September 14, 2014

Garden Update: Week 30

Week 30........

Here's my container garden this morning.

I cleaned up dead plants and I swept off the deck real good.  I also cleaned the marbles from the bee station.  I refilled with some clean water and set it on the deck steps for the bees.  I'll probably clean them real good and then let them dry and store them in the shed until next spring.

Here's the garden now.  Only 4 plants still thriving.  

eggplant (with 3 eggplants)
lavender  (I re-potted into a bigger container)
rose bush

Produce Stand 9/11

On Thursday, morning I was running a few errands before work.  I needed some peppers for dinner that night for my homemade general tsos chicken.  I also wanted to get a onion, tomato and some zucchini so then I wouldn't have to stop at a farm market over the weekend.  I stopped off at the park near work to see if any of the farm vendors there had what I needed.

The main farmer that I like didn't have any zukes.  The other farmer at the park that had zukes only took cash so I couldn't get them.  Oh well.

I got:

4 potatoes
3 green peppers

I spent $6.30 on everything.

(I'd already chopped up and used the peppers before I took this picture of my haul).

I got 5 squash from a friend at work.  YAY!!  Free squash!!  :)

I didn't make it to a market over the weekend.  :(  So, when I was at the grocery store yesterday I went ahead and got some onions and some zukes so I wouldn't have to stop anywhere else.

September 8, 2014

New Things Monday

For New Things Monday, I discovered Jif Whips!  I had a Target Cartwheel coupon for 20% off the limited edition Pumpkin Pie Spice Whips or Maple Brown Sugar Whips.  As soon as I saw the pumpkin pie spice whip I knew I wanted to try it.  PUMPKIN is ALL THE THINGS!!  :)

Doesn't look very appealing but who cares.

Sometimes a spoonful of peanut butter makes everything better.  I got a spoon and dug in to taste.  It's not bad.  There isn't really that much pumpkin to me.

My BFF got the maple brown sugar whips (b/c her store was out of the pumpkin pie spice) and she hates it.  She said it is not good at all.

I also got the PB and Chocolate Whips.  And..............drum roll please.......Let me just ask where has this been all my life?  Oh that's right...on the shelf all along just waiting for me to grab it.  haha  
Now, I was warned to stay away from the chocolate one and for good reason.  This stuff is addicting.  My husband, is even obsessed with it.  It's like frosting.  So yummy.

September 7, 2014

Garden Update: Week 29

It's garden update time....week 29.

Here's what my garden looks like right now.

I decided to go ahead and do some cleaning up earlier in the week and I harvested all the peppers.

Here's my harvest.  Peppers, and tomatoes.

Cute little peppers.  These peppers have already been chopped up and added to dished I cooked.

The purple on is my favorite.

I gave the chili peppers to my friend, Melissa and I have the 3 tomatoes in the kitchen window sill to hopefully ripen.

A tiny bee on basil flowers.

I have 2 eggplants.  This guy is really tiny....think thumb size.

This is the other eggplant.  It's bigger and will probably be ready in a week or so.

I cleaned up a bunch of dead plants while doing my fall clean up the other day.

I noticed my sunflowers that I thought were dead and tiny little sunflowers that had grown in.

So cute, so I left them.  :)

They look so much different than the others that grew in this pot.  

My gardening gloves in the grass.  (yes the grass needs a cut but that's the hubby's chore)

Here's some pots after I took the dead plants out.  I dumped the soil out.  I still need to wash out the pots real good and go through the ones that are broken etc.  That I will do when it's cooler out.  Seems Virginia is having a Indian Summer right now.

This morning, I watered everything.  As I was turning off the hose I looked at my container garden.  It's much smaller than what it used to be.  I've harvested so much over these last 29 weeks.

I found this cute flower (weed?) while going back onto the deck.  I'm not sure what it is but it's pretty and it's PURPLE!  :)

That's about it for week 29.

Oh I did draw a diagram for the start of my greenhouse area.

The circle with the heart is where my heart is buried.  (my kitty son)  The black squared off area is currently where there is grass and where my oops garden was.  The oops garden is done.  I've gotten rid of the tomato plants and the spaghetti squash that was growing there.  The area is marked around with wood.  I would like to leave the wood as long as there's no termite damage happening.  I want to clean out the area, tiller it (I hear you can rent a tiller) and put fresh clean soil down.  I want to plant stuff in here eventually.  I'm thinking maybe some corn stalks and a row sunflowers???  Still deciding.  In front right corner, I want that to be where we build my greenhouse with a cement floor.  If I don't put it in front then I will put it on the other side of wood back further into the squared off area.  Not sure what would be best.  We'll see.  I just wished I could wiggle my nose and have it done already.  :)

Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese

This is what I had for dinner tonight.........Spaghetti Squash Mac n Cheese with broccoli and chicken.  I got the idea from this blogger.

It was meh.  :(  My husband was okay with it but he said it needed more cheese.  He loves his cheese.  It was okay and we still ate it.  (no wasting food in this house)  It's not something I will try to make again anytime soon though.  I felt it was hard to mix everything together because the spaghetti squash just clumps up so easily.

Here's a picture.  (I sprinkled a little bit more cheese on top after I took out of oven)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I used:

chicken breast (baked, serve on side or chop up and add to dish)
cheddar cheese (reduced fat)
red pepper flakes
parsley flakes
almond milk (unsweetened)

I baked the chicken breasts earlier so I just heated up what I needed for dinner.    I also roasted a spaghetti squash.  Not sure how to cook spaghetti squash?  You can read how here.  
Once spaghetti squash is done take a fork and scrape the 'spaghetti' out of the shell and put into a big bowl.  Add the cheese, milk, and seasonings.  Then mix in your broccoli.  (Add cubed chicken if you're mixing that in)  I put everything in my pampered chef baker (without lid).  I sprinkled some cheese on top.  Then I popped the baker into the oven until everything seemed baked and the cheese was melted.  (half an hour or so)

If I was to make this again, I would try mixing in more cheese, butter, onion and some minced garlic.

You win some and you lose some.  But it's still fun to try cooking up new things.  This does need a redo so one day I might try to make it again and make it better.

Pumpkin and Banana Ice Cream

I felt like making something else with pumpkin yesterday.  I found a pin for a blog with Clean Eating Pumpkin Ice Cream.  Sounds good eh?  The recipe was easy enough and I had everything I needed.  

I made it but things didn't go so well.  I'll explain.

First you have to slice up and freeze 4 bananas.  I did that in the morning.  The blogger says to freeze overnight.  Mine were frozen pretty good by the evening.  So, I put the frozen banana slices into my mini food processor to blend.  WARNING:  I guess the mini isn't good for things like this.  :(  
It burned out just as most of the bananas were done blending.  I had to use my blender to finish blending and now my mini is in the trash.  :(

I used:

4 frozen sliced bananas
1 cup pumpkin
sugar free syrup
almond milk unsweetened (optional)
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Once everything was blended here's what it looked like.  You are supposed to put in a freezer safe container and freeze 24 hours.

I pulled it out this afternoon (24 hours later) and it's as hard as a rock.  I wanted creamy.  BOO!!!  
I microwaved for a minute and then put in fridge.

I was finally able to scoop some ice cream out.

It's good but not my favorite.  I could take it or leave it.

I don't know why the bananas have to be frozen before you blend???  I would think you could blend them up while they are soft.  I'm thinking if I try making this again then I will mix in some homemade vanilla extract, and maybe some cinnamon too.  We'll see.

Sunday Frittata

I threw together a frittata yesterday afternoon.  I baked it up and we had some for lunch today.  I told my husband he can have some for breakfast or take some slices to go for lunches till it's gone.  I had eggs I needed to use up and a frittata is the best way to use up those eggs.  And you don't need a crust so you save calories on that.  :)

Looks how delicious it is.

It's so yummy.  You can eat your slice with a dollop of fat free sour cream or eat it plain.

Up close and personal.  :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I used:

eggs (I used 10)
2 bell peppers (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
bacon bits
andouille sausage (chopped)
minced garlic
parsley flakes
red pepper flakes
ginger (by accident....but it works well)

You can add all of your 

sour cream (optional for when you eat it)

Mix everything up together real good and pour into your pam sprayed pie dish.  I put bake pie dish on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about an hour or until it's set and toothpick comes out clean.  I did put my metal pie plate ring around the edges once I saw the edges were done cooking.