Camellias and Peach Blossoms

There’s no doubt about it – summer is my favorite time of year. I love the long days and warm nights, best enjoyed with a cold beer. And fireflies – there’s something magical about sitting outside as the sun is setting and watching fireflies dance across the night.

Summer feels closer than ever now – we’re starting to see blooms on the peach trees and the bees are loving it.

IMG_0464
Belle of Georgia peach tree. One of three in our mini-orchard.

Our Camellia is also in full bloom and is gorgeous. Camellias can be tricky to grow here in Central Texas. We tend to have high levels of alkalinity in our soil and Camellias thrive in a more acidic environment. Ours lived in a container for years but eventually became root bound and stopped blooming, so we decided to try to amend our soil and plant it in the ground. As you can see – it’s a pretty happy little plant now. It gets about an hour, maybe 2, of direct sunlight a day in our courtyard and does really well as long as it gets watered regularly and fertilized each year.

Camellia
Camellia Japonica in bloom.

Our garden is still producing from the cole crops we planted in the fall. We’ve harvested the kale several times to add to omelets and salads, and we’ve had really good luck with broccoli this year.

Broccoli
Looks like I’ll be cooking some broccoli for dinner tonight – Yum!

The brussels sprouts haven’t been quite as easy. I’ve been watering those suckers for months and the sprouts are still tiny – it seems like we’re still months away from being able to harvest them.

Cole Crops
Red Russian Kale & Jade Cross Brussels Sprouts

Urban farming at it’s best!

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Goodbye Greta – an Era has Ended

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s – Mark Twain

Greta, although we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things, like whether or not you should be allowed to stand on my kitchen table…you were a very loving and loyal dog and you will be missed. Read more about Greta’s shenanigans here.

Greta
Going for a ride in the new truck

I love you for loving my husband so completely. You waited by the door for hours every time he left the house and you loved nothing more than simply sitting with him, waiting for a scratch on the head. You loved eating cat food, going on walks, having your paw held in someone’s hand, getting into the trash and looking out the window.

You hated only 3 things in life: crates, thunder, and being away from Steven.

Greta sharing her dog bed with her best friend Pearl.
Greta sharing her dog bed with her best friend Pearl.

Although the past few months were rough – and heart disease slowed you down, I truly believe you are at peace now. You shared a lifetime of memories with my sweet husband and you won’t be forgotten. Just this morning, after finding the cat food bowls had been knocked over and emptied during the night, I thought of you and smiled.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet

I am by no means what anyone would describe as a good cook – but I try. And more importantly, I actually enjoy cooking for the most part. Cutting back on processed food has been an important goal for me in 2016. I’ve learned so much about nutrition in the past year and I absolutely see the benefits that come from eating fresh food – as close to it’s natural state as possible.

This weekend – I made one of my favorite dishes and I thought I would share the recipe with you. This dish is super easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prep and cook.

Omelet
Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet

3 eggs

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron pan over a medium high flame.

SIDE NOTE: Texas Hill Country Olive Co. makes a jalapeno infused olive oil that I tend to overuse in everything I cook because it’s just that delicious. We stumbled onto it after a visit to the farmers market last weekend and I am obsessed. You can find it here.

While the olive oil is heating up, break the eggs into a bowl and scramble lightly with a fork. The goal is a uniform color and texture.

Pour the eggs into the pan, covering the entire bottom of the pan with the eggs. Cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Once the yolk mixture is cooked on the edges and is slightly runny in the center, flip your omelet. It’s best to do this quickly and with a large spatula.

Add the spinach and goat cheese to cover 1/2 of omelet. Cook 1 minute and then fold the empty omelet side over your spinach and goat cheese. Reduce the heat and let the omelet cook for another 1-2 minutes before plating. Sprinkle with the cheddar, add salt and pepper to taste and serve!