Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seed Cost

Last year I decided to try keeping track of the produce I harvest. Here's a list, including prices, of what I purchased this year:

Old Homestead (Kentucky Wonder) Green Beans             $2
Chantenay Red Core Carrot                                              $2
Tonda di Parigi Carrot                                                       $2.25
European Mesclun Mix                                                     $3
Rocky Top Lettuce Mix                                                     $3
Tall Telephone Garden Pea                                                $2.25
Giant Noble Spinach                                                         $1.75
Cilantro, Slo-Bolt                                                               $2
Red Mexican Hat Wildflower                                             $1.50
Yellow Prairie Coneflower Wildflower                               $1.50
(Shipping from Baker Creek: $3)

Intermediate Day Onion Sampler                                      $10.75
Lancelot Leeks                                                                 $10.95
(Shipping from Dixondale Farms: not determined until shipping time; should be next week!)

Total                                                                                $42.95 (~45.95 incl. shipping)

I would also like to purchase some garlic and shallots, and will be looking for those at Wickman's Gardens soon.

Garden 2011

I started seeds this morning. The Hubs bought me a Burpee Seed Starting Greenhouse and a Hydrofarm Seedling Heat mat. Here's my setup this year:
I have two grow lights and a heating mat. I won't turn on the lights until I have seedlings. Until then, I'll have the heating mat on.
Here's a closer shot of what I have planted so far. The seed starting tray has 72 cells, but I only used 30 so far. I'll probably start some herbs closer to transplant time.
This year, I'm limiting myself to 2 plants per variety. I planted 2 seeds per cell, and 3 cells of each to ensure I'll have enough to transplant. The excess will be donated or given away.
A majority of these seeds are from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds out of Mansfield. They do not have banana peppers or poblano peppers, so those seeds are from Lowe's. All of the seeds I started in the tray today are from last year.

Red Cheese
Quadrato d'Asti Rosso
Golden Marconi

Amish Paste
Black Cherry

Thai Long Purple
Rosa Bianca

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Monday: Lady Gaga "Speechless"

I'd like to start posting a music video a week.
I accidentally came across Lady Gaga last year when I heard a coworker complaining about her. So I found some of her music on youtube and fell in love. She does some pretty crazy music videos, and wears crazy outfits but she also has an amazing voice and can play piano - more than some artists...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What's for Dinner tonight: Chile Rellenos with a twist

Typically when I make chile rellenos, they are stuffed with cheese, breaded and fried. I saw a recipe in a magazine last year that gave me a different idea. I think the magazine was Food and Wine, but I looked for the recipe and couldn't find it. Here's my version:

Chile Rellenos:

4 large chiles, seeds removed
1/2 large yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 c jasmine rice, with water to cook
Can of corn
About 2 oz cheese (I used colby jack, but I would have used Cheddar if we had it), about 1/4" dice
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into about 1/2" cubes

Cook the rice first, according to package directions. I used jasmine rice because that's what I had, but I think it's more of an Asian rice than a Mexican rice. It tastes fine...
Dice the onion and garlic and saute in olive oil until tender. Drain the corn and add to the skillet.
In a separate pan, cook the chicken in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder.
Add the rice and chicken to the onion mixture.
Stuff the peppers with the mixture and cook at 350 for about 25 minutes.

There will be several cups of rice mixture leftover. I planned this, so I could have "rice bowls" like what I order at Chipotle.

I'd like to add black beans and tomatoes to the stuffing, but the Hubs doesn't like black beans, so that will be a test recipe when he's not at home.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Garden photo

I have a hunch these pots are where the squirrels hang out and eat their lunch.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crockpot Tamale Pie Variation #2

Several months ago, I posted a Crockpot Tamale Pie recipe. This time, I had a couple different ingredients on hand and wanted to try it again. 

Tamale Pie variation #2

3/4 c cornmeal
1 1/2 c milk
1 egg, beaten
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 envelope dry chili seasoning (when I was at the grocery store I had myself convinced the recipe called for taco seasoning, so that's what I used.)
16 oz can diced tomatoes (I used a pint of home-canned tomatoes)
16 oz can corn, drained
16 oz can pinto beans
1/2 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 c shredded cheddar

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with non-stick spray.

Start browning the ground beef in a skillet. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until tender.

Mix together cornmeal, milk and egg in crockpot.
Mix in meat mixture, tomatoes, seasoning, pinto beans and corn.
Cook, covered, on high for 1 hour, then on low 3 hours.
Sprinkle with cheese and cook about 5 minutes for cheese to melt.

The original recipe does not call for onion, bell pepper, or pinto beans.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Onions and anxiety

Today I ordered my onions from Dixondale Farms. I was going to get around to it, but earlier this week I got a reminder email from the Owner (well, probably his secretary, in an automated email) that I hadn't ordered my onions yet and this is the time I ordered them last year. I felt a little whipped into shape after that email, and also appreciative that they would take time to email a reminder like that. So I ordered a bunch of lancelot leeks (I was only going to order half a bunch, but a full bunch was only $2 more), and a mixed bunch of intermediate day onions. I was going to order some of their special onion fertilizer - it's all nitrogen and no P-K. But I decided instead to use up some of the fertilizer in the garage. I think it's the Lowe's version of Miracle Grow. Not the best stuff, but I'd rather use it than throw it away. It has a pretty high nitrogen content if I remember correctly.

I'm getting really anxious about my sixth exam on Tuesday. Mostly because this will probably be the hardest exam for me. If I fail any of them, this will be the one. I've been reading the material for several months now, but still not scoring very high on the sample exams. However, it's been my experience that the practice exams for the other sections were a lot harder than the real exam and I passed the five I've taken on the first try. The other reason I'm anxious is because it may snow again early next week and I'd hate to have to reschedule it. The Hubs said he'll take me to the testing center if need be, if I can't get there in the car. I should probably read up on their snow cancellation policy, too, though.
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