Tips For The Garden

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Tips For The Garden

While I would love working outside in the garden today, we are experiencing heavy rain and winds due to Tropical Storm Ana. I hate to admit this but I still have a few more seeds to plant and then I am finished.

Last year’s garden produced okay, however we had a whole bunch of pest we were unfamiliar with, and if you know me well, you know I don’t do bugs very well. πŸ™ They just gross me out and always have. Last year when friends and family both told me to squish the bugs off the plant leaves, I let out a rather loud, “Ewwww, gross!”

Life would be easier if I used pesticides on my plants, but I would at least like to have organic in my own garden since I don’t have the budget for organic in the grocery store.

We lost our power a couple of times last night and at that point I opted to shut down my computer completely to prevent further damage. I may have to do so again today, but for now everything seems to be a-o-k.

In the mean time, I wanted to share this with you:

Tips For The Garden
Tipnut has some great tips and tricks for you and your garden this year, so head on over and check out the helpful tips on re-using and re-purposing items as well!

Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

This recipe uses tomatoes fresh from the garden. My tomato of choice is always plum tomatoes because they are meatier and are the best choice for making sauce. However, use what you have and it will still be better than any store bought sauce – guaranteed!

(I apologize for the blurry picture πŸ™ )

Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

If you’ll notice I really didn’t get specific with amounts because it really depends on how many ripe tomatoes you have. I only had about 16 ripe plum tomatoes and since we can’t time all the tomatoes to ripen at once, I make them when I have enough for a batch (enough to fit into an 8×8 baking dish).This recipe uses tomatoes fresh from the garden. My tomato of choice is always plum tomatoes because they are meatier and are the best choice for making sauce. However, use what you have and it will still be better than any store bought sauce – guaranteed!

(I apologize for the blurry picture πŸ™ )

Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

If you’ll notice I really didn’t get specific with amounts because it really depends on how many ripe tomatoes you have. I only had about 16 ripe plum tomatoes and since we can’t time all the tomatoes to ripen at once, I make them when I have enough for a batch (enough to fit into an 8×8 baking dish).

Print Recipe
Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe
You will never want store bought again after making this tomato sauce. This could be a bowl of soup, sauce for pasta or pizza - it's that good!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • Tomatoes quartered lengthwise
  • 1 medium onion sliced in to eigths, lengthwise (you may use more onions if you have a huge batch of tomatoes to cook.)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Basil to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • Thyme to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more depending on the amount of tomatoes you have)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • Tomatoes quartered lengthwise
  • 1 medium onion sliced in to eigths, lengthwise (you may use more onions if you have a huge batch of tomatoes to cook.)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Basil to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • Thyme to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more depending on the amount of tomatoes you have)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a baking dish large enough to accommodate your tomatoes and onions. Mix well.
  3. Put in oven and mix well every 30 minutes. Total baking time will be about 90 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool for a little while (about 20 minutes).
  5. To process into you will need a strainer, or a food mill, a large spoon, and a bowl to catch the sauce as your press it through the strainer, or food mill. I use a strainer and put about a cup of the oven roasted tomatoes in and I take the back of the spoon and mash it, spread it around the strainer until I am certain I've gotten all the fine bits of tomatoes out. I then scoop out the skin, onions and any spices that remain in the strainer, and put another cupful in and start again. Continue on in this fashion until you are finished processing.
    Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe
Recipe Notes

Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe
After you process it through the strainer or food mill, if find it's too runny for your liking, pour it in to a saucepan and simmer on the stove to cook it down to the consistency you desire.

Use within 5 days or freeze. I chose to freeze mine:
Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe
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Tomato Pie

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Depending on where you live, you might now be in the beginning stages of produce overload. It’s when everything seems to be ripening at once, and while freezing and canning is always a great preservation option, you really want to experience the fresh-tasting, deliciousness that only straight-off-the-vine (or plant) can produce. I have a few seasonal go-to recipes that I really look forward to every summer because those meals tastes even better when most of the ingredients are coming from the garden. One of my favorites is Tomato Pie.

Tomato Pie

Ripe tomatoes are beginning to pile up on my kitchen counter, and for the last two summers I’ve made this wonderfully delicious Tomato Pie. This is my fourth time making this and it’s more delicious with every forkful.

Don’t let the potato crust put you off at all. If you prefer making your own crust for this – it’s just as wonderful. I’ve done it both ways based on the ingredients I have on hand. This time I had potatoes that I needed to use up, or I’d risk having to toss them.

I also think if you don’t have bacon you can substitute some ham in its place or leave out the meat altogether which makes for an even more frugal meal – it is delicious no matter how you make this Tomato Pie! Thank you Linda for a wonderful recipe!

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GEFU 13590 Tomato and Apple Slicer, Pomo Tomato Hullers Tomato Press

Blueberry Recipes

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Blueberry Recipes

Depending on where you live, your blueberry bushes might just now be flowering and have not reached the fruit stage, or maybe they are just about through producing and you are already pulling out your blueberry recipes.

Blueberry Recipes

If you’re lucky, you were blessed with a large crop of blueberries, or, if you’re like me, your blueberry plant produced about 12 berries.

Oh, trust me – I’m not complaining. I am actually very happy about that since this is a first time in the 5 years we’ve had these bushes that they did more than just flower – so I’ll take a dozen berries any day! Next year will be better for our plants – I know it! πŸ˜€

But if you don’t have blueberry plants, the next best thing is a farm stand or a maybe a nearby festival where all the local farmers come once per year to sell off their crops of blueberries. You can purchase them for a song (sometimes). My song cost $1.66/pint.

I don’t know why, but what is purchased in the grocery store never tastes as good, or as fresh as what you can purchase from a farmer’s market or festival.

Blueberry Recipes

All over the world there are festivals that showcase local goods whether it’s shrimp. clams, garlic, strawberries, oysters, blueberries, beer, spots, etc. You get the idea, don’t you? These are a really great place (in my experience) to pick the item up for a really great price.

I have 12 pints of blueberries to freeze/use. My old standby was always blueberry pancakes, or I would put some in my hot/cold cereal. But this year I really wanted to find other ways to use them along with the old standby ways.

And find other ways to use them I did.

Wow.

I never realized how many blueberry recipes where out there until I started looking for some.

The problem I have now is deciding which ones I’m going to make/try and which will have to wait till the next crop (or the next time I buy).

These blueberry recipes are not all of them on the internet (although it may look like that!). I had to stop myself because I knew I would spend a very long time (years perhaps) just trying/making all of these. But they all look so yummy, I couldn’t decide.

Clicking on the links or photos will take to you to the page for that recipe.

Best of the Best Blueberry MuffinsBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry PieBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Flax PancakesBlueberry Recipes

Best Ever Blueberry CobblerBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry SauceBlueberry Recipe

Blueberry Zucchini BreadBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry BuckleBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Crisp IIBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Crumb BarsBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry French ToastBlueberry Recipes

Todd’s Famous Blueberry PancakesBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Banana BreadBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Blast SmoothieBlueberry Recipes

Frozen Blueberry PieBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Fool

Blueberry Recipes

Photo by jonathan lovekin

Blueberry JamBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry PopsBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry BlintzesBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Buttermilk SconesBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Lime GranitaBlueberry Recipes

Chilled Blueberry SoupBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Lemon Iced TeaBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Banana Oat BreadBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Balsamic Glazed Rosemary ChickenBlueberry Recipes

More Driscoll Blueberry RecipesBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry VinaigretteBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Zucchini MuffinsBlueberry Recipes

Grilled Chicken With Blueberry GuacamoleBlueberry Recipes

Vegetable Couscous Wild BlueberriesBlueberry Recipes

Blueberry Barbeque SauceBlueberry Recipes

Mushroom Blueberry Balsamic Pot Roast Blueberry Recipes

Which blueberry recipes are your favorites?

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Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

If you read my post containing a nice selection of zucchini recipes then you’ll know that zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables. You will also notice that I posted a zucchini bread recipe on that post, but this one here, is the best – I promise.

I took that recipe and changed a few things, and oh!

It’s so good.

I love that you can put zucchini in to a sweet bread and no one will be the wiser.

I love that this zucchini comes fresh from my garden!

I love how inexpensive this is to make!

Best Zucchini Bread RecipeBest Zucchini Bread Recipe

If you read my post containing a nice selection of zucchini recipes then you’ll know that zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables. You will also notice that I posted a zucchini bread recipe on that post, but this one here, is the best – I promise.

I took that recipe and changed a few things, and oh!

It’s so good.

I love that you can put zucchini in to a sweet bread and no one will be the wiser.

I love that this zucchini comes fresh from my garden!

I love how inexpensive this is to make!

Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

Print Recipe
Best Zucchini Bread Recipe
This zucchini bread is so good no one will ever know you've got 3 cups of grated zucchini inside.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 325 F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (I used 9x5).
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking soda and powder, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Combine oil, apple sauce, eggs, vanilla, white and brown sugars in a bowl mixing well.
  4. Stir in zucchini and walnuts until well combined. Pour evenly into loaf pans and bake in preheated 325 F oven for about 55 minutes or until knife inserted in loaf comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool completely.
  6. Best Zucchini Bread Recipe
Recipe Notes

Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

This is great warm or cold, with or without butter, with or without a simple confectioner's sugar glaze on it.

After cooling completely you can wrap the second loaf really well and freeze for another time.

Enjoy!

(This recipe has been slightly adapted from Mom's Zucchini Bread.)
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Cucumber Recipes

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We have tons of flowers on our cucumber plants. I was really happy that I only purchased 4 plants this year – they are hardy and usually do very, very well. I can’t ever recall seeing them so flooded with flowers before, so this years harvest should be interesting. Or overwhelming.

I’ll let you know. πŸ˜•

My husband decided that he wanted cucumbers for his little piece of land in our backyard, so we have 8 plants total. He’s already got a few cucumbers growing, but I haven’t seen anything but loads of flowers on mine. My husband loves cucumbers. I just hope he’ll love them as much by the time we are through…

I am really envisioning an over-abundance of cucumbers this year. So much so, that I started looking for other ways to prepare them besides in a tossed salad, or chopped up with some fresh tomatoes, a little red onion, a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Or sliced cucumbers with tuna or chicken salad on the slices, or even some hummus.

We are trying to plan ahead for what we feel will be a huge load of cucumbers. He’s not a pickle fan, and while I like sweet pickle relish I don’t use a lot of it to justify making any, and besides, I do not know how to can. If I were to make some without canning and just keep it in the fridge – the shelf-life has a small window of time. I don’t even use it every week – so I won’t even consider that.

I am trying to find ways to eat cucumbers so that we can enjoy as much as we can before we are so overloaded that we begin donating them to friends, and family, or maybe sell them when we have our yard sale (which will be very soon!).

I found a nice selection of recipes that I will definitely be trying this season – hope you do, too!


Cucumber Recipes:

Cold Cucumber Soup
Cucumber Recipes

Indian Cucumber and Yogurt Salad (Cucumber Raita)
Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber and Lemony Dill Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Cucumber Recipes

Tzatziki Sauce
Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber, Celery, and Gin Sorbet
Cucumber Recipes

Rotelle, onions, cucumbers and herbs
Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber Ranch Dressing
cucumber recipes

Cucumber Blueberry Smoothie
Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber Limeade
Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber, Cantaloupe and Squash Salad
cucumber recipes

Creamy Cucumber Soup
cucumber recipes

Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette
Cucumber Recipes

(This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy here. Photo source for Cucumber, Celery, and Gin Sorbet: Naho Kubota.)

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