The day has come.. time to play spooky tunes, eat candy until your belly hurts (I’ve already eaten 12 Kit Kat bars) and wear your best costume! Happy Halloween Friends!
Do you enjoy Halloween and dressing up? I love it. This year sadly we’ve been dealing with a tight deadline so I didn’t have time to make a costume or plan a Halloween bash. So please make me happy and share with me in the comments about what you’re dressing up as!
Here are my costumes for the last couple Halloweens…
My favorite Halloween costume I ever made was Hello Kitty. This was a big hit, especially on the streets of NYC. Walking from my home to the subway ride to walking to parties I felt like a celebrity. Everyone wanted to stop and take a picture with me or just give me a hug. I smiled alot those days.
Matthew was a Whipped Cream can that year too.
Last Halloween I was a clown.. down to the big floppy shoes and handing out stickers to everyone that said “Clowns Are Cool”.
This is how clowns hail a subway train…
Clowns love cats.
That year I let Matthew wear my clown costume one day. Wouldn’t this just make you smile if he rode by?
So yeah, I really love Halloween! I should start planning for next year already!
In tradition of Halloween, I wanted to share some festive houses decorated in Brooklyn for the holiday. Growing up in a small town, holiday decorating is a big deal. There’s no official standings but I think my house was the best growing up. My mom and dad went all out for Halloween and Christmas. Some of my fondest childhood memories come from the holidays, so seeing a house decorated is one sure way to make me smile. If you see a festive decorated house and you see the owner outside, be sure to say it looks great and thank them! Think of all the work they did to cause some walk/drive by happiness. If fact if I was President I would make it a legal obligation to decorate your house. If you do not, I would round you up and bring you to a deserted location where you would be made to party, parade and dance the night away in costume! It would be so much fun! Basically I would kidnap you and force you to eat bite size Butterfingers while doing the Monster Mash. You would end up loving Halloween!
This is one of my favorite houses in Brooklyn and each holiday they decorate the yard to the max. I believe the Dentist office that resides in the bottom floor does this. I love it. I look forward to seeing their decorations every year.
I love a greatly decorated tree bed on the sidewalk.
I love sneaky decorations too. A house with nothing but a bloody hand trying to escape.
A house with nothing but a freshly dug graveyard with a zombie ready to escape.
Spiderwebs are big in the neighborhood too.
Here’s a beautiful skeleton dressed up ready to dance the night away.
I absolutely love children’s crafts too. They might me my favorite.
This ghost monster guy dances all day long. I was able to catch him in a fabulous pose.
Stores most definitely get in the spirit! This is one sure way to get me in and buy things!
Construction sites are no exception!
On my birthday we celebrated out of town and decided to bring a big Pumpkin back home.
I’m hoping your Halloween is full of fun and good spirits, have a good one!
Who doesn’t love Funfetti? Funfetti means fun! It makes you want to throw on a party looking apron, grab some sprinkles and go wild. And who doesn’t love the Pillsbury Doughboy? His bashfulness makes me love him even more. He’s a adorable little guy, with such a cute belly and he makes delicious treats – what’s not to love?
I can only imagine what it would be like to bake with the Pillsbury Doughboy. You would pour 2 glasses of ginger ale and as the cookies are baking in the oven, he would tell you all his secrets. He would give you his baking knowledge full of soft cookies and sweet treats. You would forever owe your life to him. Then you would reach into your pocket and shyly pull out 2 best friend necklaces. They would be shaped like a cookie, but broken into 2 bitten pieces. Then you would put the necklace on him and he would put it on you. You would have a moment. Pillsbury Doughboy- let’s be friends. Call me.
Here are facts I found out while googling for too long about the Pillsbury Doughboy:
His real name is Poppin’ Fresh.
He became a household love in the 1960s.
He giggles in both “hee hee” and “hoo hoo” form.
He used to be created by stop motion clay animation. Now he’s CGI.
He has a family of Poppie Fresh (his wife), Granpopper, Granmommer, Popper (son) Bun-Bun (baby daughter), Flapjack (dog), Biscuit (cat) and Uncle Rollie.
I know. Who knew The Pillsbury Doughboy had such a large family! I’m pretty much in shock that my best friend didn’t even tell me about his children.
When I was in Target a few days ago (I’m there all the time, I’d like to think of it as a place that helps me relax) I came across Funfetti Halloween Cake Mix. I had to have it. I mean it’s Halloween and Boy is holding a pumpkin on the box! It’s a must have! So off I went skipping down the aisle…
After I got home I started to think about what I was going to make, but I wasn’t sure yet. Then a few days later I was in one of my other favorite stores, Whisk. Whisk is a cooking store in Brooklyn where I like to spend all my money. I came across a adorable ghost cookie cutter. I must have it.
Then it was decided, Funfetti Ghost Cookies!
These cookies are colorful, fun and festive. They have the Funfetti taste we all love, but it also tastes like a sugar cookie. Best of all, they’re super soft, like little clouds of sweetness. When you bite into the cookie, it’s super moist. It’s just a delicious cookie, one that will have you reaching for a second very quickly.
Beat together cake mix, butter, eggs and vanilla until it becomes dough like.
Cover and put in refrigerator. Let chill for 3 hours.
Roll out dough on floured surface and use your cookie cutter for shapes.
Put on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
Decorate if desired, let cool.
Makes 2-3 dozen cookies depending on size of cookie cutter.
Here is the dough all made. Funfetti dough is my absolute weakness. I could eat this and call it dinner. Ok maybe I have.
The key to making Funfetti shaped cookies is letting the dough chill. This will make it easy to roll out. We’re going to chill this in the fridge for 3 hours.
Gather your supplies and begin pressing your cookie cutters in.
Hey little ghosts. Keep your eye on the one to the right, we’re going to talk more about him later.
Out of the oven comes Funfetti magic! Oh goodness, they smell great. Keep as is or decorate with sprinkles..
Or put some spooky faces with Gel on them.
Look at how happy they are!
The cookies rise nicely and are done in a quick 8 minutes.
The insides are fluffy and soft.
This looks like a ghost party! Now let’s talk about the ghost to the right. Do you see what I see?
Let me zoom in. The ghost has eyes! I didn’t put them there!
As soon as I spotted his eyes, I picked him up. As I held him up the light changed dramatically. I got a bit spooked out.
I needed a ghost inspector right away. I knew who would be perfect for the job, Xanadu!
Xanadu is the Boss of our kitty family, she’s on constant duty of keeping all the other cats in line. She likes to sit up above watching the others to make sure they are behaving. If they aren’t, don’t you worry, she will jump down and proceed to push them back to work. Here’s where I found her.
I picked her up and carried her over to where the ghost with eyes was waiting for us. I asked her to please inspect this spooky ghost to make sure he was safe. She quickly moved in and begun to sniff him..
I thought it was going good until suddenly Xanadu shouted out “Ghost!”. She was shocked. This ghost seemed possessed. What are we going to do I asked her?
She answered the question very quickly. “Mom, we’re going to eat him!” and then proceeded to lick him clean.
Hi Friends, Happy Friday!
First, thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes yesterday, you sure know how to make a girl feel special. Come on over this afternoon, I saved you a cupcake. 🙂
It’s that time again – Swap time!
October’s Halloween Hot Drink Swap was so much fun. I received multiple emails from Swappers saying how much of a good time they had with this Swap and how sending out and receiving a little Swap package in the mail sure made them smile. I for one had a blast and received amazing goodies from Shashi and Amy. I send you both such big hugs while enjoying my new teas and cookies!
So let’s swap again!
It’s getting cold out, I’ve been wearing hats and big sweaters. In some parts of the country it’s been snowing! So November’s Swap is.. Baby, Keep Me Warm!
You will send your partner:
A variety (At least 7 bags of tea) of hot drinks to try (Ideas: tea bags, loose tea, hot cocoa mixes, coffee mixes)
Something to Keep Them Warm (Max Price: $10) (Ideas: Cozy Socks, Mittens, Candle, Pillow, Tea Mug, A warm dinner’s worth of ingredients.)
Something Written saying Hello!
How it works: You sign up here. Sign ups end November 2.
I will send out a email with swap partners by Nov 5. You and your partner contact one another and exchange mailing addresses over email.
You send each other the swap contents.
You become friends for life.
Anyone can sign up – but you will only be paired with someone in your own country. US to US, Canada to Canada, Australia to Australia, UK to UK, etc. If no one signs up from your country, then you don’t have to swap.
Your swap must be sent out by Nov 15
Brooklyn Farm Girl is not held responsible for swaps not sent or received.
I’ll meet you guys by the fire! Have a great weekend!
I have some big news. Are you ready?
Today is my birthday.
*Takes a deep breath*
Ok, that didn’t feel so bad.
Because it’s my birthday, because I think you are pretty cool, because I want to have a virtual birthday party with you where we all dress up in pastel dresses and pretty shoes, because I really love Red Jacket Orchard juices, this is a giveaway. And I’m being completely sincere when I tell you that if you haven’t already fell in love with Red Jacket, you will within one sip. It is hands down the best apple juice I ever tried. I remember the first time I had it was when I was walking home from a appointment and needed a cold drink, so I stopped in a grocery and picked up a Red Jacket juice. From the first sip, I was hooked.
Why’s it so special? First of all, it’s family owned. Then it’s 100% fruit juice, all natural, never from concentrate, unfiltered and cold pressed. And the flavors! There’s rhubarb, strawberries, cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches, and apples.
What’s my favorite? The apple cider! Matthew and I basically wrestle to see who gets the last bottle of this.
Ingredients: Apples. How can’t you love that?
Also a big hit, the Tart Cherry Stomp. It’s tart cherries, apples and Vitamin C. It’s so.. well, tart. I love it.
The flavor choices are endless, it’s really hard to pick a favorite!
But it’s your lucky day because one reader is going to be sent a 6 pack of juice that is going to knock your socks off. I am being very serious, prepare to mutter the word “wow” a million times.
Just leave a comment below saying hello.
Only US residents.
Contest ends October 30, 2013.
Easy mouth watering Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs recipe. These cook in the crockpot for 8 hours. I often make these for BBQ’s and people can’t get enough!
Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs
These spareribs will bring all the boys to the yard. And girls. And dogs. And cats. Everyone is going to want one of these BBQ Spare Ribs!
This post is about Spare ribs, and they’re BBQ and Slow cooked. They are moist, the meat will fall off the bone, they will leave you licking your lips and your fingers. These Spare ribs are starting to sound sexy. But they really are. Super sexy Spare ribs. You cook them for 8 hours, slathered in bbq sauce and brown sugar. When they are ready to eat them they’re juicy and saucy. My goodness, is it getting hot in here?
Crockpot Spare Ribs
Here are the steps to make thee Spare ribs, it really doesn’t get much easier than this. First layer is the pepper, garlic and onion. Second layer is the Spare ribs with salt and pepper. Third layer is pouring the BBQ sauce on top. Finally, add the brown sugar. Then you just wait and let the slow cooking smells start to take over your house…
And believe me it will start to smell wonderful, curious noses will appear.
When I serve the Spareribs, I love to take a little bit of the pepper/onion/garlic mixture and put it on top.
Enjoy this delicious Fizzy Vodka with Trix Cereal. For adults only!
Last week I was invited to a Hello Cereal Lovers event hosted by General Mills serving creations by Justin Warner. As soon as I arrived and started to taste all these amazing cereal dishes my mind started to wonder quickly. I usually think of Cereal as something I splash milk on and call it a day, or occasionally bake cookies and make granola bars with. But savory? I never thought of cereal as savory but that has all changed. By thinking out of the (cereal) box I can totally see how cereal can be incorporated into dinner dishes and you will see a few recipes in the upcoming weeks as I try them out. While at the event I had one amazing rotini pasta dish and one extra delicious split pea soup – both had cereal in it. I hope you’re intrigued by this, because you’re soon to be hungry!
As soon as I got to the event I was greeted with smiles, then quickly offered a Fizzy Trix drink. Let me tell you a few things:
I accepted this drink because all I heard was “Trix”.
I don’t drink Vodka.
I started to drink it and quickly felt my cheeks become flushed.
I found a recipe book at a nearby table and quickly realized I was drinking Vodka.
I really enjoyed this Fizzy Vodka Trix drink. Alot.
I quickly started to dance on tables.
They asked me to leave.
Ok the last 2 things aren’t true. In fact I was offered another Fizzy Trix drink but declined because I have a fear with alcohol that I will become that stranger on the subway home. Random: Once on the way home Matthew and I were sitting on the subway, and a intoxicated man placed his hand on Matthew’s thigh and quickly stroked very high up. Matthew removed his hand. I giggled crazily. The man awoke embarrassed, confused, and then passed out again. It was a highlight of my year.
So for you Fizzy Drink and Cereal lovers out there, I think you’re going to love this recipe. Enjoy!
Place vodka in small bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cereal, let stand 15 minutes.
Place cream in another small bowl, stir in remaining 1/2 cup cereal. Refrigerate 15 minutes, stirring once.
In 1-quart saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat to boiling, stir until sugar is dissolves. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.
Stir vodka and cream mixtures. Strain mixtures into 2-cup glass measuring cup to remove cereal, discard cereal. Pour vodka-cream mixture into beverage shaker or quart-size jar with lid. Add lemon and lime juices, egg whites and sugar mixture. Shake drink like crazy. Add ice cubes to shaker, shake again like crazy.
Strain drink into 4 chilled martini glasses. Hit the foamy top with a dash of bitters.
Halloween Decorated Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Granola Bars! These are great for snacks, breakfast and Halloween parties! Use black and orange chocolate chip morsels to make them festive looking!
While walking around the Halloween section at Target I came across these festive chocolate morsels. They are Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Orange Morsels. I threw them immediately in my buggy, not really knowing what I was going to make with them, but how could I turn them down?
I love Halloween because it means I can wear black and orange every single day. I wore this last week, but I’m going to be honest and tell you that the pumpkin socks stick around for 12 months. There’s no putting away Halloween socks, wear them every single day! You will make someone smile on the subway who’s having a bad day.
EASY to make dried edamame recipe using soybeans! This healthy edamame is slow roasted and salted! If you’re growing soybeans this year you need to make this snack!
I love soybeans so I love dried edamame!
I think I start every post with “I love (insert something”).
I love cheese. I love cats. I love donuts. I love snowmen. I love pumpkins. I love you.
But soybeans, yeah, I love them guys. We had a great soybean year and it’s still going on with more plants to pick. The last few days have been chilly and windy but the garden calls, so I throw on a hat and a dramatic attitude (“I’m so cold! I’m not going to survive!”) and get picking soybeans.
Look at this beautiful soybean plant!
So with so many soybeans – what’s a girl to do? Snack on them of course! I know, dried snacks aren’t usually the first thing you think of when you think soybeans. You might think of fresh edamame which is absolutely delicious, but I wanted something to crunch, something with a little salt on it. So say hello to my dried edamame recipe!
I really love this casserole because it stays set when serving, it almost feels like you are having taco lasagna. There’s 2 layers of corn tortillas, salsa, green peppers, black beans, corn and plenty of ooey gooey cheese to keep the cheese lovers happy (I’m in that club).
BAKED, Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Cake Donuts! This easy homemade recipe makes soft and delicious Pumpkin Sugar Donuts! Recipe makes 1 dozen donuts. One of the BEST Fall Pumpkin dessert recipes!
Stop the presses.
Stop them please.
I had something else set to run today, a yummy cheesy casserole, but that has got to be put on hold. After I made these donuts I skipped happily to my computer (with a donut in my mouth – don’t do this, it’s a choking hazard) to change the post. I had to show you these.
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you might know I got a donut pan a few days ago. A donut pan is one of those baking items I tell myself I need about 8x a month but then I never buy it. Even if it’s only $12, I see it a a investment piece. How often will I really make donuts? Do I really need it? Maybe I should buy $12 worth of things I don’t need instead. In reality, buy the donut pan and bake donuts until your heart is content.
Enter, donut pan in my life.
So what was the first donut in my life? Well I already had a Pinterest board full of inspiration but I wanted pumpkin. But really, when don’t I want pumpkin? Also I wanted sugar. But really, when don’t I want sugar? I wish I could say something like when don’t I want a salad? But that’s never true because I really don’t want a salad ever. Give me donuts. Give me Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts, please!
Here’ the scoop about these donuts:
They’re pumpkin. I used our homemade pumpkin puree. I am the happiest in the world when I get to do this.
These are cakey. We’re talking cake donuts. We’re talking moist. We’re talking fluffy. We’re talking donut ecstasy.
They are cinnamon sugar coated. I was going to go the route of a glaze but then decided to keep it simple.
You will eat these by the end of the day. I’m warning you. Enjoy these Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Cake Donuts, but trust me, they won’t last long!
Fall has been here for a few weeks so let’s talk changing of the seasons in the garden! Fall means the hearty crops are back, lots of bushy greens and getting ready to anxiously await that first Frost. Even though Summer is over, it doesn’t mean gardening is done – it never is!
This Fall we are growing Sugar Snap Peas, Kale, Cucumbers, Spinach, Lettuce, Radishes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Pumpkins, Soybeans and Carrots. We have also begun planning for Winter where we will be growing Brussels Sprouts and Pak Choi. If you’d like to stay updated with our Garden Calendar, you can always check this link out (found in the sidebar too). I periodically update it whenever anything is planted or transplanted. This is super helpful in knowing the exact date we plant and preparing for the next year so I would definitely recommend always keeping track of your garden schedule. We come back to this page many times during the year.
The broccoli and cauliflower were transplanted on both August 15 and September 5 as we are trying to space them out slightly. Here is the broccoli ready to move into it’s new container home.
And here it is living in it’s new luxurious container condominium. We usually grow 3-4 broccoli or cauliflower plants per container. This year we will be growing 18 separate plants.
Just a few days ago I spotted this, it was a pleasant surprise to see the broccoli heads already starting to pop out and say hello!
Some more views of the broccoli and cauliflower:
One of our favorite Spring and Fall plants are Sugar Snap Peas. These not only are delicious for snacking but they make some of the best quick and easy pasta dishes! Peas were planted directly into the soil on July 31 and have just begun producing peas which will last a few weeks.
The peas are planted in all 3 boxes. Who’s going to make it to the top of the fence first?
We’re kale crazy so we went from our 4 summer plants to 10 plants. The kale got transplanted into their container on August 3. Here it is as a little baby..
Here’s 6 of our new kale plants:
Do you spot our other 4 kale plants which have been growing since Spring? We learned a few years ago that Kale will grow throughout the seasons!
Kale, you are so pretty.
I’m in loooooooove with youuuuuu.
Pumpkin season is here, so I love nothing more than picking our own pumpkins in the garden!
I title this picture “Pumpkin looking over it’s city”. Look at how hazy that day is by the way, you can hardly see Manhattan.
Our cucumbers are one of the surprises of 2013, they have done such an amazing job, to the point of I can’t fit anything else into the bottom shelf of our refrigerator as it’s completely filled with pickles!
Our tomatoes are still producing!
We planted 2 more boxes of soybeans which are almost ready to pick. If you remember we just harvested some soybeans, but don’t worry I have some soybean snack recipes hidden up my pink silk sleeves.
I always love to see the transition of the garden from season to season. The bright colors of Summer are close to over, to be replaced by dark luscious greens.
And then we get ready for winter, here are some of our seedlings we have begun to harden off. My goal this winter is 2 words: Brussels Sprouts.
Here are some videos I did as part of the Gardenieres on container gardening. You can apply container gardening to anything you grow, really – I mean anything! Our entire garden is containers, so if you are thinking on giving container gardening a shot, I would strongly urge you give it a try. Not only is it perfect for spaces that you can’t grow directly into the ground (like our roof), but it’s also great for actual yard spaces. If we had a actual yard, we would still container garden our plants, the results have been exciting. The other great thing about sub irrigated containers is you never will doubt if there is too little or too much water. Because there is a hole in the bottom of the container, when the water comes out – then you know you can stop watering. If no water is coming, keep on watering!
Here is a Step by Step on how we make our Strawberry Buckets. We use Home Depot 5 gallon buckets. Our strawberries are doing awesome this year, even giving me handfuls in October.
[youtube id=”ap3v81f2XLw” width=”600″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
Here is a Step by Step on how to make your own Herb Garden Container. This works great on growing healthy herbs, but this is also the basic technique we use for the majority of all our plants (from tomatoes to pumpkins to broccoli).
[youtube id=”mhBu5SsW1G4″ width=”600″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
Hope you enjoyed the videos, let me know if you have any questions! 🙂 Are you gardening this Fall? If so, let me know all about it!
CHEESY French Fry Casserole! This easy baked casserole recipe is made with frozen french fries and shredded cheddar cheese. Your entire family is going to love this loaded dinner casserole!
French Fries, I have a real big crush on you. I love you straight. I love you crinkled. I love you curly. I love you covered in cheese. And chili. And beans.
Are you like me and stock up on certain items but don’t notice until you open your freezer and multiple bags of frozen french fries are staring at you? I’m that way for a few things. When Goya is on sale I think I need 8 cans of hominy or pinto beans. Pasta, yes, let’s buy 10 boxes. Ketchup, well maybe I will have a cookout, better buy a few bottles. That 20 pound bag of rice is super cheap, what a deal, better buy it. Whenever French Fries are on sale, usually 2 bags for $5, I better get them too.
A few nights ago I was going through the process of “What to make for dinner”. There were a few rules:
-I wanted french fries.
-I wanted to use up heavy creamy which was close to it’s end date.
-I needed to use some type of garden vegetable.
-I wanted to prepare it quickly. This means frozen french fries.
-I wanted it to be delicious.
So French Fry Casserole was born!
When I took this out of the oven, I pulled back the foil and I wish I had a video to document Matthew’s reaction. It was pure excitement for this casserole.
If you like cheese fries then you’re going to love this casserole because it’s basically glorified chili cheese fries that we can call dinner and everyone will be ok with it because we added the word casserole to the end.
The chili comes from chili beans which I could eat out of the can with a spoon. On top is also a green pepper chopped up, this gives the casserole a great crunch and it just makes me happy to use anything we grow in the garden with french fries.
French Fry Casserole – perfect main or side dish!
We ate this casserole as a main dish and it was extra filling. There is no meat in this, but you could add chicken, ground beef, or bacon bits to the top if you choose to.
Here are the steps to prepare this casserole quickly.
This cheesy casserole is gorgeous when it comes out of the oven!
I love the little kick the chili beans provide on top.
Serve yourself and enjoy! Then start diving into those cheesy fries..! Enjoy this french fry casserole everyone!
EASY to make Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. These cookies are crunchy and ready to eat in 15 minutes! They’re so good your kids won’t even mind the vegetables in their cookies!
Hello Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies!
These are yummy chocolate chip cookies, but I like to consider them healthy because whenever I add a vegetable in they immediately should be declared healthy. Look ma, I’m eating my vegetables (wrapped up in brown sugar, butter and chocolate chips, but still..)!
In all honesty though, they’re a great way to add a little bit of vegetable to your regular cookie!
Zucchini Cookies Recipe
Did you know that you can bake with zuccchini? It’s true! You can make these delicious zucchini cookies! You can also make zucchini bread!
Also, I really love the appearance of these cookies because even though at first glance they look like regular chocolate chip cookies, when you look closer you can see the green specks of zucchini. I think they’re gorgeous!
These chocolate chip cookies are crunchy and the entire family is going to love them! They’re easy to pack and go, sometimes I love taking 2 for the road for “breakfast on the go!”.
Ingredients for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients for these cookies are basic, you probably have everything you need in your baking cabinet already! The cookies have a little bit of cinnamon and cloves in them that gives them a touch of a taste of a Fall cookie.
You’ll also need 1 cup of grated zucchini!
How to Ship Cookies
This year I plan on lots of baking for holiday presents to friends and family. I have been looking for ways to ship baked goods the best way possible to prevent cookie breakage (and heart breakage).
I found that if you use plastic pint containers (even better, just reuse your takeout pint containers after washing out) and layer each level with parchment paper, your cookies stay safe in the mail! I will be using this method for various sandwich pies and cookies during the holiday season.
I hope you all enjoy these Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies!
With the seasons changing many of our garden herbs are coming to a end (except our Oregano which I’m pretty sure is going to grow forever). Most herbs tend to love this time of the year but the weather tends to change quickly in mid to end October, so we always plan ahead in preserving our herbs before it’s too late. One frost is all it takes to kill a lovely cilantro plant – don’t let it happen to you.
Freezing and drying herbs in multiple ways makes your garden season last even when there is a foot of snow out on the ground. Need some basil? No problem. Just dry it and crush it up – then you will have basil to last you forever. Same goes for so many other herbs. Also if you don’t have a garden, no worries. Maybe you’re at the farmers market or grocery store and you see a great sale on dill or parsley, grab it, dry it and you’ll have dried dill and parsley to last you the next year.
Here are some ways I use our herbs to make them last as long as possible.
Cilantro: Cilantro is a tricky herb to preserve, but hands down one of my favorites to cook with. In my opinion dried cilantro loses its taste, but you can absolutely freeze cilantro in ice cube trays. Just throw your cilantro in a food processor with some water to turn into a puree, then transfer to ice cube trays and freeze. When you need some cilantro, just pop it out, defrost and use. I often times use frozen cilantro in fresh salsa and it tastes great.
If you’d like to keep your cilantro lasting longer in the freshness department, this is my suggestion on how to store it. This technique keeps your cilantro fresh for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator. First, cut your cilantro stems down a little bit. Then fill a glass jar with some water, insert cilantro.
Then put a plastic baggie on top and rubber band it to the jar so it’s secure. Put into your refrigerator. Replace your water as it turns brown. Whenever you need some cilantro, just take out the jar and use accordingly. This is our cilantro after about 10 days, still looks pretty great to me!
Mint: I love mint, I love everything about it, especially the smell! Isn’t mint just one of the most heartiest prettiest herbs you’ve seen?
I could just squeeze mint’s cheeks it’s so pretty!
I enjoy mint mostly in drinks, either in cold drinks or a great natural herbal tea (post coming soon!). I drink alot of water throughout the day, especially fizzy Seltzer water, but what makes it extra special is some mint with it. To make mint ice cubes, just rip up your mint leaves and throw in a ice cube tray. Then on top fill up with water. Don’t be scared to really fill up these cubes with mint, use as much as you want.
Then when you grab a drink of water, pop out a mint ice cube and it freshens up your drink. This is great in iced tea and lemonade as well.
Dill and Basil: These herbs work great dried so you can cook with them for a endless amount of time. Before we had a garden I would buy dried herbs but not anymore. Drying your own herbs is very economical, not to mention the taste will defeat the store bought bottles!
Dill: I love dried dill in soups, stews and rice dishes. Dill is also up there on one of my favorite smelling herbs, it puts me in a good mood almost instantly. Maybe I should invent a dill perfume! Basil is a staple in cooking, both fresh and dried. It’s hands down one of the dried herbs I use most in cooking so I always have a few jars filled up in the kitchen full of it. To dry your herbs, clean and let dry. Then take a rubber band and tie them up in a place in your home. The dryer the place in your home, the better, but in a loft space like I live in all my living area is pretty equal and I’ve found that herbs dry great pretty much anywhere. Let your herbs dry for a few weeks, usually 3-4 weeks. You will see your herb leaves start to turn crispy. Once the entire bunch is crisp, then untie, remove leaves with a shake above a bowl and crush. I do this the easy way by throwing in a food processor. A few pulses later and you have dried herbs ready for cooking use.
When you walk into our home the first thing you see hanging are herbs and onions. Can we talk about how great your home is going to smell because of these herbs too?
Dried herbs tend to be much stronger than fresh herbs. When substituting dried herbs for fresh herbs, use 1/3 the amount that the recipe calls for. Store your dried herbs in jars.
Dried herbs made direct from your garden make an amazing holiday present. Tie a little bow around a couple of glass jars and you will win the hearts of many!
EASY, MOIST Jalapeno Cornbread! This Southern recipe uses buttermilk to make the cornbread extra soft! The Jalapenos give it a little Mexican taste! I always serve homemade cornbread with dinner casseroles!
Cornbread. I love you.
Jalapeno Cornbread, I especially love you.
I love how moist you are. I love how brown your edges stay. I love the kick of the jalepenos.
Cornbread is such a comfort food. It’s always a dinner favorite on the side to soak up the juices, gravy or just devour by itself. When I found myself craving some cornbread to go along with BBQ ribs I whipped up this recipe. This cornbread is a winner, and for those that love a spicy kick you will love it. This recipe uses 3 tablespoons of diced jalapeno peppers which makes it spicy enough to give it that extra pop, but not too hot that you can’t eat 6 pieces of cornbread in a row. That’s real talk y’all.
This recipe asks for 1 cup of buttermilk which makes it as soft as a cloud. I didn’t have buttermilk but I learned how to make some quickly with ingredients you have in your kitchen. For 1 cup of buttermilk you need 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice. That’s it! Place your tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add your milk to fill up to the 1 cup mark. Then let stand for 5 minutes, you will see it will start to thicken up. Boom, buttermilk! It’s that easy!
Next time you’re looking for a quick cornbread, look away from your usual box mix and make some homemade cornbread. It’s well worth it.
Moist Jalapeno Cornbread recipe
Here’s the mix with our homemade buttermilk added in. I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought buttermilk again!
Here’s your diced jalapeno. You can use red or green, whatever you prefer.
I did mostly red with a few green pieces thrown in. This would be super cute for Christmas!
Before and after baking.
The top of this cornbread is just purrrrrrrfect.
Let the bread cool then cut into pieces. Try not to eat them all at once.
EASY, MOIST Jalapeno Cornbread recipe! This Southern recipe uses buttermilk to make the cornbread extra soft! The Jalapenos give it a little Mexican taste! I always serve homemade cornbread with dinner casseroles!
1/2cupbutter - melted
1cupbuttermilksee notes for homemade if needed
3tablespoonsdiced jalapeno peppers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl whisk together butter and sugar. Add in eggs, buttermilk and baking soda. Stir to combine.
Add flour, cornmeal, jalapeno peppers and salt. Continue to stir to combine.
Spray a 8x8 pan with non stick spray. Pour cornbread mixture into pan.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Let cool for 20 minutes then cut into slices.
For 1 cup of buttermilk you need 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice. That's it! Place your tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add your milk to fill up to the 1 cup mark. Then let stand for 5 minutes, you will see it will start to thicken up. Boom, buttermilk! It's that easy!
Arby’s was a childhood favorite of my family. There was one local Arby’s restaurant and it was located in a mall which was about 20 minutes away. Getting Arby’s meant that I must have been a good girl because I was absolutely in love with their Roast Beef and Cheese sandwich. Actually I still am, those sandwiches can’t be beat!
Can I tell you guys how much I love brisket? You might have noticed by the Slow Cooked Beef Brisket recipe or my multiple brisket photos on Instagram followed by multiple hearts. But what happens when you don’t have hours to slow cook your own? Leave it to Arby’s to solve all your problems in a delicious way!
Arby’s is introducing the Smokehouse Brisket sandwich which is slow cooked for at least 13 hours. That means it’s smoked low and slow, keeping all the smokey flavor you crave in your brisket. Even better, it’s there when you want one. No waiting hours for dinner, with Arby’s sandwich, just go and grab one! The Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich is piled high with slow-smoked beef brisket, smoked Gouda cheese, crispy onions, BBQ sauce and mayo. It’s served on a crispy toasted bakery style bun. Am I making your mouth water yet?
Look at this beauty. Let’s all take a minute and sigh.
And please don’t forget to get a side of Arby’s curly fries. Do they get any better than that?
When I told Matthew about this sandwich, especially those crispy onions on top, I think he was going to faint. I needed to grab a chair and fan the poor boy! That’s what good brisket sandwiches do to you, you know?
Since many of you said you liked my rambling Thursday thoughts, I thought I’d bring it back for a Tuesday edition. Thoughts can only happen on Tuesday and Thursday, the others days of the week don’t have that alliteration ring to it I like.
Happy October Friends! October is the beginning of the best 3 months in my opinion. October means the start of chilly weather (but not today where it’s 80 degrees), apple picking, pumpkin patches, Halloween and my birthday (the big 3-0). Welcome October!
I’ve also been swapping some letters and Halloween treats to other friends around the World. Pen pals is a forgotten art, don’t you love it? Sadly international shipping has gotten so expensive, ugh!
The Nightmare Before Christmas is on my headphones playing all the time. This is one of my favorite soundtracks ever. Others include Aladdin and Dirty Dancing. What soundtracks do you love?
I love reading but I fell out of it as my nightly bedtime ritual for a few weeks, but now I’m back to it and can’t wait for that time of the night to come. My last few books I read that I highly recommend are: The End of Your Life Book Club – this is a beautiful book but will also make you cry. It’s also full of names of other books so you have a endless amount of new material to read after you finish. I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing – I recently became a super fan of Nora Ephron and love everything she wrote. These books will make you laugh out loud, while your other half looks at you oddly in bed. They deal alot with things that women go through, all written with charm and wit. The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story – The women behind the first men in space, full of so many NASA and behind the scenes to the space mission facts I had no idea about. Defending Jacob: A Novel – this is an amazing book and I stayed up to 6AM one night finishing it because I could not put it down. It’s full of so many unexpected twists, definitely one of my favorite reads this year.
I’m currently reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers. I’m only a quarter of the way in but so far it’s been a great read. The book follows the author as she spent 3 years in the Annawadi slum of Mumbai and introduces us to the residents, each with their own life goals and stories.
A serving of Nutella is 2 tablespoons. I eat 2 tablespoons before I even start baking with it. And don’t even get me started on late night eating with Nutella. Nutella is my go to jar at 4AM when I walk subconsciously to the cabinet, pull out the Nutella jar, a spoon and eat too much. Then I go to back and wake up feeling pure guilty. But the way I see it, the quicker it’s out of the kitchen the safer I am… until I buy another jar the following day.
Harvest Peanut Butter M&MS are ruling (ruining) my life. I don’t even look at the serving size.
I’ve been thinking alot about my comment I made in the previous “Thoughts” post about leaving conditioner in for 2 minutes. Many of you commented that you wash your body and face and shave during this time. Here’s my problem with this situation. When I rinse my conditioner it will run down my body, making my body all conditionery (new word). So that means I would have to wash my body and face again. This just doesn’t work or me. I will continue leaving my conditioner in for 30 seconds while wondering what to do. It’s a very tough situation I have here!
A few days ago I went around our apartment building handing out spinach from our garden. Multiple people called me the Spinach Fairy when opening their doors so I think I should get a Spinach Fairy Costume made for my next harvest delivery.
Our internet was down for a solid 2 days and it was a very rough period. I spent hours on my roof trying to “borrow” internet. I found a hotspot finally but a inch in movement to the left or right would make me lose it. Standing while holding your laptop makes for strong arms!
Matthew gave me a taste test a few days ago from a regular cherry tomato and a homegrown cherry tomato from our garden. Hands down our garden version won. There was no contest, I opened my eyes like “There’s no doubt this is ours!”. It was full of flavor and sweet. I love homegrown cherry tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes, we’re still picking them..
Sometimes it is 11PM at night and Matthew and I realize we haven’t hit our Nike Fuel points yet and craziness ensues. The Nike Fuel Band is a band that counts your movement throughout the day and without doing a post on how much I love it, I really do it. Not only has it helped me lose a few pounds but it’s kept me moving on those days where you don’t realize how long you really sit at the computer for. It has really motivated me to move, dance, run and just shake it. I have a long streak happening on my Nike Fuel so I’m very cautious of not hitting my daily goal. Anyways, when we realize we are a few hundred points away, it becomes madness in our house. We stare at each other and jump up and down, we run through the house, we grab a cat and throw them around our shoulders and dance, we do a move called riding the dog, we a do a move called walking the dog, we mimic each other as we move quickly. Most of this takes place in front of our windows so we can watch our reflections and laugh hysterically at how ridiculous we look. I bet our neighbors across the street are constantly wondering what is going on in our loft.
The Love Glove is the best grooming glove for cats. Our cats love it. Xanadu practically lays on the ground passed out, enjoying every rub. This is fur side by side comparison. Top left: Xanadu. Top right: Brother Bear. Bottom left: Essy. Bottom right: Fifi Bofinkles.
Matthew’s family visited from Ohio. It was the first time his family came out to visit us in NYC! It was great seeing them, but I’m pretty sure we exhausted them. It’s hard when family visits because you want them to see everything! There’s lots of walking.. and lots of photo bombing.
We also had to share some of our favorite food with them too!
Grimaldi’s, what we think is the best NYC pizza (yeah, I said it!). White pizza and Pepperoni and Mushroom pizza.
Dough (best donuts!) and Nathan’s Hot Dogs at Coney Island.
My favorite donut from DOUGH is toasted coconut, followed by the lemon poppy. Oh goodness, they are so soft. Really, they are the best. I think I’ve talked about DOUGH at least 10 times in posts. I’m in love.
Target has their Halloween decorations up. Run there immediately! They also have amazing wigs which every single person I saw took a selfie with them on. I did too.
Right now we are watching the Sopranos, we’re about 15 episodes away from the end. Do not spoil it for me! Sopranos is such a great show, I needed to watch a few to get drawn in but now I’m totally obsessed and the thing I look forward to most is watching a episode every single night. If you haven’t watched the show and are into infidelity, murder, violence and good pasta then I recommend you watch it. Also Michael Imperioli as Christopher is very easy on the eyes.
After Sopranos, we are thinking of watching Breaking Bad. Is it as good as everyone says?
I’ve been busy drying herbs and storing them for the winter. Expect a herbs post soon!
We are still getting a bunch of cucumbers and tomatoes. My entire bottom shelf of my refrigerator is full of pickles. It’s honestly out of hand and I’ve run out of mason jars.
Here’s a different angle from the garden. Look at all the expansion we could do! Also the garden looks so tiny in this big city.
Have you ever unplugged something in your home, forgot, then try to turn it on but it doesn’t? Then you continue to walk around for 12 minutes wondering why it doesn’t work, saying it’s broken, etc? Then you remember what you did.
The cats love their sunbathing. Here are all 3 ladies enjoying some sunshine. Essy (in the middle) has turned absolutely crazy the last few weeks. It’s so great to see her 19 year old self so wild and full of energy, but when it’s dinner time, she is out of control. We’re talking tearing garlic bread out of my mouth. But we love her alot, so it’s ok.
Have you ever accidentally turned on your camera and taken a picture of you from an up angle so you have 7 chins and honestly look nothing like yourself (at least you hope that)? Then you mope around for the next 4 hours because you think you are now a hideous beast.
I leave you with a few questions:
What is the last great book you read? I love book suggestions, please give them!
How often do you eat dessert after dinner? It can be a brownie, ice cream or just 2 M&Ms. Is it every meal or only once in a while?
How often do you work out (honestly) and what do you do?