Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {June 26, 2012}

Sunday was the big day in the garden. (I won't write about the rest of the week because it mostly involves deer and sour sentiments and this is a HAPPY post). I pulled 46 heads of garlic out and they are in drying mode. These are HUGE heads of garlic and I am feeling quite proud. The last time we planted garlic, we lost about 12 heads to rot. This time we only lost 3. That is a major improvement! They are now sitting happily in our drying rack (which I adore--thanks mom).

After I pulled the garlic, I left the leaves along the side of the bed, for what it is worth. I know there are a lot of pests that do not like the fragrance of garlic, so we will see if this helps.

The peas are incredibly plentiful and the kids are regularly heading out to the garden for snacks of peas and strawberries. THIS is why I garden.

OK, enough about the garden for a moment. Almost 4 months ago, my blogging buddy, Kathy from My Dishwasher's Possessed, and I embarked on an incredible adventure and it is all going to come to fruition on July 16 as....

Logo by Loea Design

This is my third child. Bonbon Break is an online magazine for moms by moms. We have just launched our Facebook fan page and our Twitter page, so any support you can offer would be greatly appreciated. If you visit our site right now, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, which will send you a reminder directly to your email when we launch. 

It has been a thrilling and fun adventure with Kathy and an unimaginable source of personal growth. I am so appreciative that she is my partner and for the overwhelming support for all of our friends and family. *full heart*

THANK YOU in advance for your support and PLEASE let me know how YOUR garden is growing!

OH yes, before I go... the winners of the awesome reCap Mason Jar caps are:
and Rossel  please contact me with your mailing address so I may send your caps to you!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pub Burger Sauce

Do you remember that scene in "When Harry Met Sally"? In the cafe. You know the "I'll have what she's having" scene? They were thinking about this burger with this sauce. 

I am not a burger lover, but after the Good Apple and I read this recipe in Cook's Illustrated we had to try it out. Now the burger is good. Great local beef combined with butter (Yes, this is not lo cal. You ARE eating a burger. Come on now.),  pan-seared and then finished in a 350 degree oven. Juicy? Yes. Great flavor? Sure. But it is merely a vehicle for this...

Honestly, I am at a loss for words. Perhaps I will share what happened the first time we ate this sauce. The Good Apple ate TWO whole hamburgers. TWO! And I am sure he was considering a third. So, this sauce comes with a warning. Beware of over indulgence.

And yes, another warning. The Lil Man said, and I quote, "I would have to knock my head off if I couldn't have more of that sauce". He's serious. It isn't just for burgers and the Lil Miss couldn't get enough of the "Num Num". Please make sure you make enough to avoid any bodily harm. 

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, our adaptation of the infamous sauce...

Pub Sauce
3/4 cup mayo
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced

And yes, I made extra, but not quite enough according to the peanut gallery. Well go on. Make some and if you need a lovely little cap like the one pictured above - go here, if you would like a chance at a free one...follow me over here

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {June 19, 2012}

The deer are back...through the netting. I'm not kidding. They topped my carrots and chard and took some of my precious kale. Yes, that came out, precious kale. They have started moving in on my raspberry plants and I HAVE to get my sprinkler system out tomorrow if I hope to save anything. They ignored the "Deer Away" bells o' stinkiness. They bit one of my onions...and spit it out. Bah. Sprinkler. Tomorrow.

My beautiful and delicious Lacinato Kale. Best. Ever.

My potato plants have gone W I L D! I have piled them up twice and then they exploded. Now I think it is too late to attempt another level. Thoughts?

Summer Savory. Oh. So. Good. Grow some, you will love it.

Trapped, but safe. We are eating these red rubies of juicy goodness daily.

Peas are another daily treat. I head out in the morning with the kids and they head straight for the snap peas...until they see me at the strawberries.

I can't believe these have not been in my life every Spring. The scapes are incredible. Lil Miss picks very last one off her plate. Tonight we sauteed them with a little Soy Vay and a mix of greens. Heavenly.

How could I have ignored these curly-Q's that are such a treat? I was taking pictures of them. That's all. Thank goodness we finally started eating them. It does make me wonder, what else am I missing?

Seascape Strawberries. I will plant even more next year.

We went camping this past weekend and the Good Apple thought it would be fun to make s'mores tonight since we had leftovers. Chocolatey marshmallowy melty graham cracker treat was pushed aside for a red, ripe strawberry. Atta boy. Then he found that chocolate and strawberries are a delicious combination. Uh oh.


Before I leave, I have to mention my little giveaway for this awesome item:

Click here to find out more. reCap Mason Jar lids. Yes. They are oh so cool. Go on...click.

So...how is your garden doing? What are you eating these days? Have a marvelous Summer Solstice!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brilliant Ideas: reCap Mason Jar Caps

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I thought I was done with giveaways...really. Just as I threw in the towel, I came across this incredible little Cap.

My first thought was, "How do I get one?!?" which was then followed by, "My readers would LOVE these!" I immediately emailed the company and BAM! 3 for me...3 for you! They were delivered the day after I returned from a camping trip and I became inspired. There are SO many ways you can use these babies!

But first, the important things. Yes, ReCap Mason jar caps are BPA-free. (That was my first question). They fit the standard sized Mason Jar necks and wide mouth caps are in the works. The gasket can be removed to be washed and the whole cap can be thrown in the top rack of your dishwasher (although washing plastics by hand extends their life). For now, you can buy them directly from their website for $6.99 each.

With another camping trip in the works, I knew I was going to bring my share on the trip to try them out with friends (4 other families). First, was the fabulous salad dressing...


And we used them to store our oil as well!!


Easy peasy!

Then came the EUREKA moment when Erica at Northwest Edible's posted this. She is a genius. The next morning I started playing with the concept and I came up with the following idea:

  1. Put all of your favorite smoothie ingredients into a Mason jar.
  2. Screw the blender blade assembly (blade, gasket and bottom) tightly onto the Mason jar.
  3. Place the jar onto your blender and WHAM, blend it.
  4. Remove jar from the blender and then remove the blender blade assembly. Put a reCap Mason Jar Cap securely on top and you have a smoothie-to-go!
Brilliant, right?


on the blender

Ok, I know your mind is zipping around right now thinking about all of the ways YOU could use one of these caps. Dressings, rubs, smoothies, transporting your favorite cooking supplies on camping trips and to potlucks, pouring pancakes...and...

How would you use a reCap Mason Jar cap? Leave a comment below with your idea and I will randomly pick three people to send a cap to!

Comments will be accepted until Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 10 PM PST. The winners will be announced in my "How Does Your Garden Grow?" post on June 26, 2012. Winners must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be randomly selected from the list of comments. Limited to US residents.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Smoothie-to-go Mason Jar Magic

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This woman shared a brilliant idea with margaritas...I took it one step further with ReCap Lids!

**Check out these other ideas for these wonderful caps!**

Are you starting to see the possibilities?!?!!?!?
Photobucket is sharing this idea with

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


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Truth be told, these aren't from my garden, but they were just SO seasonal and SO beautiful and SO tasty.  I just had to share.

Besides just eating them straight up from a bowl, what is your favorite cherry recipe?


How Does Your Garden Grow? {June 12, 2012}

This was the first week we were really able to harvest from the garden. Our chard and kale are growing growing and I have been sautéing sautéing. One night I added pea tendrils, which were so delicate and yummy, and last night I added garlic scapes. Now those little babies are d e l I c I o u s. Do not let them grow! Grab 'em and eat 'em (you don't want your bulbs to waste energy on flower production anyways). Serve them on top of this and ooh la la.

Little fingers are finally grabbing peas and yesterday, a voice shouted from the yard, "Woo hoo! Guess who is the luckiest kid in the world!?! Me! I just got the first strawberry!!" He did and he even shared a little nibble with me. So sweet...the strawberry and my Lil Man. The kids have turned into asparagus addicts, almost to the point where it is embarrassing. I know better than to serve it when we have guests now because their little eyes will drill a hole into the person who grabs the last spear and there are no guarantees that Lil Miss won't just grab it right off your plate.

Yesterday, Lil Miss and I were in the garden and she started breaking off asparagus tips and chowing. Next she went for some peas. Suddenly, I turned around and she had a fistful of grass going to her mouth! I guess she just figured she could keep on picking around her. I have to keep my eye on that one. Trouble.

As I have been using my greens this year, I can't get over the tenderness of the chard and kale. It is similar to spinach. Between the chard, kale, pea tendrils and garlic scapes, tenderness is the word that constantly comes to mind as I harvest, clean, prepare, serve and eat. Tenderness.

My herbs are growing beautifully. I will be able to use my Summer Savory by week's end. I caught myself just running my fingers through it yesterday and smelling it's delicate aroma. Ahhhhh. My little kitchen jars are really producing and I have already been plucking some dill and cilantro...which is all well and good, but I really want that basil to grow!! When I can use fresh basil for my Pesto Pecan Potato Salad, it will get kicked up a notch.

A friend had a plant sale this week and I just had to stop by. Three new artichoke plants and 3 new brussel sprout plants. To be honest, I was completely giddy. Seriously excited. Woo hoo! Weekend after next, they will get their own special place in the garden. No, I cannot stop planting and expanding.

Well more rain and then sun scheduled for this week! Here we go!


How is your garden doing?


(Photos to come)


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pesto Pecan Potato Salad

One of the many signs that summer is here...the potato salad arrives. Yesterday, we attended a 4 cake birthday party for some of our dearest friends who share a Birthweek and I knew it was time, according to the date (not the weather) to break out the potato salad. I came up with this recipe a couple of summers ago when I was pregnant with Lil Miss and I just couldn't get enough pesto into every meal. The combination of the pesto, green onions and pecans is a mouthful of nutty garlicky goodness. The dressing is very forgiving, so taste as you go. Add more pecans if you like more crunch. Add a little more garlic if you are a fan. Add more dressing if you like your salads saucy. Enjoy!




Pesto Pecan Potato Salad


  • 3 lbs organic red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup coursely chopped pecans
  • 4 finely chopped green onions

  1. Bring large pot of water to boil and add potatoes. Gently boil for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender when tested with a fork. Pour into a strainer and douse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine pesto, garlic and mayo. Add pecans and green onions and mix thoroughly.
  3. In your large serving bowl, pour a small amount of the dressing into the bottom. Add cooled potatoes. Pour the rest of the dressing on top and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until the salad is uniformly dressed. Chill for 1-2 hours for the flavors to meld. If you wait overnight...amazing things will happen to these flavors.


Monday, June 4, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {June 5,2012}

A collection of photos this week, starting with this amazing deer fence I saw over the weekend. Dreamy, isn't it?
These irises were transplanted from our Island Parents. When we moved to our house, we saw traces of irises and were thrilled...until they bloomed the next spring and we saw they were brown. Yes, brown. Who plants a brown flower? We are relieved to have these gorgeous irises along our potato bed now, bringing in a shock of color.
California lilac. A plant that I hate to love and love to hate. Gorgeous in bloom. Major bee attractor. Touch it and you will be itchy itchy itchy...so pruning it is a real treat.

What plant is creeping in here and what is eating my beans?

Potato plants are currently happy. I mounded up some compost on them this weekend and it is already time to add more!

I feel the need to apologize to my strawberries. They are being held prisoner. Hopefully this proves to be more of a safe haven. Lil Man has been playing cheetah and scaring deer off the property...regularly.

Nasturciums. I can't wait until their beautiful colors shine through. This year I was significantly more intentional about placing flowers amongst the veggies. We will seem how it turns out!

Beautiful Kale leaves. I can't wait to plant more!

Chard. The shock of color is just amazing. I have really gained a new appreciation for young kale and chard leaves in salads and sautéed along with pea tendrils. Delicious.

So...how is your garden doing this week?