Enjoying Fresh Produce At The Jersey Shore

Living at the Jersey Shore, The Garden State in the summer has perks. We’re not called the Garden State for nothing.  According to NJ’s official web pageNew Jersey is home to more than 9,071 farmers, covering 715,057 acres of farmland. 

Roadside veggie and fruit stands are plentiful. Nearly every rural road has at least one or more aged wooden stands filled with make shift shelves that are covered with baskets full of fresh produce.

The locals know where to find them, but out of towners’ are often surprised and make emergency stops to get it on the action.

Sweet corn, pretty Jersey tomatoes, plump blue berries, sweet and juicy peaches, squash, and zucchini are some of my summer favorites and I take full advantage of the season.

I think zucchini is my favorite summer veggie. Learn more about zucchini here and here.   While I have my go-to recipe for zucchini, I’m always looking for different recipes to infuse my zucchini with new flavors.

My pet recipe is quick and simple:

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini (Medium size)
  • 2 vidalia onions or red onions (personal preference)
  • 2 tsps. fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of crushed red peppers
  • Dash of Lowry’s season salt (I only use this when I’m cooking for my                      family)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (estimate… I’ve gotta learn to measure!)

Instructions:

Thoroughly wash and dry zucchini. Cut the ends off. Cut zucchini in half and then slice. I prefer mine sliced in half, but you can cut whole slices. Toss on to a sheet of aluminum foil. Half onion and then slice. Put the onions in with zucchini, add dry seasoning, and olive oil. Fold foil so juices don’t leak out.

Place foil pocket on a grill at medium temperature. Cook for about 20 minutes.

sliced

This is cooking at its easiest. There’s no excuse to not eat healthy.

foil

Zucchini is safely tucked away in the foil.

zucchini

Finished result…. Yummy!  This is great over brown rice, quinoa, or alone.

Two days ago, I found a different recipe on Pinterest, compliments of thepioneerwoman.com. The zucchini is delicious, but has a complete different flavor.

Seriously, that’s what I love most about fresh veggies. I can eat say, zucchini for dinner five consecutive days, but each night, the zucchini can be cooked different and infused with a unique flavor. I never get tired of zucchini, but I’m not asking my family if they are tired of it.  I may not like the answer.  Lol!

Anyways, I tried the  Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Salt recipe.  As one of my friends would say,

“Outstanding!!”

Lol!  All you need is zucchini, lemon, black pepper, kosher salt, and olive oil. For specific instructions and details, click here.

bagged zuchiiLemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper all in one bag coating zucchini!

on the grill

Here they are cooking nicely on the grill. The anticipation was killing me. Lol!

grilled zucchini

Mmmm…. If you’re eating this at home, consider this finger food,
because using a knife takes too dag on long!  🙂

Give it a try; you might like it.

Do you have quick summer recipe?  Please share!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

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Fresh Air And Quality Of Life

Happy Monday!

For the umpteenth time this winter, we’ve gotten a shoveable amount of snow at the Jersey shore.

Early morning view of the Atlantic City Expressway

Early morning view of the Atlantic City Expressway

Atlantic City streets a little before 7 a.m.

Atlantic City streets this morning  just before 7 a.m.

But I must admit, it’s beautiful out!  Crisp cool and refreshing air–that is until I got a whiff of mom’s cigarette this morning! #venting

house rear

I took this pic after the last snow storm. My daughter edited it for me. Talented she is!

Phew, yuck, nasty, foul-smelling and vulgar tasting!  A gust of wind and bam!!!  The pollution seeped into my aperture, contaminated my mouth and replaced my fresh minty mouth with the nasty taste of tobacco.

To experience this second-hand smoke mess on the street is one thing, but to deal with it at home, is an entirely different unhappy story.

The snow closed most schools in the area including my son’s school, so I took advantage of the day off. Instead of a late afternoon workout, I was able to workout on a weekday morning when the gym was empty. Sweet!

Before heading out to the gym, I shoveled a path for our pooch to go potty.  He’s not the smallest of the Shih Tzu breed, but small enough that his four paws sink through deeper snow and land him face down in it.

Walkway for my pooch!

Walkway for my pooch!

Morning stroll out back

Morning stroll out back

The summer seems so far away.  I'm dreaming about swimming laps right now.

The summer seems so far away. I’m dreaming about swimming laps right now.

The nasty cloud of smoke greeted me when I walked from the back yard to re-enter the garage.  Annoyingly I cough and wave my hand, but mom doesn’t get the message.  Even if she did get the message, the scene would remain unchanged. She ignores my gestures and continues to puff, wheeze, and talk on the phone.   I try to hold my breath and dash past her to fresher air.  Ugh!!

Mom will be 81 this year and has no plans to give up smoking.  She talks a good game about “cutting back,” but I think that’s to appease me.   No more do I give her the cigarettes are bad for you speech.  I think she’s been smoking since she was a teenager and has no plans to give it up.  It is was it is.  As long as she doesn’t smoke in my home, she can smoke wherever she wants with her cigarettes.

I become frustrated and off kilter when the smoke permeates the garage—returning home from work, I pull in and jump out the car only to be greeted by pure stank!

Through childhood, I breathed second-hand smoke at home, in the car, and with family. As an adult who understands the risks of exposure to second-hand smoke, I choose not to expose myself or my children to it.  So when I’m forced to inhale the carcinogen, I am annoyed. I don’t judge those who smoke, I simply choose not to.

Mom always tells me, You can’t live forever!”

I know that. Lol!!  Hello!!   It’s quality of life that matters most to me, so I work hard to remain mindful of how I treat my body and what goes into it.   Healthy living is a mindset–either it’s there or it’s not. I’m having fun living and want to keep it that way.

I’m still sore from Saturday’s WOD, but today is leg day, so I am ready. 🙂

My trainer warmed me up with a series of total body workout routines using TRX Bands, a Bosu Ball, Wall Balls, Kettlebells, and a stepper. To tell you the truth, the warm up felt more like a workout!

Before going hard on the legs, I did a few chest exercises.  The break help my legs to recover from “the warm up,” but shortly after my hams and quads were once again awakened.

About two-hours of hard work at the gym has made me a little tired.  Something I rarely get to do is take a nap.  I hope it lasts.  I’m groggy!  Lol!

Talk to you later!

Enjoy your afternoon!


The Beauty Of Running At The Jersey Shore

So I finally got the chance to run in my new running sneaks. I was eager to run because I needed to figure out if my hip issue was due to my run down sneaks.   Although I’m having fun doing CrossFit, I still miss my running.  Sniff!  Sniff!  Today would determine if I needed an X-Ray or MRI.

You know what?  It was the sneakers!!!

Shame on me for not keeping up with my mileage! I know better.

The great thing about today’s run?  I know that I can run the Atlantic City Marathon!!!!   I am going to run the half-marathon (13.1 miles).   While I haven’t been training for the Half-Marathon; I am well conditioned and have time to prepare, so I am flying high!

Today’s weather was ideal for runners.  Seriously!  The sun was out; not too hot, but perfect enough to break out into a good sweat.

Oh– there was another reason I was eager to run…  My first time running the Ocean City bridge…. alone!

Although two weeks ago, I walked the bridge with two beautiful women, Nicole and Tara, I needed to run it the first time alone.  I still got nervous as I approached  the bridge.

But I stayed to the left of the walkway, carefully avoiding the right side railing…  It is still scary to me. Eventually I settled in to take in the beauty of the day around me.

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The bridge was steep, but breath-taking. My hamstrings and quads burned like someone lit a match to them, but was worth every step.

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After my run, I walked under the bridge to my car. This was the breath-taking view. I quietly stood, taking in the calm waters, the beautiful bridge, the clear sky, and the fact that I just ran the bridge with an abundance of gratitude in my heart.

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Boaters and jet skiers enjoyed the day as well.

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Another shot from under the bridge. So peaceful as the waters softly crashed against the rocks.


Clearly it’s been a minute since I’ve posted.   Any he-how… this is a quick one.  Guilt from infrequent posts have led me to blog this morning.

 Image

Obviously this is not the most inspiring or effective writer’s space, but it’s where I’m currently blogging –folding clothes–supervising my son who is supposed to be sorting through his toys (like I’m supposed to be doing laundry)—washing clothes—poppin my fingers and shaking my booty to Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”.   Hubby surprised me with tickets to see Beyonce’s, Mrs. Carter’s show last night!  I had a blast; Mrs. Carter did her thang!

 

 

Multi-tasking!

Multi-tasking!

Why haven’t I posted?   Simply because the past month, I’ve either procrastinated, became distracted by CrossFit, floating in my pool, attending to sleep needs, and enjoying the blazin 90+ degree temps at the Jersey Shore.   All equates to falling off the wagon of discipline.

The truth is that as a working mother of a young child and wife of 25-years, at the end of the grinding school year I need a break.  I need and use the first month of my summer vacation to unwind and re-charge.  The rule is:

     Do whatever I feel like doing.

Eleven months out of the year, I  run a tight ship playing a plethora of roles, so it won’t kill my family when I slack on everything for a month…or so.

As a little girl, mom taught me how to fold linen... very nicely.

As a little girl, mom taught me how to fold linen… very nicely.

Sorting laundry

Sorting laundry

Just a few of many toys.... YIkes!!
Just a few of many toys…. Yikes!

They're cute but must go!

The bugs on the wall are cute but must go!

My son’s bedroom is overdue for a remodel.   Check out the bug theme!! LOL!!  At soon-to-be 11, I think…    Ah… I know that he’s outgrown the theme.  I don’t even want his friends going to his room for fear of them laughing at his “kiddy” themed room.

This morning is the start of sorting through old and broken toys.  Some we’ll give away, others will be trashed.

I really must go now but wish you a FABULOUS Friday and thanks so much for visiting!

Write And Multitask: Is It Possible?


What happens to the energy we put out into the universe?

I live at the Jersey Shore, outside of Atlantic City. Today we are experiencing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  On Monday Sandy started her taunt of the shore with high winds and heavy rain.  Last night was the peak of the storm and the sound effects were frightening and unnerving!  I should have gone in the basement to work out, shower, and meditate.  Instead I drank margaritas by the fireplace; they helped. Lol!

Atlantic City, surrounding communities, and neighboring states like New York, experienced historical levels of flooding and destruction. Sandy was damaging!

Many residents’ homes flooded. Even worse, residents still cannot return home until officials give the okay.  My home and my family are in tack.  For this I am thankful; however I am deeply saddened because of the loss that others are experiencing.

This morning, my daughter announces, “Mom, Sean is fixing our tree out front.”  Sean is my neighbor who lives next door. He is an educator, not a landscaper.

I don’t know what is up with this darn tree.  This is the same tree that fell over during two previous storms.  I think we need to move it.  No, I know we need to move it.

I realize that we are just so doggone blessed!!  This is the second time that a neighbor has helped with this tree.

Hubby and I raced to the front door.  We see our neighbor, accompanied by his adorable and active 14 month old son working diligently to erect the uprooted tree.  AMAZING! It’s cold! The wind is gusty!  Yet he left the comfort of his warm home to help us.

My husband works in fire suppression, so last night he weathered the storm in the city.  Sean thought hubby was still in Atlantic City working and didn’t want hubby to have to make the repairs after working all night.  I appreciate his kindness.

The energy that we put out into the universe, positive or negative, always return to us.

Divine intervention never fails! I can recall a few unpleasant occasions when the situation appeared bleak, when suddenly the situation changed for the better.  Divinity and karma, not luck, is our savior.

Case in point.  I think I was around 21 years old.  I’d financed this hot, cool, and sporty car. The problem?  I could not afford the payments, but was determined to keep it.  After a year or so of struggling, I fell behind in my car payments.  The bank repossessed the car, but I got it back it back the next day.  Finally I got smart and put the car up for sale. Early one morning I got a call from a potential buyer, who was a sales rep from a car dealership. Supposedly my make, model, and color was in demand. The dealership was located an hour a way.  I went anyway with hubby (my boyfriend at the time).  We were confident that the dealership’s intent was to persuade me to trade in the vehicle and buy another car, but we went anyway.  The short of the story?  I walked out of the dealership with a check in my hand.  My car was paid off and I had a few dollars to spare.  I didn’t have a ride home, but didn’t care… my problem was solved.  You cannot tell me that was not divine intervention.  Dealerships rarely buy cars outright from owners, but they did that day.

Anyway, back to today.  This incident with Sean today is also an excellent comeback to abhorrence.  In response to a comment my daughter recently made, a close family member says to her,

“…as long as they stay on their side of the street, I’m fine with them!”

“They,” are being non-blacks. Everything about this comment is wrong and irritates the heck out of me.

Hubby and I never preached hatred or racism in our home. We treat everyone the way we want to be treated and expect our children to do the same.

My neighbor’s random act of kindness today is a perfect example of why my family member’s conviction is wrong and why we should not prejudge.

My family’s black skin did not have any bearing on Sean’s (white skin) motivation to help us.

For those of us who are parents, we are obligated to teach our children to become decent adults.

We must teach our children (by example) to love, to have compassion, to have empathy, to show tolerance, and to be morally good citizens.  If we don’t, then we (intentionally or not) continue to sanction the ignorance that continues to permeate our world.

“Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
-Leonardo DaVinci