Category Archives: Garden

Dill Potato Salad

I have a nice bit of dill coming on out on the herb bench so I took some and made a nice potato salad.  It won’t be long before it starts going to seed or some critter starts munching on it so I’ll be looking at some more dill recipes.  Dill buttered fish sounds good!  Dill butter!I think I cut the potatoes to big and the eggs too small but I do have plenty of dill.  For some reason I followed the recipe directions and boiled the potatoes whole instead of cutting them up first and then boiling them.  There may be a good reason for the former method over the latter but I don’t see it.  Leaching out the nutrients, maybe?


Seed Packet Said Peppers

I spent a good deal of time this week rearranging and preparing the raised beds. So of course Bixby and Bailey had to add their paw prints to them. We are heading out to the local lumber store to buy some slats to complete the fence. So enjoy it while you can crazy ones. Enjoy it while you can. LOL


Mrs J adds Russian Sage to her garden.  She has been looking for it a while and finally spotted a set at a big box store.More naan pizza!  These are closer to pitas than the last batch we bought and a bit smaller.  I made a white sauce with garlic and stirred in provolone to make it a mornay sauce for the base.  Chopped roast chicken was the main topping with Brussels sprout slices and a bit of balsamic glaze.  More cheese was sprinkled on before these went into the oven.They worked out very well.  I added some red pepper flakes and a grind of black peppercorns to mine.Some BLTs with my own homemade bacon.  Too early for fresh garden tomatoes so we went with some from the Kroger garden.More breakfast for dinner.  We love those little sausages.Kittehs!  These are two of our own kittehs – Ginger Boy and Ollie.

No Really, I’m Still Here and I’m Still Cooking: Sautéed Sausages and Pasta

I’ve been cooking up some great recipes almost daily, but finding the time to put together recipe posts has been difficult. And forget remembering to take photos. Pictured above is Easter dinner, which I did remember to snap. Mostly because as I went to cook the rib roast, I realized I have never transcribed my go-to recipe for this perfect rib roast. I will remedy that in the coming week.

We had snow today, so yesterday before I even sat down to work, I spent time cutting flowers for vases and covering up plants I didn’t want to lose. So there wasn’t a lot of time to think about dinner. Luckily, I had a few items in the frig that needed to be used, so first up for dinner:

Sautéed Sausages and Pasta

  • 1 lb sausage links – I used bratwurst this time, Italian sausages work great, too
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 oz dried spaghetti (works best with that, but if you have another style on hand, go for it)

skillet and saucepan

Slice sausages into 2 inch pieces.

Prepare pasta according to package directions, but drain when just Al Dente, you want it a bit under cooked, because it will continue to cook and soak up the sauce in the next step. Reserve the pasta water.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in skillet, reduce to medium-hi heat, add vegetables and saute until softened. Then add sausage pieces and brown. Reduce heat to medium and cover until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Once sausage is cooked through, add a ladle of pasta water to the pan to deglaze and create a sauce – add more as needed – and stir until well mixed and cook on medium high for a minute or two, reduce heat. Add drained pasta. Toss and let it all cook together on low for about 3-5 minutes to let the pasta soak up the sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if needed.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and salad.

Since it was going to be cold today, I decided soup would be a great idea. I made a traditional Potato Soup (recipe here) but since I had leftover carrots and potatoes from a pot roast earlier in the week, I blended those together with the milk, omitted the flour, and made the tastiest creamy soup base. The flavors were amazing and it was perfect for a cold snowy spring day.


A scene captured by one of the wildlife cameras.  Most of the time the results are pedestrian but now and again they are visually arresting.  Here, Katie is caught mid-stride during that magic minute at twilight.Here’s Gabe, caught on the same camera when there was a tad more ambient light.  Just enough to add a frosting to the grass and trees.Chili!  I cubed a flat iron steak for this recipe.  I’ve made it before with some success but this time I went too far with the cayenne and ancho chili powder.  Mrs J refused to eat it.  The next day I added a 28 oz can of tomato bits and a 15 oz can of tomato sauce to the leftovers and served it over elbow mac, only to have here opine that it was hotter thus than before.  Here it is marinating in a bowl along with a pound or so of my own garlic pepper sausage.I didn’t get a pic of the cherry tomatoes in my last post covering the patio garden, they are coming along well and have blossoms now.They always look so good early in the year!  The patio table acts as an overflow area.  I thinned the jalapenos and the serranos and couldn’t bring myself to let the runts dry out and die.  They struggle on in the small pots while they await planting, maybe in the bigger garden out back or into larger pots.  The cedar was rescued last year from under a deck where Mrs J grows a selection of hostas.  It turned brown over the winter and I thought it was gone but it greened back up this spring.  The larger brown pot has “sweet mint” in it.  Like all mints it will take over so I keep them segregated.


I have a few acres rented out to a local farmer.  He has bigger equipment that he uses on bottom land he farms but my small plots are hard to get to so he uses what he can get down a single lane gravel road.This is all the farming I care to do.  I found some flat leaf parsley, finally.  My herb bench is almost full but I still have an eye out for different stuff.Mrs J has been hard at it.  She has a lot more in different areas of the front garden.Breakfast for lunch!  Whoops!  Got some syrup on the bacon.  I guess I’ll just have to lick that off!Puppy!  This is one of a litter that a pregnant rescue just delivered.Bea takes a chance walking out over the back pond on a small downed tree.  I do note that she isn’t too far out on that limb.Haven’t had a cheeseburger for a while.  The slice of provolone was so big it melted into a puddle around the patty and started to scorch.  The sides are my usual baked beans, a loaded baked potato salad, and a vinegar slaw.  Every time I make slaw and have leftover red onion from some other use I decide to go ahead and put it in.  Every time I use red onions for slaw it bleeds purple and I wish I hadn’t done that.  The frugal in tension with the aesthetic.  Yeah, I’m a cheap-ass.Should be plenty of peppers to make another batch of my hot giardiniera.Here’s Ollie, laying out on Mrs J’s layout table.

Hummingbird Moth Pr0n


We’ve been busy browsing through the big box store parking lot displays for flowers and herbs.  The closest is Rural King, we always hit that one first because it is in the same frontage group as the Kroger store although we have occasionally been dismayed by their indifferent watering.  Lowe”s is head and shoulders better but it is several miles farther.

The two planters above are my cherry tomatoes, these are Bonnie’s Super Sweet 100s.The chives are growing from last year’s pot, the rest are new this year.  I’m having trouble finding flat leaf parsley.  I do have some growing that I found at Kroger in an in-store display of “grow your own herbs indoors”.  The rosemary is from that same display.  They are offered year-round in cute little pots and I transplanted those to get a head start.  Also on this bench are curly parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, dill, and basil.Mrs J has been busy, too.  She does the flowers – the herbs and veggies are my area.  Peppers of various sorts and tomatoes are the only veggies I care to tend – the Kroger garden is close enough for me.I have started with the mowing.  While going down an edge I spotted this snake in the dry leaves.  I can’t tell the head from the tail.  Literally. I’m no expert but I think it is getting ready to shed its skin.  It has the off-white sheen you see in shed skins but it obviously still has the snake in it.This bench has my peppers.  So far this year I have cayenne, serrano, two kinds of jalapeno, and habanero.On this third bench are a few I’m growing more for display than edibility.  Mrs J likes the tricolors, and there is one called Black Pearl that’s pretty.  I’m going to try a Thai pepper this year, and a hybrid called Dragon Cayenne.I have an ornamental peach tree that has had a hard go of it lately.  A wind storm last summer broke half of it off and of the remaining half, half died.  The late freeze hurt the buds that remained.Mrs J is just getting started,  She has a few perennials but she really goes for potted annuals.

Speaking Of Gardening

Brought these in just before the snow this week. My yard is full of bulbs and can’t wait for them to bloom.

A Little Garden News

Spring is happening and I couldn’t be happier. If you all remember I moved to my new house in July. When I first looked at it, it was mid-May and it was a whirlwind time. So it should come as no surprise that my spring garden holds many unknown treats for me. I’ve been enjoying each and every one  (yes, even the daylilies that will soon be removed). Here are few shots from this week:

First butterfly

Lots of bulbs, most of the greens are up, can’t wait to see what types and colors I have.

The strawberries appear to have survived the dogs. I have the bed fenced off, but Bixby seems to think that means it’s his own private playpen. Sigh.

Bleeding hearts that I will move to the rock garden as the weather warms up and I don’t risk losing it.

A few good days of rain (thank fully the snow stayed west and south) and my lilacs are ready to pop. There are over a dozen in my tiny yard and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

I’m plotting out the vegetable garden, but that’s a good month away….