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Thursday, January 31, 2013

NW Flower and Garden Show

Just wanted to share that the NW Flower and Garden Show is coming up soon!  It's from Feb 20-24th, and going to be awesome!! I'm going to go at least on Saturday, and maybe a second day earlier in the week as well.  Some of the classes I'm looking forward to?  Succulent Survival in the PNW, Reinventing the Chicken Coop, a class on beekeeping, one on root vegetables, and if I'm really motivated and get there early enough... one on building your own greenhouse!!


This is from the community pea patch at Marymoor Park last year.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Gardening

 I know what you're thinking, "It's winter, I don't expect to see much growing outside.  Unless it's something of this plastic candy variety":


But this is not true! Just look at my hellabore from last year that's decided to bloom!  These lovelies will have flowers from now until pretty much the beginning of summer.  Guess that's why they are so pricey most of the time. I got a pretty good deal at Home Depot last year, for around $10/plant, so I got 4 of them.  This is the only one blooming right now though, so hopefully the others will come back soon.  They grow well in the shade, and are perennials, so this is a double win for my front yard!


Also blooming right now? Primroses.  I have some that I bought the first year we moved into this house, and they're still around.  Not blooming quite as well as these new ones, but to survive four winters? Pretty impressive.  Also impressive? The price.  I got these 10/$10 at QFC.  They're starting on the side path in my Alice in Wonderland garden, that's still taking shape.  So far I have two large teacup planters, some small rose plants, some violets, and a small caterpillar sculpture.  I'm trying to stick with lots of red and white for the flowers, with fun garden art and signs to come.


Oh, and that ornamental kale is still hanging in there too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coconut Peanut Curry, Take 2!

This is the curry I make pretty much every other week during the winter.  I shared a version of it a few years ago, and I've changed it slightly, and it's so delicious.. it's time to mention it again!  Start off by making some rice of your choosing, since that will probably take longer than the curry.

Sauce ingredients:


1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Juice from 1 lime
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce (to taste)
1 can of coconut cream (see how Trader Joe's now has a good cheap one?)
2-4 Tbsp. peanut butter (I like the crunchy kind)
1 Tbsp. ginger root, grated or minced finely
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
(not pictured) 2 small veggie bouillon cubes, or about a Tbsp. of the "Better Than Bouillon" liquidy vegetable substance
(not pictured) 2 cloves of garlic


 You can use whatever veggies you have on hand that you fancy.  I try to always have broccoli, tofu, carrots, and onions for sure.  (my onion is hiding in the freezer in this picture, you know, to avoid tears)

Green beans are especially delicious, if you can get them.

Chop up your veggies, starting with the onion/pepper.  Add to your pot with a small amount of olive oil.  Start sauteing as you chop up everything else.  Add your carrots, celery, broccoli,... things that take longer to cook.  Once they've sauteed for a couple of minutes, add in the coconut cream, and another can full of water.  Add in the rest of the veggies, tofu, and sauce ingredients, except for the lime juice and the spinach. If the veggies aren't covered in liquid, add a little more water.  Let it cook until the veggies are tender. Add in the lime juice, stir, and taste.  If you'd like it to be more lime-y, add some zest from the limes.  If it needs more salt, add a little more soy sauce.  Stir in the spinach.


You can also top it off with some chopped green onions, if you like.  That is the beauty of this curry; you can use whatever you have on hand, and it always turns out wonderfully.  The only times it's been less than spectacular is if I add too much water, so be careful of that.


Serve over rice of your choosing.