Thursday, September 30, 2010

My "Awesome" Vlog

I haven't been the best vlogger, but as the journey progresses, I hope to share more.

Other author and writer blogs have been incredibly helpful to me and I want to give back and share all that I have learned with others.

Can you count correctly how many times I said, "Awesome?"

I did this vlog very late last night--in my PJ's. I also forgot to use the better light. But then again, I am not wearing make-up, so it was probably a good thing.

My BIG project

I've been working on this project since May. I told no one but my husband, a few very close friends and the world of Twitter. (Thanks to @supernovia for her support in convincing me that the Twitterverse cared.)

As time has progressed and I've grown more comfortable with the idea, I've slowly told friends and family.

I'm now at the point where I'm okay with telling the world.

(I did this video back in June, just after I finished writing my manuscript in 6 weeks)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What I'm going to do with 10,000 pounds of tomatoes.

Well, not 10,000 pounds exactly, but close.  This is what I have starting at me right now, and I have another box just like these in the house we've been working on that I forgot to include in the following picture.

Did I mention that the vines outside are already ready for a picking too?  Please don't think I'm complaining, I'm not.  I am a little overwhelmed, but I'm not complaining.  Our CA summer was so mild the tomatoes didn't get the heat they needed to ripen, so we are having a late harvest.  (On the plus side, fresh tomatoes for Thanksgiving)

So today, I'm doing what other garden growers do this time of year who lack large freezers and time to can.

I'm getting creative.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Calorie free and tasty snack: Kim Chi Cucumber

We have such a variety of vegetables right now, to prevent burnout, we are creating different meals.  Just last night my hubby made a variation of  lasagna using several veggies from the garden.  I am proud of him, he's still eating zucchini after several months of cooking with it.

At our favorite Japanese restaurant, we enjoy a dish called Tako Kim Chi.  It's cucumber and octopus covered with kim chi sauce.  Such an easy recipe to recreate, but since I'm not proficient in octopus preparation, I will leave that treat for when we eat out.  

What we do instead is chop up cucumbers from the garden and drizzle kim chi sauce over it.  The sauce was hard to find because you typically can't find it at your local grocery store.  I had to go to an Asian market to find it.  
You know what shocked me the most at the market?  It wasn't the embryonic, purple eggs or the numerous bottles of fish parts pickled, fermented, salted, etc.  What shocked me the most was the isle of bagged MSG.  I try to avoid every trace of the stuff in my diet and yet there were bags and bags of it up and down the isle.

The only downer with the sauce is that it does have MSG in it, so I use it sparingly and not very often.  What I would like to do is make my own sauce with natural ingredients.  I'm on a quest for a recipe.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Specter Key Trailer [HD]

Check out this book trailer for an upcoming book. I've talked about Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse before in other posts, this is the sequel. It's called Bran Hambric: The Specter Key. It certainly has a chance to make it to the NYT Best Seller's List.

At the end of the trailer, there is a link to sample chapters. Be sure to check them out.

Come 10/10/10, you will find me reading this on the elliptical....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My thoughts on September 11, 2001

I was replying to the blog The Sierra Home Companion which asked, "Where were you on September 11th?" and the memory just flowed from my fingertips.  I thought I would share my thoughts here and repost my reply:

You're right.  I too will never forget where I was or what I was doing on that day. 

I was pregnant with my 2nd child.  We were in bed when my mother called to tell us the twin towers fell. (I'm ashamed that I didn't know what she was talking about-World Trade Center?) We got up, flipped on the tube and caught the 2nd plane crashing into the tower.  I will never forget that image.

Yes, the next couple of days, the world seemed to stand still.  I don't remember leaving the living room.  I remember wondering what the world held for the future of my children.  We didn't know what would happen next.  Part of me feared, the other part knew I needed to have faith.

I found a patriotism that I never felt before.   As tragic as it all was, Americans stood together like never before.  Suddenly it didn't matter who you were or where you came from.  Nothing mattered because as an American, we were one.  Flags erupted EVERYWHERE.  The mere sight of them found on cars, houses, buildings, you name it, would bring me to tears.  Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, maybe it was the mere shock of the tragic events I watched unfold, maybe I was just patriotic for the first time in my life.    

As much as my heart ached for the families involved, it also swelled with American pride like never before.  September 11th heightened patriotism in America...and I miss it.  America has forgotten.  Maybe not in our hearts, but we have moved on and life has resumed as before.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Indian dinner from our garden.

SO dinner time came around tonight like it always does.  Wanting something different, I went to Google and started searching for recipes that had the ingredients I had.

I wanted to create a meal with:

  • Eggplant
  • Coconut milk
  • Garam masala (Spice blend)

This came up in the search: Chicken and Vegetable Curry  To my surprise, the recipe also included tomatoes and zucchini.  A definite WIN since I have so much out in the garden right now. 

What I enjoyed most this dish is that it's full of vegetables and still filling.  Sometimes when we make stir-frys there isn't enough fat or protein to keep me full and I'm left craving for something a few hours later.  This dish is very filling, so a little serving will keep you satisfied until breakfast.  The flavor is subtle and rich, so if you skipped the rice and left out the chicken, it wouldn't be missed.  This recipe is very versatile; we'll probably add more eggplant to it next time since we like it so much.

**Update: It was even BETTER for lunch.  :o)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Garden Milkshake

Who doesn't love a thick milkshake made with real, all natural ice cream and blended with fresh fruit?  It's certainly hard to pass up such cool deliciousness on a hot day.  But with intense refreshment also comes high calories.

A way we get around it is to make our own shakes.

In our garden this year, we are growing crenshaw melons.  I grew up with these beautiful fruits and the mere scent brings me back to a time when summers were long and living in a swimsuit didn't phase me.

We use Bryer's Vanilla ice cream.  It's the best!!  All natural without any added gunk means no chemicals or unpronounceable nouns.  Add it to the blender with frozen chunks of crenshaw melon and you have a frothy milkshake with less calories.  Since you are using more melon than ice cream, you significantly reduce the amount of fat and calories while adding a healthy dose of vitamin C.  The flavor is so sweet and intense, you don't miss those calories.

Wait.  You say you've never tasted a Crenshaw melon? Seek one out and dive in!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Favorite Lunch

The garden is in full production and veggies are coming out of my ears!

Lately for lunch I have been eating this:

It's light, surprisingly filling and very easy to make.  Okay, bust out your pen and pad of paper because you will want to write this down so you don't miss anything. ;o)

1. Chop up various tomatoes (Make sure you add the juice left on the cutting board)
2. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar.  (Enough so you can see it accumulating on the bottom.)
3. Season with salt & pepper
4. Crumble blue cheese, feta or whatever cheese you have lying around.

Voila! That's it. Enjoy!