Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

garden snippets

1 // nasturtium. can't even tell you how happy i am that after five years of trying, i've finally got a nasturtium bloom! the flowers are edible and they make a great companion plant in the garden, deterring aphids and cucumber beetles.

2 // goldenrod. these babies didn't do much for me the past two summers i tried to grow them. i really want to harvest the leaves to make tea, which is very good for the kidneys. last summer a few grew and managed some measly blooms, but i guess it was enough because this year we've got tons growing in the garden! gotta love self-sowing flowers.

3 // lettuce has been hit or miss in our garden (mostly miss) but this spring it took off! i think it's all about getting the lettuce in the ground as early as you can and keeping the plants well mulched. (it also doesn't hurt to have a nice friend with a master gardener mom sharing some of her plants!)

4 // volunteer lettuce/lavender/red leaf amaranth/compost bin gardening // one of the drawbacks of our raised garden beds is the wood is decomposing and the boxes are falling apart. last year i took some leftover brick from our patio project and made a little bed to hold a lavender i had purchased from a farmer's market. (the last three plants i had in my garden died from over-watering most likely) that beautiful lettuce popped up on its own and i didn't have the heart to pluck it. plus i thought it would have enough space to grow nicely and though it was sort of out of place, i left it.

little red leaf amaranth plants are so cute! and they grow so nicely! since i was out of space, i grew some in pots and then transplanted them after i pulled the radish and added a healthy dose of compost to the soil. speaking of, see the squash growing from the compost bin? it's really flourishing in there, producing vines and blossoms! i wonder what kind of squash it is...

5 // calendula about to open. this was another volunteer plant!

6 // and more volunteers! there are cosmos, sunflowers and even red amaranth popping up alongside the house! john is carefully mowing around them so we should have some wild looking blooms in our yard come mid-summer! this year is my sixth year of gardening and it feels like all my hard work is finally paying off when i see things like this!

7 // kati in the butterfly garden. frustrated with the lack of space for flowers, john and i decided to just start ripping up grass weeds in the middle of the yard and called it a butterfly garden. it's a patch of brown that looks sort of ugly until all the flowers bloom and it becomes a 10 foot high by ten foot long paradise for the kati cakes. it's where we usually find her napping during the dog days of summer, shaded by the big sunflower and amaranth blooms. the little sweetie's already been hanging out in there, doing her business and all! better there than in the veggie garden!

wishing you all a wonderful growing season full of pretty plants and lots of sunshine!
(but not too much. wish you also a healthy dose of rainfall too.=)


Monday, May 26, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

creamy pasta primavera with kelp noodles

it's spring thyme! (see what i did there?) today is cold and rainy, but one beautiful sunny day in early april i was so inspired by the new season and its veggies that i created this creamy pasta primavera, or "spring pasta" as it translates.

when i made this meal i remembered to jot down the recipe for the sauce, but forgot to measure and note how much of each vegetable. whoops. guessing i used a head or two of broccoli, five or six mushrooms, half a cup peas, a few carrots and some sprigs of thyme. the thought that tender raw asparagus would have been perfect in this bright creamy sauce keeps nudging me. next time!

pasta primavera sauce (serves two)

1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/4 large avocado
1/4 small red bell pepper
juice from one lemon
1/4 tsp miso
1 garlic clove
cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt, to taste
nutritional yeast or go veggie parmesan cheese alternative (to taste and optional)

blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. toss with a package of kelp noodles and vegetables. serve at room temperature. this sauce would also go well with zucchini pasta, and a mix of kelp noodles and "zasta" or "zoodles" with basil and tomato would be great for summer!

have you tried kelp noodles? how do you like to prepare them?
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