Subscribe to our Blogs

Entries in recipe (2)

Friday
Jun012012

The Garlic & Vinegar Solution

No, this isn't a post about cooking. It is about using everyday kitchen ingredients to keep the weeds and creepy crawly biting things away. I don't like using chemicals on my property. I don't like weeds or bugs. I don't want to harm myself or my pets with toxic chemicals. What's a girl to do? Go to the grocery store! Vinegar is about 3 dollars for a gallon jug, garlic is 25 cents per bulb and mineral oil is around $5, depending on the size and quality you want to use. If you're not going to eat it, get the cheaper stuff!

Vinegar is a non-selective, organic herbicide. A few of my neighbors' aren't as attentive with their properties as I am with mine and their weeds are constantly creeping under the fence. Every year I buy a few gallons of vinegar and pour it along the fence line. I am careful not to splash my existing plants, because like I said before, it is non-selective, which means it will kill any plant, not just the weeds. It won't destroy heavy hitters like English Ivy, Morning Glory Vine, Crabgrass or Dandelions, but it weakens them enough for me to rip them out more easily. Organic yards take a lot of one on one work, but it is worth it to me.

I'm fine with most insects but my hospitality runs out when mosquitoes use me and mine as a snack bar. Garlic oil is a good mosquito repellant. You could rub it on yourself but that's going to be rather awkward smelling. It is better to apply it to the garden, as a perimeter application, and it has the bonus effect of deterring bunnies from the yard as well. I'm not going to claim that this will take care of all the mosquitoes, but for my purposes, it does a decent job of protecting me and my pets. See the recipe below to make your own.

You can repurpose the vinegar jugs when you're done, using them as planters, watering containers, or to keep your garlic oil in!

 

Garlic Oil

Ingredients:
1 head of Garlic
1 cup Mineral Oil
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 cups Water

Instructions: Mince several cloves of garlic and cover with mineral oil. Let it sit for at least 24 hours to infuse. Take about 1 teaspoon of the oil (I strain the garlic chunks out with wire mesh) and mix it with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a spray bottle. Shake it up well and go to town! Store extra in a cool, dry place. You won't be cooking with it but no need to let it get any funkier. I usually make mine each time I need it.

Friday
May112012

The Taste of Nature

I have a completely organic vegetable garden every summer at my house. It is cheaper than buying vegetables in a grocery store or farmer’s market and I know exactly where my food comes from. In addition, I can grow whatever varieties I want and a tomato from my garden always tastes better to me and my family than the hormone enhanced, genetically modified strains they sell at the store. Store bought veggies grow on factory farms with genetically modified seeds formulated to grow rapidly and have maximum yields. They use manufactured fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and the end result tastes nothing like what a real tomato should taste like.

It is everyone’s personal choice what to feed themselves and their families, but I know that in my life, with all of the potential carcinogens and toxins just hanging around in everything we use and eat, it is important to me to do what I can to offset those toxins. I also love that I made those veggies happen! I gave them love, care, and then made them into delicious dishes for my family. Below is a recipe from my mom for Gazpacho. It is a delicious cold soup and every year I can make it using just the food in my garden and a few staple kitchen items. I also make a great salsa every summer and that recipe is below with a quick homemade way to make tortilla chips. I know that in this economy everyone wants to save a few dollars. What better way to do it than in your own backyard?


Noreen’s Gazpacho

 

Ingredients:

2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered

1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

1 green pepper, cored, seeded and quartered

1 small clove of garlic

1 cucumber, peeled and cubed

3 cups tomato juice

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup chicken broth

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Garlic croutons for top

Instructions: Blend veggies in blender. Add tomato juice and blend again. Pour into large bowl; add vinegar, oil, broth, salt and pepper. Blend well and cover. Chill for several hours and serve.


AJ’s Salsa

Ingredients:
3 large tomatoes, chopped 
2 bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 chives or scallions, chopped
2 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
Lime juice to taste, approx. 3 tbsp
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds = heat, use gloves & wash hands thoroughly 
 

Instructions: Combine all ingredients and chill. Enjoy with tortilla chips or multi-grain pita chips.

 

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Use a pizza cutter to section fresh flour tortillas. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. You can add a little limejuice, too. Lay pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until crispy.