Petite Inspirations

In the name of inspiration and all things interesting to me and hopefully you.

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

The Four Steps Required to Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Garden

If you don’t know already, I’m not a fan, I’m highly against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and the big agriculture company Monsanto who produces them. The main reason is that GMOs are pretty much food experiments. Most of the corn and conola that you eat is GMO. They took genes from one plant and combined them with another gene of another plant or animal to get a ‘superior’ product, ie. bigger, grows faster, resists insects. Doesn’t sound like a problem you say….. There is no long term research that these products are safe to eat!! Other countries have BANNED GMOs for the same reason.

I’m not a writer and don’t claim to be, but please read the link below. I’ve been following this gals blog for a while and I agree with a lot of things she has to say!! I highly encourage you to purchase seeds from companies that are not only organic and/or heirloom, but to buy from companies that are not owned by Monsanto.

The Four Steps Required to Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Garden.

Harvesting lemons and oranges & Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Don’t you just love the smell of citrus?! It smells so clean and fresh. We harvested some oranges and lemons from the back yard and of course Honey had to get in some sun again. She really likes sun bathing.

photo(27)

photo(30)

Honey getting her sun for the day, and ‘helping’ me harvest some citrus.

It’s so awesome that the property we bought had some existing fruit trees already in the back yard! I can’t tell you how much I love them!!!! I decided to harvest the oranges and lemon. If you ‘re wondering when to harvest oranges, just try one. Let your taste buds tell you. You can also shake the tree, and whatever falls is most likely ripe. If you have a petite tree like mine (about 6 ft tall) you don’t have to worry about it getting bruised. For the harvesting lemons, just wait until they turn yellow, easy enough.

With all the lemons and oranges we harvested, I decided to make this wonderful libation, Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail I found here. I’m not a fan of gin, but this drink changed my mind. It’s such a pretty and sweet drink that comes with a punch. I alter most of the recipes I find depending on the ingredients I have on hand or I try to make it simpler. 😉

Recently I tried to find cranberries at the store, but can’t seem to find any. So I’m going to try raspberries. I have a feeling they will taste just as good.

photo(20)

Makes 4 cocktails

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 orange, cut into slices
  • 1 1/2 cups dry gin – I used Tangueray
  • 1 cup chilled Ginger Ale
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst. Remove from heat and let cool in syrup.
  3. Place 2 Tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 Tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.
  4. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.
  5. Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Strain into a medium pitcher.
  7. Fill 4 glasses with crushed ice and 1/4 cup ginger ale.
  8. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then pour half the cranberry mixture into the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds, strain liquid into two glasses. Repeat.
  9. Mound additional ice on top of each glass and garnish.

What plants are essential for your sinful libations?

SIGNATURE-SHEILA

Harvest and Kale Chips

First post for the year and I give you my latest harvest and a recipe for it! The kale looked great for harvesting and I was having my girlfriends over for our annual get-together, so I decided to make kale chips. In the picture below, the kale plants are in the front. There are two different kinds that I planted, 1) Lacinato kale (dinosaur) and 2) Red Russian Kale.  The color on the Red Russian Kale is so beautiful, from light green to rich purples.

kale harvest with honey

Honey (my puppy/dog) helping me harvest the kale and getting her sun for the day.

I had a few more things I harvested, like salad greens, parsley, swiss chard, a couple of limes that went way past their prime, cayenne peppers, and a green onion.

photo(21)

Separate the kale leaves from their ribs (the center part of the leaves). The ribs are too fibery and thick. You can split the leave so you have smaller chips. I left some whole to see which one I like better. Then triple wash them in your salad spinner and dry. If you don’t have one, you can just fill up your sick with water and wash them that way. Then pat dry with a dish towel or some paper towels.

photo(22)

Sprinkle some sea salt on the dried kale and massage the leaves for a couple of minutes. I know it sounds funny, but when you do this, the salt breaks down the leave a bit and imparts the salt in the leaves. When I did this the first time, it was way too salty. So I would recommend using less salt in the begging, about 1/2 teaspoon. You can always add salt after you bake the kale and adjust to your taste.

When the leaves starts breaking down (looks like you’re bruising it and have a darker color) add some olive oil and garlic powder, just enough to coat all the kale, front and back. Lay the kale leaves down on your baking sheet in one layer. I used parchment paper for easier clean up. Bake them for about 45 mins to 1 hour. When they’re crispy, they’re done!

I must say making these kale chips are much more work than going to a store and buying your bagged potato chips, but so much more healthier and worth it….to me anyways.

photo(23)

photo(25)

kale chips

Kale Chips Recipe

1 Bunch of Kale, stem and ribs removed
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder

Bake at the lowest temperature your oven can go, about 180°s for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I had a warm setting and then it went straight to 220°, so I set it in between the two.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: