My Gardens

I’d love to show you some amazing garden pictures.  I have a few…many of my flowers are looking pretty good…

But if you look closer, they don’t look as good as they could.  See that space there?

I had what I now believe were deer in my garden.  See the divots?  I think they might be deer prints.  UGH!

I try not to focus on that and instead see the beauty that’s left.

My hummingbird feeder has been a popular place for the birds and for the kids.  They love watching them out the window.

My planters around the house look pretty good.

I am completely in love with the pink flower in the foreground.  I planted it last year and look how big and pretty it is.  It’s at the end of it’s season.  I bought it clearanced out last year.  It’s a type of coneflower.  I hope it comes back.  It’s a perrenial but still they don’t always come back.

The front edge of my garden is looking good.  I’m so glad I put the work into it this spring.  It’s the best it’s ever looked.  (The brown building in the back is the neighbor’s)

I am in love with this hydragena.  This is it’s second year.  The first year it only had about four blooms.  I love how it’s turning pinkish.

From the angle of the this picture one would think everything looks nice here at the front of the house but you’d be wrong.

Check out my flower box.  Deer got to it too.  UGH.  I was so sad.

This pot was filled with impatiens too…all gone.

Check out this picture… …

Yard Sauce and Salsa

I told you on Tuesday that the garden has been taking up lots of my time.  My tomatoes are coming in heavy.  I am not complaining.  I love it…but it is taking up lots of my time.

One of the main things I’ve been making is yard sauce.  I first heard about this two years ago while watching Priscilla and Chelsea on floss tube.  They were making yard sauce and told how to make it.

The recipe was one of those recipes that was so easy to make that I’d be a nut not to try making it…so I tried it.  I loved it.  The family loved it too.

Here’s what you do…quarter a cake pan of tomatoes, remove the core but the skins can be left on.  Add a green pepper, onion and basil.  I add a zucchini too if I have a small one that needs to get used up.  Add some salt and pepper.  Drizzle some olive oil over the top.  Roast in the oven for an hour on 350.

It comes out looking like this.

Let it cool a bit…then put it through the blender and you have a spaghetti sauce.  I use it a lot.  I make lasagna, egg plant parmesan, tomato basil soup…pretty much anything that needs a tomato sauce.  It’s so good.

After it’s done I do add some spices if desired…Itallian seasoning and garlic…maybe more salt and pepper depending on the taste.

The bonus to it all is that it can be put in freezer bags and frozen.

No canning needed.  YAHOO!!  Isn’t that awesome?  I told you it was too good to be true…not removing the skins.  No canning.  Win-Win.  Plus the bonus Win of tasting AMAZING…and using up zucchini.  Yes, please!!

Well I decided to experiment and try to make salsa using the same technique.  I did mostly the same thing.  I core and quartered tomatoes.  I cut and onion and green pepper.  I added a pack of taco seasoning.  I added some garlic too.  This time no basil but yes to jalepanos.

After it came out of the oven I pour some of the excess juice off of the tomato mixture.  I did save that and will use it for soups and such.

I put salt and pepper on along with red pepper.  I roasted it the same way, waited for it to cool and put it in the blender.  This time I just hit pulse a couple of times and still wanted some chunks.

From there I took it out of the blender and I added lime juice, corn, and black beans…YUM!  I did a taste test and added a bit more red pepper.  It wasn’t spicy enough.  Normally I think I would have added some cumin but…I didn’t have any.  This is how it turned out… …

Instant Pot: Greens from the Garden

One of my all-time favorite things is greens from the garden.  This year I planted spinach and swiss chard.  Both work great for this recipe.  I’ve made this with canned greens and it’s good that way too but the game is completely upped with fresh greens.

Kramer’s mom made something like this and I loved it.  I went on to make it and introduce it to our kids.  As per usual, I don’t have a “real” recipe but this is what it looks like…and trust me, it’s GREAT!!

I cut half-frozen bacon into little bits as shown.  I chopped a medium onion and added that too.  I fried it on the saute setting on my Instant Pot.

Then I put 3/4 of a cup of chicken broth into the pot.  I added some salt and pepper and a tablespoon of ham-flavored boullion.

While that was cooking I cleaned …

My Raspberries

Not long ago I posted a picture on Instagram of the raspberries I had just picked from my garden.
After the picture was posted I had several people ask me questions about my raspberries.

I thought I’d answer them and then give you a recipe for a cake I made.

Kramer and I planted four raspberry plants along the back of our garage about four years ago.  We planted some asparagus on one end and horseradish on the other.

It’s all the “ugly” things that we like but make the garden look not so great.  This is the west side of the building.

Raspberries are just not pretty plants.  They are hard to weed and spread.  I don’t love them for that…but I do love the berries.  So putting them on the backside of the garage was a perfect place for them.  They are hidden from the front of the house and only visible from the alley behind the house.

The raspberries have been prolific this year.  I thought they wouldn’t be as Karl cut them way back last fall when Buck, Karl, and Craig shingled my garage.  Then this spring they got trampled again when the garage got sided…but nope.  This year they have produced more than ever.

I picked what you saw in the first picture along with three more of those containers.  I picked the half-gallon you see in the picture above and I have another half-gallon or more that needs to be picked.

I’m thinking there will be another batch to pick next week too.  Previously I had only picked about a half-gallon altogether.  This was their year!!

I’ve never really worried about how to use raspberries before but this year I’ve had to.  I shared a recipe for Chocolate Chip Raspberry Cupcakes on Saturday.  Find the recipe HERE if you missed it.

On this day I tried my Blueberry Zucchini Cake only put raspberries in instead.  You can find the recipe HERE.

The kids were so happy to have cake for a snack.  Typically I’m a little better at serving them something more healthy, but I figured they helped pick the raspberries so this was a great way for rewarding them.

Here is Carver anticipating his first bite.

I really liked the cake.  It’s a moist dense cake almost like a banana bread texture only moister.  It is tart so you might want to serve ice cream with it.

Feel free to pass some more raspberry recipes my way.  I think I might need them.

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