Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Tomatoes & Peppers’ Category

Our "pepper" plants growing in beds that didn't have peppers last year. Hmmm....

Our “pepper” plants growing in beds that didn’t have peppers last year. Hmmm….

I pulled a couple of these doing some weeding around our garden beds, but then I realized these didn’t look like the typical weeds that pop up in our garden. They had a distinct leaf shape and looked like pepper plants. While I’m not really sure if that’s what they are, we’re going to let them grow up a bit and see.

In the one bed it makes sense — that’s where we had the majority of our pepper plants last year.

There are even two growing in a pot with one of our transplanted herbs, which didn’t survive. That one also makes sense because we had a couple peppers in that bed as well.

The one that is a bit baffling is where we currently have snow peas and will have squash later this year. We had our tomatoes and basil there last season.

So how did a pepper plant get there? I have a couple theories, but we’ll never really know.

Read Full Post »

When I was checking on the garden last week, I noticed something that looked of place. It was too big to be a weed, but the leaves didn’t look familiar. I let it go and a few days later “it” actually turned out to be six separate plants, all bunched together.

Last year we had cucumbers, radishes and peppers in that bed, along with some borage and nasturtium. But these leaves didn’t look like any of those. After searching for seedling pictures of everything we grew last year, I think I stumbled upon an answer.

They look like Brandywine tomatoes to us. If that’s the case, I’m thrilled. However, we showed the picture to another gardener and they thought it was a potato, but we didn’t grow any potatoes last year.

 

Either way, we’ll let them grow a little bigger until we transplant them to a different bed or to large pots.

Read Full Post »

We love hot peppers and always have at least a few jalapeño plants in our garden. They’re usually our “golden crop” but didn’t do so well this year. There wasn’t anything wrong, per se, but they weren’t the prolific producers they had been in the past.

The beginning of the best hot sauce I've had. And it's all pretty much fresh from the garden.

The beginning of the best hot sauce I’ve had. And it’s all pretty much fresh from the garden.

Anyway, Matt’s parents also had a small garden this year and planted cayenne peppers. Though I’m not quite sure why — they don’t have a particular affinity for spicy foods. They know we adore anything hot & spicy and unloaded a bunch of cayenne peppers on us.

We were happy with the gift, but we were at a loss for how to use a dozen of them. A few were thrown in chili pots and used here or there for cooking. Even with that, we still had quite a few to use, along with some other jalapeños and Anaheim peppers that were starting to get wrinkly. That’s when I came upon this recipe for hot sauce. Ours is a variation because we had different peppers, but it was simple and delicious. Next year, we plan on reserving one or two of our new “pots” for cayenne plants so we can make this again.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Making salsa is a great way to use tomatoes from the garden.

Making salsa is a great way to use tomatoes from the garden.

We’re in the heart of winter here, and that makes me miss the long, wonderful days of summer. I wrote this post and recipe a while ago but realized I never shared it here.

******

Right at the end of July and early August, we had more tomatoes than we knew what to do with. This is a perfect time to make a big batch of fresh salsa.

While I’m good with the jar salsa, there is nothing like when it’s fresh out of the garden with no cooking to muddle the flavors.

Here’s what you need:

• About two or three pounds of tomatoes, chopped. Ours were a mix of Roma and regular tomatoes (Brandywine and Celebrity are what we grew).

• A bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

• Hot peppers. We used about four jalapeños (two seeded, two with seeds) and two Anaheim peppers.

• One lime, for juice and zest

• Half of a medium onion, chopped

• Four cloves of garlic, minced

• Salt

Mix all the chopped vegetables and herbs together. Squeeze out the juice from both lime halves and add the zest from one half. Add a couple pinches of salt and mix again. Let sit overnight so the flavors mix. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Should make about six cups of salsa.

* To avoid the salsa being too watery, you can squeeze out some of the pulp & juice from the tomatoes before chopping. Add it back to the salsa until it’s desired consistency.

* As always, you can adjust to taste. To make it less spicy, remove the pepper seeds and ribs. Cilantro is necessary, but you can add more or less, depending on taste.

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago we were having a lazy Sunday morning, drinking our coffee and catching up on Top Chef: Masters. I don’t remember anything else about the episode except the Quickfire challenge: make an upscale version of nachos.

I’m sure each chef made something fancier than we ever could, but for the rest of the episode that’s all kept thinking about.

It ended up working out pretty perfectly — we had all the ingredients on hand. Plus, it was a great way to use up the variety of hot peppers and tomatoes we had picked earlier that week.

Ours were your standard nacho recipe, but they were so delicious, I think even Curtis Stone would have been impressed.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Our sauce topped breaded and baked eggplant and zucchini. We cooked the pasta but didn't eat it because the veggies were very filling.

Our sauce topped baked eggplant and zucchini. We cooked the pasta but didn’t eat it because everything else was so filling.

Usually “homemade” tomato sauce for us is adding a can of crushed tomatoes and herbs to sautéed onions and garlic. Recently we tried to make sauce with the bowlful of Roma tomatoes we picked from the garden, and it was one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

It’s a lot of steps but worth it. We served it on top of baked and breaded zucchini and eggplant from our garden.

There are a million different recipes out there – some say to remove the seeds because they turn bitter, but that wasn’t a problem for us.

Here’s what you need*: any kind of tomato, herbs, onions, garlic, red wine, salt & pepper.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Our tomato plants are amazing this year. We’re thrilled, of course, but recently noticed an issue on one of our cherry tomato plants.

Yellow and brown spots on our cherry tomato plant leaves.

Yellow and brown spots on our cherry tomato plant leaves.

Some of the leaves are yellowing and then turning brown. It’s not on every leaf, but there are quite a few with these spots. I’ve been doing some research and am still not sure what’s wrong.

It could be blight, septoria leaf spot or bugs. Most of the signs point to septoria because the plants are otherwise healthy. There isn’t much we can do, but we’ve removed the affected leaves and will keep monitoring the plant.

It’s still producing lots of tomatoes so that’s a plus.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »