Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Garden Update: 9 Weeks - Gavin Edition

Not too much has changed in my garden this week, so I decided instead of posting the weekly progress of everything, I'd post pictures of my absolutely adorable nephew hangin' out in the garden instead! :)

Hope you enjoy the cuteness. The normal weekly update will be back next week!

The cutest baby in the world, my nephew Gavin!

Hanging out on the balcony.

Helping Aunt Robyn in the garden.

Gavin LOVES tomatoes! I learned during their visit that it's one of his favorite foods. When my brother Randy, sister-in-law Becky, and nephew Gavin arrived I had a tiny bowl of cherry tomatoes that I'd picked the day before and that morning. Within an hour of their arrival the bowl was completely eaten by the little cutie, Gavin. By the time they left on Saturday, he'd eaten every red one off the plant. I couldn't have been happier to see him enjoy them. 

Gavin sees tomatoes!

Gavin wants the tomatoes.

My sister-in-law, Becky helps him get a nice red one!

A nice big one!


Mom isn't going to let the seeds get on Gavin's shirt.


All done.

Gavin wanting more! :)

And because I can't post all this without including a photo of my wonderful brother, his beautiful wife and the oh so wonderful, Gavin! Love you guys. Come visit again soon!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Garden Update: 8 Weeks

I have completely lost count of the amount of tomatoes and jalapenos my two plants have produced. And they keep coming too! Not only are there tons already growing at different stages on both, but there are new blooms that seems to appear every day too!

What I picked on Friday.

Sweet Basil

Flat Leaf Parsley

Upright Rosemary

Garlic Chives





My Lettuce is growing so tall.
It's still producing a lot of leaves, but it looks quite funny!

The two in the pot are doing it as well! :)

Jalapeno Plant

Monster Tomato Plant

Strawberry Plant

Monster Mint

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Robyn vs. Caterpillars - Chapter 2

After spraying my tomato plant weeks ago and getting rid of the lil suckers that were eating the precious leaves, I thought I was in the clear for now as far as caterpillars go...

I hadn't noticed any new munching on my tomato plant, and my basil only had a few little spot that didn't look absolutely perfect.  There would be no complaining from me, just a lot of joy! That is until I was watering my plants on Monday night.

While watering my geranium, I noticed not only that the leaves had tiny to rather big holes munched in them, but that it had stopped flowering too.  I never saw a caterpillar on it, but after quick research online it seems that it was most likely a tobacco worm - similar to a tomato pinworm (what I'm pretty sure was eating my tomato plant). While researching, I found out the Bt I had bought to save the tomato plant, could probably work on this too!

So Tuesday night I came home from work and mixed up a bottle of Bt and went to town trying to save the geranium.  I sprayed the tomato plant and the basil a lil while I was at it.  I'm so afraid of one plant getting infested and then it affecting another. That's the main reason I freaked out when I noticed the poor geranium.

By the time Friday rolled around, the geranium had not gotten better. Sadly, it seemed to have just kept getting worse.  I made the decision that it was time for the geranium to go. I had to. I really don't think there was any saving it.

So RIP geranium.  I'm gonna get you lil caterpillars!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken: 4 Ways!

I eat chicken a lot. Okay, I eat chicken QUITE a lot. I don't eat beef, so therefor a lot of my meals consist of chicken or turkey products. I'll throw in fish or shrimp here or there, but more than often, I'm eating chicken!

This past weekend I decided I'd boil chicken breasts on the bone and then shred the meat to make multiple different chicken dishes. I boiled a total of five chicken breasts, but forgive me because I didn't pay attention to the weight of them. 


To start the cooking process I filled a hugh stock pock about three quarters of the way full of water. Added salt and brought the water to a low boil. Once boiling, I added the chicken breasts that had been cleaned, dried and sprinkled with a little more salt.  With the chicken boiling I made a trip to my garden for some fresh parsley and chives.  I chopped those up and added them to the boiling water/chicken. In total, I boiled the chicken for about 45 minutes to an hour.  After fully cooking, I transfer the chicken to a paper towel lined plate and cool half an hour.  Finally, I remove all the meat from the bones and shredded it into a very large bowl.  

Once you've done the above, you can make one, some or ALL of the dishes I made with mine!

First off was one of my favorite chicken salad recipes. Yes, I am fond of her recipes and you'll see many more in the future.  I've made this recipe once before and I couldn't wait until it was all mixed up to taste it again!  I made this to have for lunches at work this week. I love it on toasted sourdough bread or on top of some delicious spring mix salad. 

After making the Pico de Gallo, boiling the chicken and preparing the chicken salad I was STARVED.  I grabbed a can of black beans, pre-shredded cheese, some of the freshly shredded chicken and the tasty Pico de Gallo and threw together some oh so yum nachos.

Next was chicken and cheese enchiladas for dinner on Sunday night.  I used another Pioneer Woman recipe, but modified it since it originally called for beef.  This made a ton of enchiladas, and I made it with my homemade spanish rice, but the leftovers will be perfect for dinner or lunch in the next few days.

The Sauce

The Meat

Before Cooking

After Cooking!

And you can't forget the rice.

After a long Monday, I decided dinner had to be easy.  With that said, what could be easier than chicken caesar salad? Not much and that's exactly what I decided on. I already had the chicken cooked and the croutons were already made.  All I had left to do was wash, dry and cut up lettuce, then add some fresh slivers of parmesan cheese and toss with caesar dressing!

It's amazing that five chicken breast made four different recipes and I still have some left!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Garden Update: 7 Weeks

Sad news to report in this update - the cilantro is no more. RIP Cilantro. After it started bolting there was no going back. I tried to revived it, but it wasn't working so I made the executive decision to get rid of it. I hate killing plants, but it was taking up valuable garden space!

What am I going to do with that empty space now you ask? Well, one of two things. The first option is to leave it alone for a few weeks and see if the parsley expands and starts to fill in that area. If that happens, great. If not, I will be transplanting my garlic from the individual container to give it a little more room!

Besides the sad cilantro news, everything else is doing absolutely fantastic! My basil is growing like crazy, I have about 20 jalapeno peppers growing, I can't count the number of times I've eaten my home grown lettuce, my tomato plant is just amazing and is finally giving me edible fruit - not just tons of green tomatoes.

Sweet Basil

Flat Leaf Parsley

Upright Rosemary

Garlic Chives

And a view from above!


Finally above the side of the planter. :)

Slow growing, but still alive! 

Jalapeno Plant
Peppers, peppers, and MORE peppers!

Monster Tomato Plant

Strawberry Plant

And the Mint that's slowly taking over my garden!
Whoa mint!