Monday, June 28, 2010

This isn't getting old yet...

Every day, I've been waking up and looking outside to see how much these little plants have been growing. It's amazing. Within the next couple days, I am going to have to thin the seedlings.
I also planted some more herbs and moved my basil around. I still have to transplant some more basil because I'm afraid there isn't enough room for both the basil and the tomato plants in the big containers. Now, I've got parsley, oregano, and thyme. Hopefully, these plants will be able to withstand the heat. Another note, I'm thinking about trying to plant a pumpkin patch or some small melons at the end of my yard. I'm not sure there is enough sun, but it'll fun to try.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

100th Post

I thought I was excited on Thursday when I saw the first signs of the sprouting veggies in my new garden. Then, I was thrilled to see them really pop out of the ground yesterday (as you could tell by my last post). But, I have even more to celebrate today. As you can see below, almost everything I planted last Sunday has sprouted and the transplants are looking healthy. But, even more shocking was when I logged on the Blogger to share the picture above and realized that this is my 100th post to the blog. A great milestone. I am happy to think about all the transformation and growth that has happened over the past year that I have been blogging here. And, there is so much excitement ahead.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MD Garden Map

Here is a map of my garden up in MD. It is all an experiment because the backyard where the garden is doesn't get the best sun. I'm hoping to try out different plants to find some that like the sun/shade blend back there. For now, though, I'm trying out the following veggies:

  • Cherry Tomato
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Hot Pepper
  • Okra (mixed in with the cukes on the map)
  • Cukes
  • Snap Peas
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Bibb and Romaine Lettuce

Also growing in containers:

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Cilantro

Monday, June 21, 2010

DC Garden Update: SQUASH!

With all the excitement with my new garden in MD, I forgot to share the update about the DC garden. The corn, squash, and beans all are rockstars in the garden. Cukes and tomatoes are slowly coming along. Everything else is pretty far behind. I saw some fully formed beans and a squash flower.

Do I need to change the name of my blog?

So, I do apologize for not posting for a couple weeks. It has been quite hectic trying to get settling into my new house. Major changes in my life include:
  • Moved to MD
  • Got a new car (silver prius, very cute!)
  • Adapting to suburban lifestyle
  • Learning my way around

Most importantly, this weekend, I took a major step forward in my quest to learn about gardening and food.

  • With the help of a friend, I made my own garden plot in my new backyard!

Map of the garden and list of the food I'm trying to grow will come soon. I also worked with a friend of mine to restore some yard furniture we found on the side of the road:
Things are looking very good out here in MD, and Logan seems to be enjoying himself.

I'll post more updates from the garden in MD soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israeli Couscous

Since I am just getting to know my new neighborhood, I went to check out three nearby grocery stores yesterday. Mostly though, I was hunting for Israeli Couscous because I saw this fabulous recipe in Bon Appetit (can you tell I just got a new issue?). Sadly, neither organic market had any of the couscous I was looking for. But, I did find it at Giant. The magazine says that this is a side dish, but I thought it makes for a great main, so I added some additional couscous to the recipe.

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Peas, and Sugar Snaps (adapted from Bon Appetit)

What You Need
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous (6 to 7 ounces) (I doubled this)
- 1 3/4 cups (or more) vegetable broth (I doubled this)
- 14 ounces asparagus spears, trimmed, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups) (I used the whole bunch and didn't measure)
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups) (I used a whole package and didn't measure)
- 1 cup shelled fresh green peas or frozen, thawed (I used frozen and went over one cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives (I used the green parts of local scallions)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

What You Do
1. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and lemon peel in small bowl; set dressing aside.
2. Bring broth to a boil and then add couscous.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if too dry.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat.
5. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, green peas, and remaining garlic clove (I added the scallions here!).
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes (mine too a little longer).
7. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
8. Add couscous to bowl with vegetables.
9. Drizzle dressing over.
10. Add chives (if you are using them) and cheese; toss.
11. Season with salt and pepper.

I enjoyed eating this cold and room temp! I was very happy eating it for dinner with a cold cream soda! YUM.