Category Archives: Blog

Perennials – A Garden Investment

Perennials come back year after year and give an excellent return on a gardener’s investment of time, energy and money. Perennials can provide a beautifully shifting display of texture and color throughout the seasons, without the removing and replacing of plants that would be needed to bring a fresh look to annual plantings. Most can be divided, after 3-5 growing seasons, providing additional plants to expand the landscape or share with other gardeners. Compared to Annuals, time and money demands for feeding and watering are also much less and the tasks of transporting, planting, removing and disposing of them every season are unnecessary.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Directions:

Cut top quarter off each tomato and set tops aside. Scoop out pulp. Drain upside down on a paper towel to dry. Combine cream cheese and shrimp and mix thoroughly. Stuff each tomato with cream cheese mixture. Put tomato tops backs on if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 60 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz canned shrimp, drained

Veggie Stir Fry with Chicken

Directions:

Heat oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Add chicken, garlic and oyster sauce, and stir-fry for 10 minutes. Add veggies and stir-fry for 6 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir into vegetables, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 cup napa cabbage (sliced)
  • 1 cup green bell and 1 cup red pepper (sliced)
  • 1 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (fresh)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Boil, drain and peel the potatoes. Pass them through a sieve and put the puree in a bowl. Scald the zucchini and pass them through a sieve or mash with a fork. Add them to the potatoes, along with the egg, grated cheeses and oil. Season with marjoram, salt and pepper. Add garlic if desired. Mix thoroughly
and stuff the flowers. Fry the flowers in boiling oil, then drain them, put them in a baking dish and bake in a 400° F. oven for 10 minutes before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 10 squash blossoms
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)

Yogurt & Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Directions:

Mix cream cheese, yogurt, honey and almond extract at low speed until smooth. Pour into a small bowl. Arrange dip and fruit on a chilled platter to serve. Excellent with chocolate, pineapple and peaches too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 4 c bite-size fruit; melon chunks, berries, grapes, kiwi slice, etc.

Cherry Pepper Poppers

Directions:

Slice tops off peppers and remove seeds. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around a cheese cube, and stuff into a pepper. Repeat with remaining peppers. Place stuffed peppers into a 1 quart jar and sprinkle with salt. Pour in enough olive oil to cover the peppers. Cover and allow to sit for 1 hour before eating.

Ingredients:

  • 12 fresh cherry peppers
  • 6 oz sharp provolone cheese, cubed
  • 6 oz prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

A Garden to Have and to Hold – Creating Miniature and Fairy Gardens

Miniature gardens…. a refreshing take on container gardening, an enchanting way to introduce children to the world of plants, and for those of you who must succumb to the changing of the seasons, a miniature garden is the perfect way to continue your love of gardening through the dismal days of winter. These little landscapes are simple and fun, can make a superb hostess gift or centerpiece for special occasions, and can even be therapeutic.   Continue reading A Garden to Have and to Hold – Creating Miniature and Fairy Gardens

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Directions:

In a food processor (blender) chop and blend together onion, cucumber and soup. Add yogurt and buttermilk. Move mixture to a sauce pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Chill at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or dill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c cucumber, peeled, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp onion
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/3 c plain yogurt
  • Fresh mint or dill for garnish, optional

Cucumber Honeydew Salad with Feta

Directions:

In a large bowl pour lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, salt, pepper, poppy seed, if desired, and pepper. Add melon, cucumber, onion, and dill weed. Toss to combine. Cover; chill up to 8 hours. Let stand 20 minutes before serving. Just before serving, top with feta.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon poppy seed (optional)
  • 1 medium honeydew melon (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.), seeded and cut in bite-size cubes (5
  • cups)
  • 1 cucumber (12 oz.), unpeeled, and cubed (2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, briefly rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)