Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grow, baby, grow!

Last night, I finally decided it was time for me to start a kitchen garden. On my way home from work, I stopped by the local supplier and bought $150 worth of plants, seeds, and pots. Wow. I got 2 different tomato plants, a few different types of herbs, 2 green pepper plants, and 2 jalapeno pepper plants. I also had to get a few seed packets, since they didn’t have chives in plant form. The pots I got are self-watering plastic pots. I read somewhere that these self-watering types are much better for patio gardens, because they feed from the bottom up, and don’t need fertilizer as often. I am going to try to do this completely organic – no chemical feeds, fertilizers, etc. I will hopefully be able to get a few pictures of my patio oasis soon.

On a different note, I have found two new magazines that I absolutely fell in love with. One is called “The Herb Companion”. It’s a bi-monthly publication that is 100% about herbs. There are recipes, growing tips, medicinal tips, articles about where to buy them, etc. It’s a really good publication. The other is “Grow.” It’s a brand new publication, put out by Fine Gardening Magazine, on growing vegetables, with articles highlighting each type of vegetable. But I don’t know if it’s going to be a continuous publication, or if it’s just a summer special. Time will tell, but the first two volumes have been great. Check them both out!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Project Cook-Along - sort of...

(Written 1/11/2009)

Wow. I finally got back into the kitchen!

Tonight, I didn’t cook out of the Project Cookalong cookbooks, but rather out of a library book and a magazine. While waiting in line at Wally World a few days ago, I grabbed a copy of the “Healthy Cooking Recipe Cards” – a small magazine-style, brochure-sized publication with a bunch of recipes, all nicely printed on tear-out cards. I had borrowed a book on risottos (aptly entitled “Risottos”! haha) from the library, and was intrigued by a few of the recipes, so decided to try one.

The Menu:
Veggie-Topped Tilapia
Risotto with Leeks and Tomatoes
Mom’s microwave Squash
Aunt Susie’s Cornbread

Everything on the menu was “new” to me – I’d never done any of them from these recipes. In hind sight, perhaps I was being a tad over ambitious. In the middle of it all, I was really in the weeds – even though I had prepped all the ingredients prior to cooking. I don’t know, maybe I was just off my game.

I have to admit, I’ve been interested in making a risotto since watching my first “Hell’s Kitchen” – Sir Gordon is always yelling about the risotto not being done, or being too mushy. So I wanted to see what it was all about. It’s a good thing Gordo wasn’t here, though, because I don’t think I nailed it quite right. On the other hand, I was able to utilize an ingredient I had never used before – leeks. I like them. They’re just bigger scallions/onions, but they cooked up nicely.

The fish was good, although the flavors of the veggies was overpowering. Still, I liked it. The risotto had a weird after taste, but I figured out what it was – the wine I used for the first soaking wasn’t very good – a detail I noticed when I poured my glass for the meal. In the future, I guess I’ll just have to have a taste before I cook with it! Haha All in all, though, the meal was a resounding success. If only I had someone to share it with!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolution Additions

Ok, so I lied. A dozen isn't enough, cuz I thought of two more!

13. Take a photo of every meal I eat. Perhaps this will help me focus on eating healthy more often, and maybe, just maybe, guilt me into not eating so much junk all the time! Perhaps post key meals here, or start another blog to record everything.
14. Hold a monthly wine tasting. Focus on a certain varietal, such as all Merlot wines, and chose the subject matter based solely on the design of the label. There are some fantastically designed labels out there, mostly on lesser-known wines. I have to believe there are some hidden gems out there, and I aim to search them out.