Archive for October, 2010

Thanks to For the Love of Cooking blog, we made great use of the abundance of cinnamon raisin bread we got at the big warehouse store yesterday. The recipe was fast and easy – always good things for a Sunday morning meal.

It was so delicious, I didn’t even get to take a picture of it because it was gone in a flash!



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October 30 Harvest

We were able to pick our second batch of beans and decided to picked “Big Green” as he was starting to turn yellow.

Note the lovely bamboo fence that now lines the garden! Thanks to our friends Doug and Lucy who gave us their bamboo for this project.

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It’s been a couple weeks since my last garden update, and wow…what a difference that time can make! We’ve had many many hot sunny days – dusty and dry. But the plants have loved it! Last night, we had a nice drenching downpour and when I checked out the garden this morning, I was amazed to see what the rain had done for our small plot.

As I looked around today, I noticed a peculiar pattern on the edges of some of the bean plant leaves. It looks as though a critter has been munching on them! Can you identify what this could be? And when I say critter, I’m thinking opossum, raccoon…that kind of critter! Can you imagine!! Ewww!

Almost every tomato plant has blooms on it now, which means that in a few weeks, we’ll hopefully have a delicious bunch of tomatoes to add to our meals!

Affectionately called “Big Green”, our first cuke is thriving. Is that bad when you start naming your vegetables before you pick them? I would be in a world of trouble if I actually had a farm with livestock!

My girls put mulch around our lettuce last weekend and somehow that has made them double in size!

And last but certainly not least, we were able to pick our first bunch of green beans that we cooked and ate with dinner!

(photo disclaimer: shadows and poor lighting need to be worked on in my shots…just so excited about the garden!)

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My little garden gnome.

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Oct 17: Menu for the Week

To keep myself motivated and organized, I’m going to take a stab at putting a weekly menu together. The weather is turning cool(er) and the crock pot is calling my name! That 5 lb bag of carrots is still staring me down, too, so I need to put them to good use! Here’s what I’m thinking…I’m open to any suggestions too!

A huge bummer for my plan this week – the organic whole chickens I bought from the wholesale club 2 weeks ago came in a plastic bag. Well, that bag got a little ick when I cut the first chicken out of it, so the second chicken went bag-less (but still wrapped) in the fridge drawer. Little did I know that keeping the bag would have helped as it had the expiration date on it! Ugh – not risking food poisoning. Lesson learned! Always keep the #*$*@ bag. What a waste!!

Ok, back to the menu. I’ve found that eating an organic, whole food diet makes it a bit challenging to cook in batches and safe for later. So making a menu has not worked as well. Do you have the same challenge?

  • Sunday: Dinner at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant – Anh Hong
  • Monday: Crock pot chili w/ baguette
  • Tuesday: Homemade veggie soup & salad
  • Wednesday: Soy Ginger soba noodles w/ chicken (LOVE Annie Chun’s meal starters – organic, vegan and dairy free and you can find them at Super Target!)
  • Thursday: Hamburgers, sweet potato fries & green beans
  • Friday: Pizza night (our favorite!!)
  • Saturday: Chicken Sate with Zucchini Salad
  • Sunday: Grilled Salmon with asparagus

Dontcha love how the first item on my menu is eating out?? It’s easier to do that on the days that we grocery shop, and it’s a nice break when looking forward to a long week in the kitchen.

What’s on your menu this week?

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The garden is having a nice, steady amount of growth over the past couple weeks. It’s amazing to see how strong and hearty the tomatoes look as they already have about 6 or so baby tomatoes making an appearance.

Along with the tomatoes, one of the most exciting developments is how strong the bean plants look too. Last spring when we grew beans, the were the best producers of that crop – but this fall…I think they are going to set a new precedent! The bean plants are getting so big and ready to sprout that we’ve had to stake almost all of them.

Luckily, our lovely friends were cutting back their bamboo and offered us a huge bundle of it. So my DH has been busy cutting it up and using the bamboo as a decorative staking system. Talk about style in the garden! And we have so much bamboo left that he’s going to make a beautiful fence around the entire garden.

Even though there is so much good…we’ve pretty much given up on our acorn squash. I can’t figure out what has happened to it, but it’s withering and being munched into nothingness. Can’t have it all, I guess!

I’ve found that the more beautiful we make the garden, the more likely it is we’ll be out there enjoying and tending to it. Do you find that’s the case as well? What are some ways you’ve made your garden a destination, not just a place where things grow?

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I can honestly say I made a very tasty meal tonight. Maybe because my husband, a stay at home dad to our two girls, prepares dinner most nights before I even get home. Yes, I’m truly blessed! But I really enjoyed my time in the kitchen tonight.

It was a simple roasted chicken – organic whole chicken from one of those wholesale clubs – rubbed with a little butter, salt, pepper and garlic. I also stuffed it with fresh rosemary from my garden.

To be honest, the rosemary had been looking so hearty and ready to be used for some delicious meal, that is the real reason I put this meal together. Yes, an herb is dictating my menu! However, look at the joy on my face as I stuff the chicken. Probably my least favorite part!

I put the chicken on a roasting pan with baby carrots and chopped up sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper and basted in chicken stock (another thing we buy in bulk from the wholesale club).

After an hour and a half of roasting at 350 degrees, it was absolutely heavenly. Served with the roasted veggies, I also cooked up some whole grain wild rice and seved the meal with a crisp Pinot Gris.

It’s basic, no doubt about it, but a lovely meal all the same. And after dinner, I threw the carcass into a pot and am simmering up some homemade chicken soup! Never in a million years did I think I would go to these lengths, but with organic food costing so much, I try to make sure I get the most out of what we make.

My trusted online source forĀ recipesĀ – www.allrecipes.com. I love how you can search for recipes by ingredient.

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