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August 19th, 2010

Slooooowww Roasted Tomatoes

There was an excess of tomatoes on my table last night, a product of my garden and the Organic Gardening test garden, so I decided to throw a bunch of them in the oven and slow roast them. I threw everything in there: cherry tomatoes, green grape tomatoes, giant green heirloom tomatoes, yellow tomatoes. I sliced the larger tomatoes, because even I don’t have 12 hours to sit and watch them roast, but the smaller tomatoes I put in whole with just a fork puncture the keep them from bursting. I set my oven to 200°, drizzled them in olive oil, and put those babies in…Tomato 1

2 hours later…

Tomato 2

2 hours (and many peeks into the oven) after that…

Tomato 3

okay, these are so pretty they deserve a close-up…

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The flavor of these tomatoes is absolutely mind-blowing. Even tomatoes that I wouldn’t normally like, I love when they’re prepared like this. Mine took 4 hours in the 200° oven. Then I put them all in a tupperware dish in anticipation of their future use. Okay, so maybe a few didn’t make it into the tupperware dish, but they were delicious and I was, well…I wasn’t even hungry, but they are that good.

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August 11th, 2010

Get by with a little help from my friends…

I walked into my garden the other night to find the my green bean plants, which are getting a late start due to their transplant, had outgrown their stakes. The only problem? They had latched on to their next door neighbors, my sunflowers, as their new post. I asked around and discovered that the beans won’t hurt the sunflower, so I’m just going to chalk it up to nature finding it’s own way. Now I’ll just wait for the sunflowers to bloom.

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August 9th, 2010

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

These are mashed potatoes with a twist (a yummy, fresh, and healthy twist) – instead of butter I use pesto. My garden is absolutely bursting basil right now, and this is just another way to use my favorite herb before it’s gone. The recipe below is just how I like to make it (with a lot of pesto) but the beauty of it is that you can play around with portions and ingredients to suit what you like. I’ll take you through my process, the full recipe is at the end.

I start with fresh basil from my little garden

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And make some pesto

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Then I take about a cup and a half of red potatoes and boil them until they are soft

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I blend the drained potatoes (skin on) with about 2 tablespoons of pesto and a splash of milk

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and voilà! Pesto mashed potatoes

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I’m getting hungry all over again.

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups red potatoes (but any type will work)

2 tablespoons pesto (I use the organicgardening.com recipe)

Splash of milk

Directions

Slice potatoes into quarters and boil until soft and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then drain and add potatoes to blender or food processor with pesto. Pulse for about 30  seconds, then add milk. Blend until desire consistency is reached, periodically stirring the potatoes for an even blend. Add pesto and salt to taste. Enjoy!

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August 3rd, 2010

The Dead Zone

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There's a lot going on under the surface

There’s something deadly going on in the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s not the BP oil spill. It’s the dead zone, and it’s a phenomena that has been going on for the last 40 years. The dead zone is an area of the ocean where practically all life has been killed off due to lack of oxygen. This happens because chemicals (mostly fertilizers) seep in to the Mississippi River from Midwestern farms, then flow into the Gulf of Mexico. There, algae gobbles it up, and the algae populations explodes. This is good, right? Nope. The giant algae consume all of the oxygen in the water, which leaves none for the rest of the plant and animal life in that part of the ocean. The dead zone has been happening since the early 1970’s, and every year it moves slightly and changes in size. This year’s is thought to be one of the biggest in history, almost the size of New Jersey or Massachusetts. Picture a part of the Gulf of Mexico, the size of Massachusetts, without any plant or animal life. And we did this. Farmers used chemicals on their crops, we bought products which supported the use of these chemicals, and the USDA let them use the chemicals. We all had a hand in creating this dead zone, and we can all have a hand in fixing it.We need to demand that farmers and corporations stop using chemicals and fertilizers and start growing organically. The best way to do this? BUY ORGANIC.

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