Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts
Using a garden fresh zucchini from my sisters-in-law, I made a batch of brownies. I had never baked with zucchini before, but having two giant zucchinis gave me the inspiration to try.

Following a recipe found on, I gave these zucchini brownies a shot.

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded zucchini

Method (in photos):

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until combined.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Mix the flour mixture with the sugar mixture. I used a whisk for this too and it worked really well as the mix was really dry.

4. Add the shredded zuchinni and mix to combine. It was hard to mix, so I ended up using my hands.

5. Spread mixture into prepared 13x9 pan. It was really sticky so I used a rubber spatula to spread it out to the edges.

6. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350°F. My brownies took 25 minutes. They are done when they spring back when touched.

Frost the brownies if desired. I only had enough cocoa powder for a thin layer of icing, but it ended up being the perfect amount.

These brownies were so good! I had one at room temperature and it was just okay, but once I had one out of the fridge...I ended up having three out of the fridge. They are really tasty cold! If I didn't know they were made with zucchini, I wouldn't be able to tell, which I think is kinda neat. I will definitely be making these again.

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, August 06, 2014 11 comments
My sisters-in-law brought over two giant zucchinis from their garden.

I love zucchini, and I'm really looking forward to eating these. I'm going to try using them in baking, as I've always heard about doing that but have never tried it. I looked up some recipes this morning and think I'll make some zucchini brownies. They sound interesting and apparently the zucchini makes the brownies really moist. I'm excited to see if that's true.

In the mean time I fried some up for lunch, as fried zucchini is a favourite of mine. A little olive oil, a little s+p, and you have yourself a great side dish. Sometimes we even serve it over rice. Yum!

Have you ever baked with zucchini? If so, what did you make?

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8 comments
Our beans have started producing!

From little spouts in early June...

That started taking root by June 20th...

 And now they are fully grown and offering up tasty beans to eat! Yum!

It's the time of year for them, as my sisters-in-law brought over some yellow beans from their garden, which I promptly ate with some leftover pizza.

I love green and yellow beans from the garden!

Garden 2014 Updates
2014 Beans and Tomato Garden
2014 Garden Planted
2014 Garden Taking Root

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, July 31, 2014 11 comments
We had a few rainy days earlier this week and it has really gotten our garden growing.

John built a neat little fence around the plants, which I think makes them look great.

Green beans

Earlier 2014 Garden Updates
2014 Beans and Tomato Garden
2014 Garden Planted

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, June 19, 2014 6 comments
We got our started beans and tomatoes and put them in ground over the weekend. We haven't had any rain in far too long, so we are watering them with the hose and hoping they are happy. They are calling for rain one of the days this week, but I will have to see it to believe it.

Bean patch
Tomatoes in the ground

Patio Tomatoes

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 4 comments
We planted some seeds last week and they are almost ready to go in the ground. We planted 20 beans (18 came up) and 8 tomatoes (we planted 5 last week and 3 the week before - all came up).

It's still early but I'm already looking forward to steamed green beans and home made pasta sauce. Mmmmmmmm... Can't wait.

18 green beans and 5 tomatoes, started last week

3 tomatoes, started two weeks ago

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, June 05, 2014 2 comments
The grocery store in Elmvale recently had a super deal on mini roses, $2 per plant. We noticed the deal one night and conservatively bought three. The next night we went back and bought eight more, pretty much buying the remainder of their stock. On the weekend we noticed more roses and impulse bought our twelfth one. The cashier said: "They are such a great deal! And you are only getting one?" We told her we already had eleven at home! We planted most of them outdoors, but we kept a few inside and a red one sits on my desk. I love it!

Last week John was out weeding the flowerbeds and cleaning up the backyard and he came back in with a home grown bouquet. Lilacs and Narcissus made my desk smell great all week, and periodically I put my nose right into the lilac. I love that smell.

Do you keep any plants or flowers on your desk? If so, what kind?

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, June 05, 2013 4 comments
Christmas Cactus!!

I'm pretty sure every time this cactus makes flowers I will post a photo on the internet.

I love this plant. I love that it is 60+ years old.  I love that it is a survivor.  I love that it used hang in my Nanny's house and then in my family home growing up.  I love that it is a daily part of my life. I love how strong this plant is. It is bursting with new growth and is pretty much on schedule for it's Christmas blooms.  Blooming a week out of December? I would say this plant is right on time.  Way to go, buddy! xoxoxo

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, November 27, 2011 3 comments
We couldn't get it together to plant our full garden this summer, but we have a few vegetables started and some flowers planted.  And of course by we, I mean John.  I have been really lost when it comes to doing anything lately, so kudos to John for having initiative.  But it's not like I did absolutely nothing - I did help to pick out the flower seeds and I took all the photos for this post! It was really the least (most) I could do. :)

In lieu of a full vegetable garden John made a vegetable box that he planted a few of our favourites into. We are kind of rocking the patio garden thing this year.
Vegetable box full view
Green Beans
Green Leaf Lettuce
Patio Habanero and Patio Tomato
There is also some unruly oregano that came up on its own
 where the herb garden was last year

We also planted some flower seeds that are just starting to sprout.  We have an area in the backyard that is the resting place of some pretty amazing pets that have passed on over the years.  John is making a rock/flower garden to honour them.  He planted all perennials, so hopefully it remains beautiful year after year.
Rock/Flower garden
A perennial flower sprouting
  How is your garden this year?

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1 comment
We still have my Mother's Christmas Cactus, and it is doing exceptionally well.  In April of 2010 the Christmas Cactus successfully bloomed a year after almost dying.  Since then it has showed some wonderful new growth and it looks really happy hanging around here.

Just over a month ago, in early December, the Christmas Cactus began budding, but within a few days all the buds fell off.  I don't know enough about how plants function, but I'm guessing that it wanted to bloom in December (hence Christmas Cactus), but it just didn't have the power to do it yet.

This past week I started noticing buds again, and we had our first full bloom on January 21.  So who knows, maybe by Christmas 2011 it will be right on schedule!  As always with this amazingly tough, sixty-plus year old plant, I say: "way to go, buddy!"

The following are some of the Christmas Cactus flowers at various states of growth:

Baby bud.

Next size up.

Showing a little colour.

Getting long.

Full Bloom!

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2 comments
Yesterday I made my way out to the garden to pick some beans.  As I approached the bean patch a Garter snake slithered around on the grass in front of me and slid right into my row of beans.  Needless to say there was a scared scream heard throughout the yard and no beans were picked.  Later the beans were again approached and the Garter snake poked his head out and looked right at me!  Then he slithered into the woods.  I know Garter snakes are harmless, and can even have cute faces (from a distance), I'm just not into things that slither around in the grass.  We realized if Garter snakes were hanging out, our grass must be too long, so we quickly mowed away any places for slithery beings to hide.

The Garter snake sighting brought forth many family tales of Garter's that have crossed paths with us over the years.  Mom told me she once walked into the kitchen of the old farmhouse and saw something sticking out from the cuppord under the sink.  On second glance, she noticed it was moving (slithering, in fact).  On closer inspection it was a Garter snake (in the house!).  Luckily my dad has no fear and promptly removed it.

I was reminded of a photo dad had taken of my brother Tommy, at ten years old, grasping a Garter snake in his hand.  When questioned how the photo had come to be, Dad said he had encouraged Tom to pick up the snake, in order to teach him that it wasn't harmful. I am very glad I missed out on the nature lesson that day. 

There is also the tale from many years ago that involved John's cats.  At that time, the cats had a "doggy door" so they could come and go as they pleased.  That was until two of them, Cleo and Eddie, came back through the "doggy door" carrying a Garter snake, one end of it in each of their mouths.  It was alive.  And they let it loose inside the house.  Terrifying!  From then on, the "doggy door" was dismantled, and his family now screens what they let the cats drag in.
Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1 comment
It is a long weekend here in Canada and I am celebrating it right!  So far I've had the perfect combination of friends, family, food, and fun.  Also hoping that before the weekend is over there can be a little more sunshine added to the equation, but all in all it has been a blast.

I went swimming yesterday with my Bros and despite it being cloudy and a little rainy, we still had tonnes of fun.  The Bros haven't been swimming in years, so it was such a joy to see Dave so thrilled.  Swimming is so happy inducing for us - I was giddy well into the evening and then slept soundly and solidly.  Awesome.

After all that swimming exercise, I was hungry for some long weekend BBQ.  We cooked up some veggies on the BBQ - carrots, broccoli, peas (from our garden!), zucchini (from our garden!) and green beans (also from our garden!).

We cooked up some farmer fresh corn with the veggies, husking it and brushing it with olive oil and yummy spices.  It tasted like a beautiful dream. :)

And we couldn't forget our favourite BBQ meat treat: Pork Buttons.  With the taste and texture of a pork chop and the fun and sauce of a chicken wing, these are a summer staple around here.

I'm pretty sure I could eat this meal every day.  Not sure how my heart/arteries/waist line would like it, but my taste buds and happy meter would be on cloud nine.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, August 01, 2010 No comments
We harvested a zucchini!  Last year our zucchinis were all eaten by animals, so we are quite pleased that we get to enjoy them this year.  Plus there are three more on the way!  I'm so proud and super happy because Zucchini is a definite favourite!

Looking Good!

Top View.

Way to go, Zucchini!! :)

Previous Garden 2010 Blog Posts:

Garden 2010 - Midsummer Update
Garden 2010 - Six Weeks Later
Garden 2010 - Day 12
Plants in the Ground, Plants in the Ground
How Does Your Garden Grow?

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, July 31, 2010 No comments
I fought through a swarm of mosquitoes this morning in order to give my garden a good weeding.  With all the rain we had overnight there were plenty of weeds to remove and I am sure I got thirty new mosquito bites for my effort.  Such is life when you live near a marsh in the summer! :)

The Garden is coming along nicely.  We have already eaten a few peas, beans, and made some salads from the romaine and spinach.  Everything is tasting great so far!
Our herbs. The cilantro (front) has gone to flower, so we need to get some more of them started.   The lavender and oregano (middle) are coming along and the basil (back) is looking great!

A pile of beans.  The Buddha is hanging out in the garden too.

Peas in the pod!  I don't like peas as a rule, but right out of the pod they taste amazing!

Carrots and Onions.

Pepper plants soaking up the sun.

Romaine.  We have been picking off leaves and making awesome salads.

Row of Romaine.  Soon to be salad. Yum.

Spinach.  We weren't really paying attention and planted something called Long Standing Bloomsdale spinach.  It tastes like normal spinach but it is growing really tall.  I hope it puffs out and we have lots of spinach to eat.


Our Zucchinis are big!  Zucchini is my favourite so I can't wait to harvest these!

We even have a Zucchini on it's way.  Note to rabbits: please don't eat this!

We have some corn that is about five feet tall.  Last year our corn got eaten by animals before we had a chance to try it.  I hope we get a chance to sample it this year.

Our cucumbers all died, but I noticed this little guy this morning.  Maybe he is going to make it after all. 
Here is hoping! :)

Previous Garden 2010 Blog Posts:

Garden 2010 - Six Weeks Later
Garden 2010 - Day 12
Plants in the Ground, Plants in the Ground
How Does Your Garden Grow?

Posted by Jen B On Monday, July 19, 2010 No comments
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