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Garden Stromboli

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment
Peppers, Onions and a Hamburger

Peppers, Onions and a Hamburger

Finding something to eat for one person often is very easy, but unhealthy.  This little recipe to pretty easy to work through, and I imagine it’s quite healthy too. The ingredient list is short:

1.) One or Two hamburgers

2.) A chunk of butter

3.) One or Two large peppers

4.) A medium to large onion

5.) One roll of Pillsbury Bread sticks with Garlic.

6.) One small jar of spaghetti sauce.

7.) Shredded Cheese

8.) Olive Oil

9.) Optionally add minced garlic and other veggies such as tomatoes, celery, zucchini, etc.

To begin, cook the hamburger meat in a frying pan with a chunk of butter, carefully crushing the patty into ground meat with a spatula. Add in chopped onions and peppers when the meat is nearly cooked. At this point you could add other veggies and chunks of a garlic clove.

Garlic Sticks

Garlic Sticks

Next, place some aluminum foil over a cookie sheet, and spread some olive oil on the foil. Make sure to spread it around evenly. Unroll the bread sticks mix onto the foil. You may wish to cut the dough along the lines in order to make two smaller Stromboli.

Sauce, Hamburger, Onions, Peppers and Onion tops

Sauce, Hamburger, Onions, Peppers and Onion tops

Spread the spaghetti sauce on the uncooked dough, then add the chop meat and fried veggies, even distributing them. I’ve added some chopped up onion stems to the mixture, as well as lots of garlic salt and a bit of pepper.

Fold Over and Pinch the Dough

Fold Over and Pinch the Dough

Next, fold over the dough, and pitch it together. You may notice in the photo how I had used tomato paste and added Swiss chard to the mix. Don’t do that ! The paste and chard together made these Stromboli taste like a bar of iron.

When you’ve sealed up the pockets, place them in the oven and bake until the dough turns a nice brown. I long ago lost the temperature setting knob from my stove, so I’d recommend you use the same method I did, start with a low temp, and slowly turn it up till the dough cooks.

Light Brown Color Means it's Done

Light Brown Color Means it's Done

You may wish to add additional veggies to your Stromboli, but I’d recommend you cook them before placing them on the uncooked dough. The stove doesn’t cook the veggies in the amount of time it takes for the bread to darken.

Some things to remember:

1.) Do not use Tomato Paste in place of the Spaghetti sauce. It’s gross.

2.) Swiss Chard will overpower all of the other tastes, and in my opinion ruin the Stromboli.

3.) Use olive oil on the aluminum foil. Without this protection, the dough will stick to the foil and make a mess.

Hope you like this recipe as much as I did when I got it right !

John and Martha’s Garden

July 19, 2011 2 comments
Peppers and Tomatoes

Peppers and Tomatoes

My neighbor John noticed that we have been using the tractor and brush hog to mow the field around my house, and he wanted me to stop up and see about mowing some of his fields. While I was there, I thought it would be neat to take some pictures of John and Martha’s garden. The family is one of many Amish households in the area, so they always grow a garden, regardless of the current state of the economy, but they too are expanding the size of their plot for next year. In the background is the field which I’ve been mowing with the tractor. Since it’s taking so long, Davie has offered to help while I’m at work. The two of us should be able to mow the whole thing before winter.

Banana Peppers

Banana Peppers

While I generally grow bell peppers, the neighbors usually grow banana peppers. I guess I should ask them where they get their seeds from because I have only started to see flowers on my pepper plants.

Cabbage

Cabbage

Their cabbage is also doing great, and although I don’t like eating this veggie much, I’m a bit jealous as I’ve never had much luck growing these plants, and theirs look phenomenal.

Onions

Onions

Their onions are a bit taller then mine, but here I don’t feel so bad. My patch isn’t nearly as weed free, but my plants are about the same size.

I also transplanted my Pak-Choi out to the garden over the weekend, and sowed some additional cucumber and zucchini seeds, which should have just enough time before winter to grow food.

Corn, Celery & Onions

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Corn

Corn

My corn is about 8 inches tall, and I really don’t think it will reach the “knee high by July” standard that most farmers judge their crops by. I’m not worried however, as this corn is more in the range of 70-80 day corn then 90+. I had similar sized corn last year, and had way too much then. This years corn plot is about a third of the size as last year, and should still deliver plenty.

Celery

Celery

This is the first year I’ve had celery plants in the garden. Last year, I tried to plant the seeds in a row and it didn’t work too well. Celery is a slow growing plant, and should be started 11 weeks earlier then the last frost. The little plant above is approximately 20 weeks old, and less then 6 inches tall.

Yellow Onions

Yellow Onions

 My onions were also planted later then usual, but I have no fear. I’ll soon be applying a layer of well rotted manure to large swathes of the garden. I can almost bet all of these plants will “pop” soon afterwards.
Categories: Celery, Corn, Onions

Everything and Cheese

June 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Swiss Shard / Mac and Cheese

Swiss Chard / Mac and Cheese

I tried something new with some Macaroni and Cheese the other day: I added Ground Beef, Onions, Carrots and Asparagus to the mix, then wrapped it all up in some Swiss Chard. It actually tasted pretty good, and I’m sure it adds to the vitamin content of the mac and cheese. So here is how I made it:

Cook the noodles as directed on the packaging. While the noodles are boiling, throw in some frozen onions and carrots.

Place a pound of ground beef in a frying pan with butter, then stir in a half a can of Asparagus, and some minced garlic.

When the noodles are nearly cooked and the beef is thoroughly fried, mix the beef into the pot of water. This is an unusual step, but it makes stirring in the cheese easier. When the noodles are cooked strain, then add the cheese packet.

Everything and Cheese

Everything and Cheese

The mac and cheese is very good with or without the Chard. Now I’m wondering how the whole thing would taste if placed in a deep fryer…. Maybe next time I’ll give it a try.

Weekend Roundup 8/29/10

August 30, 2010 1 comment
Morning View of the Valley

Morning View of the Valley

I’ll admit it, Saturday, I slept in, and really didn’t do much of anything other then take pictures for my sister. So when I awoke Sunday, I was rearing to go, and not in the mood to sit around. I got up and out early enough to catch the morning sun, finishing up with it’s daily burn off of the nights fog. You can still see some of the once all-encompassing cloud by the foot of the hills.  

Weekend Harvest

Weekend Harvest

In the afternoon Sandy and Davie came over, and we finished harvesting the onions, and learned it’s a bit late in the season for them. Some of the Onion bulbs had begun to rot. Next year I’ll make it a point to finish picking them by the beginning or middle of August.

 The string beans have collapsed half of the stick constructed trellis I made for them, and the beans shown are only about a third of the crop. Also shown are Okra, my least favorite garden food.  The plants grew very well, and produced a healthy offering of seed pods.

Watermelon

Watermelon

The little Gardener’s Watermelons are just starting to ripen up. My sister Sandy discovered a great rule of thumb to tell when a melon is ripe: It’s ripe when the little worms and bugs just start to nibble a bit at the outer shell. Once they know it’s ripe, we should know it’s ripe. I also made it a point to show the 4 year old gardener that started these plants what he accomplished. When I asked him if he would do it again next year he said “No”, I replied “Why not ?”, to which he said “It takes tooooo long”. I guess the lack of instant gratification is a symbol of ones age.  

Garlic Planted Early

Garlic Planted Early

At the end of the day, I decided to plant the Garlic a few weeks early. Garlic should be started early enough to give the plants time to build a basic set of roots before freezing temps set in. I’m hoping the early planting helps them grow nice big cloves. I’ve added several things to this soil to help out the plants, including bio-char and peat moss.

Sausage, Peppers and Onions

July 28, 2010 1 comment
Cooking The Sausage

Cooking The Sausage

I like to eat some of the freshest food possible, as it really makes a noticeable difference in my health. For dinner, I thought I would cook some sausage, mixed with Peppers and Onions. This recipe is one of the first things I learned how to cook, and was taught to me by my father. The ingredient list is simple: Sausage, Onions, Peppers, and a Bun. While cooking it, I decided I would post this recipe. It took me a long time to pick up cooking skills, so I hope it helps someone out there with theirs.

The first step was pretty simple: Follow the directions on the package. Here is the basic version: In a non-stick skillet, combine with half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of oil and sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cover the skillet. Simmer for 12 minutes. Simple enough, this will cook the meat to the manufactures specifications.

I added a step, as shown to me: Remove the sausage from the pan, turn the heat off, wash out the pan, and place it back on the burner. Add 1/3 stick of butter, turn the heat back to medium-low. Add in sliced peppers, onions and the sausage. Stir it occasionally to keep if from sticking. This added step will brown up the sausage, and encourage flavors from the veggies to flow into the sausage. When the sausage is brown, and the onions have a darker color, it’s done.

You could also add in Spaghetti Sauce while cooking, for a different flavor. This makes a wonderful topping for hot dogs if you leave out the sausage.

Ready to Eat

Ready to Eat

Next you can choose to either eat it as is, or add it to a bun. I choose the later option, and added Provolone cheese to the mix.

This particular meal produced five sausage sandwiches, and if I didn’t have to buy the Green Pepper, the total cost would have been $6.76. Not bad !

First Market Offering

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment
First Market Offering

First Market Offering

So here it is, my first market offering. I’ve very excited, and can feel the added electricity flow through my veins as I prepare. This is the point where I find out just where this gardening hobby will go from here. Will it become more then a activity I do for relaxing, and an actual source of income, or will it remain a way of saving money ?  Either way, I will continue to grow massive gardens, hopefully for the rest of my life. I’ve grown quite fond of feeding myself on a whim, with food that’s super fresh, and abundant.  It’s also quite humorous to watch the kids give tours of the garden to their friends….

I sit wondering how it will all turn out. I delivered my produce to my neighbors home; they were not there, so I piled the produce up on chairs on their porch. They are Amish, so I couldn’t call to double check the plans, I had to make a choice: Either drop it off and hope for the best, or wait for next week. I figured since I rarely gamble, I’d try my luck and see what happens. Worst case scenario: ground hogs, rabbits and vultures eat it; I’m not worried though, this is simply the start of the season. I’m sure with all this rain that has suddenly found it’s way here, more cucumbers will pop out of the ground.

Here’s hoping for the best !