Thursday, August 28, 2014

Zuchini Bread

When I planted the zucchini seeds this spring, I did not expect to have much because of the shade we get from the trees in our yard. However, I was happy to have decent amount of zucchini crop this summer. Did not plant any yellow squash this year, but zucchini was able to make up the yellow squash crop. 

I managed to make two loafs of zucchini bread past week and it was delicious. Used olive oil instead of butter and it is a great healthy option and it did not comprise the taste at all. Both my older and the younger enjoy it very much and not  single loaf left the house.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Peach Preserve with Almonds and Lemon Thyme...

Eastern Peaches were on sale not as low as last year, but it is a good reason for me to can few pounds. Now that I am a bit confidence canner, I am experimenting few new canning recipes. I have few small bushes of thyme growing in my vegetable garden this year comparing to last year. I am very thankful that I have an abundance of herbs this year. You can find few varieties of thyme I have German, English, and Lemon. Out of all I have developed a keen interest on lemon thyme and loved it, it has a subtle lemon flavor and an aroma which is heavenly to make sauces. 

I used about 8-10 cups peeled,pitted, and diced peaches
1 cup silvered almonds
6 cups sugar
2 lemons zested and juiced 
3 teaspoons of lemon thyme leaves 

Place everything in the pan except the thyme and almonds cook until jab cook about 15 to 20 minutes depending on your stove temperature. Add lemon thyme and silvered almonds and continue to cook for about another 5 to 6 minutes. 

If the peaches have not broken use an immersion blender to break pieces at this point. I did not add any pectin solely decided to depend on lemons. 

Have your canning gear ready and start the process to can. Boil the jar for about 10 to15 minutes and turn off the stove and let the cans sit in the water for about 5 minutes.

 Next take them out place them on a dry towel and you will hear the lovely popping sounds of your cans.  Check them after a day and store them in nice cold and dry place and enjoy them.

I took one for camping and had it on a lightly toasted English muffin with some tea and it was heaven. Every one enjoyed the peach jam! I hope I can save some for long winter!

I followed Liana Krissoff's and Marisa McClellan recepies but did some twisting to use all fruits. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Purple Cabbage...

Last year a neighbor surprised me with a purple cabbage from his garden. I truly did not know what to make with it other than adding it to my salad. I made a salad and took it to school for lunch. 

This year I bought a purple cabbage from the local market and decided to pickle it. My goal this year to have food from home for long school nights. That being said, I decided to pickle my red cabbage it was so beautiful, when I sliced it lengthwise. I took few pictures before I chopped them to skinny stripes. 

All I need was couple of spoons of pickling spices and I was ready to go. I can’t wait to try them. According to the recipe it needed only six days to cure and ready to eat. 

This being the first year that I am pickling vegetables I am kind of excited to try few more recipes before the season ends. 

I love how these jewels turned out, it sure adds a beautiful hue to my pantry. Hopefully less time prepping food on weeknights. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It is the season...

August has been a busy month for me, canning is in its hike. I have been a bit adventurous with few pickles and chutneys. We love our garden tomato jam, which I follow from food in jars by Marisa. Marisa’s recipe has been really good and we love it. The spices give enough heat and the sweetness from honey gives the right balance to this sauce. I have already canned 10 lbs so far, and that is a lot of canning during the month of August. 

Our tomatoes are a bit rambunctious this year, but no stakes which is a new innovation. However, next year I will be spacing them and staking them to get a better air flow among the plants. This year it was a total mess on the other hand it was a leaning experience. I was also lucky enough to have few  tomato plants in my compost which started to grow. I love those unexpected plants. Last year it was our luck to have a butternut squash. I was not gifted this year with such bounty but our compost has become the gold mine for us. A little bit of compost to vegetable beds goes a long way. I am planning to share some of my tomatoes this month with few friends. 

I noticed few tomatoes had begun to ripen inside the garden blocks which gives them a funny shape. Nature does a wonderful job, to adapt to its environment. We had few funny looking tomatoes this year. My favorite is the yellow tomatoes adds a wonderful taste to cucumber salad.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Easy sewing project ...

Nicolette enjoys going to the local fabric store with me, now that she can
voice out her tastes and likes, she has been asking me to sew a dress. 
I have been playing around this idea since I am not very good at dress 
making for her and honestly you can buy a dress for few bucks compare to the 
amount of time that I have to spent making one. That been said and I had 
created a skirt for her previously. I decided to take on the challenge
with a super easy project which was to sew her a pre smocked dress.

She wanted Disney, I was able to create her the dress she wanted in less
than half an hour, she was super excited, and loved her dressed very

Not only she was excited, but did posed for me to take few pictures. She
loves it very much and the cost for the entire project was less than $15.00. 
Including pants, which I did not sew but bought at Target for just under
$4.00 not a  bad project to complete in half an hour.
Happy child and a very easy project.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First batch of strawberry jam...

Yes, finally, I was able to make few jars of strawberry jam this summer...

Monday, August 4, 2014

What a re- union could do to an avid Gardner...

Went to a re - union in Canada, met friends from school, lead to open a FB page which lead to spent too much time finding friends...
Then it leads not to water my garden, being excused of tired of traveling, but truly spending time on internet...
Next we had over riped tomatoes which did not get picked for dinner...
The Melon cucumber was a blast didn't get photographed on a daily basis... too much time on FB finding friends...
 Parsley went to bloom and so did the Dill...