We are fortunate to live in a heavily wooded area with huge trees that protect and surround our house. Unfortunately, we lost several tree branches in a recent storm. My husband re-purposed the tree limbs into these beautiful, natural wood candles that are the perfect centerpiece. I love that he kept the natural shape of the tree branches! Remember that candles used in these candle sticks must be contained in a plastic or metal casing.
Does anyone else look forward to strawberry season all year like I do? I crave this first fruit of spring and think that there is nothing that compares to the flavor of a fresh, in-season strawberry! Every year, I make a trip out to the Hall Family Farm to pick strawberries. Hall Family Farm is a wonderful local business that has been family owned and operated for over 70 years. A visit is a real treat for the kids (and adults too) as they not only offer pick your own strawberries but you can purchase pre-picked strawberries along with homemade breads, jams, salsa, and ciders. Picking strawberries is the perfect way to teach you kids about where their food comes from, the importance of supporting local businesses and to remind yourself just how good seasonal food is.
The farm is in the Ballantyne Area, at the intersection of Johnston Rd and Providence Rd West and it is open 9am-7pm daily during the spring season. Strawberry season doesn’t last long so get out to your farmers market or find a pick your own farm near you.
Take advantage of strawberry season with this tangy vinaigrette that combines the beautiful flavors of strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar and is perfect for a fresh spinach salad with goat cheese or chopped eggs.
Strawberry Basil Vinaigrette
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oregano or tarragon
5-6 large, fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Blend ingredients together until a dressing is formed. Add more olive oil as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of honey or agave to sweeten the taste.
A great infograph on how much land you would need to be self-sufficient. From One Block Off the Grid
This week’s find at the farmers market:
Fresh local Swiss chard-Image by Aaron Webster
I used it in a traditional Armenian recipe: Swiss chard and chickpeas.
What Are We Eating? What the Average American Consumes in a Year from Visual Economics
The average American is 36.6 years old and eats 1,996.3 lbs. of food per year. The average man is 59 and weighs 190 lbs. The average woman is 54 and weighs 164 lbs.
Each year, Americans eat 85.5 lbs. of fats and oils. They eat 110 lbs. of red meat, including 62.4 lbs. of beef and 46.5 lbs. of pork. Americans eat 73.6 lbs. of poultry, including 60.4 lbs. of chicken. They eat 16.1 lbs. of fish and shellfish and 32.7 lbs. of eggs.
Americans eat 31.4 lbs. of cheese each year and 600.5 lbs. of non-cheese dairy products. They drink 181 lbs. of beverage milks. Americans eat 192.3 lbs. of flour and cereal products, including 134.1 lbs. of wheat flour. They eat 141.6 lbs. of caloric sweeteners, including 42 lbs. of corn syrup. Americans consume 56 lbs. of corn each year and eat 415.4 lbs. of vegetables. Every year, Americans eat 24 lbs. of coffee, cocoa and nuts. Americans eat 273.2 lbs. of fruit each year.
These foods include 29 lbs. of French fries, 23 lbs. of pizza and 24 lbs. of ice cream. Americans drink 53 gallons of soda each year, averaging about one gallon each week. Americans eat 24 lbs. of artificial sweeteners each year. They eat 2.736 lbs. of sodium, which is 47 percent more than recommended. Americans consume 0.2 lbs. of caffeine each year, about 90,700 mg. In total, Americans eat an average of 2,700 calories each day.
An infograph from Visual Economics.
Did you know that Americans spend more money on fast food than entertainment? This is one factor that is contributing to Americans getting fatter and fatter, but don’t forget that portion size has more than tripled in the last 20 years and consumption of high fructose corn syrup increased by 400%! Learn other interesting facts via this infographic featured below.
Learn more about Healthy Meals
The negative impact of our modern day sedentary lives is starting to take its toll on our health. Humans used to spend hours walking but today for the first time in history we spend more time sitting than we do walking and sleeping. The infographic below outlines the danger of long term sitting to our health.
Via: Medical Billing And Coding