Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Garden LOVES Summer!

As of a few days ago, Summer is OFFICIALLY here! :)

I know it's felt like Summer in many parts of the country for weeks, even months, but we've been having our typical "June Gloom" here in Southern California.

The gloominess and lack of sunshine means my garden hasn't been as successful as it could be. But don't fret, with Summer here, the sun shining more and the temperature really warming up, my garden will start to produce even more in no time! You may think I'm crazy, but I can already see the difference in the last week, so and it can only get better.

The number of new tiny buds on my tomato plant is proof that my garden is loving the change. They're way too small to photograph, but I have between five and ten new bunches of blooms that will hopefully become clusters of cherry tomatoes!

My other tomato plant is doing just as great. The first tomato is really getting big and I have a few smaller ones that will hopefully show up better in next week's picture. I'm REALLY excited about this plant and am loving the daily progression.

The jalapenos are going CRAZY! There are new buds, blooms and mini peppers what seems like daily and it's only a matter of time until I get to consume the lil suckers! Mmm Mmm Mmm.


The strawberry plant is just okay. Nothing really new with it and I'm still only getting small little berries! :( I can't complain too much though because I enjoyed two of the tiny berries this afternoon and man they were super sweet!

As mentioned in a previous post, my radishes are no more. While sad, I have to look on the bright side that I have so many other successful plants like the green onions I introduced the same week as the radishes. I can only hope I don't have to get rid of the onions soon too, but I doubt that'll happen since they seem to be doing great!

The garlic and shallots are doing great as usual. I'm a little concerned about one shallot since it's so small compared to the others. I guess if one doesn't make it, I just have to be happy with those that do survive and produce!

And finally - my herbs are loving the Summertime too! 

The mint, what can I say? It took off and grew like crazy and I need to find ways to use it.

I use the rosemary enough, but would love new recipes for that too since it grows back so fast. 

The basil, I have recently realized is now as big if not bigger than last year's plant and that makes me absolutly happy!

The thyme, like usual is huge and is trying to take over the parsley's space.  

Speaking of the parsley, it needs to grow faster because I want to use it more often. Maybe I just need to buy another plant again...

Last but not least, the chives, while still around were forgotten this week... But don't worry because They don't change much and I don't use them too often. It's great to know they're around when I DO need or want them though!

Oh yeah - I almost forgot - I know the weather has helped my garden grow, but maybe it's also doing well with help from a lucky ladybug! :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Chicken

I've made BBQ Pulled Pork a few times, and usually make some kind of chicken dish at least once a week, but I've never ventured into the BBQ Pulled Chicken territory. That is - until today! :)

Last night while looking at recipes, I found one for BBQ Pulled Chicken that I thought sounded amazing!

The recipe was very similar to my pork version, so luckily I had everything I needed on hand. When I got up this morning, I pulled three chicken breasts out of the freezer to defrost. While waiting on those, I got the rest of the ingredients together for the sauce and sliced an onion.

The Ingredients!

VERY Thinly Sliced Onions

The onions on the bottom of the slow cooker.

And the trimmed chicken breasts on top.
(Sorry if you don't like the sight of raw meat...)

Now covered with the sauce!

Cooked, pulled and back in the sauce.

Was it as good as my BBQ Pulled Pork? 


Yes, yes it was!

And since it's more common for me to have chicken breasts on hand, I can easily see myself making this again.

Non-Edible Plants Progress

Sometimes I add updates on my non-edible plants in my weekly garden posts, but I decided it was time to have a post just for these lovely plants. They don't produce anything I can eat or use in my cooking, but I still love them just as much. Their progress amazes me like my edible crops, but they reward me in a different way - with their beauty! 

My dahlia.  

I planted this baby months ago and it took what seemed like forever to even sprout. The sprout grew quickly and before I knew it, it was time to transplant the plant to something bigger!  Once transplanted, the big plant became even bigger! I still have yet to see any buds, but I'm on the lookout because I'll need to trim it back in order to get many blooms.

My Dipt in Wine Coleous.

This too is growing like crazy and really should be transplanted to a bigger pot. I really just haven't had much time, but hope to get around to that in the next few weeks. The plant will thank me - I think!

My two flower pots that I still can't remember what I planted...

I know, stupid Robyn. But ya know, the waiting is kinda fun. It's exciting to see the progress, but I can't wait until they start to bud and bloom so I can find out what I've been growing all along.  

West Coast Wildflower Seed Bombs.

I got my mom some Southwest Wildflower Seed Bombs for her birthday in May and got myself some while I was at it! She recently told me her bombs had "bombed", but I told her to be patient because it took a few weeks for mine to sprout!

My Snap Dragons and Poppies!

They continue to grow and bloom like crazy and I am wishing I'd purchased a few more window-box planters and and more seeds. It took awhile for these suckers too, but man - it was WORTH the wait!

And lastly - my catnip!

Although it's not so "beautiful" and I can't eat it, my two lil furry friends LOVE it and can't get enough. My catnip grows so fast and I've lost count of times I've cut it back to dry to use in homemade toys.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bye Bye Radishes!

Goodbye, Farewell, Adios, Sayonara, Ciao, Au Revoir Radishes!

If you haven't figured it out by now...

I'll tell ya!

Just this evening, I said goodbye to my radishes only a few weeks after planting them. :( 

I recently noticed a few tiny holes in the green leaves and kept my eye on them. Sure enough, just a few days later more holes appeared and on more leaves! UGGGGGH. Bugs! 

I did a little research and think the culprit is a flea beetle, but I'm not 100% sure. During the research I found out that the flea beetle likes multiple different plants - two of which I know I'm growing. I quickly made the decision that I'd get rid of the radishes!  Not only was my success very poor the last time I planted radishes, but I care about my two tomato plants and four jalapeno plants MUCH more than I care about the radishes. 

Sorry to break it to ya radishes - but ya just weren't THAT important...

Even though the radishes rank lower on my plant hierarchy, it was sad to see them go.

I'm sure I'll try them again sometime soon, but maybe wait until Im done with my tomatoes and jalapenos.

And hey - it'll be my third attempt at growing radishes (You know the old saying, "Third time's a charm!"...) so maybe losing them now will work out in the long run! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Peanut Butteraroos!

Many people know about Scotcharoos, and for those of you who don't - make them now and try them, you'll most likely thank me later. I have my wonderful Sister-In-Law to thank for introducing them to me.

This post isn't about Scotcharoo though, but instead it's about my twist on the recipe and what I like to call: 

Peanut Butteraroos!

One night I had a hankering for Scotcharoos and wasn't exactly in the butterscotch mood, so I swapped out the butterscotch chips for some peanut butter chips and made an already delicious treat very enjoyable in just a slightly different way.

Here's step-by-step instructions on how ya make them:

The Ingredients!
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips peanut butter chips

Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. 
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 
until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. 

Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well.

MMMMMMMmmm Peanut Butterrrrrrr

Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. 

Press mixture into greased 13 x 9 inch pan and set aside.

Spread melted chocolate chip and peanut butter chip 
mixture evenly over cereal mixture. 

Let stand until firm. Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars when cool.

Try the regular Scotcharoos, but give these a try too!

My friend Alison, who LOVES Scotcharoos, tried the Peanut Butteraroos and loved them just as much. 

I Have Jalapenos!

Yup - it's official, I have at least one jalapeno growing right now and multiple other buds and flowers in various stages. The first flower blossomed the beginning of last week and it was only a few days until the little pepper appeared. It's only a matter of time before I can enjoy them as poppers or in salsa or on pizza. Oh the possibilities are endless!

The tomatoes are doing just as well as the jalapenos. I have my first big tomato growing and a few others in the flower stage. I'm really excited to watch this process since I've only grown cherry tomatoes before.

Speaking of the cherry tomatoes - they are great too! I've eaten between five and ten and can't wait to enjoy even more! Mmm Mmm Mmm. :)

The strawberries are going crazy, and getting a little bigger than normal, so we'll see what happens with these berries.

The radishes and green onions are really starting to grow. They're no longer just little, tiny, thin, green shoots.


Green Onions

The garlic and shallots - like normal - are thriving above ground, but one can only hope that means good things are happening below ground! 



My basil is growing like crazy. I'm using it and giving it away too, but it doesn't even look like I've taken a single clipping - it's that BIG!

My other herbs are doing great too, but like usual - I could use more parsley! I use it so often that it can't grow fast enough. Hmmmm






And just because I took pictures of some flowers - here ya go! Enjoy. 

Poppies, Snap Dragons and Dahlias that haven't bloomed!

Lastly, two other flowers I planted from seeds...

But I forgot what they are! :)