Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lovely Asparagus

Lovely Asparagus

Asparagus is a vegetable that is often synonymous with spring. It can be found in abundance. It is considered a vegetable that prefers cooler temperatures, and usually, seeds are started in the late winter and then set out as soon as the soil is warm enough.

This lovely asparagus is commonly bright green, but can be found in purple and in white, contains a lot of great vitamins and minerals for you.

One spear of medium size thickness will have only approximately 3 calories and contains 0 g of these: polyunsaturated fats, monosaturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. Here are just a few more highlights of asparagus, carbs 0.6g, fiber 0.3g, sugar 0.3g, and protein 0.4g. There’s a lot to that little medium size spear, but wait it also contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, also minerals like folate, copper, iron, and calcium.

While the purple asparagus has the highest antioxidant fighting power and the white the lowest, the green asparagus is widely available and with the overabundance, I usually buy a lot of it. I then clean it and trim them and the excess will get frozen for use later.
This is a versatile vegetable that can be cooked by roasting it, grilling it, broiling it, baking it, pickling it, it can be put into soups, sauces, and eggs for example. It can even be baked into loaves of bread. It goes well with fish, poultry, beef, and pork.

Don’t overcook it though, as it can lose its vitamin value.

Today I want to share a very simple recipe that can be done in your oven or even out on the grill. It is one that my kids big or little really enjoyed, and it is so easy.
Gather your handfuls of asparagus. Make sure you rinse the veggies off. When I shop I look for the thinnest possible stems. This ensures that you will get tasty stems. The thicker the asparagus is, the tougher it will be.

I line up the cleaned stems and trim the old and grainy stems and discard. *There are times that I take pieces of the stems and add them to a Keto type soup I make for myself. When all of the stems are trimmed you’re ready to bake.

INGREDIENTS

 ¼ c Olive oil
pats of butter (optional)
Finely chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
About ½ c of Parmesan cheese.
Foil and cookie sheet

TO DO

I foil line a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line up stems in a row (this makes dispersing the ingredients easier)

BAKE

Next, drizzle the olive oil all over the stems (try to evenly include all the stems)
Then, sprinkle the garlic over trying to also get this evenly dispersed as well.
Finally gratuitously sprinkle parmesan cheese (or Romano if you prefer) all over using your judgment on how much you would like to use. Also if you so choose to use the butter, place them around now. I use them because it helps them taste richer, this is optional.

*If you like you can add pink Himalayan salt and black pepper

Now, place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 12-15 minutes depending on the size of the stems.
I love to have mine have a bright green appearance to keep the vitamin count up, so I usually pull them out at about the 14 minutes mark. *Oven temperatures vary be aware of this.




TIPS

One can gather the asparagus in a bowl and dredge ingredients over them further ensuring that they get a good coating.


Once cooked asparagus can be tossed into salads and into sauces, made into appetizers, you will be in heaven tasting the bacon wrapped spear! Don’t be shy try new things; you would be surprised that asparagus may become your go-to veggie!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Recycled Easter Trees

ReImagining Things

I used to own several mass produced Easter trees. Well, over the years and many kids later, needless to say they broke. So Today I'm reimagining these trees. (I had saved the hanging little Easter ornaments)
I shopped my home, and in my study I found two (very) old white-painted metal urns! They are so cute and perfect for these mini-trees. They are super heavy so they actually can hold up some weight.

I went out with the dogs and found a few branches. (I pulled some dead ones, they are quite brittle though). I figured I'd give them a coverage of white spray paint, but ultimately I liked their natural state, so I left them with no paint.

Assemble

I added dry floral foam cut to fit into the little urn. Then stuck the sharp edge of the branch directly into the foam. I added a bit of white glue surrounding just the foam and branch for extra added strength. I didn't want to use fake Easter grass, so I added green natural moss (the glue helpes it stick on as well).

Decorate

With the use of the moss it really felt like a natural tree out in the wild. I had these little birds left over from another project, I thought they might look cute here too.
Adorable right? Here's what the back of the package looks like! Holy cow, just why?
So, other than this puzzle LOL, this was truly a quick and easy project, that brings nature and Easter to my table, using only the things I had available already in my house! I used the hanging ornaments, I had two cut purple ribbons and I attatched the birds to the stem and the rim of the urn, cute!

And the finished product was simply adorable, I hope this brings you some inspiration for something similar at your home!   Happy Easter decorating and Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Becoming...Spring

We are like the seasons

In many ways, we are like the changing of the seasons. We change and adapt to our surroundings and we are always a work in progress. I used to think it was a bad thing to be a work in progress, but then I realized just like seasons, I change too.

Officially, in the northern hemisphere anyway, Spring isn't supposed to be here until March 20th, but don't tell that to the Robins. They're here chirping and getting their nests ready. Spring brings happy changes, like temperate weather, and the emerging of all things growing.

Like flowers, nature gives us color and shapes and scents. We emerge as we grow and change and perhaps we haven't quite hit our most colorful time yet, or perhaps we have and now we are at the point in our lives where we want to wallow in it! Whatever point of beauty you are in, be blessed to know like the artist and poetess Jody Hills once said:


"She wasn't where she had been, She wasn't where she was going...but she was on her way"


So let's change and grow with our seasons and become our best spring. Continue to grow and change and be happy to be a work in progress and even relish it!  Don't stop dreaming or learning or loving, because these ideas are completely ageless. Stay motivated and remain artful in your positivity, especially on yourself. Your best spring portrait will be you ~flowering!

Happy spring sweet birds~



Image result for a work in progress
Enjoy becoming Spring
Emerge
and flower!
Photo Credit: Pinterest 
and K. Barteski