Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blackberry Cobbler

Summer is my favorite time of year. Yes, it's hot, but think of all the fresh fruits and vegetables you can eat. Some are even free.

Last year when I was cutting grass beside my neighbors fence, I noticed wild blackberry bushes growing. I left them alone and cut the grass around them. They spread very quickly and this year we are enjoying fresh blackberries. We are getting about 1 1/2 cups every two or three days. And it's all free, free fruit, can't beat that. Thank you God for the free blackberries.

Some of the blackberries we freeze to make smoothies or milk shakes. They are also yummy in cobbler.

Blackberry Cobbler:

3/4 cup of butter
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 cups blackberries
1 cup of sugar (to apply over berries)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9" square metal or glass pan, melt 3/4 cup of butter, let cool. Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and milk in medium bowl. Pour over cooled butter. Add blackberries, sprinkle remaining 1 cup of sugar over blackberries. Bake 45 minutes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Preserving Fresh Green Beans

It's that time of the season where green beans are in full force. I have been picking about 2lbs a week off my two little rows. I planted two 10' rows of tenderettes, bush beans, back in late April. Then three more rows three weeks later. The second set of beans just started blooming last week. More beans to come soon. :)

What do I do with all these beans? Remember it's just my daughter and I and we really don't want to eat green beans with every meal. So, I freeze them for later use.

After picking your beans, wash them really well. Inspect them for any bug bites. If you find any bug bites just cut them out. If you wish you can cut off the tails of the beans. The tails are the end of the bean not connected to the bush.

In a large pot put in your beans and cover with water. Boil for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool and then transfer to freezer bags.

These are going to taste so yummy this winter in a bowl of hearty vegetable soup. Yum!
What are you getting from your garden? How are you preserving it?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homemade Garlic Croutons

Don't throw away that day old bread, make some croutons. This is the easiest recipe to follow and so yummy. You can adjust the ingredients to your tasting. We love garlic so I made garlic croutons.

6 cups bread cubes
1 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. parsley

Cut your day old bread into bite size cubes. In large bowl mix together olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and parsley. Toss in bread cubes and fold gently until each bread cube is covered. Spread evenly on cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool and store in ziploc bag.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stay-cation: Monticello-Home of Thomas Jefferson

Do you have summer travel plans? How about a stay-cation?

Stay-cations are when you vacation close to your home. This can save you time and money. Most states have beautiful parks, historical sites, beaches, museums or even your city pool.

To save on money we have decided this year to do a stay-cation. We are going to go to local places that we can take a road trip in one day. This will save us a lot on hotel fees. Pack your lunch and save even more.

We live in the heart of Central Virginia. There is so much historical places around here that we have never been to. So, we went to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. It was amazing. For only $22 a person, kids are cheaper, you get a 45 minute tour. Our tour guide, Megan, was awesome. She really knew her stuff on Thomas Jefferson. This old tree just spoke to me, not sure what it said though. I bet if it could talk it would have a lot of stories to tell.

After the house tour you are invited to take a garden tour. We took our own garden tour when we first arrived. I never knew you could grow artichokes in Virginia. Guess what's on my list for next years garden, artichokes.

Stay tuned, more presidential houses to come.
Montpelier, home of James Madison, is our next destination.