My dreams have been so vivid lately, it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between dreams and reality. I am not sure if it is the excessive stress I have been under or what, but it is starting to confuse me sometimes!
Last night I had a dream that I made Apple Cranberry Compote for breakfast and when I awoke, the craving was unreal. Before I even got out of bed, I was inventorying the ingredients in my kitchen to make sure I could make them! Low and behold, I was in luck.
This is simple compote recipe that can be used for a pie, over waffles or pancakes or eaten alone while warm with a scoop of whipped cream (which was my choice!)
I know this recipe seems a little “autumn” in the middle of July, but I cannot help what I crave in my sleep 🙂
APPLE CRANBERRY COMPOTE RECIPE
5 small apples
1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
Peel, core and chop apples and place in pot and immediately cover with lemon juice to stop them from turning brown. Add dried cranberries, sugar and spices.
Cook over medium low heat for about 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender, the cranberries are plump and the juices and sugar have thickened and make a nice syrup at the bottom of the pot.
I chose to eat it just like this with some whipped cream, but I have used it in pies with great success, as well as with crepes, waffles or pancakes.
In my opinion, if you plant something in your garden, ideally, you should be able to eat it. Gardening takes water, valuable time and money to grow, so you minus well reap the rewards!
There are so many beautiful herbs and vegetables that have flowers and look just like other perennials you can spend hundreds of dollars on (but can’t eat). If you plant the right ones together, they can come into bloom in a timely manner, ensuring your gardens are always bright and colourful!
In the past couple of years, I have been slowly replacing greenery that offers no nutritional value with delicious AND pretty plants in my gardens!
I love planting herbs! They are probably the prettiest and tastiest plants. In addition to my chives, mint, dill, parsley, sage and basil, I have added lavender, oregano and thyme this year. It just adds so much beauty and it is amazing to add to a salad.
As part of building a sustainable lifestyle, we want to grow as much food as we can for ourselves! Having roses, daisies and gardenias are nice, but at the end of season, all they were good for was to look at and then chop down. I would much rather eat the plants that I spend so much time watering, pruning and weeding!!
Tomatoes fresh out of the garden are definitely on the top of my food chain! Juicy, red and delicious with a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (insert drooling noises here!)
Growing healthy tomatoes is not rocket science, but yielding tons of fruit requires a few tricks of the trade (did you know tomatoes were a fruit?)
Other than the obvious soil condition, fertilizer and plenty of sun and water, there is a little trick to growing huge, fruit delivering plants! Remove the sucker leaves!
These suckers suck the nutrients from the producing leaves. You need to remove them as soon as they pop up. They are pretty easy to find. They grow in the joints of the regular stems and suck and suck the life from your tomatoes. I guess we could say these little stems really suck!!
Just snap them off and you are good to go (don’t mind the dirt in my nails, I have been playing in the dirt)
A couple years ago, a friend told me you can plant them in the dirt and they will grow into fruit producing tomato plants. I thought it was impossible but far and behold, it worked! So if you have the space, you can grow lots of tomatoes from your already growing plants!
Hope this little trick gives you millions (ok, maybe that’s a little exaggerated) of tomatoes to enjoy this summer!
I recently moved my Rhubarb from one part of my yard to another because it was starting to get holes from pests. The stalks were perfectly fine, but the leaves were showing some major damage.
Pests are not typically a problem with rhubarb. Even if they eat some of the leaves, they generally leave (haha, always love a good pun!) the stalks alone, and we just discard the leaves anyways.
The reason I moved the rhubarb was because it had been in the same place for over 10 years. Leaving anything in the same location leaves (haha….again!!) it open for aphids, slugs and beetles to infest! The same goes with planting your tomatoes every year. It is good practice to rotate your crops every season to protect them from infestation.
After moving the rhubarb, they have almost immediately improved. My next step would have been to spray them with soapy water, but no need! A simple shovel did the truck this time.
I feel like I saved a little being from being eaten alive (by something other than me!) This calls for a celebration! Rhubarb jam on ice cream for all!
I have been having trouble with the word “dessert” lately. The word is so tightly wound to wheat products, it is hard to see past the doughs and batters.
Pies, cakes, pastries, cookies, muffins, and cupcakes are all a staple in dessert world, and it makes you realize how much we all now rely on flour.
The gluten free craze has spun all kind of new products into society to help people cut wheat out and still eat these desserts. People are trying to cut out wheat because it is the healthy thing to do (I am obviously not taking about people suffering with celiac) and they end up replacing it with new, unhealthy versions of desserts that are void of nutrients, extra fattening and overly sugary. It might be easier to just eat the flour!
I am on a mission to find some great dessert recipes that include lots of fresh fruits and nutrients! Last night I made a super simple dessert of natural organic yogurt, fresh berries and maple syrup. It was just as good if not better than any pie I have ever had.
I will be researching recipes this week and will share some great dessert ideas with you soon!
Healthy plants come from healthy soil! We are lucky enough to have a compost pit behind our garage where we dump grass clippings, leaves, etc and we try to dig it up ever year to add to our veggie gardens.
One of the things I have had issues with was composting all of our kitchen waste. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and have a lot of peels, cores and rinds left over after every meal that should be going into the pit, but who wants to put on shoes and walk to the garage?
Last year I tried keeping the kitchen waste in a container on the counter and planned on bringing it out at the end of every day. The problem was I kept forgetting and if any of you have ever opened a container of compost that has been sitting on the counter for a week, well, it’s just gross!
Then I got smart! I started freezing my compost in big baggies!
I cannot tell you the difference this made (and yes, I felt sort of stupid for not thinking about it sooner!) We had WAY less garbage every week, barely any actually. What wasn’t recycled was composted. Not much left for the garbage can!
We fill at least one of these huge bags a week. I also do another bag of coffee grinds and eggs for my house plants!
Once the bag is full, just dump the frozen contents in the pit or compost container to start doing its job of making beautiful soil for your plants!
I have seen this posted on Facebook and Pinterest, but never really thought much about it until we decided to try and create a self sustainable lifestyle! Now the thought of growing our own exotic fruits seems very intriguing!
So after we made our Chicken and Pineapple BBQ Skewers the other night, we lopped off the top of the pineapple and watched some tutorials to see how to do it. Here are the things I learned that may help you get started:
Pick the pineapple by the best top (we didn’t, but we didn’t know we were going to try and grow the damn thing!)
Twist off the top of the pineapple, don’t cut it off
Most tutorials say rip off an inch of the leaves, but it is best to take it up until you only have a couple big leaves left
Stick it in water until it starts rooting. You will see roots start to establish after 3-5 days
Once it has a good root base, stick it on a pot with dirt
It can take 1-3 years to grow your first pineapple
Who cares how long it takes, they are very pretty House plant in the meantime!
I will post an update in a week or so and let you know how it’s going!
Does anyone have any advice? I would love to hear some success stories!