Friday, May 13, 2011

I like Pesto!!!

So, we got our boxes again this week, and they are AWESOME! I forgot to get a picture of everything in the box but I have something better for you.

This week we got:
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch red kale
1 pound strawberries (YUM)
1 bunch of swiss chard
1 bunch of daikon radishes
1 bunch of mustard greens
1 bunch of mizuna
1 head of green leaf lettuce
1 bunch of red beets

So, I am not a huge beet fan, but to be a good host I roasted them all for lunch. They were good, but not something I would jump about eating. I probably wouldn't even help myself to them unless I was really hungry.

This week, I didn't want any of my greens to go soggy, so I looked up proper storing and cutting techniques and started planning early what to do with everything. I got hung up on the daikon radishes though. Do you use radish tops? I had no idea... usual, when I don't know what to do, I got on the internet! I found a recipe for radish leaf pesto and decided to give it a try. Alicia came over and we made a batch together. I have had pesto before and again, am not a big fan, but thought i would give it a try rather than waste all those tops.

It was DELICIOUS! I would eat it again for sure! I would like to try making some pesto pasta, or a pizza with this pesto on it. It was more "green" tasting than herb.

Give it a try, let me know what you think, tell me what you put it in...
Happy eating :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bread anyone?!

Okay, so I tried out a brand new spelt bread recipe this am! It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and it worked out fabulously! The recipe was to make 1 loaf, but using slightly smaller loaf pans, i made 2 loaves of bread and also added some oatmeal topping just to spice them up.

This recipe came from a random google search which led me here. I was really happy with the spelt bread (it was especially good right out of the oven with some butter and honey on it!).

Because I was already making bread I figured I'd do a few loaves of whole wheat and a few sub style buns as well. Take a look. This is my regular recipe (courtesy of Alicia) and it usually makes 4 loaves, but I used a few of my pans for the spelt bread so decided to try these buns instead. The boys haven't broken into those yet, so I will let you know when the reviews come back.

And here they are....

Happy Eating,

Where does the time go!

I have to apologize! I can't believe it has been over a week since I last wrote. That just goes to show you how absorbed into my garden I have been. Anyone who has tried to call me will verify that because I don't answer the phone when I am working outside.

This morning was a teenage hormonal experience. (No offense to our teen readers.) After speaking to Alicia and finding out that her radishes had sprouted, I was very excited to see if anything had come up in my garden.

I was like a child at Christmas time, scanning everything for the best thing, then getting close and really checking everything out. My front box was full of sweet surprises! I have 2 full squares of arugula that have sprouted, 1 box with several spinach shoots, 2 red onions coming up, and musclen salad green coming through. I was so giddy it was almost embarrasing.

Then I looked up to check my back box only to find that the cat had been digging AGAIN! My sudden rush of excitement turned to a quick desire to strangle my cat. (Not really, i love her to bits, but stop messing with my garden cat!)

There have been several great things in the yard; my rhubarb is getting pretty big, the peas are sure growing and the strawberries have blossoms on them!!!

I mowed the front lawn and weed whacked this morning, and thanks to my extreme inaccuracy, I now have a beautiful vase of garden fresh flowers on my sill. (Isaac helped me rescue them after I mowed them down.)

Ah, so good to say spring in finally here! And just because gardening wasn't enough today, we also baked whole wheat bread, tried out a new spelt bread recipe, and made 3 sub style buns. Check it out! And try it out.... recipe to come (the family is waiting for dinner right now.)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Full swing

Well, it finally happened! I honestly never thought that we would get our back corner cleaned up. Not only is it cleaned up, but it has two beautiful beds in it and one that is almost fully planted.

It took me a while to figure out my planting configuration and I'm only just starting to look into crop rotation once my first set of veggies are harvested.

In the front box I have:
48 green onions
27 red onions
22 spanish onions
9 bush bean plants
2 red leaf lettuces
27 spinach plants
32 mesclun blend salad greens
32 arugula plants
1 green zuchinni vining plant

and room for 2 tomato bushes and 27 more bean bushes.

And I still have the back bed to fill plus a smaller but deeper side bed that the boys are putting together.

It was a lot of work, but we had a lot of help and the kids did a great job shoveling and moving over a yard of the soil mixture.

Clean cleaning.....what?

I got started on this organic eco-friendly kick slowly over a few years, but I started first off by experimenting with eco-friendly organic house cleaners. We have tried multiple products, styles, scents, etc. in our house to keep it clean and not upset our sensitive skin and lungs.

Here's the good news, what works best is quick, easy and cheap!

My floor cleaner:
3 litres of water, 3 litres of vinegar and 3-5 drops of Sunlight dish detergent.

This is a mix of many different recipes for homemade cleaners that I have come across after realizing that all the eco-friendly cleaners I was buying were still very expensive and not realistic for living under our means and living environmentally responsibly.

Over the past few months I have been working on getting a good system for keeping our kitchen, dining and living room floors clean. In our house we have a loop between these three rooms and it is definitely the most highly traveled pathway in our house! Sometimes it's clean feet, but often it is dirty little toes or just as dirty kitty paws. To add to it, our patio has french doors that open onto this area as well so in the summer we tend to toss our shoes up on the patio and enter the house. So there is no filter for keeping all the dust and dirt off of this area. Then of course there is all the food stuff from the kitchen and the bits and pieces dropped from the kitchen table.

I came to the realization that it doesn't matter what I do, I have to sweep this floor every day and wash it every 2-3 days. My problem with washing the floor that often is that my mop broke several months ago and I have been too cheap to buy another thing that might just break, so i have been hand washing the floor! It looks beautiful, but takes a very long time to do; something, many moms don't have. I do have a couple of mops that you can clip disposable cloths onto, but that seemed to be a very unsatisfactory option because it is expensive and wasteful. (Sorry to all those who love their swiffers :) )

So, after surfing the internet for ideas and solutions, I had to finally open my Christmas present and learn how to crochet. I found a pattern for a rectangular mop cover and I gave it a try. After about 10 attempts I got the stitches down and got the project done. I was so excited to try it on my mop. The only downfall with it was that it was only half the length it needed to be! So I doubled the pattern and it worked.

I tried it out this week and it works great! And the crochet stitches are thick enough to get good scrubbing action. It was pretty dirty after doing the kitchen floor so I flipped it over and finished up the living room and dining room. Time to whip up a few more of them and then I'll be set for all my cleaning needs.

Happy cleaning,