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June 25 Weekend Harvest – Bok Choy, Lettuce, Kale and Collards!
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Roasted Tomato Salad
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Creamy Bok Choy Spaghetti
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Happy Birthday Sway!
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Cleveland Wins the NBA Championship! AHHHHHHHHHH!
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I’m In Love With Brother Bear
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Here Comes the Plant Car…. Berries Being Planted!
8
Instant Coffee Chocolate Donuts With Vanilla Chocolate Chip Frosting
9
A Day In the Life of Toes
10
Coconut Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies With Sugar Glaze
11
How to Build a Rainwater Catchment On a Shed Roof
12
Basil Will Grow If You Clean Your House
13
Best Home Cooked Recipes To Pair With Pinot Grigio Wine
14
All the Spring Vegetables Are Planted!
15
Happy Birthday Xanadu!
16
Roast Pork and Mashed Potatoes
17
Sunday Snuggles With My Crew
18
My Morning Meditation Chill Out
19
2015 Garden Yield Amounts
20
Slow Cooker Black Beans (Perfect for Tacos!)

June 25 Weekend Harvest – Bok Choy, Lettuce, Kale and Collards!

It’s that time again – time to harvest vegetables from the garden!

And it’s time to show you the reveal of the garden, well it’s not really a reveal because it’s not 100% done (still has to be painted and cleaned up) but here it is, in all it’s vegetable glory!  I should have a person in the garden for size comparison, because it’s big.  It’s really big.  There’s endless amounts of vegetables.   I love it.
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Transitioning from growing on the roof to growing on actual land has been a learning process full of hard work. We started the process of building the garden during the Winter to have it ready to go for Spring. We started planting to a new schedule that was scary due to possible surprise frost dates (still scary). We battled (still are) water issues. We’re learning. We’re working really hard. We filled the last garden bed this weekend. And it’s all so very exciting because we’re finally picking vegetables. This garden thing (on land!) is actually working.  

So now starts weekly harvest posts.  We go up to the land once a week to water, clean up, plant and pick.   And then we lug all those beautiful vegetables back to NYC.   We haven’t really had a chance to enjoy the land yet as we’re working constantly there, but soon enough we’ll be able to take a breather and relax alongside the plants.  

What are we picking now?  I’m glad you asked.  There’s lots of Spring greens growing right now at rapid speeds and they’re all ready to be picked.  Does anyone need any bok choy? Seriously.  Maybe I went a little crazy planting 94 bok choy plants.

We have a entire bed of bok choy plants, we started picking fuller plants 3 weeks ago, and they are just growing and growing and growing. And I’m picking, picking, picking.
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Roasted Tomato Salad

Thank you Ellio’s Pizza for sponsoring this post. Visit your local retailer to pick up your own Ellio’s Pizza for a pizza night in!

Fresh tomatoes are roasted with olive oil for 25 minutes to make this Roasted Tomato Salad.  It’s a perfect way to enjoy your fresh Summer tomatoes!

Well we aren’t quite there yet, but we’re close.  Tomato season is almost here! We put our tomato plants in the ground in the beginning of June so in the next few weeks I hope to see (and pick) all the fresh tomatoes I can dream of!  To get you ready for tomato picking season, I created this yummy Roasted Tomato Salad which is perfect as an appetizer, a side dish (especially with pizza), a snack (I eat them with a fork!) or you can throw the tomatoes on a sandwich (like grilled cheese!) or into pasta.  These roasted tomatoes are super versatile and super yummy so I hope you enjoy them.

Fresh tomatoes are roasted with olive oil for 25 minutes to make this Roasted Tomato Salad. It's a perfect way to enjoy your fresh Summer tomatoes!

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Creamy Bok Choy Spaghetti

Creamy Bok Choy Spaghetti is a delicious healthy meal that your family will love! It only uses 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and takes under 15 minutes to make!

The garden is filled with bok choy right now.  Every week when we come home from the garden I’m carrying a few pounds of it, thinking of new recipe ideas.    The words “creamy” and “bok choy” dont usually go together but this recipe was such a hit it’s become a staple in our kitchen during bok choy season.

You’ll need 12 oz of bok choy for this recipe, either from your garden or a grocery store.  We grow baby bok choy (we use these seeds) in the garden and it’s a wonderful fast growing plant.  Because we pick it when it’s baby sized, you just yank out the entire plant.  I love baby bok choy so we have planted over 90 plants – crazy, I know!  If you end up with lots of bok choy plants at once, don’t worry, it freezes really well!

Creamy Bok Choy Spaghetti is a delicious healthy meal that your family will love! It only uses 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and takes under 15 minutes to make!

A bonus of this recipe is that even though it’s “creamy” it’s a pretty healthy dish.  I only had to add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese to create a nice creamy consistency.  That’s the only cheese you need which is pretty good considering lots of other “creamy” dishes are using cups of cheese.    Also I recommend a skinny noodle, like simple spaghetti, instead of a hollow noodle (example is rigatoni) as it won’t absorb the creaminess as good.   
Creamy Bok Choy Spaghetti is a delicious healthy meal that your family will love! It only uses 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and takes under 15 minutes to make!

Now let’s get cooking.

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Happy Birthday Sway!

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Sway Group. I really love Sway so I want to celebrate!   All opinions are my own.

This week is all about happiness so far! First, the Cavs win the NBA finals (I’m still celebrating!) and now I’m wishing the wonderful ladies at Sway a happy 5th birthday!

I know you’re asking who is Sway?  If you’re a blogger you might know these great ladies already, but if you aren’t a blogger, let me introduce you because they are a important factor in how I keep Brooklyn Farm Girl running and sharing information.  

Sway group, powered by SITS Girls, is a network that connects brands with influencers.  To put it into simpler words,  they pair bloggers with companies that are looking to promote their products.   I work with a few different networks and I can honestly say they are one of the best to work with due to their prompts always feeling organic and like a perfect match.   When they ask me to team up with a project, it seems like a match made in blogging heaven. They know the content of my blog, they know what I like to share,  they know the clients goals, and somehow it always works out to be a fun painless blog post.   Because of the collaborations we’ve worked on together, they’ve offered me opportunities to share great products with you (I only ever promote products that I actually use and love) while helping keep Brooklyn Farm Girl up and running (it costs money!).  Unlike some advertising posts where I feel like I don’t get to be me and am reading a script like a robot (note: I finally made a note to stop doing those! Heart is most important!) Sway lets me just be me, organically adding the product into a post I would have done even if we weren’t working together.   I can be silly, I can post endless photos of my cats in the post (and I do), I can tell bad jokes (and I do), etc, it’s all ok with them.   Their goal is to empower me as a influencer and a woman.   Also,  they are super kind, supportive of the blogging Community and sometimes they send me candy in the mail (I’m serious).  So from all the wonderful ladies who are making content to share with their readers I want to give Sway a giant big hug and wish them a happy 5th birthday! <3

To celebrate, I want to share you with my top favorite posts I’ve created with Sway Group.  If you get the time, I hope you go back and read some of these posts to know that I enjoyed writing and creating each one!

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Cleveland Wins the NBA Championship! AHHHHHHHHHH!

If you follow me on Twitter then you probably already know I’m a big basketball fan by my stress filled, anxiety written tweets during close games.  You might also know that I’m a Cavs fan and today is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day.

Last night the Cavs won the NBA Finals, after trailing 3-1 in the series.  Cleveland took it to 7 games and it was a nail biter of a game.  No team has ever come back from 3-1 and won the championship.  But last night…. THE CAVS DID IT! THEY WON!   After a exciting game of many lead changes that led to me pacing around the apartment, cleaning dishes that didn’t need to be cleaned, doing jumping jacks and standing up and sitting down a million times, the game was finally won!  Because of our “cat camera” we were also caught celebrating with tears of happiness.   This moment was too thrilling not to share it.
CAVS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP

We were so pumped when the series was 3-2 that we drove 8 hours to Cleveland last week to go to Game 6. Matthew is from Cleveland, so we got to see our family too!  The game was electrifying, the fans were so pumped they stood the entire game.  I’ve never been to a event that had that much energy. I also never yelled, cheered, and did awkward dance moves that often in public before.   The Cavs won, tying the series 3-3, making the game go to Game 7.   Both of our voices were gone after the game.  The streets in Cleveland were celebrating!   Here’s some photos/video of Game 6: 20160616_194558       Read More

I’m In Love With Brother Bear

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Muse Cat Food. All opinions are 100% mine.

The title is true.  I’m declaring my love for Brother Bear.  

In typical Maine Coon fashion he’s a gentle giant.   Because of his size if he looks at any of the other cats in the eyes, they will run away because they don’t want to wrestle with him (Brother always wins).  But don’t let that fool you.  Brother is a sweet heart, and loves to be cuddled and kissed by his Mom. He’s scared of the smallest of storms and demands to hide in my underwear drawer until the storm passes.  

Day In The Life of Brother Bear

He’s a quiet boy, doesn’t really like cat toys or treats, instead just likes to lay near you (never on you) to protect.   When I go to sleep, I stand with the bedroom door open, knowing that he will show up in a few seconds to go to sleep near me on the floor.  When I wake up in the morning, he will jump off the dresser and follow me out.
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He’s a shy boy to strangers and likes to sleep in the bedroom if we have friends over.  As soon as he hears the front door close and knows his Mom and Dad are alone again, he’ll make his way out and rub his head all over us.  

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Here Comes the Plant Car…. Berries Being Planted!

Beep, Beep,  the plant car is here! Jump on it if you can find a spot.  And be careful for the rose bushes!

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While the vegetables are growing in the garden, this past weekend we headed to Lowe’s to pretty much buy all their fruit bushes and Rhododendron plants that they had.   We had 5 big garden carts filled with berries, trees and flowers going down the checkout aisle, while people marveled on how we were going to fit it into our tiny little car.  Our small neon yellow Honda Fit has carried quite a lot since we got it in the Fall, people are always amazed by how much it can carry!    I’m not sure if we could have fit any more plants in it,  branches were literally reaching out and tickling our noses in the front seat.

Do you think we got enough plants?
I don't know, do you think we got enough plants? Even better we fit them all in to our tiny car. 🌲🍒🍓

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Instant Coffee Chocolate Donuts With Vanilla Chocolate Chip Frosting

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Folgers for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

How to make Instant Coffee Chocolate Donuts with Vanilla Frosting! These donuts are delicious! Bonus how to recipe video included!

I have to tell you something.   I made these donts to take to work to share with everyone, but instead I kept them at home because I wanted to eat them all. And I did, I ate them all, and I didn’t regret it one bit. 

These donuts are the best of all worlds, moist chocolate donuts, vanilla frosting that sticks perfectly to the donuts, mini chocolate chips on top, and the sublte taste of coffee.  What gives the donuts a special taste is that I used 1 tablespoon of Folgers instant coffee granules in the batter.   Use 1-2 tablespoons depending on how “coffee” you want it to taste.  I love how simple Instant coffee is to use in recipes!  

How to make Instant Coffee Chocolate Donuts with Vanilla Frosting! These donuts are delicious! Bonus how to recipe video included!

These are perfect breakfast or brunch donuts to serve alongside a nice cup of coffee.   They also make a great dessert.   I love that you can get a small dose of your caffeine fix in, while eating a donut!   Here’s my how to video that walks you through all the steps.

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A Day In the Life of Toes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Muse Cat Food. All opinions are 100% mine.

Toes,  she’s kind of the best.  In July we’ll be celebrating her 1 year Anniversary with us and I can’t really express in words how much we love her.   She’s brought energetic, loud purring, full of kisses, love into our house.    Since she’s youthful (vet think she’s around 2) she’s brought a playfulness that Goblin needed.   Goblin is a wild  man, so he needed a partner to be wild with (Xanadu is wild, but she will also judge you if she’s not in the mood).  Toes acts like Goblin’s Big Sister, cleaning his head and ears every single day, dragging him back to her if she’s not done.   You’d think Goblin would hate this, but he loves it.  If I could jump into Goblin’s brain when he’s being cleaned by Toes I imagine hearts bursting all over.   

Toes, she’s a good girl.

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Toes is pretty shy around strangers (in typical Maine Coon fashion of being a gentle giant), so I thought I’d e-introduce you.  Here’s a look at a day in the life of Toes.

Good Morning Toes!

Toes knows how to party on a Friday night

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Coconut Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies With Sugar Glaze

These Coconut Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies are so good!  They have a delicious powdered sugar glaze on top!  The cookies are loaded with raisins and pecans so they make the perfect snack!

I made these cookies this past weekend knowing that I would need something sweet but filing to keep me energized this upcoming week.   I loaded these cookies with raisins and pecans so just one cookie would give me that morning or afternoon jump that I need.  Instead of milk or water I used Coconut Protein shake in the recipe because coconut + raisin is a awesome combo.  To top it off I made my favorite sugar glaze that I quickly dip each cookie into, which quickly hardens so you don’t have to worry about messy frosting cookies (especially useful on the go!).

These Coconut Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies are so good!  They have a delicious powdered sugar glaze on top!  The cookies are loaded with raisins and pecans so they make the perfect snack!

Raisins + Pecans + Chocolate Chips + Coconut Protein Shake are the cast of characters here.
These Coconut Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies are so good!  They have a delicious powdered sugar glaze on top!  The cookies are loaded with raisins and pecans so they make the perfect snack!

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How to Build a Rainwater Catchment On a Shed Roof

It’s easy to attach gutters onto your shed roof to collect water!  Perfect solution for catching rainwater for your  garden.

We decided we were going to add a few rain barrels on the land to collect water for the garden.  We are trying to be “off the grid” as much as possible for this adventure so it made sense to us to try to catch all the free water we could.  For this, we built a shed in the garden and added gutters to it to collect water into the rain barrels.   In just a few days we collected a full 50 gallons of water into one barrel, so it was a big success!  Now we hope that it rains every week so we can get a full 100 gallons to water our plants with.  Here’s a rain barrel calculator if you want to see how much rain you can collect.

How to Build a Rainwater Catchment On a Shed Roof. It's easy to attach gutters onto your shed roof to collect water! Perfect solution for catching rainwater for your vegetable garden.

Here’s how we did it:

First, we built a shed  This is the 7×7 Rubbermaid Roughneck Gable Storage Shed that we got from Lowe’s to place into the the garden. It was easy to put together as you can see in our time-lapse video.
How to Build a Rainwater Catchment On a Shed Roof. It's easy to attach gutters onto your shed roof to collect water! Perfect solution for catching rainwater for your vegetable garden.

We bought cheap vinyl gutters and mounted them to our shed with gutter mounts.     The most difficult part was the mounting of the gutter hangers.  For this we used machine screws to install the gutter hangers on the shed by drilling through the shed wall and fastening the machine screws with washers and a nut.    We used a gutter end with a drop at the back of the shed to funnel the water down and then some flex spout  to direct the water right into the rain barrels.   The rain barrels are connected to each other in the back with a small hose that we cut.  Once one barrel fills up, then the hose will transfer water to the 2nd barrel until they are both full.  

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Basil Will Grow If You Clean Your House

Tracking Pixel I believe growing your own food is important so I wanted to help promote this project as home gardening is something I feel strongly about! This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day®.

Yes, you read the title right. If you clean your house, basil will grow.  It’ll be like magic, but not really,  because we all know if magic was involved, our houses would be cleaned without us lifting a finger.

But back to the story.  Basil – don’t you love it?  It smells great, is bright green, looks just as pretty growing in the garden as it does in a mason jar, grows easily and is the best friend for sandwichespasta pesto and pizza recipes.

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Basil is such a easy plant to grow in the garden and is pretty resistant to the elements to tear it down.  If you’ve ever grown basil you know how big it can grow.  With just these 2 basil plants, we had basil forever!  Bonus is that if you have too much basil, you can dry it to store in jars (great for sprinkling in casseroles, soups, lasagna, etc).
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Best Home Cooked Recipes To Pair With Pinot Grigio Wine

This post brought to you by Torresella. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/.

Here you’ll find the best recipes to pair with Pinot Grigio wine.

With Summer dinner parties on the rise, look no further for the perfect recipes to serve along with Pinot Grigio.  Food and wine are a big part of social gatherings, and if you’re like me, then you love to share food and drink with your best friends and family.  If you need a recipe for a Weekend Brunch, or a Family Dinner, or a Girls Get Together (hello Wine Wednesdays!), then I hope you find these personal recipes below helpful.   Best Home Cooked Recipes To Pair With Pinot Grigio Wine

But before we get to the food, let’s start with the perfect Pinot Grigio. I love Torresella Pinot Grigio.  It has a clean, crisp taste and authentic Italian heritage, making it perfect to serve alongside Summer fresh pasta dishes.   Torresella is also pretty great to the environment. They leverage solar roof panels to self-sustain the majority of their vineyard’s power requirements and employ modern farming and irrigation systems to reduce their environmental impact.   I love when delicious brands can also be environmentally friendly so I wanted to give an extra kudos to them. Best Home Cooked Recipes To Pair With Pinot Grigio Wine

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All the Spring Vegetables Are Planted!

Do you remember a few weeks ago we planted the first (ever!) plants on the land?  Well now all the Spring vegetables are planted!

A week after the first vegetables went into the ground, the broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and potatoes were planted.  None of it went stress free through.  We are still getting used to our new Upstate growing calendar (much colder than NYC, especially at nights) and with that comes a little heart break.   The weather said we were in the clear at nights, but after everything was planted we had 2 sudden days below freezing which sadly killed a few of the plants.  Thankfully we covered the seedlings up with row cover fabric adding in a extra 4-8 degrees protecting most of them.  Although I don’t want to lose any plants, I’d rather lose 10 than lose 200, so I guess we lucked out as a few other people in town didn’t fair as well.

So now… let’s check out the rest of the plants that will complete the Spring season!

First up, the broccoli.  This year we have a lot of broccoli growing and we’ve grown some of our best looking seedlings ever.  Aren’t they handsome?
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Happy Birthday Xanadu!

Today is Xanadu’s 10th Birthday!  
Happy 8th Birthday to Xanadu Pluto! 8 years ago she came into our lives and it's never been the same since! Love you Xany! #cat #cats #siamese #siamesecat #whitecat #xanadu #birthday #happybirthday #catsofinstagram #cake

Xanadu joined our family when she was 3 months old.  She was a handful from the start.  Everything you read about Siamese cats being cunning, intelligent and vocal are all absolutely true.  This was our first Siamese cat and I remember being shocked by how chatty she was, how her meows sounded like baby cries, and how good she was at problem solving (or starting problems).
Here she is minutes after joining our family.
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Xanadu has seen us go through so much with work and life.  She took care of Essy in her last days and has welcomed 3 other cats into her home (clarification: she does not welcome FiFi Bofinkles into her home – they will never get along).
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Roast Pork and Mashed Potatoes

In just 45 minutes Roast Pork & Mashed Potatoes with Molasses-Stewed Collard Greens will be ready enjoy. Your family will love this classic comforting meal!

This meal reminds me of my childhood on a Sunday.  Sunday dinners were always the most comforting since Mom or Dad had time to relax and take their time in the kitchen.  One of the most popular Sunday meals were pork, mashed potatoes and a vegetable side – my brother loved this!  Now fast forward 25 years and I still love making a classic dish for my family to enjoy.   I made this for Matthew a few days ago and he fell in love with it!

Do you guys know about Blue Apron? If you live in a city you might have seen the blue boxes being delivered to your neighbors.   Blue Apron is a home delivery food service who’s mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone.   All you do is sign up for the service, tell them how many meals you want a week, tell them any preferences (vegetarian for example) and then your high quality ingredients will be shipped to you, along with a recipe card for you to create at home.  I love this service and I love reading their Facebook page with so many fans saying how now they make home cooked meals during the week instead of take out.  If you want to try Blue Apron, here’s a coupon for $20 off. 

In just 45 minutes Roast Pork & Mashed Potatoes with Molasses-Stewed Collard Greens will be ready enjoy. Your family will love this classic comforting meal!

Blue Apron approaches most recipes as if you don’t have anything in your kitchen.  They send you all the main ingredients, as well as knick-knack ingredients such as molasses, sugar, butter, seasonings, etc.    For this Roasted Pork recipe, you can see below they sent me every single ingredient.  Also I want to praise how beautiful the Collards were and how fresh all the produce was too.  

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Sunday Snuggles With My Crew

It was a lazy Sunday and I was at home alone.  I had work to catch up, emails to write back, and a recipe to make but somehow I couldn’t stop watching Big Love on HBO Go.   Also I couldn’t psychically get up because I was surrounded by my crew, you know, the furry cuddly ones.

Yup, my best buddy cat crew: Brother Bear, Goblin, FiFi Bofinkles, Toes and Xanadu
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Xanadu is the Queen of the house. She lets everyone know by crawling onto my lap, glaring at anyone who looks at her and swiping a paw at them if they try to take her place.
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Queens deserve good chin rubs.
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My Morning Meditation Chill Out

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Folgers. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lately I’ve been dealing with some afternoon anxiety, the kind that creeps up on you suddenly when you’re working too hard, multitasking between jobs forgetting to breathe.    I’ve always done too much for work, and too little for me, so I’m trying to learn a little bit at a time why it’s really important to take a minute and chill.

Last year after coming to the full realization that life isn’t about purely about work (hard to believe, I still struggle with this) I started to try to make more time for myself, even if it meant 5 minutes of sitting in the quiet section of the studio staring at the wall, while doing some simple breathing exercises.   Eventually I started to get to into meditation, where I even participated in a group setting.  I started to explore meditation more, and even though I fell off the wagon for a few months, I’m trying to get back on as it was super successful in helping me deal with stress.   How to Destress In the Afternoon_3

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2015 Garden Yield Amounts

Look at how many pounds of vegetables we grew in our NYC rooftop garden!

I know, I know. It’s May 13th and I’m finally getting around to posting our 2015 garden yield totals.  Sorry for how long it’s taken, but better than never, right?!

Drum roll please….!

In 2015 we grew…

458 pounds of vegetables!

Woah! Double woah! High 5!

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See the full break down behind the cut.

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Slow Cooker Black Beans (Perfect for Tacos!)

Slow Cooker Black Beans are slow cooked with spices for 4 hours.  They make delicious tacos!

I’m guilty of it.  Yup, the big sin.  What’s that you ask? Oh, it’s shameful. Sometimes I buy…. canned black beans.   What’s my excuse?  They’re so easy, all I have to do is take the lid off, heat them up and they’re ready to go.    And yet, that bag of dried black beans sits on the bottom shelf (always) at the grocery store, for half the price and twice the amount and I always look at it for forgiveness “Dry black beans, I’m so sorry, I just don’t have time, I’m so so so sorry”.  Then I throw the canned beans in my cart and run out of the aisle before the dried black beans can look at me again.

Once I started growing our own black beans, I started to see the beauty of dried beans.   The only thing that was holding me back 100% from joining the dried bean team was the overnight soaking, which I almost always can never remember to do (we aren’t a house that plans our meals in advance).  So I came up with this recipe of throwing them in the slow cooker for 4 hours which leads to a yummy bean perfection!  

Slow Cooker Black Beans are slow cooked with spices for 4 hours. They make delicious tacos!

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  For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.