Puppy Proof Vegie Boxes Round 2

This is what Lloyd thought of round 1:

So ugly chicken wire it is. Hopefully it’s not forever.. 

I may be able to improve this. The way the corners sit means I had to cut off the edges. I could get around this with more stakes but they cost $7 each. Getting a bit pricey to make an ugly fence! At least I finally have some vegies growing again! Here I have Cherry Tomatoes and Black Russian Tomatoes. I also planted more herbs. 

And a Habanero Chilli plant. 

I’ve grown chillies before and they weren’t spicey. I blamed the Melbourne climate. But we have friends 20 minutes away who have grown various hot chillies and made them into the most awesome hot sauce. So I’m trying my luck with a couple of different types of chillies this season. Bring on some home made hot sauce! 

Dehydrated Friends

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My poor herbs didn’t survive my New Zealand trip. I took them off the window sill and put them out where they’d get rained on but their little baby potts dried up too quickly.

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I spent the appropriate time grieving for my dehydrated friends and have now replaced them with moister versions of themselves. The fourth pot will be basil once I find some basil that isn’t half dead.

A Healthy Relax

When I think of relaxing at the end of the day I think wine, cheese/hot chocolate, muffin. While this sounds lovely, it’s nice to mix it up with a healthy version too. I just got home from my meditation class, which always inspires me to think of the healthy option. So tonight I’m relaxing with a lemongrass and mint “tea” (which is lemongrass and mint from my garden crushed up and put in a tea pot with some hot water), and some home-made museli, natural yoghurt and banana.

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After writing this post I’m going to curl up with our laptop and a blanket and listen to my lectures on Open 2 Study. Have you heard about this? I highly recommend it! They’re free 4 week courses which take about 2 hours each week and there are heaps of topics to choose from. I’ve done Principles of Project Management, which is relevant to the career path I’m heading towards. It was a really good course, but now I’m doing the fun courses for my own curiosity (hence why I can incorporate them into relaxation time). I’m half way through Foundations of Psychology and Food and Nutrition and they’re also very good. The only question is which course to sign up to next!

Hope you’re all enjoying your relaxing (blog checking) time 🙂

Why I Love Growing My Own

Well, there are actually lots of reasons why I love growing my own. Mostly I find it really rewarding watching my little seedlings grow into healthy, delicious delights. It makes me proud to know that I’ve grown them with tender loving care. I also love the idea of sustainable gardening and growing at least some of the food we eat, even when we live in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. But this post is about the convenience of growing your own.

So, after a lovely, lazy week day off work I went to see what was in the fridge for dinner. I’m normally very prepared for dinner and plan my dinners well in advance, but this day was one of those “whatever” days. I opened the vegetable drawer to find one red capsicum. Not ideal. But, being a “whatever” day, I couldn’t be bothered going to the supermarket. What to do when you have no vegetables for dinner and you can’t be bothered shopping? Walk outside and harvest some!

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Took me two seconds (approx.) to harvest some tomatoes, chillies and grab a bunch of basil, oregano and parsley.

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Suddenly, there’s plenty of food for dinner! I chucked in some left over bacon from the (famous) potato salad my man made on the weekend, plenty of garlic, some paprika and a tin of tomatoes to make it a bit saucey, and there you go, a yummy pasta sauce out of nothing. Didn’t even need the lonely red capsicum in my fridge!

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One easy, last minute, convenient, home grown pasta dinner 🙂

 

Oh Basil, How I Love Thee

I can never get enough basil. It’s the best herb in the world! I always have some growing on my window sill, in easy reach. My basil is threatening to flower so I thought it time for a super basil-y dinner to use a bunch before it’s too late (there’s rarely enough left to make basil pesto once it’s flowered because of my basil frenzy’s).

So, I present to you: Basil and cashew fritters with tomato and basil salsa garnished with (you guessed it) basil!

I got this recipe from Good Chef Bad Chef which happened to be on TV while I was on my afternoon break at work. Mine didn’t work out quite as perfectly as Zoe’s so I had to tweak the recipe. I’ll show you my version.

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Ingredients For Fritters
1 cup cashews, ground in a food processor
1 cup plain flour (approx – add as necessary to thicken)
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup basil, torn
2 tbs soy sauce
2 eggs, whisked

Ingredients For Salsa
1 tomato, diced
1 glove garlic, crushed
1 tbs tomato paste (in hind sight this could be left out to make it lighter)
1 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
basil, torn

To Make Fritters
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Spray a little olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat (I used a grill fry pan to get those grill makes). Spoon fritters into fry pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

To Make Salsa
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve on or next to fritters. Tear some extra basil on top. Optional: can heat salsa up on stove or microwave first. Given it was a hot day today, we had it cold (as they also did on Good Chef Bad Chef). Also, original recipe actually used feta or goats cheese in salsa, not parmesan. I only used parmesan because I didn’t have any feta, but I’m sure feta is probably nicer :).

Serve with steamed asparagus, and more basil where-ever possible 😉