Category Archives: Seasonal Fun

Grilling & Chilling – Indoors!

Grilling… So, what do you enjoy most about Grilling?
Cooking outside? Preparing certain foods you love made just on the grill?
Steak? Hamburgers? Chicken? Shrimp? Vegetables?
Cooking as you are surrounded by family and friends who brought their specialties… salads & side dishes?
Is your mouth watering yet? ๐Ÿ˜‚

What do you think of the possibility of grilling indoors? Void of Season & Weather…

Introducing our great indoor grill!
The Stainless Steel Power XL 1500W Smokeless Grill Pro with Griddle Plate

Recently, we indoor grilled filet mignons, did baked potatoes in the convection oven, and added a large Caesar salad topped with shaved parmesan! The filets were deliciously juicy and tender! And the cleanup was quick and easy! The grill disassembles quickly and all components are easily accessible to remove cooking residue.

The next day, the leftover filet was thinly sliced topped with Dijonnaise. Basically, it’s a combination of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon Country Dijon)

For roughly $100 (watch for sales), this grill is a great addition to your cooking equipment, especially if you want to avoid standing out on the deck in the wind and snow or in the garage in order to satisfy that grilled steak craving.

CSA – Supporting Our Farmers – Another great year of organic treasures!

What is CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

There are several ways of supporting farmers in your area. Among these are large farmer’s markets with a variety of vendors, local grocery-style markets with produce from local farms, and small family farm stands found along the road. The CSA farming model, that we discovered over 5 years ago, is one where you purchase a seasonal share (membership) directly from the farmer before the growing season. The share is for a set number of weeks of their harvest of farm-fresh vegetables and/or fruits.

There are different versions of CSAs so you have to do some research and find one that is best for you and your family’s wants and needs. Our present CSA is a Certified Organic Farm and offers 27 weeks of their produce.

The first CSA we got involved with dropped off our weekly “share” of produce at a designated location and time near our home. While the current one we use offers this too, we actually enjoy going to their 18-acre farm, near the base of Blue Mountain, to select our weekly produce in their barn and then participate in their “U-Pick” plots which offer various vegetables, herbs & flowers for us to pick. We enjoy it and always have fun!

Over the years, we have appreciated many benefits of our membership. First and foremost we know the farmer and where our food is coming from. We know it’s organic and free of chemicals on the veggies and in the soil in which it’s grown. An organic farm was important to us as we believe it’s beneficial to our health.

We also think the freshly picked produce is more nutritious and tastes better to us. In addition to this, we’ve enjoyed adding more vegetables and fruits to our diet, learning about vegetables not in our usual routine (like garlic scapes, purple dragon tongue beans & edamame!).

All in all, we understand we are supporting local farmers and small farms in our area and we particularly enjoy providing first-hand farming experiences for our grandchildren. It has been truly enjoyable to watch the boys select tomatoes, peppers, snap peas. and sunflowers directly from the plant. (BTW – a quart container for collecting also makes a great hat on a sunny day.)

How do I find a CSA near me?

You can find a CSA near you by searching the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Marketing Service site and entering your zip code in the CSA area. It’s a great way to add to your healthy living lifestyle and some nature-loving, “farm” beauty, fresh air and sun to your day!

Some wonderful examples of produce we have received through our local CSA:

We are looking forward to another year at The Good Farm with Aimee and John Good & Heidi, of course! We appreciate all that you do…your dedication and hard work!

Another local farm we support and enjoy along the way home from our CSA is Crystal Spring Farm. A delicious place to stop and get chocolate milk to go & fresh-made ice cream in the summer! Life is Good!

It’s Hummingbird Time Again! ;)

selective focus photography of ruby throated hummingbird perched on bird feeder
Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com

It is amazing to wake up early, grab my cup of coffee and sit outside to admire my hummingbirds! I had noticed one looking for our feeders so I made sure they were out and filled with fresh nectar by the next day! But, of course, did I remember the ins and outs of making hummingbird nectar? Nope, yet again I was searching the web looking for that recipe! LOL! I found a great site! http://www.wildbirdshop.com/Birding/humfeed.html

This site explains the best types of feeders…stay away from the drip tube feeders, they will bring bees to your feeder which will fight with your hummingbirds. Always keep your feeder clean and filled with fresh nectar!

Recipe: (from the site mentioned above! Thank you http://www.wildbirdshop.com)

In nature, hummingbirds eat flower nectar for energy and bugs for protein. Flower nectar is 21% to 23% sucrose – regular table sugar – so it is very easy and inexpensive to make. Here is the recipe for making hummingbird nectar:

  1. Mix 4 parts water to 1 part table sugar in a pan. For example, use 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water. Do not use honey, Jell-O or brown sugar. Especially do not use artificial sweeteners. Putting hummingbirds on a diet will kill them. They burn prodigious amounts of energy for their size and need real sugar. Do not use red food coloring. It is unnecessary and can harm the little hummers even in low concentrations because they eat so much nectar. If your feeder isn’t red, tie a red ribbon on it as described in the Feeders section, above. Do not add anything else that you might think of. Just sugar and water, that’s all.
  2. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Stir it while it is heating until all of the sugar is dissolved. Don’t boil it for long because that will change the ratio as water is boiled off. The reason for boiling is not to make syrup, but to drive out the chlorine in the water and to kill mold and yeast spores that might be in the sugar. This will help make the nectar last longer both in the feeder and in your refrigerator.
  3. Cover and allow to cool before using or pouring into the storage bottle. We recommend making a large batch of nectar and storing it in the refrigerator in a 2 liter soda bottle (washed thoroughly first.) This makes refilling the feeder so easy that you won’t mind doing it every few days.

Also they have a guide to go by when changing your nectar vs the temperature outside as not to get your hummingbirds sick! I have never seen this on a site before and am grateful for it! I am following their guidelines and now have around 4 hummingbirds that visit us very frequently! They even make it difficult for me to try to change the food! LOL! I have to sneak their feeder away and fill it very quickly! LOL! I love it and so does my 7 year old!

High temperatures Change nectar after
71-75 6 days
76-80 5 days
81-84 4 days
85-88 3 days
89-92 2 days
93+ change daily
green and black hummingbird
Photo by Djalma Paiva Armelin on Pexels.com

Make sure to check out the site for more information about hummingbirds! (I had to pause to smile at my hummingbird! LOL!) Remember these are guidelines to follow, always check your nectar to make sure it looks ok as well!

Enjoy your hummingbirds!

Live the life of your dreams and take the time to watch your hummingbirds! What amazing creatures!!!!!!!

Hopefully pics to come ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I can catch a good one of the little beauties!

Halloween Fun… looking back

Happy Halloween week everyone!!
A little Halloween retrospective… enjoy!!
Can’t wait for this year!

Apple Festival Fun! (ADVENTURE DAYS!)

Jackson painting his ‘apple!’

Fall has begun and so have the Fall Festivals! Today we went to Tabora’s Farm and Orchard for their Apple Festival! What a wonderful time!

There was creating an apple with a paper bag and paint (picture above), decorating apple cookies, apple picking, face painting, measuring with apples, and feeding goats and chickens. All of this while listening to amazing live bluegrass music.

Me reaching for that perfect Golden Delicious Apple!

We had a wonderful time!

I love family time! โค

I absolutely love spending time with my boys!

Jackson and Daddy amongst the apples! <

 If you have ever been to Rice’s Market then you were not far from Tabora’s, or even passed it along the way!

It is a wonderful country store with loads of delicious baked goods, hot foods, deli salads, spices, candies and coffees! There are also lots of decorations for your home and even a winery area too!

It is one of my favorite places to go anytime of year! If I had to choose the best baked good in the store, I would choose the Pumpkin Bread, I get it every time I’m there! They were so busy this weekend though that they were out of it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So what does that mean? It means I get to return to Tabora’s soon! Yay! ๐Ÿ˜‰
I hope you have enjoyed my little review of Tabora’s Farm and Orchard and their Apple Festival! Be sure if you are in the Lehigh Valley Area to check it out and get some baked goods!
Jackson and I with our bags of apples!
Me amongst the Red Delicious Apples! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, by the way, I ate 1 1/2 apples on the way home and Jackson ate 1/2 of one trying to get his loose front tooth to fall out. LOL! It didn’t happen for him today, but he did enjoy that apple!

Have an awesome adventure! 
Enjoy your loved ones and everyday you have together! โค