May 26, 2014

Garden Update: Week 15 (Part 1)

I checked over my garden this afternoon.  I wanted to check for squash bugs and eggs.  I didn't find any.

I moved the cucumber leaves off the ground and under the leaves I found a cucumber.  This cucumber is bigger than the other one I have on the plant.  YAY!!  :)

I also discovered this black jumping spider on the outside of the cucumber pot.  I didn't squish the spider because it was carrying a DEAD squash bug.  :)  So, this spider gets to stay.  He/She is protecting my plants.

Here's my first beef steak tomato up close.

Marigolds from farmers market.

Harley was waiting and watching me on the deck tending to my container garden.  He looks like he's getting sleepy.  :)

No Bake Energy Peanut Butter Balls

I'm on pinterest a lot when I have some free time.  I love it when I find an easy recipe for foods where I have all the ingredients on hand.  I can make what I find without spending any money.  Win, Win!

I came across PB Energy Balls from  I thought this sounded good to make for Nate so he'd have a go-to snack that would give him some energy when he needed it.  Especially, after a run or at work when he's getting tired. The recipe for the energy balls seemed easy enough so I figured I would give it a try.  I didn't have all the ingredients listed so I used what I had and made it my own.

I used:

1/2 cup of reduced fat peanut butter
1/3 cup local raw honey
tsp homemade vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1 cup of oats
chocolate chips  (eyeballed it)
peanut butter chips (eyeballed it)
craisins (eyeballed it)
sliced almonds (eyeballed it)

I mixed together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.  Mine was kinda dry so I added a little water and then it turned smooth.  :)
I then added the cup of oats and some chocolate/pb chips, craisins and sliced almonds.  

Mix until combined.  Here's what it will look like.

I then covered and put in the fridge for about an hour.  After an hour, I brought them out and then 
rolled the mixture into balls.  

These are a hit!  The best part is you can make them to your liking by adding whatever you want.

Nate absolutely loved these.  He wants me to make some more this week.

I put them in a tupperware container and keeping them in the fridge.

Baking mood

I actually have off today for Memorial Day.  I felt like doing some baking with my new hand mixer.  My purple one broke months ago and I got a new hand mixer in a coral color.  I've only used it once on mashed potatoes.  Gosh it's been a while since I baked anything.  This new mixer has more of a kick than my last mixer and you need a big deep bowl to mix your dough or else it will fly everywhere.  I learned that when I made mashed potatoes.  LOL

I made my homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Here's the cookie dough all mixed up.

I baked them and here's the first tray right out of the oven.

I always leave them on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute before I remove them.

I then move the cookies to a cooling rack and I let them cool completely before I put them in a container.

I of course had to get some good cookie shots.

My husband got to eat these and he said "Hell yes, I get the picture cookies".  :)

While I was baking this morning, Harley enjoyed soaking up the sunshine at the back door.

May 25, 2014

Garden Update: Week 14 (Part 2)

It's time for a garden update.  I know you're excited!  :)  

This is part 2 of week 14.  I did part 1 on Monday.

I harvested pods 16, 17 and 18 on Wednesday.  MMMMMMM

This morning, I picked pods 19, 20 and 21.  These are small.

One pod had 3 peas and the others had 2 peas each.

On Friday, just when I was about to pull one of my potato pots aside to dump out I noticed a sprout.  
YAY!  It's really small but it's in there.  Do you see it?

I also saw my shadow while out watering plants so I took this picture.  :)

Here's my garden this morning after everyone got a drink.  I got up later than normal this morning and when I went to water my plants they were pretty much wilted and begging for a drink.  They are happy here.

I did get rid of the peas and the experiment lettuce.  The peas aren't growing and the lettuce was dead.

My sunflowers are still growing.  I had them near the squash plants and read on pinterest that they shouldn't be near potatoes.  They were probably far enough away from the potatoes but I figured I would move them on the other side of the deck to be safe.  
Then I read today that sunflowers should be near squash plants to protect them from bugs. So, I might move the plants around again tomorrow.  We'll see.

I can't wait to see this beauty when it's done growing.

Here's my marigolds I got yesterday at the farmers market.

The eggplant has new leaf growth.  I picked the 2 dead leaves that was on it.

Here's one of my lettuce plants.  Looks like it's time to pick some.

Here's the fresh lettuce I picked.  I'm thinking a small side salad is in order tomorrow with dinner.  I'm making spaghetti squash.

This evening I did some cleaning up of old dead leaves and just checked the plants over.  I moved a few plants around.  I had a tiny bit of soil left so I went around to pots and gave the ones 
that needed it some more soil.  :)

The carnival squash seem to be doing well since I put them outside this past Monday.  I decided to move the watermelon out this evening too.  I need to get some more pots and soil before I can repot it though.

I don't think this tomato plant is going to make it.  It got a lot of rain from the last downpour we got.  I figured it would dry out but it's not.  It looks like it might be getting some mold too.  The tomato blossoms that were on it are now dead.  It's very water logged.....I'll probably dump it one day this week.

Here's the potato plants this evening.

You can see the little sprout a little more today.  :)

Do you see my little cucumber?

I discovered him on Friday morning.  It's a little bigger than the size of my thumb.

While inspecting my squash plants this evening, I discovered squash bugs.  :(  I think I found 5 of them.  These are adults so there are probably eggs somewhere.  I found 4 of the bugs mating so maybe there aren't any eggs yet?  We'll see....I'm going to check tomorrow when the sun is out to see if there are eggs.  I did find one squash bug dead in the big potato plant pot.  Dead is good.  LOL

I grabbed a jar and collected them.  I picked them up (I had gardening gloves on) and dropped them in the jar.  This will be their new home and any friends that decide to step into my garden will join them.

I placed the jar next to the squash.

I have my first tomato on my beef steak tomato plant.  :)

Corner of deck.

I brought out my 2 pepper plants from inside and put them out.  I need to repot them ASAP.

Here's my garden this morning.  I stood in the corner behind the sunflowers and took picture.  I thought the angle was cute.

Inside I have a little pot with 2 sunflowers, my English peas, cherry tomatoes and aloe plant.

Here's the cherry tomatoes.  The tallest one has tiny little buds getting ready to pop.  After this picture was taken I pinched off some of the lower leaf growth.  This helps give you bigger tomatoes, tastier and healthier happy tomatoes.  :)

Here's a pea pod poking through the blind.  There's about 6 or 7 pods on the plant right now.  Not ready to be harvested yet.  By the middle to end of week they should be ready.  That might be all I get.

Oh, I stumbled across this clump of berries earlier today when I was grabbing grass bags to take to the dump.  I thought they were wild raspberries.  A neighbor told me they were poisonous strawberries.  I researched and found they are are called wood strawberries.  They are not poisonous and you can eat them but they have no flavor at all.  I'm just gonna leave them be.

May 24, 2014

Farmers Market 5/24

I went to the farmers market bright and early this morning so I could get my produce for the week.  I love just walking around and seeing all the fresh veggies, plants and flowers.

I had $20 cash to spend and I left with $2.50.  :)

Strawberries, sugar snap peas, baby potatoes, zukes and squash.

I'm so glad more and more produce is coming in each and every weekend.

I got 2 of these last weekend and they were awesome.  I only got 1 basket today.  And I already used them up for dinner tonight.  :)

Regular squash and zukes.

I leave a nice sturdy produce box in my car for my goodies b/c it's easier to travel home with them spread out in the box.  When not in use the box fits perfectly behind my seat with my market tote bag.

Here's everything I got.

marigold plant
5 red potaotes
sugar snap peas
radish bunch
baby zucchini
bonita squash
1 greenhouse tomato

Farm Fresh and locally grown.

Last week, I saw the radishes and knew I wanted to get some this weekend to try.  I tried one raw earlier and they have a kick to them.  I sliced some up and cooked it in dinner tonight.  The are good cooked with other veggies.

I was delighted to see freshly picked sugar snap peas!!  :)

Marigolds.....I couldn't leave them behind so I got this plant.

This past week, I signed up for a farmers market challenge.  It's a pledge that you will spend at least $10 per week at a local farmers market.  If you are in Virginia you can pledge too.  Why buy from a local farmers market?  It helps our farmers and it's food you feel good about eating.  Buy local!  :)