Cape Gazette
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Spring colds, spring cleaning and farmers markets

By Rachel Swick Mavity | May 14, 2014

Droolface and I are both suffering with the never-ending spring cold. Has this hit your family yet? It’s so awful. We have increased our cod-liver oil and Echinacea intake with our orange juice, but I’m not sure what else to do. Any suggestions out there?

The cough is keeping me up at night and I already have an infant in charge of doing that!

It’s spring, which besides spring colds means spring cleaning and farmers markets!

Two of my favorite things
You are probably wondering why I am so excited about spring cleaning. I just love it! It makes me feel so light and organized when I remove the unnecessary clutter from my life. Plus, it’s a great way to make some money on your unwanted items!

My current project is cleaning out the attic. I have removed most of the bags of Droolface’s clothes and am currently trying to sell them or give them away. I actually saved myself some time by organizing the clothes into sizes before I put them in the attic. Now I can just pick out the nice ones, slap a price on them and sell them. It’s great to pass down clothes that you no longer need – there are always moms out there looking for cheap kids clothes!

This week, I steam-cleaned our carpets downstairs and they just look fantastic, but I am still not happy with the smell. I used a rented steamer from Lowe’s (super affordable) and some store-bought cleaner. Next time I hope to make my own less toxic cleaner (like this one: http://www.survivingthestores.com/homemade-carpet-cleaner-shampoo-recipe-non-toxic-machines.html).

Next project – cleaning couches! Yikes!

Farming is my passion
Farming and farm-grown produce are definitely passions of mine. Food just tastes better when you grow it yourself or know the person who grew it. It is officially farmers market season and I love seeing all the colorful produce.

The first excitement of the season in the produce area is asparagus. Seeing fresh asparagus means winter is truly over. Steamed asparagus with a pat of butter is about one of the most delicious things ever, but if you want to spice things up, try my favorite Asparagus Stir-Fry. This easy meal can be ready in less than 20 minutes and goes great with some rice and a glass of pinot grigio!

Quick Asparagus Stir-Fry
*Beef, chicken or tofu all work great in this stir-fry too!

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus (woody ends chopped off or snapped off), cut into about one-inch pieces
1 pound shrimp (fresh or frozen)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 pinches red pepper flake
1-2 pinches ground ginger
Fish sauce, about a tablespoon
Lime, half lime or lime juice (about 1 tsp.)
Cilantro, torn
Oil for pan or wok

Instructions:

Prep ingredients first because stir-frying happens fast! So have washed, snapped asparagus and peeled and deveined shrimp standing next to the stove with the spices and chopped garlic. Cilantro can be torn after stir-fry is finished.

Put about a tablespoon of oil (vegetable or coconut) into your wok or large pan and let it heat up.

On medium heat, add garlic, ground ginger and red pepper flakes. Let the spices flavor the oil for about a minute, then add the shrimp. Toss quickly in the oil and spices for about a minute. Add asparagus. Toss quickly for a minute. Add fish sauce and lime juice and toss for another minute or until shrimp are opaque and asparagus is just cooked through. The asparagus should still be pretty crispy. Remove from heat and put into a serving dish. Top it with torn cilantro and more red pepper flake if desired.

Enjoy!

 

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