Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

Garlic Scapes! That funny little curly-cue is a garlic scape, my friends.  Hardneck garlic forms these little guys, and you can cut them off and eat them! They're delicious and they free up that spare energy to be used in garlic bulb production.

The potato plants are just going wild! I spent some time yesterday mounding up compost on them, as you're supposed to to as the plants grow. Soon I'll have new potatoes to enjoy :)
When I left yesterday morning, I had no peas. When I left for work this morning, I had peas! Yeah!!
I think potato flowers are pretty, don't you? I was so surprised the first year I grew potatoes- I never thought about what the potato plant looked like!

What's Up in your Garden this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Takehome + Tofu Stir-fry recipe

Another beautiful CSA share pick-up at the Farmers' Market! 
This week we got:

Swiss Chard
Beet Greens
Lettuce mix 
a bunch of Basil
a bunch of Spearmint
a bunch of Sage
Green onions
Snap Peas and Snow Peas

Lots of greatness! I decided to make an awesome tofu stir-fry that could incorporate some of the veggies from my share. Here's the recipe, if you'd like to make it yourself!

Tofu Stir-Fry with Ginger and Peppers
1 pkg Extra-Firm Tofu
1 cup frozen or fresh peppers
3 shitake mushrooms, diced
1 handful of spinach, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
4 tbps olive oil

Marinade ingredients:
1/3 cup Soy sauce
2 tsp Ginger, chopped
1 cup water


  • Prepare the tofu by pressing it to rid it of excess water
  • Slice the tofu into thin slab or small pieces
  • Mix together together the marinade and let the tofu soak in it for 20-30 minutes
  • Heat up a frying pan with the olive oil 
  • Once the oil is heated, add the garlic and let it cook for a few minutes. 
  • Add the tofu once its ready, add to the pan. 
  • Fry up the tofu on both sides, and then add the remaining vegetables.

Serve and Enjoy!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Silent Sunday

Thinning carrots in the garden= baby carrots :)
Sugar Snap peas are starting to bloom
First garlic Scape of the year- woohoo!!
 Happy Sunday, all :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Favorites

Mike and I have been playing disc golf for a couple of months now- 
it's been such a fun way to see our city :)

Seeing colorful produce at the Farmers' Markets is a pick-me-up, any day of the week!

My little sister Sam is graduating next week- today's her last day of High School! 
She's worked so hard, and I could not be more proud of her.

What are your favorite things this Friday? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

Most of the herbs I started indoors are establishing outside really well! The cilantro is starting to bolt though- I think I'll start those from seed outdoors next year.

The walking onions I got from my neighbors look so fun- they have little curly tails and they'll start to flower soon- if I'm correct I think they'll start to bend down to the ground and will spreads!

The Leeks are fattening up, finally. Every day I want to pull them out and eat them!
Woah! So green, right? Makes me happy every time I look out the window :)

What's Up in your Garden today?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Takehome- My Market Haul + a Recipe

Another beautiful CSA share pick-up at the Farmers' Market! This week I was graced with:

Swiss Chard
Beet Greens
2 type of Kale
Kohlrabi greens
a bunch of lemon balm
Lettuce mix & Cress
Green garlic

Now that we're into late May, a lot of produce is popping up at the Farmers' Market. There were so many beautiful seedlings for sale, I couldn't resist purchasing 4 tomato plants.

So now comes the fun part- I'm tasked with finding out what to make with these beautiful veggies! My goals for tonight and tomorrow are the kohlrabi greens (right) and the swiss chard. I'm thinking some kind of simple recipe involving olive oil and green garlic. I looked at making this recipe for simple Swiss Chard, but in the end opted for the recipe below.

Roasted Swiss Chard with Feta 

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


  • Preheat a pan on low heat w/ 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Toss the chard stems and onions in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add to frying pan.
  • Cook in the pan until the chard stems have softened and the onion is starting to brown on the corners, about 8 minutes. 
  • Toss in the chard leaves over the stem & onion mixture, then scatter the feta cheese over top.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until chard leaves are tender.
Serve and Enjoy!

Any favorite swiss chard recipe recommendations?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Springing into Summer

Almost everything I started indoors under lights has been transplanted outside to the garden. One of the last things to go out, yesterday, was little German Chamomile starts (on Left). I hope they do well- this is my first year growing lots of herbs so we'll have to wait and see! Harvesting chamomile blossoms and drying them to make tea is definitely on my list of Self-sufficiency Nerd goals.

The garden is growing GREAT- there's so many tones of green out there! We're just about at the point here of planting summer crops in S.E. Michigan; tomatoes, peppers, cukes, squash, and more.

I've been consistently harvesting lettuce and kale from the garden, as well as a few spinach leaves, chives, and green onions from the plants my neighbors gave me. The beans and peas are doing nicely, and the potato plants are shooting up- it's about time that I mound up the soil around them, now that they're getting taller. Leeks seem to be fairing well- the jury's out on whether or not my toilet paper roll blanching method is truly working. The lettuces are starting to bolt and get a bit bitter, so we'll be having lots of salads for dinner this week!

I've started to plant a few tomatoes and peppers outdoors. All the ones I started from seed indoors didn't do very well, but I put them in the mudroom to get some natural sunlight and they've been perking up. If you didn't start any seeds of your own this season, head out to your local nursery and buy some locally-grown transplants :) 

How's your Garden Growing?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Silent Sunday

Backyard Garden gate
Carrot tops in the garden
The raspberries are getting closer to ripening!
Asparagus- I let it fern out this year so it can be stronger for next year

Happy Sunday, friends! Back to a regular posting schedule tomorrow!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Silent Sunday



The onions I started from seed indoors- looking great!
 Happy Sunday, friends :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tea Bomb: Nutritional Goodness for when you're feeling Bad

I have a cold. A big, epic cold that came out of nowhere and made me feel like crap. When I have a cold, there is a go-to pick me up drink that I like to make. You probably will not be surprised to know that the recipe is from my magical roommate, Paul. This drink is called a Tea Bomb. It is basically an amazing collection of awesomely-strong ingredients paired together and steeped in hot water. Here's a quick Tea Bomb tutorial. Next time you're feeling sick, try this baby out. It tastes like health- is that too weird to say?

Tea Bomb 101

 Ingredients needed: 

  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 clove Garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp Chamomile blossoms
  • 1/4 inch of a Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • a coffee filter

Step 1: Measure out the chamomile blossoms and put into the filter

Step 2: Mince the garlic, peel & mince the ginger, and crush the cayenne pepper. 

Step 3: Add all ingredients to the filter, and place over a mug like so. 

 Step 4: Bring 1 cup water to a boil. While boiling, squeeze the lemon juice into the spread-out filter. 
Step 5: Bunch the top of the filter together and hold. Pour the hot water over the "teabag" and let it steep for 5-7 minutes. Optional: Use a steak knife to hold the teabag in place :)

Step 6: Drink your incredibly nutritious tea and pat yourself on the back for trying something new

I've come to love the taste of this tea, and have made it when I'm not sick. It's like a boost of nutrients, or at least my brain thinks it is. Fake boost or not, your belief in its' healing powers is probably helpful!

Stay healthy, friends!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

The Bloomsdale Spinach I planted from seed in the garden is doing great- 
look how big it got in the past few weeks!

From near to far: Kidney and Provider Bush Beans, Potatoes, Carrots and 
 Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, and Onions! Woo- what a green garden!

Carrots are going wild- I'll need to thin them soon

Genovese, Thai, and Lemon Basils newly transplanted outdoors.

You wouldn't know it from the picture, but this is an Apricot Tree! :) So cute.
What's Up in your Garden this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Product Review & Giveaway- Door to Door Organics!

Earlier in the month, I was excited when Door to Door Organics approached me and asked if I'd like to review one of their produce boxes on my blog. I honestly hadn't heard of the company before then and I was excited to learn more.

Essentially, Door to Door Organics is a company with a Michigan-based (looks like they have a branches in Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago, and East Coast). They are a grocery delivery service that has a core focus on organic and natural products including produce, eggs, cheeses and meats, a lot of which is locally sourced and ethically grown/made/raised.

I agreed to receive a coupon for a free box of produce in exchange for providing an un-biased review of the product I receive.
Product Review- Bitty Mix Produce Box

In order to place an order with Door to Door, I logged in and made a user account on their website, . The website is straight-forward and easy to use for a newbie. Once you make a user name, you can set produce preference (indicate what are your favorites and what you'd never like to receive in your box) and enter in some basic information. Then you can browse & choose your Box size:

$23 Bitty- Good for 1-2 people
$33 Small- For a family of 3-4 people
$39 Medium- Produce-loving family of 4
$55 Large- For a big family or a vegetarian family

You can also choose whether you'd like the box to include just veggies, just fruits, or be Mixed, which is what I chose. 

Un-Boxing: What to Expect When you Receive your Delivery

I made the video to your left, and it will lead you through the un-boxing experience- thanks to Mike for being my video guy! 

Quality: All the produce I requested, which included lettuce, apples, bananas. oranges, pears, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and garlic, was labeled certified organic- it's nice to know. All of the produce looked great and did not seemed damaged by its journey to me. Several things, including the pears and the tomatoes, were a little under-ripe, but that's to be expected.

It did not seem like any of the produce was locally sourced. I was informed that local sourcing would start in June, so I'm considering ordering another box in June to see how the local sourcing is.

Quantity: All in all, I think the amount of produce I received was a fair price for $23. We all know that organic produce can be more expensive than conventionally grown produce, and I would have probably spent about this much at my local food co-op.

Delivery Satisfaction: Delivery went well- I have no complaints. I will say that I did ask for the box to be put into the cooler on my porch and it did not get put there, but that's not a big deal overall.

Customer Service Satisfaction: I had to call customer service because at first the coupon credit didn't go through the first time. I spoke to several people and they were all friendly and nice- my issue was resolved quickly!
Overall Rating and Thoughts: I was really satisfied with Door to Door Organics for the service it provides. The produce all seems to be great quality, although I've only had an apple so far :) Again, I think that $23 was a pretty good value for the amount of produce I received. The only thing I would mention as a current downfall is the lack of locally-sourced produce. As I mentioned, it does seem like they have existing partnerships with local farms, including Tantre Farm in Chelsea. Although there is more information on Door to Door's beliefs and values on their website, I am excited for a company who values organic produce and values the local community connections.

*Win a Bitty Box for yourself!*
Whoa guys- this is awesome! One lucky Reader can win a coupon for 1 free Bitty Box courtesy of Door to Door Organics. All you need to do is:

1) Like Happy Home on Facebook :)
2) Leave a comment on this post below on your favorite type of summer vegetable!

I'll give ya until 11:00pm on Wednesday, May 9th. I'll select randomly!

Also, Door to Door Organics has offered ya'll $10 off your first box, which you can do by signing up and entering the code: happyorganichome

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Silent Sunday

I <3 Hostas 
Sage in the front porch pot
Potato Plants
Chives are in bloom
Garden is greening up quickly
Happy Sunday- Enjoy your day :) Stay tuned on Tuesday 5/8 for an exciting giveaway!