I love summer! As I sit here curled up in my big yellow chair, the smell of my herb garden is flowing through my house. I keep my herbs by the bay windows in my sun room and I love to fiddle with them. I have loved watching my tiny little seedlings grow and flourish this summer. Some of them I grew from seeds and others were tiny seedlings when I rescued them from Lowe’s (they were severely dehydrated…it was a close call).
This year I grew a few new herbs… Lavender, Parsley, Citronella; along with a few of my favorites: Lemon Balm, Basil, Purple Basil, Sweet Mint and Rosemary.
South Carolina heat can be a beast in the summer..and my poor little purple basil got fried. Whoops…
But! I had three full harvests of my regular basil so plenty stored for winter this year. My citronella plant took off! I highly recommend planting that bad boy in a planter…he took over the box.
One afternoon, I was looking around the internet for a fun way to use my fresh herbs and stumbled upon this recipe by SARA MOULTON. I had several events to go to the past few weeks and hosted a few get togethers at my house, so I tried it out! It was so easy to make and everyone loves chatting over cheese and crackers!
FRESH HERBED YOGURT CHEESE
Start to finish: 2 1/2 days plus 20 minutes (20 active)
17.6 ounce container (about 2 cups) Greek yogurt, full-fat or low-fat, your choice
3 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Toasted baguette slices or crackers
Line a large strainer with a triple layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth and set the strainer over a larger bowl. Pile the yogurt into the strainer, spreading it out. Cover with plastic wrap, top with a plate and a weight such as a can of tomatoes and let the yogurt drain in the refrigerator for 48 hours.
Transfer the drained yogurt to a bowl and stir in the next 7 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. If time permits, cover and chill the cheese for up to 8 hours (to develop the flavor). Shape the cheese into logs or rounds and serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. Makes a little over 2 cups.
Nutrition information per 2-ounce serving: 76 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg cholesterol; 56 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g protein.
It’s been a crazy weekend and week so far! This past weekend Austin and I went to Columbia for the USC baseball game against the University of Florida. It was a fun ride up there talking about anything and everything. It’s refreshing to be able to just be me with a guy.
We stopped at Maurice’s BBQ for lunch because the boy was craving some brisket. (THANK YOU YELP!! Cause I had no clue where to go for brisket…) I had some bbq chicken and it was sooo good! It literally fell right off the bone. Lunch was full of giggles, bbq sauce drips and people watching. He’s very observant and it’s fun to watch his facial expressions. Being from Montana, he doesn’t quite understand our southern-isms. So I had fun explaining “Bless Your Heart!” and “Y’all” to him.
It was fun planning the perfect outfit with my friends and Pinterest stalking one! The perfect outfit for a baseball game? I know, I know…guys it’s a girl thing! I found this outfit, and decided to modify it a little bit.
I decided to wear a black v-cut shirt with white shorts and cute gray sneakers. I wore my rose aviators, silver earrings and a gray & black Carolina hat to tie it all together.
It was the perfect outfit! The sun was out and it was hot! I have to be really careful in the sun because my body overheats quickly. Austin was roasting in his hoodie and jeans haha. We enjoyed a little bit of the game and then they suspended it for a weather delay. Those typically last between 25 – 40mts so I took Austin up to the vista to see downtown.
We stopped into marble slab for some icecream and it was crazy fun! Apparently icecream and beards were not made to go together…it was all over his beard and shirt it was melting so fast. We talked about our families and our mom’s since mothers day is approaching. He hasn’t seen his mom in two years! I couldn’t imagine going that long without seeing mine…
They finally restarted the game and we walked back to the stadium. I enjoyed watching the little boys in front of us. It was their first time attending a USC baseball game! The littlest one was all over the place…he was so excited and bouncing around. The oldest boy was on the edge of his seat asking his dad to explain each play. I really enjoyed watching their dad. He was never phased by their endless questions and overly patient with each one.
Shortly after that, the game was suspended again. As we were walking out of the stadium the bottom fell out and we both got soaked. So I decided I was done haha.
We headed out of Columbia and Austin asked if we could stop at the Harley Davidson tower/dealership. I have always wanted to stop but never have. It was a lot of Harley’s to look at! I may have drooled over a few…until I saw the price tags.
We made it back to Camden where Austin and I had met up earlier. As I was driving to drop him off, he turned and asked if I was hungry. I wasn’t but I told him I was happy to go with him and get something to drink. We ended up at Leo’s which is quite the hole-in-the wall. I honestly have been to Camden a million times before and never seen it.
Austin wanted wings…and can I just say that a 6’5 guy can go through some chicken? He ordered a 20 basket…and ate another 20 basket before we left! It was a ton of fun. We met the owner, Paul, and enjoyed talking with him. Before I knew it, we had been there three hours and they were closing up for the night. Time flies with this guy and it’s fun…really fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this much fun.
We headed back to Austin’s truck and ended up sitting there talking for a few more hours. I finally headed home with a touch of sunburn and a smile on my face.
Glad that a job brought this Montana boy to my state.
It’s that dreadful moment when you wake up sneezing and your nose is running like crazy. You realize that once again Mr. Virus has snuck up on you! Happened to me a few weekends ago when I woke up early to take my friend Laura to the airport. I immediately pulled out my essential oils and applied them! During flu season, I use Immunity essential oil on a daily basis. Why you ask? Well I like to make sure my immune system has all of the tools it needs to fight off big, bad germs. Essential oils are great for keeping you and your family cold/germ free in the winter. I also use them to disinfect and clean my house!
There is nothing worse than waking up with a fever or stuffy nose when you have a pile of things to get done (colds are so inconvenient!). I want my daily life to be filled with adventure and fun, not sneezing and laying on the coach feeling miserable. So before you start stockpiling meds with names like “Phenylpropanolamine,” give good ‘ole mother nature a go with Immunity. (Because I don’t think ingesting things we can barely pronounce is the best plan….) With a soothing aroma, Immunity is packed with essential oils that can boost your immune system while clearing congestion, coughs and fevers. And the best thing? You can easily use essential oils on your kids!
What is Immunity? It’s a stimulating blend of Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lemon, Rosemary, Sweet Orange and Tea Tree. Lemon is rich with antioxidants and Rosemary has a wealth of antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Eucalyptus works as a decongestant as it helps ease colds and viruses. Diffusing Immunity at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms can cut sickness off before it even starts. Another fun fact! For a cool down on a hot summer day and an immune system boost, add 6-8 drops of Immunity into a cool bath. Immunity cools the body in the summer and protects in the winter :)
So I put some immunity on, spread eucalyptus lotion on my chest, and whipped up a batch of Fire Cider. Ummm Lemon? What the heck are you talking about? Fire Cider?
I know…I know…most people are looking at this photo and going…that looks gross. Promise it’s not! It’s a little Hot (depending on how you make it)! And it’s not really for the faint of heart! My great-grandma has been making something very similar for years. She claimed it was God’s remedy to ward off congestion, fight the flu, help you poop, and warm you up on a cold winter night. Fire cider can be sipped by itself (GG liked to put whiskey in hers..), mixed with other beverages (I mix mine with sore throat coat tea), or used in cooking (pairs wonderfully with Chicken Noodle soup!). I keep two jars on hand in the winter.
If I start feeling a cold creeping up, I immediately take 1 to 2 tablespoons and some honey. If I feel like the virus already got into my system, I’ll repeat that every 4 hours until symptoms subside. GG always took it daily as a preventative usually before bed time.
Makes 1 pint or more
1/2 cup peeled and diced horseradish (I’m not a fan so I leave this out..)
1/2 cup peeled and diced garlic
1/2 cup peeled and diced onion
1/4 cup peeled and diced ginger
1/4 cup peeled and diced turmeric
1 Habanero chile, split in half or 1/8 cup Red Pepper Flakes
1 orange, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 lemon, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 to 3 cups raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
1/4 cup raw local honey, or more to taste
Place all of the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices in a clean 1-quart jar. Fill the jar with vinegar, covering all the ingredients and making sure there are no air bubbles. Cap the jar. If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment or wax paper between the jar and the lid to prevent corrosion from the vinegar. Shake well.
Let the jar sit for 3 to 6 weeks, shaking daily (or as often as you remember).
Strain the vinegar into a clean jar. Add honey to taste. Refrigerate and use within a year.
****Please listen to your own body and your doctor as we are each uniquely created! Want to learn more about some of these ingredients? Check out the University of Maryland Medical Center’s guides to garlic, ginger, and cayenne/capsaicin.****
What are some other ways you ward of the seemingly inevitable common winter cold? My friends over at Amino had some great suggestions I thought I’d share with you!
Have you ever tried their locate a doctor service? It’s great! I’ve been in the process of looking for a new family doctor for a few months. Mine completed his residency and has moved on…much to my utter dismay! He was fabulous.
So I thought I’d use their locate a doctor service to see what came up. It was extremely easy to use! You answer a few questions and it pulls up doctors in your area!
I was surprised to find so many doctors close to me!
A fun recipe to share with you on this Tasty Tuesday! Being a single gal sometimes I don’t eat food quickly enough. Lately, I’ve realized that’s money walking out of my door so I resolved to find things that I could make with my fresh food and store for later. I had two heads of cabbage that I needed to use so I decided to try stuffed cabbage rolls. I amended the recipe to fit what I had hanging out in my kitchen. It’s great because you can literally use anything for the stuffing.
Roll ‘Em Up!
Stuffed Sante Fe Cabbage Rolls
1 Medium Head of Cabbage
Mini Red & Yellow Peppers, Bell Pepper, Banana Pepper
Squash & Zucchini
Ground Flax Seed ~ About 3-4tbsp
Spanish or Wild Rice (optional – leave out for plant-based/Paleo version)*
Ground Chicken, Turkey or Beef (optional – leave out for plant-based version)
Spices: Turmeric, Black Pepper, Fresh Basil and Cilantro
**To make sure this remains gluten-free, do not cook your rice in packaged chicken stock as it most often contains gluten. Some are sealed with wheat paste. Also use fresh black beans as dried black beans contain gluten **
The How To..
Saute your onions, peppers, squash, zucchini and black beans with spices. I add a little agave nectar in to help caramelize the onions. Set aside and start your rice. To be honest, I can’t make rice to save my life so I cheat and buy the microwavable Spanish rice. It’s a life saver trust me..
Take a large pot and place it on the stove. Fill about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Peel your cabbage leaves off one at a time. Once water reaches a boil place several leaves in until they are covered with water. I had to push mine around and down. It doesn’t take long for them to become pliable about 2-3 minutes. Remove leaves from pot and place in crock pot. I placed mine in my crock pot with the lid over to keep them warm while I was boiling the rest of the leaves (totally optional!).
While your cabbage is boiling, add your ground meat into the pan and brown. Once brown combine with your onions, pepper, and black beans mix. Once rice is ready, add it in and give it all a good stir to blend.
Now you’re ready to stuff your leaves. Take a leaf out and put it so that it faces up towards you like a bowl. Place about 1/4-1/2 of your mixture into the leaf. Tuck the bottom up, sides in and roll forward. You should have everything rolled nicely at this point and place in your casserole pan :)
Continue until you run out of leaves or the stuffing mixture.
Lots of people like to cover their cabbage rolls with tomato sauce, but I don’t like tomatoes so I always skip that step.
If I have any extra mixture, I usually pour it over the tops. Place those bad boys in the oven at 350* and bake for about 20-25 minutes.