How does your garden grow?

by DanicasDaily on June 15, 2014

Happy Dad’s Day all!  How are you all doing?  Life is good with us even though the past month has completely flown by.  Thank you all for the nice emails, comments and facebook posts checking in on me.  I have missed chatting it up every day with you all.  I am hoping the crazy days have passed and now all the summer fun begins (meaning fun blog posts & travelling!)….starting with our trip to Las Vegas next weekend, camping over the 4th and our trip to Seattle with the Alaskan Cruise – I cannot wait!

Speaking of Seattle ~ all my Seattle friends, I’ve built in time for a get together this trip since I missed meeting up with you all this past February. Let me know if you are going to be around mid July (July 19-22).

I am totally hoping most of our garden comes in before the trip, but, if not, we will be stocked up with a ton veggies when we return.

The one thing I cannot wait for this year ~ our 7 tomato plants (4 cherry, 3 roma) to start turning red.


The thing I’ve decided is better to buy….Strawberries!


I mean they are super cute and all, but, you wait so long for these tiny little berries……


But, I do like that they attract lady bugs over other funky bugs or worms.


Baby peppers!


This year we have two garden bullies ~ the cantaloupe who is taking over the Thyme – it’s a good thing they are getting along and sharing the sandbox.


We have two cantaloupes growing so far Open-mouthed smile


The other bully – the Paddy Pan Squash…..


Isn’t is crazy that those big leaves make these sweet, little squashes.


Nothing too fancy yet, but, here is what I’ve picked so far…2 squashes, 2 peppers, a cucumber and those strawberries that took forever to turn red.


This year I am totally hooked on all the delicious farmer’s market fruits ~ I cannot pick a favorite yet, so most days include a bowl like this….


I am also completely IN LOVE with this Buckeye Creek Blueberry Balsamic and Olive Oil.  They are perfect drizzled over crisp salads and tomato slices.  For those wondering, I bought these at the Vacaville Farmer’s Market but she also sells them at the Davis Market.


I have also been digging just about any type of salad this year….whether I make it or buy it.

This Harvest Grain salad has shown up at every BBQ we’ve had this year.


I am totally re-creating these two that I had at work lunches…..

Asian Noodle Salad……all the veggies were pickled which made it even more amazing.


Asparagus Salad ~ I’ve never thought to eat asparagus raw, but, it was quite tasty when it was finely shaved with pistachios and butter leaf in a creamy fresh herb dressing.


I’ve also learned Better Than a Big Mac Burgers taste pretty awesome when made with ground turkey too.


It didn’t hurt that we added these awesome green tomatoes I picked up at the Farmer’s Market.


Served up with my favorite “chips” dipped in organic ketchup.


I think tomatoes are the other thing I cannot get enough of this summer…we’ve had this No Cook Summer Garden Pasta and this Baked Caprese Pasta a few times too.


Last, but, not least, my favorite new veggie this year.  I’ve had regular swiss chard, but, as you all know, I love all things MINI so I end up stocking up on baby swiss chard every week. 


I’ve decided that Pinterest is not always a good thing for me ~ I see so many recipes that I am like OMG ~ I totally have to find a reason to make that!  These White Chocolate Gooey Lemon Bars from Crazy For Crust did just that to me.

Totally off topic super cool fact ~ I did not realize Dorothy lives near me and in the town I used to work…So funny considering we’ve gone to a few blogging events yet never met.  Anyway, she is totally a hoot so be sure to check out her site. Open-mouthed smile


The biggest challenge for me was finding a cake mix that had ingredients I could recognize….I found this fantastic Meyer Lemon Cake mix at my local grocery store.  I am pretty sure they are the same peeps that make the ones you find at Trader Joe’s.


I promise – this recipe is totally worth the 1/2 cup of butter…..


Plus the cake….


Make sure you line your pan with foil and a lot of nonstick spray to make it pop out of the pan easier.


It really is that easy – combine the butter, egg and cake….then, press 2/3 of it into the pan.


Cover with white chocolate chips and a little sweetened condensed milk for good measure.


Avoid eating the other half of the lemon cookie dough as you drop it into pieces on the top.


Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until the top is slightly golden.  Cool completely, remove and slice into 16 squares.

Are you all ready for this because I cannot believe I am saying it?

They are only 6 points+ each and so rich you can only eat one at a time!  It helps if you give the others away though Open-mouthed smile


I think that pretty much brings me up to today…..After heading back to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning (I am excited to report I netted being down 1/2 lb. during my mini break), a group of us went to Mel’s Diner for Brunch.


I knew I wanted two things… & lots of it!


And bacon…I resisted the lots of it part.  I ended up eating my two eggs with two slices of bacon for 8 points+.


Plus 1 1/2 slices of dry wheat toast dipped in my eggy goodness (3 points+)


And managed to eat only 1/3 of my potatoes since I saved them for last ~ Success! 4 points+


Dinner involved The Husband’s favorite: Bill Bailey’s Carne Asada.  I have to admit it’s kinda my favorite too because he cooks whenever we have it.


4 oz = 4 points+


While the carne asada cooked (it takes about 15 minutes), I prepped all the toppers.


Taco – Dillas


Topped with romaine….


Homemade Salsa that I improvised using hot sauce & taco seasoning because we did not have any peppers or cilantro.


And AVOCADO!  I had 3 Carne Asada Taco-Dillas for 4 points+ each.


My super cool purchase of the day ~ the new Samsung Galaxy s5.  I really went back & forth trying to decide if I wanted another Droid (it’s what I’ve used for 6 years), but, in the end decided to branch out and try something new.

This phone is pretty awesome so far ~ it’s super fast with an amazingly vivid display, dustproof, water-resistant and I almost think smarter than me.  I love that it syncs with my Fitbit Flex, acts as a pedometer and you can take your heart rate on it too!  I am super excited to check out the camera, but, also feel a bit clueless as everything is new on it (like, I had to send a “test text” to The Husband to make sure I knew how to text LOL!)

There are so many fancy features that I cannot wait to check out! I love that it remembered all my apps, downloaded them and even remembered my wifi password, etc from my Droid Razr Maxx.  However, it’s not too cool that they re not alphabetized…must figure that one out.



What type of phone do you have or would love to own and why? If you have any Samsung tips I’d love to know them.

Night all!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Carbzilla June 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Yay – Seattle! Let me know if you need any help setting up reservations. I’d love to join you.

OMG – I don’t even know how you made those lemon bars without losing it. I’m too scared to bake for a while. Mostly because I’ve been kickin’ butt on program and have lost 7 lbs (my new thyroid med helps, I think) after not being able to get back on program for a year. I’ve been watching Weight Watcher Girl videos and using a ton of recipe tweaks.

Hmmmm, I’ll have to give swiss chard another try. I’m just not sure I’m a greens fan though a friend just gave us a bunch from their garden.

Can’t wait for your visit. :)


Gail H. June 17, 2014 at 2:51 am

Carbzilla (OMG love your name!!) I’ve gotta check out WW Girl videos! Thanks!!!


Carbzilla June 16, 2014 at 6:36 am

Also, it’s Bite of Seattle that weekend so might be fun to have everyone meet up at Seattle Center.


Carla June 16, 2014 at 8:24 am

thanks for the carne asada idea, going to pick up a package of meat at Costco and try your idea, I also picked up some white corn tortillas this weekend ~ hoping they are as good as yellow ?

I have an iphone 4s and ready to upgrade to something new! Ive sure been going back and forth, if I want to go Non-apple,with a samsung or stay with apple and get the i6, idk…..decisions decisions, the samsung is very tempting with the features!

Seattle in July!!! yay, Im over on the pennisula, just a ferry ride away, I actually have a soccer tournament South of Seattle, so I might be able to squeeze your meet up date ?

of course the dessert looks delicious!


karen mcbrayer June 16, 2014 at 8:29 am

Glad your posts are back. You and your great ideas were missed. I have an Iphone5S and I love it. I had a droid and it kind of died several slow deaths before I gave up. My husband and I are going on an Alaskan cruise for 11 days out of San Francisco in August. So, if you go before then – can you post some healthy eating tips. I do plan lots of deck walking but I know there will be lots of temptations. thanks. karen


dmc1230 June 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

Glad you’re back Danica. Which cruise line will you take to Alaska? We’re headed there in August as well. LONG way from Michigan!

Am I the only one on the planet who doesn’t much care abiut cell phones? (Hate being so connected all the time!) I have an iphone4 but hardly ever use it.

Roasted asparagus is my go-to lately. Still early here for most local fruits and veggies. SOON!


Christine Y. June 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

I have missed you and your amazing food ideas. This post has ignited my craving for summer vegetables and getting back to a more healthy eating pattern since coming off a five week vacation myself.

Tomorrow farmers market looking for tomatoes and asparagus!
Thank you Danica!


Diane Milliken June 16, 2014 at 10:36 am

Danica, I am on my second iPhone and I love it. It is all that I have had for quite awhile now, so I cannot compare it to anything else. I do have Map My Walk app and I use it everytime I go out for a walk. Also syncs my FitBit mini, which I wear everyday. Glad to see you are back. I’ve made the Harvest Grain salad many times and have brought it to luncheons with countless raves.


Donna Kreiser June 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Hey Danica!! So glad you are back! I LOVE my phone! I too have the S5. I am still finding out new things about it every day! Like, did you know it is somewhat water and dirt proof? A friend of mine actually took underwater video with it and it worked beautifully. The camera takes awesome shots and is really easy to use. Lots of different settings to choose from. I have been using the Ultimate Value Diary app for tracking and it is so great on this phone! You will love this!

Where did you get the carne asada? I would love to pick some up for my hubby for this weekend.



Gail H. June 17, 2014 at 2:50 am

Love that you are back…I’ve been on a mini-off-WW stint also, but didn’t do as well as you :( Back on the wagon tho…have a challenge with a girl at work to lose 20lbs. by our b’days in August…10 weeks away…I’m gonna try! I’m an Apple/iPhone girl and The Hub and I have the 5, which we love! I am so sad that I changed my Vegas trip or I’d be out there when you are and it would have been so great to meet you, but I can’t take 100+ temps and 7% humidity with my bad allergies so I’ll be going in Sept & Nov…we have a Vegas satellite office that I visit several times a year to meet with our new Health Advisors. I will be making those lemon bars as soon as I can find a good mix…maybe Fresh Market will have one! I’ve also been hooked on the PB2 Flourless Brownies that Skinnytastse posted on her blog…OMG can I just say that I made my 4th pan over the week-end! Don’t worry I share with my work peeps, but they are only 4 P+ or 140 calories each! Pure LOVE!! Waiting for your Weekly Menu…yup, still my favorite :)


lauren July 1, 2014 at 8:15 am

I miss your daily or two or three times daily blog posts.
you. are. missed. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just letting you know.
for now i will continue browsing your archives.


lauren July 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I meant two or three times/week blogs..not daily!!! :)


dmc1230 July 14, 2014 at 8:37 am

Missing your posts! Hope all is okay.


Lucia July 20, 2014 at 10:45 am

Hope you are doing well and to see you soon God bless


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.

Privacy Policy

Site Designed by: Zesty Blog Consulting