April 15, 2013


My greenhouse. This house/ sink wall will get finished off this year really nice. Brick floor is set in sand.
My greenhouse is attached to our home. You walk through it from our dining area of our great room to go outside to our pergola and backyard. It should just be a nice sitting area, but this time of year it functions as a greenhouse with lots of garden seedlings getting an early start.

Planting shelf with heat coils and grow lights.

The table height shelf in the greenhouse has heat coils installed to help seedling flats get a good start, then I unplug the heat coils as the plants are growing so to get them acclimated to cooler temps. Grow lights sit on this shelf.

Seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collar greens, parsley, tomatoes, eggplant, flowers, herbs, chard . . .

We're going to dismantle the shelf this year once the Spring season of plant starts is over. I want it to be a nice room. The shelf and under it have become a storage area that I don't want to look at anymore.

Grapevine with Clematis, garlic chives, hostas, nicotiana, lilly of the valley, ferns ...
There is a sink counter on the house wall that will remain. The grape vine growing from the ground on the far end will remain. There's a nice raised brick area next to the window expanse with slatted wood top that would be pretty with potted plants on it.

Outside this window expanse is an outside greenhouse - like a tall cold frame. I've got salady stuff in there that didn't grow much over winter, but they didn't freeze and die. The plants are now taking off and we're starting to add them to our salads.

Lime tree and Fig tree, as well as Jasmine are in large pots on castors. Then there's geranium pots and herbs.
It's April 15 and snowing - 3 more days of snow to come!

April 9, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

I've always loved jalapeno poppers. I've been seeing more posts on simply cutting them in half, which is brilliant. It is too hard to try and slit, remove seeds, and stuff. And then too, your first bite bursts it open and cheese oozes out all over. So this is now my "keeper" of an appetizer recipe!

Lonely, bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper

I saved out two for a picture, but Monte ate one. I made two batches in the past week. We were invited to new neighbors for grilled hamburgers and I brought the appetizer. Then Sunday, Dawson with some of his wife, Sarah's, family and neighbors, came to do Ukrainian eggs and a meal (see my post on Ukrainian egg dyeing tutorial). Dawson pulled the stored box of dyes from the garage, set it up and cleaned it up - thank you Dawson!

I made a meal of roasted brined chickens over a bed of roasting veggies, salad with homemade salad dressings (one a dairy kefir caesar I love, and need to post about), and homemade bread. But I did the jalapeno popper appetizer first while prepping the chickens and veggies.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

About a dozen jalapenos - stem, cut in half, and de-seed (wear gloves!)
8 oz of cream cheese, room temp
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1# bacon - cut in half

Fill each pepper half by pressing in the cream cheese and then press on the grated cheese. Wrap each with bacon half, stretching it to wrap around once or twice, ends to the back, and set on baking pan to bake at 450 degrees till bacon is done - about 15-25 minutes. Serve.

I usually buy everything organic or pastured. Our Costco carries the Kerry Gold Irish Cheddar Cheese (as too, their butter) which is pastured - and I stock up on them! I also get bacon without the nitrates, hormones and antibiotics as well.

Shared with: Simple Lives Thursday, Homestead Barn Hop, Granny's Vitals, Food Renegade, Tasty Traditions, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Traditional Tuesday

Living Out of a Suitcase

Daughter Heather
Monte and me took a road trip. We first visited our daughter and two grandkids. We helped get their gardening spaces planted with veggies. Monte and Bill with four-year-old Will went and got soil prep ingredients, and once home prepared the soil for planting. Heather and me with one-year-old Bridget went our way to get plants and seeds.

Grandson Will
Plant starts, even including lettuce, I felt would be easier for Will to keep out of the beds, as he's been used to playing with his trucks and cars in the dirt. I put the plant markers by the plants and showed Will the pictures of the "fruit" from veggies to flowers, and we talked about them. I had him help me plant the pole bean seeds around bamboo teepees we poked into the soil, hoping this too would help him avoid playing in the dirt.

Granddaughter Bridget
Heather called and said seedlings were coming up. Oh to have a longer growing season. We're still getting snow! I have started seeds in flats in my greenhouse tho. That's how I get my urge for getting my hands in dirt, and an early start for my short season. And my outside greenhouse salad ingredients, though dormant during winter, didn't freeze, is taking off. I need to take a current picture.

Next enroute was Sonita Arizona to stay with Monte's geology "partner" (tho both individual consultants they tend to do most projects together). Being close to Tucson I spent a day with my sister and Monte came for supper to visit and drive me back to Stan's. Tucson is where I spent most of my growing up years. Monte came for graduate school and met me. Before moving to 8000 feet in Colorado, we'd built a home in the Tucson Mountain desert. So I've gardened in two extremes - like a bumper crop of tomatoes in February planted at the base of a brick south facing wall in Tucson, to being able to get tomatoes, period, in the mountains - all by tricking mother nature.

At my sister's

Stan and us took a scenic drive to Apache Junction east of Phoenix for a friend's daughter's wedding. Since the southwest got lots of moisture this past winter we wanted to see the desert wildflowers - we caught the beginning of the season. And along the way we stopped at a copper mine overlook - Arizona is "The Copper State".

Sonora Desert beginning to bloom

Large Arizona copper mine

The next morning we dropped Stan at the Phoenix airport and met my brother and family for brunch. After visiting for a couple hours, we visited friends from our neck of the woods vacationing there. Visited for the afternoon, eating out on patio at Mexican restaurant for supper, then drove to Flagstaff to stay the night before heading home. We were going to visit some areas in eastern Utah, but since Colorado had gotten dumped on with snow, we figured it was probably chilly still with snow too.

Grand-daughter Scout

Then Easter weekend we visited our older son's. Emery and Scout were excited to see us!

Three year old wrote his name!

Monte and Emery having cookies and milk and a discussion

Remember I said Colorado got snow while we were gone? Yes, the entire state got snow. Our other son Dawson, with wife Sarah made snow "men?" And as I write this, it is snowing again!

Sarah and Dawson's snow creations
It's snowing today ... again!

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