Sunday, January 16, 2011

What to do when you have the winter Blahs, and a greenhouse...

Plant some peas with your 3-year-old.

Fill some pots with lettuce seed.  
Hopefully we're eating lettuce before march...  I can't remember how long it takes to grow.

Finally get those grape propagations going.

Clean the greenhouse so that you don't have to put on work boots just to go in it.

Clean out all the dead tomato plants and be thrilled to discover that the still-living parts have new flowers.

Dream about how tall your peas are going to get.  (if they grow, that is...)

My Mister and I were trying to figure out where we'd do stuff like this in our dream house... It won't have a greenhouse attached to the living room.  We're thinking something like this would be a combination mudroom/living room project.  Dirty work in the mudroom, pots in the living room (which is where the south facing windows will be).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baked Ziti (or Penne, rather)

Dinner tonight was just something I kind of threw together, but I have to say, it was really tasty, so I thought I'd share...

Cook pasta, drain.

Brown ground beef, some garlic and a small chopped onion  (I cooked probably a pound or so, and put half in the fridge for another day)
Add 1 small can of tomato paste, and 1 regular sized can of chopped tomatoes (I used some that had italian seasoning in them already, so if you just use regular tomatoes, add a tsp or so of italian seasoning, or a combination of basil and oregano.  

In a separate bowl, combine 1 carton of cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese, some shredded mozzarella (Maybe 1 cup or so?), and half a cup or so of shredded parmesan, add 1 tsp salt.

Layer the pasta, meat sauce and cheese sauce in a casserole dish, add a little more cheese to the top and bake at 350 F until the cheese is melted (I like it a little crunchy around the edges).

Serve with salad or whatever.  :)  (the cherry tomatoes in the salad pictured are from the plant that we grew over the summer in a pot and now have inside.  It's mostly dead since I never water it, so I imagine these (very tiny) tomatoes will be the last we get from it.)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Goals or Resolutions?

I'm not a big fan of New Years resolutions.  Especially the generic ones that get broken by January 2nd.  When the government passes a resolution, we all know it's pretty meaningless.  I do have some goals that I'm working for this year however (some of them are kind of generic, but I like having lots of things on my to-do list because then I have more to cross off- especially when I would have done those things anyway)...

Suburban Homestead Goals:

Help my Mister build a safer chicken coop, and order new chicks in the spring.
Bug my Mister until he builds a beehive (before the bees arrive in april).
Learn how to take care of the bees, and harvest the honey.
Learn about things I can use beeswax for.
Grow and can as much produce as possible.

Other Goals:
Learn to ride my bike outside without falling over or crashing into anyone/anything.
Learn to fix a flat/change a tire
Run a marathon.
Spend less than we earn.
Build our savings.
Get rid of clutter (have a garage sale at some point).
Find ways to spend meaningful time with each kid everyday.
Do one nice thing for my Mister everyday (even if it's just making the bed)
Try to shop local first.
Plan ahead for dinner.