Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spring Garden

The spring garden is coming along quite well. We have tomatoes with fruits, broccoli, cucumber plants climbing the trellises, radishes poking up, eggplant and more tomatoes in the ground, bell peppers and spicy peppers, strawberries, a few stalks of corn, carrots, and a little watermelon plant. In the back garden we have our two grapes and many herbs. The garlic harvest was very successful, but the drying process was slightly interrupted by the torrential downpour of the other evening. It should be fine.

The broccoli is suffering from inchworm infestation. We cleared the first round of them from the plants but missed some eggs, so a second round of removal took place. We'll see how they do. I have a feeling it might be too hot for much more good production from them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dinner tonight!

Soup soup soup. It's getting so close to summer, my nights of having soup and having the Husband agree that soup is reasonable are rapidly decreasing in number. As a welcome to summer, and in appreciation of the yummy summertime vegetables now available, tonight we enjoyed our take on this soup:

The Husband absolutely loved this soup. He has multiple helpings. I did too, but that's nothing new for me. The soup itself is very flavorful and the vegetables simmer into loveliness, and the pesto gives it a kick and boost. It serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course.

2 slices bacon (omit bacon for vegetarian, use olive oil instead)
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 leek, chopped (I use the white parts and the soft green parts)
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
4-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes with juice
1 cup finely chopped leafy green, like spinach, kale, chard, etc
1 9 oz package of tortellini
store-bought pesto, or make your own
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Chop the bacon into little pieces. Cook in the soup pot until crispy. Add onion, garlic, and leek, and cook, stirring occasionally until tender and starting to brown. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, and potato, and stir for a few minutes. Add broth, start with 4 cups and add more later if needed. Add tomatoes, breaking tomatoes up with the back of the spoon. Let the soup cook for 30 to 45 minutes so the flavors blend. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Add leafy green and tortellini and cook until tortellini is cooked. Serve, with pesto and cheese as a garnish.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


On an unrelated note (unrelated to food, that is) I have signed up to run the half marathon (yes, that's 13.1 miles, 10 miles further than I have ever run at one time) in November in San Antonio. So far, the planning and preparation to run has been more fun than the actual running. and I are good friends. However, since this is Texas and it is May, the majority of the training will now take place inside, with air conditioning, on my grandparents' treadmill. Weekends I may be able to put in some miles outside, especially if I get up early, for the next month or so, and then again in October. For those of you unfamiliar with a central Texas summer, and maybe thinking that I'm crazy and I can keep running outside if I get up earlier or run at night, such things may be possible but definitely very uncomfortable. Come summertime, I will be very lucky if it drops below 85 degrees before 10:00 at night. Likewise, if it is below that same temperature when I leave for work at 7:15, it will make for a very pleasant morning. So, in summary, Texas is hot during the summer. (I know, duh.)
My current running ability is in the Couch to 5K Week 3 range. So I am building back up SLOWLY. But it also means anyone can do it with me at this point, because I am a beginner. Beginner beginner.

Anyone want to join me in San Antonio in November?

(I was originally planning to run one in February in New Orleans but a training knee injury prevented that from happening.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Not sick anymore

But the husband is. However, I will make up for the complete lack of posts last week with extras this week, I promise. It was a tough week where I didn't feel like doing anything, and actually missed work for awhile. All better now, and busy taking care of the husband. His dinner request last night was for Kraft dinner and hot dogs. I added some sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, and we had a lovely meal out under the trees in our backyard.

This was taken awhile ago, back when it was still dark outside around 6:00 pm. I have a series of them (I had to sit a lot because of a knee injury), all of the husband doing various things around the kitchen. Judging by the ingredients and equipment on the counter, I believe we were making meatballs.