Saturday, February 23, 2013

watch that garden grow.

has this ever happened to you?

you go for a head of garlic and realize that it's taken on a whole new personality.

usually i try to salvage what i can and compost the rest, but this time i decided to plant it!

i didn't get too fussy- just separated the cloves and kind of threw them in a pot and 
covered them up with dirt.
i figured they'd already started growing, so they probably didn't need much help.

 and, happily...they're growing like crazy!  i'm starting them inside because it's still a little too 
cold out on the porch...so they've set up camp in our guest room, next to our 
avocado tree...i cannot wait for some home-grown guacamole in a few years.

check out the progress!
this is about 3 weeks after planting... they grow so quickly!

so, adventures in container gardening...sort of.
stay tuned...hopefully we'll have some garlic recipes coming up soon!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

what we've been eating lately, and a new trick!

soups. lots of soups.
winter is for soup, people.
and so?  we eat soup.

something i like about soups is you really can't mess them up.  whatever you
happen to have on hand is most likely going to work perfectly.
add a few spices, and bam- you've got dinner for a week.

 case in point: a little while ago, i found myself with a large butternut squash that needed to be eaten,
as well as some apples which were getting a little mushy...so i gathered together some of the usual suspects, chopped everything up, put it in a pot and called it 'soup'.

 chop everything to about the same size, add it to a pot with some olive oil, and cook over medium-high 
heat until the toughest ingredient {for me, carrots} is tender enough to be pierced with a fork.

then, add about 2 or 3 cups of broth and bring to a boil {add more broth 
if you want it to thinner}. lower the heat to a simmer and add any spices you like.
this time, i loaded it up with indian spices: turmeric, madras curry powder, a little cayenne 
{it's good to keep things spicy}
cook until you feel that your flavors are melded {20 minutes?}...like i said, 
you really can't mess this up.

i chose to blend my soup, but i think it would be equally as good left chunky.  


we like to take soups to work for lunch...they're not too heavy, but they fill you up, and 
it's always nice to have something warm and homemade in the middle of the day.


do you like brussels sprouts?  i love them.  but i hate cabbage...irony.
anyway, we picked up some sprouts the other weekend- cut them in half, added
olive oil, garlic {you can even leave the cloves in the paper- they roast just as well}, salt and pepper, 
and roasted them at about 450 until they were soft and getting a little brown {about 20 minutes}.

 so. good!
for us, this made a meal...somehow these little things really fill you up.
but if you have more of an appetite, i think this would go really well as a side to 
roast chicken, or even a pasta tossed with fresh herbs, and a side of crusty bread.

try them, and let me know how you like them! 

so i did promise you a trick.

i have always wanted to learn how to throw pizza dough.
and you want to know something?  it's really not hard.
but it looks pretty impressive...so next time you have a dinner party,
throw some dough.  i think you'll have some impressed guests.


 the finished product: broccoli pizza with shrooms and mozz.
interesting combo, and pretty good!

and for something sweet, sometimes i like to make cinnamon buns.
{i used fannie farmer's recipe}

 happy eating, friends!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

lavender sachets.

 long story short: a few months ago, i found moth evidence in our closet.
i was so upset.  i mean, to me, moths are just dirty.
not to mention, the destruction they can do.

  i spent a good week clearing everything out, vacuuming, washing down shelves and floors, and then washing just about everything in the closet.  oy.

of course, once that was done i wanted to make sure that those ugly bugs didn't come back, so i started looking up moth remedies.  do you know how bad moth balls are for you?  google it sometime- it's crazy.  they're basically little balls of chemicals which emit fumes that moths hate.  that part is ok, but those fumes are super bad for non-moths too, so i had to think of something else.  

my father in law brought us a big piece of cedar wood, and j cut it down for me into tiny pieces that i stuffed into corners and under piles of jeans...so that helped {also i adore the smell of cedar}, but i wanted more.  i wanted those moths to regret ever coming over to our house.  so i did a little more research and lo and behold, another thing which moths don't like but i do? lavender!

 also, the holidays were coming up, so i decided to make lots of little lavender
sachets and give them as gifts...win-win!

here's the how-to

start by getting some dried lavender buds {i found these on amazon}

next i made some really basic little pouches...basically, i cut a piece of cotton muslin into little squares/ rectangles...i made different shapes...usually, they were about 4x6 inches or 4x4 inches.

fold those pieces in half, and sew up two of the sides {remember to back-stitch at the end of
the side otherwise the sachet might come undone}...leave one side open.

then, flip the little pouches inside-out so you don't see the thread!
{the bottom of the sachet is the side that you folded}

next, you need to add the lavender to the little pouches...i had a tough go with this until i made a little cone...much easier.  don't fill the sachets all the way however, because you still need to sew up the last side.

 so now your little bags are filled with buds and ready to be closed up!

i'm not a great seamstress, so i do not know how to close up the sachet without having the thread
showing on the outside...so i just picked a fun color of thread and closed
them up the way i know how (:

here is the finished product, now safely tucked away in all of my drawers.

if you make these, let me know how they work for you!!