Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Garden

I love when spring arrives and it is once again time to get my hands dirty. My son and I started a very small garden years ago, which consisted mainly of a few potted plants. As time passed, our garden has evolved and become slightly more sophisticated. My husband built us two raised bed(each about the size of a twin bed), and we still use pots and grow bags because we keep planting more and more fruits and veggies! It has truly become a hobby we are passionate about. Many people ask me how we do it, where  we find the space, etc. I am here to tell you that it is really not difficult, and you can always find space,even if you live in an apartment. All it takes is a pot,some soil, and a tomato plant. Anyone can do this, and growing your own food is not only great therapy, it is good for your health  as well!
   I am sharing some of the things we are growing this season in this post, but I will also be sharing posts that tell you how,when and what you need to grow various vegetables and fruits. Here is what has been happening in my yard.
    Every year, we start out by planting lettuce seeds. We like to plant a variety which usually includes romaine,butter,spinach,arugula,mesclun mix and kale. We start with good organic soil, some seeds, and I let my son do the planting. His lines may be crooked, and the lettuce may get crowded, but he enjoys planting, we raise beautiful greens, and he is learning as he goes(we all are). Here is how the lettuce bed progressed.

We went from dirt and seed, to a few greens to an overabundance of fresh, delicious salad choices.
It wasnt long before we had our first salad.
We also grow radish each year along with the salad greens. This year it was a french variety.
  The weather was cold for a ridiculously long time this spring, so the lettuce thrived. Once the heat kicked in, it bolted(grew rapidly) and turned bitter. We ate most of it prior to this happening, then pulled what couldn't be eaten, and planted summer veggies like melons,zucchini and cucumber.

 Another spring favorite is peas. Here is the beautiful plant and the lovely fresh peas.
Last fall, my son planted some garlic, which we honestly forgot about. What a a great surprise we found this season! Beautiful garlic scapes,followed by beautiful bulbs of garlic.

 We are also growing a few fruits. I purchased a peach tree, nectarine tree, two lemon trees and a lime tree, and am growing them all in pots. I've had the nectarine tree one year, and it is fruiting so I am super excited. My meyer lemon tree is fruiting as well. The peach tree is still young and will not fruit this year,and we are patiently waiting for fruit on the other lemon and lime trees.We also have blackberries,blueberries, strawberries and grapes!

 I also purchased a ginger plant last year and recently did a little digging to check the root. Looks great! Now whenever I need a bit of ginger for a salad or a smoothie, I just dig a little piece up. It really doesn't get fresher or easier than this, and the fragrance of the plant is intoxicating.
This is just the start of our garden. Please check back often, as I look forward to sharing all of the things we will be growing and experimenting with this season! I encourage you to go out and plant something, you will love it!


This Week in the Kitchen

It's been a busy few weeks. Lots of cookies being made, and a few other treats as well. Here are a few of the goodies.
   I had the pleasure of making this platter for a 21st birthday party.

This platter was fun to make. Celebrating the end of a another successful year of dance for a lovely young lady.

I also had a few graduation platters to make. This one was for a friend's son who is graduating high school shortly. They were also celebrating another family birthday, so I made them a coconut cake too!

Now, we are at the end of the school year, and we can't forget the special teachers who worked with our kids throughout the year. These cookie jars, filled with a delicious variety and adorned with ribbon and pretty tags found online, are the perfect thank-you gift.

Next week will be busy as well. So many things to celebrate, and that is a good thing. Have a sweet week!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

My Latest Cookies

It has been another busy few weeks! Lots of celebrations. I am always humbled when people serve my sweets to their families and friends when celebrating life's momentous occasions. Here is a look at a few recent creations.
   These cookies were made for a sweet baby girl's baptism. I loved making these. Love the colors.

I also attended a baby shower for a cousin who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of a sweet baby girl. I always enjoy making baby themed cookies.
Spring,of course, means it is time to play ball. These were made to celebrate the end of a successful softball season at our local high school. The girl's had a fun year and finished with a win!
One of my favorite things to make was this basket I put together for our cousin's high school graduation. We are all very proud of his accomplishments and wish him all the best in his future endeavors!
Well, that wraps up another fun week. Next week, I'll be making more arrangements for birthdays,dance recitals, graduations and  other celebrations!

Have a sweet week!