Saturday, May 31, 2014

DIY Cucumber Chopped Salad

What you need:

2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp mustard
1/4 chopped fresh dill (or 1tsp dried dill)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tomatoes chopped
2 cucumbers chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1/2 medium onion chopped 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Serves 5-6 people

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DIY Orange Peel & Rosemary Cookies

I really love a simple recipe with simple ingredients that come together and make a huge flavor.  This cookie recipe sure did the trick! I thought the rosemary would throw my tastebuds off but it was pleasantly delicious! 

What you need:

1/2 lb butter (I used dairy free)
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup of sugar
2 eggs
Zest of one orange
1 tsp fresh rosemary minced
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt


Cream together butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, orange zest and rosemary.  Add in flour and salt.  Mix till smooth.  Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.  

Bake 375 degrees
15 minutes
Yields 2 1/2 dozen 

DIY White Bean and Herb Spread

This year I really want to take advantage of herbs in my garden.  In the past I have dried them and used them for cooking.  They are so much better than any herb you can buy in the store. Whats even better than that? Fresh herbs in your food! Enjoy!

What you will need:
2 cups cooked white beans (I cooked my dried beans but feel free to use canned)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley (I used fresh wild celery)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
salt n pepper to taste

Put all the beans in a bowl and smash half of them with a potato masher or fork.  Add olive oil, garlic, vinegar, parsley, rosemary and mix well.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

I have only tried this used as a dip but I'm sure you could use it on a sandwich or even dip pita bread in it.  I recommend making your own beans so you can control how much or little of sodium you want.  Let it sit overnight and WOW will your tastebuds thank you! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DIY Garden Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven at 325 degrees

20 fresh lemon balm (I used fresh lemon balm from the garden)or lemon verbena leaves 
1 cup butter (I used dairy free)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs (fresh from my hens)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used dairy free flax milk)
2 tablespoons chopped lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I squeezed fresh lemons)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup lemon juice ( I squeezed fresh lemons)
20 fresh lemon balm or lemon verbena leaves (I used fresh lemon balm from my garden)
2 tablespoons of butter (I used dairy free)

Butter and flour 10 inch pan or bundt pan. I used a standard size stone cake pan.  Take lemon leaves and lay them on the bottom of the pan rip side up.  Cover the whole bottom.  

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Add eggs and keep beating till completely mixed an a little fluffy.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt till completely mixed.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk till all mixed completely.  Now add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.  

Pour batter into cake pan.  60-70 minutes or until you poke it with a fork and it comes out clean.  Once done let the cake cool at least 10 minutes before putting it on a cake plate. (or keep it in the pan for easy clean up)

Mix sugar and flour into a small pan off the heat.  Stir in 3/4 cup boiling water and mix well.  Turn heat up till you get small rolling boil.  Add lemon juice, lemon leaves and bring back up to a boil.  When it thickens up a bit turn off heat and pull the leaves out and put into the compost.  Let cool before using.  

Cut the cake into squares and when serving be sure to drip a couple of spoonfuls of sauce and add a fresh lemon leave. Now go enjoy! 

NOTE: I used mostly organic ingredients but use what you have or what fits into your lifestyle.  Fresher the better though!  Get creative and don't be afraid of using different but same ingredients. In our case we are mostly dairy free so I used dairy free butter and milk.  To be honest I accidentally forgot to add the milk and didn't notice till I was writing this lol.  It still turned out yummy! 

This recipe is by Edon Waycott and found in the book COOKING from the GARDEN by The Taunton Press which you can purchase from Amazon  (not an affiliate link I make no $$ off anything I share) or be like me and borrow it from your local library for FREE!  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Green Review Polly by Shelby Rebecca

  “Polly” Review
       Book Written By: Shelby Rebecca

In this inspiring book, a praying mantis and her new friends Emack the rose-eating spotted bat, and Jackson the orphan aphid, go on an amazing adventure to the tree between the four rivers to live a happy fighting-free life. But their adventure got interrupted when they get knocked out and contaminated by a crop-dusting airplane and get knocked out of the sky, falling into a toxic bug-poison infected farm.. The trio meets a girl named Greta who is battling an illness whose father runs the bug-poison farm.. Polly and her friends get separated and she gets kidnaped by mutants, and is on trial for spying. The punishment is taking Polly’s life. Its up to Polly to come up with a solution to all of her people’s problems.

As a thirteen year old, I thought that this book is a amazing story that inspired me to be even more curious of what I eat such as where my food comes from. Shelby Rebecca brings the eco-friendly story to life by giving friendship and adventure to the book. I learned even more about the effects of crop-dusting and what it does to our body. I can’t believe that people would even think of putting poison on the food we eat. This story is astonishing.

I highly recommend this book because it shows you to think out of the box and to become curious about the effects of crop dusting like I did. I think that this book would be good for all ages to learn more about the world around us and to become more cautious of the things we do and eat. Thank you Shelby for creating this wonderful and inspiring story because it really helped me understand the importance of Organic foods.

Shelby Rebecca sent me a free copy of her book in exchange for a free honest review. My 13 year old daughter read this book and wrote the review.

Now if you want to buy this book you can find it on Amazon. You can also check her out on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This and That....Garden Fun

Today I decided to use up a whole bunch of old vegetable seeds in the garden. I've named this cucumber corner. If they all come up its cucumbers for everyone! 

In my actual garden I finally planted all my squash starters. Zucchini, rutabaga and patti pan squash in the center. I then planted lettuce all along the outer parimeter. Should be beautiful once it all comes in.

And in between my regular day duties, work and gardening I've managed to get 3 loads of laundry on the line. 

My husband is painting our kitchen cabinets while I make dinner. It seems like were always busy doing something! 

Peace and love

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Second Hand Treasure-Outdoor Mat $2.67

I really needed a mat for my back door because our dog comes in and out and tracks dirt everywhere. I checked my local big box store and they wanted $20+ for them. You may be thinking $20 isn't that bad but it's not in my budget right now. Remember my kitchen redo? Yeah I have little or no extra money for things we "want" only for what we "need".  So I left all those pretty mats and walked out not spending a penny. 

A couple of weeks later I went shopping at my local Goodwill Outlet where they sell everything by the pound.  I spotted this mat in a bin on my way to the register. It has a small tear on the top right but you can't see it unless you flip it over. It weights 3 lbs which means I paid .89 x 3 = $2.67.  You bet I snatched that mat up. Woot! 

The lesson I learned was if you want something just wait. You never know when you will randomly find a good deal. This rug is on it's 2nd life with us and will last for many years. Why buy new when you can save something from possibly going to the landfill? Shopping 2nd hand is just another form of recycling. 

Win for me! And our dog doesn't track in dirt anymore. Woot!