Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2011 Tomatoes

I'm very happy with last year's yield. Next year, I would like to branch out even further and try new varieties. I'm pretty confident with my garden skills now, so I don't make taking some risks.

"Mini Pear"

"Garden Candy"


"Green Zebra"

"Pink Accordian"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Front Yard

I'm getting ready for the winter and preparing for next spring. With the back yard being close to complete, I'm focusing on the front yard.

I moved 4 boxwoods that were in the back yard up to this corner. This corner is a trap for leaves and wasn't looking too appealing. These were crowding my peonies in the backyard so I didn't feel so bad about moving them. In the spring, I would like to plant a bunch of lilies here and get a large pedestal planter where I can change out annuals. Boxwoods are also evergreen.

On the right, I began carving out the garden bed. This is another thing I wanted to do for a while, but just didn't have the energy in me. The grass is so dry that it's easy to dig up. I'm still deciding what to do with the hydrangea back there. I was thinking about planting some knockout rose bushes along the house, but I don't know if there is enough sun here. Also, I want to plant some shrubs that are evergreen. All this other stuff dies back during the winter.

At the store, I couldn't pass these up. Pink bearded irises.
Also, I cut back the roses, lamb's ear, trees, achillea, siberian iris, peonies, foxglove, lavendar and iries. I did a ton of weeding too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Basil Eats Arugula

2010 Harvest

To see the photos up close, visit my flickr page for the Harvest 2010 Set.
To see progress photos from April through August 2010, visit Le Jardin on Shutterfly.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

DIY Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a crowd pleaser, but I admit that it's been of a pain to prep whether you are hosting or if you're bringing it to a party. How do you keep the bread from getting soggy? Or what if someone doesn't want cheese? Here's how I decided to do it and it saves time.

In a tray, I put sliced fresh mozzerella, toasted italian bread, pesto and tomatoes.

I got the idea from Better Home and Garden to bake the tomatoes in a pan with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. Roasting/baking them tends to make them sweeter too.

You can dip your bread right into this, but I wanted to chop it up a bit. I spooned it all into a food processor and gave it a quick pulse.

I sliced up some italian bread, drizzled it with olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
Serve warm!

Saturday, August 14, 2010




Caprese Salad

Here are two ways I used up some of my tomatoes and basil.

Caprese salad - layers of tomatoes, fresh mozz and basil which I then topped with homemade pesto.

I did something similar here except I laid it on a bed of lettuce. Instead of pesto, I just did lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. There's a little thinly sliced red onion and black berries.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tomato & Pickle Tasting today!

Today, we tried some of my different tomatoes and cucumbers. It was a huge hit! Everyone gobbled it all up and took some home.


I planted a lemon cucumber plant near this persimmon tomato plant in order to use it as a trellis to support the cucumber vine. It seems to be working well - the cucumber is climbing up the tomato plant and the tomato plant provides shade in the hot afternoons. The vine is already reaching up over the fence.

There are lots of jalepenos. I picked some for friends, but I don't know if they are hot yet.

Ever wonder how dill seeds are formed? I'm going to harvest these seeds for use.

Loads of tomatoes..I lost count of how many.

1-1/2 pound tomater!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pizza made with heirloom tomatoes

While we were in Milan last year, my friend Elisa made us a pizza using phyllo or puff pastry dough. It was so delicious that I wondered why I never thought of doing it before. What could be better than flaky, buttery, crisp dough in the pizza!? Especially if you like thin crust pizza. She made hers with just plum tomatoes and cheese, but I jazzed my recipe up a bit.

  • a package of Pilsbury puff pastry
  • 1/2 cup of crushed tomato (not sauce)
  • 8 oz (one ball) of fresh mozzerella
  • fresh basil and oregano leaves
  • 2 medium or 1 large ripe tomato (in the picture, I used 2 grape tomatoes, 1 small plum tomato and 1 medium Black Krim tomato)

Thinly slice the cheese and thinly slice the tomatoes. It's important the tomatoes are very ripe. If you buy them from the supermarket, leave them out on the counter for 2-3 days.

Follow the directions of the package of the puff pastry in order to defrost the dough. Generously, flour the surface of a large baking sheet and lay the defrosted pastry dough out.

Season and spread a thin layer of crushed tomato on the dough. I season the dough now rather than on top of the ingredients because I think it tastes better that way.

Arrange your ingredients on top of your dough. I spread the larger slices of tomatoes and cheese around the edges and leave the smaller ones towards the center since pizza tends to pool to the middle.

Bake for 40 minutes or until brown and bubbly. The fresh mozzerella made these yummy brown bubbles and the deep red of the Black Krim tomatos made pretty looking "flowers" when baked. It was so yummy!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Squash "Pasta" Ribbons with Pesto

Here's a low calorie option and a creative way to use up your summer squash or zucchini. It's that time now where the plants are bursting with fruit. So much so that you can't find enough ways to eat it. Tired of ratatouille and grilled veggies?

Scrumptious and satisfying. The ribbons of squash replace pasta and offer more fiber, vitamens and low in calories.

With the heat wave, the squash increase in size very rapidly. These two were hiding under the leaves. In general, these are a tad too large for good eating. The smaller you pick your squash, the more tender and sweet they are. Squashes that are 1.5" in diameter are perfect.

Using a carrot peeler, I gently sliced the ribbons of squash. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Top with pesto or your favorite marinara.

Bon Appetit!



Monday, July 19, 2010