Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Menu - Pasta Veggies

A bit of fresh delight for summertime dining.

whole wheat organic pasta (al dente)
pesto (fresh basil from the garden)
sun gold & cherry tomatoes (fresh from the garden)
basil leaves (fresh from the garden)
grated parmesan cheese
balsamic reduction 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Menu - Zuccini "Pasta"

Yummm!  This was a huge surprise!   My wife found this neat spiraliny thingy on the internet, and we ventured to give it a try.  
It Is Awesome!
After a few goofs getting the hang of it, we got the zuccini loaded into the machine and cranked away, producing some nice pasta noodle - but it's all vegetable.  

( add grilled chicken with a light zesty baste)
 We topped off the veggie-pasta with some homemade pesto and fresh picked tomatoes from the garden. 
( final harvest of the season)
From the garden to the table, the whole meal took about 30minutes (including the chicken on the grill).  Bone-apa-tee!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday Menu - Salsa Violet Verde

It's hot.  Really hot.  Even I hate being out in the garden right now (and those of you who know me, know I love being out in the summer heat.  Crazy, I know).
So, as I stared out the kitchen window watching my aloe, lantana, and gravel melt, I had a cool inspiring idea - I'll make salsa!  Well, actually, more salsa.  (I LOVE salsa)
It would be a refreshing treat and a much needed distraction since I can't be outside.  Luckily, I harvested tomatoes a few days ago so the kitchen is well stocked.

I decide to make my very own specialty - violet verde salsa.  Shown above are cilantro, poblano peppers, long green peppers, all from the farmer's market; then the bell peppers, green onions, tomatoes and tomatillos are all right from the backyard.  What makes this recipe so unique are the heirloom violet jasper tomatoes and purple toma verde tomatillos (thank you Rachel!!)
(succulent violet jasper tomatoes and crisp toma verde tomatillos)
I also add some elephant garlic (locally grown), lime (locally grown), and sea salt (OK, not so local, but delicious).  In all, it took about 40 minutes (I love using my knives) and produced about 4 cups of deliciousness.

(click on image to drool)
I could pretty much eat this salsa with a spoon, but some baked tortilla chips add a level of sophistication.   Bone-apa-tee.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

What To Do Wednesday - SEEDS!

Start those seeds!
(seedlings at 6 weeks, bumped up to 1gal cans)
Summer is in full phase here in Phoenix.   110* degrees is a regular visitor, and so is the humidity.  (UUUGH)  Even I'm not interested in being outside (those who know me, know that's bad).  So, instead of suffering the elements and testing the wilt level of a human being, I've been inside starting seeds.  

I'm still doing some summer crop seeds, even though it's pretty late in the season.  (Remember, here in Phoenix, winter doesn't really start until December.)  It just means I'll have nice goodies for the holidays, and that's not a bad thing.  Canteloupe, watermelon, honeydew, eggplant, okra, and of course, pumpkin! (Notice, these are all very large seeds)
(seedlings at about 2 weeks getting early morning sun)
 Many of the easiest edibles to start from seed work best in the warm season.  My seed germination rate is usually about 90%percent, which amazes to me every time.   The trick is making sure I'll have enough planting space to accommodate everything.  (If not, I'll have some nice garden gifts)Once the seedlings come up, I make my marker stakes (if they don't come up, no point in having markers).   I note the plant, the seed brand, the maturation date, and the date I started the seed.
So have a little fun with a whole lot of seeds!