Cheesy Salmon Pasta with Spinach & Mushrooms

I’m always looking for ways I can sneak in a bit of salmon to get my pickier eaters a serving of heart healthy omega three fatty acids. And since I buy the expensive salmon {wild caught from Alaska}, I like to find creative ways for everyone in my family of 6 to get some, without having to dish out $50 for dinner for us all. This Cheesy Salmon Pasta with Spinach & Mushrooms is a wonderfully delicious and frugal way to eat more salmon.

Cheesy Salmon Pasta with Spinach & Mushrooms

Cheesy Salmon Pasta with Mushrooms & Spinach

Not only is this pasta delicious, it also cooks up in a jiffy. Really, thirty minutes or less is all you need to make the two pot meal. So read on and be inspired to try something new tonight!
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Tuesday Garden Party – Garden Inspiration for 2/17/2015

Is it spring yet? Seriously guys, it’s cold in Eastern Iowa. I’m ready for spring, but it’s still on February. How about you? I must admit. I didn’t do much thinking about gardening this past week as I ran from place to place trying to stay warm. I don’t have much garden inspiration for you which is why I’m so glad to see all the goodies you all share! I hope to have a couple new gardening posts for you very soon. Today, enjoy these pictures of my lovely farm animals until then.

Tuesday Garden Party -SimplifyLiveLoveThis handsome fella is Chris P Chicken a Black Australorp. He’s suffered a bit of frostbit this winter and his comb is looking sad. But he’s a really nice rooster and we like him a lot. He’s a gorgeous black/green color and very nice.

Tuesday Garden Party -SimplifyLiveLoveThis mean guy is our other rooster, Fire, an Easter Egger best I can figure. Actually he’s quite pleasant to everyone except my 7 year old daughter, Cora. And he’s really mean to her. I guess he can sense a tender spirit in her and wants to cause her pain. He’s pretty mean to her and it makes me sad – he’d better watch out!

Tuesday Garden Party -SimplifyLiveLoveThis picture of the eggs my hens lay us has been one of the most popular pictures I’ve ever shared on my social media. I can’t believe the response it received on facebook, especially – probably because of the lovely description my husband wrote! I think I need to hire him to be a blog writer! <3 I don’t really have enough hens to sell my eggs often, but I’m thinking about tripling my flock and going into egg business. :-)

Tuesday Garden Party -SimplifyLiveLoveThis beauty is our Great Pyrenees, Nora. She is a wonderful dog when she’s not chewing up shoes or causing a trash mess! Silly dog. She does a great job keeping our chickens safe, though, and she’s just so sweet we can’t stay mad at her for long. A few weeks ago she chased a hawk away from my chickens! That made me proud and earned her an extra bone, and a few more weeks on our homestead…

Anyhow – those are sights from my homestead. Now let’s take a look a the awesomeness you’re all sharing every Tuesday!

Tuesday Garden Party – Garden Inspiration for 2/16/215

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Tuesday Garden Party - Garden Inspiration for 2/16/215

This week’s Tuesday Garden Party host is Brooke of Creative Country Mom’s Garden

As I write to you today, we are covered in a blanket of snow… about 4 inches and it is still falling.  But I am in full on “Spring Gardening” mode….  I can feel it, just around the corner…. the garden will be waking up and telling me it is time to get back to work.  

Honestly, I let it sleep in as long as I can…  In years past I have rushed the garden chores and regretted it later in the spring.  Why?  Well if you start cleaning up dried foliage too early then you risk damaging the plants.  Tender perennials need that extra layer of protection to stay warm as long as possible.  Plus the earth is still really moist and you might run the risk of pulling up the plants or damaging the root system.  If you get in there walking around you run the risk of stepping on bulbs and other lovely things that might be ready to come up soon.

Some of the plants I will warn you to leave be are hearty mums and spring blooming perennials.  I have killed many a mum by breaking off the old stems in early spring.  Same goes with the early bloomers like hellebores and sweet Williams.  They will each need to have new leaves before you remove any old stems on the plants.  I say this from experience….

So what should you be doing as the snow starts to melt?  Look for any up heaving in the garden.  Roses can be especially prone to this.  We have had wind for the last few days, then freeze and thaws…. that means some of your plants could have lifted out of the ground a bit and need covered with more dirt or mulch.  I would not try to replant them, but build the soil up around them for the rest of the cold weeks ahead.  I think that my garden is especially susceptible to this with no wind break from our open spaces.  So in a few days I will do a garden walk and look for any changes around my beds.

Once my Spring bulbs are fully up… and almost ready to bloom, then I will do a full clean up.  I will consider where I need to add mulch, transfer ground cover and place my garden accents for the year.  To every thing there is a season…. so this is the season of planning.  For me that means ordering seeds and drooling over garden catalogs.  Watching the tree buds swell and looking for any sign of green.  As you can see in my collage, my south side daffodils are up nicely.  The countdown has begun!

They say that spring moves North seven miles a day… I have been watching my southern friends gardens spring back into life… and am somewhat patiently waiting for my turn in Southern Indiana, Zone 6.

Until then, I will be enjoying your lovely garden shares…

Happy Gardening…Brooke


Tuesday Garden Party - Garden Inspiration for 2/16/215

Here are this week’s lovely features for the Garden Party…

    1. Rindy Mae’s January In The Garden
    2. Mom’s Sunday Cafe’s Beginning A New Season
    3. On The Home Front’s Waiting For Spring
    4. Garden Grumble’s Winter Stitch Signs of Spring 
    5. Sunny Simple Life’s Clothes Pin Plant Markers
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Interview w/ Mary Casanova – 2015 American Girl of Year Author

We’re pretty big fans of American Girl dolls out here in Eastern Iowa. It might seem silly to love dolls, but my Grandma Ruth used to make homemade dolls for all of her granddaughters and I remember beautiful German dolls from my childhood.  With three daughters from 4 -10 years old, it’s a safe bet that we have a lot of dolls in our house. I was pretty excited when Grace, 2015 American Girl of the Year, showed up at our barn in late January and even more excited to read her story – written by Mary Casanova.

Grace Doll and Book interview with Mary Casanova author of American Girl doll of the year 2015 books

In Casanova’s book, Grace, Grace heads to Paris to help out her pregnant American aunt and French uncle in their French pastry shop. To bond with her French cousin, work in the shop, and tour around Paris, Grace needs to learn to speak French. Casanova’s description of Grace learning French was exactly the way I learned German when my family moved to Germany when I was 6 1/2 years old. My girls and I loved following Grace through Paris as she worked with her family and brainstormed ways to start up her own business as well. We were very excited about the opportunity to interview Mary Casanova about her experience writing the book we really enjoyed.

Mary Casanova- Interview with American Girl Doll of the Year 2015 author

Inspirational Interview w/ Mary Casanova – 2015 American Girl of Year Author

After my girls and I read the book Grace, we compiled the list of questions for Mary together, and I love the insight she gives, not only on her new series Grace, but also her experience working with American Girl, and inspiration for aspiring writers as well. Following are the questions we asked her and the answers she gave!
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$6000 #BigGreenGiveaway from Natural Organic Network

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Welcome to the $6000 #BigGreenGiveaway from Natural Organic Network!

I’m awfully excited to bring this enormous giveaway to my readers! There will 20 winners from this giveaway with prizes worth over $6,000! I’m sure you would love to win any of the prize packages as much as I would, so keep reading for all the details and then enter towards the end of the post. Good luck!

Living green, healthy and organic is more than the products you buy or the lingo you use. It’s about the day to day choices we make. Buying from a company that has our family’s health at the core of their being or choosing to recycle. Simply taking a moment to pick trash off the ground or buying used are small steps that make a huge difference. The #BigGreenGiveaway is one more step. Each of the companies listed here are all living green, healthy and organic and they want to help you as you make those green or greener choices.

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