Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Garden Update 2011...

What a rainy spring we have had!  Well rainy and cold.  The cold has been harder on the plants than the rain I think, although our first srop of radish seeds did get pulverized into the ground by a nice heavy spring rain we had.  We went up to the farm today to check and the radishes we planted last week are twice as big and had much better germination rate than the radishes we planted a month ago.  That is the gamble you take when you plant early.  Sometimes you get a great crop and sometimes you get nothing.  I am not a big gambler, but in this particular situation I think it is worth the gamble ;)  We gathered more big field rocks from the farmer's field today.  You can read about this from last year here.  We are putting some new flower beds in the front yard.  The rocks we gathered today will be the border around that bed.

We planted some of our favorite lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson at the beginning of this month.  As you can see they are still very small.  March was so cold, they never really got a good start until the last couple of weeks.  We are hoping to have some by the 2nd or 3rd farmers market.  We like this lettuce so much because it is fairly bolt resistent, and is one of the last lettuces to get bitter.

Here are our two year old Starbor Kale plants from last year.  They over-wintered well.  I think we ony lost 3 plants this winter.  Not only are we getting a large amount of Kale from them, but they should so to seed this year and we can collect our own seed frm them.  This kale has really great flavor.  Much better in my opinion than Dinosaur Kale or Red Russian.  This kale is also good used fresh.  I like to use it in turkey wraps or fresh salads, or it canned be cooked and eaten on rice or pasta.

Here are the seedlings of the red romaine lettuce that we got for free from Baker Creek Seeds, one of our favorite seed companies.  They include one free seed packet with your purchase.  We planted them in a 4 ft bu 4 ft area and they seem to have germinated well.

These are our Bloomsdale Spinach seelings.  Spinach is one of my favorite greens.  Fresh spinach had the best flavor.  Can't wait until we can pick this stuff!!

Hoping we will have some stuff for our first farmers market, April 30th.  Will keep you posted on our plants! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A new tutorial and making takeout at home...

So I finally posted that reusable snack bag tutorial on the website.  You can view it here.

We have also been trying to cook different things at home.  Not only do we need a change of pace, but we have been getting a bit carried away with eating out.  Now in a former life I used to eat out a 3 or 4 times a week.  Now we should really only eat out once every couple of months.  Lately though we have been getting takeout from a really good (especially for the midwest) Chinese restaurant down the street.  In an effort to save a bit of money I tried making some dishes at home last night.  They turned out really great!

The first thing I made was this simple noodle soup.  I simply made chicken broth and chinese noodles.  I cooked the noodles, rinsed them under cold water and put some in each bowl.  I topped the noodles with sliced mushrooms, baby bok choy, and green onions, and poured the hot broth over it all.  We then seasoned it with soy sauce and sesame oil.  It was sooooooo good!!! And very cheap :)

Next I did a Kung Pao chicken.  The recipe I got off of allrecipes was terrible!!!  I really dislike that site. I hate when recipes get great ratings, but when you go back and read the reviews later they give the dish 5 stars but change 10 things in the recipe.  When I realized the sauce was going to be crappy I had to do some super quick improvising which turned out great!  I wish I had time to write down the recipe, but I was so rushed when I was doing it I didn't get the chance.  It was really really good.  It is nice to know that I can do it on my own!  Next week I think we are going to try some mexican food :)