Everyday Life: Weeks 34-39

It has been quite some time… Here’s a look at the last 6 weeks, which have been a giant whirlwind. A peek:

There was a total solar eclipse that happened…

I absolutely love BLT season. The freshest tomatoes make all the difference.

Garden goodies!

Fish burgers one night.

Millie had her kittens on August 22nd and they’ve been a fun addition since! This is Rigby (Silas’s kitten) at a few days old.

Fried vegetarian chicken, mashed potatoes and peas.

THIS salad. A crunchy detox type of thing with a gingery dressing. Delicious.

The pigeon I went and picked up as mentioned in the last post I did here healed up just fine and was able to be let free.

We also had many days filled with smoky skies…to the point where the air was deemed hazardous for breathing.

Silas has started seventh grade. So far he seems to be enjoying his teachers and classes.

Sometimes his and hers dinners feature a certain ingredient but prepared in different ways. Pasta for me, grilled cheese and tomato for him.

Babies!

Fried rice with cashew vegetarian chicken one night.

Percy picked herself a cucumber from the garden…

I found a new tomato pie recipe, which also included fresh sweet corn and a crust made of biscuit dough. A win with Silas and Craig, a not-great-win with myself (mainly because the double crust felt a little hefty for me).

Banana army, to the freezer.

Percy Jean!

All the smoke around here meant there were many days without the super strong sunshine that usually helps our tomatoes ripen up. I’ve had enough ripe tomatoes to enjoy for most of the summer, and jarred up 6 quarts so far for the fall, winter and spring, although I’m hoping the abundance of green tomatoes will ripen and allow me enough produce to can up.

Mama Millie

Pizza rolls one morning for Silas’s lunch box.

Just as soon as we got the first rescue pigeon released, I found this fella under my tomato plants one afternoon. I didn’t think it’d survive even the first night, but now its been three weeks and s/he lives and thrives. Hoping for an outdoor release in the next couple weeks.

Vegetarian chik’n parmigiana with fresh tomato sauce on garlic parmesan capellini. Some dark chocolate chip cookies for fun.

Not even slightly sorry for this cat carrier pic! Haha

Wet burritos one night for dinner.

Everyone prepares dinner with a box filled with baby bird, right? Ha.

Pizza night is still one of my favorites.

Taco night or burrito bowl night isn’t too shabby either.

My buddy, Opie.

Enchilada night, including homemade mole enchiladas. Red ones filled with potatoes, corn and cheese. The mole ones were filled with monterey jack and cotija cheese.

Garden-grown.

Late breakfast/snack date with a friend at the new coffeeshop/cafe that opened 35 footsteps from my house.

Five week old babies.

Homemade pesto.

Still the best baby.

Everyday Life: Weeks 30-33

The last few weeks in photographs:

Numerous days of thunderstorms lacking rain, meaning lots of fires.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Jalapeno mac and cheese plus salad.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Aloha puppy.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Pizza night!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Summertime means blended peppermint matcha lattes.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Fresh blueberry buttermilk pancakes with huckleberry syrup.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

A few weeks ago, this cat showed up at our house. We realized she was living under the house and were pretty sure she was pregnant…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

After about a week, we got her into the house, named her Millie, decided she is most definitely pregnant… and it’s a current adventure.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Garden goodies!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Silas asked for “real” fried chicken one night, so we made fried chicken strips.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

My sun sparkler sedum bloomed :)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Husband(s).
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Veggie bacon, egg, cheese and avocado on sourdough.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Teeths!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Veggie tacos — yaaaas!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Silas had his first ever week-long camping experience. He went to a basketball camp about 4 1/2 hours from home.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Every day living around here includes things like regularly cutting pigeon toenails.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Traditional eggplant parmesan with homegrown eggplants and homemade marinara.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

She seems to be enjoying indoor living. (And after a week of hellish litter box training, she’s much more enjoyable to have indoors!)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Teriyaki vegetarian (Quorn) chicken one night.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

I love the color of these tomatoes — they make me happy every time I pick some!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

A little bit of Hawai’i in my backyard.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

“Wicked Tuna” at Sammich, with house-poached Oregon albacore, jalapeños, housemade bacon, sprouts and avocado. SO GOOD.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Making friends.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

A late night dinner. Marinated + grilled eggplant topped with basil, fresh tomatoes, feta, and olives.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Early morning in Southern Oregon.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Brunch! Sourdough french toast with fresh bananas.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Tostada!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Meow.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Vegetarian friend chicken sammiches.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Shakshuka with garden tomatoes for brunch one day.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

My garden makes me happy.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Eggplant sammiches garlic basil vegenaise, fresh spinach, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions, and balsamic reduction.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Homemade Indian food.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Out in the middle of nowhere.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Burrito bowls.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Well, I saw a post on a local community/discussion board Friday afternoon. Then Silas’s sister tagged me in said post, inquiring whether or not I wanted another pigeon. The post described an injured pigeon that was downtown on a staircase, bloody and unable to fly. It also mentioned that the local wildlife rehabilitation center didn’t accept pigeons (though they’d readily come euthanize if necessary…) and no vets would accept it. I recognized the stairs immediately in the photo attached to the post, and knew it was just around the corner from our house. So here we are, a second pigeon to add to the animal circus we are steadily growing… My hope is it’ll heal fully and I’ll be able to release it one day.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

First homemade tomato pie of the year. Hooray!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Everyday Life Weeks 30-33

Hope you’ve had a wonderful few weeks!

Everyday Life: Week 29

Here’s a little look at week twenty-nine in photographs:

Our first small handful of homegrown tomatoes!

We cut down our crab apple tree this week. Suddenly our backyard has a LOT of sunlight during the day.

Percy and the beanstalk.

We’ve had quite a bit of zucchini this summer and I’ve been experimenting with zucchini noodles!

This is the look of four in the morning from our bed.

‘Tis the season.

Also in our garden right now!

Frenemies.

Our refrigerator died on Tuesday. For three nights we ate some weird meals… This one was a hot dog bun topped with two Trader Joe’s meatless chicken sausages (split in half). Then topped with sauerkraut, cheddar cheese, dill relish, ketchup and mustard. Surprisingly tasty.

Salad!

Surprise rainbow while watering tomatoes.

Anaheim and jalapeno pepper mac and cheese.

Garden pretties.

Tomatoes cooking in a saffron infused olive oil…

To make this bonkers delicious tomato confit pasta!

We finally got our fridge working after four days. Lost most of the stuff in our freezer…except liquor, veggie burgers and vegetarian sausages. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

What do YOU wake up to in the morning? Bwahaha.

Everyday Life: Weeks 22-28

Here’s a little glimpse at the last 7 weeks (now how did I let THAT happen?):

Everyday Life: Weeks 22-28

May 29th made one year since we got Percy! Here she is on her adoption day anniversary.

Salmon tacos are one of my favorite types of fish taco.

I planted these pink poppies in our backyard last year, where they’d be fenced in and folks passing by our house couldn’t steal them like so many folks do with the orange poppies we’ve had growing in our front yard forever.

Pitaya bowl for dinner one night!

I turned 32 in June. This was my birthday breakfast – glazed yeasted doughnuts are my favorite.

We also went out for Mexican food. (Margarita, fish tacos AND nachos for me…and to share with the husband.)

Loved my birthday gifts… lots of fabulous cookbooks, an Instant Pot, a meyer lemon tree, a fig tree, some other not-photographed goodies. My brother and sister in law also sent the dog a present for my birthday, haha!

The day after my birthday, we hosted a sleepover birthday party for Silas (whose birthday is three days after mine). Craig set up a whole “DJ” area so Silas could play whatever music he wanted (or have a rap battle with his friends…).

Still my favorite pizza place in town! (Silas and I like to order delivery when my husband has other engagements, ha!)

The garden is a-growin’!

Ramen dinner date with the husband!

Percy having a little lavender soak in the tub!

Silas’s baseball team won the Little League Championship game.

Followed by him making the All-Stars team, extending baseball season for another month.

She’s the best.

Caprese sammiches for dinner one night, as per request!

This little guy (baby pigeons outgrow their parents before learning to fly!) fell out of his nest.

My husband deemed him “my Chicken.”

Percy’s first REAL swim in the lake (with both kids).

‘Tis the season for grilling things and I’m excited to experiment!

A little exploring not too far from our house on the 4th of July.

We took a trip to the Bay Area. Guess who likes being a lap puppy instead of riding in the back seat (even when she’s got the entire area to herself!)?

Little Percy also really, really, enjoys staying in hotels.

This sweet corn pizza from Hen House in Oakland was a delicious lunch decision! It was topped with sweet corn, scallions, garlic cream sauce, mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, plus a pimentón oil.

My mom and stepdad came out for a visit! I’ve been trying to talk them into doing so for 10 years. It was a really fun weekend of having them here, but certainly flew by.


As a kid, most of our family pictures were often just of myself, my sister, or my brothers –some conglomeration of all 4 of us. There was the occasional photo of my dad in there, or with us. Rarely did we ever have a picture of my mom. She was usually the one behind the camera. (Mamarazzi as I’ve named her.) Now, I often find myself in the same position. I spend a lot of time taking photos rather than being the subject of any photographs. I do appreciate this picture though — it’s perhaps the single photo of my mom and I together in one place, since I was about 19 years old.

Vegetarian chick’n and waffles!

Garden Cat.

Silas asked to make dinner for us and Nana last week. He made caprese grilled cheese sandwiches, a fruit salad and monkey bread for dessert.

I got Percy a lifejacket since she doesn’t particularly love the water, but will get in anyway if convinced. She seemed more confident with it on and swam more than she usually does.

We took a trip down to the coast yesterday. Decided to camp in the back of our truck. It was surprisingly comfortable and even better, we backed right up to the beach where all we heard at night was the ocean.

Sunset last night.

Beach Babe.

We stopped in Crescent City for chowder and fresh blackened black ling cod tacos before heading back to Ashland.

We also took the scenic route through the redwoods on the way back.

I saw a banana slug for the first time ever.

Bedtime cuddle puddle!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer!

Pearl Couscous with Zucchini, Corn and Herbs

During the summer months, corn and zucchini are always in abundance. However, in our house, zucchini is also a bottom dweller on the list of popular summer veggies available. Yet every year, I plant one or two plants, which inevitably will provide more zucchini than anyone around here wants to willingly eat.

When I saw this recipe, I knew it was one I wanted to try. I also wondered if my husband’s love of fresh summer corn would surpass his non-love of zucchini. So I gave it a try. The result was a surprisingly fresh dish bursting with flavor. Even my non-zucchini-liking husband said, “I like this salad!”

You can eat this as a salad, side dish, even a light main dish. Perfectly good hot, warm, or cold, it makes for an easy summer recipe.

Pearl Couscous with Zucchini, Corn and Herbs

Recipe slightly modified from Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 cup pearl couscous, uncooked
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/4 cups of water or vegetable broth
2 cups finely diced zucchini (approximately 1/4-inch cubes)
2 cups fresh corn kernels
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped chives
ground black pepper
sea salt

Directions:

Melt one tablespoon of the oil in a medium sized pan, over medium heat. Add  half the onion (3/4-cup) and a small pinch of salt. Stir frequently, cooking until the onions soften.

Add the uncooked couscous to the onions. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir frequently until the couscous begins to lightly brown (5-7 minutes). Add 1 teaspoon of the ground coriander plus the 1 1/4 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed by the couscous. Remove the pan from the heat, then fluff the couscous with a fork. Keep covered, off the heat until needed.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onion plus 1/2-teaspoon salt, sauté until translucent. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, until the zucchini slightly soften and begins browning lightly (5-7 minutes, approximately). Add the corn and 1/4-teaspoon salt, stirring often until the corn is slightly glistening (2-3 minutes). Add the minced garlic, remaining teaspoon ground coriander, stirring until well combined (1-2 minutes).

Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Add the lime juice , stirring to coat everything. Add the cooked, fluffed couscous, fresh basil, parsley and chives. Season with black pepper and salt to your liking.

Serve hot, warm, or even cold if you’d like.

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