Friday, July 30, 2010

Basic Quiche Recipe

Quiche with Broccoli, Onions, Squash and Squash Blossoms

I love this recipe because it is so versatile, and very easy.  You can use your favorite crust recipe, or just buy the frozen ones at your local grocery store.  The vegetables are completely interchangeable, just use whatever you have on hand... I promise it will be delicious!


1 pie crust
2 cups mixed diced vegetables
1 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F, with oven rack in center.

Saute vegetables and olive oil until cooked but not too soft.

Spread cooked vegetables evenly into bottom of pie crust.

Whisk eggs and milk until combined.

*very important secret step!!!
Open oven, pull oven rack partially out, and place pie crust with vegetables on the rack.  Pour egg/milk mixture into crust. (This keeps the filling from spilling between the counter and the oven rack!  Pretty smart, eh?)

Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over surface of quiche.

Add squash blossoms decoratively to the top, if using.

Bake for 35 - 45 minutes
(*be sure to keep an eye on the crust for browning)

Quiche is done when an inserted knife comes out clean, or just moist.

Let cool for about 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy.  (Its delicious cold too!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thanks for the inspiration!

My friend Faith over at 98% Organic In Alaska inspired my breakfast this morning...

Garden Quiche
(Onions, Broccoli, Yellow Crookneck Squash and Squash Blossoms, all from the garden)

I have been looking for a way to use the squash blossoms for a while now, since I usually just hear of them stuffed and fried, which didn't seem quite so appetizing to me.  They have a nice, delicate flavor, which went well with the sharp cheddar I used.  Thanks Faith!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I had to pick and toss 4 zucchinis into the compost pile this morning.  It has been so wet that they started developing some major gray mold and rot.  I think I got it before it affected the whole plant, or the other plants in the hothouse.  This rain is really starting to get depressing!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Damn Cats!

One collar down, one to go.  UGH.

1st Cabbage Harvest!

Today we harvested our first cabbage!  Once Robert got over the fact that I harvested the first broccoli ("don't cut it, I want to see how big it will get!  Hunny, we have to cut it or it will just go to seed and then we won't be able to EAT it!") he decided that we needed to have corned beef and cabbage tonight!

Its bigger than his head!  And the first thing he asked is, "can I eat a leaf now?"  (Proud Mom Bragging)

Its like a jungle in the hothouse now!

And finally I can show off a few more of my flowers!  The rose bush is blooming...

And remember the old raised beds that I turned into wildflower gardens?  Take a look!...

What are you harvesting right now?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1st Broccoli Harvest

I'm so excited to harvest my first head of Broccoli today.  Again, this is a first ever, not just first this year! 

I made sure to leave the side shoots untouched so that they can continue to grow.  This will be a chicken and broccoli stir-fry, and most of the rest will go in the freezer once it is harvested.  I think I need to grow much more next year, as I can see that this won't last long.  My son is drooling over the raw flower as I type! 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rhubarb/Red Currant Preserves


Willow Garden Tour 2010

*Warning, long post, but lots of good pictures!

I attended the Willow Garden Tour yesterday, and it was fabulous!  The weather cooperated ALL DAY!  I couldn't believe it!  It was very obvious that many people put a lot of effort into this event, and it was well worth it.  And this was the 25th anniversary of this tour, which made it a little special!

There were 6 amazing gardens on the tour, so I will divide the pictures up that way and make it a little easier to follow along.  I just wish I could post all the photos I took, but there were WAY to many for that. 

Don't forget to click on the photos to get a better look!

Garden #1-
Jim and Kathy Huston Gardens (Alaskan Host B&B)

Hands down, the best part of this garden was the water feature, but there was lots to enjoy.  The wildflowers edged the lawn beautifully, and there was lots of wildlife (both real - swans and a muskrat, and not so real - geese and the moose).  This was a comfortable spot, with lots of beautiful rock incorporated throughout.

Garden #2-
William and Kathy Mailer Gardens

I loved this garden from the minute I walked up to it.  They had TONS of Columbine and Delphinium, which are two of my favorites.  This was a garden in which you could wander aimlessly for a very long time, although I found myself stopping every 2 or 3 steps to just look around.  So much to take in!  There were nice touches of garden art throughout, without being gaudy.  This garden had FANTASTIC TEXTURE!!

Garden #3-
George Murphy and Dorothea Taylor's Gardens

Honestly, the first thing that struck me at this stop was the beautiful log home.  And the dark slate everywhere.  The slate was used for the house, the paths and the walls, and provided a nice dark background for all the color.  You could really tell that this is an older garden.  Plants have really made their own way.  Very natural and unmanicured, peaceful and wandering.  There are Forget-Me-Nots woven amongst most everything and they really added a nice, whimsical Alaskan touch.  I got the sense of a "tamed" meadow.

Garden #4-
Jerry Freeley's Vegetable Garden

This garden was awesome, although the pictures don't really do it any justice.  Different from all the others as this was strictly a vegetable garden.  Not ornamental at all, yet still beautiful in its own right.  There were tons of huge Rhubarb plants, and the veggies looked amazing!  I was surprised that he had all his tomatoes and cucumbers right out there in the ground, with no cover or protection of any sort, and they looked fine!  Mr. Freeley uses only compost and lime in his garden, no chemicals.  One day I hope my vegetable garden is this big!

Garden #5-
Albino Hare Garden & Gallery

This was a fantastically whimsical garden.  Toys and trinkets were a big feature here.  It had a very cottage garden feel with lots of bent willow adorning the beds.  There were several upside-down trees used in creative ways, lending it a very playful tone as well, almost like a fairy land!  The gallery had some great pieces for sale, and it fit well in the garden setting.

Garden #6-
Les Brake's Coyote Garden

The last garden on the tour and well worth the wait.  This garden felt big and small at the same time.  Lots of large trees and old growth really made you realize that you were in the middle of a big, old forest.  There were vegetables worked into the borders, and lots of volume to the plantings.  Beautiful structures everywhere went well with the large trees, giving some size to the garden which couldn't be achieved with plants alone.  This garden had tons of flowers, but they weren't the predominant sight by any means.  There were tons of big ferns, beautiful moss, and lots of leaf color and pattern.  It was very peaceful here.

For those who weren't able to make it this year, be sure to make time next year.  It was well worth it and gave me LOTS of ideas for my own spaces!