Did anyone have a good tomato year?

I’m amazed at the number of people I talked to who didn’t have a good tomato crop this year. It doesn’t seem to matter where they were in the country, only one person I have talked to had a good tomato crop. It’s unusual for me because I have always had a good tomato crop, even when nothing else in my garden worked out. The problem everyone seemed to experience was that the tomatoes just grew and ripened very slowly. I didn’t start getting ripe tomatoes until September! Eventually, all my plants produced a fair amount and I brought them Continue Reading →

Faux Sangria – it’s delicious!

Since I can’t have the sugary Sangria but I can have wine sometimes, I decided to try and make a fake Sangria that would make me feel like I was having the real thing. Easy recipe… Decant one bottle of red wine (your choice of variety – I use an organic dry cherry wine) and add 1 lemon, sliced, with slices cut in half. Add 20 drops of Valencia Orange Stevia. Stir or swish decanter until Stevia mixes in. Put in fridge for several hours and serve over ice. It’s pretty good!  

Always Organic

My husband and I decided around 2003 to go fully organic with our food. It’s well documented that pesticides are harmful to humans and as someone who is chemically sensitive, it became imperative that I go organic. It’s expensive, but so it heart surgery, so… It’s encouraging to see organics making their way into regular supermarkets. As the demand goes up, the price will go down. Remember, before the invention of chemical pesticides and fertilizers about 80 years ago, everything was organic for thousands of years! Organic is not weird, unnatural or unnecessary. It’s the way thing were for most Continue Reading →

Step away from the Cool Whip!

No true foodie would ever touch Cool Whip. It’s just fundamentally against nature.   If you want great whipped cream that’s sugar-free, get some heavy whipping cream (raw is best if you can find it) and whip it up in your mixer with 20 drops of clear Stevia per pint. You will never go back to whipped cream in a can again. You can also try the flavored Stevias, although I haven’t tried that yet and can’t recommend any particular flavor. Tip for perfect whipped cream:  Put the mixing bowl in the fridge for half an hour before using it Continue Reading →

Sugar-free lemonade & Arnold Palmer

Here’s a great way to enjoy a refreshing bebida (drink) even if you can’t have sugar. Squeeze two lemons, or use about two tablespoons organic lemon juice, in a 16 oz. glass. Add 10 drops of clear Stevia, then fill with cold water. To make an Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half tea) add cold tea instead of water. You can also use this mixture to make lemon popsicles! Or make a larger quantity and store in the fridge: 1 quart = 4 lemons, 20 drops Stevia 1/2 gallon = 8 lemons, 40 drops Stevia 1 gallon = 16 lemons, 80 Continue Reading →

Sloppy Joes – an old favorite

I started making Sloppy Joes again this summer after about 15 years of never making them. I think it was hard for me to get over the fact that I couldn’t have it on a bun anymore. I mean, isn’t that what makes a Sloppy Joe great? A couple of months ago I pulled out the old reliable Betty Crocker, which has a basic recipe for just about anything basic you want to make. I did her Sloppy Joe recipe and was pleasantly surprised. I used chipolte powder and Worchestershire sauce for the seasoning, and yum it’s good! I just Continue Reading →

You can never plant too many onions

This was the first year I got a good crop of onions in my garden. I think I just didn’t have them in the right place before – not enough sun exposure. This year I planted about 50 yellow onions from seed in April and for the first time ever I got the sea of wavy green stems. It was lovely! (See header pic) What I realized after I started to harvest them is that I could have planted three times as many onions and probably still fallen short. I also realized that the variety I choose (Yellow Parma) was Continue Reading →

Recipes for Fall

It’s almost winter here in Montana, actually, and whenever the weather gets cold I pull out the warm, tummy-filling recipes. My sister and her husband were just visiting so I made my famous Butternut Squash Soup and Lentil Sausage Stew for them. Both received rave reviews.   The Stew makes enough for several days of lunches and dinners, so you can either get a little monotonous in your diet for a few days or freeze the leftovers. The squash soup never takes long to disappear, it’s just too  yummy! Both recipes have some carb but are not a big problem Continue Reading →

Welcome to my food and garden blog!

I’m not an expert at either cooking or gardening, but I enjoy both and they take up a large part of my life. This is just meant to be a place where I can talk about stuff I know. I started cooking in the 4th grade when I joined the 4-H group in my community. I started with the basics from the 4-H recipe book…spaghetti sauce and the like. When I was in high school, I took over the cooking of dinner every night, and made up menus and everything. That lasted until I got my first job in a Continue Reading →