How Does Your Garden Grow?

Every week I start off by taking some photos, hoping to get a blog post going and then life gets in the way.  It’s not that I don’t see the blog as something important to me, but it’s certainly not my top priority and sometimes I question exactly what I’m getting out of it each day and whether I’m providing anything interesting to those who read it.  So, again on this Monday, I make it my goal to post something that readers can take away.  Plus, I still need to get those posts up about Italy…it’s WAY overdue!!

What a day!  It was productive and enjoyable!  It’s 9 pm, I’m sitting here with a cup of tea, catching up on some television.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but since I’ve started blogging, my mom has been teasing me a bit (all in fun of course) about posting my meals.  I’ll call it a generational thing for now.  I think the reason I post so many meals is because those are the types of blogs I enjoy the most.  Though I try to post as many interesting things as I can…that’s what being an Iowa Farm Girl is, right? 🙂

Remember that massive batch of banana bread I made a while back?  Well, I still have about 5-6 loaves remaining in the freezer, I the other night I pulled one out to thaw.  It’s a great breakfast for mornings when I’m on the run…sort of like today!

With a little bit of butter and a quick 15 seconds in the microwave, I’ve got a tasty, comforting breakfast.

Lunch wasn’t quite as comforting and it was a new idea, but it worked…simple red leaf lettuce, walnuts, dried cranberries, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  I think some feta or blue cheese crumbles would have added a bit of what it was missing.

Oh, and don’t forget the apple and chocolate chip brownie Larabar on the side!!

Now dinner was a new, fun recipe for me.  From the trusty old “The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites,” we tried the Spicy Chicken Pasta.  With no photo, the title made me think of a red sauce with some bold spices, but instead we got a creamy sauce and just enough of a kick to justify the “spicy” part of the title.  That being said, it was delicious!

I didn’t follow the recipe to the tee, as it called for more servings than GW and I needed and I had some leftover chicken I was using, and I think there was a bit more than necessary…not that either of us was complaining!

I had planned on doing a step-by-step, but we were starving by the time we got home, so I hoped to it.  Plus, the recipe went quickly, so I’m not sure I would have been able to take photos anyway.  It all went so fast, here is what I was left with…

Don’t look too close! 🙂

Normally I’m really good about keeping things picked up as I cook, so it’s less work when we’re done eating, but it was clearly not the case tonight!

After dinner I took a quick trip down to my garden plot at the Downtown Community Garden.  A year ago I participated in a project for the Junior League of Des Moines where we planted, grew, and then donated the produce of a garden to Children and Families of Iowa and West Des Moines Childcare.  I wanted to continue gardening this year, so I got my own plot.

(Not the best photo, but that’s what I get with my phone…I promise it looks better in person)!

I have really enjoyed it, though I don’t get down there nearly as often as I would like.  That may be why some of my vegetables look a little weak, such as the cucumbers. 😦 Are you growing a garden this summer?  What’s working and what isn’t?

However, my lettuce and zucchini looks great!  Now if only the zucchini (that I planted way too much of) would start producing.  Here’s one!

In addition to the cucumbers, zucchini, and lettuce, I have some tomato plants, a yellow squash, and beans.  It’s a learning experience and other than helping my grandma as a child, my knowledge is limited.  Someday I’d love to have my own private, full-scale garden in my backyard where I can spend hours with produce and flowers alike.  Oddly, the weeding part is a part a really enjoy; it’s sort of a stress reliever…is that weird?

So after I returned with fresh lettuce, I washed it (used my salad spinner) and stored it in the fridge.

Oh and don’t forget the 4 little green beans I got!

Now it’s on to some dessert…a great recipe from Sheree Clark with Fork in the Road; just a simple raw chocolate dipping sauce, enjoyed with yummy strawberries.

A few weeks ago I finally made it to a great local shop in the East Village to purchase my very own tea steeper.  I bought myself a new mug for work (photo to come later) and just a steeper for home, since I have plenty of mugs and this one hooks on the side of anything.  Along with my Moroccan Mint tea (maybe not the best if I need to be in bed soon), I’m just thrilled I finally took the time to start enjoying the vast amounts of tea they have at Gong Fu.  Goodbye tea bags!

Hmmm…so relaxing. 🙂

Like I said, busy day around here!  I’d love to hear your gardening suggestions…I
already have a list of new things for next year.  What are your favorite vegetables to plant?

Till next time…

P.S. I still owe you some Italy updates…don’t let me forget!



Filed under FOOD, LEARN

5 responses to “How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. Nice blog, Andrea…and thanks for the plug about my recipes! I’ve got some more raw food classes coming up in the fall; hope to see you at them. Check out the schedule on theMeetUp page (Can you believe it we have almost 500 people in the Des Moines Raw Food MeetUp? Crazy!). OK, now I just gotta get you away from the microwave….

    • Thanks! I’m thinking of doing the October 1st event…I’m never disappointed! And I’m certainly not surprised there are 500…soon it will be 1000! Yes, no more microwave. Promise I’m getting better! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Scones to Drink with My Tea | Iowa Farm Girl

  3. Andrea C

    Don’t forget to water. That is my suggestion. Something of mine dies every summer because I don’t give the veggies enough H20. AC

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