Category Archives: Garden
Cherry tomatoes! More than we can eat so I’ve got most of these dehydrating. Kept enough of them back for a nice pizza Margherita.This one is a thin-ish crust, painted with garlic infused olive oil and sauced with sauteed cherry tomatoes with more garlic and fresh herbs. It gave us a chance to use some of the latest batch of homemade mozzarella.Fresh oregano and thyme in with the sauce and fresh basil added after it came out of the oven. A pretty good pie!Yellow melon for dessert. These are super sweet and I think they are the best melons ever. I really should get back over there for another one.Random wildlife! This young whitetail still has prominent spots. They slowly fade over the summer. Momma isn’t far away.I’ll wrap with a couple of sammiches. Here’s pulled garlic pork on a bolillo roll with slaw and a drizzle of a locally bottled bbq sauce. I grabbed a bottle last time through the store because I knew I was running low and it’s a lot like the stuff I make myself.Last is another classic Reuben with our own corned beef and sauerkraut. This one has provolone and thousand island dressing.
This came together at the last minute. I wanted to stuff more of my Anaheim peppers because there are quite a few of them and the last time I used them the result was good. I had a pork roast that was pulled from the oven late yesterday so I pulled some of that apart and cooked it in bacon fat left over from the lunch BLTs, adding garlic and various chili powders and beef stock left from another project. I cut the kernels off a couple of cobs of sweet corn off thinking it a nice colorful filler for the peppers. It did go in there eventually but as a part of a black bean salsa. While the pork cooked down I drained the beans and chopped some green onions and red and green jalapenos. That was all tossed with chopped tomatoes in rice vinegar with cumin, salt, and pepper.
So… I could have gone with the pork and cheeses as a filler for the peppers and have the salsa as a side, or used the pork and cheeses with the salsa as filler in the peppers, but that wouldn’t have looked like much alone on a plate. I knew I had corn tortillas so I opted for the menu as you see it. The filling is the salsa with cream and cotija cheeses, with Monterey jack on top. The tacos have the pork, cotija, lettuce, onions, chopped peppers, and tomatoes with a drizzle of taco sauce from a jar.
I bet TaMara is pulling her hair out reading this “recipe”. LOL!
Our cherry tomatoes are doing great. I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon. I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day. Unlike the BLTs:Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches. This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.
Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back. They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far. Of course they all start out green. The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks. This is the first time we have had luck growing dill. Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it. I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.
Thin sliced bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted, topped with my homemade mozzarella, a slice of my patio grown San Marzano tomato, and fresh basil. That’s kosher salt on that basil leaf, not some kind of scaly bug! LOL These are a few caprese bites I tried with balsamic glaze. Pretty good stuff.
I noticed a Goldfinch working a sunflower yesterday so I grabbed a few shots. I realized a little later that the flower he is on is the same one I photographed a week ago:Those sunflower have been a real gold mine over the years, providing some of my all time favorite photographs, like this winter shot of finches gleaning from the dry bones of the previous season’s crop:I can easily understand why finches love these flowers, the seeds are a great source of food for them. I bet this hummingbird was disappointed, though:
The Anaheim peppers are doing great out on the patio and I needed to do something with them. They seemed big enough for stuffing and a search for a recipe turned up this one. She used mozzarella but I thought Monterey jack would work. The six minute parboil worked fine. Grill chicken breasts and shred them for the stuffing mix, the cream cheese acts as a binder. I didn’t have any green onions, should have chopped some chives but didn’t.I wish I had shredded the chicken a little better but it worked out OK. I had enough to stuff six peppers. These went into a 375 oven and I looked at them after 15 minutes – there was just a hint of brown on an edge or two so I cranked the oven to 500 and kept a close watch, removing them after about 5 additional minutes.Her mole recipe would have been fine, I guess, but I know my ancho sauce recipe so I used it. Simmer some dried ancho or similar chilies in a cup or two of water or broth and let them steep, then puree them with the liquid in a blender when they are cool. I pushed mine through a sieve to remove any skin bits or seeds and poured it back into a saucepan. In a skillet sweat half an onion with garlic, oregano, ground cumin, black pepper and salt then add to the chilies along with a splash of fresh lime juice and a tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer until thick.I plated them atop a bed of Spanish rice along with refried beans, guacamole, and sour cream. These were very good!
St Francis broke ground on a new building the other day. The dog in the floppy hat is named Zeus and has a nice story. He had a slight limp on the day he was rescued from a kill shelter but that limp soon turned into a severe problem where he couldn’t even walk. About all he could do is wag his tail but that was enough for the staff at St Francis. He was fostered by a physiotherapist and got the whole rehab treatment including sessions in a pool. He made steady progress and a year later he gets around pretty well. They aren’t sure what the malady was but they assume it was distemper.We keep parsley in a couple of containers on the patio – one for garnishing and one for the swallowtail caterpillars that just love the stuff. I saw a caterpillar acting strange the other day but didn’t think much of it until I noticed that he had changed into a chrysalis.The little silk band is all that holds him to the stalk. I knew very little about the life cycle other than caterpillar>[magic happens]>butterfly! Here is a very short time lapse Youtube video of the process. If I’m lucky I’ll get some photos when the butterfly emerges.Moar kittehs! The batch of sauerkraut I mentioned starting last month is finished. It worked great with beef sausages and fried potatoes for dinner yesterday. The mason lid fermentation airlock gizmo worked well:We’ve been streaming Scandal through Netflix and we like the show so far. Here Mrs J shares a little ice cream with Bitsy:This post needs more sammiches!Pulled pork with slaw and a nice bbq sauce. On the side is what the Kroger deli calls baked potato salad. Good stuff!Filet of fish with slaw and tartar sauce. The sauce is doubly dill, it has dill pickle relish and dill weed in with the mayo, and lemon juice, horseradish, onions, and chopped parsley. Hushpuppies and baked beans round out the meal. Beenie Weenies!
I had a hard time picking the top photo for this post. There are so many to chose from, difficult to pick a favorite. I had to cull my photos down from about 200. What follows are what I felt were the best.
I took photos from several angles of this installation and there wasn’t a bad side. LOL. I’m hoping this is one of the pieces that is going to remain a permanent part of the Gardens.
The photo just doesn’t do this one justice. A stunning piece in the native grasses. Click on any photo to see full sized and uncompressed.
The ribeye was seasoned with salt and pepper and left to come to room temperature before grilling, the asparagus marinated in olive oil, balsamic glaze, minced garlic, and lemon juice. The potatoes were tossed with oil, garlic, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. I started the potatoes first in one of those perforated veggie grilling trays, then the steaks went on, and finally the asparagus for a quick grilling while the steaks were resting.Mrs J made the caprese salad using our cherry tomatoes and basil. We didn’t have a really good. fresh mozzarella but what we did have worked well enough.