Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fidelis Farms

I have been bombarding Facebook with Luke's skateboarding video competition but there is something else important I want to share so I figured I would blog about it. Two of my very close friends have started a Kickstarter to get Fidelis Farms organic greenhouse and gourmet foods up and running and I want to do all I can to help them.

Now this is why it is important to me. Kevin was one of my late husband's very close friends in the Corps. It is very hard for me to put into words the bond they shared. Or the bond we share. He reached out to me at a time where he was dealing with his own mourning and for that I am forever grateful. Adam and I became friends after Chris' death. He is one of the warmest, funny, caring people I have ever met. He is my brother and I'm his sister. When we see each other it's like no time has passed.

Now that I made it personal I want to share what they are trying to do through Fidelis Farms. Here is their bio from Kickstarter.

"Adam and Kevin served together in the United States Marine Corps through multiple tours in Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines, Lima Company. After leaving the Marine Corps, each separately struggled with adjusting to civilian life and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Kevin found solace in farming, travelling the country apprenticing and eventually managing farms across the country. From equipment repair, to greenhouse management and construction, and everything in between, Kevin has the experience, education, and passion needed to produce the highest quality organic vegetables, herbs, and any other ingredients needed.

Adam eventually found his own peace through cooking, travelling the world experiencing different cultures and foods. Adam attended the prestigious Apicius Culinary Institute in Florence, Italy as well as the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. From Central America, Europe, Middle East, and all over the United States, Adam has collected classic recipes and techniques that bring to life the special experience, and feelings that only remarkable food can bring."

Now for the yummy part. Here is what the want to accomplish and with our help I know they can.

"We are very excited to offer you a chance at the most delicious jars you'll ever taste! Fidelis Farms will build two separate 3000sqft greenhouse facilities, as well as a 1000 sqft commercial kitchen. With a 100 ft. total travel distance from plant to jar we will be able to produce the freshest organic food products year round. Through varying planting times, we are able to control exactly when everything is ripe so that when it is time to make a sauce, salsa, etc. every ingredient in that recipe is picked at its peak freshness and immediately cooked into deliciousness and jarred.
Once the greenhouses are up and producing a consistent supply, we will be able to offer a wide variety of different flavors and products, however, our initial run of products will focus on 6 different all organic, vegan, sauces and salsas. These initial products will be very simple, classic preparations in order for you to taste the true flavor of the ingredients. The secret to great food is not crazy seasoning or gimmicks, its responsibly grown ingredients, prepared with respect, to showcase their best qualities."

This is their short term goal. Their long term goal is to turn the farm into a place to help employ and heal other vets who suffer from PTSD. It has been a long time passion of Adam's to find an alternative way to heal from the wounds of war. Kevin and Adam both know all too well what happens when you come home and they want to do all they can.

I have all the faith in the world that these two men can make their dream come true. They just need a little help right now. Please, if you have anything at all to give, help them out. Even just $1 gets them closer to their goal. And if you are moved by their story share it!

Fidelis Farms' Kickstarter

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's been a loooooong time

Ok it's been forever. I know. I'm the worst blogger. I get all excited to blog then quickly get bored or distracted and leave it. Hopefully I'll get better. Maybe if I keep my posts short and sweet I'll post more? Now that I'm crocheting I have a lot more to talk about. So here goes! I'm back!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moist Turkey Burgers and Easy Skillet Potatoes

   I spend hours a week on Pinterest looking at food.  It seems like everything looks good.  I must have over 200 recipes pinned, very few of which I've actually made.  Sadly I spend more time looking than cooking.  I want that to change so I have decided to try at least one recipe I find on Pinterest a week.  Hopefully more.  Tonight I made two and they were both a hit.  I have made the turkey burger recipe a few times before but the potatoes were new and so delicious.  The potatoes take longer so I started them first.

I was drawn to this recipe because I love to try new things in my cast iron skillet.  I'm not sure why I wanted to turn my oven up so high on this hot Spring day but I really, really wanted some potatoes with my burger.  So I opend all the windows, turned on all the fans, and got to cooking.

Easy Skillet Potatoes

  1. As many potatoes as you need to feed everyone. 
  2. 1 tsp dried parsley
  3. 1/8 tsp dried dill
  4. 1/4 tsp dried chives
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 2 tbls olive oil
  8. A dash of paprika
First preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put your cast iron skillet in the oven while preheating.

Next chop potatoes and mince garlic.  I use already minced garlic so I eyeball it.  We like a lot of garlic anyway.  Add all ingredients to a bowl.

I didn't have dried chives.  In fact until now I didn't know they existed.  I added chopped green onion instead.  Mix all ingredients to coat the potatoes evenly.

Take out skillet and add enough oil to coat the bottom.  Add potatoes and return to oven for 11 minutes.

After 11 minutes stir the potatoes.  Cook another 10-15 until potatoes are browned.  I did the full 15 and they were perfect.

Just look at those beautifully browned babies!  They were soft and moist and just delicious.  There were no leftovers to speak of.  I will DEFINITELY be making these often.

On to the turkey burgers.  I have never been a fan of turkey burgers, or ground turkey in general.  It's either too dry or too mushy and I have texture issues with food.  A few months ago Ben and I decided that we were going to cut red meat out of our daily diets so I knew I would have to come up with alternatives for the meals we made with ground beef.  And there were a lot of them.  I was going to have to try ground turkey again.  This was one of the first turkey recipes I made and it converted all of us.  It is one of the most moist, delicious burgers I've ever had.  And so, so simple.  No need for eggs or breadcrumbs or tons of spices.  These burgers cook up fast and easy.  I can't wait to get our grill going so I can try them outside too.

Moist Turkey Burgers

  1. 1 lb ground turkey
  2. 1 cup onions, diced small
  3. 2 tbls olive oil
First heat a pan to med/high.  Heat oil and add onions.  Saute until onions start to brown, about 5 min.

Cool a few minutes and then add onions and all oil to the ground turkey.

That's it.  3 simple ingredients is all you need.

Mix onions and ground turkey and form into 4 equal patties.  Cook on medium heat in a pan on the stove.  Flip after 5 minutes.  I usually cook these in my cast iron skillet but the potatoes were in there so I used my large non-stick pan.  I like my skillet better.  Maybe I should invest in another.

Serve in a bun with whatever condiments you like on your burgers.  For these we like mayo, tomatoes, and lettuce when we have it.  Simple and tasty.  I served both dishes with a side salad too.  Gotta get those veggies in!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Kids Just Won't Stop Growing

Last weekend my Grammy came to visit for a little while and Miss I Hate Having My Picture Taken actually stayed in front of the camera. She has grown so much in the last year. She hit over 5 feet a few months ago. I'm pretty sure by this time next year she will be taller than me (which isn't hard to do). Next month she'll graduate 6th grade and move on to middle school. Where does time go?

I can't leave out Luke. I swear the kid has grown 6 inches recently. He's grown two sizes and two shoe sizes in less than a year. He's going to tower over all of us I'm sure. He cant wait to be taller than his sister.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grown-up Disneyland Day

Yesterday was my friend's 30th so we went to The Happiest Place on Earth to celebrate. We have season passes so we go quite a bit but this is the first time we didn't take Ivy and Luke. It was a blast! Not that I don't love to take my kids but let's be real, sometimes I don't want to be responsible for a kid in an amusement park.

There were six of us and we had so much fun. Ben rode Tower of Terror even though he hates it. You should've seen his face. Priceless. We were still talking about it today. I won high score in Toy Story Mania which is crazy because I never beat Ben. Turkey legs, fried chicken, beer, and margaritas were consumed. We all agreed that grown-up Disneyland day should happen more often.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Easy Chicken Enchiladas


   Today I was craving something cheesy.  These enchiladas were the perfect way to satisfy.  I have made enchiladas lots of different ways.  Chicken with cream cheese and green chiles, plain cheese with red sauce, and enchilada casserole to name a few.  I love them all.  Authentic or not, cheese and tortillas with sauce is always a crowd pleaser in our house. Tonight's version were a hit.  Ben said if I want to make them once a week he would never get tired of them.  So here you go.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
1 lb boneless chicken breast
8 flour tortillas
4 cups monterey jack cheese
1 10oz can green enchilada sauce

  1. Boil chicken in water until cooked enough to shred.  I cook mine at a rolling boil for about 40 min with some bouillon in the water.  It shreds really nicely for me that way.  You could also use leftover chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken
  2. Add approximately 5oz enchilada sauce and 2 cups cheese to shredded chicken and mix.  I used sharp cheddar because that's what I had.  I think you could use almost any melty cheese. 
  3. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Cover bottom of dish with enough enchilada sauce to coat.  A nice thin layer will do.
  4. Put mixture in 8 equal parts into the tortillas, roll, and arrange in casserole dish.
  5. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  7. Cover enchiladas with remaining cheese and bake an additional 10 min until cheese melts.

   And there you have an easy, 4 ingredient meal.  Serve with rice and beans.  Top with sour cream if you want.  Just don't expect there to be any leftovers.

Monday, May 14, 2012


With much love and care my roses have finally started blooming healhty flowers.  I still need a fungicide for one but I'm really happy with their progress.  I actually thought we'd lose one entirely but the rose food did wonders and now I have more flowers than I know what to do with. 

         Luke and I went out tonight and picked a few more, my 4th vase full this week.  He chose them and even arranged them.  He's 9 so cut him some slack. 

I now have a vase in 3 different rooms of my house.  I put the small bright pink right on my end table where I can see it while on my laptop.

    Also I got a new camera strap cover today in the mail.  I've been waiting for it for weeks and I'm so happy it's here.  It's so girly and awesome.  It's also hard to take a picture of it while it's on the camera strap.  Oops.