Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vegies Update 31/06/11

So it's been a fortnight since my last update on my vegie patch and there is a lot of growth happening out there. Things are going great guns for most of the plants but my spinach doesn't seem to have really grown much, thankfully it's not looking sick so hopefully with a few slightly warmer days it will start to take off.

Today I spent a bit of time out in my patch putting up string lines for the climbing plants of broad beans and snow peas to grow up and put some extra mulch down now that they have grown a bit higher. I also gave them a good watering of seasol and molasses

In other garden news, yesterday I spent about 2.5 hrs weeding my front yard! Soooo many little weeds that needed pulling out - I almost filled up two 60 litre bins and my front yard isn't very big! I've spread the weeds out over a future garden bed to compost down and add nutrients to that part of my garden. No pics though, I will try to get some during the week.

Broadbeans (bottom of the pic) and then 2 different plantings/timings of garlic and onions

First lot of Onions and Garlic

Second lot of Onions and Garlic

Broad beans

Broccoli and Cauliflower - they're getting huge! There is also some garlic popping up


Broccoli - you can't see it here but there are heads visible in the middle of them now which is very exciting

Leeks - they are doing pretty well

Snow Peas

Spinach - not a lot of growth yet

Spring Onions

Second round of Broccoli and Cauliflower with more Garlic popping up

Mushroom Update

So it's time for an update on my mushrooms! It's amazing - they are almost doubling in size every day!

These have been taken over the past 4 or 5 days:

This was taken this morning

And this was just taken tonight - the growth is amazing!! They are now pretty much ready to pick!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beef Bourguignon TdF Inspired

Today is my Sunday Cookup day and in light of the fact that Cadel Evans has just won this years Tour de France, the first Australian to ever win it (!!!!!!), I decided to cook Beef Bourguignon in my French Le Chasseur pot and boy did it taste GOOD!!

Start with a heap of ingredients

Brown the diced blade (about 1.5kg's) in batches and put aside. In the pan cook up a diced onion, garlic and about 200grams of bacon until the onion is soft.
Once that's cooked put the beef back into the pot with the bacon and onion with 2-3 sliced carrots, a big dollop of tomato paste and pour in a combination of enough beef stock and red wine to cover in liquid (I used about 500mls red wine and 750mls of beef stock). Add in a bouquet garni - I used thyme, oregano and bay leaves

Cover and cook at a simmer for about 90 minutes. After this time add in about 15 small onions, peeled, and about 500g of button mushrooms.

Cook with the lid off for a further 90minutes or so or until the thickness of it is at a consistency that you are happy with - I like the gravy to be really thick and rich - YUM!!!

Serve up the portions for lunches for the week and then enjoy a bowl full for dinner

Well done Cadel! You have done Australia proud and I am beyond excited about it!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Creamy Tomato Chicken and Veg

Now that I'm back in the land of employment it's time for my Sunday Cookups to start happening again.
This morning I was watching some cooking clips on Youtube and got inspired to make a Creamy Tomato chicken and veg dish

So I started off with a heap of ingredients - mushrooms, onion, garlic, chilli, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, chicken fillets, cream cheese and home made pasata

I then browned the chicken on the stove top and then put them into a baking dish. I then put all the vegies into the pan and cooked them for a while in some oil and butter, once they were cooked they went ontop of the chicken. I then put the pasata into the pan with a block of cream cheese with some chicken stock paste. I melted down the cream cheese and then this got poured over the top of the ingredients already in the baking dish. The dish was then topped with grated cheese

And then after baking it for about 20 minutes you get this

It really doesn't look that great when plated up but here it is and it was YUMMY!!!!!

I also got the rest of my pumpkin soup I made last week into containers to put into the freezer

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Have A Chook House & Run

I am now a very proud owner of a chook house and run!! :D
As a few people know, for a while I've been wanting to get some chooks for my backyard. Not only do they produce eggs and lots of good fertiliser for the garden but they are awesome pets as well! A guy I used to work with said he much preferred his chooks to his dog as they were so fascinating to watch.

The first step to owning chooks is to ensure have somewhere safe and secure for them to live. A month or two ago I found the ideal chook house for my backyard but as it's the middle of winter (not an ideal time for buying new chooks in Melbourne) I wasn't in a hurry to buy it. This week the store was having 20% off store wide so I went forth and purchased!!

Today I assembled it, after a bit of swearing, lots of frustration and 3 broken nails I now have an assembled Chook House and run!!

Start with a few boxes

This is what it is mean to look like - lets see if it does once I'm done ;)

Lay everything out so you can see what you've got

Yup it looks the same! The run is on the left and on the near side of the house bit is the laying area

Where they should lay their eggs and it has a hinged roof for easy access

The back of the chook house. The bottom of this is a tray that slides out for easy cleaning, you can see the ring pulls on the tray

Looking through the back door - you can see the roosting poles and the door on the far wall which is closed in this pic

From the end of the run - you can see the little door is open in this pic that will keep them secure in the house at night

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vegies Update 16/07/11

It's been a couple of weeks since I took some pics of my vegie garden and things are growing wonderfully :D Now that some of the seeds and seedlings are getting bigger and looking stronger I can put some more mulch down. You will see eggshells in the beds with the Broccoli and Cauliflowers, I put them there as I heard a viewers tip on Gardening Australia that it can help to keep the white moth away as it thinks that there is already one there and flies away. Lets hope it works.

Onions and Garlic

More onions and garlic



Broccoli and Cauliflower - they've really grown a lot this past week




Snow Peas


Spring Onions

Broccoli and Cauliflower, there is also some garlic starting to pop its head out in here too

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mushrooms unveiled

I got my mushroom box 12 days ago now and for those 12 days it's been sitting in the pantry, all wrapped up. Today was the day to unveil the contents and open it up for them to grow more and this is what I saw

It has a few good bits of the white stuff coming through to -fingers crossed- they grow well. So now the box is back in the cupboard, but this time unwrapped and open to the air and every day I'm going to be spraying it with a fine mist of water until they stop growing