Pesto – a taste of summer all year long

I’ve had some challenges growing basil in Montana, I think because it likes to be warm at night and even in high summer we get down to 50 degrees most nights. So this past summer, 2014, I grew 8 basil plants in pots in my greenhouse and it did much better than ever before. I was able to snip enough leaves a few times a week to make a batch of pesto and use it or freeze it in ice cube trays. After the trays are frozen, I put the cubes in a ziploc for freezer storage and pull some Continue Reading →

Hooray for Hummus!

I thought for sure I had posted this recipe already but found I hadn’t. This is a great basic hummus recipe that you can use and adapt with other flavors, like pesto or sun-dried tomatoes. I used to be really good and make this from organic, dried garbanzos that I cooked for hours and then spent half an hour shelling. Okay, I’m used to cooking from scratch, but this was just too much for me! I use organic canned garbanzos, which goes in the “good” food category choice instead of “best”. We do the best we can. This is for Continue Reading →

Kung Pao Chicken…wow!

If you’re a fan of the restaurant PF Chang’s you’ll know why Kung Pao Chicken is a great recipe to master at home. We don’t have a PF’s here and I’m thinking now that even if we did I probably wouldn’t go there. I have found that all Chinese food recipes are chock full of sugar. That’s what makes those sauces so yummy. That doesn’t work for me, so I decided to make my own Chinese food at home. I tried Mu Shu Chicken, Hot and Sour Soup and my most successful, Kung Pao Chicken. This is a recipe I Continue Reading →

Sometimes only an omelette will do

Last night my husband and I were exhausted from a day of dealing with technology issues with out wireless network. It’s not like we were hauling wood or moving rocks, but our brains were fried. I had forgotten to take anything out of the freezer for dinner, so my brain had to rev up to think of something for two hungry luddites. I had some veggies and some leftover pesto in the fridge, and the lightbulb went off over my head – an omelette! Breakfast for dinner is common for us when we are busy doing outside stuff around the Continue Reading →

What do I do with kale?

Kale is one of those green, leafy veggies that people have trouble dealing with. Kale chips are now showing up in the health food stores, so someone figured out how to go commercial with it. However, the kale chips I’ve tasted from the store have been awful. I grow a lot of kale because it’s easy to grow and it grows fast. You can start it in cold spring weather and harvest all summer and fall, even after first snowfall. Kale will also overwinter if you cover it properly. I make kale chips and kale slaw, and I use kale Continue Reading →

Pickles, Pickles, Yay!

Well, I’m happy to say that my first jar of pickles with the new recipe provided by my sis turned out great! My husband is not usually a big pickle eater, but he loves these. Last year, my dad and I were trying different ways of fermenting pickles with whey, and it just didn’t work. Actually, Dad got one fantastic batch and then couldn’t duplicate it. In any case, the following recipe is easy and seems to be foolproof. You can eliminate the red pepper flakes if you are a spice-weinie like my sister. Refrigerator Pickles Pickling Liquid 1 1/2 Continue Reading →

Strawberry Bounty – an unexpected surprise

I posted earlier about my new strawberry bed, which has suddenly started producing large, sweet strawberries! I pinched all the flowers after planting the starts so that the plants would concentrate on growing instead of producing fruit, so I figured I wouldn’t get a crop this year. Then, the plants struggled for a few weeks and are now producing fruit and sending out lots of runners. The great thing about the runners is that the plants are happy and healthy enough to send them out, so next years crop will be bigger. The way to handle runners, I read online, Continue Reading →

Summer garden bliss helps with the blues

My big veggie garden has exploded this summer, probably due to the fact that I set up the automatic watering to water three times a day for short periods. I think I have finally found the right formula for my climate. I was away for two weeks visiting family so naturally the weeds are doing great as well! I’m slowly catching up on the weeding, though. The new strawberry bed and new blueberry bed are both doing well. I may actually get a small crop of strawberries this year after all. I pinched off all the flowers so the plants Continue Reading →

Long live the tulips!

Okay, I’m kind of obsessed with my tulips this year, simply because last year the deer ate them all as they were starting to pop up. This year we thought the same thing had happened, but I’m happy to say that most of the tulips did survive. The purple tulips and the yellow/orange swirly tulips bloomed later than I thought they would. Yay again! We had a pretty nice tulip crop, with about 20 bunches similar to the one pictured at right. I was going to cut them to bring in the house but they looked so pretty outside that Continue Reading →

My new best friend

My new best friend is a gardening tool – sad but true! I originally got it to dig up dandelions but I quickly realized that I had too many dandelions in my yard to ever be able to dig them all up, so I gave up. So, this tool has languished in my garden shed for a few years and I brought it out to help with the quackgrass infestation in my raspberries, which I posted about previously. Well! I never expected it to work so well. I just shove it down in the dirt, wiggle it around a bit Continue Reading →