Thursday, August 28, 2008

Veggie Count Up

With the summer coming to a close, here's a count of this year's harvest.
  • 129 tomatoes
  • 28 eggplants
  • 26 English cucumbers (but I've lost count now)
  • 2 lemon cucumbers
  • 7 zucchinis
  • 2 bell peppers (more to come)
  • 9 ears of corn
  • 2 watermelons
  • 1 cantelope
  • 6 very sad carrots
  • sugar snap peas, snow peas, edamame, basil, arugula

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spicy Basil Chicken

A simple stir fry served with steamed rice.

  • Tomatoes
  • Basil leaves
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Sliced Chicken Breast
  • Garlic
  • Oil
  • Lime Juice
This is so simple and delicious.
1. Drizzle a little oil in a hot pan or wok. Add the garlic and onions.
2. Add the chicken breast and brown.
3. Add the tomatoes and basil and seasoning.
4. Eat with a side of rice.

Pot Roast

These cooler days have had us craving pot roast, hot chocolate and cozying up in sweaters. You can never go wrong with pot roast and it's so easy to make.

  • Beef Chuck
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • 1 Can of Beef Broth
  • 2 Onions
Throw everything together and turn the slow cooker on "low". After 5 or so hours, it's done! Serve with egg noodles.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a Watermelon!

Break out the cigars! It's a watermelon! There are 2 of them and although they are small now, we hope they will grow up to be big watermelons! We're curious to see if we can get it to grow square like the Japanese do.

Another striata zucchini. They really are monsterous. I prefer the smaller, sweeter ones. Their plants are also overwhelming to the garden bed.

Brussel sprouts

To my surprise, the pink dahlias are still going strong with lots of blooms. I cut them often and place them in the house as a centerpiece.

So are the pom pom like yellow dahlias.

Lots of tomatoes! Approximately 18 tomatoes per plant.

Lambs ear that I bought during the garden tour I did in the early summer.

Our cactus is doing really well on the dry side of the house!

And what is this beautiful flower?! Oh, it's me! The cosmos behind me is over 6 feet tall.

Sewing Project #3

See my latest sewing project here...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reduce Reuse Recycle

With this "new trend" of being green, people are running out and buying up "organic" things, things made of recycled material, blah blah and all that other nonsense...

It costs more both monetarily and to the environment for these so called "green" things (including organic clothing). If you want to "Be Green", please please just reduce your usage of things, waste not and reuse what you can. That's all you have to do!

We've been conscious of what we purchase these days and what packaging it comes in. We've been trying to avoid plastic (containers and bags). With this gallon bottle, you can either recycle it, or reuse it. Here, I turned this container into a watering can. It's light, easy to use/make, and most of all, it's one less piece of crap out there in the universe.

My husband's grandmother left us many vases, containers and other decorative things such as this jug. Although the design isn't "my style", instead of giving it away or letting it sit in the basement, I filled it with some potting soil and a house plant. By combining different vintage or antique containers, you can make a really pretty display.

In what ways are you "being green"?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Basil-Lime Sorbet

This was so easy and delicious! For someone like me who's lactose intolerant, this is the perfect summer dessert!

  • 1 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 20 basil leaves
  • Simple syrup (1 cup of water, 1 1/4 cups of sugar)
A juicer would be helpful to do this. You must use fresh limes. Old limes are bitter and lime juice is too sour without being "limey" enough.

I used more like 40 leaves of basil because I had it. The more basil you put it in, the more bits of basil you will get in every spoonful, so it's up to whether you like that or not. Some people don't like having pieces of leaf on their tongue.

Chop up the basil first. Then blend it with the lime juice and simple syrup.

It will look mustard green, but don't worry about it. Put the mixture in a closed container and freeze.

When it's icy, stir it up with a spoon.

Then freeze it completely.

Pour the frozen mix into a blender or food processor.

Blend until smooth and it will be light green.


Then scoop out and enjoy!

It's so yummy. I scoop a little out each night to eat. The funny thing is that it smells like basil, but tastes like lime.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eggplant Stack

Layers of grilled eggplant, zucchini, tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella make this summer dish a real treat. This recipe is originally from last issue's Better Homes and Garden magazine where a reader won a contest for her original recipe. Since then, I have seen this everywhere from The Kitchn to the cafe at my work place.

  • From the original recipe - tomatoes, eggplant, yellow bell pepper, fresh mozz, basil, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto.
We had vegetarian company, so it was a great way to use a lot of my veggies.

Drizzle eggplant with lots of olive oil and grill.

I also used zucchini.

Since we had a large party, I laid everything on a large platter rather than stack each one individually. I left out the prosciutto due to our vegetarian friends, but if you are using it, 1 slice per serving is enough because of it's salt content.

The dish was so simple and surprisingly tasty. Who would've ever thought! Everyone loved it.

For my neighbors, I made some individual ones especially for them. Definitely try this recipe!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Kim Chicken Rice Wrap" ~ My Polish-American husband

Summer Rolls

Summer rolls are a really refreshing appetizer. It's just salad in a roll, but something about that makes it so yummy.

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Thai Basil leaves
  • Shrimp (I used Chicken)
  • Rice Flour wrappers
  • Vermicelli or "Rice Stick" (noodle)
Gather, clean, and slice you veggies. I lost my rice stick! I had it out in preparation to make this over the weekend and when I went to grab it, I couldn't find it. I searched high and low. I wonder if the noodle monster stole it and slurped it all up. I bet it was Mrs. Butterscotch!

I know, I'm a total slacker. I didn't have shrimp or the fatty pork normally used, so I used chickren breast and marinated in this stuff! It's so yummy, especially on pork.

Brown the chicken in a woke and lay something heavy on top to flatten it.

Dip the wrappers in warm water for 30 seconds, remove and get ready to roll quickly. Assemble all your ingredients.

Pull the bottom over, fold over the 2 sides, and then roll tightly.

I noticed that as the water got cooler, the wrappers began to rip a lot, so keep some hot water nearby and replenish the rimmed plate you are using to dip the wrappers into.

I made some dipping sauce using hoisen sauce, fish sauce and chilli sauce. It was so delicious!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Midnight Snack

I had a hankering for pizza one night, so I gather some ingredients from the fridge and made myself a personal pizza on naan.

I smothered the bread with my pesto.

Topped it with some leftover tomato sauce, cheese, basil, and onions.

I loaded it up with lots of slivers of garlic.

Bake and enjoy!