Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Summer Favorite - Gazpacho

We aren't in the heat of the Texas Summer yet, but I've already made my first batch of gazpacho - yum!  When Summer is here, I tend to feel like it is too hot to eat.  Often a huge cup of gazpacho, some crackers, and some hummus is dinner for me.

Here's my favorite recipe, although it tends to change up often:

Summer Gazpacho

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 cups tomato juice

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1.5 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1.5 T. red wine vinegar

1 T fresh lemon juice

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1T. chopped fresh parsley

1 T. chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, as garnish

Puree all but the basil... let rest in fridge overnight so that flavors blend -- enjoy!  This recipe makes very 2 generous meals for one.

When I made this batch, I used parsley, chives and basil from my garden.  Hopefully when Summer is in full swing I'll be using homegrown tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and jalapenos!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another porch photo...

UPDATE:  Not nearly as much rain as I would have thought...  but my rain barrels are definitely full!

Rainy afternoon on the porch

Everything is so green and the rain smells so fresh. Temp has dropped into the 60's; divine after low 90's yesterday. The street is quiet since neighbors haven't yet started getting home from work. Ahhhhh. I wish you could join me!

First Harvest

Look what I harvested last night!

I was pretty darn excited. 

Were they picture perfect?  No...
Are they 100% organic?  Yes...
Did I grow them from seed in my own little backyard?  Yes!
Will I eat them?  I already did -- and yowser! They were HOT.  Tasty, though...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Caterpillars!

I have a couple of caterpillars on my dill this morning... so pretty.  I believe these will become Black Swallowtail butterflies:


I have a clever neighbor.  Well, I have several clever neighbors, but this one was clever with a huge knot hole in a pecan tree in her front yard.  She planted a huge petunia plant in it!

We've had a lot of fun watching people take photographs of it as they go by...  I predict there are angry squirrels...


I can't remember if I told you that I decided to cover my owl house in some old pieces of tree bark I had saved.  What?  You don't save pieces of tree bark??  ::::grin:::

I had first tried painting the house to camouflage it, but decided it wasn't good enough.  Then I remembered I had a bunch of old bark that I had saved for fire starters.  A few wood screws later.... fab.  I should have taken a photo of it before Red put it back in the tree -- because it's camouflaged so well it nearly doesn't show up in the photo!  Can you see it?