Friday, April 26, 2013

Seeds and Seasons

It's time...for Garden Fazool!

Here is this year's new seed selection from my fave seed purveyor, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds:
 Ragged Jack Kale, Lettuce Leaf Basil, Borage, Tina James' Magic Primrose, Tall Orange Sun(flowers), 
Red Romaine Lettuce the *free gift* Grandpa's Home Hot Peppers and Sweet Marjoram.

Kinda excited for borage! It's so pretty when it comes in. 

Grandpa's Home...we miss you Grandpa Jim!  I'll plant some hot peppers in your memory this year.

Here's another reason to love Baker Creek.  They actually mailed me back $2 since they ended up being out of the sunflowers my son picked (sonflowers, haha) out after I had already ordered and paid for them.  I love that they just sent cash.  Old school!

I have to do some planning and see what's going to go where this year.  Then I have to plant it! :-) It seems late, but it's still totally fine if you haven't started your garden yet.  Just get to the earlier season items in the next week or two and you'll be fine.

To see what happens to seeds after you plant them, here are all of my gardening posts from the last two seasons!

Last Season, 2012:
April, 2012: Overall garden plan and early plantings and The Hell Strip*
*I highly recommend that fencing, worked great at keeping kids and dogs out
May, 2012: Mother's Day Planters (Oh, and here's who was nibbling on my runner beans!)
June/July 2012 (well, really the last day of June, so almost July): An amazing explosion of buds and bounty!  It's hard to imagine that is just two short months away...
August, 2012: A GIANT sunflower in the picture mid-post. OMG. We planted those seeds this year! Gosh, last summer was SO super hot.  Hoping (hoping!) for a more temperate summer this year (even a few degrees cooler makes such a difference).
There weren't that many gardening posts last year because I was focused on my CSA box!

Two ago, 2011:
April, 2011: Found this guy on the side of my (then new) house! It's lovage! I love lovage!
May, 2011: I did a LOT of work that month to prepare some new gardening areas around my house. I grew some stuff from seed, dug a new garden and planned out the plantings.  Then, I planted the starters in the new "rainbow" garden, then I dug another garden (that year it had tomatoes) and planted that, too.  There was action and trouble, and a thorough exploration of everything that was growing in my front yard.
June, 2011:  June is amazing.  Every year!
July, 2011: July was over the top!
August, 2011: The month of the Monster Fig!

What are you guys growing this year?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sauerkraut Surprise!

Has anyone been wondering what happened to the sauerkraut I made from scratch in November?

Wonder no more!  Here is a three part video series that will satisfy all your curiosities:

And if you want to know how to pack (or re-pack) your kraut using a re-purposed 15L/4 Gallon icing bucket (that I got for FREE from the bakery department at the Cherry Hill Wegmans, I just asked for one :-) some regular ol' aluminum foil, and large freezer bags filled with water, check out these two vids:


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Smooth as Silk...Champagne Mangoes: prep and recipes!

Champagne Mangoes (aka Ataulfo mangoes) are here, guys! They are in from Mexico and I get them at my local Whole Foods.  They arrive in April and are only around for a few weeks, so go get some!  It's usually about $13 for a case (18) mangoes at WF.

Champagne mangoes have silky, smooth flesh and are not fibrous at all (like other types of mangoes).  They are sweet and rich in flavor making them perfect for eating.  They blend up as smooth as silk, too.  I prefer them as my "ice cubes" when I make blends (known to the rest of the world as "smoothies," *shudder*).

Here is a video tutorial on how to cut and clean your Champagne Mangoes. It was a one-take deal that I did this morning.

Freeze those babies!

I used them this morning in my green blend.
Here's the blend recipe:

The Wake, Bake and Blend, Blend!
(Thanks for the name, Jon!)

Makes about one serving:

1 pitted date, chopped
1 tsp. organic hemp seeds
(I used 1T per serving and it was a little too rich and nutty tasting for me)
About 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 big handful of raw, organic spinach leaves
1 cup organic soy milk or other non-dairy milk 
juice of one fresh, organic orange

Put that in your blender (or Vitamix or Blendtech) and blend away.


They also make a GREAT salsa!
Champagne Mango Salsa! 
(That link also has more info on the mangoes and on slicing, etc.)

Enjoy the weekend and this weather, everyone!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vegan Dining in the Philly 'Burbs (Jersey spots!)

Guys, check out Vance's V for Veg column today in the Philadelphia Daily News, "Vegan Dining in the Philly 'Burbs," it's packed with great veg options for dining out in the 'burbs (Jersey 'burb advice provided by yours truly :-)!

Here's some more info on the places I recommended in the article:
This is a veggie platter from K-Town BBQ in Cherry Hill!
 Clockwise from the center: Crispy Veggie Dumplings, Tofu Steak (YUM), "Vegetarian" Jap Chae (sweet potato noodles with veggies and shiitakes) and homemade pickles over rice!  
They also have vegan Bibimbop, but I haven't tried it yet (it's on my list!).
I love that place and they know what "vegan" means. Their menu is clearly marked as well! 

Here's another great looking veg platter from Kuzina, the very nice Greek restaurant in the same plaza as K-Town!
Clockwise from the bottom center: White bean salad, Greek potatoes, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Patzaria (Beet Salad) (dairy tzatziki on the side), and freshly made pitas!   
They also have several nice veggie options on their menu.  

I forgot to mention Kuzina to Vance, oops! They are a great Greek restaurant in the same plaza as K-Town (Sawmill Shopping Center, 404 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034).

Another favorite of mine for take out or dine-in is Sang Kee Noodle House (there's one in Cherry Hill, now!).  They have an awesome "tofu in crunchy lettuce wraps" as well as some nice 
tofu dishes, like a Sauteed Five Spice Tofu with Chive Blossoms!

I get a great cold veggie hoagie from The Bread Board in Haddonfield.  Just get it without cheese (or mayo) and add oil and vinegar or dress it up at home (like I do).  Their bread is amazing and the veggies are awesome, fresh and crispy! I get it without onions.  It comes with lettuce, carrots, green peppers, sliced radishes and cucumbers if I remember correctly :-)

Also, there's the Cherry Hill Wegmans, of course, but I usually eat there without my camera, so I don't have any pics! Their hot and cold veggie bars are amazing and have LOTS of vegan options, including (usually) a vegan soup and (also usually) the MOST amazing spicy tofu dish in a delicious spicy sauce (in the Asian hot-bar section).  It's one of the best hot tofu dishes in the area in my opinion and my son loves it, too!

The Marlton Whole Foods is another GREAT spot for prepared vegan options if you are out that way.  My husband and I have gone there for "dates" because the food is so good :-)

Anyhoo, pick up a copy of the Philadelphia Daily News today or go online to read about all the rest of the great places to dog veg food in our region!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Soy Not "Oi!"

I HAD to make some peanutbutterchocolatechipcookies from Soy Not "Oi!" yesterday!
 Mixin' 'em up!

For those of you not familiar with this awesome, classic vegan cookbook designed to destroy the government, I highly recommend you check it out.  It's a great bargain for only $7! It's hilarious, has funny drawings, good tunes to listen to, and, of course, great vegan recipes by The Hippycore Krew!

Joel Olson has passed away :-(

The 25th anniversary edition of Soy Not Oi, Soy Not Oi 2 is forthcoming in his honor.  Get ready for more great vegan recipes, advice, stories and tunes (of course!).  There's even still time to contribute to the new edition if you are so inclined, check out Soy Not Oi's Facebook page or the link above!

Joel loved these cookies, and for good reason!

They do not disappoint! 

J@ck's Peanutbutterchocolatechip cookies, YUM. 

And I'm super excited to announce that my Pepita Beet Spread recipe will be included in Soy Not Oi 2!  The Krew loved it and I'm honored to have it in the book.
I hope it starts a Beet Revolution!  Never fear, beet-o-phobes!

 Pepita Beet Spread, OH YEAH.

If you are afeared of beets, all you have to do is...

Root down, ya'll!

'Cause, you know, a beet is a root :-)

What's your favorite song/recipe combo?