Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cooking From the Garden

This week we have been bringing in fresh veggies from the garden, the tomatoes are ripe, the peppers are bountiful, and the last of the zucchini is in. So I thought I would share a post with a few of the ways that we have been using our garden produce.

I'll begin with my Sungold and Pear cherry sized tomatoes- I only grow one plant a year of each, which produces more than enough. The kids and hubby like to nibble on them straight off the bush. When enough are ripe, I send the kids out to pick a big bowl, which I wash up, slice in half, and toss into a pan on the stove with some olive oil and Italian herbs. I saute them until they are heated through, not to long or you will have tomato mush. This recipe is also wonderful with a small fresh zucchini cup up in it as well. Then I serve them tossed with penne pasta and topped with grated Parmesan for a super quick weekday meal.

Here is a picture of our Sungold and Pear Tomatoes ready for Pasta.

Here are tomatoes with zucchini for a pasta toss:

This year both our bell peppers and jalapeno peppers did very well.

I love to make stuffed green peppers. I brown whatever ground meat I have on hand- Turkey or hamburger, about a pound, then I mix the cooked and drained meat with 2-3 cups of cooked rice- depending on how many peppers I want to fill, I also mix in a small can of tomato sauce or tomato soup, some ground oregano and a dash of Italian herbs, and about a cup and a half of cheddar cheese. Then I stuff this mixture into green peppers that I have cut off the top and removed the seeds, sometimes I also decide to cut them in half sideways if they are larger. I top the stuffed peppers with ketchup, because this keeps the rice from forming a hard crust. I set them in a baking pan, and pour in water about half an inch deep around the peppers, this helps to steam the peppers. Then bake at 350 F. for about an hour or until peppers are tender. Great classic family dinner.

Now, I didn't grow up eating jalapenos at all. My husband's family likes Italian foods with lots of spices and they even like to put jalapenos in the chicken soup. The first time I tried this, I embarrassed my self by choking on hot jalapeno, and my face turned 5 shades of red. But this spicy little pepper grew on me over the years, and now I really love them.

Last year I grew a few plants and made the jalapeno poppers from The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook, they were such a hit we all loved them. So this year I grew 8 jalapeno plants, and we have enough for more delicious poppers, and I made my first batch of Pico De Gallo (also from the Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook) turned out delicious- we ate it with tortilla chips the first night, and my hubby has been putting it in his eggs for breakfast. Here is a picture of our Pico de Gallo.

And this is a picture of the poppers I made- bacon wrapped and glazed with honey BBQ sauce- yum!!
Here is my affiliate link to The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook at Amazon- amazing cookbook, with great recipes, I also love her new show on cable, very fun!! I don't buy too many cookbooks, but this one is one of my new favorites- so many usable recipes!

Some of our other garden meals:

My husband makes the best pancakes from scratch for the whole family on the weekends- last weekend we used the last of the blueberries for these delicious blueberry pancakes- Thanks Gary!! They were fantastic!!

Of course we had loads of Zucchini, I have previously shared some posts about my zucchini recipes, I have still been cooking away with our zucchini this week. I have been making lots of zucchini bread, and putting some up in the freezer. I have also made a couple of Zucchini chocolate cakes. Here is a link to my Zucchini Bread recipe:

I also made a batch of Zucchini Fritters - here is the post with my recipe for Zucchini Fritters - great with Sour Cream and Salsa.
Also my recipe for Stuffed Zucchini.

This week I plan on experimenting with my zucchini and make a cookie and a zucchini baked doughnut, I'll have to post them if they turn out :)

I have also read many wonderful posts this week about dehydrating food- I am very tempted try dehydrating some of my peppers. I am also looking forward to harvesting my acorn squash which is very close to ripe.

My fall garden is off to a great start- the Kale and Swiss Chard I planted last week has finally popped through the ground, I have cleared the last of the zucchini, and lettuce will go in tomorrow.

Also a reminder about my Giveaway going on this week- here is the link if you would like to check it out- Back to Basics Giveaway

Hope everyone had a nice weekend, thoughts of 9/11 were in my head throughout the weekend, and my prayers go out to all of those who were affected that day, very hard to comprehend that it has been 10 years. Then and now I just had to remember one of my favorite verses, that has been on a plaque on my wall for many years-

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 NIV


  1. Now I'm really hungry! Jalapeno poppers are my favorite!

  2. That looks so good! All of it!! My mom gets recipes off here from you. She thanks you :) We haven't made any yet, but we want to!

  3. Thanks everyone for the kind comments!

    Vicki- Poppers are one of my favorites too- so good!

    Courtney- I am glad you and your Mom have been checking out my blog- I love sharing my recipes!!

    Blog Hops Everyday- I am really enjoying your blog hops- thanks for hosting them!

  4. ME TOO! I didn't start using those yummy little peppers till I was much older. What a wonderful cook you are. I cant wait to look through more of your blog. Right now I am going to check out your giveaway.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "Forrest-Dweller" Duvall
    The Handmade Homemaker
    The Bee's Knees

  5. Hi April,

    Thanks for hopping by. I just wanted to come over and return the favor. :)

    Oh my! It seems that I need to come to your house for a day or two of meals. All of this looks DELICIOUS! :)

    Have a good Tuesday!

  6. Yum! So many delicious foods! I love jalapenos - last night I canned jalapeno jelly. :-)

  7. Every single one of those things looked delicious! Especially the bacon wrapped popper! I also love tossing tomatoes with pasta for an easy dinner. Yum yum!


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