Friday, December 10, 2010

Jennie's Garden ~ 12/10/10

Okay okay, I know I am waaaay late on this update, and I am very very very sorry! It's been a sad month. I have officially lost my pepper plant (although, this was expected since we are now into winter), but I have also lost all my spinach plants, and almost all of the beets. I have mentioned it in a few of my previous updates, that I believed the heat wave in October had stunted the seedlings. I was right. They never grew to anything worth while, so I pulled them and replanted some seeds. Well it was a little too late into Fall when I did this, so when they were just teeny tiny little babies, they froze when we had a light frost about a week and a half ago. They are no longer growing. So sad. Same thing with my herbs that I planted. I was too late so they all froze when they were tiny seedlings. I was also invaded by slugs! They continue to eat all of my baby carrots, so I stopped replanted them in the ground, and are leaving them to the raised garden bed. There's always early Spring right?

This being said, everything else seems to be doing well! Again, most everything was planted on September 15th. It has been a whopping 36 days since my last update (eek!), but I will still post the pictures from the last update to see the progress.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce

The lettuce continues to get fuller and taller! Although, I always thought Romaine lettuce to be tall, skinny and compact. Interesting...



  The Cauliflower is also getting larger and producing more leaves. It takes several months until harvest, so I believe it's on track. I guess we'll see!



My broccoli has gotten much larger since the last update. The leaves have also turned a darker green. They are much larger than the cauliflower, and take less time until harvest, so I am crossing my fingers that they are on track as well!


 My carrots are also getting taller and thicker. A couple of days ago, I brushed away some of the soil and could see the little baby carrot forming. They seem to be growing a bit slower than they should be, so I will check again in a couple of weeks.


Like I mentioned above, I have lost most of my beets. The only ones I have left are these pictured. They were planted in a cinder block and are doing great! Unfortunately, it looks like I'll only be getting about 3-5 beets from my garden...


My peas are still my pride and joy! They are so tall, reaching the top tier of my trellis. They are also sprouting flowers, which means peas are soon to follow. So excited!

Peas (flower)


                                                         Shallots are doing well. Can't really see what's going on under ground, but the tops are green and tall, so I can only assume the bulbs are growing!


My garlic is doing great! The stems are getting taller and taller. When one sprouts, I plant another one. Garlic takes a few months so I still have some ways to go, but I am extremely excited for these.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Roasted Pork Loin with Apricot Stuffing and Rosemary Potatoes

Want to try something a little different than the traditional Christmas turkey or ham? This is an amazingly delicious meal that will soon become your new tradition!

3-3 ½ pound (center cut) boneless pork loin roast
8-10 red potatoes ~ quartered
1 ½ cups white bread ~ cut into ½ inch pieces
2 Tbs. butter
½ cup shallots ~ chopped
About 10 ounces canned apricots or 4 large apricots ~ chopped
1 ½ tsps. fresh rosemary ~ minced
1 clove garlic ~ minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Olive oil
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 Tbs. dry red cooking wine
½ cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place your chopped bread onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven until browned on all sides.
Melt the butter in a sauté pan over low heat. Cook the shallots until they are soft; about 7-10 minutes. Add the chopped apricots and cook until softened; just a couple of minutes. Stir in the bread, 1 tsp of the minced rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Make a hole in your pork loin with a knife that goes all the way through. Use your fingers to make the hole wider to allow room for the stuffing; it should be about 1 ½ inches wide. Be careful not to tear through the hole. If this happens, use some cooking twine to keep the meat together to hold the stuffing. Again, use your fingers to stuff the pork with the stuffing. It’s easiest to work from both ends and push towards the middle. Season the outside of the pork with more salt and pepper. You can also use a little bit more rosemary on the outside if you want!
Heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the wine and brown the pork on all sides. Set the wine and oil mixture aside after browning the pork, you will use this later for a sauce.
Place your quartered potatoes into a bowl and use enough olive oil to coat them. Add the remaining ½ tsp. rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potatoes in the bowl to coat them in the seasonings.
Coat the bottom of your roasting pan with olive oil. Place the pork loin in the center, and surround it with your potatoes. Roast in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
Remove everything from the pan. Let the pork stand for about 15-20 minutes, and keep the potatoes in the warm oven so they don’t get cold. Meanwhile, poor the wine into the roasting pan and place over the stove. Add the water and boil while scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
Slice the meat and serve with the sauce poured over it.
Makes about 6-8 servings.

Another Jennie's Veggies Favorite Recipe ~ Featured on!

Roasted Pork Loin with Apricot Stuffing and Rosemary Potatoes

Again, I am very excited to say that another one of my recipes has been featured by This amazing healthy food website has created a great Christmas eCookbook from recipes taken from several different food bloggers. Within this Christmas eCookbook, you can find recipes such as my Roasted Pork Loin with Apricot Stuffing and Rosemary Potatoes (which can be found on page 11 of the eCookbook), to yummy desserts created by other food bloggers!

"21 Healthy Christmas Recipes: Blogger Edition" can be easily downloaded and printed here for FREE on

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jennie's Veggies ~ Now Available On Your Kindle!

Hello fellow Gardeners/Cooks!

For those of you who have a Kindle, Jennie's Veggies is now available! I have recently published Jennie's Veggies to be auto-delivered wirelessly to your Amazon Kindle! Now you can stay updated on the go!

Click on the link below to be taken to the Amazon page or to subscribe to Jennie's Veggies! Happy gardening/cooking!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmesan Cheese Soup

This is a thick and creamy Butternut Squash Soup that is perfect for the holidays! Serve in a bowl as the main dish with some Sage Whole Wheat Bread, or fancy it up inside a baked Acorn Squash as a side dish!


2 large butternut squash
3 stalks of celery ~ chopped
1 large carrot ~ chopped
1 large yellow onion ~ chopped
3 cloves garlic ~ chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbs minced fresh sage ~ or 1/2 Tbs dried sage
4 Tbs olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
32 oz. carton of chicken or vegetable stock


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

Slice your squash in half long ways and scoop out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the squash, cut side down. Roast for about 40-45 minutes, or until you can poke a knife through the squash. Let the squash cool a bit, then scrape out the flesh.

Heat a couple Tbs. of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and carrot. Cook for about 20 minutes being sure to stir often. Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, sage, salt and pepper. Cook for just a couple of minutes.

Add the broth and squash and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Throw out the thyme and bay leaf. Pour the soup into a blender or food processor and puree until creamy. Place back on the stove, add the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and bring back to a boil. Add more stock for desired thickness. Serve and top with a little parmesan cheese!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sage Whole Wheat Bread

This is a recipe my dad makes, and the whole family loves it! It makes two loaves. Pair it with a hearty soup like homemade chicken noodle soup, or a butternut squash soup!


2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 packages dry yeast
1 1/4 tsp dried crushed sage, or 2 1/2 tsp minced fresh sage
1 3/4 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbs butter
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 egg, beaten

* This is a whole wheat loaf, so it will be slightly denser than a white bread loaf.


In a bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, yeast and sage and set aside. In a saucepan, heat the milk, brown sugar, butter and salt just until butter is almost melted. Add the lukewarm milk mixture to the flour, yeast and sage. Beat with an electric mixer on low for about 30 seconds. Beat on high for about 3 minutes. Stir in, by hand, the wheat flour, cornmeal and remainder of all-purpose flour.

Put dough onto a floured surface. Knead for about 7 or 8 minutes. Add enough all-purpose flour for a stiff, smooth and elastic dough. Place in a greased bowl, turn over to grease all sides. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

When it has doubled in size, punch it down. place onto a floured surface and divide in half. Cover again and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.  Shape each half of dough into a ball or oval. Place onto the baking sheet and flatten. Brush the beaten egg over the loaves and cover again. Let them rise until they have doubled in size again. Brush the loaves again with the egg and place into a 375 degree F oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. The crust should be golden. If you feel that the crust is getting too dark, cover with some foil and finish baking.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fun Facts About Pumpkins!

Carved for a scary Halloween face, baked for a delicious Thanksgiving pie, or put on wheels to take Cinderella to the ball! Here are some fun facts about pumpkins that you may not have already known!

1. Pumpkins are actually a type of Squash! They are a part of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.

2. The largest pumpkin pie that was ever made was over 5 feet wide and weighed over 350 pounds. It took 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and 6 hours to bake!

3. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed a whopping 1,810 pounds!

4. The Irish brought the tradition of pumpkin carving to the United States.

5. In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

6. Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

7. Pumpkins are 90% water.

8. Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.

9.  Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.

10. Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamins A & B
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