Sunday, September 2, 2012

Salsa Verde

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos  (about 19)
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar  *EDIT*  try 1/2 of the 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and add remaining if needed.
  • 2 hot peppers stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • Salt to taste

1.  Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.
2.  Roast tomatillos:  cut tomatillos in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

3.  Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt.
4.  Cool in refrigerator.

*EDIT*  We found this recipe on the Internet and it was very sweet so we adapted the recipe by cutting the sugar in half.  It was much better this way.

Eggplant Parmesan

This is a very simple recipe of baked Eggplant Parmesan but very good.

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about eight)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I used 1 pint of our canned pasta sauce.)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F.  Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with panko crumbs. Spread oil on hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.

2.  Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In an 8 x 10-inch ovenproof dish, layer pasta sauce, then eggplant, and top with cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheese


3.  Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15 minutes.

*EDIT*  The above pictures were from the first time I baked this.   I now add one more step, before placing your dish in the oven, take a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover dish.  Prior to covering fold the foil in half avoiding the foil touching the food, basically making a tent. This will keep the cheese from turning too dark.  Carefully remove the foil and bake another 2 minutes.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sugar Snap Peas & Chicken Noodles


  • Spaghetti 
  • 2 Small Chicken Breast Cooked and Diced (I used left over Chicken from the other night.)
  • 3 Cups of Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 Cup of Carrots Sliced
  • 1 Table Spoon of Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Packet of Stir Fry Sauce (I used 2 Tablespoon of Teriyaki Sauce.)


  1. In one pot cook spaghetti.
  2. Add the Virgin Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Add Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots, mix a dash of Teriyaki Sauce.
     4.  Add cooked diced Chicken Breast. 
     5.  Drain spaghetti and add to large skillet.  
     6.  Mix in Stir Fry Sauce and serve immediately.

Sauted Sugar Snap Peas


  • 2 Tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the Virgin Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the sugar snap peas, and toss to coat with the Virgin Olive Oil.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Balsamic Vinegar Sugar Snap Peas


  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 3 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the  bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the fat has rendered out and the bacon has begun to crisp, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leave a little bit of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the sugar snap peas, and toss to coat with the fat. Cook and stir until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Pour in the red balsamic vinegar and cooked bacon. Continue cooking until the balsamic vinegar has reduced,  about 2 minutes. 
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

This Years Gardens

This year we have two vegetable gardens.  The one in our backyard (24' x 16') and we were able to get one of the larger plots at the city park, community garden (10' x 50').  Our gardens are growing and doing well so far. 

Backyard Garden

 One Week Ago we had Sugar Snap Peas.
This week, now we don't.  The growing season is over for our spring crop.  We plan to plant a fall crop of peas.

Our pea crop was very successful.  We had two rows 16' long and we ended up with 4 side dishes and 3 stir fry dinners.  I also froze 10 bags for side dishes and enough peas for 6 more stir fry meals.  We are very happy with the outcome.

In our backyard garden we have 4 Beef Steak Tomato Plants, 12 Roma Tomato Plants, 4 Cherry Tomato Plants, 4 Grape Tomato Plants, 4 Patio Tomato Plants, 5 Broccoli Plant, 4 Cabbage plants, 4 Bell Pepper Plants, 4 Hot Banana Pepper Plants, 4 Sweet Banana Pepper Plants, Radish (2nd crop), Pole Beans, Lazy House Wife Beans, 2 Egg Plants, 3 Tomatillo Plants, 2 Zucchini and 2 Summer Squash, Red and White Onions, 4 Cucumbers.   Todd just planted in the place where our peas used to be, 3 Summer Squash, 2 Zucchini, 2 Cucumbers.


Community Garden (City Garden):

2 Zucchini Plants, 2 Summer Squash, 2 Butternut Squash, 2 Acorn Squash, 2 Cucumber Plants, 6 Broccoli, 4 Cabbage, 4 Pepper Plants, 6 Egg Plants, 10 Roma Tomato Plants, and 1 Tomatillo Plant.

Update on seedlings and new flower bed


None of the plants made it from seedlings this year.  I am not sure exactly why.  We moved the location of the little green house to the spare room where the cat's liter box is kept.  I have a hunch it was the due to a cat.  Which one I am not sure.

I am going to try only one more year to start my flowers from seeds if I do not have success next year, then I will be giving up this idea.

I have also chosen to put off my new flower bed due to saving for our family vacation.  Next spring I will definitely complete it.  I plan to make my bird feeders still, maybe not all of them but I do have plans for the Lily Garden.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Plans For New Flower Bed

Oh I have been working online for our next garden season! Okay more the flower beds I have been working on ideas, since I want to add the new flower bed with the arbor we bought 2 years ago. So many ideas in my head right now and most or all will be implemented. I am super excited to tell you about them and eventually show it to you all.

First we will construct the white arbor, directly under the arbor I want pea gravel. I may add a few stepping stones that will be special to us, not just the plain stepping stones. I plan on making a decorative bench to place under the arbor as well. On both sides of the arbor I plan to plant Morning Glories in hopes they will climb up the arbor. We will see if this is the permanent flower next to the arbor.

In back of my arbor I would like 5 ornamental grass lined up in a row. I am sort of worried about this idea because many of the ornamental grass need sunlight and the area of this flower bed will be partial sunlight. I am still looking for that special ornamental grass that may handle the partial sunlight conditions.

Off to an angle of both sides of the arbor will be mound dirt for the flower beds. I have been researching and I want to place in them Hosta, Astilbe, Sedum, Phlox Rose, Starburst Caladium, and Coneflowers. Each mound will mirror one another. Inside one mound I want to add a bird bath and a bird feeder. The other mound I want to add another bird feeder and a bird house.

I plan on making the bird feeders and bird house and I can not wait! They are going to be fun and whimsical.

How cute are these bird feeders? Seriously! I fell in love with it the first time I saw them. I am definitely going to make a few of these. I thought I would look at consignment shops for the tea cups and saucers. After keeping the thought to myself for several days, I finally spoke up to Todd and told him what I wanted and then hopped online to show him. While I did a search I came across this!

Yep, now I am going to make a bird house similar to this, not exactly, I do not want my house to be angled, I am just going to make a cut out and attach it to a bird house, but my cut out will be angled. I am just too excited about this garden I can hardly contain myself. Spring is not going to come quick enough for me.

Flower Power

Last summer while on vacation I read a little bit about seedlings, this Spring I am going to be putting some of this in place this year in hopes that my flower seedlings will be more successful. I have placed on a calendar when to start my seedlings...

February 12 - Snapdragons should be started. Seedling should starts to appear 8-14 days later any time February 20-27th.

March 4 -Impatiens should be started. Seedling should starts to emerge 18-28 days later; any time March 22-April 1st.

March 18 -Petunias should be started. Seedling should starts to appear 10-14 days later; March 28-March 31st.

April 22 -Morning Glories should be started. These seeds need to soak over night to have a better start. Seedling should start to emerge 7-21 days; April 29-May 13th.

April 29 - Cosmo and Alyssums should be started. Cosmos seedlings should start to emerge 7-10 days; May 6-May 10th. Alyssums seedlings should emerge 8-10 days; May 7-May 10th

I plan to keep track when they are closer to bloom and apply this next year to the plans if I have success with the seedlings. I have been very frustrated the last two years I have had no luck once they sprout; they tend to die shortly after. This year will be my test to see if the new information I have learned is helpful.