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!

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5 Comments

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 http://www.meetup.com/RawFoodDSM/ (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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