telling me to go buy flowers today, but my brain kept saying, “No!! There’s still a possibility of freezing and snow!! It’s only February!!!” So I’ll wait. I’ll just start all my seeds in the house tomorrow!!

Happy Friday!!!

Merry Chicken Christmas #FarmlifeFriday

Merry Christmas, everyone!! It’s already been a really fantastic holiday season at our house.  We bought our first REAL tree this year and I’ve kept it alive! We bought ourselves a new couch! And Miss Hagrid laid her first egg yesterday!

20161222_154413

Isn’t that beautiful?! I didn’t know that her eggs would be speckled! And it’s a nice size for her first. We’re so proud! Below is a Daisy egg comparison.

20161222_154539

We’re still waiting for our lady duck to lay an egg. It could be soon because we saw a male duck mounting her a couple days ago.  At this point we just have 4 pet ducks, which is okay, but they stink and are gross and don’t interact with us at all. So they’re kinda lame. Cute but lame.

We’re headed out to buy some wood today to revamp the coop a bit. Stay tuned for that excitement.  Until then,  please enjoy Santa Hagrid! And have a wonderful holiday!

20161223_112543

Farm to Table #FarmlifeFriday

I’ve never grown lettuce. I even had to reach out of some of my Instagram friends asking them to harvest it. In case you don’t know, you clip what you want and leave the rest of the plant to continue growing. Last night I grabbed the scissors and clipped away. I made two huge salads for the hub and I. And so yummy! Fresh, crisp lettuce (or lettuce variety) is pretty darn delicious.

20161128_170113

While I was making a lettuce bouquet, I decided to check on the status of our carrots. This is another crop I am not sure about harvesting. The one I ate was peeking out from the top of the soil so I assumed it was ready. But it was kind of short so I bet I can wait a bit longer. I washed this guy off with the hose and chomped away. Again, pretty darn tasty!!

20161128_162654

Egg production has increased the last couple weeks. Daisy is a laying machine and one or both of the French girls are laying now. The French girls are Faverolles and they only lay about 260 eggs per year. Yesterday we had two eggs and have been getting one almost every day. So we are thinking both are laying. We went from one egg a day to sometimes three!! Woo!!!

20161128_131042

And the yolks from the girls are so big! Daisy has laid two double yolkers so far. And the Frenchies’ eggs are smaller in size, but the yolks are pretty big. This last weekend I was cooking eggs for everyone and I had to use a couple store-bought. I took a photo of all of them together to show the difference. What I’ve found is that the size you buy at the store does not necessarily mean the egg content is that size. A large egg on the outside may be more white and less yolk. Frenchies “small” eggs are closer to a large store-bought egg.

20161127_072830

The bottom two eggs are store-bought. They are the Simple Truth brand from Kroger; organic, humane farm, large, brown eggs. They are lighter in color (which I think means less rich) and smaller than the farm fresh. Top right is Daisy, large, brown egg. Top left is one of the French girls, smaller, beige egg. Look at the yolk difference.

Now if only the damn girl duck would get with the program, we could stop buying store-bought all together.

Oh yeah, I totally forgot to share these!! My new socks from the husband!! #crazychickenlady

20161124_072408

Run & Garden #FarmlifeFriday

Does it feel like fall to you yet? I’m seriously trying to will it to be fall. It’s been raining enough to make it seem like fall but it’s still muggy and low 80s so it’s still shorts weather. I’m ready for socks and scarves! But the rain is nice and it’s keeping everything green.

Speaking of green…

20160930_081821

I super cleaned the garden this week. I pulled out so many weeds and also rehomed some flowers that were taking over. I moved a basil plant (the closer one) and replanted 2 sweet taters…

20160930_081849

And a red tater.

20160930_081856

Hopefully we can get some before it gets too cold.

Still growing are my 2 bell peppers, they are producing massive-sized peppers, 2 banana peppers, another basil, and a tomato plant. That tomato plant is driving me nuts. It hasn’t produced a single mater yet. The flowers grow and then die. And there aren’t any bugs attacking them now. I don’t know.  I’m guessing it’s a nutrient deficiency but not sure. It sure is huge though and very green and healthy (looking). On the backside that you can’t see I have a leafless brussels sprout and a leafless broccoli, thanks to caterpillars, but they’re still alive. Those are both fall/winter harvest so I’m not worried yet. I also have a couple lettuce and carrot sprouts popping up. Hopefully we can get a salad or two out of those. Next year we hope to plan the garden a lot better and maybe even expand it. 

And now that we’re talking about expanding… We finally got our chicken/duck run finished! It’s been a long process, mainly for monetary reasons (chicken wire doesn’t grow on trees), but its done and everyone is super happy! Now the birds can roam around, swim all day if they want, eat grass and bugs, and enjoy not being cooped up all day.

20160926_103402

We cut a hole in the original coop and set up the dog crate (duck crate), so that they have more space to sleep but also be locked up at night, and they can travel freely between the coop and the run.

20160926_103427

We added a circus area.

20160926_103415

And then of course the swimmin’ hole.

20160926_103418

Right now we have a sail over part of the run for shade and protection and will add a second one soon. We also plan to run some sort of rope across the poles for added protection from predetors.

Daisy is consistently laying one egg a day! She goes up into the hen house around 11am each day and lays one egg. Then I cook it for the hub the next day.

[Farm]Life is good.

 

 

Yoga & Art: When Passions Meet #NamasteTuesday

When we first moved here to Virginia, my husband wanted me to have my own space for yoga. He knew, before me really, how much it meant to me and how having my own space was going to make me happy. The house we moved in to was rather small but I had my own space. I had a section of our bedroom just for yoga. It was great. I decorated it how I wanted and it was MY space.

When we moved into the current house (we had to move because the owner of the first one wanted to move back in his house) I was going to have a craft/yoga room! Both of my passions inside one big room. Woohoo!!! Once I started unpacking and figuring out where everything was going to go I realized that my space was getting smaller and smaller. My husband said, “Why don’t you just have a craft room AND a yoga room?” Seriously, could I love him any more? Two rooms just for me? And that was the end of that and the beginning of the west side of the house being all for me.

When I first started practicing yoga I never thought it would become a passion and consume a lot of my life. Maybe I just needed my own room. I spend more time in this room than any other in the house. And it’s decorated with things that mean the most to me. Race paraphernalia, a poster of The Rock, and art.

20160920_144533

Along that far wall are all art pieces done by myself or my friends. Before I ditched cable I used to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Yolanda had a wall of canvases in her house and each one was painted by someone in her family or friends. She even had a painting party when her daughter was moving so that she could make her her own wall. I fell in love with this idea. For my birthday in 2015 I had a painting party! I had my closest girlfriends over and we spent the day painting. Their paintings were my gifts (those are all the small ones). The top and bottom canvases were done at Wine Nights in Arizona, the ones where everyone drinks and paints the same picture. And then I have these…

fb_img_1474397402856

My daughter spent the summer in San Diego with my parents and I had a lot of free time. Since painting is my first passion, I thought I’d spend some time painting for me. I don’t usually do that. When thinking about what to paint of course my first thought was yoga. But what to do. I started by drawing an outline of someone doing Warrior 2. The ideas started flowing from there. I decided to look up the chakras and see which one coincided with that pose. Then I had to try more poses. I picked two more of my favorites; dancer and king cobra.

fb_img_1474397405476fb_img_1474397410390

While I was researching chakras I learned that wheel, also known as bridge, upward facing bow, or a backbend, is thought to align all 7 chakras. If you don’t know already, a basic backbend is by far my most favorite pose and learning it’s chakra alignment made me extremely excited. I searched around the craft room for more canvas and found a big one. SCORE! And then I needed a model.

screenshot_2016-09-20-14-49-11-1

Who better to model than myself? I’ve never done any sort of self-portrait work. This isn’t exactly a portrait, but it’s based on me and I think I did pretty good.

fb_img_1474397393323

*****************************

At the end of my last yoga blog I talked about my Instagram backbend challenges. I just finished a two-week long one and I am going to post about that next week! I had such a wonderful time.

But to finish this post, I’ll leave you with this photo. My bff, Isis, and I doing scorpion pose. This is part of a series we do that we call “long distance yoga bffs.”

photogrid_1474292785916

City Folk Living the Country Life #FarmlifeFriday

This mornings edition of #FarmlifeFriday comes to you from my phone while I sit in the backyard enjoying the early day sun and watch my birds as they roam around in the cut-down corn fields. I just looked up and saw my 4 ducks headed back, all in a row, to get a drink and a bath. One of my dogs is also out here somewhere on an adventure, probably getting covered in ticks. Ugh.

My husband and I both grew up in San Diego and enjoyed the city life. Fast paced, never stopping, lights, and chaos. We never thought we’d enjoy the country life as much as we do. But man, do we love it. I still have that city girl in me, and we do spend time in the city here in Virginia and act like hipsters, but we have fully embraced the slower, laid-back, outdoorsy, country lifestyle. So here’s a couple things that are totally new to us.

Corn fields and combines!

20160702_191317

 

Here’s me about 2 months ago showing off how crazy tall the corn was. The house we rent is on 140 acres. I’d estimate that we maintain about 3 while the rest is leased out for crops. We were completely surrounded by corn this summer. It was our natural privacy fence. But, that had to come to end. 😢

20160902_134046

We woke up last week to this giant monster in the front yard. What a neat contraption this is. City folk don’t know how awesome this thing is. It chops down the corn stalk, strips the ears of the kernals, then spits out the husks and cobs. Then it empties all the bright yellow corn into a truck that totes it off to a factory.

20160904_135233

But unfortunately, after all that fun, you are left with 100+ acres of nothing and no more privacy.

20160906_085305

No more naked strolls in the yard.

But the birds sure love it.

20160904_183601

Sometimes they even come back with souvineers.

20160906_172918

Something else new to us is hunting. Sure, people in California hunt but we never had. Fishing was about the extent of our “hunting and gaming”. But to go along with our desire to be self-sustaining, hunting your own food is right up our alley. Cue, sunflowers.

20160718_114816

Along the west side of or driveway was a beautiful patch of sunflowers. When they dry out and die, doves love them. The owners of our house love dove hunting. Last weekend was opening day of dove season, so our yard was full of real-tree clad men and boys ready to shoot some lunch. 20160903_125551

I won’t scar your eyeballs with photos of deceased doves. Instead, here’s the hub all geared up for his first time hunting. He shot a total of 6 doves and 1 city dove, aka pigeon. Not bad for his first time. I followed him out carrying the shotgun, fully intending on trying my hand at the sport, but there were too many “rules”, and the idea of shooting a moving target made me think I would just be wasting ammo. So I left the hunting up to him.

20160903_161049

I did enjoy the spoils of the hunt though. On the top of the grill are dove breasts wrapped in bacon sitting in onion cups. They were pretty tasty. And how awesome to hunt your food, prepare your food, and eat your food right in the front yard. Farm to table, or err, sky to table? You know what I mean. My daughter and I watched the process of “breasting” the birds and then helped with the cooking. We like to think we’re giving her a healthy City Bumpkin upbringing; an equal dose of both the city and the country.

This weekend we are doing something else new and going to a Hoedown on a horse ranch. I’m guessing it’s like a fair at someone’s house. Fun times will be had!!

Rigger by Association

My husband is a parachute rigger in the Army. He’s the coolest guy I know. He jumps out of planes and is currently teaching new Army kids to pack parachutes. He’s my hero!

But it’s not just his job that makes him cool in my eyes. It’s his passion for all things parachutes that really sets him apart. He wants to know everything about parachutes, not just what he NEEDS to know for his job. It’s all very interesting to him.

FYI, before I keep going, this may kind of turn in to a love letter so if you don’t care you can skip this one. I just really want to talk about this and share it.

I’ve always been my husbands number one fan. I will support anything he wants to do. So when he told me about a parachute convention an hour away and asked if I wanted to go I said, “Sure! Why not?” I don’t think he expected me to have a super awesome time and enjoy myself as much as I did.

20160820_183100

We drove to Portsmouth, VA outside of Norfolk to the PIA (Parachute Industry Association) Rigger Roadshow last Friday. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. It was held at a hotel so we walked around a bit in our casual clothing looking lost in a sea of business attire trying to figure out where we were going. As people passed by my husband would say, “That’s so and so. He is the guy who invented [something to do with parachutes and skydiving].” I was in awe. To me, these people were like celebrities.

The first thing we did was go into a conference room and listen to a guy talk about broken suspension lines and leg straps. To the average person, this would have been the most boring hour ever but I was completely engrossed. I was learning so much.

The next thing we did was go into another room and listen to a guy go over a rigging manual and changes to the manual. There was a woman in the room that made a statement about the military. My husbands arm immediately shot up into the air. He let her and everyone else in the room know that what she said was completely false. I was like, “Woohoo! You go, sweetie!” He was totally in his element.

After lunch we were back at in the conference rooms, this time learning about a new system used with reserve parachutes. The guy leading was the inventor of this particular type of system. While another guy was packing the reserve chute, hubby stood to the side trying to make the system fail. He was basically proving to himself that this system was fool proof. I stood and watched. I asked my husband a bunch of questions because I was getting into it all. I was really interested in everything I was hearing about.

We spent the rest of the evening drinking and eating food with all the parachute people. It was an amazing experience. These are people that have been skydiving since the 60s. These are people who have literally invented things. They are the engineers of the parachuting world. At one point my husband said, “There’s Bill Booth.” What do you call that when you are shocked to see a celebrity? Starstruck!! I was starstruck. I knew who that was because my husband has told me about him. I knew he was the pioneer of so many things including a device called a skyhook (you’ll have to google that one). I was thinking, “We’re in the same room as him. WHOA!” And we’re just mingling with these people like it’s a totally normal day at the office. That’s when it hit me.

These are my husbands people. These are the nerds of the parachuting world and he is a parachute nerd. And I got to watch him and listen to him be himself among his people.

I don’t think a lot of people get to experience this kind of thing but I think everyone should try. Maybe it’s part of being married and trying to do everything you can to make your spouse happy. I didn’t agree to go to the convention because I was going to learn about parachutes; that ended up being an unexpected perk. I went because my husband would learn and I wanted to spend time with him and support him. Everyone should try to do that. Find something you’re spouse is passionate about and suggest you both do something associated with that. Learn things about your spouse’s job so that you aren’t just listening for the sake of listening but you’ll actually know a bit of what they’re talking about. Take the time to learn. And if you think you’ll stand out at one of these functions because you don’t do the job, you’re wrong. No one knew who I was. No one knew I had never jumped out of an airplane before. I fit in just fine. And now we’re making plans for the next parachute convention!!

20160819_175641

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: