1
Corn and Tomato Rice Salad
2
Spring seeds are planted! Come cheer them on!
3
A Visit to the White House Garden – Full Tour of Veggies, Bees and More!
4
How to Throw a Tea Party – Donuts, Decorations, Tableware and More!
5
How Can Cute Cats Be So Stinky Sometimes? Investigative Reporting!
6
Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole
7
Vanilla Brownies with Vanilla Glaze Frosting
8
Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers – How to Bring Spaghetti Back to Life!
9
P+M Upstate Adventure: Planning the 2016 Garden – Check out our layout!

Corn and Tomato Rice Salad

Tracking Pixel
This is a sponsored recipe post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.  This Corn and Tomato Rice Salad is perfect for dinner, picnics and potlucks.  With it’s Mexican inspired flavor it’ll be a hit with everyone!  And even better, it’s ready in 15 minutes!

I’m in love with this rice salad.   I took a version of this recipe to a potluck last week and I’m proud to say it was the first dish that was empty.     This is a great fresh ingredient recipe that lightens up dinner.    You can serve it as a side dish or a main dish, preferably served alongside some fresh bread.  What I especially love about it is that due to the lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes and cilantro it has a Mexican flavor added to it.  Anyone else love Mexican flavored everything?  This salad is so good you could even fill up a burrito with it and call it dinner.

This Corn and Tomato Rice Salad is perfect for dinner, picnics and potlucks. With it's Mexican inspired flavor it'll be a hit with everyone! And even better, it's ready in 15 minutes!

And because I love fresh recipes that are quick to make, this salad is ready to serve in 15 minutes.

The main ingredient is Minute® Whole Grain Brown Rice so you’ll have great-tasting fluffy rice in just 10 minutes.   Brown Rice is a nutritious option as it has similar nutritional values to regular long cooking brown rice, but it’s done in 1/4 the time.  I love brown rice because of it’s versatility – you can use in cheesy casseroles or light lunch options.    One tip to get the tastiest brown rice is instead of boiling in water, try vegetable broth.  

Read More

Spring seeds are planted! Come cheer them on!

The Spring 2016 seeds are planted!    Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Collards, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Kale and Onions seeds are all popping through the soil! Come and cheer them on!

We’ve been busy on the weekends getting the Upstate garden ready.  This weekend we put lots of hard work in, and next weekend will be even more harder.  The good thing is a day of Upstate work equals a week’s worth of workouts (research done by me).   I’m going to have such strong muscles one day.

While we’re busy doing manual labor, there’s labor going on here, but the plant kind.  The seeds were planted, and they burst through the soil at record speeds.  We built a new grow light cart his year (DIY coming soon!) and it’s been majorly effective.  In the past we’ve had to wait about a week for our broccoli and bok choy seeds to come up, but this year within 2 days they already broke through the soil and were waving hello.   As usual, we planted double seeds in each pot, and as usual every seed came up.  It’s always the difficult choice of killing a seedling, or doubling your garden.  We have garden parent guilt syndrome (aka GPGS) so we usually can’t kill the extra seedlings.  Matthew is like “You cut them” and I’m like “No way! You do it!” and then noone does it.  Just today we were planning on getting rid (that sounds awful) of the double plants, but we decided to “hold off”.  That means we’ll never do it.

Spring Seed Planting_8

We always grow our vegetables from seeds.  Not only is it worth it to watch them grow from seed to vegetable bearing plant, but it’s much more economical.  A pack of seeds averages on $2-$5 and that can sometimes get you up to a few hundred plants! A baby plant at a nursery usually costs a few bucks (if not more with heirloom) and you don’t even know if it’s going to survive, so you can see how much money you save.     Since we started growing the rooftop garden we’ve learned that it’s important to have good quality seeds, ones with high germination rate and successful growing.   Johnny’s Seeds are our go to seed company.  We’ve been buying off them for years and have never been disappointed.  We have a list we usually stick with every year from growing experience, but occasionally we try something new (lots of new pumpkin varieties this Fall!).

Spring Seed Planting_6

Read More

A Visit to the White House Garden – Full Tour of Veggies, Bees and More!

When you get a email invite to a private event that Michelle Obama and the White House are hosting for Let’s Move, you accept it.  Well your heart skips a beat, you accept it and then you try to figure out what shoes you’re going to wear.  It goes in order like that.  That’s what happened last week.  

White House Trip (25)

White House Trip (7)

Last week, I made the trip to Washington DC to attend a event to have a conversation on the health of our nation’s children.   Let’s Move (started by Michelle Obama in 2010) is a group initiative to encourage healthier food in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children.  Gardening goes hand in hand with this initiative as it’s important to grow your own.  Growing your own vegetables promotes healthy eating, but it also informs you where your food comes from and the process of plant life.  If more families were to start their own gardens, they would eat fresh vegetables more often, along with creating family activities to build/maintain and to learn about gardening.    I’d say I was one of the few non parents at the event, but I don’t think you need to be a parent to understand why eating healthy matters and to encourage it.  Since we started the garden on the roof years ago my own eating habits have greatly improved.  I love vegetables now.  Sometimes for dinner I just have vegetables, years ago that would have never happened.  With the experience of growing the garden I learned so much about nature and the planting process.  If you haven’t planted a little itty bitty seed and watched it grow into a full on broccoli plant, you haven’t lived.   Even at 32 years old, I’m still excited and amazed when I see a few ounces worth of seeds can turn into hundreds of pounds of vegetables.  Before having the garden I didn’t even know where so many vegetables came from.  I know it was a plant, but I didn’t know what the plant looked like, how long it took to grew, growing conditions and more.  Growing your own makes you respect vegetables a whole lot more.  Can I get some respect for vegetables? Amen.    And lastly, because of these vegetables I learned how to cook.  I almost think it should be a required class in schools now to learn how to cook.   If we all cooked at home, think of the impact it would have on obesity, overall health and factory farming.   If you follow this blog then you probably already know the joy and satisfaction one gets when presenting a meal to their family that is home cooked.  I wish everyone could experience this!

Read More

How to Throw a Tea Party – Donuts, Decorations, Tableware and More!

How to Throw a Tea Party on a budget! We’ll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party! 

Do you love tea parties? Me too.  They just feel special.  You’re with your friends, you get to eat yummy pastries and vegetable dishes, you use floral China plates and cups and if you’re feeling bold you wear a fancy hat.   It just feels magical.

In this post I’m going to show you how to throw a tea brunch party!  We’ll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party!

How to Throw a Tea Party on a budget! We'll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party!

Tableware:   When your friends arrive you want to wow them!  Tableware is one of the keys to making a beautiful display.  You’ll need plates, cups, kettles, napkins, spoon and serving plates for larger dishes.  You’ll also need a dessert rack which when placed in the center of the table makes everyone smile! For my tea party, I went the traditional route of floral mix matched patterns.  And even though it might look like a expensive setup, it’s not!  Can you believe my plates that look like fancy China are actually paper plates? Amazing, I know!

How to Throw a Tea Party on a budget! We'll cover food, decorations, tableware, music and more to make it the perfect party!

Read More

How Can Cute Cats Be So Stinky Sometimes? Investigative Reporting!

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

I hope my cats don’t read this and think I’m disrespecting them. Cause I’m not. It’s just a question I often wonder…. How can my beautiful angelic little furry cats be so stinky sometimes?  Happy I'm home from work! #brother #mainecoon #blackcat #love #catlady

If you have cats you probably know the situation.   Everything will be perfect at home.   It’s a great day.   You’re on your computer winding down, a cup of tea in one hand, when suddenly the smell hits.  You glance around the room.  Then you hear it. Scratches in the little box.  Scuffle of paws on the ground.  Then you see a cat burst out of the litter box, throwing litter everywhere.  They run away, leaving you in the now stinky area of the house.    Suddenly all the cats are now teamed up, glancing at you, making it feel like you caused the smell.  

Read More

Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole

Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole – yum! By substituting black beans and corn for ground meat, we can make a delicious Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole that will become a family favorite!

Hi everyone – I hope you’re having a great week!  I’m typing this post from the glamorous back row of a Boltbus that’s traveling back to NYC from Washington DC (more about that next week! I went to the White House! OMGZ.) I’m sorry it’s been a little quiet around here but with building the garden on the land, R+R work, writing/shooting, and some travel (for work) this week has been tough.   I also have to go to the accountant for my taxes tomorrow so this week is super rough. 😉   I ate 2 donuts today. I feel so guilty. 

This Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole is one of our favorite dinner recipes.  It’s one of those dishes that you don’t get sick of having multiple times a week (we love it that much).  Since going vegetarian, I’ve had to figure out how to change my recipes and that’s what I did for this casserole. Instead of ground beef, I’m adding in black beans and frozen corn.  Mix that with some elbow macaroni, fresh tomatoes, green peppers, tomato soup, taco seasoning mix and taco cheese and you have the perfect weeknight meal!  I don’t want to call this recipe healthy, because it does have the word “cheesy” in the title, but the recipe only calls for 3/4 cups of cheese and if you want you can even add less.   My husband who still eats meat (but hardly does because I’m the chef of the house) loves this meal and doesn’t miss the ground beef at all!  You know it’s a winner when he requests Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole every week!

So without further ado…here’s our favorite taco casserole!

Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole - yum! By substituting black beans and corn for ground meat, we can make a delicious Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole that will become a family favorite!

Meatless Cheesy Taco Casserole_17

Read More

Vanilla Brownies with Vanilla Glaze Frosting

Recipe for delicious Vanilla Sprinkle Brownies With Vanilla Frosting! 


I love brownies.  I love frosting.  I love sprinkles.  These Vanilla Brownies with Vanilla Glaze Frosting are perfect because they check off each of those categories!

Recipe for delicious Vanilla Sprinkle Brownies With Vanilla Frosting!

I should warn you now, these brownies are dangerously good.  I can’t tell you how many brownie bites I ate because you would have this image of me being a brownie monster in your head and none of you think that.  Right?  Oh goodness, I’m glad I’m right (thanks for making me feel better).    I love a brownie that is ooey gooey, with some frosting on top.   And this frosting is gorgeous.  It’s my new go to frosting for… well, everything.  It sets perfect and has a shine to it.  I’ve always had a problem making a frosting that was thick enough to set without dripping off the sides of brownies, cakes and donuts.  But this one is a keeper.  Expect to see it often in the next few months in different forms because I have a bunch of donut recipes in my head that  need this frosting!

Recipe for delicious Vanilla Sprinkle Brownies With Vanilla Frosting!

Read More

Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers – How to Bring Spaghetti Back to Life!

You’ll never throw away leftover spaghetti again once you make this Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers! It’s so easy to bring your spaghetti back to life! 

Spaghetti is a tricky. I don’t mean the process of making it, that’s usually easy. The tricky part is figuring out how much spaghetti you have to make.  Have you ever asked your loved ones “How hungry are you?” in hopes they will tell you precisely how hungry they are so you make the exact amount of food.  Usually the answer is “Sorta hungry” or “Very hungry” which both aren’t that helpful.  So into the boiling pot goes the entire box of spaghetti.  9 out of 10 times, there will be spaghetti left, which then goes into a glass storage container into the refrigerator until someone decides they want to eat leftover spaghetti.  Many times, I’m afraid to admit, noone wants to eat that leftover spaghetti and it goes bad.  I hate wasting food.  It’s the worst.   So I set out on how to bring leftover spaghetti back to life, so it wouldn’t go to waste anymore!

You’ll never throw away leftover spaghetti again once you make this Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers! It’s so easy to bring your spaghetti back to life!

Hack to bring leftover spaghetti back to life:
Put 2 cups of water in a large skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Add leftover spaghetti and cook 30 seconds. Drain water. Serve!
.You’ll never throw away leftover spaghetti again once you make this Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers! It’s so easy to bring your spaghetti back to life!

Now you’re all done and ready to make this delicious Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers!  
This dish is quick and easy (it takes 5 minutes to make).   It’s full of  diced tomatoes and fresh green peppers which makes it great for a vegetable filled Winter or Summer meal.    Sometimes in the Winter we can get dragged down by heavy casseroles or soups, but this dish is the opposite of that.   Along with the vegetables, this spaghetti is coated in olive oil and Parmesan cheese which makes you feel like you’re eating a Summer time meal!
You’ll never throw away leftover spaghetti again once you make this Leftover Spaghetti Skillet with Tomatoes and Green Peppers! It’s so easy to bring your spaghetti back to life!

Read More

P+M Upstate Adventure: Planning the 2016 Garden – Check out our layout!

Remember I posted about the garden shivers on Monday?  That feeling you get when you’re so excited about the upcoming garden season, you shake from happiness?  Yeah. I got the garden shivers bad.  I’m so excited.. I just can’t hide it.. I’m about to lose my mind and plant way too much corn!

The garden season is always exciting, but this year it has a new excitement to it as it has so many unknowns.  As many of you know, Matthew and I will be starting a larger garden Upstate this year, on our new land project.   To go from growing on our rooftop in Brooklyn to growing in the real ground Upstate, there’s going to be changes and surprises.   To begin with, our garden season is going to get shorter.  Usually we’d start planting our seeds indoors in January but we won’t be planting them until next week as the last day of frost is May 31st in our new zone of 5A.  (by the way, I found this really helpful site that lists growing seasons by zone).  From there, the garden season lasts “safely” until the last freeze free date which is October 1st.  We’ll try extending it as long as we can!   The big change here is size.  Our garden just got a whole lot bigger with the land.   That means we can grow more vegetables and try new things.  It also means figuring out what can grow best in this zone, along with our rocky clay soil (I’m getting a soil test done right now – will post about results!).    I’m also ready for heart break.  There’s going to be heart break.  Animals.  Weather.  Diseases.   A gardener has to be prepared for a few garden tears.  But a gardener also has to dream big in my opinion.  That makes it so much more fun and exciting. 🙂

Knowing that we have to get our seeds planted soon, and being affected by the garden shivers at a very high rate, we sat down this week to plan the garden.  This is not 100% firm as things change once you are in the garden space, but it’s pretty close to what we’ll do.

Read More

For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.    |     Privacy Policy