Sunday, October 14, 2012

Surprise Sunflowers and Roasted Beets

The rain has finally returned, and fall is finally settling in.  I looked out the window last night, and saw our tree against the backdrop of dark rain clouds, with the sunset just peeking out in the distance, and thought it was so beautiful.  Our garden is very happy to have rain back!

With all this cooler weather, I have been busy in the kitchen. Last week I bought a nice little bunch of beets, and last night roasted them up.  Most recipes on the web have you place an unpeeled beet in a foil pouch with olive oil to roast in the oven, and then peel it after it is done roasting.  I wasn't sure how well that would work, and I wasn't sure I wanted to try peeling hot beets and then cutting them into chunks right at the time I would be finishing off the rest of dinner, so I opted to peel and cube them first.  My what a magenta mess that was, my hands are still died purple and pink!  Next time I need to pick up a box of kitchen gloves. :)  But it was well worth it.  They turned out delicious!

After peeling with a vegetable peeler, just like I would a carrot or potato, and chopping in to nice bite sized chunks, I tossed them with olive oil and ground sea salt.  I added about half a cup of water to help them steam a bit also, then cover the roasting pan with foil and baked at 375 F. for about an hour, until they were fork tender.

I was amazed at the beautiful color of the beets, this was my first time preparing them fresh, I always grew up eating canned beets.

Here is how they looked all ready to serve, I drizzled them with a little melted butter and added a little more sea salt.  I thought the were a perfect fall side dish,  Gary (hubby) enjoyed them as did Sarah, but Joseph was not too fond of them, he ate half his serving, then the dogs very graciously finished the rest of his beets.
While I was looking up recipes, I read that often times, when it comes to beets, people either love them or hate them we'll have to try them a few more times and see if we can't win Joe over. :)

I have been so busy inside the last couple of weeks, that my garden has been a bit neglected. I was pleasantly surprised last week though, when I went for a walk through my garden to assess the weeding and fall clean up that I still needed to do, and found that some beautiful sunflower plants had sprung up under the bird feeders.  The buds hadn't opened yet, but they looked like they would any day.  The last few days beautiful sunflowers have blossomed!

What a nice surprise, I haven't planted sunflowers for quite some time, and I have been missing them.  I usually feed the birds a waste free seed, with chopped sunflower, but once or twice this summer we used a seed mix with whole sunflower seeds, and it looks like a few have sprouted up.  I love the happy yellow color against the browns of the plants that are starting to die back.

I also think the sunflowers look very pretty against the red holly berries.   What a nice fall treat!

I am looking forward to a nice relaxing Sunday evening, and getting ready for a nice productive week.  I hope everyone had a nice weekend!


  1. I have never ever tried beets this way. I've had them pickled. We didn't grow any this year.
    Last year we grew a lot of them. I think I still may have a couple bags frozen that need to be eaten. I may give this a try.
    With the weather cooling...warm roasted beets might be a pretty nice change.

    hope the little one learns to like them.

    I am like you... I get busy inside and forget about the outside. Wish I could find a nice balance. But sometimes you just need to work inside! I'm learning to take advantage of nice weather though, the older I get.
    Your surprise flowers are so pretty! --enjoy. Pat

  2. what a beautiful surprise love sunflowers they are so pretty and tall and proud
    dont recall having roasted beets but then my mother and grandmother prepared them when I was a kid will have to try these out

    come over and see what I shared when you find time at

  3. Hi April, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm, and I’m visiting from the Clever Chicks blog hop.

    I'll admit, I've never been a fan of beets, but I'm glad to see you enjoy them! Love the pics of the sunflowers!

    Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” you! Hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  4. I love roasted beets! Mine recipe is a little different, and if small I cut in half and leave some of the stalks on for decoration.

    My garden, too, has gone into a late overdrive mode, with many summer plants giving a late burst of unexpected colour. Sunflowers are my favourite flower of them all!

    Deborah C♥

  5. I love any type of roasted vegetables, and roasted beets like you've prepared are wonderful! Your volunteer sunflowers are so beautiful as well--don't you love it when flowers spring up in the garden without our help? Nice to discover your blog--I'm across the river from you in SW Washington State!

  6. I was hoping for a photo of your post-beet prep hands. LOL! I love roasted beets, it brings out the natural sugars and yours look SO pretty!

    Thanks for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop and I hope you'll join us again next week!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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