Categotry Archives: Gardening

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Chile Ristra

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I  recently purchased a bargain plant at Kroger.  It was a great deal, a chile plant for $2!  It was loaded with peppers.  When I got it hope I realized that it was actually three plants in one pot.  I divided the plant and gave one away.  I then started thinking about what I could do with the peppers, so I decided to make a Chile Ristra.  I googled and found this site that showed me how to do it.

I gathered the items to do it – sewing needle, peppers, fishing line.  However, the fishing line was too thick to fit through the eye of the needle.  Thankfully, my son dug deeper and found some thinner line.  I was very happy with the results.  It was super easy, I did it while watching TV.  I made three separate ristras as I thought they might make a good gift – tie a little raffia bow to the top and there you have it, cute, practical gift.

Here is a picture of the finished ristras.  I hung them all together.  I think a wreath would be cool too….I might try that next time. I think I will try and find some very thin wire, then the chiles can be strung directly onto the wire and you wouldn’t need to use the needle and then you could shape it into a circle or even a heart and tie a bow at the top.

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Menu Plan Monday – September 12th, 2011

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  I had a great birthday spent with family, friends, food and fun.  I also came to a bit of an understanding about the old saying – “Make new friends, but keep the old.  Some are silver the others gold.”  God has truly blessed me and I am thankful – for old and new friends, both precious.  Not to mention my family who purposed to bless me on my birthday.  Even making me a surprise GF cake.  Also, my birthday continues into this week as my mom and I have a special day planned, just me and her, to have dinner and get pedicures.

Garden update will come on Wednesday – for sure.

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Chicken Penne Pasta with Peas (I found GF pasta for $1.49/16 oz )

Tuesday:
Hot Dogs
Chips
Salad

Wednesday:
Roast Chicken
Potatoes
Carrots

Thursday:
Sweet n Sour Meatballs
Rice
Veggies

Friday:
Rice Bake

Saturday:
Sausage
Sauerkraut
Veggies

Sunday:
Chili

For more great menu plans and ideas head over to:

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Menu Plan Monday – August 1, 2011

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I varied a bit this past week on my menu plan.  It is so incredibly hot, I couldn’t bring myself to turn the oven on and I changed up a few things.  So there are a few repeats from last week that I never got to….we’ll give it another go this week.

This week I’ve been implementing some of my changes and it’s going fairly well.  I still don’t have it all working yet, but still trying.  One of my successes was making bread only once per week.  I will make bread early in the morning and then we’ll have it for the week.  I’ll let them have sandwiches tomorrow at lunch and then we’ll use it for toast the rest of the week.  That’s been a big change that hasn’t been too widely celebrated, except by me.

If you’re wondering what happened to my garden, well….it suffered while I was away.  Some of it will not recover.  Right now I’m considering planting some things for fall.  I did just plant some Black Eyed Susans.  They were everywhere up in TN, they are suppose to be extremely hardy and I hope they hold up to their claims.  My mom bought two plants which I divided to make four plants.  I also separated my basil plant into two pots as it is growing like crazy and kind of squeezing out the oregano and thyme that’s sharing the pot.  I will try to take pictures this week and post them.

If you have any recipes, ideas or stories on how you’re keeping your kitchen cool, I’d love to hear them.

Monday:
This is a recipe that I found here.  It is an Indian dish and this will be my first go round with it.  I’m sure I’ll change it up a bit, I rarely seem to follow a recipe exactly.

Chicken Korma
Rice
Veggies

Tuesday:
Sloppy Joe on homemade buns (super simple – but not healthy- bun recipe)
Chips
Salad

Wednesday:
Santa Fe Chicken

Thursday:
Pasta with Prego
Salad

Friday:
Chicken Sausages
Not sure if I’ll do rice/beans OR oven roasted potatoes – guess it depends on how hot it is

Saturday:
Rice Bake

Sunday:
My mom picked up a recipe from one of her friends and I’m going to try and recreate it.
White Bean & Sausage Soup

For more great menu ideas:

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Garden Update – #3

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Learning to garden is a bit of challenge and new realizations come up regularly. 

For instance when you plant pickle cucumbers don’t plant them right next to your tomatoes or they will vine out and attach themselves to the tomato plant.    I don’t know if you can tell from the picture which plant is which, but the bigger leaves belongs to the cucumber plant. 


No ill affects have occurred, so far. In checking all this out I did find that
one cucumber grew and there are many little tiny cucumber starts. 

The big strawberry plant is doing awesome and many of the blossoms are bearing fruit.  I still plan to transplant the long planter into a bigger pot.  I just need some container soil.   

On Sunday I applied plant food for the second time and I’m hoping that this is going to help these plants produce.  The “Big Boy” tomatoes are starting to produce and the tiny little patio tomato plant has given us several.  I just planted some onion seeds, I read that they are good to grow under tomato plants so I thought we’d give it a try.

The herbs are doing great.  I am so surprised at how large the pineapple sage has gotten.  It is really starting to take over.  I may have to move it to a single container.  I’m not even sure what I’ll do with this herb, I just liked the way it looked at smelled at the nursery.

Kady’s sunflower is doing amazing. 
Mine, unfortunately, met with an untimely demise of my own making.

The peas I planted are just about ready to, hopefully, start climbing up that screen.  Super excited to see if that is going to work.

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Garden Update – #2

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Well, my mom went to Home Depot this past week and while there she talked to someone about the squash.  He said that when you do container/square foot gardening that if you have more than three in there together that it depletes the nitrogen in the soil and they won’t thrive.  He recommended some plant food that I’m trying so we’ll see what happens.  Everything else is growing nicely.  Though a caterpillar did eat a bit of my daughter’s sunflower, boy was she upset! 
Here are pictures of the herb pot I started.  I was surprised at how much these herbs grew in just four days. 


Ok well, that’s all the pictures, because I switched computers and all the pictures didn’t make it onto this computer.    So more pictures next week.  

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Garden Update #1

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I will say that it’s a bit harder than I originally thought.  Though doing the square foot gardening does virtually cut out the weeding, so that’s a plus.  As you can see my squash is not doing great.  I am still hoping that it will pull out of whatever funk it’s in.  Any suggestions are welcome.  





The tomato plants seem to be doing well, we’ve actually eaten 3-4 tomatoes off of the patio tomato, which I unwisely planted in the back, not knowing how tall the other plants would get. I just noticed this morning that one of the Big Boys has a tomato.  Though I am a bit nervous about this, as someone commented how busy I’m going to be with all those plants.  Live and learn I guess.  I’m hoping to make Tomato Sauce, Enchilada Sauce, Pizza Sauce, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce so hopefully it’s a good thing.  We shall see.






 I also made two new additions. I planted peas, which are already growing quite nicely, as you can see.  I put the screen behind the planter so they can grow up it, hopefully. I saw this online and thought it was a great idea for recycling something I already had
 on hand.  The other addition is a pot of herbs: Oregano, Parsley and Thyme, which have also sprouted right up, much to my delight.  OOPS!  I forgot to get a picture of this.  I’ll have to show them next time.


Below are all the lovely strawberry plants.  They are doing so well and I am looking forward to having quite a few strawberries in the very near future.  It’s hard to keep the kids from picking them as they as excited about them as I am.