Charity Auction Quilts

Pinwheel Quilt

Last evening Catholic Charities of North Dakota held a Baskets and Bows Auction and Silent Auction to raise money for their many programs they provide for the public.There adoption, pregnancy and counseling services are phenomenal. We support this charity when we can, and our calendars were clear.

I knew they had several quilts for auction.  I wasn’t able to win the Up North Quilt that had a woodsy feel, but I was lucky enough to win 3 quilted items in the silent auction..  The beautiful pinwheel quilt above is gorgeous.  It is in shades of navy blue and gold and is about 63″ by 80″. I think it will be a favorite of mine for a long time to come.

Winter Table RunnerThis Winter Runner is about 38″ x 12″ so it can be used on the table or a side table.  Love that it is double-sided so I can use it on whichever side strikes my mood. Probably will be on the snowman side more since I decorate with many snowman in my house.  Why?  Not sure since I really don’t like snow and cold.

Changing Seasons Quilt

Finally I came home with this Asian inspired Changing Season Quilt.  It is more of a wall hanging.  I plan to hang it on the wall somewhere this spring if I can find a place.  Love, love, love, the colors.

If you ever have a chance to go to a charity fund-raiser, check out the handmade quilts.  You may be able to get some well-made quilts at a great price while helping a worthwhile charity.  Just don’t bid against me.

 

I Do Not Drink Coke

Coca Cola Stain Glass Tulip Glass a

Today I was listing some glasses that were in a box I recently purchased at an auction.  This set of Coca Cola Stain Glass with Red Tulip are so pretty.  It got me thinking….when was the last time I drank a Coke?

I told you back in 2011 that I was a die-hard Coke fan.  I used to drink a regular Coca Cola or a Diet Coke with Lime almost every afternoon.

I dramatically reduced my Coke intact in late 2012 and early 2013 as I mentioned in this post.  It is amazing that I no longer eat any of those snacks in that photo.  I still would love to eat the Nature Valley Sweet and Sour Almond Nut Bar, but haven’t had one since late August.  Not sure how it would taste if I did eat one.  All of them are loaded with sugar. After a lot of research, I realize how bad sugar is for me.

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I also listed these White Evergreen Pine Coca Cola glasses today.

Then I reduced my sugar intake in February of this year.  Do I still eat sugar?  Yes, but not nearly as often.  My sugar mostly comes from the fruit I eat, but I will sometimes eat it when I am outside my home.  I rarely eat it when I am home.  That is a good thing. I still love sweet things, but it is amazing how things are tasting sweeter and sweeter to me.

So when was the last time I had a Coke?  I have had only a handful of Coca Cola’s this year, with my last one that I shared with my Mom at an auction sale in Jun or July.  The funny thing is it didn’t taste right at all.  I would say that I have broke my Coca Cola habit.  I am not a fool, and therefore, I know that if I started to drink it again for a few days, the habit would probably come back quickly.

Part of my process in breaking the habit was making sure I was drinking plenty of water a day, drinking green tea, and finding a healthy substitute if I really need something besides water.  My current favorite is a tall glass of water with about a tablespoon of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a drop or two of Stevia. Something about the bite of the ACV cures my craving for a soda pop.

Now that I have broken my habit, I tell myself, “I don’t drink Coke.”  For some reason saying that instead of “I can’t drink a Coke” gives me the control and the power not to feel sorry for myself. It is my choice, and a choice that I know is so good for my health.

How about you have you given up a food or habit that is bad for you?  Do tell.

Pumpkin and Squash Recipes

Pumpkin

I have to share a couple more recipes I found online that I tried and enjoyed.  It is fall, so I have pumpkins and squash.  I wanted new ways to use them and not only display them around my house.

The first is the Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie.  I found it on The Lemon Bowl.  I love pumpkin pie, just not the crust or all the sugar.  This seemed like a great substitute.  Check it out to see if you want to try it. I really enjoyed the change. I didn’t add any stevia…the apples and protein powder added enough sweetness, so try it before you sweeten.  I will also even lower the clove next time. I am not a huge fan of clove, so a little less might make it perfect.

The other recipe is Butternut Squash Soup.  I found this recipe on Dr. Frank Lipman website.  I was a little worried.  I have never tried a squash soup before, but it was delicious fresh as well as left over and reheated.  I could taste the onions which made it extra delicious, yet my son said all he could taste was the squash.

If you are looking for some new fall recipes I encourage you to try these recipes and see what you think.  Then tell me, did you like them?

Cabbage Onion Kale Recipe

Cabbage Onion Kale Salad

I have been trying new vegetable recipes.  Picked up Kale, onions and cabbage from our CSA this weekend, so when I saw this recipe today from Amy Meyers MD website, I had to try it.

I wasn’t sure how nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon would taste on vegetables other than pumpkin or squash…it really worked well.  The kale wasn’t bitter at all, and the cabbage and onions almost had a sweet taste.

So if you are looking for a recipe for kale and cabbage go check it out.  Let me know if you try it, and if you like it or not.

How To Freeze Broccoli

Broccoli a

I mentioned before that this year was joined a local CSA, It is called Riverbound Farms. We have enjoyed the yummy, fresh vegetables we can choose each week.  Because we also have a large garden, sometimes I choose several of one item, so I can store it away for later use.  This time it was broccoli.  Look at those heads.  We plant broccoli, but ours never are even close to this size.  Neither are the ones we have purchased in the past in the grocery store.  These are only 3 of the 5 heads I froze.

1.  Wash the broccoli and cut it up.

Broccoli b

2.  Soak your cut up broccoli in a brine of a gallon of water to 4 teaspoons of salt for 30 minutes.  I need to pause and let you know that I found these instructions online. When I saw this step I thought…my broccoli is so clean, I washed it well, I can skip this step.  Well, when I boiled the broccoli there were worms that came out.  So please don’t skip this step.  I had to spend more time cooling it and slowly picking each piece out of the water to make sure there were no worms.  I learned on my second batch.

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3.  Boil water, when it comes to a hard boil, add the cut up broccoli.  Cover and boil for 3 minutes.  Don’t forget to set your timer.

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4.  Then cool off broccoli in an ice bath to stop cooking. Another side note….I have been meaning to clean out my refrigerator’s ice machine.  I used all my ice for this process of three batches, so it was easy to clean.  Another “to do” off my list.

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5.  Spin off excess water in salad spinner.  This was my idea.  Extra water can cause food to freezer burn quicker, so I used my salad spinner to get rid of that excess water.  In case you are wondering, I purchased this salad spinner early this spring and have used it so many times.  My greens stay a few days longer when I use it.  It is a Large Zyliss Salad Spinner. After not having one for so many years, I really do wonder how I got by without it.

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5 Use a vacuum sealer if you have one.  I don’t, so I just used ziplock bags. I filled the amount I wanted and closed.  I left a small hole in the end.  Inserted a straw and sucked the remaining air out, pulling the straw out and sealing it to keep air out. Not sure if you can tell in the above photo but the one on the left is the one I sucked all the air out.  I think it will help it last longer.

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6.  Step back enjoy the completed project and put into freezer.  Big M loves steamed frozen broccoli so it will be nice to have organic, not overly processed broccoli when we want it.

Have you ever tried freezing broccoli?  Any tips to share?

Italian Style Grilled Eggplant

Italian Style Grilled Eggplant

Another week, another new vegetable to try.  Our CSA pickup included eggplant this week.  I have always wanted to try eggplant but just never did.  When the vegetable is sitting on your kitchen counter, you finally decide that you have to find a recipe for it.

We were having grilled hamburgers, so I made Italian style grilled eggplant.  I found the start of the recipe here.  I used coconut oil instead of olive oil.  I did not grill the tomatoes.

They weren’t bad.  Too me they didn’t have much of a taste. I enjoyed them, but not where I had to have more.  I have another eggplant, so I need to find another recipe to try. It was a success in that I am no longer afraid to eat eggplant.

Do you have a recipe for eggplant?