Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Roasted Chili Peppers

Check out my tutorial for roasted chili peppers (I used Anaheim Peppers from my garden) at Feminist Mormon Housewives. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Greek Quinoa Salad

Here's another food post (and I'm annoyed that I repeated myself- apparently it is so crucial that you make the quinoa ahead of time so it can cool, that I had to say it twice).  I've got to learn to proof-read better.

Anyway, this is a tasty one, so you should go buy the ingredients and make it THIS SECOND.

Greek Quinoa Salad at Butter with a Side of Bread

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 2014 Garden Update

This was my garden in May:

And here it is in July.  A lot happens in two months.

Peppers and melons.


Summer squash, cucumbers, ground cherry, kale and mini pumpkins.

Green beans.

This is the green bean bed that the birds got to and I didn't have enough seed to replant.  It has some beans, and I added two pumpkins plants and three sad clearance tomato plants.


Winter squash.

Jerusalem artichokes and pole beans.

Artichokes.  These died a few times and I replanted.  Hopefully the two remaining plants survive and produce next year since they're not doing much this year.

Green onions (I grew roots on the ones I bought at the store and planted them.  I just keep cutting the tops off and they keep growing back.  I read that if I let one flower and go to seed, those seeds will come up next year).

Chicken Waterer.  Eventually this system will be hooked up to our automatic watering system.

Baby watermelon!

Banana pepper (for pickling!).

Anaheim pepper.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another Food Post

Clearly I need to post about gardening stuff more often, because now I have two food posts in a row.  I've been a bit sidetracked.  My beans and corn never came up.  At least not more than a handful of plants.  I'm not sure if birds ate the seeds as they sprouted, or if my hand watering just didn't go deep enough and the seeds were too dry to germinate.  I replanted beans in one bed, and got a couple of pumpkin plants to fill in the other bean bed.  I also replanted the corn bed.  Then I bought soaker hoses so hopefully they'll water more deeply than my spraying-with-hose method.

In good news, the winer squash plants are growing like crazy, and I have several more jerusalem artichoke plants up.

The thing that has kept me the most busy for the last few days has been the cherries.  So far I've been juicing and dehydrating them, but I'm still planning on freezing some for smoothies and pureeing some for cherry fruit leather.  Hopefully I'll get a post up soon on the cherry harvest.

Back to the food: I'll be contributing semi-regularly to the blog Butter, with a side of Bread.  My most recent post is Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad. It's a really good light summer dinner, or a great dish to bring to a potluck or BBQ.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Guest post at Butter with a Side of Bread!

Check out my guest post at Butter with a Side of Bread today and learn how to make easy peach slurpees.

Peach Slurpees

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hardening off plants

Check out my Inner Pioneer post over at feminist Mormon housewives on how to harden off plants you grew from seed.  If you don't harden off seedlings, they'll die when you plant them outside.

Hardening off plants

Monday, May 12, 2014

Outside Stuff

I have been wanting to post about the new garden, but between the rain and other delays, there's not a lot going on yet.  We've gotten the yard mostly graded, and the raised bed pieces are being worked on (we're getting a unused storage tank from work sliced into rings, which we'll squash into ovals to use as raised beds).

Last weekend we did get the chicken coop moved which was a pretty big job.  Here's my Mister using the tractor to move the chicken cube (someday it's going to have a roof and siding).  It wasn't located quite legally- too close to the other shed, so we moved it to be safe and legal- and also to give the chickens a better set up in the winter- last winter their food and water area was shaded by the coop, and they didn't get much sun.  This will be much better.

While we were moving the coop the chickens were all off dust bathing.  We thought these looked dead.  Funny chickens.

We also moved mama hen and her chicks, and gave them a little free roam time.  They were pretty cute.

One sad job was to "off" the rooster.  We aren't allowed roosters, so when Buffy the Vampire Slaying Chicken, turned out to be a he, we were pretty sad, and put off the inevitable for as long as possible.  With warmer weather though we, and the neighbors, started sleeping with the windows open, and 5am rooster crows just don't work.  Goodbye big guy.  You were a majestic creature. 

One thing that made killing Buffy a little easier was that we have a broody hen, so we gave her some eggs to sit on (we also took a bunch over to the elementary school for a class to try to hatch- they have an incubator).  No idea if we'll get any chicks out, but can't hurt to try. 

Lemon Mother's Day Cake

While my husband took care of dinner, I decided to make a cake.  Inspired by the meyer lemon my friend gave me from her parents' lemon tree.  (Oh to live in a climate that could grow things like lemons.)

The cake recipe was pretty straight forward, and I didn't get any pictures.  It's a Lemon Cake from Martha Stewart.  I used lemon zest that I had in the freezer so I could save my one lemon for topping the cake.  While the cake was baking, I thinly sliced the lemons, picked out all the seeds, and combined them with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to move the lemon slices to a piece of wax paper.  The remaining syrup gets a little more lemon juice added to it, then poured over the cake while still warm.  Then put the cake in the fridge to cool so you can frost it.

The whipped frosting recipe also came from Martha Stewart.  I don't think I whipped mine quite long enough- it was more meringue-like that I think it should have been, but it was very good.  

All it is is egg whites and sugar and water.  Heat over double boiler to 150 F.

Transfer to mixing bowl and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Add 2TBSP of lemon juice and whip just until the lemon juice is mixed in.  

Spread on cake.  :)  I didn't frost the center layer of this cake.  It didn't need it, and the cakes themselves were a little on the fragile side and it was easier to stack them without worrying about a middle layer.  Next time I might try making a lemon curd for the middle- but with the lemon syrup poured onto the warm baked cakes (poke holes with a fork to help it not run off the sides) this cake is plenty sweet and lemony.

Top with candied lemon slices.  

It may be different if you whip the frosting longer, but the cake was very reminiscent of a lemon meringue pie.