First Onions

After our garden fell apart, there were still a few things that were able to grow.  Our walla walla onions continued to grow and we were able to harvest the first of them.

Once you harvest them, though, you need to let them dry out for a few weeks before you store them.  We had previously made a frame with some wire fencing that I was using to sift through some dirt.  I grabbed that and set it on the ground.  With the onions on top of this frame, they will get air both underneath and above so they will dry evenly.  If it rains, you will want to place the frame full of onions in a dry spot.

I did use a couple of the smaller ones when I cooked some carrots and rice.  They were delicious and full of flavor.  One of the easiest vegetables to grow are onions.  They can also be grown before and after frost dates for your region.

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Composting 2017

So, I’ve started a compost pile this year and I think I did ok.

I put wire fencing on 4 metal posts and made it square. Then took baling wire and attached the fencing to the supports so the fencing would be stronger..

Once completed you can start to fill it with 2/3 brown plant matter and 1/3 green matter. Then add an activator like cut grass and you have a hot heap.

#gardening #composting

Chicken Street Tacos

I was thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner and realized I had cilantro and avocado that needed to be used before they went bad.  I have begun to really think about using all of the food that we buy and minimize waste so with these ingredients, I decided to make street tacos.

I wanted to find a recipe on the internet so that I knew what ingredients were needed for the chicken and I found this version of Chicken Street Tacos that sounded really good.

I checked it out and saw that I didn’t have pineapple juice so I used mango juice instead.  I also found that my cilantro went bad so I substituted strips of romaine lettuce to give it a bit of color, topped them with onion, lettuce, avocado, and sriracha mayo.

 And they were so good.

Chicken Street Tacos

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken (tenderloin)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons mango juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the lime juice, mango juice, vegetable oil, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken coating all sides of the pieces and allow the chicken to marinate for 20-30 minutes covered in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and discard any remaining marinade. Cook the chicken for 6-11 minutes or until chicken cooks all the way through. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before dicing.
  2. Top steamed tortillas with diced chicken, lettuce strips, diced onion, diced avocado, sriracha mayo.  Squeeze a touch of fresh lime on top and serve.

#streettacos #foodie #chicken

Garden in Trouble

So, I took a good look at my garden today.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.  At first, both raised beds looked sort of like this

I have been looking at both of them for so long since I had been working on the hardscape of the rest of the yard and I allowed it to fall to sh*t.  Now, after I have removed some of the weeds out of the other raised bed, it now looks like this

and this

Now, just looking at the plants you can clearly see the gardens are in some serious trouble.  I get several small samples of soil out of this bed and brought it in the house to test.  I have a test kit that will tell me the Ph of the bed along with the level of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous.  Once I had the results, I could clearly see what the problems were.

Too acidic

 

 

 

Nitrogen depleted

 

 

 

Potassium deficient

 

 

 

But on the good side, the Phosphorous was ok

 

 

 

After reading the results, the first thing I ran out to do?  Fertilize.  Now, hopefully, we will get some pumpkins this year.

 

#garden #soil testing #fertilize

 

Line & Lure

Eating today at the new Ilani casino at Line & Lure. When we arrived, there was no hostess so it took awhile to be seated. Our waitress came over and took our order and filled our water glasses only 1/2 full.  She didn’t bring us more water until we asked for it, even though she said she would bring more when taking our order.  The service was pretty slow even after we were seated and I didn’t receive more iced tea for some time.

I ordered the salmon and asparagus quiche and it was delicious. The quiche melted in my mouth. It was well made and came with an arugula salad.  I kept thinking that I shouldn’t be eating this dish as there was a lot of cheese in it, but that is why it was so good.

The rest of the people at our table had hamburgers.  I tasted one and it was really good but they said there was a lot of gristle in them.

Overall it was a really nice restaurant.

Chicken and Mushrooms

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 8 skin-on chicken pieces (any combination of drumsticks, thighs, boneless breasts, and wings)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 12 ounces mixed mushrooms (such as maitake, oyster, crimini), torn or sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • Hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium. Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is deep golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and mushrooms to pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until mushrooms are golden brown, 5–8 minutes. Add onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, until onion is coated and bottom of skillet is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until skillet is almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add broth and return chicken to skillet, skin side up; bring to a simmer. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, 15–20 minutes.

Place skillet over medium heat and cook pan juices, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream; season sauce with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Pluck out thyme and spoon sauce over and around chicken; top with parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

 

How to Steam

When asked to steam something in a recipe, you need to know the specific technique in order to complete the cooking of the recipe you are working on.  If you want to steam tortillas, you will need to use a tortilla steamer.  If you don’t have one, place a damp paper towel on a sandwich plate, place the tortillas on the paper towel and cover this with an upside down sandwich plate and microwave for 1 minute.

Typically, when you want to steam something, you will need a pot with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water on the bottom.  On top of the water, you will need to place a steamer.  I use a metal steamer such as this:

Zyliss® Stainless Steel 11-Inch Steamer Basket

Because of the way this steamer is made, you can use it in several different size pots.  I have had mine for years and reach for it every time.

Once the steamer is in place, bring the water to a boil (you will see the water bubble through the holes) then place the vegetables in the steamer and cover the pot.  Different vegetables will cook in different times so refer to the recipe you are working with for the length of time you will need for what you’re working with.