Sunday, June 26, 2011

Starting My Garden Early 4

:)) It seems that stabbing your foot with a pitch fork is good for getting caught up on blogs !!  Hahaha Thank fully I just nailed on toe , and not the whole foot. Its amazing how much one toe can hurt though .  So that leads me to this post ,  I'm finally caught up to June, well I will be once this one is done.   Yeah!!

I would like to apologize to everyone for being so far behind on these, it was an odd couple of months for me... but I'm back and the words are coming to me nice and easy .

This post is all about the last 10 days of May ,  which up here in Ontario Canada is our last frost date ...  and the time when most people start gardening ,  I had a great head start and actually planted seeds in March :))

This post should cover that :

Ive never had much luck growing potatoes , so I thought Id try out the bucket method...  ( Ill be doing a blog post on the whole process once Ive harvested )  If you want more details, follow this link to my Facebook page
I decided to try a 3 sisters planting ...  I kind of jumped the gun on this and planted the beans and squash a little to early .  I have two more plots , so I have another chance to get it right .  

:))  This is some ornamental corn I started inside ...    love this shot . 

The trellis for my peas,  I used freshly cut maple sticks ( MISTAKE!! ) hahaha they are trying to regrow.  Ooops , its too late now , but next time I'll use ones that are clearly dead.  

Someone suggested using an old chair to let peas trellis on , found this one .. so far so good.
In the corner is a mini greenhouse I made from a water bottle... the tomatoes needed just a little more warmth to get them growing . I left them on for a week, and it worked like a charm :) 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Starting My Garden Early 3

This year I started my Garden a full 6 weeks , maybe 7 before our last frost date ...  some things were kept inside , while others went outside with a few simple cold frames.  

Ill keep this brief , as I'm so far behind now , that most of this is slightly out of date. Well for this year anyways :))

Its always a good idea to harden your plants off for a few days, or even a week after starting them inside.  Gets them used to the outdoors. 

Garlic that was planted last fall ..  coming back strong!!  Can't wait :)) 

This will become my first 3 sisters planting :))   

Gotta watch it when you hardening off plants , Id left these outside and went to work , then we had an unexpected scorcher of a spring day ... All ten cucumber seedlings were burnt to a crisp in one afternoon :(( 

Oregano and thyme really appreciated the cold frame... they cam thru stronger than ever  :)) 

Onions I left in from last year , and a few that had sprouted in my pantry .
If they wont grow onions , I'm going to try and save the seeds this year . 

My Garden in mid - May , still 10 days before the last frost , but I thought Id risk a few things.  

Most everything in my garden is recycled .. including the plant markers, I got these strips from the scrap bin at a local lumber yard . Free!!  

Cold frames are gone , and tomatoes and pepper plants are in ... still one week of possible frost , but I was feeling lucky :)) 

Decided to try adding some straw to the garlic .. see if it would help with the weeds...  It did a little , but also makes it harder to use a hoe between the rows .. Hmmmm 
Well , I'm getting there !! This brings us up to the 3rd week in May :) Almost there....
As always , questions or comments are most welcome.
Happy Gardening !!

Spicy Meatball Pasta Bake - Good Food Cheap

Lets try this again !  I typed this post up a week ago , only to have the whole thing disappear on me just as I was finished up . For someone that has a hard time writing , that was a major bummer....  so I took a week , and figured I would try it again . This time Ill be typing it up on Word , and will copy and paste to blogger.   I just love this series , Good Food Cheap !  What could be better ? Besides free! Hahaha that and its a one pan dinner... which is great as there is not as much clean up .   So ... here we go , first recipe post in 7 weeks for me ... where does the time go ??

You will need :

Meatballs :

3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Small Red Onions
1/2 a Large Red Bell Pepper
2 dried chili's
1lb of  ground beef
1 egg and ...
a touch too much bread crumbs ( kinda knocked the jar over .. ooops :)
To Taste : 
My chili powder
Smoked paprika
Sea salt
Black pepper,

Note : Normally I would have added mushrooms too .

Pasta Bake :

1 Pint Jar of Tomatoes, juice and all
1lb of cheese tortellini
2/3 cup of beef stock
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
90Gm of Mozzarella

Total Cost :    Just under $10 for dinner for four!

  Start by chopping the veggies for the meatballs :)

Add the veggies to the  beef and the spices , Mix well with your hands , and let rest for at least 30 minutes for flavour developing time :)

Roll them into balls, I decided to go with small ones this time . This made about 36 little ones.

I pan fried them in a spoonful of sunflower oil , for about 5 minutes each ( in two batches ) just long enough to get some colour on the outside of them. Preheat your oven right about now to 350F

Meatballs are browned up and, ready for the oven

 Now its oven time, the tomatoes were added juice and all , the pound of cheese tortellini and the beef stock . set the timer for 15 minutes at 350F 

 At the 15 minute mark , give it all a good stir , and set it for 15 more. Add the chopped broccoli & mozzarella at the 30 minutes in mark , and leave it for 10 more minutes.

 Total oven time 40 minutes :)) Mmm smells good!!

 My finished plate :)) Spicy Red Pepper/Onion Meatballs, with garlic tomatoes, cheese tortellini , broccoli and mozzarella . 

Well there you have one of my favourite one pot cooking meals !  Simple, easy and cheap!  Hahaha what could be better ??   Besides having someone make it for you ?  

This is the first Good Food Cheap post where I didnt break all the costs down ?  Does this work for you ? Or would you prefer a more itemized price list like i have done in the past ?

I hope you have enjoyed my Spicy Meatball Pasta Bake :)) Happy Cooking

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Less Words, More Food 14

Wow ,  Can't tell that I like this format of posting .. this is number 14 in this series ! LOL  It is a handy way to to catch up on LOADS of of food pix I have to share with you . Please if you see something you like, just ask , and Ill write it up as a recipe for you .  On the flip side if there is something you don't like , please let me know so I can fix it or avoid it in the future.  This shots go back to April... that's how far behind I am now ... lol , well after this post Ill be caught up to May .  Enjoy :))

My version of Bangers and Mash :))) Loaded of course !  

A great Meatball Pasta bake , and soon to be a blog post ( its next ! ) 

Mmmm just gotta love roasting Beef!!  

The roasted  goodies for a nice hummus!!

Roasted Red Pepper, Onion & Garlic Hummus :)) 

Put it together for cold roast beef , and chips :)) With hummus and a fresh tomato. A Simple and Easy way to get Creative with your leftovers!!  

My new favourite way to make eggs.,, with the onions and garlic in the same pan !  Mmmm gotta love Free range eggs ! 

Another favourite of mine, Bacon ,Egg and Chips!! Mmm
Yeah!! April is done!! Hahahahaha I hope you all have enjoyed this post . As always , all feedback is welcomed.  Have a great day  :))
Happy Eating

Starting My Garden Early 2

Well, I have so much to say , and show you .. That I dont even know where to start really . After having taken pretty much the whole month of May off , to get life sorted , and my garden growing . I'm happy to report both are now on track again lol . ( I hope!! hahaha )   So where did I leave off ??  Hmmm wow , for gardening it was 5 weeks ago . So that is where Ill pick back up again .  

These are always the first flowers in my garden :))  I planted them years ago ... lol always lets me know when spring has arrived.  

The mystery seeds turned out to be cucumber :)) 

Peas are great to start inside or direct seed,  I did a bit of both .  This did give these ones a 4 week head start though . 

My tomatoes,  I think these are the sweetie ones.. either way : Important note... these are getting to leggy already , they needed to be closer to the light .  ( 7 weeks later , the few that survived are not much taller than this , but strong now )   

The garlic I planted last fall is coming back strong!!  Mmmm 

Romaine lettuce , direct seeded on March 28th, and covered with a cold frame .
Note : The direct seeded Romaine did FAR better than the transplants I tried.  

Volunteer Wild Strawberry Plant :)) Thought Id save it and see what happens.  

Basil :)) - My little grow shelf worked great , but I did not have the plants close enough to the light for the 1st couple of weeks. Ooops 

My first time planting corn !!  This did SO much better by starting inside... sprouted in less than a week , compared to almost 3 weeks with  direct seeding . ( Mind you , I think I tried a little too early for direct lol , even with a cold frame )

Lots more gardening and food posts to follow !!  I do appreciate all feedback , or if you have your own tips , feel free to leave a comment on here , send me an email , or jump over to my Facebook page and join the daily fun ( links on the right side of this page :))  
I'm glad to be back!!  It has been too long !!  
Happy Gardening - Rich