Sunday, August 14, 2011

Welcome to Jackson Acres!

I'd like to be the first to welcome you to our new home.

That's right! We are buying a home! And not just any home....

Our new residence includes the following:
2.13 acres (Can you hear chickens?)
partially unfinished basement
well established apple trees (and a few nuts. No, I'm not talking about us.)
grape, raspberry and blackberry vines
black walnut tree just begging for a tree house
hardwood floors
roomy kitchen

We really are buying our dream home. Because I'm too tired to do much else, here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Karl took some vidoes as well, but they are too long to post here. I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We have a job!

After just a few months of unemployment, we have received a job offer (two actually) and have accepted one. What a great feeling it is to know that in a month Hubby will be earning an actual income. Even better, we don't have to move. Since his job will be 15 minutes from where we currently live, we'll continue to live with my sister until we save enough for a nice down payment.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Not your usual "Dinner in a Pumpkin"

Have any of you been intrigued by the idea of dinner in a pumpkin? I have. I think it is a wonderful idea, despite the fact that all the stuffed pumpkins I had experienced were, ummm, interesting: too much sugar, too much ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and all sorts of other processed food options. Since I'm all for healthy, homemade, whole foods, I decided to come up with my own recipe. I was amazed at how easy it was to come up with a delicious recipe that met all my requirements, and now you can be amazed too!

Not your usual dinner in a pumpkin
1 5 LB Winter Squash
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Onion , chopped
3 cloves Garlic , minced
1 cup Mushrooms , sliced
2 cups Vegetable broth
4 cups Kale , finely chopped
1 cup Meat , such as browned sausage or ground beef, cooked chicken, or whatever you have on hand
4 leaves Sage, finely minced

Start with an eating squash (not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin). I've used amber cup and kabocha squashes with amazing results. Cut a lid out of the top like a jack-o-lantern and scrape out all the seeds and strings. Lightly salt inside the pumpkin and set aside.

In a small saucepan heat a small amount of vegetable oil or butter and add the onions and garlic. Cook them until translucent and tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sage, quinoa, and veggie broth and cook until the water is mostly gone. Add the kale and stir in. If desired, stir in the meat and then put the whole mixture into the cavity of the pumpkin.

Place a small piece of foil over the opening and replace the lid of the pumpkin. Put the squash on a cookie sheet or in an oven safe dish and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, or when the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.

Remove whole pumpkin to a serving dish. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pumpkin as you serve so you get all that yummy squash!

Some notes:
You can use brown rice or a mix of brown rice and quinoa. If you use a mix, add the brown rice first, let it cook for about ten minutes, and then add the quinoa.

The meat is optional. This dish can be a very tasty vegetarian or vegan meal.

If you don't like kale, I'm sorry. But if you really must replace it with something else, know that kale works because it takes some cooking to get it tender. Whatever you use will need to be similar so you don't end up with vegetable mush. If you haven't tried kale, you should! It doesn't have a strong, "aquired taste" flavor, tastes fabulous with garlic, and is so healthy.