Ramp Beef Stir Fry

Last week, I discussed the awesomeness of ramps. So, here is a recipe to utilize those delicious ramps!

Make this recipe soon. The ramp season doesn’t last long.

If you want to make this outside ramp season, you can always substitute in regular leeks (or even green onions or shallots-or a combo of them). You will just add other leafy greens (spinach, chard, collards or kale) instead of ramp leaves during that part of the recipe.

rampbeefstirfry

You will need beef, ramps, garlic, tamari, a bell pepper and some mushrooms.

ingredients stir fry

First, chop of the ramps. To do this, you cut the leaf part away from the bulbs. Set the leaves aside for later. Cut the roots off of the ramps, then dice up the ramp bulbs and stems into small pieces.

ramps1

Saute the ramps and garlic in coconut oil for a minute or two. I personally love garlic, so I put more garlic in recipes than maybe the normal person will like. So, if you don’t like garlic, you can either cut down the garlic or omit it completely. 

sauteed ramps

Once you smell the aroma of the ramps, add the bell pepper. Saute about 3-4 minutes.

yellow bell peppers

Add the butter and tamari. Once butter melts, add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for a minute or two. Push ingredients to the side of the pan.

butter tamari

Season the beef strips with salt and pepper. Add the strips of beef to the middle of the pan. Brown both sides of the beef.

beef in stir fry

Ones the beef is brown on both sides, add the water. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer.

water in stir fry

Cut of the leaves of the ramps and stir the pan.

ramp leaves

Once the leaves are slightly wilted, your stir fry is ready! Enjoy over rice.

finished ramps 2

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TBT: Color Run

A couple years back, Amy and I (and Matt) did the Color Run in the Twin Cities. It is a super fun 5K. If you are going to run 3 miles, you might as well have fun. The only hard part of the Color Run is getting the color off of you after the race. Let’s just say we all took some very long showers to get all that color off.

color run group

P.S. Protip for anyone color running this year: Keep your mouth closed when you run through the color stations. Trust me on this.

 

Twins

This weekend, our cousin Maggie graduated from high school. Since the festivities were in Minnesota, I made the trek up to spend some time with Emily!

Imagine my surprise when we got to the hotel after Maggie’s party and I saw the dress Emily had brought for the graduation ceremony.

We started laughing hysterically. Of course, we’d be all matchy-matchy.

twins2

I am wearing this colorblocked piped trim a-line dress from eShakti. Emily is wearing the Banana Republic Milly Collection Blue/White Colorblock Pleated Maxi Dress.

twinsies

matching twins

BTW, have you tried eShakti? I have purchased soooo many dresses from them! Look for a blog post soon!  If you haven’t tried eShakti, shoot me an email (amykant-at-gmail.com) and I’ll send you an invite where you can save $35 off your first purchase!

Succulent Sunday: Checking in

Graptosedum

It’s been 12 days since I started the succulent propagation project.

So far, the Graptosedum (Vera Higgins) succulents are doing great! 

These are the baby succulents I inherited when I purchased a larger graptosedum earlier this month.

Unfortunately, the bulk of my leaves I started propagating haven’t sprouted roots or babies yet.

graptosedum

That is… except for the gratosedum!

graptosedum propagation

Succulent Propagating with leaves

 This past week I rescued a pot of succulents from a local greenhouse.

troubled succulents

When I came across this pot of mixed succulents, I knew it needed rescuing. In fact, when I took it to the checkout, I told the cashier to be careful with them. I told her, “They’re struggling. But don’t worry, I’m going to bring them back to life.”

rescued

rescued2

I’ll show you some more results of my rescued succulents project next week!

 

Adventures in Target with Amy & Emily

Editor’s note: Once upon a time, we tried to start a blog. The year was 2009. The blog was called “Kant Touch Us.”  It shut down in 2010. We saved some of the posts however. Here’s one of those gems, originally posted in June 2009.

Tonight after Em got off of work, we decided to go to Best Buy and Target to pick up some things for the house. For some reason, we decided that we EACH needed a cart to push around. We were probably obnoxious because we took up a good portion of the aisle wherever we went, pushing our red carts side by side in the main aisles. In the smaller aisles, we went tandem.

targetcart

Continue reading “Adventures in Target with Amy & Emily”

It’s finally Spring! Which means Ramps!!

So here in the Midwest, it has taken awhile to see spring. BUT it is finally here! And when Spring is here in the Midwest, I get especially excited for cooking. One of my favorite foods to eat in spring is ramps. If you have never had them before, you are totally missing out. I LOVE RAMPS!

Ramps

Ramps are wild leeks. Their flavor is kind of like a mix between garlic and onion, but so much better. The versatility they offer in cooking is awesome and an amazing addition to just about any dish.

In many areas in the US that don’t experience high heat, you can even forage for your own ramps as long as there is a fresh water source nearby. While this can be awesome, I would only recommend it if you know how to sustainably forage for ramps (and other foods). Ramps take awhile to recover when harvested. It can take up to 10 years for a patch of ramps to recover, even when only 25% of the patch is harvested. There are certain areas in North America who are having shortages of ramps. It’s even illegal to harvest ramps for sale in Quebec. This article by Chefs Collaborative discuss harvesting ramps and the problems that could arise, if you would like to learn more. If you do decide to forage for ramps, please be smart about it–as we want ramps for many years to come.

So, what can you do with ramps? So, so much. You can eat basically the whole ramp. I usually cut up the bulb part of the ramp and then sauté them. This lends itself as a nice base to many dishes, whether it be a sauce or seasoning for a protein and veggies. The leaf of the ramp is great to incorporate when you finish the dish as a garnish or within the dish itself. Cook it like you would spinach. You can even have ramps raw or pickled, however I prefer my sautéed or roasted.  

ramps prep

Ramps are quite the versatile vegetable. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you make incorporate ramps in your cooking this spring or check out a local restaurant who highlights this awesome piece of produce. Just be sure to enjoy responsibly!

If you aren’t sure where to start, look out for my ramp and beef stir-fry recipe later this week.

Succulent Sunday: Propagation

I’ll admit it. I have a problem. I am addicted to succulents. You may remember a few weeks ago, when I shared a tutorial on how to make a succulent container garden. In that post, I mentioned that I was going to attempt to propagate a leaf from one of the new succulents.

I decided to take a look around my ever-growing succulent collection to see if any of my plants would benefit from propagation. And then I found these babies at work.

Leggy Succulent

Can you say “leggy succulent”?! While I’m happy that these succulents survived the Sconnie winter, it’s obvious they had a serious lack of sunshine. Succulents thrive on sunlight and those gray, gloomy days of winter did not provide the needed sunlight. That said, the sedum succulent needed a little TLC.

I started by gently removing the leaves from the bottom of the plant. One of the best ways to do this is to gently move it left to right until the leaf pops off easily. If you damage the end of the leaf, it won’t propagate.

succulent propagation

Once you get to the head of the succulent, take a clean set of scissors and snip it off.

succulent leaves for propagation

succulent propagation

Lay the leaves and heads of the succulents out for 1-3 days or until the ends callous over. You’ll want them to get some sunlight but not be in direct sunlight or they will burn. Indirect sunlight is best.

propagating succulents with leaves

I checked on the leaves every day.

succulents callous

succulent callous2

Once the leaves callous over, it’s time to move them!  Since I had so many leaves, I prepped a large ceramic dish I made in college for propagating baby succulents.

laying out succulent leaves

I put a layer of small stones for drainage and then covered them with cactus soil. Then, I placed all the leaves in rows in the dish.

layingoutsucculents

You might have noticed that I also included the stems of the succulents I am propagating. I have done some reading and it’s possible to propagate from the stems, so I figured it was worth a shot! I’m checking the soil daily and if it’s dry, I am spraying lightly with water from a water bottle. 

The top cuttings from the succulents I’m propagating were placed into a small pot so they can begin rooting. 

succulent cuttings

I’ve done a lot of research on best practices for propagating succulents with leaves and cuttings. I’ve had success with cuttings in the past and am looking forward to trying out leaf propagation!

succulent terrarium

Luckily, I already know what to look for since I received some bonus baby succulents in one of the succulent pots I bought last weekend for new terrariums. I immediately put them in their own “pots” (mason jars – one of my other obsessions) and hope they survive!

babysucculents

babysucculents2

I’ve learned that succulent cuttings and leaves need lots of water in order to propagate, but once they get to be about the size of the photo below, you can start to withhold water and the new baby succulent will pull its moisture from the original leaf. Once it shrivels and falls off, you can treat the new plant as you would any other succulent.

babysucculents5

I have found some great resources for succulent propagation and care. One of my favorite resources is Succulents and Sunshine. Cassidy Tuttle has even written two eBooks (both of which I purchased and reference often). Click the images at the bottom of this post to check them out!

Another great resource is Needles & Leaves. I have often referenced the post about propagating leggy succulents.

I’ll be posting weekly updates on the progress of my propagation experiment. 

Click here to visit Succulents and Sunshine.
Click here to visit Succulents and Sunshine*
Growing-Succulents-Indoors-An-eBook-by-Cassidy-Tuttle-of-Succulents-and-Sunshine
Click here to visit Succulents and Sunshine*

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TBT: Lazy Selfie

So TBT takes us all the way back to…May 3, 2014. Yes, less than two weeks ago. Amy and I were at our brother’s house, celebrating his 30th birthday. We decided to take a selfie together. However, Amy was sitting on the cooler, and I was sitting on a hammock. We were about 5 feet away from each other. I was quite comfy in the hammock, so I had no desire to get up. Amy was also apparently comfortable sitting on a cooler (not sure what that says about her). So, we decided to take a lazy selfie…both of us staying in our respective seats…a cooler and a hammock. The lazy selfie did turn out cute though! Proof that laziness sometimes pays off! 

lazy selfie

Can we stop talking about the thigh gap already?!

thighgap

Unless you have been under a rock for the past year, you have probably heard of the “thigh gap.” Let me tell you, just hearing the words “thigh gap” makes me cringe. If you do have a thigh gap, I hope this is simply part of your natural genetics and you did not go on some crazy workout and diet to achieve the “thigh gap” or got on the “thinspo” movement. (Thinspo is a whole other can of worms that I won’t even begin to open. Francally, it is really crazy to me that Thinspo exists.) 

There are maybe five people in the entire world who naturally have a thigh gap and are healthy at the same time. Every one else is either photoshopped or achieved the thigh gap in an unhealthy way. The numbers could be off, but seriously the thigh gap is not attainable for A LOT of people.

Rather than focusing on achieving the thigh gap, I would prefer we focus our energy on being healthy, happy, and confident. While magazines and media are slowly getting on the strong, beautiful regardless of size woman bandwagon,  it is far from perfect.

Media and technology can be great, but it also puts out a lot of crap that sends messages saying skinny is beautiful. I grew up with friends who had eating disorders, and it sucked to see them go through that.  When I was younger, I struggled with my own body image, and I still do sometimes. When I look in the mirror, I often see my flaws. I don’t love that this happens, but honestly it does. I do know I am a beautiful woman, but I sometimes I just don’t see it. Media’s images get in my head. I do not want the “thigh gap.” But maybe I don’t like how my triceps are kind of jiggly or I am not as toned as I would like (maybe it’s because you can only look so tone as a pale Sconnie).  Long story short, there are things I don’t necessarily love about my body, however I am developing my own confidence. I may not be the skinniest person out there, but I don’t need to be or want to be.  I do know I am healthy, have an awesome life, and am happy. And I couldn’t ask for anything else.

Anyways, I am over the thigh gap. Let’s be done with it America.

Hopefully we can come to a place that focuses on beauty at any size. Be healthy. Be Beautiful.

That’s all, I’m off my soap box now.