Monday, December 28, 2015

Quote of the Week

Friday, December 25, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tasty Tuesday:Cast Iron Skillet


There are many kitchen items, utensils I could recommend that every cook needs, but none gives me that nostalgic feeling that a cast iron skillet gives me.   You know those memories of your grandparents crispy fried chicken and that fabulous hot cornbread--you couldn't wait for to cool off.My love for cast iron skillets started at an early age, but I never knew how much I loved them until, I didn't have any.
I remember when my husband(fiancé at the time) and I got our first apartment; and we had a hodge podge of cookware.

A lot of the cookware was supposedly nonstick, but I always had the most difficult time cooking with them. Maybe it was me or maybe the cookware was just cheap....who knows what the problem was--but my frustration lead me to research other cookware.

During my research, I stumbled upon an old friend--the cast iron skillet.

 Those memories of good home cooking rushed in as I became more informed about the affordability of the skillet and its many uses....I was Sold!!!

Selling points for me:
Can be used on the stove and in the oven.

Can withstand high temperatures.

Its nonstick(if properly cared for, by keeping it clean, and well seasoned) when heated up.

Easy clean up.

Allows food to absorb iron.

Affordable.

Can last generations(If taken care of properly).

Cooks food evenly.

Golden and Crispy fry.

Food memories from childhood.


Well, that's my list of selling points for the cast iron skillet for then and now. If you don't have at least one in your kitchen, you most definitely should invest in one....you won't regret it.


If you already have a cast iron skillet, what were your reasons for buying one or is it a family heirloom? Also, what's your favorite thing to cook in it?














Saturday, December 19, 2015

Got the internet back up and running (thanks AT&T),now I'm ready to hit the ground running.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Keep Calm and Keep Blogging

It never seens to fail...once I get into a particular system or flow, my computer starts acting up.

Yesterday, I wanted to finish up and post my usual Tasty Tuesday  post, but I lost Internet connection and couldn't finish up my post at all. So, I decided to try and finish things up by way of my phone, and guess what...a lot of what was written,didn't get saved.

I seriously thought about posting anyway, but it really didn't seem right or complete at all.

I'll just wait to post that particular post some other time when my home computers are fixed.

I'll just keep calm and keep blogging.

As long as I can write from my phone, from my blog and blog app then I'm good.



Friday, December 11, 2015

Sharing Is Caring

Final ClearanceJust got this in my inbox, the Cook's Garden is have a moving sale, just thought I would share.  http://www.cooksgarden.com/

Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mixed Greens

A little harvest of some mixed greens from the garden,mostly mustard greens, but there's a little bit of kale and turnip greens too.

Can't wait to get them cleaned and cooked!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Tortillas

In this household we run through tortillas, so I always try to keep a nice stock in the house. We use tortillas to make quesadillas, chips, sandwich wraps, pizza, and tacos (soft and hard shell). You know what, I've never tried to make those baked taco salad bowls, I should give that a try. Has anyone made their own before, and if so...what did you think?

Listen to me, I'm venturing off into something else...let's get back to the subject at hand....tortillas. 
Yeah, my family and I love having tortillas in stock, they're so convenient and handy for our household, and economically speaking--affordable. However, over this past summer, I decided to try my hand at making my own.
 
 
 
The photo shown is my first attempt at making tortillas over the summer.
I thought they came out pretty well for a first try, and since then my rolling skills have improved significantly.
We still purchase tortillas (I can't pass up, closeout specials of $.25 or $.50)from time to time, but I make tortillas at home more often than not...and it's pretty easy and very economical.
If you've never made your own tortillas, you should give it a try... they're delicious!!!
 
 
Recipe
 
4 cups of All-Purpose Flour (I used Pajaritos flour, but you can use any All-Purpose flour of your choosing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of Lard or olive oil
1/2 cup of hot water
 
Directions
 
Whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard/olive oil with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough cones together. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces  and roll each piece into a ball. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well- floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place tortilla into the hot skillet and cook until bubbly and golden. Flip and continue cooking until golden on other side. Stack cooked tortillas on a plate or place in a tortilla warmer, and continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.
 
See that's an easy recipe...go try it and come back to share your results.
The recipe was provided by Pajaritos Flour and you can find the unbleached flour in select grocery stores or online at lehirollermills.com.
 
Have a Tasty Tuesday Day!!!!
 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Working to Get My Groove Back

Just wanted to pop in to say, HI! I've been so busy with life: appointments with the dentist, optometrist, a day at the courthouse(where the case was dismissed),spending time trying to get a group together about an issue going on in my community(I'll share more on the issue another time) and other communities in this state and a few other states(court dealt with this particular issue).  Dealing with all of these things and not to mention getting my middle daughter ready for her first high school dance performance,and making sure I'm at my youngest daughter's Beta Club Induction Ceremony, and I can't forget the four science projects that I've helped with and still helping with. With everything going on in my life right now(oh, yeah...I'm also waiting for a new heating and air unit to be put in), which I must admit is positively exciting, but it has kept me away from this blog for quite a bit and I'm really working to get my groove back. So, if you've actually have been reading my blog.....please......please....please....bear with me while I try to settle down a bit.

Thanks!!! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

-Shelly


Saturday, October 24, 2015

40 Cloves

Getting the garlic gloves ready to plant. I counted 40 cloves of garlic that need to get into the garden soon. I really wanted to have all the garlic in by now, but last week something came up and I didn't make it to the garden last weekend. There's already another group of garlic planted in the garden,but I was hoping to have all of the garlic planted by last week, but it's okay, at least I'll have everything in before Halloween.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Hey!!! I'm back with another Tasty Tuesday recipe. Last week I had to vent a little about our non cooking nation and all the excuses people give for not cooking, but that was last week and I'm ready to move forward.
 
Today's recipe is a basic pizza dough.
 
Ingredients
 
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 packet of yeast
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of lukewarm water
 
Directions
 
In a large bowl, combine yeast packet and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water.
Stir until mixture is well dissolved. Let mixture sit until it becomes bubbly.
 
While waiting for yeast mixture, combine all the dry ingredients together. Stir really well to get all the dry ingredients incorporated together.
 
Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients first  and then add the olive oil and the remaining water.
 
Stir mixture until it forms a ball, if dough is sticky, add more flour until it isn't sticky anymore.
 
Lightly flour a clean work surface and begin to knead and fold the dough out to ensure no sticky areas in the dough.
 
Once dough is no longer sticky, place it in a well oiled or buttered bowl to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel.
 
Let sit for at least 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
 
Punch the dough down and let it rest a minute.
 
Lightly flour your rolling pin and work surface. This would also be the time to decide how many pizzas you want to make and how thick or thin you want your pizza crust to be.
 
Divide your dough up and roll each ball out to your liking. Just don't roll dough out so thinly that you can't pick the dough up to put on the pizza pan. You just want to roll the dough out, to cut some of the stretching you have to do by hand once the pizza is on the pizza pan.
 
Lightly oil or butter your pizza pans before you place the dough on the pizza pans.
 
Once the dough is on the pan, use your hands to stretch the dough to the edges of the pizza pan. You'll notice that the dough might shrink back a little--this is common, don't get frustrated and think you're doing something wrong....it just happens....it's part of the process.
 
Veggie Pizza
Preheat the oven when you're ready to start building your pizzas. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, ovens may vary, so please consider that when you're baking anything. 
 
Now it's time to build your own unique pizza. The possibilities are endless, so get creative if you like, or just pile on your usual favorites.
 
The pizza my son and I made together was  just something we put together because we needed to use up some vegetables before they got old. We cooked some kale, broccoli, and a few mushrooms together with some garlic and then added some pickled jalapenos to top it off.  We used mozzarella cheese and made the sauce ourselves, I'll have do a post on the sauce another time.
 
So, there you have it....Today's Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Pizza Dough.
 
Oh, before I forget, bake your pizza on the lower rack for the best crust and bake for 15 minutes or until crust has a golden color and cheese has completely melted.
 
Hope you enjoy and here's to a delicious Tuesday.
 
-Shelly
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Quote of The Week

"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching."  --Unknown

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday:A Lost Skill?



I interrupt today's usual Tasty Tuesday's recipe this week to focus on a truly important skill that many people are lacking today. A skill that can cut through our obesity epidemic in America, a skill that will bring more whole foods into our diets, a skill that will help you save money. The skill that I'm talking about is: cooking.

Over the weekend I read this article about a guy that took the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)challenge and he wrote an article about his experience and how he made it through the month. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/took-challenge-where-could-only-170000173.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=ma

As I read through his article and related to some of the things he adopted while completing the challenge--like bringing my own food to events or outings. As I became drawn into his story, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with lots of things he wrote about, like: some of the rules of the challenge, food deserts, the high cost of fast food & processed foods, and the cost effectiveness of cooking at home.

I personally thought he gave a wonderfully written perspective of his experience on the challenge.

What I wasn't prepared for were the many comments expressing that the writer of the article was thumbing his nose at the poor. Granted, if you just read the title of the article and looked at the photos in the article, then maybe I could understand those commenters that felt he was condescending, but instead I saw so many comments that just seemed to be filled with excuses.

Many commenters highlighted that many people don't have time to prepare a home cooked meal because they work long hours or work two jobs.

 I get that, really, I do. However, if a person can binge watch a TV series, then they have enough time to make and prepare meals for the week. They have enough time to make a big batch of broth, soups, or spaghetti sauce. These things are not hard and can be done on a person's day off or over the weekend.

If you can't cook, then learn. With all of these cooking shows, cooking websites and the many recipe books out in the world, there should be no excuse for not being able to prepare something at home.

If you're a busy parent, I highly recommend that you dedicate some time to preparing meals with your children because it's a wonderful way to spend time together, and it's a skill that they definitely will need in life. As parents our job is to help get our children to the next level....not just buying them toys and expensive crap to make them happy.

I am delighted that our First Lady had a garden put in on the White House lawn because seriously many young Americans don't know where their food comes from, and many more don't realize how to seasonally shop for fruits and vegetables to keep their food cost low. I appreciate Mrs. Obama's effort to spotlight growing your own--another way to cut your grocery bill in half, and you don't need a yard to grow food either. If you have some buckets, milk cartons or any kind of container with drainage, some dirt/compost and sunlight then you can grow your own. If you have an absolute black thumb then support your local farmers market....please...and then go home and cook a great meal.

Anyway back on the subject, I'm delighted that Mrs. Obama has put a spotlight on healthy eating; however, as a nation we seriously might need to consider bringing back Home Economics in our schools.  Home Ec. taught me how to shop for groceries, nutrition, how to set a table, how to cook several meals from scratch and kitchen safety. Like I said earlier, these are skills that will be needed as children get older. I would prefer that parents would make the time to teach these skills to their children, but I have no problem with the school teaching this much needed skill set to our children.

Yes, there are people that live in food deserts that lack affordable healthy options for grocery shopping, and there are transportation issues for some, and as a nation we should be bringing these issues to the forefront. However, I can honestly say, we are a nation filled with a lot of non cooking people, a malnourished nation, an obese nation that has lost or refused to cook for themselves and it really showed through the many commenters of that article. Because of this lost skill we are slowly watching a generation of children and adults become sicker because of the so called convenience factor.

What do you think, is cooking becoming a lost skill and please feel free to comment on the SNAP challenge article.



--Shelly







Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

 It's officially fall and you know what that means.....yes....Soup Season!!!!!
 Don't get me wrong I love summer and everything it has to offer(swimming, great weather and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables)but it's nice to cool down a bit, so I can enjoy these warm and inexpensive meals.
 
Today I want to give a big Tasty Tuesday shout out to......Black Bean Soup!!!
 
First I want to apologize for not having my recipe together-this recipe is so easy, I sometimes forget to write down my measurements.  I'm a pinch here, pinch there, type of cook. I pretty much eyeball to make a lot of my soups.
What am I saying, this is pretty much how I cook all the time.
Let me stop with all the chatter and get to the recipe.
 
Well....let's get it....let's go!!
 
Ingredients
1 (16oz pkg) of dried black beans(cook accordingly) or 2 cans of black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 large carrots chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) of chicken broth or vegetable broth
 bacon, turkey or ham (optional)
2 tbsp. of olive oil if not using bacon
If using bacon, sautée garlic, onions celery and carrots in the bacon fat.
Season to taste
 
Directions
In a pot heat up the black beans and broth together.
Bring to a light boil, and cover.
Heat up the 2tbsp. of olive oil and cook the garlic, onions, celery and carrots (season to taste)
As the veggies cook down, this is the time to add any of the meat if your using it.
Use your own discretion to how much meat to add, you can also reserve some of the bacon as a topping for the soup if you want.
Now turn your beans back on and lightly drain the can of dice tomatoes and the sautéed veggies and meat to the pot.
Season to taste and bring everything to a boil.
Let soup cool down a bit.
Pour soup into blender and blend until smooth or consistency you like.
Pour mixture back into pot to heat up.
 
And there you have it....Black Bean Soup!!!
 
Now you can garnish your soup with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream or whatever floats your boat.
 
Hope you enjoy!!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Rainy Saturday

It's a rainy day here in Atlanta and it's time to get my Sorry Slider on.
I love playing this game despite having no wins in the column. Who knows...today might be the day. Wish me luck!
-Shelly

Mushrooms in Front Yard

Wished I knew how to identify the many types of mushrooms. I found a few clusters growing in my front yard yesterday, and three weeks ago there were tons growing around the neighborhood. One of my neighbors had these huge dark mushrooms growing in her front yard, that I thought were absolutely beautiful looking.
The mushrooms in my yard aren't as fabulous looking as my neighbors dark shrooms, but I'm still fascinated with the cluster of fungi growing in my yard.
Honestly, if I knew they were safe, I wouldn't have any problem with collecting them for dinner. Since they can't be Identified by me, I'll have to be an admirer.
Can you identify these shrooms from the picture?
-Shelly

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Womp...Womp...Womp

A few weeks back, I shared a post called "A Tale of Two Pumpkins." I  showed the difference between one pumpkin that was struggling with powdery mildew and another pumpkin that wasn't being crippled with any disease or fungus.
In that post you could see the tremendous difference between the two plants, the powdery mildew suffering plant was losing leaves and beginning to look a little shriveled up. I seriously thought about pulling the plant up and just discarding it, but I wanted to see if it could be saved. So, I made a mixture of baking soda, olive oil, and water to see if I could save the plant.
When I started using the mixture, it actually didn't seem like it was working, but eventually I finally got some new growth and the plant looks a lot healthier. Now the real issue is, it's so late in the gardening season that I probably won't be getting any pumpkins from this plant.
The "healthy" pumpkin plant 
 
It's pretty safe to say, that I probably won't get any pumpkins this year because my "healthy" plant that had flower buds on it and all--had a broken stem. I tried to save the plant, by trying to make a splint with a pencil and piece of stretchy orange cloth...but I don't think it worked. 
 
The last two pictures show what my "healthy" plant looks like now.
Yes looks like, I won't get pumpkins from this plant either, so this gardening project gets a big fat Fail.
 
That's okay, I'll have better luck next year and more growing time too.
-Shelly
The break/bend in the healthy plant
My attempt to make a splint

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Thought I would highlight a salad since it's the last official day of summer.

I don't know about you, but I love all the endless possibilities that come with making a salad.

This salad doesn't have the usual wow factor of some of the salads I usually make,but hey...its still delish!

The key players in this dish are:

Red Leaf Lettuce and Romaine Lettuce

Sauteed Green Beans

Grilled Onions

Baby Carrots

A few slices of Cucumber

1/2 of an Avocado

Your favorite salad dressing

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Hummus and Kale Wrap

Today's Tasty Tuesday Treat Is.....A Hummus and Kale Wrap. This is an absolutely delicious wrap.  I also like to call this my clean out the fridge wrap or the leftover wrap because a lot of the things pictured in the photo are leftovers.
My Ingredients
Burrito wrap
Leftover sautéed Kale cooked with garlic
Hummus
sour cream (not in photo, but I did add it after I took the picture)
grilled onions
sliced tomatoes 
 
You can use the ingredients that I used or you can just mix up your ingredients. Fill up your wrap as much as you want(just give yourself enough room to be able to roll your wrap up).
 
Oh, before I forget...I'm going to share a little secret with you about how I cooked the Kale. You don't have to cook it this way, but my husband couldn't get enough of this Kale when I could it this particular way. Are you ready?
Well....here goes....I sautéed the Kale and garlic with the leftover fat from hamburgers that we cooked two days earlier. I sometimes skim the leftover fat from the meat to help save on buying olive oil all the time( I bake a lot and use a lot of olive oil and butter) and also to bring some rich flavors to food from time to time.
That was my little secret about the sautéed kale in the photo, but I hope you enjoy today's recipe.
Have a delicious Tuesday and always remember to keep growing!
 
 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trying to Get Motivated

Good Morning Blogosphere!!! Here I sit at the computer eating leftover spaghetti for breakfast( I couldn't wait until lunch time)trying to decide if I'm going outside to work in the garden and the front yard today.

While I have a rain free moment, I really should get out and at least map out what I want to do for the front yard at least, but my body just won't get up and go. My spirit is calling for some outside time and my mind is just swirling with a boat load of ideas for what to plant in the front yard. This will be the first time I've ever planted anything in the front yard, so yeah I'm really excited about planting in this area.

Still trying to figure out if I want to plant a few greens in the front yard or just plan to put tulips in the front yard. I'm not planning to use all of my front yard up for this task, just a small area close to the house.

The more I'm sitting here thinking about this stuff.....the more motivated I'm getting.

I think I'm ready to head outside, if not plant, harvest or clip things, more so to layout my plans.


-peace


Keep Growing!!!







Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

This week's recipe is one my mother would make occasionally for dinner, Ground Beef and Rice w/gravy.
 
Instead of ground beef, I'll be using turkey instead. Don't get me wrong, I love the ground beef version, but turkey was on sale, so I'm going with turkey on this one.
 
 Ingredients
3 lbs. of ground turkey
1 onion diced
3 garlic cloves
4 cups of cold water
2  2/3 cups of flour
salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions
First start on your rice and cook 4 cups of brown rice accordingly to package.
After you've gotten your rice cooked or started on, you can start cooking the ground turkey.
Add your turkey to a medium heated skillet and cook for about 5 minutes and then add your onions, garlic and salt and pepper at this time.
Cook all ingredients together until turkey meat is no longer pink and onions and garlic are translucent.
Now turn off your stove top and strain your meat if it isn't very lean, but if it doesn't have a lot of fat excess then just leave it(let's say a tablespoon of fat), it will add lots of good flavor to the gravy.
Place strained turkey, garlic and onions back into skillet and let it sit to cool off.
While meat is cooling down, it's time to make the gravy. 
 
The Goods for the Gravy
4 cups of cold water
2  2/3 cups of  flour
mix until flour has no lumps in the mixture
 
You can adjust your mixture if need be, but .
If you want a thicker gravy add more flour, thinner gravy less flour.
 
 
Now, that the gravy is made, you can turn your focus back to the cooked ground turkey with the onions and garlic. Taste to see if the meat is seasoned well, if not add your seasonings to taste. After adjusting the seasonings turn the stove back on to a medium heat, and pour the flour and water mixture over the ground turkey, make sure the water mixture fully covers the meat. Stir mixture slowly allowing it to bubble a little, taste to see if seasonings are still on point and adjust accordingly if need be. If the taste is the good then it is ready to serve over a plate of rice. Remember to scoop up all that good gravy.
 
 
 
The other players on my plate were leftover cream corn and sautéed zucchini. #Iloveleftovers #nofoodthrownaway,#leftoversaregood
 
 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mamava Pods

 What a wonderful idea, breastfeeding mother's should have clean places that give them the privacy they need/want.

As a mother who breastfeed all five of her children---many moons ago, I was limited to using a bathroom stall to pump my breast milk whenever I was at work. Fortunately, I was able to stay home after the birth of my second child, so issues about where to pump weren't an issue for me anymore.

However, there are still many women who don't have a nice clean private place to pump and Mamava is trying to help change this, and I want us to help bring Mamava pods to places where mothers want and need them.

If you would like to vote you can go to www.seventhgeration.com/mamava-voting. You have until September 2nd to vote in the Seventh Generation poll, and it has already been narrowed down to four locations, however, you can also vote at www.mamava.com/where-do-you-want-your-mamava to keep adding more locations for future placements.
IMG_20150506_131210934_LRjpg
No nursing mother should be limited to breastfeeding/pumping in a bathroom stall. Mothers are trying to give their children the best and we as a public should provide better options to nursing mothers.

P.S. Anyone who votes can enter their email  into a drawing for ten packs of diapers. I entered the drawing for the free diapers even though I have no kids in diapers...I'll just give them to someone else who needs them, so don't bypass the drawing.

Quote of the Week

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Tale of Two Pumpkin Plants

Last week, I wrote a post about powdery mildew being in my garden, and what remedy I was using to stop the spread of mildew on a few of my plants. I also briefly spoke about how one out of three of my pumpkin plants had powdery mildew on it, and I was really concerned I might lose that plant, but at the same time, I had hope that I might be able to save the plant because this wasn't  my first time dealing with powdery mildew.

In last week's  post I promised to upload some pictures showing the difference between a  healthy pumpkin plant and one that has powdery mildew.

I planted the pumpkin seeds on July 15th and the difference between the two plants is amazing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Spaghetti Noodles and Vegetables  with Peanut Sauce.
 This recipe right here is one that I love to play around with. In the picture above I sautéed some carrots, onions, and mushrooms (in that order too,lol) in a oiled pan with about 1 tablespoon each of garlic and ginger.
 
The showstopper of this dish is the peanut sauce and because I'm a cook that completely wings this dish, I decided to post this simple peanut sauce recipe. The recipe makes about 1cup of sauce and is quite tasty.
 
Ingredients
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 drops hot pepper sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of water
 
Put peanut butter in a small bowl and then add water.
Stir until peanut butter is smooth and creamy.
Mix in all the other ingredients and there you have it....your peanut sauce.
 
Because the sauce is so simple and basic, I love adding ginger and red pepper flakes to the sauce too. I also switch out water from time to time with chicken or vegetable broth. Actually, the next time I make this dish, I'm really considering adding some lemon/lime juice to this sauce.    
That's a nice looking bowl of sauce, of course my bowl is more than 1 cup, and this sauce is so good you wouldn't want just one cup. You'll want it as a dipping sauce for chicken or shrimp or you might want to use it as a sauce for vegetables. 
Peanut Sauce

Broccoli, Kale and Carrots with Noodles and Peanut Sauce


Now, get in your kitchen and play around with different variations of this dish.
Add chicken to this noodle dish if you like, or whatever your taste buds desire.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote of the Week




This quote is absolutely how I feel about stepping out and trying this blogging thing again....so, much has changed with blogging, and sometimes I feel out of my league after reading other people's blogs, but hey, it takes many types of people to make the world go around. I really enjoy sharing pictures from my garden with you and I enjoy sharing things that I like and things that are on my mind.  So, yeah, this quote is for all the people who might be feeling inadequate about something, but their heart and soul is telling them to push forward.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

UGH, Powdery Mildew !!!

UGH!!! One of my pumpkin plants has been touched by some powdery mildew. It was just a few weeks ago where I marveled at how fast the pumpkins sprouted and how well they seemed to be doing.....and now this!


Oh well, at least it isn't all of my pumpkin plants, you guys all know I'm a newbie to growing pumpkins, and this would have been a really big disappointment, if  this was my first time dealing with powdery mildew. Fortunately, I already knew one way to stop the fungus from spreading, and the other day, I learned another way, to stop "the dew" from spreading too.


I'll share the technique I'm using and I'll also share the new technique that I recently learned about, but first....let's find out what  powdery mildew is, if you already didn't know.

Powdery mildew is a fungus that rears its nasty effects in very humid places that have experienced lots of rain and then very humid conditions.

Powdery mildew can affect a variety of plants, and if a gardener can't get it under control this fungus can kill your plants, by taking nutrients away from your plants. Some of my cucumber plants were   taken out by this fungus, and now one of my pumpkin plants has the fungus.

Lucky for me, this isn't my first time dealing with this fungus, and before the damage gets out of control where you might have to just pull up your plant/s: you can use a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1tablespoon of  olive oil or vegetable oil, a gallon of water and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap. Stir the mixture very well, put in a spray bottle or whatever kind of container you want to store it in. This mixture is meant to be sprayed on the plants leaves and when you're ready to use....make sure you don't spray plants with the mixture in the heat of the day. Try to use mixture early in the morning because some people have said the combination of the sunlight( heat) and the mixture together at certain times of the day can cause the leaves to burn.

Also, remember to cut off any infected leaves that seem not to be getting any better, and throw those leaves away.....DO NOT COMPOST!!! You don't want to spread the fungus even more into your garden.

Now, the other remedy that I've just learned about for powdery mildew is, believe it or not......Milk.
Yesssss!!!! Regular old milk, like I said, I've never tried it, but a lot of other gardeners say it's The Truth!!! I would like to try this option out for myself, but with five kids and these high milk prices--remember that guy, the rent is to damn high---well, the Milk is too damn high and goes way to fast in our household for me to even think about trying!

I'll keep you posted about my pumpkin plants and I'll post some pictures to show the difference between the plant with the powdery mildew and the other pumpkin plants.

Until next time.....keep growing!!!!



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Clemson Spineless Okra

The okra flower is so beautiful. I almost captured a shot of a bumble bee inside the flower, but this is just as beautiful too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Baked Chicken from Publix. My husband shared this photo with me. He really wanted to be a part of Tasty Tuesday's, so I decided to share this photo.

Oh, quick question. My husband is living/working in Miami right now and he can't seem to find any lemon pepper wings in the city or Mardi Gras Wings at his local Publix. Where can he find lemon pepper wings in Miami and is there a Publix that sells lemon pepper or Mardi Gras wings anywhere in the city? 

Well, there you go...baked chicken from Publix....looks tasty. I would like to thank my husband for contributing to Tasty Tuesday's and here's to him finding some lemon pepper wings in Miami!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Difference A Week Makes

Last weekend I cleared out this little area in my garden and put down a couple layers of compost, so I could make a little area for mixed  greens.
I love this spot!!! I planted a mixture of turnips, mustard greens and kale.

 
A week later and here are the little sproutlings.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Small Basil Harvest

Went outside this morning and decided to clip some basil to keep the plant from going to seed, and I really don't  have any dried basil put away in my cupboards yet. The basil plants have produced very well this year...I've had so much delicious pesto over the season--isnt that funny, I measured how great of a basil season I'm having by how often I can make pesto.


 
 
 Speaking of pesto, I really need to store some away for the winter, but right now I really need some dried basil because this jar is practically empty.Are you drying any herbs to put away for winter? If so, what? 
 
 Happy Gardening and remember to keep growing.
 
 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tasty Tuesdays: Hoagie Rolls

Today is my first official Tasty Tuesday's post, and I hope to have many more to come. My hopes for Tasty Tuesdays are: to share pictures and posts of food that I've made, and to share some recipes from other bloggers too.

So, let's get to it!!!


Today's Recipe : Homemade Hoagie Rolls

I got this recipe from saminacooks.com way back in 2011. I've been making loaf bread for over 8 years now, and I usually make Italian bread more often than loaf bread simply because it's not as time consuming,  but for all my many years of baking bread, I could never find a really good hoagie roll recipe, until I stumbled upon saminacooks.com. Her recipe produced a really soft hoagie roll that could also stand up to loads of fillings and sauce. 

In the pictures below I used my hoagie rolls for sloppy joes.



If you've never made hoagie rolls then, I highly recommend  Samina's recipe, and I hope you try your hand at making some real soon.


Ingredients

1 1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 1/2 teaspoon of sugar

Directions

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Then add just enough water to make a soft dough.
Cover dough and allow to rest for at least 1 hour (double its size).
Divide the dough into six pieces.
On a floured surface, roll out one piece into a rectangle.
Roll dough (from the long side) into a log and press the seam closed.
Fold the ends under the log and place roll on a greased baking sheet(you want the rolls to be at least 2 inches a part)
Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.
Allow dough to rise for 1 hour
With a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 diagonal slashes in each roll and allow dough to rest for 15 minutes (try not to touch the rolls)
Preheat oven to 450 F and make sure you have two racks in the oven. On the lower rack place, place a baking pan.
Set a small pot of water to boil.
When the oven is hot and the water is boiling, place tray or trays  inside the oven on top rack. Before closing the door, pour the hot water into baking pans beneath the rolls.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until you smell bread.

Hope you enjoy!!!!



Monday, August 10, 2015

How Ugly, Unloved Food Can Change the World | Dana Cowin | TEDxManhattan

 I know for a fact, I don't have a problem eating or buying not so perfect looking fruits and vegetables. What's it to me if a carrot has forked, or the apples aren't the perfect size and shape. As long as, the food doesn't have any obvious signs of spoilage, I don't see anything wrong with buying fruits and vegetables that look less than aesthetically pleasing, after all isn't the goal to eat the food? After a food has been cooked and prepared no one would have know what that misshapen fruit or veggie looked like in the first place. 

The quality of food is what matters and this TEDx video did a wonderful job talking about food waste, and how not to contribute to being wasteful by expanding our minds and our palates with cooking.

I support the movement, do you?     6a0d3dcf0733346d484e1f613f864511df3a917c2baf2d938b

#Iloveuglyfood

Quote of the Week

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Natural ATL | Health Food Store in SW Atlanta - Fruits, Veggies & Herbs ...

Yesterday, my sister, my nephew and my three girls finally got a chance to shop at Fruits, Veggies &Herbs health food store. This is a small community store(and family owned) that I've been eyeing for several years now. For some reason, I only think about this place when I decide to take the bus home and when the bus passes by---I always say, oh yeah, I need to check them out.....unfortunately I always forget and the cycle just repeats itself.

Well, that cycle ended yesterday, and I was really impressed with the size of the produce and most of all, the price of the produce. They had lemons, grapefruits, potatoes twice the size of anything you would find at a chain grocery store, and they also had these gigantic carrots, that were so big I can't even begin to describe them.

You know,sometimes I wish I could be a little like my teenage daughters' when it comes to snapping pictures with my cell phone because  the size of a lot of the fruit and vegetables was really insane! I should've had my girls on camera duty, but like always, I was living in the moment and that's alright with me--just not the best when you're a blogger and want to share an experience.

My sister noticed that they had a really good deal on the Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar when most stores sell there's over $10, she noticed Fruits, Veggies & Herbs was selling their vinegar for $8. See that's an awesome deal for that particular product.

All in all we had a great experience shopping there, and if we had a little more money to splurge--we're shopping for school supplies that must be replaced because it is torn or broken, so the kids can be back to school ready, then we would've probably bought a little more.

Here's the breakdown of what I bought: 4 lemons, 8 kiwis, 2 grapefruits, and a bag of baking potatoes. I spent a little over $9. I think that's a great price considering the size of the items that I bought too.


Here's a little video clip I found of the store on Youtube.   Thanks to www.naturalatl.com for sharing this video.

If you live on the south side of the city, or ever visiting the southern end of the city, then  I highly recommend you checking them out. It's a small family run business with great customer service.   Oh yeah, don't forget to checkout the smoothie bar they have too!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Late Summer....Time to Focus on Fall Gardening

Welcome to what I call the busiest time of my gardening adventures.....late summer!! The time of the year where I'm clearing out some plants because their time is up, I'm making  a lot  more compost tea for  the plants, and still collecting a harvest on other veggies in the garden.

It's also that time where I'm trying to decide what other plants to grow for the coming fall season. I already know that I'll be growing garlic....that's a no brainer for me. I've grown garlic for six years straight, and I always find some space in my garden to grow garlic, not only because I love cooking with it, but it's also easy to grow--can't beat that!!

See, the pic below, these are some of the seeds that I have put into the garden and a few that I  plan on putting into the garden. 

Let's see, I have arugula seeds and lettuce seeds(four season variety, they don't mind a little heat),oh yeah beets, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, and some carrot seeds from last year. I wished I could remember the name of the carrot seeds off of the top of my head, but I can't...I'm sure I have the name written down in my supposedly garden journal(I need to do better), but I'm sure I'll find the info because these baby carrots were, sooooo sweet  last year, I've got to find out the name, so I can share their name with you.

The arugula and the lettuce seeds are the only seeds that I haven't planted in the garden yet, but I'm going to real soon---I promise.


Three weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at growing a couple of pumpkins, so I bought some seeds at a local grocery store--I know I'm cutting it close, buying and planting pumpkin seeds in July, but sometimes I like to live on the wild side, lol!!! Don't worry, I figured out the dates and everything and a pumpkin or a few pumpkins, if I'm lucky, should be sitting pretty in my backyard in October.

Hey, let's take a look at one of my pumpkin plants.
Well, there she is in all of her glory, not bad looking at all. Guys please send me positive vibes for this one....like I said, I've never grown a pumpkin before and I just need the positive energy.

I just keep telling myself,  "If I can grow melons, then I can grow pumpkins."

I'll keep doing that, however, it would be nice if the people who read this blog would do the same, thanks.

Okay, now that I've shown you one of my pumpkin plants, let's take a look at the beets.
Yeah, they look pretty good, don't they? I plan on putting some more seeds out real soon.
And lastly here are a few carrots that recently sprouted. I plan on putting some more carrot seeds out as well.  This spot needs to be weeded out a lot better, well another thing to add to my to do list.
 
Well, that's a little bit of what's growing in my garden for the fall season. Sorry I didn't have any pictures of the Swiss Chard. The kids and I cut a lot of the leaves off to use as a topping for pizza last week, so for that reason I didn't have any pictures to share, but I can tell you that it was a delicious addition to the pizza....this I know for sure!
 
Thanks for stopping by, and remember..... Keep Growing!!!
 
P.S. What will you be growing in your fall garden?