Centerpieces

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The tween loves flowers.  She would like to own a flower shop some day.  When everything is in bloom she loves to create centerpieces for our table.  Here are her latest creations.

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They really do add a little brightness to the dreary days we have been having!

Apples are a comin…

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Our two apple trees are producing some fine looking Macintosh apples for the fall.  We have a few wild apple trees on our property also which are Empire apples.  We take the tractor back to pick those and these close to the house are dwarf trees so a step ladder works well for picking.

Apples remind me of fall and all the wonderful things to make for the winter months such as apple pies, apple bread, apple crisp, and of course loads of crock pot applesauce to freeze. 

While I am not ready for summer to end, I get a feeling of happiness and family nights thinking of fall with football, apples, changing leaves and crisp nights.  We have a few more weeks before that season hits so I will enjoy what we have left of summer.

Carrots (container gardening)

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I mentioned I would share my first experience trying container gardening for some of our vegetables.  I am so impressed with how well the containers are doing.  I tried containers for peppers, lettuce, potatoes, and carrots.  So far everything is taking off perfectly.  These are great ideas for the person with limited space.  Now there is no excuse not to grow some of your own food 🙂

My carrots are coming in great.  Here are the before pictures through today.  I planted these on May 8th.  I usually do 3 to 4 plantings of carrots so the second set is going in this weekend.  I like to space it out so not everything is ready for harvest at once.

carrots3   Second container I planted

CARROTS this was the picture on June 4th.

So get to the dollar store of garage sales and pick up some large containers and a bag of soil and get planting!!!

 

Garden starting

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I think (cross my fingers) it’s safe to say we are done with under 35 degree temperatures and it’s time to really start my seedlings.  I started a few items a couple weeks ago that take longer to produce such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, and red cabbage.  But yesterday I made sure to get everything going including trying a big container to produce my potatoes.  I will still plant potatoes in my garden just to be safe as I need that harvest for the winter and am not 100% on container ideas.  Some other container plants I have tried this year are lettuce and carrots.  I will post pictures of my progress as we go.  Hopefully the rain stops long enough for us to get the actual gardens tilled and ready for planting!! These are pictures of a few of the containers going.  I have 2 more containers like these started.  I do not plant everything at once as I like to stagger it so you are picking fresh food at different times and not all at once when the plant produces.

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Happy Saturday!!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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Once in a blue moon the man of the house decides to make dinner.  Last week the mood struck him so he decided to make Roasted Red Pepper soup (it may have been my mother nagging him to make it and not the mood really 🙂 )

So here is the step by step pictures and the recipe follows.  This can be served hot (how we like it) or chilled.  Either way it’s a great soup for a dinner party as it’s super EASY and impressive!!  It’s rich, creamy and full of flavor!!

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roasted peppers

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cooled slightly and peeled

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pepper, leeks, broth brought to simmer

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puree in blender in batches if need be

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return to pan and add remaining ingredients

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last sprinkle of pepper

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simmered 15 minutes and served

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

½ cup butter

4 cups chopped leeks

4 red peppers

1 ½ cups chicken broth

3 cups buttermilk

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp white pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne

 

Melt butter and cook leeks on medium heat until soft and tender (approx. 6 minutes)

Add roasted Red Pepper and chicken broth and bring to simmer

Remove from heat and puree in blender (or immersion blender)

Return to pan and add buttermilk, salt, white pepper & cayenne and stir to combine

Bring to simmer and simmer about 15 minutes

Serve hot with a dab of sour cream or chill and serve cool

**to make roasted peppers**   Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash and dry 4 red peppers and lay them on their side on a foil lined baking sheet so the stems are facing to the side not upright

Bake for 20 minutes and then flip about ¼ way and bake another 20 minutes until the skins are charred and the pepper is deflated a bit

Cool and peel the skins off and discard

(you can broil them about 8 inches from top broiler also but you will need to watch them and turn them a few extra times until charred all the way around and the pepper is soft. It is quicker but requires more watch time)