Chilli Sauce 

My chilli plant has gone nuts with really hot chillies. So I made chilli sauce. 

Ingredients 

125g “firey red” chillies, roughly chopped 

2 garlic cloves, crushed 

1/4 red capsicum, roughly chopped 

2 black russian tomatoes, roughly chopped  

1/8 cup white vinegar 

1 tbs sugar

Salt

Pepper

Method  

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on high until vinegar is boiling. Reduce to simmer and heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Place in sterilised jar. Consume within 3 months.

Note: I didn’t deseed the chillies so this sauce pretty much blows your head off which is just how the hubby likes it. For a “cooler” version, ditch some seeds. (and save some to plant later for more chillies). 

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Last year my red “hot” chilli peppers tasted like capsicum. The odd one had a slight hint of spice but I pretty much just used them for their colour in my cooking. I thought I’d give chillies another go this year – I really want to make hot chilli sauce! When I saw some flashes of red in my chilli plant I picked one and put the whole thing in my mouth. It absolutely blew my head off! Probably should have started with a little nibble in hindsight. But I’m so happy! I didn’t do anything differently. Must’ve just chosen a better plant. Last years were called “fiery red chillies” and this years are “red hot chillies”. Don’t know what the scientific difference in the two are but red hot chillies win hands down! Keep a look out for my upcoming sauce! 

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! 

Chicken Tomato Pasta

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I wanted an excuse to cut up some of our home grown tomatoes into tiny pieces. They smell so good and sweet! So pasta sauce seemed like the obvious choice for tonight’s menu.

Ingredients
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 chicken breasts, diced
400g tomatoes, diced
2 chillies, sliced
2 tbs tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1 handful basil, torn
500g fettuccine pasta

Method
Boil water in large pot and cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, fry onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken and fry until browned. Add tomatoes, chillies, tomato paste and Italian herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil. Drain pasta and divide between plates. Spoon over sauce. Top with parmesan. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

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Side note: the chillies are from my friends, Steve and Elise. They’ve got a bit of spice to them too – good work guys!

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 🙂

 

First Flashes Of Red

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There are a couple of chillies turning red amongst a sea of green! Hopefully they’re more spicy when they’re red, the green one I sampled was not spicy at all.

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No red amongst the tomatoes yet, but plenty of green treasures brewing away. Here are some romas (without blossom end rot!).

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And some Burnley Sure Crop gems.

Waiting waiting to see red!

My First Summer Veg/Fruit!

The past four days my garden inspections have occurred after night duty in a half daze, and it seems I’ve missed a lot! I strolled out today after a decent post night duty sleep to find tomatoes! My first little tomato babies! And there are lots of them! (I also found a giant caterpillar on my beet greens which had gone under my radar). These guys are called “Burnley Sure Crop” and since I live in Burnley, I shouldn’t be surprised that the fruit is jumping off them! I planted them a bit late because I wanted my previous crop to finish up so I could top up the soil in my vegie boxes, so I was a little worried and kept going around tapping the flowers to fertilise them in case the bees and the wind hadn’t done the job for me. I’ve also got a Roma which has a few tomato babies on it too. Can’t wait to eat them!

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My chillies hadn’t entirely gone under my radar, but I did find a lot more popping through than I knew about. I bought my partner some extra hot chilli sauce for Christmas, made out of Naga Jolokia chillies (the hottest you can get) with a scoville rating of 800,000 so I hope we’re not completely immune to spice by the time these guys are ready to be eaten!

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