Monthly Archives: February 2016

Seedling Progress

Seedlings

This is the 6th person at my kitchen table right now!  More like the 5th and 6th person since it’s taking up more space.  Family meals have moved to the dining room full time.

Does my kitchen look cluttered, messy, disorganized?  Perhaps to the naked eye, not to me though.  I see baby seedlings ready to grow into full size plants soon and then bear fruits and vegetables all summer long.  I can’t wait!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Butterscotch Pudding

Butterscotch Pudding

Let me just say that I was not one of those children that grew up on pudding.  We didn’t have pudding for dessert every night.  I didn’t have a pudding cup packed in my lunch. Heck, I didn’t even pack a lunch.  I went to a school that was grades K4-8 all in one building and about 90% of us walked home for lunch.  In the snow and rain, not uphill.

I digress.  The boys eat lunch at school and see lots of foods I won’t let them have.  Pudding cups are one of them.  I’ve made several different puddings for them and it’s been popular.  They don’t get it often at all, so when they do it is a real treat.

Continue reading

Garden Season 2016

Let the gardening begin!  Last week right before we left town our seeds arrived and I was bummed not to have time to get the seedlings started.  Today I finally had the time to get things going.  Garden season 2016 has officially begun and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am!

I look forward to the first asparagus popping up through the dirt.  The first spring lettuces.  Don’t even get me started on the tomatoes, fresh off the vine and straight into my mouth.

  
We are a little behind schedule this year.  Normally our seedlings would have been started in early February.  Life and it’s chaos got in the way this year!  At least we still have plenty of time, we aren’t that late.

The hardest part is going through the seed catalogs and deciding what to get.  I want so much, I couldn’t possibly plant it all.  Eventually it comes down to what we will eat the most and is practical for us.  The things I don’t use as often I can still buy at the farmer’s market.  

  
Tomatoes, that is my biggest challenge.  I love them the most and there are so many varieties.  They are all so different and used for different things.  Cherry and grape tomatoes are perfect for snacks and salads.  Then you have slicing tomatoes, canning tomatoes, sauce tomatoes…  Sometimes I just can’t control myself.  I showed great restraint this year and narrowed it down to six varieties.

Generally we try something new every year too.  Last year it was eggplant but it didn’t do too well.  I’m trying again this year and hoping for the best.  We also have orange cauliflower, okra and a few other vegetables we haven’t had great success with.  

Josh is planning on removing a couple more trees by the garden so hopefully I’ll get another row to accommodate my large selection of seedlings!  Last year the tomatoes were out of control and bent all the cages so we need a new staking system for them as well.

  
So anyway, back to my seedlings for this year.  It’s a pretty simple process and there are many ways to do it.  I like to fill my containers with the soil and then get to work.  I cut skewers short enough that they will fit with the lid once it’s on.  Then I put washi tape on the stick and write the name of the plant.  This is what works for me, everyone is different. You just need to make sure you mark your plants well because once they sprout they all look alike for a while!

I use the skewer sign to dig a little hole and then drop in a couple seeds, fill it back up and mark the row with the sign.  Once the tray is done water it and cover.  Sit back and in just a few days you will usually start to see something sprouting.  It is so incredibly exciting, the boys love it too.

  
It is well worth sacrificing my kitchen table for 4-6 weeks to have fresh produce right out my door all summer!  Eventually the trays get moved to the porch when it warms up a little more.  I also plan on doing another tray later.  It’s nice to have a second crop of tomatoes later in the summer.  Living in the South we have a very long growing season!

I highly recommend planting a garden, especially if you have children.  It is an invaluable lesson for them to see their food growing from seed to final product.  My children will go to the garden and eat right there.  Sometimes it may be a weed they are eating, but it’s something green!  They love watching the carrots grow and digging them up, eating them before they wash the dirt off.  Usually tomato phobic, they will eat yellow pear or grape tomatoes straight from the garden.  

  
If you want your children to eat well this is the best thing you can do for them.  Space can be an issue, not everyone has room for a biG garden.  There are plants that grow well in pots and would do well on a balcony or other small space.  This year I got eggplant, tomatoes and even a watermelon that are supposed to do well in pots.

Stay tuned and you’ll see plenty of garden progress.  It’s kind of like taking pictures of newborn children, I get so excited and can’t help myself!

  

Hazelnut and Caramelized Onion Potatoes

Hazelnut and Caramelized Onion Potatoes

This is a recipe I’ve been planning on posting for some time now.  The biggest thing holding me back was the fact that the dish just isn’t photogenic.  I’ve decided I don’t care anymore and think it’s worth sharing.

The original recipe is from The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook.  It was served at an inn in Virgina.  I would have guessed Oregon since they grow a good amount of hazelnuts, shows what I know!

I never would have thought to add hazelnuts to potatoes if I hadn’t seen the recipe. People add pecans into sweet potato casseroles so why not hazelnuts in with some red potatoes?!  Besides, any excuse to cook with Frangelico works for me!

Continue reading

In My Kitchen – February 2016

Is the first month of the year really over already? In some ways it flew by and in others it dragged a little. I suppose that means it’s time for another In My Kitchen post.  Thanks again to Maureen for hosting this wonderful monthly get together.  As always it has been rather busy in our kitchen. This time around I’m not starting off with new kitchen items or food, but with my two budding sous chefs.

All three boys have always been by my side in the kitchen. They help, they eat while I try to cook….they are a constant in my kitchen. To help them along with their cooking skills I decided to let each of them have their own brunch. They would get to plan it and help cook.

Jack was first. For his meal he picked cauliflower crusted quiche (bacon, cheddar and broccoli) and a fruit crisp with crushed snickerdoodles on top (thanks Celia for the idea). Let’s just say it was pretty popular and Jack did well helping prepare the meal. He also enjoyed bossing his brothers around since he was the head child chef! The lesson on opening a bottle of bubbly was also a hit, especially when the cork hit the light fixture.

JacksBrunch

Continue reading