Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sketch a State: Wyoming

After leaving Salt Lake City, we drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming. We had a delicious steak dinner, since Wyoming is beef country. Then we went to the Cheyenne Botanical Gardens to walk around and spend some time in nature after all those hours in the car.

While sitting and trying to sketch the geese (animals are a constant challenge for me because they move so much!) we met a woman and her two year old daughter. We started chatting, and the little girl wanted to help me draw. At first I tried to get her to draw on the blank back of the page before this goose, but naturally the pencil wandered. I figured it wasn't a very good goose anyway, and the memory that this page brings is better than if she hadn't helped!

Living Design sketch a state Wyoming

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sketch a State: Utah

Our second stop on our road trip was Salt Lake City, Utah.

Living Design Sketch a State Utah

We stayed with cousins for two nights, and spent a full day exploring Salt Lake City on our own. We walked around Temple Square, and took tours of the Beehive House, 26th floor observation deck of the LDS office building and of the LDS Conference Center. We had lunch in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and I sat and sketched in the (air conditioned) lobby while Sean took care of some calls.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7.27.2014

We're back to "normal" life after our road trip, and that means it's time to get back to meal planning too. Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: beef and cabbage stir fry

Tuesday: crockpot chickpea stew

Wednesday: caprese salad with salami and prosciutto

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: stuffed summer squash - subbing out the goat cheese for feta from Tuesday's stew, and using our CSA ground pork instead of sausage

Saturday: roast beef and watermelon "carpaccio"

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sketch a State: Nevada

These past few weeks, Sean and I have been on an amazing cross country road trip! Over the next few weeks I'll be blogging about some of the different parts of this trip.

One of my goals for this trip was to stop and take a moment to sketch in every state we visited. It's all part of our all-in-one travel journal, which I'll explain in a bit more detail in another post. Today, I want to start off what I'm calling my "Sketch a State" series with our first stop, Nevada!

Sketch a State: Nevada

The first night of our trip, we stayed in a little ghost town called Unionville. A sweet old lady and her son run a bed and breakfast there, and it was a fun adventure to start off our cross country trip. We took my Civic up a tiny gravel and dust road (poor car was so dusty, you could barely see that it's blue!) and had a wonderful night away from modern civilization.

The sketch above is from our first cabin, overlooking the empty desert valley. Not long after I did this sketch, the well pump bound up and we weren't able to get water in the cabin anymore. We moved to a guest room in the owner's sister's house, and had a different but wonderful evening. The B&B really was astounding in its hospitality.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 6.22.14

On the menu again are carnitas tacos. When I went to defrost the meat for them last week, it turned out the large hunk of meat that I thought was pork shoulder was actually a piece of lamb. Oops. We ate out that night, but today when I picked up our meat box there was a hunk of pork shoulder! So the carnitas tacos will be made this week!

Sunday: BBQ corn & smoked roast beef

Monday: stir fry using some leftover roast beef

Tuesday: leftovers - maybe cheese steaks with leftover roast beef?

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: carnitas tacos

Friday: spaghetti and meatballs

Saturday: dinner with my sister? TBD

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Apricots Again

This past weekend we were back out in the orchards with Village Harvest. I wrote about the apricot harvest we did with them last year here. This year Sean and I went to a different apricot orchard than the one we went to last year; this one was actually inside an old cemetery! It was beautiful, and the trees were really bountiful. I didn't catch the exact amount of apricots that we sent to the local food bank, but I think we were well over 1000!

And, as usual, Sean and I came home with about 30 pounds of apricots ourselves. Unlike most harvests, where we come home with imperfect fruit that is either bird-pecked, over ripe or under ripe, this time we came home with a lot of absolutely perfect fruit. The trees had dropped a lot over the last week, and due to various levels of liability, "ground fruit" cannot be donated. But as long as you give it a good washing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I didn't take as many pictures of what we did with our apricots this year, because a picture of apricot jam is a picture of apricot jam. But here's a list of what we made this year:

  • apricot turnovers
  • apricot jam (12 half-pint jars)
  • apricots in spiced syrup (6 pint-and-a-half jars & 4 pint jars)
  • dried apricots
these were some of our apricot creations last year

We still have a mixing bowl of apricots in the fridge too, waiting for me to come up with a use for them. I could run them through the dehydrator after the current batch of dried apricots is finished, I could make more jam, I could freeze them, add them to smoothies...

What are your favorite ways to use apricots? Share them in the comments!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 6.15.14

Sunday: Father's Day dinner

Monday: carnitas tacos with homemade tortillas

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: salad?

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: steak with chili sauce and fingerling fries

Saturday: a friend's wedding!