Candied Flowers!

Check out this beautiful post from The Kitchn.
It includes full instructions on how to candy edible flowers!


New Neighbors.

There are a few doves who have moved into my garden.  
They are very calm and have been sitting on my gate, and also hanging about on the ground.
My husband did some research and we think they may have picked the yard to seal the deal with their birdy mates. 
I think I'm in love.

Baby Eggplant.

Ain't she sweet?
There are so many varieties, this being a "Cloud Nine" getting its name from it's all white appearance.
I am expecting about 75 days to maturity, according to the seed packet.

The other varities growth can range as follows:
Large Oval Fruit
Dusky (60 days to harvest, good size, early production)
Epic (64 days, tear-drop shaped)
Black Bell (68 days, round to oval, productive)
Black Magic (72 days)
Classic (76 days, elongated oval, high quality)
Black Beauty (OP-80 days)
Burpee Hybrid (80 days)
Ghostbuster (80 days; white, slightly sweeter than purple types; 6 to 7 inch oval).
Elongated Fruit
Ichiban (70 days)
Slim Jim (OP-70 days; lavender, turning purple when peanut-sized; good in pots)
Little Fingers (OP-68 days; 6 to 8 inch, long, slim fruit in clusters).
Ornamental Fruit
Easter Egg (52 days; small white, egg-sized, shaped, turning yellow at maturity; edible ornamental)


Sun Tomatoes!

Dealing with a bounty of the red guys?
I ran across this idea in a recipe issue of Mary Janes Farm Magazine.
Into the jar:
  • Sliced or diced (or whathaveyou) tomatoes
  • a few slices of lemon
  • a clove (or two) of finely mined garlic
  • juice from half a lemon
  • a lovely extra virgin olive oil
Leave this jar of goodness in the sun for a few hours, and then put into the fridge.
They are fantastic over pasta, on a salad or white rice.


Long Beach Street Food Festival!

It just so happens that I will be out of town, so I hope you can go!
Saturday, July 24th- 10:30 to 5pm
Over 20 fantastic trucks will be there to serve you!
There will be live music and a beer/wine garden! Bring a blanket and enjoy yourself!
$10 at the door, but it's a fundraiser for Long Beach teachers!
More info here.


Summer Fun!

This Friday, July 30th from 6-8 pm it's "Chow Down At Sundown", hosted by Our Saviors Lutheran Church (At Junipero, between 3rd & 4th, behind Portfolio Coffee)!
Featuring great eats, good times, games & music! 
Live music by Woven Image and more! 
For more info you can call 562-434-7400


Who's Been Eating My Tomatoes?

Birds?  Evil, evil birds?
The bites are too big for bugs, and the natural bug spray I use seems to have been working on them anyhow....
Any thoughts?

yes please!

Just in case the weather wasn't warm enough for you, turn on your oven for this gem;
Lemon Olive Oil Cake!

I used Gourmet Magazine's recipe, and it was worth the heat.

  • 3/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin if desired), plus additional for greasing pan
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Special equipment: a 9-inch (24-cm) springform pan; parchment paper
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.
Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and whisk together with flour. Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined. 

Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. 

Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. 

Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate. 

It's not too sweet, and very moist.
Use a good olive oil and fresh, organic lemons.  You'll taste the difference.
Top with creme fresh or fresh berries for a little extra love.


Organic Pest Control

Uninvited guest in your garden?  Me too.
It's to be expected- it's summer.  Who can blame them?

Try this homemade bug spray.  Nothing funny- no chemicals, etc that can harm your crops.

Boil one cup of water, juice from 3 lemons, a large tablespoon of crushed red pepper and a whole head of garlic.  You don't need to peel the garlic, just break up the cloves.  Boil together for about 10 minutes, and remove from heat. Once it is cooled, put into a spray bottle, with 2 or 3 drops of dish soap.
The dish soap will allow it to stick to the plant.

Rinsing the fruit/veggies before eating will remove any of the remaining spray.
I haven't tasted it on anything, even my berries.



Hello, fellow.

Feeling Conflicted.

Why, oh why, must my two favorite things collide, and I can't be happy about it?
1. Rainbows.  Everybody loves rainbows.
2. Bacon.  Enough said.

Yes people, it's for real.
The good folks over at BACON TODAY recently posted about these beautiful albeit creepy concoctions.
Yes, you're really seeing this.
Artist Neil Caldwell is to blame.
Jury is out on taste, but they are pretty to look at.


Get Yourself Outside.

Salsa, on the grill!

Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
On a skewer:  
  1. One white onion, quartered
  2. Six tomatillos, halved 
  3. Three gloves of garlic 
  4. One jalapeno (or two, I dare ya!) 
    Directly on the grill:
    Three avocados, halved.  Keep the pit in while roasting. 
    It will pop right out once it's cooled.

    BBQ these guys up for about 10 minutes over high heat....achieve a little char.
    Let cool, then into the blender.
    Blend, taste, add lime, salt and pepper.
    Blend, taste again, and SHARE!


    Grow Baby, Grow!

    A personal best.

    What could it be?

    What could capture their attention like this?  
    What is it that made my niece declare a new future profession?  
    What made my nephew whine in desperation?
    Candy apples, covered in chocolate, with marshmallow Minnie ears & bow.


    "We are staunch and true and in rather a champagne mood."
    -Franz Marc

    Uh Oh, Spaghettio's!

    Did you hear?  SpaghettiOs recall!
    Time to admit if you still eat them!

    Campbell Soup Company is voluntarily recalling three varieties of "SpaghettiOs" with Meatballs due to possible under-processing. The products subject to the recall are:
    • "SpaghettiOs" with Meatballs in 14.75-ounce cans;
    • "SpaghettiOs" A to Z with Meatballs in 14.75-ounce cans; and
    • "SpaghettiOs" Fun Shapes with Meatballs (Cars) in 14.75-ounce cans.
    Any of these products bearing a "Use By" date between June 2010 and December 2011 with the plant code EST4K are affected by this recall.


    My sister and I both received calls from Ralph's market since we purchased them using our club card. As much as I hate the technology sometimes, and as much as I wouldn't like to admit I have a weak spot for SpaghettiOs, I appreciate that the grocery market made the call.   That's pretty neat when you think about it.


    Saves the Day!

    Hosting a holiday BBQ?
    Darling Martha Stewart had thrown together some grilling menus to make your life easier, and liberate you from hot dogs!

    And while you're there, she has some very simple and also printable craft ideas to jazz you business up!
    I owe ya one Martha!