Pickle Me Beet

Beets. Omg. I have loved pickled beets since I was a wee little girl. The earthy taste along with the tanginess and how about that rich bold color?! Could easily be one of my favorite veggies.

I typically make my pickled beets to eat fresh. I never make enough to can. I just leave them in the fridge and eat as a snack or for dinner. They dont last long!

Before we harvested our beets from the garden I would go to Trader Joe’s and pick up a 1lb bag of organic beets for like $1.98. I don’t know if that’s a good price in comparison to buying in bulk but you can’t beat that for a healthy snack.

For me, 1lb will make 1 1/2 quarts. It’s so quick and easy.

 

Pickled Beets (refrigerator)

1lb organic beets

2 cups apple cider vinegar (you’re welcome to use white vinegar but the taste may be slightly different)

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

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》》Prepping your beets: If your beets come with the stems and leaves still intact then cut the stems about an inch or two above the root. NOTE: If you cut into your root prior to boiling, your beet will bleed out and you will lose the majority of your color.

Next wash thoroughly. And thoroughly again. You may even want to get a rag and scrub that dirt away. There’s nothing worse than a gritty beet.

》》Boiling your beets: Set your stovetop on high. Place your washed beets into a large pot completely submerged in water. Place them on your stovetop and boil until tender.

Once they’re tender, remove from heat and let cool. (I use tongs and move the beets to a cutting board to cool.)

》》Cutting your beets: First, you want to trim off the beet stems and peel your beets. They will be extremely hot so please allow time to cool.

It’s up to you how you’d like to cut them. Sliced or quartered.

Once they’re cut to your liking start dropping them into your mason jars. If you don’t have any you can buy them here or here.

》》Making your pickling solution: Over high heat, combine all ingredients and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. NOTE: You can add more sugar if you’d like them a little sweeter. I prefer mine with a bite.

Once the sugar has dissolved use a funnel and ladle your mixture over the beets. Use an old mayo lid to twist onto the jars or a lid and ring that came with your mason jar sets and slide those puppies into the fridge.

》》They should be ready to enjoy in about 24 hours and gone within 48 😉

NOTE: If you have any brine leftover, you can store it in the fridge up to four-six weeks. I would heat it before using with your next batch.

 

My next post will be about utilizing your pickled beet brine to the fullest.

Here’s a hint: They are great on salads, sandwiches, wraps, pintos, hamburgers… Any ideas??

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DIY Hanging Flower Pot

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So I’ve taken the plunge. It’s official. I’ve succumbed to the blogging world of affiliate programs. When I decided to start a blog I looked at it as a way to communicate with adults, have something that I can control (any regime I had premotherhood is long gone out the window!), and I had hopes of making some money in a few years.

When we decided I was going to stay at home with our sweet O I was so excited; We both were. I really didn’t think that I would miss waking up at 5:45 am and starting my day, having a “job” that drew a paycheck, or even driving to work. But I do. I don’t regret our decision. It was the best thing we’ve ever done. Although, I do wish I could contribute more financially for our family.

I was explaining how affiliate programs work to my husband and it made me think of how we all want to “shop small” or “shop local”. The fact is, we are going to buy products. Right? So why not buy through someone who you would want to support? So they could make a little money. To draw a paycheck each month. That could put some groceries on the table or even pay a bill. So here soon I will be implementing links onto my page.

There will be links directing you to Amazon where you can purchase what you may need for a project, recipe, or a book even to help you get started with your new project. Although, most of you already knew everything I just said but for those who didn’t there you go! 🙂

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DIY HANGING FLOWER BASKET. Omg. Whaaat.

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This is a perfect way to up cycle and recycle those old tires that you have lying around. They’re adorable, versatile I mean what more could you ask for?? For them to make you money? Heck, you could probably sell them even.

I used tires to plant zucchini in last year and they did great. But through the off-season they grew to become annoying to mow and weed eat around. So we will give them a makeover and get them off the ground!

I have been hoarding this beautiful teal paint by Valspar that I’ve been dying to use but haven’t had the perfect project to do so. Until now.

Blue Hawk offers these J style hooks for under $2 a piece. This certain kind calls for 2 screws each and thanks to my husband I had those on hand.

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We had compost so I didn’t need to purchase potting soil. So all that was left were the flowers. I wanted something to drape down and out of the tire and to my luck petunias were on sale for $1 at Lowes. Perfect!

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So to complete this project I needed an hour and $10. That’s my kind of project!

You can transform your new baskets into a haven for your flowers and their pollinators, a herb garden, a new home for your cukes (huge space saver btw), and even a mesculin lettuce bed. The list could go on and on. I’m getting excited thinking of everything they could be used for.

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》》First, you will want to paint your tires and allow time to dry. If you’re dealing with 90 degree heat like we are in NC. It shouldn’t take long.

》》Drill a few holes through the bottom of your tires before you plant to ensure your plants a way to drain. Tires hold a lot of water. (You may need a drill bit for this part. If you simply use a screw, once you back it out of the tire the hole will close up. Using a drill bit will allow you to take more area out to make a good hole.)

》》Figure out where you’d like to hang them and attach your hook(s). Measure the same distance from the top of the fence to the top of your hook for both hooks to ensure they’re even. (Our baskets look uneven because our fence runs with the curvature of the earth but they’re the same distance from the top and that’s what you want.)

》》Get your plants comfy in their new home. Loosen the root system so they can grow more freely. Then fill the space around them with dirt or potting soil.

》》Step back and admire your new beauties! (If you don’t want to hang them, no problem lay them on the ground for a beautiful flower or vegetable bed.)

 

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Oh, kale yea

Kale. Your gardens gold. It’s a good day when we are harvesting kale. Possibly the most versatile leafy green ever (debatable I’m sure). From smoothies to soups, kale is the most flavorful and hearty green to accompany any dish in my book. I started this post to write about my husbands favorite garden snack, kale chips, but as I’m thinking there are so many recipes for kale that shouldn’t go unnoticed. I make this killer wilted kale salad with cranberries, nuts, and feta with a balsamic dressing. OMG. Or we could even talk about my kale and lentil soup. Ah. What about kale stuffed chicken with gobs of cheese? It’s 7:48 am and I could put a hurtin’ on a savory dish right about now.

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The green garden jewel stands rich in vitamins and antioxidants. And it just gets sweeter as you’re cutting it from your own garden. You know how it’s fed, handled, and NOT treated with things that you cannot pronounce.

This year we focused on adding raised beds into our garden along with our regular garden. This allowed a more manageable growing environment for me and our plants compared to our field garden. We used a combo of composted manure, field soil, organic matter (leaves and such), and sand from our creek bottoms to fill the beds. Organic matter and sand allows the soil to stay loose making a safe haven for root crops and the manure showers all with the perfect amount of lovin.

 

Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients:

Fresh garden kale leaves – washed and dried

Olive oil

Sea salt

Optional:

Parmesean  cheese

 

Once you have washed and dried your kale leaves, spread them onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and give them a toss. Coating them thoroughly. Then put them in your oven that’s set for 350°F for 10-15 mins or until the edges are darkened – but not burnt! After they’re resting from their oven loven sprinkle with sea salt and parm if you like – cayenne even and snack away!

Even the manliest of men will enjoy this veggie snack without feeling like their jumping on the kale bandwagon.

Hopefully, you have grown your own kale and can make this healthy snack with basically what you have already at home without having to retreat to the store. Try it out and try it different. Let me know what you come up with so I can give it a try!

 

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Garden fresh kale chips, garden grilled potatoes, garden pickled beets, farm eggs, and balsamic chicken topped with kale, quinoa, bacon, and monterrey jack cheese. #winning

 

With so much love – Ash