veggie harvest

BJ just pulled our carrot harvest last night. I can’t wait to roast these up sometime this weekend. I love roasted carrots and all of the different colors will make them even more fun to eat.

Our garden flourished this year. We had peas, cucumbers, LOTS of tomatoes, beets, onions, garlic, lettuces, carrots and zucchini. Beyond watering, we don’t spend a lot of time in our garden. I think the key to our successful harvest has been raised beds filled with good dirt and good compost. We also have an abundance of sun in our backyard.

Another thing I’m proud of this year was that we actually used (and are still using) all of the produce we grew. We made refrigerator pickles with our cucumbers, fresh tomatoes for marinara sauce and canned salsa, a double recipe of zucchini bread- one loaf to eat and one to freeze- and dried the garlic and onions for use throughout the year.

We had so much zucchini and I knew I could only eat so many zucchini fries, grilled zucchini and zucchini bread, so I was on the hunt for a good zucchini recipe. Once again, I used Tastespotting for inspiration and found Zucchini Cakes. You guys, they were SO good! The recipe is fairly basic and can be easily spruced up. They key is to squeeze as much water as possible out of the zucchini before you mix in the rest of the ingredients. They were delicious with marinara sauce, Trader Joe’s Cilantro salad dressing and a homemade cool Ranch dressing.

Here’s the basic recipe (inspired by many recipes around the interwebs):

1 large zucchini, grated and water squeezed out

1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko

1 large egg

A couple cloves of garlic

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

You could also add Tony Cachere’s Seasoning or Red Pepper Flakes for a little zing

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Grate the zucchini and use a towel to squeeze as much of the moisture as possible from the zucchini. Place in large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Give a few shakes of salt and pepper over the whole mixture. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Make sure there is enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Form the zucchini mixture into patties. Once your oil is hot add your patties into the pan. Fry them up for a couple minutes per side. You want them golden brown. Serve with marinara, Ranch, goddess dressing, the possibilities are endless.

I realize this recipe is a little late as you’re probably through  your zucchini harvest, but I hope you’ll save it for next year or when you have a hankering for zucchini!

 

treasures and updates

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing lately. I am swamped with work stuff and honestly just been feeling a little uninspired these days. I do have a few updates for you guys, though, so here goes…

I stopped by Goodwill the other day in hopes of finding a fabulous treasure. Just as I was about to leave I came across these 3 adorable little canisters. They will match perfectly with the jadeite cake stands that live on my baking shelf. I got all three of them for $10!

BJ and I also stopped by the ReStore on Sunday and picked up this gem…

Cannot WAIT to finish this project. I’ve been wanting to use Rust-o-leum’s countertop paint on my kitchen counters so I’m thinking this is the perfect time to experiment. We’re going to paint the cabinet and place it in under our carport right outside our back door (see you later bike!). I think it will be the perfect spot to serve food, have a little bar area, etc. I’ll be sure to show you all the “after” photos.

Also had to update you on the status of my tomatoes. Last year I yielded two tomatoes, no joke, and this year…holy smokes! we are going to be swimming in tomatoes. I’m planning on making homemade salsa, bruschetta, caprese salads and maybe trying to tackle canning. We shall see…

I have this great video of BJ and the chicks that I wanted to upload but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to upload it. If anyone can provide any help please let me know!

I think that’s about it for now. I have been doing some amazing weddings this summer and I can’t wait to show off the photos to you guys! Happy sunny day!

joys of gardening

The worst thing about being a gardener is that you have to deal with the nasty little pests that think they should have a share in the vegetable you’ve planted. The worst of all of these little pests (at least in my humble opinion) is the slug.

I mean, seriously, is there any way you can love this?

It has been raining her so much that the slug population is feeling especially alive and active. I’ve noticed that something has been munching on my lettuces, taking little bites here and there. Last week, I went out to the garden to pick a little lettuce for a salad and there was something that had wreaked havoc all over the garden. It was quite a site. I looked a little closer in my Cut and Grow Lettuce and there sat the fattest, rolliest polliest slug enjoying the green leaves of my plants. I went nuts. I started yelling at this slug and then I took a wooden stake, flung him out of the garden and smashed him to smitherines. It was pretty disgusting.

My slug slaying continued into the next day by encouraging the boys who were having a bonfire in my backyard to burn the slugs I found in my recycling bin. I have never been one for animal slaying, but in this circumstance it brought me a little happiness.

It has taken me 4 days to go back to my garden to pick lettuce since the slug incident. Today I went and picked a whole head of romaine for our dinner tonight. With gloves. I took every piece apart and shook it before bringing it inside. If I find another slug on my lettuce I might just have to retire as a gardener.

I will say that I have a larger appreciation for the people that work in the fields harvesting our store bought veggies, imagine how many slugs they encounter in a day.

Not really sure why I am posting this on my blog, I just had to let someone know. Thanks for listening.

‘maters and friends.

Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous, full of sunshine, perfect for planting the last bit of our garden. I planted all of the warm weather crops and I’m quite excited for them to reach their full potential.

I added:

5 kinds of tomatoes (that’s right people!) including: Sweet 100s, Sweet Million, Beefsteak, Yellow Heirloom and Sungold

Super Cayenne Pepper

Red Pepper

English Burpee Cucumber (2 plants)

Zucchini (2 plants)

Spaghetti Squash (2 plants)

Basil (planted in a pot so I can move it in if it gets cold, hard to believe, I know)

Cilantro (planted in a pot, I think it grows like a weed so I wanted to contain it a bit)

2 Geraniums for the front yard’s pot

My Mother in Law said I’ll be up to my nose in tomatoes, I’m hoping she’s right as last year my Sweet 100 plant yielded a total of 4 tomatoes. I’m looking forward to having a bumper crop of goodies. Hopefully that means I’ll be trying a bunch new recipes.

Here they are waiting to be planted:

Also, hooray for sunshine! 🙂

fresh greens

My garden is growing, hooray! Whenever I plant something I get nervous that it isn’t going to grow. Well, I am happy to report that my garden is growing.

In case you wanted to compare…this was what they looked like when they were first planted.

Cut and grow mixed greens

Spinach!

Garlic, Lots of Onions, Brussels, Kale, Strawberries...

My greens have grown ridiculously huge and now we’re burdened with the task of eating them all. Terrible, I know.

I love to eat salads especially when they’re chalk full of tasty ingredients so I set out looking for a recipe to make with my fresh greens. I came across this delicious recipe from Cooking Light– Grilled Peaches over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto. The creamy goat cheese, sweet grilled peaches and salty prosciutto were the perfect accompaniments to my fresh garden lettuce. This was a tasty dinner. My delicious beer is the Mothership Wit from New Belgium.

I’m looking forward to the abundance this garden is going to provide us throughout the summer. What is your favorite summer recipe?

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