Well, we finally got around to planting our garden for the year. Thank goodness we have a long growing season in California, or my plants would never get to produce! In addition to the two raised garden beds we have at the side of our house, this year we have added a large raised bed along the back of the garage. This raised bed is small part of our yard remodel project. We are working to re-do the front, back, and side yards. We have a bit of yard on all sides of the house, and it all was/is a mess! The side yard seemed like the easiest to tackle first. Continue reading
One of the last food projects I took on before the kitchen demolition was to make tomato sauce from scratch. My tomato plants decided to explode in November, partly because of weird fall weather we had. So, i had a TON of tomatoes and with no way we could eat them all. The best part, is that I froze the extra sauce (there was a lot!) so we have some deliciousness while we have no kitchen. The sauce part of the recipe is inspired by my Dad’s tomato sauce recipe, which was my FAVORITE as a kid (and still is). Yum!
After successfully making chicken stock I was pretty proud of myself! My next task was to use it on a good recipe. I choose to make chicken and dumplings. It’s one of my favorites, since it minds me of Girl Scout camp. The first time I had it I was sitting around a campfire, while the counselors taught us how to cook outside. The recipe I make now I adapted from a Williams Sonoma recipe (found here). In the past, I bought a good chicken stock from a health food store. The homemade is SO much better but using store bought does make the recipe go pretty quick. To be realistic, I’m guessing in the future I’ll probably only make chicken stock about half the time due to time. The Boyfriend LOVES this recipe & it’s great comfort food for fall. Plus, the dumplings look a little like brains, so it’s perfect for halloween! Continue reading
We have a lot of basil in our garden. In fact, it has expanded into the lettuce area. The great thing about the basil’s hostile take-over of the garden bed (I think it’s in an alliance with the peppermint) is that we have to find lots of ways to eat it. Oh, darn! One of my favorite basil using recipes is Pasta Caprese. It’s easy, quick, and great for a summer day. Continue reading
I’ve posted a couple things about my garden, (making garden beds and garden markers) so I thought it was about time for an update on how the garden is going. Well, short story is that my garden is schizophrenic. Some things are going great, others can’t decide, others have yet to do anything, and some have gone rogue!
So now that I’ve got some nice garden beds going and some plants in the ground I need a better way to label them. Temporarily, I just put the plant markers and seed packets in the soil so I don’t loose their spots while I make something better. But those seed packets are waterproof and started to fall apart at the garden’s first watering. I looked online and realized there are lots of fancy garden markers out there. But since my garden is along my garage (and I’m generally not that fancy) I didn’t see any reason to buy something that cost more than the plants. So, I realized I needed to make something.
What is durable, customizable and cheap? I was looking around my garage and came up with paint stir-sticks. A little paint, and viola, garden markers!
I’ve always wanted raised garden beds. Not only does it make accessing your garden easier, but it’s also tidy and organized. So finally, I did it! Well, I should say WE did it. These are fairly easy to make, especially with a very handy helper (okay maybe I was really the helper in this case!)
Here are plans for making two raised garden beds measuring 4ft wide, 8 ft long and 12 inches high. Continue reading