Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garden Update

Besides picking and eating my first big tomato, there isn't much to report about my two tomato plants. They're growing well and producing fruit (minimal for the BIG tomato plant...) so I can't really complain!

Cherry Tomato

The "Other" Tomato 
aka BIG Tomato
aka Bonnie Girl Tomato (I FINALLY REMEMBER!!!)

I can complain about the jalapeno plants though! Well, not the plants exactly because they are doing AMAZING and have so so soooooo many peppers, but something is eating the leaves again!!!  I noticed munch marks again early last week and kept my eye on it. Sure enough they continued, so I mixed up a lil more Bt and sprayed all the plants on Wednesday night after work. I haven't seen any new munch marks since then...but who knows if they'll return again! I'll keep you updated and the caterpillar invasion.  :)

The strawberry plant. The same ol' strawberry plant that doesn't really do much. That's all I really have to say about the low-producing plant this week. 

Hahaha - can you tell I'm really not impressed with my strawberry plant? 

I AM impressed with my herbs though. They love the Summer obviously because they are all growing like crazy! I have so much basil, so much thyme, and so much mint I have no idea what to do with all of it!


Parsley and Thyme




And last but not least, the garlic/onion family is doing well from what I can tell. (HA - I didn't mean to rhyme at first but I did and it works so I'm leavin' it!) 

The garlic and shallots keep getting thicker and taller and every few weeks I trim their green shoots because they get so tall and topple over. Toppled over greens don't look as nice, so I trim them. 



The green onions are ALLLLLLLMOST ready to be picked, but like I said last week I'm going to give them just a LITTLE more time. I few more weeks and I'll be harvesting most, if not all of them.

The 1st BIG Tomato!

I mentioned in last week's garden update that my first big tomato was starting to change colors.  It quickly went from green to greenish yellow, progressed to an nice orangish-red color by Tuesday and I decided to pick it on Wednesday before it got overripe and mushy inside. I let it finish ripening on my counter and was a vibrant red color by Friday. 

Tuesday Night

Friday Afternoon

Since it was now ripe and ready to be eaten, I couldn't wait any longer. I cut into and and after the first bite I was in heaven! 

Nom nom nom

Home grown tomatoes have SO much flavor and store bought tomatoes don't even compare.  I'm absolutely going to be growing big tomatoes again next year, I just hope I have a little more successes because there's only one more tomato growing on that plant now...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Things Are Grooooooooooowing!

I've had another busy week and weekend so my apologies for this being a quick update and the only post this week! I have posts planned for the near future so stay tuned. :)

As usual, the two tomato plants are doing great. The cherry tomato plant has TONS of blossoms and many little clusters of green tomatoes. But more exciting is the fact that my first BIG tomato is starting to turn colors. Bye bye green, hello yellow, orange and then red! I can't wait and I was very excited when I noticed the color change this afternoon.

Cherry Tomato 

The "Other" Tomato 

Both the plants together! 

The jalapeno plants are doing amazing too! I have too many peppers, blossoms and buds on the four plants now that I'm not even going to attempt to count. There are a few peppers that are almost ready to be picked! I love that I have them growing fresh on my balcony. 

I pruned the strawberry plant a bit on Saturday and I'm hoping that will promote more berries. Hey, if I can't get big berries, I might as well start hoping for something else and I've decided that I want lots and lots of berries even if they're really tiny! 

The garlic and shallots still seem to be doing well, but until I decide it's time to harvest them, I won't really know...



But the green onions, I can TELL that they're doing great from what I see above the soil. A few of them are probably ready to be eaten, but I'm going to wait and let them get just a little bit bigger!

And finally, the herbs. Oh how I love my herbs. I use them all very often - well except the mint, but it's nice to have mint and I can't get rid of it no matter how hard I try. Back to the ones I do use... the thyme, parsley, rosemary, basil and chive are all thriving and I couldn't be happier because that means I can keep on using them and not worry I'll deplete my entire stash! 







Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Quick Garden Update

That's right - this is going to be quick because I have more things I need to do this evening, but can't go without a garden update this week!

The most exciting news is that I have now enjoyed my very first jalapeno of the season!

I knew there were a few peppers getting rather large, and I almost picked the biggest one to give to my mom on Friday, but I didn't know when she'd get around to using it. I ended up picking it Friday evening and used it a few hours later on some delicious homemade nachos!

Right after picking...

And sliced before using.

The four plants!

The tomato plants are doing well, but nothing very new or exciting to report this week.

Cherry Tomato Plant

The Other Tomato Plant
(I always forget the real name...)

I did dig down a little on the shallots, but I didn't find much so I put the soil back where it was before.  The shallots look good nonetheless and the garlic is doing just as well!



The green onions are THRIVING! The ones I had last year didn't do this well, so I'm seriously considering planting more in another container in the next few weeks! 

I have a new strawberry on the plant and it's bigger than most that I get. But sadly, it's already starting to turn color so it won't really get any bigger. Oh well - I'm sure it'll still be very tasty!

And finally - my herbs. They're ALL loving the Summer weather and are rewarding me with amazing growth. I used basil, rosemary, thyme AND parsley in many different recipes this weekend and none of them really look like they were touched. I love love love my fresh herbs! :)



Thyme and Parsley



And finally - to updated you from a few weeks ago... my mom thought her wildflower bombs had "bombed" and I told her to be patient because mine had just sprouted.  Well, the sprouts have really grown and some are blooming! I love them and I hope my mom's didn't end up "bombing".  

Quiche & My HORRIBLE Life!

I recently had a few friends over for brunch and board games! I like to have brunch every so often because I have so many breakfastish recipes that I want to try, and you can only have them for dinner every now and then.

I've made a quiche for one of these friends before, but this time I wanted to switch it up and try something new! 

I used bacon - like I've done in more than one quiche in the past... 

But this time I added chopped fresh spinach too. 

And shredded pepperjack cheese!

Which was then added to my egg/milk/seasoning mixture.

Then I put a layer of spinach on the bottom followed by a layer of bacon and finally a little of the egg and cheese mixture. Finally, one more layer of spinach, bacon and egg/cheese mixture. Since my friends LOVE melted cheese so much, I added a little bit more to the top of the quiche before putting it in the oven to bake.

My Horrible Life all began while the quiche was baking...

As soon as I put the deep dish quiche in the oven, my friends and I started a The Game of LIFE. From the start of the game, all the way until the end, my Life sucked and I have never seen anyone have a game as bad as mine.  Horrible I say, HORRIBLE!

Yes folks, my pretend life in the game was horrible - not my real life. 

Things started to look up shortly after the game was over because the quiche was ready to be eaten!

It was so amazingly tasty and had a very interesting layered look. There ended up being a thick egg layer on the bottom, which was odd due to how I'd layered everything before baking. 

I'll for sure be making this in the future, but it may have to wait while I try out other breakfast/brunch recipes!