We live in zone 6a and I have been gardening and cooking for years. This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my success and those failures that come about on occasion. Plus, I want to hear from all the gardeners and bakers and cooks out there and learn from you. Feel free to share your ideas.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Easy Christmas Cookies

I don't know why I had never tried this before. I mixed up several different batches of of cookie dough over the past few weeks before Christmas. But I froze and wrapped the dough, and placed them in freezer bags labeled with the type of dough. What a breeze to divide the baking chore up this way. One dough I rolled into a log and just sliced and baked the cookies. The other doughs were frozen as discs and made about a dozen and a half cookies per disc. This made baking much more fun.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baking With Julia Gingersnaps

I served these snappy gingersnaps last night and they went fast. I had to refil the tray because guests were requesting more. Not all of the bakers in the TWD Baking with Julia group really loved these. Some said the dough was too sticky to roll out or the baked cookies were not that crispy. I didn't have these issues and guests gobbled them up last night. See below post for photos.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TWD: Baking With Julia- Gingersnaps

I have to say that I loved these coookies. The dough was rather wet, but once chilled, it was not to difficult to work with. What a wonderful cookie for Christmas and I froze much of the dough so that I can bake later in the week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TWD: Baking With Julia-Double Chocolate Cookies

These are wonderful cookies. Easy to make and delicious. I saved about half of the dough and rolled it into a log, wrapped it in saran and wax paper, and then froze it. I might drizzle white chocolate and sprinkle crushed peppermint candy on that batch for Christmas cookies

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Final Planting

I have been cleaning up the raised beds because I know that as soon as Spring permits I will want to start planting. I have added compost to all the beds and I completed my final planting. Garlic is in and I have all of the tulips planted and most of the daffodils. Next weekend should take care of the final clean up.  The week after that I hope the greenery for the flower boxes arrives from White Flower Farm. I always like to complete the flower boxes before Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 14, 2013

TWD:Baking With Julia-Danish Braid

This months baking adventure was making a danish braid. The dough is similar to puff pastry, but contains yeast. I also found it much easier to work with. The recipe made enough dough for two braids. I froze half of the dough and with the other half I created a strawberry and almond danish. It was delicious. Would I make it again? Yes, but I would like to try another filling. I am just not sure what filling I should use.  If you have any ideas, I would love to hear about them.

 Prior to baking.

 Finished product.

Tasting time. Yum!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Green Envy

I purchased a new compost from Ohio Mulch that is called Green Envy. I had never heard of this before and discovered that Ohio Mulch works with various grocery stores such as Krogers and restaurants to compost their fruit and vegetable waste. So far I have purchased 16 bags to add to my raised beds this fall. They were having a special: buy one bag and get one free. We would never be able to produce this amount of compost. In comparison to their Green Envy bags, we produce about 3 bags worth. .  

Last of The Tomatoes

I am starting to cleanup the garden and I pulled up all of the tomato plants, and harvested what was left on their vines.

I still have one raised bed with kale, carrots and basil. The basil has done very well this year and I have frozen plenty of pesto for the winter. The cabbage crop did not do so well.. As I stated before, I had an overabundance in the cabbage department last year and this year zero. Eggplant is just finishing up and has been a winner.

Most gardeners complain of too many cucumbers and zucchini. I just do not have very good luck with them and may not plant them next year. Projects moving forward: cleaning up the garden so it is ready for spring planting!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking With Julia- Blueberry Crostata

Although this was to be a raspberry and fig crostata, I decided to create a blueberry filling instead for this months TWDBWJ. The crust was cookie like and needed to be rolled out on parchment paper and peeled from the paper. A tad of a fussy crust. For all the fuss, I did not think the crust was that great. Way to overpowering. Would I make this again? Most likely not. I prefer a very good pie crust


Friday, August 9, 2013

Garlic Questions

I planted garlic for the first time and had a wonderful crop of Music garlic. It is a hardneck  and I would like suggestions for other hardneck garlics I should consider growing in Southern Ohio. Thanks as always for your words of wisdom.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Random Pics From The Garden

I thought you would enjoy pictures of the harvest and what I am currently growing for fall.

Lots of garlic and tomatoes have been harvested.

I should have a bumper crop of eggplant.

These beans were planted a couple of weeks ago and are my third crop.


Basil and this is the second crop.

Lemon on my Meyer lemon tree. I will probably only get 2 lemons this winter. Last year I harvested 11.

 Cucumber are just coming in.

 The third planting of basil. I plan to freeze lots of pesto.

I just planted chard, kale, a second crop of carrots, lettuce and radishes for fall.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Garden Harvest

I took photos of the harvest from the garden over the weekend and somehow deleted those photos. I had a full colander of beans and about a dozen carrots. So here is a new harvest. My first tomato, at least a half a dozen onions and plenty of yellow and green beans.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Great Article on Freezing The Garden Bounty

I am a fan of Margaret Roach and I read her blog and have weekly programs downloaded on my I pod. Here is a great blog post from Margaret click  here for her article.  This is all about freezing fruits and vegetables.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Purchased New Food Processor

I headed over to Costco the other night for an 11cup Cuisanart Pro Food Processor.  The price could not be beat by anyone. $119. It felt like Black Friday.  I just viewed the DVD that was provided and it was more helpful than I expected. So it is time to make more pesto.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Food Processor Just Died

Our 34 year old GE food processor just did its last processing. I was making pesto with basil from the garden and I am now on the lookout for a new one. Looks like Costco has an 11 cup food processor for a terrific price. Guess I will be headed over there this week.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rain and More Rain

It has been raining since Thursday and it looks like it won't stop until perhaps Wednesday. Wish we could send some of this to parts of the country that need it.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Photos Of The Garden

I started the cucumbers late in hopes that I can avoid the cucumber beetle.

I grow lettuce in containers.

Swiss chard 

                                                      Garlic and onions

                                                       First year rhubarb

                                                    Bean and carrots

                                                              One of the first tomatoes.

                                         Last year the cabbages were huge at this time,and this year they are not.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TWD: Baking With Julia: Savarin

This was very easy to make, but I was concerned that baking it in a bundt cake pan might make for a tiny cake. Well it sort of did, but it stll was tasty and the sugar sryup had an addition: orange juice.

This is not a typical sweet cake, and we actually preferred it to many overy sweet desserts. Add various fresh fruits and you are good to go. I used strawberries and mango.

I would make it again.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spinach--Just Harvested

It has been so cool and rainy that the cool crops are doing very well. Below is my first harvest of spinach which we will have with tonight's dinner.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013


We may have frost over the next few days, so I was out there covering the cabbages, peas and lettuce with a frost blanket.

However, I just cut several asparagus spears for dinner this evening. The plan is to roast them. Photos to come soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Plantings




                               Napa Cabbage



                            Top Hat Blueberry which will be transplanted in a much larger pot soon.

TWD:Baking With Julia-Madeleines

 Katie and Amy Thisdell of Counter Dog are the hosts for this months TWD:BWJ recipe for Madeleines. Visit their blog to take a look at their creation and for the recipe.

This is a rather easy recipe to work with, but the only challenge I had was that it was difficult  getting the Madeleines out of the pan. I had never had that problem before. I used Pam spray on the Madeleine pans, but that was not helpful for easy removal. Otherwise they tasted great.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Top Hat Blueberry Bush

I purchased a top hat blueberry bush which can be planted in a large container. Our soil is not acidic and planting this bush in a container will make it easier to manage: making sure it maintains an acidic soil base. Plus I hope I can keep it away from the deer since it will be be located on our brick patio.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Planted cabbage and a Chinese Napa type cabbage yesterday. However, I just came in from putting row cover over them since we may have a few frosty nights for the next few days. The planting season has just begun.

Pictures to come in the near future.

Friday, March 29, 2013


Ahh the pansies have been planted in the flower boxes. They are so cute and they make me feel so good. The beginning of the planting season has started and next week is Natorp's Nursery opening for the season. I can hardly wait!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Last Year Hot and This Year Snow

On March 25th last year we were at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical gardens taking pictures of their tulips. See one photo from last year. Nice.

This year we are waiting for the Spring snow to arrive and the tulips are not anywhere near what the above look like. Perhaps in about 4 weeks we will see them pop up.

I just put my lettuce seedlings under the lights and they are doing well. The garlic is looking good too, but boy have they been taking a beating from the cold or snow. However, that may make them tasty.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TWD:Baking With Julia- Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

The host for the Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies was Peggy of Galettista. Go to her blog for the recipe.

I thought these cookies were great and would make them again.. I did make a few changes. Definitely use parchment paper which makes  removing the cookies from the tray a breeze. I also used only 1 tablespoon of instant coffee, but it was espresso.

One other tip. I froze half the dough in a log form to be used later.