Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hello again, world!

Dear Blogosphere,


I have been so blessed to be away and busy with lovely summer things, that I have not had time to write.  Sometimes, not even time to get near my computer.  It's nice-- traveling, riding bikes, chalk, gardening, parks, pools, grilling,.... children going to bed at least an hour after they should every night.  :-) But it's sad, too, because I miss writing!

Okay, I will try to bring you up to date on everything that's been going on.

Here are some pictures, as they are worth so much more!

Cute boys in the garden!

20 lbs. of blueberries!  I acquired for $35!

The first ripe tomato.  Good thing I got this picture, because later that day, Chris let Ben eat it!

Cutest baby E.V.E.R.  Enjoying summer.

Flowers I planted by the front door.  To make it look pretty.  :-)

Blueberry pie.  Note the two plates, and the pie that's still out, so Chris and I could have another piece after we cleaned up for the night.  It was delicious.  And the kids got to have the rest of it for breakfast.   
Garden Update:

  • We have had to stake up our tomatoes multiple times so far this year, as they keep falling over.  They are like a jungle.  :-) Not complaining.   
  • We cut a bunch of lettuce this evening that was getting pretty big.  I guess we'll have a salad tomorrow! 
  • I think we will be picking our first zucchini in the next day or two.  Our zucchini plants have gotten HUGE, and we haven't seen any squash bugs yet.  We are still braced for their return, as they wreaked havoc on our squash last year and we didn't know what they were until it was too late.  But this year we are prepared.  
  • The pumpkins are still not doing great, but I am planning to plant two more in the next few days, so hopefully we'll get some good ones.  
  • I think we are going to be digging our garlic soon, and I have been thinking what to put in place of it.  I'm leaning towards bush beans and beets.  The first batch of beets did not do well this year.  I picked one which we ate, but the rest have been slow growing. 

Update on other food fronts:

  • Tonight we had millet pizza crust pizzas, with a twist.  The dough was NOT working for me, so I got out cookie cutters and made mini pizzas.  Then I baked them on a well oiled cookie sheet for about a half hour, added the toppings (sauce, zucchini slice, cheddar cheese), back in for about 10 minutes.  They were so good.  The crust was so much better than a big sheet, as it got crispy and delicious.  
  • I also recently made an Indian dinner.  When I make Indian, I like to go all-out.  I made buttery spinach and potatoes (always delicious), and I tried two new dishes.  The first was not really Indian, but had cumin and complemented the flavors-- Cumin Socca.  It was good (a little salty), and the first time I really got it to set nicely.  Then I made deep fried cauliflower tossed in an Indian barbeque-type sauce.  They were really good.  mmmm. 
  • With the twenty pounds of blueberries, I made some delicious blueberry jam today.  It made nine cups!  I am super excited to have jam that is low-sugar and I can keep it all year long.  I am looking forward to making other types of jam throughout the summer. 
Well, I feel that I have rambled enough.  Hopefully I will write again soon, but this whole summer thing has thrown off all schedules and normalcy in the Good household.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Food Log-- 6.16.11


Breakfast:  Banana Muffins, yogurt with granola (the granola bars I made yesterday crumbled up!)

Lunch: Leftover sandwiches (almond butter, homemade whole wheat bread), watermelon, peas, more watermelon

Snack:  (I didn't really eat lunch, so I had a snack at naptime) granola with milk.

Dinner: Indian!  Potato and peas patties, spiced cabbage, onion chapatis and cucumber onion chutney.  yum.

But WHY?

"WHY do I have to eat my peas? I really just want. More. Watermelon."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Food Log-- 6.15.11


Breakfast: Oatmeal with apricots, blueberries and strawberries.  Yum.  All that delicious fruit.

Lunch: Granola bars, blueberry muffins (finally ate them all!), bananas

Dinner: Beans and rice with taco seasoning, tortillas that turned out more like flatbreads, fresh salsa (can't wait til it comes from our garden!), lettuce, cheese, chocolate ice cream dessert

Coming soon:
  • CSA update with pictures
  • Kitchen update with pictures
  • My strawberries
  • What to do with $2 worth of bananas and $1 worth of apricots

Food Log-- 6.14.11


Breakfast: Oatmeal (of course!)

Lunch: (Picnic outside) Almond Butter and butter sandwiches, apricots, blueberry muffins

Dinner: Lasagna, salad, chocolate ice cream dessert.

I wish we were eating more veggies for lunch! Ugh, I will really have to focus on that this week.

Menu plan from 6.10.11

Just walked by my fridge and thought how I never shared this with you. I know that was days ago, but I didn't forget about you. Well, alright, I kind of forgot about you... :-)

Just tune in to my food logs this month, and you'll get a better idea what we're having!

Pictures! Garden Update

Biggest tomatoes
Here is my update for our garden this week.  Lots of pictures!

I think 11 out of 17 tomato plants have tomatoes on them!  SO excited.

Zucchini (we have two)

Pepper Plants

Horseradish Bush

Pumpkins (Not doing so hot, but still growing at least!)

 Not everything is doing GREAT, but it's all growing, so I am happy. 

The beets are pretty pathetic. 

The what-I-thought-was-broccoli is actually either cabbage or cauliflower.  The jury is still out.  Either way, I'm happy! 

The pumpkin plants are growing slowly... not sure why, but they look alright, just a lot smaller than the other plants I started at the same time. 

The Porch Garden is really taking off.  We planted a 'volunteer' tomato plant from the garden and a leftover mystery tomato plant that I had started indoors, along with a cucumber plant (2 in one of them!) in each of the big purple planters.  There is basil, lettuce and spinach in the shallow long planter. 
The Porch Garden + compost bins + empty groundhog trap

Spinach going to seed, kale

Roma Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Roma tomatoes!

How is your garden doing?

Link up at to share!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our CSA!!

Yay! Our CSA started this past week, and we couldn't be more excited!  (A CSA is called a community shared agriculture, which is a great way to support local farmers and get fresh local produce all summer long.) We didn't really know what to expect-- we did a CSA last year that was all fruit, but it didn't start until August, so it was mostly apples, pears and plums.

This year we ventured into the fruit/veggie CSA. I'm so excited to be supporting local farmers.  Plus getting fresh produce every week.  Plus, it's like Christmas every Wednesday, because we have NO IDEA what we are going to get.  I know it will be something I look forward to each week! 

This past week we got: a pint of strawberries, a pint of peas, a cucumber, a zucchini, a bunch of onions, a big head of lettuce, four large mushrooms, and a half gallon of milk.

Sadly, I did not snap a picture of our goodies because it was quite past bedtime when we finally got home that night, plus, half the strawberries barely made it out of the parking lot, let alone into our house. Maybe I will get myself together this week and capture it for you!

I am so grateful we were able to participate in a CSA this year.  Anytime I can get my hands on fresh, local produce (or better yet, home grown produce!), I am a happy camper.

Come back tomorrow (hopefully, I will get out to my garden, anyway) to see how our 17 tomato plants, 22 pepper plants and the rest of our garden is doing!

Join us at each Tuesday for Gratitudesday!

Food Log-- 6.13.11


Breakfast: Leftover oatmeal and toast (finally made bread last night!!), strawberries

Lunch at the park: Sunbutter and date sandwiches (NOT a low sugar choice!), apricots, prunes (I brought cucumbers with every intention of serving them, but I forgot...)

Dinner: Grilled roast beef, broccoli, potatoes, salad, pecan pie, brownies (went to a friend's house for dinner!)

This week, I will let you know about our CSA, and what I did with the strawberries I picked on Saturday!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Food Log-- 6.12.11


Breakfast:  Trailmix-type pancakes (hemp seeds, sesame seeds and pecans today) with some coconut flour and homemade strawberry sauce!

Lunch: Egg salad and tomato lettuce wraps (Kids had sandwiches), hummus and veggies, apples with sunbutter

Dinner: Broccoli and mushroom casserole (much like this recipe), s'mores for dessert with homemade graham crackers and rice puff marshmallows

I have altered the graham cracker recipe a bit to better suit my family, but that's a good one to start with.  I will hopefully post my own recipe sometime soon!  :-)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Food Log-- 6.11.11


Breakfast:  Scrambled (or over easy) eggs, mini blueberry muffins

Lunch: Didn't really have what you would call lunch... Three mini blueberry muffins. Lots of water.  I was strawberry picking. Back at home everyone else scrounged for leftovers. :-)

Dinner: Grilled mushroom cap sandwiches (from our CSA!), grilled zucchini, roasted potato salad (inspired by the lovely Montgomerys!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garden without Groundhog

I am so grateful that we made a scarecrow.  Chris just happened to read a list of things you can do to deter animals from coming in the garden.  He just mentioned in passing a scarecrow.  We did not talk about it at all, or even really consider it a possibility.  But for 'some reason' on Friday, I just decided we would make one.  I used sticks and twine to lash them together, and clothes that I knew Chris would never wear again.  (Insert Vivace shout-out here, to the two or three of you that may ever read this and get it)

I can tell you that the groundhog has not been back (that I can tell) since I put up the scarecrow.  No  more of my broccoli gone.  Some of the plants that were chewed off at the stalks have actually started to grow baby leaves again!

We got a bigger trap to put in the garden on Sunday (borrowed from my FIL).

Then, yesterday, we stopped by Five Below and each of the children picked out a pinwheel.  The movement from them is supposed to scare the groundhogs from coming in the garden.  We put them around the broccoli plants.  I don't know how much they will do to deter small animals, but they actually look pretty cool blowing in the breeze.

So, there you go. A free scarecrow, a borrowed trap, and three dollars on pinwheels to keep out the groundhogs. 

Can you find the pinwheels?

My three workers.  :-) 

So grateful I have generous people to lend us a trap and for the cheap ideas (that seem to be working) to keep out the groundhog!)

Join us at for Gratitudesday
And at for a weekly garden update

Food Log-- 6.7.11

Breakfast: Mini blueberry muffins

Lunch: Leftovers-- portabella mushroom cap on bread with coleslaw and bbq sauce.  Ellie and Sam had rice, chickpeas and all kids had cherries

Dinner: Leftover quiche-- mushrooms, broccoli, spinach (garden), kale (garden), onion, potatoes (Sunday)

Food Log 6.6.11

Well, I know I am a little late, let's see if I can remember what we had. I took a lot of pictures the last few days, so that will help in the remembering department. :-)

Breakfast: Leftover oatmeal from last week, cantaloupe
Ellie's Plate

Lunch: I had a split pea burger with bread.... cucumbers and cherries. The kids had leftover spaghetti

Dinner: Grilled portabella mushroom caps on bread, coleslaw and broccoli

(It's a good thing I took that picture, because I had forgotten what we ate!)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Food Log-- 6.5.11

Today we had a great day!  Grandma came to visit for the day (to bring a bigger trap for our groundhog), so we grilled, and it was a FEAST! It was also a fantastic day to spend outside!

Breakfast: Baked oatmeal, eggs

Lunch: Grilled hamburgers, grilled portabello mushroom caps, sprouted wheat buns, potatoes with onions and garlic, hummus with veggies, asparagus (lettuce, avocado, onions, ketchup, mustard, Stubbs BBQ sauce, vegannaise for the burgers)

Snack: S'mores with homemade graham crackers, lindt chocolate and rice puff marshmallows

Dinner: Out to a Thai restaruant-- Pad Thai and Ponang Curry

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Food Log-- 6.4.11

Breakfast:  Oatmeal strawberry chocolate chip pancakes (vegan because I didn't have eggs so I used flax instead!), kids had bananas before the pancakes were ready

Snack: Leftover homemade pitas, gluten free pumpkin muffins from a yard sale (Kids had a snack)

Lunch: Split Pea burgers, leftover Hummus with veggies, cantaloupe

Dinner: Spaghetti with homemade sauce and artichokes with garlic butter

We had a great day!  It was so nice outside.  We went to the West Chester Grower's Market only to discover we didn't have any cash.  Ha!  ANYway, we also ended up at a yard sale and got some pretty great stuff-- still no cash, but luckily we got it on credit! (Love going to friends' yard sales!) And there were gluten-free pumpkin muffins for sale, and we actually found enough for the kids to each get one!  Yum!

No sign of the groundhog so far today! Let's hope he stays away-- we are getting a bigger trap tomorrow.  :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Food Log-- 6.3.11

Breakfast: Oatmeal with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, sucanat, and cashews, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and rice milk on top

Snack: Kids had pears

Lunch:  Split Pea burgers on  homemade whole wheat buns, deviled eggs, red pepper strips,  graham crackers (I had a LARGE handful of graham cracker pieces....)

Dinner: Hummus, homemade pitas, carrots, red peppers and snap peas, raw chocolate covered cookie dough balls for dessert

In doing this, I realize we have eaten a lot of red peppers in the last three days!  Well, they are almost gone and I will have to resort to all the other veggies in our fridge.  I just love red peppers!

No food picture today, but a food preservation picture instead... well, hopefully it will act as one!

Take THAT, groundhog! (Who ate MORE of my broccoli today.... good thing the packet spilled while I was planting them and we ended up with many more than planned... but we don't have enough to keep this rate of eating up for long.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Food Log-- 6.2.11

Breakfast: Green Trail Mix Pancakes without the green
Lunch: Almond butter and bananas on homemade whole wheat buns, red pepper strips, honeydew melon (kids ate it all-- I got none!), raw chocolate covered cookie dough balls (Chris said they were the best sweet thing he's had in awhile!)
Snack: One marshmallow and one piece of white chocolate fudge (Bad Janet for all that sugar!)
Dinner: Split Pea burgers on homemade whole wheat buns, (onion, tomato, ketchup, mustard, spinach on top), roasted carrots, deviled eggs

Mmmm, my Chris made the deviled eggs tonight (we are using a hard boiled egg in the trap in the garden to try and catch the groundhog, who ate the first broccoli stalk off my best broccoli plant today and must die) and I told him, "You are a good cooker-guy!"  I'm so lucky to have a good-cooker-guy as my husband!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Food Log-- 6.1.11

I've been thinking about doing a food log.  You know-- where every night I report in what I ate that day.  I'd like to do it for at least a week.  Maybe even a month! I think it would be fun.  What do you think?  Since I'm here, I'll start today and see how it goes!

Breakfast: Oatmeal sweetened with sucanat, with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pecans.  Rice milk on top.
Lunch: Homemade whole wheat bun with almond butter, leftover veggie pasta salad, one or two graham crackers, honeydew melon
Dinner: Beans and rice with taco seasoning, salsa made with tomatoes from the farmer's market!
Late Night Snack:  Lots of tastes and licking of fingers while making raw chocolate covered cookie dough balls!  MMM... :-)

How does your garden grow?

Here's my Ben with a tour of the garden for you!

Some notes for you:
  • the lettuce was mostly eaten by the small groundhog we are currently trying to trap
  • the peas are doing HORRIBLY!  some because of the above groundhog and some because the bunnies eat them through the fence.
  • we also have cut worms which have taken out some beets, broccoli and cabbage
  • the groundhog also took out three or four cabbages and three or four broccoli plants, and my only cauliflower plant!  (I started some more cabbage and cauliflower inside yesterday in hopes of a late crop... with no groundhog around!)
  • The empty box in the middle of the garden is the future home of our potatoes... yeah, i guess i should get on that! :-) 
  • just today I saw what I think is a four lined plant bug, which I know is not good, but have yet to look into what to do about them. 
  • I am angry at the groundhog. 
Oh, AND I planted a small container garden on my porch!  I got two huge buckets from Five Below for five dollars each, drilled holes in them and... tah-dah!  A cheap planter, in a fun color.  Each bucket has one cherry tomato plant and a cucumber, and I plan to start some lettuce in there as soon as the plants get a bit bigger.

Join us at Smockity Frocks every Wednesday with your garden updates!