Tag Archives: Food

Adventures in Gardening Part 30 ~ Bounty & Babysitting

At the end of my last gardening post I mentioned that I was getting ready to make some of my delicious refrigerator pickles from the bounty of cucumbers I am having.  Thought I’d share a photo that I took of them.  I don’t know about you, but not only is an ice cold drink refreshing on a hot summer day, but so are some tangy refrigerator pickles as well!The recipe I have used for years to make these is from the Kerr Kitchen Cookbook Home Canning and Freezing Guide because it’s quick, simple, and delicious!

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I’m also looking forward to rustling up something yummy with my jalapeno peppers that are ready.  Take a look at these little beauties!I don’t have enough to make my jalapeno poppers with, but I have a couple other new recipes up my sleeve that I’m itching to try.  🙂

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My tomatoes are finally starting to ripen.  It’s about freaking time!  Just starting to see a hint of orange on this one…Sadly, my tomatoes don’t seem to be doing all that well and I’m not sure why.  I knew I probably wasn’t going to get enough from only 2 plants to make my salsa with, but I had hoped I’d end up with more than what I’ve got so far.    😦

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My one lone strawberry plant is really living up its name as “ever bearing” ~ it just keeps on going with its lovely little blossoms and sweet-tart berries.If I ever have enough room to plant more strawberry plants, this will definitely be the variety I will choose.

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And speaking of “lovely little blossoms” here are some delicate lavender colored blossoms that are flowering on my mint plant.My mint had a rough start because the bugs were nibbling on it quite a bit, but it sure is looking happy now.  🙂

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My sis is on vacation for 2 weeks and brought some of her outdoor plants over to my mom’s house for me to babysit while she’s gone.  She brought them over there because she figured it would be easier for me to take care of them while I’m outside at my mom’s tending to my garden, rather than for me to have to make an additional, separate stop at her place each day.  I say “the more, the merrier” and she can just keep them all there permanently for me to enjoy!  😉

She brought over a hanging flower basket that her husband got for her that has such a bright, pretty assortment of colors.~

And some weird looking plant called Horehound that she says she’s going to make her own cough remedy with.  My sis likes to imagine herself as a mad scientist sometimes.  😉~

This is some mystery plant she got from a neighbor who brought it from Brazil.~

Hmm… these 2 mints of hers very well might be all snipped naked by the time she gets home because they want to become tea for me.  😉~

And I’m totally loving these gorgeous Gazanias of hers too…~

See what I mean?  Can’t blame me for wanting to keep all of these!  There are a few other randoms that she brought over as well, along with a couple of things that I even re-potted for her because I’m such a wonderful little sister.  I haven’t even stolen anything out of her closet when I’ve stopped over there to bring in her mail.  😉

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 28

Everything is going well in the garden.  🙂

In fact… it’s a jungle out there!Haha it just looks like a mass of green foliage ~ you can barely tell where one plant ends and another begins from this angle.

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But upon closer investigation…

You can see that my pepper plant is growing nice and strong, and is completely packed full of peppers!~

And I’ve got tons of jalapenos too!  Although you can’t really tell from this shot. It’s getting quite difficult to get in there for photos because everything is so crowded.  🙂~

My cucumbers are exploding and flourishing upon the new lattice panels and wiring my sis and I put up.  There are so many little cukes developing all over these vines, it’s absolutely wonderful!~

We’ve been eating lots of them too ~ such a tasty treat!~

Unfortunately some critter has been sampling some of them too.  I found these two casualties laying discarded underneath my trellis.  😦  I was pretty ticked off about this too because just the day before I had decided to leave these two on the vine for just one more day to grow, and then I go out to pick them and find that something nibbled off the skins and ate the insides, then left the rest for the bugs to come and feast upon as well.  Grrr…~

And I’m afraid my tomatoes are in trouble.   I’ve never dealt with this before and I’m not sure why this would happen, but I think they’ve got something called blossom end rot.  I’ve been reading up on how to remedy it, so I hope I can.  Wish me luck.  Ew these look disgusting…~

But my beans are coming right along.  Although I don’t think they’re getting enough sun because their leaves are lightening a little.  Also, I had expected them to be ready to pick by now and they’re just not plumping up very much. ~

I blame the zucchini.  It’s such a garden hog.  But it’s hard to complain when we’ve been gobbling up zucchinis galore!  And if you’ve been reading my gardening posts, you know of my love for zucchini.  🙂
We’ve been eating them up so quickly in fact that I don’t even have a photo of one to show you…

(insert zucchini photo ;))

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And two blooming beauties that are at peak right now..

My mom’s wonderfully fragrant phlox ♥Happy birthday Mindi! ♥

And her hostas  I swear I’ve never realized or appreciated the loveliness of hosta as much as I have this year…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Strawberry Pie Fiasco

I swear this pie is absolutely delicious despite how it looks.

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In my humble opinion, this is the yummiest recipe for strawberry pie on the entire planet.  I’ve used it many times over the years ~ even though this time I slightly failed at it.  😉   It’s from a very old flyer from Berry Hill Farm where I usually get my strawberries…Of course I realize at this angle you can’t see/read the full recipe, but don’t worry… if you’re brave enough to want to try it after reading this post, I will certainly share it with you.  😉

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These lovelies are not from Berry Hill however, because they had a very short season this year and I was not able to get any from them, but theirs are just as luscious.  These are some of my left over strawberries from canning the other day…~

I am a big lazy cheater (pooped out from all of my heavy labor canning) and bought a ready made crust ~ don’t judge me.  This shortbread crust goes perfectly with this recipe.  Look there’s even a photo of a strawberry pie on the packaging to prove it.  😉~

The first step of this recipe is to make a glaze.  After hurting my weak girlie hands again using my sis’s dumb potato masher, I mixed the mashed strawberries with water, sugar, and cornstarch, and stirred constantly (and forever) over medium heat bringing it all to a boil.  And then set it aside to cool.~

Next I whipped some cream cheese to soften it and spread it in the bottom of my lazy cheater’s pie crust.~

Then I started filling the rest of the crust up with berries.  The recipe calls for whole strawberries, but I halve mine because it’s easier to eat and to cut with my fork.  🙂  I arranged them somewhat haphazardly I know…~

Once the glaze cooled a bit I poured it over the top.~

But it wasn’t cooled enough and I filled the crust too high with strawberries so it made quite a mess and started leaking out onto the edges of the crust.  Whoops!But it was yummy as I swiped the excess up with my finger!  I totally grossed out my daughter by “double swiping” but I had to because it was leaking all over.  😉

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It’s supposed to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours, but we wanted to eat it sooo bad that we just couldn’t wait that long.~

And when you cut into a pie before it’s set… messy things happen.~

Oh well, cover it up with a bunch of whipped cream and no one will be able to tell the difference.  😉   It tasted amazing even if it was a mess!

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A Fixation With Food

I have one.  Do you?

Omygosh I love food!  “Food glorious food.”

I have homemade baked mac and cheese in the oven right this moment ~ and the mouth watering aroma is almost too much to bear!  Pasta… cheese… absolutely amazing stuff right there!

Gosh it’s just so wonderful isn’t it?!   ♥ Food ♥

I thought this would be a good topic for me to write about today as I begin yet another attempt to try and eat healthier.  Mac and cheese = a great way to start if I do say so myself!  😉

The problem with starting any new diet or eating plan is that we have to concentrate on it so much.  It’s all we can think about because we have to plan ahead and spend so much time and energy on thinking about it.  It takes over our lives.

Over the years I have went on various diets here and there and have lost 40 pounds like 6 times.  I should be as thin as a skeleton by now.  But for some reason I always stop there, at the 40 pound mark, and then gain it all back again.

Here’s a bit of dieting wisdom for ya… all diets work.  Yep, pretty much every single one of them.  If you stick with it…

They may not all be healthy though.  Each diet plan has their own slant on what they think is the culprit or reason that people are overweight and certainly there are many, many different variables, but I’m here to say that it’s really quite simple ~ all you have to do is… eat less and move more.  That’s all there is to it!

Oh but sometimes doing that is anything but simple

A few years ago I was at a point where my “numbers” according to the medical professionals were getting into a higher range.  Not quite at the needing a prescription point just yet, but starting to be of some concern.  When I questioned them as to what I could do to avoid having to take medications they said “Nothing, you’re 40, you have a family medical history of this and that, blah blah blah, and it’s inevitable that you will have to be on medications.”  What?!  Um… no, I’m not just accepting that…

So I went out and did a little bit of investigative research for myself and after scouring through vast amounts of information, I found several natural things I could do to improve my health.  Because ya know… it’s not just all about the weight ~ you may be a normal weight, but have some seriously scary malfunctions going on inside your body that you’re not even aware of.

So I began practicing a few of these natural things and after a year or so, guess what happened?  Not only did I lose about 25 pounds (without being on a diet), but all of those “numbers” went back into the normal range.

What did I do?  Well I changed a lot of little things, and along with adding a few more supplements to my regimen, mostly I cut way back on the amount of processed foods I was eating (things in a box or a can, frozen etc.), and started eating more raw/whole foods.  Organic when I could.  And I found that I wasn’t as hungry, which is probably why the weight loss happened ~ eating less.  😉  I lived that way for a couple of years and I did not sacrifice one ounce of the tasteful pleasure of eating yummy delicious food!

Well if it was all so great then why am I back here at square one again?  Probably due to the fact that I had a major life change and an upheaval of the entire world as I knew it, wanted comfort food (which for me was stuff out of a box), had financial restraints (healthy ‘real food’ is more expensive), and basically just got off track and fell back into some old bad eating habits.  In general, I’m not a very disciplined person so it wasn’t hard to do.

So now the weight has crept back up and I can tell my body isn’t feeling as healthy anymore, so onward I go to try once again.

Because my lifestyle has changed so much from what is was before, it feels like I’m entering a foreign unknown territory and starting completely from scratch.  Hope I’m up to it!  Wish me luck!

Ding!  Perfect timing!  The timer has sounded and my mac & cheese in the oven is done!  I can’t wait to taste some of it’s cheesy deliciousness!

In a reasonable portion of course!  😉

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…and just because this song has been in my head the entire time I’ve been writing this…