We have had quite the weather this past week. Two days ago Blizzard Niko hit the East Coast and Cape Cod- where we call home. We lost power during the middle of the storm and that night among candlelight and flashlights, we had a simple family dinner consisting of cereal and peanut butter sandwiches. The snow was wet and heavy mixed with rain and the winds were whipping. Trees and power lines were down. As we prepared to go to sleep for the evening, we bundled up. It was 15 degrees F. outside and inside we had already dropped to 55 degrees F. We hunkered down for the night and the unknown.
I love buffalo anything! Being part Italian, I also love a mean stuffed pepper. As game day approaches, I thought a fun and clever food would be to stuff some peppers up buffalo style. They are easy and super pleasing and of course, peppers help to make this dish healthy. This dish preps up in no time and is a great way to recycle leftovers too. These buffalo stuffed peppers are a family pleaser. The leftovers also re-heat wonderfully. That is if there are any! For an extra kick, try topping the peppers with blue cheese instead of mozzarella and bake as usual. Here’s how they came together:
After living in Southern California for most of my life, I became accustomed to days on end of abundant sunshine. You know the kind where where it is so intense that if you close your eyes, it warms your cheeks. It wasn’t until I moved to Cape Cod, that I realized that lack of sunshine had an effect on me. I noticed a pattern of turning blue and sad come winter, and I didn’t know why. I had heard of seasonal affect disorder, but never in my life did I think that I would suffer from it. But I did. Like clockwork, as soon as the summer skies grayed over, so did my mood. That was “before chickens” (BC). Since getting chickens, I haven’t felt this way for a number of years. Chicken therapy worked for my mild seasonal affect disorder and it might just work for you.
My family looks a lot like I had always imagined growing up. I have a husband, two kids, and a family dog. But, our family today is a little different than I had imagined twenty years ago. The difference? Our family includes a flock of feather babies! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that we added chickens to our family after we moved from California to the east coast. The flock has made such a difference to us every day – from our hobbies to our diets and our lifestyle.
Oh winter, how do I miss my gardens and hanging outside with my flock as they meander around me. Today, instead of feeling glum, I decided to make a miniature chicken garden. Actually, I got a bit carried away and made a few. Once I got started I could not help myself. As I planted up these sweet little gardens, I was envisioning being in my gardens with my own flock. I swear I could here these tiny little chickens carrying on, clucking as to which garden they wanted to explore.
Earlier this year, my family and I traveled to Hawaii. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. This Hawaiian tropical garden was a hidden gem, that we discovered on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had no idea what to expect, nor did my family. My family indulged me a bit as we purchased our tickets. From the outside entrance, it seems as though we would only be exploring for a few moments. Three hours later, we had to pull ourselves from the beauty and awe. In the gardens alone, we took over 200 photos. From the landscape, grounds, orchids, unique tropical plantings and the crashing ocean, we were in awe. I am so thrilled to be able to share this experience with you.
I think during the holidays, I seem to find myself thinking about the blessings that I am fortunate to have. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes people happy. What makes me happy. I mean truly at the core. I’m not talking about the happiness that is fleeting, like when you buy a new outfit. I’m talking about the kind of happiness that lives in your heart and soul. What I am discovering is that despite being surrounded by “friends” on social media and interacting with them on a daily basis. Many people rarely touch on their loneliness and lack of belonging. I rarely talk about a dark time in my life. It was oh so long ago, but it was a time filled with self-discovery, mistakes, miracles, and the sense of belonging while on the brink of death.
I love Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for crafting too. Every year I make wreaths. This year, I wanted one of the wreaths to showcase the beauty of a simple and peaceful Christmas. So I featured a little tin church, some decorative sprigs as well as the Star of Bethlehem. I combined some off the shelf letters and a simple grapevine wreath as a jumping off point. The rest just seemed to come together for this lettered wreath with a little bit of inspiration from the Christmas season displays in town.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is growing bulbs indoors. I do this for both Christmas and Easter. There is something about growing flowers indoors during the chilly winter months. During Christmastime, I especially love growing paperwhites. This is a fail-proof project for even those with a brown thumb. If you have grown paper whites in the past, I can bet that one of your biggest pet peeves and mine too is that when they grow tall they often flop over from gravity. Sure, there are ways to add things to the water to stunt their growth, but why harm the bulb? This year, I wanted to show you a simple and easy way to grow paperwhites without them falling over. I love to give these as gifts. They are simple and stunning and I’m going to show you how to make them!
Today I wanted to share with you the benefits that I have seen over the years in my flock by adding sea kelp to their diet. I originally started sporadically adding sea kelp to their diet years ago, when I first learned how my lobsterman friends, would set their traps out in the yard for their flocks of chickens to clean. The chickens would go nuts for all the seaweed attached to the cages. They made fast work and within no time they would clean the traps, leaving no traces behind. It got me thinking, what were the chickens getting from the sea anyway?