Friday, August 24, 2007

Veggie Chili

Last night I decided to can some veggie chili for our trip to Yellowstone. I'm trying to get as much pre-cooking done before we leave. And since I'm not real keen on the thought of 1) meat sitting in the cooler to for days and 2) bears eating my food I've decided to can our meals making most of them veggie friendly.

I was talking to my mother the other day and laughing because the tomatoes you see above are heirlooms that I got a Mother Earth Gardens I forgot what kind of tomatoes they were and kept waiting for them to get red. Whoops! Anyways, I decided to add a few to our chili last night. Aren't they beautiful???

Veggie Chili
2 cans chili beans or kidney bean
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 yellow onion
3-4 carrots
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
about 2 TBL of oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 peppers of your choice
chili powder
2-3 bay leaves
lemon juice
salt and pepper

  • Saute onions, garlic and spices with oil till onions are translucent
  • Add carrots, zucchini and peppers (including chipotles)
  • Once everything has cooked down a little add beans (with juice) and tomatoes (with juice)
  • Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with cornbread
Here is the finished product. Not too bad for 2 hours of work. I really love canning and have noticed how practical it is especially in a two person household. I don't have a pressure cooker so I can't do meat yet, but soups are on the idea list. I also think I might try some chutneys when we get back.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Garden

Okay, this first picture isn't of the garden, but Radar is just so cute sitting on the picnic table that I had to put him first. He's been so anxious to get out and play and since it's been raining every day for about the last week and a half yesterday was a happy day for him. The sun peaked out just long enough for a couple of great pictures.

Radar, otherwise known as "Mister Mister, Darsy, The DAR and Poodle Beard

Up close and personal with our coleus.

At least the cherry tomatoes are still happy.

Thai basil and nasturtiums

purple cone flowers and purple fountain grass

Black Eyed Susans

Our front "unmowed" lawn.
The heirloom, Roma and big boy tomatoes are looking a little sad. Production has definitely slowed down. The purple and green peppers are looking water sogged. The basil is great and I definitely have to make some more pesto. I might get another zucchini or two. The sunflowers are being eaten by the morning glories and finally I got no green beans. Lots of blossoms, but I think the morning glories ate them all. At this point I'm just trying to use all of it along with the veggies I get from our CSA at Harmony Valley Farms

Night Vision

Have you ever wanted to have night vision light they do in those CIA movies where they are chasing people through the jungle....well the new camera seems like it does. It's got this feature that removes all the color from a picture and just pics up on the greens and yellows. I'm definitely not an expert at it, but here's a couple of pictures from last night when I was playing around with it.

Tim at 9:00 last night.

Neighbor MS at 7:00 last night.

Coleus in the planter boxes.

The sad news is that the computer is still broken. We went to General Nano Systems last night and bought a new power source. This problem of the computer shutting off and on by itself happened to us about 6 months ago and Tim just unplugged the power source and then plugged it back in and it worked. This time we bought a new power source (I don't really know what that means) for $30 and it didn't work. The next thought is a new mother board. Now I don't know anything about computers, but that doesn't sound cheap or easy to repair. So for now I'm computer less at home. It's not too disappointing except for the fact that I won't have cable soon and I need some access to the outside world. Ohhh computer jeanie come to our rescue...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Camera

It's been a long time since my last post. There's a lot of reasons for that including the fact that my niece Micah and Tim's sister Allie came to visit. We've been busy tubing, water skiing, going to Valley Fair, playing Guitar Hero and Pictionary, canning plum jam and just relaxing. We've also been having home computer problems. The only access I have to a computer is at work and my pics are on the home PC, so I'm out of luck for now. We need to pick up a new power source for our computer tonight.

In the meantime, we just made a huge purchase and I gave up (tearfully) something I crave on a continual basis. Our digital camera is now 4 years old and although it still works I get super frustrated with it because it's so slow and I have to put a finger over the flash when I'm taking food pictures. I've been pining after a new camera for a while, but wasn't sure I could really afford to get what I wanted. I've been working on Tim telling him that we have to have a good camera for our trip to Yellow Stone this next week and he finally gave in.

Welcome to the family Canon Powershot S5 IS!!!! We bought it at National Camera Exchange with the help of friendly camera person Jay. He was great and didn't make me feel helpless like I do so often when I shop for electronics without Tim. Here's a pic of what we bought below. It's got 8.0 mega pixels and a 12X optical zoom. It's almost like a dream to me. Or I guess I could say it was a nightmare since I had to give up my addiction to the Food Network because of it. The money we save each month from not having cable will go back into the savings account to replace the money we spent on cable. According to my calculations I can have cable back in 10 months. June here we come.....

Here's a sample of the camera's magic (below). The zoom and clarity on this beautiful piece of sugar is incredible. I can't wait to update my blog with new food and trip pics. It's got some many fun additions to it.

For now that's all you get, but I promise more later. Hopefully, the computer will be fixed tonight and I can blog a little. That will be "if" I get the trip shopping and some cleaning done....goodness I've got a lot to do, but I'm as giddy as a school girl.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Kitchen and Tonight's Dinner Fresh From the Garden

This is my lovely butler's pantry. I do a lot of prep in this room.

Bow tie pasta, tomatoes, peppers, basil, garlic, zucchini--All from my garden (except the pasta of course).

Cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden.

My stove and fridge. It looks neat now, but wait until I start cooking.

Big Boy tomatoes, peppers and zucchini and basil.

The porcelain table top I found in a yard sale that we attached to a cart for extra counter space. I love this invention.

My kitchen isn't the biggest or the most modern, but it fits me.

How to have fun with 4 kids for dinner.

Pizza Party Night at the Dallums

Lily, Miles, Frances and Grace sitting at our dinning room table. We covered it with craft paper and decorated it with the following items: pita bread, pizza sauce, pepperoni, onion, smoked mozz, sharp cheddar, basil, and tomatoes.

Tim decided to make a bizarre pizza with blueberries, fennel, carrot and onions to make the kids laugh.
This is Lily, Miles and Tim making their pizzas.

Lily eats her finished pizza.

Miles eats enjoys his pizza.

Afterwards, the gang celebrates their culinary creations with ice cream sundaes in cups sitting on the picnic table in the back yard.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Bridge

I guess I don't know what to think when the bridge 2 miles from my house collapses into the Missippi River. My husband and I use this bridge several times a week to go to friends houses, stores and to Duluth. It's crushing to know/realize how this will affect our community. I know someone who was on the bridge--her back is broken in two places, her feet are crushed and she has loads of stiches. My heart goes out to you BK and JG for a speedy recovery and healing inside and out. What I do know is even though the phone lines were down I was able to make/ receive calls to the friends and family who make up my life. Knowing that I was once again truly cared about melted my heart and humbled me. We have such a wonderfully blessed life. Words really cannot express how horrible this all is in a fiscal and emotional way and how it will impact our city. This is "the bridge" that connects Minneapolis and St. Paul not just a two lane skipper crossing the river. It truly puts in perspective the value of human life. It will be years before this city and it's inhabitants get back to normal....but then again what is normal anyways.
Please send your positive energy and prayers to BK and JG and all the others who were deeply affected by this.