Friday, August 31, 2012

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal

My mom and I enjoy a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast several times a week, and it is seriously something that I don't think I will ever get tired of because there are so many things you can add to it! Some of my favorite flavor combinations are (1) berries + walnuts + dark chocolate, (2) bananas + pecans, (3) apples + raisins + peanut butter, and (4) peaches + walnuts. Be creative and try whatever sounds good to you (but I would highly recommend trying some melty dark chocolate in a bowl at some point).

One thing that is essential to making a healthy pot of oatmeal (that many people don't do) is to soak it overnight. I know it sounds strange at first if it's something you've never heard of, but soaking oatmeal (and all whole grains) in an acidic-water base makes it much more digestible which allows your body to utilize many more nutrients. Not many generations ago, a box of rolled oats from the grocery store had cooking directions that included soaking it overnight, and many cultures in our world today still soak their grains before they eat them. If you would like to learn more about this soaking business, there is great info here

- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup water 
- 1 TB. plain yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Your choice of:
- cinnamon
- a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
- fresh or dried fruit
- chopped nuts or peanut butter
- dark chocolate

Combine first three ingredients in a kettle. Let set out on the counter overnight, at least 7 hours. 
In the morning, add the additional cup of water and salt. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and let set for several minutes before serving.
Stir in natural sweetener of choice, cinnamon, nuts, fruit, chocolate, or whatever your heart desires :)

Are you an oatmeal-eater?
What's your favorite thing to add it it?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Growing & Storing Garlic

About a month and a half ago, I finished harvesting the rest of the garlic from my garden. Garlic is super easy to grow, and I love how it lasts until it's time to dig up the next year's harvest. Homegrown garlic has much more flavor and is so much fresher than the bulbs they sell at the grocery store. (I've heard most grocery store garlic is from China... yum...)

A great place to order from is We Grow Garlic. You will be amazed at all the different varieties of garlic that exist. If you don't want to take a stab at growing garlic yourself, check your local farmer's market. I'm sure you could find homegrown garlic there.

garlic seed head

The best way to store garlic after it's dry is in a dark well-ventilated area, so I hang our garlic in mesh bags down in the basement. Of course, we don't want to run down to the basement every time we need a clove of garlic for a recipe, so it's nice to have a few heads up in the kitchen. That's what a garlic jar is for!

Garlic jars are perfect for storing 2-3 large heads of garlic because they are dark and provide good ventilation (garlic needs to breathe!) Not to mention, they look cute sitting on a kitchen counter ;)

Think you need a garlic jar? There are some new ones in the shop! Find them here. Garlic jars can be special-ordered in any glaze color in the shop, as well. Have any garlic-lovers in your life? A garlic jar makes a perfect gift (because it's never too early to shop for Christmas, right? ;)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Running with Obedience

I know I haven't posted a Sunday reflections in a while, so I thought I would do one today, mostly because it helps challenge myself. I went to church with my parents yesterday (we go to different churches), and it was very cool to experience worship with a new group of people. They had an outdoor service and baptism (30 people committed their lives to Christ!) which was awesome! I love being outdoors.

The pastor spoke on Acts 8:26-40: the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. I was amazed with how much information he pulled out of it that I had never thought about before, but one thing in particular stood out to me. 

Philip had a extremely successful ministry going on in Samaria, yet God wanted him somewhere else. And Philip listened. It doesn't say he thought about it for a while or questioned what God was telling him because it didn't seem to make much sense, he simply obeyed. 

How often do I come up with excuses to not do something? 

Notice, Philip didn't cautiously obey what God told him to do. He ran to do it.

I don't want to be a woman of excuses. I want to be a woman of action and not one who drags her feet. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad

Right now is the perfect time of year to enjoy this Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad. It's a light but filling salad filled with lots of veggies that are plentiful in the backyard garden or farmer's market. It's wonderful served room temperature, hot, or cold, so it makes a great dish for a picnic! The original recipe is from Penzeys Spices. (Do you get their catalogs? LOTS of great recipes! Sign up here.)

- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced (1/4-1/3 cup)
- 2 TB. southwest seasoning (I use Penzeys)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

- 16 oz. rotini pasta (I use brown rice pasta)
- 1 1/2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- 2 cups black beans, drained
- 1 cup red bell peppers, diced
- 3/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped (I use a colorful mix of homegrown heirlooms)
- 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tsp. southwest seasoning
- 1-2 TB. extra virgin olive oil

Dressing: Mix together olive oil, lime juice, southwest seasoning, salt, and garlic and set aside. 
Salad: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat 1-2 TB. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, sprinkle chicken breasts with 2 tsp. of southwest seasoning, and cook about 8-10 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink. Set chicken aside for about 5 minutes before slicing into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, corn, beans, red bell pepper, green onions, tomatoes, and cooked chicken. Toss dressing with the salad.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall Updates

Can you believe school has started already? I can't. Summer goes way too fast.

This morning when I went out for my run the sun was so bright, it was almost blinding! The cornfield is still green, so I know summer isn't over quite yet, but there's been a chill in the air every morning and evening that tells me things are changing. I love fall, but I want to hold onto summer for as long as I can.

Speaking of changes, you may have noticed that I have my own blog domain now so my new web address is hooray! I'm also working with a blog designer to spruce up this space a bit, and I could not be more excited! I'm sorry it's looked like this for way too long. I am so ready to make this place a better reflection of myself and my brand!

Hope you're having a great week and enjoy every last bit of summer that you can!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Throwing Teabowls Video

I thought it would be fun to make a little video of myself throwing on the wheel so you have a better idea of what I do (if you aren't already familiar with it). This is what I look like on most week days- tee shirt, glasses, messy bun. Not really glamorous, but such is the life of a potter. :)

I hope you enjoy! 

In the Studio: Throwing Teabowls from Natalie @ NS Pottery on Vimeo.
(Background music by Needtobreathe)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jewelry Photo Shoot

Last week, my cousin Megan and I got together to take some photos of my new jewelry! Deluxe statement, key to my heart, and modern rectangle necklaces; post earrings; and lots of rings (including the new geometric- my favorite!) are now available in the new glazes from the brights collection.

Head on over to the shop to see all the available colors/styles! If you see something here that's not over there, it's coming! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Brights Collection

If you hang with me on facebook or twitter, you've probably seen that I've been adding some new glaze colors to my shop in the past couple weeks. Though I've grown up in a home that is pretty much void of bright colors (think brown, rust, sage green), I'm excited to make my online space look a little more cheery. Introducing...


Right now, these 5 new glazes are available on soap dishes and jewelry, but you can special-order anything with them! They are lead free and food safe, so they are perfect for some bright-colored dinnerware. :)

Tomorrow, I'll be showing photos from my recent jewelry photo shoot, full of new brights of course! If you can't wait, I have some of the photos in my shop right now! ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Recap

1. July 4th fireworks 2. with the family 3. biggest swiss chard ever
4. polish of the season 5. celebrating my second wholesale shipment to Wales + quitting my waitressing job 6. new glazes
7. heirloom tomatoes on garlic toast 8. new jewelry photo shoot 9. outdoor vineyard wedding

Happy August 1st!