June 30, 2013

Garden Update: Day 126 and Day 128

This past Friday, was day 126.  I watered my garden before work and I loved the way the sun was hitting the plants.  It looked so pretty and vibrant so I had to take some pictures.

I checked my big boy tomatoes and a few really tiny tomatoes.  :)  The pictures didn't turn out.  :(

Blooms from the squash and zucchinis.......

My marigolds doing really well with more flowers getting ready to pop.  These marigolds I grew myself from seeds.  Next year, I think I will grow several pots of marigolds from seeds.  :)

Today, is day 128.  I woke up this morning to a thunderstorm with a torrential down pour.  The good thing was that I didn't have to water my plants.  I knew they would be well watered with the rain.  After I finally got up (I love sleeping in the rain) I decided to see how the plants were doing.

Here's a picture right after the fresh rain....

Looks like I have a zuke and some squash ready for harvest.

I then checked on my big boy tomatoes.  My pictures I took on Friday were blurry so I took some pictures of them today.  They are a little bigger than they were on Friday.

There are a couple on there.

And there are many tomato blossoms on there too.  Here's one.  :)

I picked my veggies and then washed them.  This makes zucchini number 3 and this is squash numbers 2 and 3.  :)  Now I need to incorporate them into dinner in the coming days.  I'm on stay-cation all this week so I'm sure I will think of something fantastic to do with them and if we can't use them I will give them away to neighbors.

Inside......my grape tomatoes and red pepper plant is doing great.

I have many peppers and pepper blossoms.  :)

Here's my favorite clump of grape tomatoes.  There are 3 together here.  I have several others scattered about in different sizes among the plants.

This week, I'm going to plant something I've been wanting to plant for a while and I'm excited to do it.  I saved the seeds from this particular item.  I have 2 varieties of this item.  You will have to wait to see what I'm planting.  :)  Right now, I'm trying to decide that once I plant if I want to have the seeds start inside or outside.  Decisions, Decisions.....  Stay Tuned!  :)

June 27, 2013

Roasted Potatoes, Chicken, Zucchini and Green Peppers

For dinner tonight I wanted to use my homegrown potatoes and my homegrown zucchini.  

Here's my 7 potatoes I harvested.

Here's my 2nd zuke, I've harvested so far this season.

I decided to make a simple dish that I've made several times.  This time I would use my own potatoes I grew  and I would add in my zucchini.  

This is Roasted potatoes, chicken, zucchini and green peppers.

I baked on 350 degrees for about an hour.  I occasionally stirred everything on the pan to make sure everything stayed coated.

You will need:

Chicken breasts
2 green peppers
3 to 5 potatoes
1 zucchini
black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
parsley flakes
olive oil
parmesan cheese (optional)

First, I baked my chicken breasts in my pampered chef baker.  While the chicken was cooking I washed my veggies and cut them into small pieces.  Once the chicken was done I cut the chicken up and then added everything to a foil lined cookie sheet.  I then added some black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley flakes, salt and olive oil.  Then I mixed it all around on the cookie sheet making sure everything was well coated.  I baked on 350 degrees for about an hour.  I would check it every 15 minutes or so and just stir everything around on the cookie sheet.  Serve hot.  You can also sprinkle on some parmesan cheese if you'd like.  It was delicious and I was so happy to eat my veggies that I grew.  :)

June 26, 2013

Garden Update: Day 124

We got hit pretty hard by a severe thunderstorm this afternoon with heavy rains and gusty winds.  I get home later to find that some of the plants were knocked over.  :(

I walked around the garden to the other side and saw my tomato and flower plants on their sides.  Oh no!! :(

I cleaned everything up and made sure the plants were okay.  Everything is nice and pretty again.  :)

I then checked my squash and zucchini to see the growth progress.  

Here's some squash.....

I now have 4 zukes on the plant.  :)

More zukes....Can you spot them?

Speaking of zukes.......A friend (Sam) of mine from work brought in some zucchini from her garden that she had an abundance of.  She let me have one and now I'm excited to make something with it.  These zukes were the biggest I'd ever seen.  Sam told me that everything she grows ends up being really big.  LOL  I just couldn't believe how big this zuke was.  It's like a newborn baby.  ahahahaha

I propped him up on my zucchini pot with my recent zucchini laying next to it.

Here's another picture of the 2 zucchinis...

And here's one more.  I put a regular fork next to both for size comparison.

June 24, 2013

Garden Update: Day 122

So, while watering my plants this morning I noticed some tiny little grape tomatoes.  YEY!!  The first grape tomatoes.  :)  It's just so exciting seeing something you've grown.  :)

In the picture you can see 3 of the little tomatoes.  On another tomato plant more towards the top there is 1 by itself.  :)  They are all so cute.  I can't wait to see how many tomatoes I get.

It got pretty hot here this afternoon in Virginia.  When I got home from work, all the plants (outside) were very thirsty so I gave them all a big drink and they fluffed right back up within minutes.  Whew!

I checked on my zucchinis.  I have 2 smalls ones now and then the bigger one looks like it grew a ton overnight.  LOL I felt it was ready to be picked and he snapped right off.

So far this season I've harvested 2 zucchinis, 1 squash and 7 potatoes.  :)

June 23, 2013

Blueberry Cookies

This past Wednesday I got some Farm Fresh Blueberries from the Farmers Market.  I used a few last night in our dinner.  I made homemade pancakes.  :)

I wanted to make something with the rest of the blueberries.  I thought about making cookies and put 'blueberry cookies' in the search bar and got a ton of hits.  I just then had to decide which one to use.  I clicked on a couple and there was some recipes calling for things I didn't have.  Like almonds, cream cheese or lemons.  Then I found this recipe.  It seemed easy enough and I had everything I needed to make them.

First you mix up your cookie batter then add your freshly washed blueberries.

I mixed the blueberries in with my hand mixer until they were mixed in.  The batter turned a light purple.  :)

Then I scooped onto a pam spray cookie sheet.  I add some cinnamon sugar to the top of 6 of them just to see how they would turn out.

Bake on 350 degrees for 10 to 15 min.  I used my cake tester to make sure they were done all the way through.  

And they are delicious.  They are nice and fluffy and soft.  YUMMY!

To make:

*2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
*1 cup packed brown sugar
*1/4 cup white sugar
*1 egg
*1 tsp vanilla extract (I of course used my homemade vanilla extract)
*2 cups, plus 3 tbsp flour  (I use all purpose)
*3/4 tsp baking powder
*1/3 tsp baking soda (is there even a 1/3 tsp??  I just filled my 1/2 tsp up half way)
*1 tsp salt
*1 cup of blueberries (I didn't measure my berries, I threw all of them in)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pam spray your cookie sheets or line with baking paper.

Beat your butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg and vanilla extract until well blended.

In a small bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a fork until well incorporated.

Slowly add the dry mix into your wet mix until all is blended.

Mix in your washed blueberries.

Scoop batter onto cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until your cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.  

Place them on a cooling rack and let them cool.  Then enjoy.  :)  These were a hit!  :)

Homegrown potatoes grown from an actual potato

Yes, you can grow a potato from a potato and I have PROOF.  I got this idea from Pinterest that took me here.  I also found on youtube that you can just put the whole potato in the ground and the potato plants will grow from that too.  So, you don't have to cut the roots off if you don't want to.  Potatoes will still grow.

Here is the potato growth from the beginning to the end.  :)  Enjoy!

DAY 1:

I saw my store bought potatoes had eyes growing on them.  I was mad because I had just bought them recently.  After seeing the pin on pinterest about growing potatoes from potatoes I figured I would try with some of these to see if it actually worked.

I cut off the roots on some of the potatoes.

I planted them in a small pot with some container soil.  Roots should be facing up.

Potatoes covered with soil and they were watered every day.

DAY 15:

Little green leaves poking through.

DAY 20:

I moved the potato plants into another container since more plants were poking up.  I wanted to give them more room so they could grow.

Here's all the potato plants in pots.  One of the stems broke on a plant and I ended up putting it in my compost pile b/c it did die.  The plants can easily be broken.  You have to be very gentle with them.

DAY 26:

The plants kept on growing.  They got plenty of sunshine and water daily.

DAY 33:

4 Potato plants (2 in each container)

I decided to re-pot b/c I felt they needed more room.  All 4 in the big container together.

DAY 40:

Look at how tall they've gotten.

I re-potted them in the biggest pot I had.

Unfortunately, 1 potato plant snapped while I was re-potting.  :(  Ah well you win some and you lose some.

DAY 48:

More growth.

DAY 63:

The potato plants at this point had gotten pretty tall and were leaning.  I had moved them outside because it was warm enough with no more frosts.  I needed something to stake the potatoes with.  I had two wooden stakes that blocked our driveway from when it was resurfaced and as soon as I saw them I knew they would work.

The wooden stakes were perfect and just what I needed to do the job.  I tied the plants to the stakes and sadly one snapped in half leaving me with just 2 potato plants.  But that's okay, I can work with 2.  :)

DAY 78:

Potato plants thriving and a beautiful rich green color.

DAY 103:

Just a close up on the leaves and the tiny blossoms.

DAY 111:

My plan this morning was to dig up the potato plants to see if there were any potatoes.

Here's the potato plants.  Some dead leaves.

I removed the wooden stakes and dumped out the container and then put my hand in and crushed some of the soil to discover.....


I found 7 in total ranging in different sizes.

All washed and clean.  How awesome is that?  You can grow actual potatoes from potatoes.  I can't wait to eat these homegrown potatoes that I GREW!!!!  :)

A close up of the soil in the compost pile.

I will clean up my container, stakes and gloves so they can be reused.