vegetable garden

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend Recap:

Saturday

It started with a workout at the Warrior Room, Kettlebell Conditioning. Most of the class was newbies so the instructor, Ashley, spent most of the class doing basic instruction. The few of us that are old hats were kind of set free to do the workout on our own. I loved that so many people were new! That’s awesome. If you live in Portland and were considering checking out the kettle bell gym, I highly recommend it! I started going almost a year ago simply because I had a Groupon deal for it and wanted to get some instruction on my kettle bell form. Who knew that I’d end up loving the classes so much I’d keep going!

photo 3

The one thing I hated? The partner workout at the end. One person had to hold a plank position with one hand behind their back while the other person did 20 burpees, then we switched. It was brutal and I seriously thought I might black out! Here was the calorie burn:

photo-1

Then I spent several hours picking tomatoes and jalapenos and making salsa. That first batch I made about a month ago is almost gone! There is one jar left and Michael loves it. We had so many jalapenos it was beginning to be overwhelming so I made salsa–a double batch this time. This should last us for the winter. In a few weeks when the rest of the tomatoes have ripened I will make spaghetti sauce with them and can those.

photo 5-1

Talk about labor! It was hard work. This time Michael helped me with some of the prep, which was much appreciated. It made 9 jars. I didn’t seal one of them and put it in the fridge to eat soon but the rest of them sealed properly. I was happy about that. And there is definitely something satisfying about pulling vegetables from the garden and canning them!

photo 3-1

I bought a canning kit that came with a proper funnel, tongs and other utensils you need for canning and they worked great! It was a really gloomy, dark day and it rained pretty heavily for most of it, so spending the day inside was ideal. Later that afternoon, as if I had’t done enough already…I did some crafts for the wedding:

photo

Saturday was a busy one! It was easy doing the crafts, though, because I worked on it while we watched “Bad Words.” (Super cute movie.)

Sunday

My Sunday started with yoga and then:

For some reason in August I started thinking about the sweat lodge I did years ago. I wrote about many years ago in the beginning of this blog, you can read it here:ย My First Wake Up Call โ€“ The Sweatlodge. Anyways, so lately I just started thinking about it and for some reason I couldn’t shake the thought. It kept coming back to me — this urge. I looked around online to try and find a local sweat because I didn’t want to drive to Breitenbush again and I asked my friend Star if she’d go, too.

Star, who is half Navajo, had talked to the stonekeeper of the sweat and she approved so we made plans to go Sunday. First I went over to her place to make prayer ties. We breathed our silent prayers on a pinch of tobacco and then rolled it up into the red cloth and tied them to the tie.

photo 1-1

photo 5

It was a nice, calming ritual and when we were done we drove out to Sherwood (i.e. the middle of nowhere) for the sweat. We got there and saw the skeleton of the sweat dome. That’s when we found out that it was on Saturday at 4 not Sunday at 2 like their website had stated. Needless to say, I was extremely frustrated and disappointed and Sunday was pretty much a wash. Not only that, there aren’t any other sweats that I could go to before the wedding. ๐Ÿ™

photo

This was really important to me and the disappointment was crushing. It also made me really irritated that they clearly didn’t know what they were doing or what was on their website…and why didn’t the stonekeeper inform Star of the change of date and time when they chatted? So flakey. I was pretty mopey the rest of Sunday and that sucked.

Monday

I actually made it to another kettlebell class, different instructor and not my usual class but I made it! It was an easier class than it normally was. I probably should have gone up in weights–if it was that easy–but I didn’t. I didn’t want to be really sore this week.

photo 2

Workout done, we could get on with the last day of the long weekend!

photo 1

We grabbed sandwiches for lunch and headed back out to Kelley Pointe Park. It seemed like a fitting place to spend a sunny day and celebrating the end of summer. It wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be. We had a picnic lunch and then threw the ball for Bella in the grassy field area.

IMG_0705

After that we walked down to the sandy beach and set up a blanket. Bella was ready to play! She remembered the place and ran straight to the water and jumped in. She also made some dog friends and they splashed each other and played together. It was so cute to watch.

IMG_0747

She’s really funny because she hasn’t mastered the doggy paddle yet. She just kind of hops and jumps OVER the water instead of trying to swim. It’s hilarious to watch. I was hoping that her playing with the other two dogs she’d catch on and learn how to swim but not so much…Whatever, she was having fun and that’s all that matters.

IMG_0773

IMG_0713
And what day at the beach would be complete if she didn’t roll around in the sand and get absolutely filthy? Yep, someone got a bath when we got home!

Frittata Recipe + Wedding Ceremony

My friend Star came over for dinner and to help us write our wedding ceremony. She’s the officiant and we both have been working on the ceremony and vows for a bit now on our own. It was time to come together and make it all fit.

Since she’s a vegetarian, I wanted to make a recipe that was veggie friendly and that also used up some of the zucchini from our garden. I found a few different frittata recipes and decided to make one of them. I used two different frittata recipes to make my own. I liked the spicy ingredients in this recipe, but I also liked that the other recipe called for ricotta cheese (which I needed to use up).

Zucchini Ricotta Frittata Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Calories per serving: 410

From: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/zucchini_ricotta_frittata/

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, or one larger one, washed and sliced into thin rounds (about 3/4 pound)

Instructions

  1. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the ricotta and Parmesan and beat to combine. Add the salt, freshly ground black pepper, basil and thyme and beat to combine. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch oven-proof stick-free skillet on medium high. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, add the zucchini slices. Stir so that the zucchini slices are all coated with some of the oil. Cook, stirring only occasionally (if you stir too much the zucchini won't brown), until the zucchini slices are lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove zucchini slices from the pan with tongs or a slotted spoon to a bowl. Let cool for 30 seconds or so, and then stir the zucchini slices to the egg mixture.
  3. Reheat the skillet. There should be a couple of tablespoons of oil left in the pan, if not, add some. When the oil is hot, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Do not stir it. Reduce the heat to medium. Let the egg mixture cook. Run a spatula along the edge of the frittata, separating the cooked edges from the pan. Let the egg mixture cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top is beginning to set, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Set the top rack 5 inches from the heating element in the oven. Preheat the oven broiler. Once the top of the frittata has started to set in the pan on the stove top, remove the pan from the stove and place it in the oven. With the broiler on, the door of the oven needs to be open. You can let the pan's handle stick out from the oven through the open door. Cook under the broiler until the top starts to become lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  5. Alternatively, instead of using the broiler, you can place a plate face-down on top of the skillet. Flip the skillet over to release the frittata on to the plate. Then slide the frittata from the plate back on to the skillet. Let cook for a couple of minutes more until the bottom side gets browned.
  6. Slide the frittata out of the skillet onto a serving plate. Let cool for a minute or two and serve.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=44018

The recipe called for 6 eggs and said it fed 2-3 people. I think it actually fed more like 5 people. We each had a fairly large serving and there were two more servings left over (which I had one for lunch the next day). I put most of the spicy jalapenos on one side of the frittata and used the banana peppers on the other because they are less spicy and that was for Star.

photo 2-1

The recipe called for cooking the frittata on the stovetop for 5-6 minutes. I ended up cooking it for more like 10 I think. It was really jiggly and a little too wet still. This was the first time I made a frittata so I used some of Michael’s experience to figure out when it was ready to be baked. Perhaps using a cast iron skillet is why it took longer…? Who knows.

photo 1-1

It was looking much better. I put it in the oven under the broiler. Again, the recipe called for 2 minutes. I did more like 3-4 minutes. I took it out twice and tested it with toothpicks to see if it was done. It was pretty obvious when it was done. Here was the finished product:

photo 4

Star brought over ย a loaf of olive ciabatta bread from New Seasons. It’s A-MAZING. Oh my gods, between the three of us we almost ate the entire loaf of bread. I can’t remember the last time I had this bread–maybe a year ago? It’s not something I eat very often and usually when I eat bread it’s the Costco gluten free stuff. So this was quite a treat! I also brought out some of the pickled red onions I made. Star LOVED them. ๐Ÿ˜€

photo 3

We sat outside on the deck and listened to the kid’s football (or soccer) game going on in the distance. The crickets were singing nearby and the there was a lovely breeze that cooled down the hot day. I had a glass of the Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauvignon Blanc wine (it’s fabulous) with dinner and lots of water. Dinner was good but Michael and I both agreed that it needed a meat. Chorizo would have been nice. I think diced ham would be great, too. The dish would definitely be better with some salty, flavorful meat in it. Despite that, it was a decent vegetarian meal and Star loved it so that’s what counts.

photo 5

After dinner we worked on the ceremony. We ended up getting it done, a rough draft that still needs a little tweaking, but it’s done. One more thing to cross off the to-do list!

photo

I also printed out a bunch of poems I liked. One of my friends will be reading a poem during the ceremony. I narrowed it down to four and Michael read them all and picked his favorite. The runner up, that I still love, is this one:

TITLE UNKNOWN
~ By Carl Sandburg ~

I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be.

I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals.

I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little.

A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall.

The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for a larger and finer growth.

Not always shall you be what you are now.

You are going forward toward something great.

I am on the way with you and therefore I love you.

Isn’t that wonderful? Still love it. We ended up choosing something else for my friend to read. TBD. Star is Najavo and we are including a Native American blessing in the ceremony as well as some other elements that mean a lot to me. Michael seemed more interested in the words, as I was more interested in the symbolism, and he picked out things he liked for the vows from various print out examples. I liked all the ones he picked, as well as a few others. Despite what he says, there will NOT be the words “obey” in our vows. ๐Ÿ˜›

On Sunday I went to yoga and then spent some time in the yard pulling weeds (god it’s been never ending this summer!). After that we went to Cartlandia for lunch. I got a buffalo chicken wrap in a spinach tortilla from the Good and Evil Wrap. I love that place and was craving it lately.

lunch

SO GOOD. After lunch we had a dance lesson. The DJ we hired for the wedding also teaches dance. I brought the shoes I am going to wear for the ceremony (my grandmother’s shoes) and also my favorite pair of heels just in case. They had converted their garage into a dance studio. It was pretty nice. The private lesson was an hour and we got a discount due to hiring them for the wedding.

I have some dance experience. I took ballroom dancing classes but it was over a decade ago. At that class I learned the basics of ballroom dance–tango, salsa, box step, etc. I remember it being hard and a ย really good workout. I was hoping some of that would come back to me once we started but…not so much.

dance

Lynn and her husband Mark taught us how to dance to our first song and showed us a few choreographed moves. It was so hard! It just didn’t come naturally like I thought it would and I felt like Michael and I were out of sync often. I also noticed that *I* try to lead too much. It’s just not in my nature to follow. LOL. We spent an hour with them and when we switched partners and I danced with Mark or even Lynn, I was impressed with how good they dance. I also noticed that I danced better with them because they were confident leaders. I think Michael and I need a LOT of practice still!

We may end up doing the typical prom dance sway if we don’t practice…