Categories
Gardening

Vegetable & Herb Seedlings

Seedling Diaries Vol. 1

April 7, 2021

Guys, I did it. I was finally able to successfully start vegetable and herb seeds indoors.

In years past, I’ve tried and failed miserably. I’m talking not a single little green sprout. However, I’ve learned a few things along the way that I’d like to share with you all.

  1. Temperature: make sure those little babies don’t get too cold. I think this was a major problem in my nearly 100 year old home.
  2. Good Seeds: I went with non-GMO organic seeds instead of the ones from the clearance aisle that were most likely expired
  3. Light: I actually purchased a little light that clamps onto my table. It made such a difference! Plus, it has a timer. Score!
  4. DIY Greenhouse: aka putting plastic wrap tightly over my seeds until they germinated.
Seedling Update

My seedlings are 6 weeks old and I won’t lie to you, I thought they’d be bigger and more established by now. Many sources say to start the seeds I chose 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. I’ve noticed that some others in zone 6 started their seeds in February. Maybe, this is something to note for next year. Though, I am hoping that they will take off once I plant them in my elevated garden bed.

I am happy to report that just about every seed that I planted germinated! I was not expecting that at all. So, I decided to thin out some plants a little earlier in order to give the others room to grow and stretch their roots. My lettuce seedlings were looking a little leggy, so I moved them into larger pots where I could plant them deeper. Fingers crossed for my lettuce!

Next week I will start the hardening off process.

On a side note, I’d really love a living wall full of beautiful plants.

Categories
appetizers Recipes sides

Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Featured

These potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes ever. They look impressive enough to make for company, but are easy enough for a weeknight dinner side. Plus, the aroma of garlic and rosemary is truly intoxicating. That being said, I know that rosemary can be a bit polarizing. So If you aren’t a big fan, thyme would be a delicious option.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Fingerling Potatoes, scrubbed

Fresh Rosemary

3-4 Fresh Garlic Cloves (Smashed and Peeled)

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I like to use the convection roast setting on my oven
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then a layer of parchment paper. (You can skip this step if you aren’t feeling as lazy. I don’t always do this because it isn’t as environmentally friendly as just washing your pan…but the appeal of an easy clean up won out today.)
  • Slice your thoroughly scrubbed fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise. I used about 6 potatoes, so half of a little bag. That is the beauty of this recipe, it will work if you have 3 potatoes or 12. Just adjust the seasoning and oil to coat.
  • Place your potatoes and garlic on your pan. Drizzle with a generous tablespoon or so of olive oil, a good pinch of salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Scatter the rosemary sprigs over the potatoes.
  • Optional: If you really love rosemary, like me, mince about half a sprig and sprinkle it over the potatoes. This will ensure that you get rosemary in every bite. The full springs will infuse the potatoes with their flavor, but this just adds a little extra.
  • Roast for about 30 minutes until golden brown on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.
  • I like to taste a potato for seasoning. Potatoes need a good amount of salt to really shine.
  • Pro tip: keep an eye on your garlic cloves. Pull them out if they get golden brown too quickly. You can add them once the potatoes have finished cooking. No one likes burnt garlic!
Categories
entrees sides

Zucchini Marinara Gratin

Featured

Zucchini Marinara Gratin

2 zucchini

San Marzano tomatoes in puree with garlic

Italian seasoning

chili flakes

salt

pepper

mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Slice the zucchini into coins
  • Spray a small casserole dish with olive oil spray
  • Add a layer of tomatoes – about 1 1/2 cups
  • Layer the zucchini coins
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and chili flakes
  • Add a layer of mozzarella cheese – about 1 cup
  • Sprinkle more Italian seasoning and chili flakes on top if you like
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until the mozzarella is golden brown and melty

Categories
cooking seasonally

Cooking Seasonally

Spring Sides

Goodbye winter weather, hello spring! Well, almost. In Northeast Ohio, we might wake up to an inch or so of snow tomorrow morning. And, no that isn’t an April Fools joke. Except, maybe from mother nature. Whether or not I wake up to a coating of snow, I can still create springtime in my kitchen.

Here are a few of my favorite spring veggie side dishes.

Carrot Quinoa Salad is a lovely way to put the spotlight on fresh carrots. You can use your favorite dressing or dare to be bold with my spicy chili lime dressing.

Veggie Tostadas are the perfect vehicle for the freshest spring produce. You can mix and match with whatever you have in the fridge or find at the farmers market. Plus, the avocado sauce is killer.

Simply roasted asparagus is a springtime must! The golden balsamic vinaigrette elevates this spring staple.

Springtime potato salad is bright and flavorful with a zippy lemon dressing and tons of fresh herbs.

My sunshine salad is a favorite in my house. Feta and crasins are a winning combination.

What are your favorite spring sides?

Categories
Currently Craving

Currently Craving

pictures-of-spring-flowers-19

Springtime favorites…