Author: arthurized

Real Food Dips for the Super Bowl

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a thing about football. Truly. First down, blah, blah, offside, yada, yada. After twenty five years of marriage, I still don’t understand the game and it’s not for Mr. Arthurized Home’s lack of explanation. Bless him.

I can still enjoy the pageantry of the Super Bowl, though right? All the pre-game hoopla, tasty snacks and funny commercials. Now that I think of it, the commercials have been pretty lackluster the past few years. Love it, anyway. What better chance to spend an evening with friends and share some delicious eats?

Since you’re gonna need snacks, they might as well be tasty and healthy. Here are some (mostly) real food dips and spreads to make your Super Bowl get-together epic. All of these recipes are found here, I’ve detailed the changes that I made where applicable.

Honey Mustard Dip – Serve with fresh veggies and pretzels. This one is super quick, five minutes and you’re done!

Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip – Go a little easy on the garlic, if you’re not a fan. I used fresh dill and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Serve with fresh veggies.

Buffalo Chicken Dip – So good! I think the 1/4 cup of hot sauce is perfect, add more if you love heat and don’t need those taste buds. This dip is great with celery sticks or as a spread for crackers.

Southwestern Black Bean Dip – I used a red bell pepper for that pop of color, and doubled the chili powder and lime juice. Serve with cucumber slices or tortilla chips. We like Late July or Simple Truth Organic, but any clean brand of chips will do the job.

Apple Cottage Cheese – I enjoy a good apple and cheese combo, but Mark wasn’t a fan of this one until it was blended smooth. Now he loves it. I doubled the cinnamon at his request.

Whether you’re a rabid fan or casual watcher of “game ball” as our niece called it when she was little, I hope your weekend is filled with friends, fun and oh yeah, football!

For other healthy and delicious dips, check out this post.

The cute football field towel is by Stonewall Kitchen and I found it here.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Gardening Journal – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

With snow in the forecast, I’m doing a little garden planning and researching new varieties of plants. I’ll re-visit some trusty, old favorites and try a few that will be a bit of a stretch for this gardener. Thanks to a Christmas gift card from my sister, Anna, here’s what I ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (I’m not in partnership with them, I just like their products and think you will too!)

I’ve ordered from BCHS for several years now and have always been pleased with the quality of their seeds and the accuracy of order fulfillment. I can’t speak to their customer service response, because I haven’t needed them for any reason. Having said that, they seem to go above and beyond. Even the shipping materials are attractive and they included a fun surprise with my order.

Genovese Basil – This Italian classic has large leaves, perfect for summer salads, pasta sauces and pesto. It’s great for use in monsters, too.

Thai Holy Basil “Kaprao” – Tulsi tea is a favorite, so I’ll try my hand at dehydrating the leaves for caffeine free herbal tea. Holy Basil plant is insect repellent as well.

Marvelous Mix Mint – Can’t have enough of this! Mint attracts beneficial insects and repels pests. We like to add mint to cold drinks in the summer, and use it in salads like Ina’s tabbouleh. (I substitute quinoa for the bulghur wheat to make this gluten free.)

Yes, mint has a reputation for spreading aggressively, but we plant it in areas of the yard where it can run and we contain it by mowing.

Broad Leaf Sage – I’ve never grown sage before, but we like it dried in savory dishes like Turkey Herb Stuffing-Style Riced Cauliflower.

Milkweed – Pollinators love this stuff and we have a low area of the yard where this can self-seed and spread. My mother-in-law grew milkweed to attract monarch butterflies to her yard. These seeds are currently chillin’ in the fridge.

Giant of Italy Parsley – This herb is my absolute favorite, we use it in soups, salads, and as a garnish on chicken and fish dishes. Despite being an annual, it’s frost hardy. This picture was taken in mid-January, the last of the harvest.

Mary Washington Asparagus – I’m going where gardeners fear to tread with this one. I have no experience growing asparagus, and we don’t have the rich soil for it, but I’m going to give it the old college try. I’ll amend our Virginia clay soil with loads of compost and manure. Note to self: Choose the right spot for this plant, it could grow for 20 years there.

Gypsy Sunshine Marigold – While I don’t enjoy the scent of marigolds, they are almost universally beneficial companion plants. We’ll intersperse these beauties throughout the garden and herb garden.

Munstead Strain Lavender – Ditto on the lavender. I don’t care for the scent, but it’s a solid companion plant, pretty to look at and tasty to eat.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sent a pack of surprise seeds with my order – Dark Purple Opal Basil. The packaging features a fetching hipster dude wearing a basil fascinator tucked behind his right ear. If I’m not mistaken, that means he’s available and approachable. I’ll leave that to you, single ladies.

I’m excited to try this variety, and I have no doubt this basil will grow beautifully in the herb garden.

I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt. Now, it’s your turn! What are you looking forward to planting this year?

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Real Food Menu for Week of 1.26.2020

Ever since we deep-sixed our microwave, we’ve done a lot of our cooking in this toaster/convection oven. Because this little dude is more energy efficient than our full size oven, we’ve realized $20+ monthly savings on our power bill. It’s large enough to bake a 12″ pizza, and doesn’t heat up the kitchen like the full-sized oven does. I guess that’s not really a bonus this time of year, but we appreciate that benefit during warmer months.

Breakfast:
Healthy Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal – So good. Don’t skimp on the cinnamon!
https://www.erinliveswhole.com/healthy-carrot-cake-baked-oatmeal/

Lunch:
Cauliflower Pizza – Here’s an old favorite made Mediterranean diet friendly by loading it up with veggies. I made two pizzas, so that Mark can have his favorite, pepperoni.
https://thestonesoup.com/blog/2016/09/27/cauliflower-pizza/

Dinner:

Carb Buster Breakfast – We love breakfast for dinner and this vegetarian meal is a satisfying, savory option!
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/carb-buster-breakfast-2324125

Chicken and Rice Soup – New Recipe! I’m subbing canned coconut milk for the evaporated milk. Don’t worry, the coconut adds creaminess, not coconut flavor.
https://www.spendwithpennies.com/chicken-rice-soup/

Chop Chop Fresh Veggie Salad – Do you crave fresh veggies in the winter, like I do? This is so refreshing.
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/chop-chop/

30 Minute Mustard Glazed Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
https://unsophisticook.com/baked-chicken-thighs/

Snacks: Popcorn (can’t stop, won’t stop), apple slices with cheddar, carrots with roasted red pepper hummus

Treat:
No Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip – This is one of those 10% treats. Minus the chocolate chips, this recipe is processed sugar-free. We use these stevia sweetened chocolate chips. Hubs eats his with gluten free cookies, I’m having mine with apple slices. We sampled this dip with gluten free pretzels, and that’s a tasty combo as well.
https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/27/new-recipe-sugar-free-cookie-dough-dip/

What’s cooking in your kitchen? Have a great week, everyone!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Gardening Journal – Seed Savers Exchange

My seed orders are in! Each Christmas my sister is so kind to send us a gift certificate to Seed Savers Exchange. I love to see what’s new each year and order seeds that we couldn’t source locally. (This post is not sponsored by Seed Savers Exchange. I simply enjoy their products and I think you might too!)

We’re long-time customers of Seed Savers Exchange and have been very pleased with the selection and quality of their seeds. I’ve never interacted with customer service, because the orders have always been accurately fulfilled.

I love that SSE shares the history behind the seeds. To think that some of these seeds were handed down within families for generations or tucked away and forgotten for decades!

Delaway Kale – We buy a ton of organic kale and use it in salads and soups all year long. I chose this variety because it is a fall crop with relatively smooth leaves. (I don’t enjoy the texture of curly kale; it’s like munching on a Brillo pad) As a bonus, this kale has an Irish provenance.

Bouquet Dill – We use dill when it is in season and freeze it for use in salads and dips, especially tzatziki.

Diamond Eggplant – I haven’t grown eggplant in several years, but I love it studded with garlic and roasted or in my favorite roasted eggplant dip.

Sea Shells Cosmos Mix – I chose this because it’s pretty! These little sun-lovers tolerate poor soil and drought. I’ve never grown cosmos before, but I have a few bare areas of the yard to beautify.

Petite Yellow Watermelon – This little icebox variety is just right for a family of two. Watermelon is our go-to summertime dessert, we just can’t get enough.

Red Velvet Lettuce – Let’s get real, I chose this for it’s bold color. How pretty will this be on the plate?!

Winter Density Lettuce – Cold tolerant, slow to bolt, imported from England; what’s not to love?

Parris Island Cos Lettuce – In addition to kale, we go through a ton of romaine around here. I’m interested to see if this variety will tolerate a little late spring heat.

Glass Gem Corn – So, my sister Anna bullied me into buying this seed. Just kidding, she said I should give it a try. And I figured, why not? Mark has experience growing corn, although we’ve never dried it for popping. We’ll give it a whirl. Gardening is one giant experiment, right?

What are you planting this year?

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Cottage Collectibles – Miniature Log Cabin

Before we were married, I told Mark that when we’re retired I’d like to have a cabin in the woods and a cottage at the beach. That way we can enjoy each location, and alternate between them when the tourists get annoying.

Many years ago, we were browsing a new consignment store and wandered into the children’s section. Mark pointed out this little log cabin and said “There’s your log cabin. I’ll buy it for you today.” We laughed and then went over to inspect it. It was filled with a jumble of furniture and household items.

As we looked at the construction of the cabin, it became very clear that someone lovingly built this from scratch. It is more folk art than a scale miniature.

The stairs are wonky, the shingles are enormous, there are pencil markings where the builder notched the logs and a few adhesive smears on the windows. Nothing is to scale, and there are large holes drilled in the back for nightlight bulbs.

I like to imagine that Grandpa made this for the grandkids to enjoy. I had to have it.

For $35, we brought it home and cleaned it up. I used nail polish remover to clean the adhesive from the window glass. The chimney was covered in what looked like aquarium gravel. Little bits fell off every time we moved it, so I scraped all that off. I plan to add stone that is more to scale.

I added dollhouse miniature wood floors and covered the plywood ceilings with embossed paper to mimic tin panels. With doors that are 4″ high, it’s somewhere between 1:24 and 1:18 scale. It can be a challenge to find furnishings that fit because it is not a standard size.

The roof lifts off, and the 2nd floor lifts out to access the first floor. The only other access is through the tiny doors.

I gave the furniture a coat of paint, and painted the kitchen hutch to resemble our Hoosier cabinet.

When our nieces and nephews were little they loved to play with the furnishings and decorate it for the holidays. They’re now teenagers and young adults with no interest in the log cabin. I guess it’s up to me to carry on their important work!

I found some new miniatures in my advent calendar, so I have a few tiny projects to make for the log cabin. I love coming home from work in the evening and seeing the warm glow of the log cabin with the lights on. So cozy.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Eradicating Japanese Stiltgrass – The Saga Continues

This past October at Go Outside Festival, I spoke with two lovely, master gardeners about our little (okay, massive) Japanese Stiltgrass invasion. They each used two different methods of controlling stiltgrass in their own gardens.

One of the ladies used a pre-emergent herbicide. This product creates a barrier in the soil to prevent stiltgrass seed from germinating. In our U.S. planting zone (7), you apply the herbicide in late December and again in early April. There are two options, granular and a liquid concentrate. The granular is broadcast and needs moisture to activate. The liquid is diluted with water and sprayed on.

Once the product is dry, it’s safe for pets and people to re-enter the area. (But I probably would wait a few extra days just to be safe.) Always use common sense and do your homework before trying a new product in your landscape.

While Prodiamine controls chickweed, dandelions and other common weeds, the master gardeners assured me this product will not kill turf grasses and other desirable plants. If you apply the herbicide in spring, wait until fall to put down grass seed.

A patch of Japanese Stiltgrass in our woods.

The other master gardener is using the time-tested method of hard work and vigilance to remove her stiltgrass. She was not comfortable with using an herbicide, so she is hand-pulling this invasive weed. She admitted to having a much smaller property, and scourge of stiltgrass than the first lady.

The pre-emergent gives me pause. I really don’t like the idea of using it on our property, but I also don’t see how we’ll get rid of the stiltgrass without it. I think for now we’ll stick to weed-eating the wide swaths of stiltgrass in our woods, and hand-pulling it from our banks and lawn. My back aches just thinking about that; but I have to remind myself how truly terrible this stuff is.

In happier news, I present to you the best gardening gloves ever! Seriously, these are so good. My mother-in-law gave these to me about 15 years ago, and they finally developed a hole after years of heavy use. The perfect gift for the gardener in your life. If that’s you, treat yourself!

I’ll leave you with a pretty picture, because all those brown weeds are just depressing. Spring is right around the corner!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Real Food Menu for Week of 01.12.2020

One of my goals for the new year is to reduce food waste (and hopefully food costs) by doing a better job of meal planning. Wasting produce is a huge pet peeve of mine. I suppose composting it gives it a second life, but it’s not what I intended.

We received this compost bin at Christmas and I just love it. We previously kept our kitchen scraps in a bowl and emptied it every day. Now we can get away with emptying every few days because the filter eliminates any odors. Yay!

Breakfast:
Blueberry and Raspberry Baked Oatmeal – This recipe is an old favorite. Perfect for using up a few bananas that are heading into banana bread territory. We like it with a little coconut milk on top.
https://www.sohowsittaste.com/blueberry-raspberry-baked-oatmeal/

Lunch:
Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup – New Recipe! Tastes like a cabbage roll without all that work. The recipe says it yields 12 servings. Um. Maybe if you’re feeding tiny people, or consider a cup of soup a serving? This makes 8 nice bowls of soup.
https://www.veggiebalance.com/cabbage-roll-in-a-bowl-slow-cooker-recipe/

Dinner:

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup – New Recipe! – Very likely the most monochromatic meal we’ve ever had, but tasty nonetheless. We’re having this with Brazilian cheese bread on the side.
https://cookieandkate.com/creamy-roasted-cauliflower-soup-recipe/

Mediterranean Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Artichokes and Capers – New Recipe! UPDATE: This meal was not only visually unappealing, it had a sharp acidity which neither of us enjoyed. And we don’t shy away from acidity around here.
https://juliasalbum.com/mediterranean-chicken-sun-dried-tomatoes-artichokes/

Pickety Bits – Unfamiliar? It’s a charcuterie board, a grazing board, or whatever the trendy name for it is today. I prefer ‘pickety bits’. Essentially, you just arrange your favorite snacks on a serving board or platter and call it dinner. My kind of cooking. This is best made for a low-key evening; great for game night.

Turkey Herb Stuffing Style Riced Cauliflower – This isn’t a new recipe, I just forgot to take pictures of it! We’ll throw some turkey cutlets in the crock pot to serve with this delicious side.
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/cauliflower-stuffing/

Snacks:
Clementines, Bananas, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers and Hummus, Popcorn
Rinse and repeat (we never tire of this).

Treat:
Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies – Here’s a fun fact about Mr. Arthurized Home: He hates chickpeas. But he LOVES these little babies. We like them with these chocolate chips.
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/chocolate-chickpea-blondies/

Thank you for taking time to read here! Have a great week!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Altering Decor that Almost Works

One of my perpetual January tasks is to focus on getting organized. I’m always on the hunt for boxes and baskets to corral my stuff, particularly in closets and my crafting space. I needed a small basket to hold toiletries in the bathroom closet, and this one fit the bill. Almost.

As much as I enjoy word art, I didn’t love the word “dream” on the side of the fabric liner. So, out came my embroidery scissors and seam ripper.

Taking care not to cut through the liner fabric, I removed the embroidery. I pulled all those stray threads out from the front and back of the liner.

Now the liner is perfect, and surprisingly, I’m still able to dream without that bossy basket ordering me to do so!

Don’t be afraid to buy a decor item that almost works, if you can alter it to fit your needs.

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Gardening Journal – Cold Stratification

With Christmas in the rear-view mirror, I’d just as soon go straight to spring and gardening season. Since that won’t happen, I’ll busy myself with a few garden tasks while the snow flies.

This year I’m planting a few types of seeds that benefit from cold stratification. In a nutshell, stratification is subjecting the seeds to cold, moist conditions in order to mimic winter dormancy. This softens up the hard seed coat and when warm temperatures arrive, it signals the seed to open and grow. Some seeds will not germinate (or will germinate very poorly) without it.

Depending on the seed, it could need anywhere from 1-3 months of stratification; this information will be printed on the seed packet. I’m experimenting with two varieties of lavender because it is a good companion plant for nearly everything else in the garden.

I’m also planting milkweed to draw pollinators to the yard. My father-in-law (affectionately known as Pa Kettle) planted milkweed for my mother-in-law so she could collect monarch caterpillars and watch them transform. Each fall, her front porch and dining room table were filled with butterfly cages. She was the cutest little mad scientist! Her middle school students enjoyed watching the process and learning about the life cycle of monarch butterflies.

This is my first attempt at cold stratification, and I’ve read that you can use either peat moss or sand. Being a more-is-more girl, I decided to try each, plus a 1:1 mixture of peat and sand. The process is the same regardless of the medium.

Some articles suggested sterilizing the planting medium so I placed my peat and sand into the oven on the lowest setting for a few hours.

Prepare plastic bags or other containers by writing the seed name and date for removal from cold stratification on the bag.

Now for the fun part! Mix a little water into the peat or sand until you can form it into a ball. The medium should be thoroughly but only slightly dampened. You should not be able to squeeze water out of the mixture. Excess moisture could cause the seeds to mildew or rot.

Mix the seeds into the medium and place into the prepared bags. Pop the bags into the lowest part of your refrigerator and you’re done!

I’ll check on mine occasionally to make sure they haven’t germinated. If some seeds do sprout, I will transfer them to planting trays and keep them in a warm, sunny spot until I can plant them outside.

Have you had any success with cold stratification? Do you have any tips to share? I’m all ears!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.