Thursday, June 11, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well the second year of the vegetable garden is well on it's way. We planted some beans that were saved from last year (we'll see which varieties they are as I couldn't remember and the color was out of the dried pods - hopefully a few purples were in there). New this year we added sugar snap peas. I hope they turn out as I LOVE snap peas and hope that will convince Monkey to eat them if he can just pick them off the vine.

Three different tomatoes (of course I don't remember what they are but I picked some with shorter growing days so we will hopefully get a few this year - update: "Sweet Baby Girl" cherry tomato, "Dona" Salad tomato - French Market hybrid - medium sized" and "Yellow Perfection" salad tomato - 3" yellow. All are 75 days. So far in this heat they are very happy - crossing fingers). They are all from Langley Farms on Vashon (just up the street from Kingfisher Cabin) but bought at Swanson's Nursery.

In addition, we planted some yellow zuchinni - different variety than last year. We'll see how it goes over.

To top it off I got a teensy arugula start from a neighbor and planted my "Great Sunflower Project" sunflowers (a little late but they've sprouted). Hopefully, I'll get to count me some bees this year - last year nothing came up.

We also have a few strawberry volunteers that wintered over and spread themselves around - and the alpine strawberries made it too. I was surprised since we lost so many other plants in the big freeze. They are starting to ripen and hopefully we'll get to them before the slugs and bugs! I used some of Monkey's blocks to hold them off the ground - it's working!

I can't wait for everything to take off like it did last year and it will be fun to make this right out of the garden.

What are you growing?? Any tips for snails?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tommy Boy

Here's a link to my latest pick (#2 Get Serious). It was changed up a bit by my editor . . . I did not write that facial hair line! And here were the silly titles I suggested :) Sometimes I can't pick one so I give a few - alas, none were picked. Tommy Boy amused me . . . but you can't win `em all.

Tommy Boy
Pie Perfection
Serious as a Heart Attack

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms, Onions & Tomatoes

I know, I know - more spinach - but I really wanted to share a new family favorite (no, Monkey won't try it yet but I know he'd like it). So really I guess that's 2 out of 3 which ain't too bad.

So here goes (all amounts are approximate).

You'll need:

For the pesto:
2+ cups of pre-washed spinach leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1 T nutritional yeast (optional - or some grated cheese like parmigiano or pecorino)
olive oil
(food processor)

For the rest:

Pasta of your choice (we use whole wheat penne)
10+ mushrooms (we used crimini) sliced
1/2 large yellow onion or whole small one (sweet onions are good too!)
1-3 garlic cloves minced
bunch of cherry tomatoes (halved)

While cooking the pasta saute the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Add tomatoes for last minute of cooking (or add after pasta is assembled if you don't want them cooked at all).

To assemble the pesto:

Put the spinach, walnuts, garlic, yeast in the food processor - stream olive oil while blending to desired consistency.

When pasta and veggies are done - combine pasta, veggies and pesto - adjust seasonings and serve. It's good room temperature as well.

Optional - top with some roasted pine nuts