Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Enchilada Stuffed Summer Squash + The Latest Meal Plan

'Tis the season of trying to come up with 101 ways to use zucchini. I'm only growing one plant this year, but my neighbors have been sharing theirs with us, too.  I'm not complaining.  I love it, and the kids can put away all the yummy zucchini baked goods like nobody's business.  Pancakes with shredded zucchini in them are a super popular item at my house.

I have a Zucchini Pinterest board, to keep track of recipe ideas for this time of year, and I had this one planned for one of our meals.  Then I was given a GIANT pattypan squash on our neighborhood garden tour and thought, why not?
And no, these are not fancy food blogger photos, they're real life dinner table photos.

The kids refuse to eat any sort of squash, summer or winter, (I know, who raised them?!), so this was all for me and The Dad.  I put some of the filling in tortillas for the kiddos.  Everyone's happy.

Here's the link for the recipe I used as a starting point:  

That pan is a size up from a 9 x 13, if that gives you a better idea of how big the squash was.
We each only ate about a half of one half, so we got a second meal out of it.

I ended up doubling the filling to fill my giant squash, and still have enough for the kids' tortillas, and I also threw in a can of refried beans.  I upped the garlic and seasoning amounts, to suit our taste, as well.  The recipe calls for diced, cooked chicken, but you could easily omit that for a vegetarian meal.  Whole black beans would be good, too.  To finish it off, we topped it with all the usuals:  sour cream, salsa, cilantro, jalapeno, a banana pepper, and fresh lime wedges.  A sliced cucumber from the garden, some kale-cabbage slaw given to us by a neighbor, and it was time to eat.

Here's dinner on my plate:

Really, really delicious.
And here's some of the other meals we have planned:

Pork Medallions with Roasted Figs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Beet Greens, and Bread
3-Cheese Zucchini Lasagna Rolls, Heirloom Tomato-Basil Salad, and Bread
* Mini Grilled Pizzas and Cucumber, Tomato, Garbanzo Bean Salad
* "French Food" (my nephew's coined term for picky food night)
BBQ Country-Style Ribs, Corn on the Cob, and Loaded Boiled Potatoes

Monday, July 27, 2015

Driveway Veggies: 7/21/15

I was as happy as the next guy to finally get some rain this weekend, for the first time in longer than I can remember, until I walked out back to survey the damage.  The problem with heavy rain in July is, major plant destruction.  I didn't take pictures. It's too depressing.  The same thing happened last August.  The same plants suffered, and I can hardly stand to look.

On a happier note, I took photos of the driveway veggies last week, prior to the downpour, and they're doing pretty darned swell.

I rearranged things a bit, as if that even remotely comes as a surprise, and we drug the outdoor couch and table out here, after inheriting some hand-me-down chairs.

The metal pots, that I had just planted in my last update, have grown a ton.

They each got a Salvia, a Hebe, and a Cleome that I started from seed, and then this one got a new-to-me plant called, Angelica 'Ebony', and the other one got a Talinum 'Limon', aka, Jewels of Omar, a plant that I LOVE.

Looks like I'm finally getting one that isn't white.

I had never grown this Salvia before.
It's called, 'Fancy Dancer.'

The Hebe behind it is either 'Pinocchio' or 'Purple Shamrock.'
Both are variegated and both supposedly get purple flowers.

The Salvia in this one is 'Wendy's Wish.'

While we're on the subject of flowers, the window box and Fuchsia pot are both still happy.

Back over to the veggies....

The vine on the neighbor's gate is a green bean.
No beans yet, but the plant sure does seem happy.

We're steadily eating cucumbers and basil, and have had two zucchini.
I harvested all the garlic that I planted late this spring and I'm pretty excited about that.
I'll take photos for a Life Snippets post.
No ripe tomatoes yet, other than a couple cherries, but the Green Zebra is loaded.
I stuck some bush beans in late, and although the plants are still weensy, we've eaten a handful off of those.

All but one of the peppers in the metal trough were mystery donations, but so far it looks like one jalapeno for sure.

The Four 'O Clock that I started from seed is uber happy.

Wild life safari.

The eggplant plants were also mystery donations, so I was SUPER excited to find this.

And last, maybe the most exciting of all.

I swear this sucker grows an inch in circumference every day.
It was about softball size here, but now, a week later, it's tons bigger.
It's a 'Sugar Baby' watermelon, so he doesn't have far to go, size-wise.
I just really hope he gets ripe.
My sister cut hers open at the end of summer last year and it wasn't ripe yet.  :(
Any tips on knowing when it's ready?

He got a scar from growing in the night, between the green metal trellis.
I'm telling you, they grow FAST.
Anyway, that's the driveway veggie update.
Pretty fun.
For me AND the kids.  ;)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Front Yard: 7/21/15

Tuesday morning was overcast, as promised, so I headed out with my camera.

There aren't many new things blooming, but everything out front has filled in over the past two weeks, and two of the four dahlias out there are just starting to get goin'.  Yay!

My mom shared this one with me years ago, and there must have been two varieties mixed together, because some of the flowers are lavender and white, and some are solid lavender.
You can see the solid one on the far left side in the first photo.

The other one is called, 'Blue Bell', and its first flower is just barely emerging.

The "Tina" rose has fully recovered from her early, annual, spring black spot breakout, and is now healthy and in a full-on second bloom.
I love her.

Random mixed pot.
Although, two of the mix (coleus and fuchsia) are just sitting there doing nothing.

I gave away 95% percent of my six kagillion Cleome starts this year, and so far, the ones I stuck in are all white.

The Black Eyed Susan vine has been slow this year.
I get a sporadic two or three blooms here and there.

The usual pulled back shots.
Looking at these pictures, it's all sort of just a plant riot right now.

My mom came over a few days before our open garden and helped cross things off my to-do list.
She mentioned the bricks in the path, something I had been meaning to deal with.
They were level and buried after redoing the whole path last year, but the bark had settled and was packed down, so the bricks were becoming a tripping hazard.  
I was planning on redoing it, and getting them level again, but it just didn't happen.
So I told her to just tear them out.
We ended up adding to the brick edging, and making it two high, as a solution to, "Where are we gonna stash the bricks?!"
I think it turned out cute.
I got a bag of bark mulch to fill in the divets, and level it all out.
Done and done.

I love this pot right now.

Grace gave me a start of this Persicaria and I'm in love with it.
The Hardy Fuchsia is new this spring and it's just now starting to bloom.
It's called 'Galadriel.'

Yes, that whole area is a sea of bird seed.
It's the bane of my existence.
They are the messiest eaters EVER.

Caladium in the watering can shot.

The obligatory window box shots.

A tuberous begonia, started from seed.
Thank you, Ann.

A cute little Aster, blooming in spite of his shady home.

My mom had this cute little Coreopsis reseed like crazy in her yard this year.
So she shared, and I stuck it in all over the place.

The rest are technically on the side of the house, and not in the front yard, but I'm throwin' 'em in anyway.
First, I LOVE the Wild Impatiens that Grace shared with me this year.
Love, love, love.

A happy hanging Fuchsia.

When we got married, we had a DIY wedding.
Anyway, our favors were homemade seed packets, filled with zinnia seeds.
My mom has had the giant leftover bag of seeds in her freezer for 11 years.
She decided to start some this year, and this is a portion of the result.

Just a cute little spot.

And last, I bought this 'Belle of Woking' Clematis in March, and it finally has one flower.
So pretty.
I have high hopes for next year. :)

That's it for today, kids.
I actually took some pictures of food last night.
I know, it's been awhile.
'Tis the season of this being a garden blog.
I also put together a real live meal plan for the first time in forever.
Remember when I used to share those on a regular basis?
I'll see if I can get them both on here this week.
Tata for now.

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