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Archive for April, 2009

The Garden


Here it is! Our community garden!

 

Tony and I decided to share a garden with two of our neighbors in our community garden this year (there are over 200 plots). We tackled it for the first time this past weekend. It was definitely neglected by its previous owner and needs a lot of work. We basically spend the morning weeding and creating borders with pieces of scrap wood. This is actually the “after” picture, if you can believe it. I wish I had my camera when we first started- it was literally a mound of dirt. But we have big dreams of enjoying organic tomatoes, herbs, green beans, and many other tasty veggies this summer!

 

Unfortunately, we’ve had very hard rain the past few days and the plot is now under 4 inches of water! Oh well, maybe one day we will be able to plant something! For now, we are just praying for the sun to dry out the soil (don’t we already sound like gardeners!?!). We cannot plant until the soil is dry enough. Once it is dry, we need to turn the soil and add compost to build up the beds. We will also add wood chips to create a path around the beds. There will be five- one on each side and then one in the middle. Although we may not plant anything on the left bed and instead leave it to serve as a “drain” which will hopefully help the other four!

 

To Be Continued!….

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Spring Chicks

adapted from Martha Stewart Living

 

These cute little guys made an appearance at my parents house over Easter! My sister came up with the idea to make them as a surprise dessert for everyone. While I thought she was overestimating how easy they would be, we definitely had a lot of fun making them! It also helped that my Mom had homemade vanilla cupcakes in freezer which we could use. They didn’t look as pretty as the ones on Martha Stewart’s website (will we ever learn?!?), but they were definitely a hit!

Ingredients

 

6 homemade vanilla cupcakes
Vanilla icing (we used two containers of Betty Crocker, shh… don’t tell Martha!)
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
3 Twizzlers, cut into pieces
6 whole almonds
Dark chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips would work)

Directions

Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of a cupcake and then turn the cupcake upside down on a plate or shallow bowl. Using a small offset spatula, spread frosting thickly on the sides, and then mound more on top to create a dome shape. Next, sprinkle toasted shredded coconut over the frosting, pressing and patting down into the frosting to create “feathers.” Place the “eyes” (small peices of chopped chocolate) on the chick. Use a whole almond for the beak. Finally, place three pieces of red licorice on top of the head, and then another three pieces on the bottom for each “feet.” Just push the licorice into the frosting by hand. Display and serve on a glass cake plate for maximum effect! Ta da!

 

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Spring Herb Pasta

This was a pretty easy and healthy pasta dish I made based off of a recipe I saw in the March 2009 Martha Stewart Living magazine. We changed it up a bit by adding garlic and tomatoes. Definitely “spring-y” with all of the fresh green herbs! I am definitely becoming a firm believer in the idea of just using simple and fresh ingredients, as opposed to elaborate and complicated recipes. It’s easier, healthier and tastes great.


Ingredients

2 cups Gemelli pasta (my new favorite pasta shape)
1 ripe tomato (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup (approx.) roughly chopped mixed herbs (dill, parsley and basil)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Lemon zest
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (grated)

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions. While cooking heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a separate pan. Add garlic and simmer for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. When pasta is done, drain and return to pot. Add herbs, tomatoes and garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Serve with generous grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.

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