Sunday, July 18, 2010

Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Our garden runneth over...

with Roma Tomatoes!

Thanks to my new friend over at Thy Hand Hath Provided, I've found a wonderful way to use them up...roasted with a little olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. If you like sun dried tomatoes, I think you'll love these babies! Head on over to Thy Hand and check them out. While you're there, take a look a around. There's a wealth of information about gardening and preserving, as well as lots of yummy recipes and other good stuff.

To learn more about Thy Hand, check out her wonderful interview over at another favorite blog, Clover Lane

You'll notice I didn't get a pic of the finished product, that's because I ate most of them the minute they came out of the oven! They were all carmelized, kinda chewy and perfect. Right before I took them out of the oven, I popped a little mozzarella pearl in each one....OH. MY. GOODNESS.
Absolutely DELICIOUS!

Happy Sunday!

~Gridiron Girl

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The kids could not have cared less about the science lesson that went along with our touchable bubbles, but they did think the bubbles were really cool. After awhile, even I became bored with the lesson, so we decided to just scrap it and spend our time chasing and catching bubbles. At first we were really bummed because the bubbles were most definitely not touchable, but the longer they were exposed to the air the tougher they got.  There were bubbles EVERYWHERE! They were stuck on the bushes, in the trees, and on the patio. There were bubbles floating in the pool, clinging to rocks and dangling from our hair. Unfortunately, the battery in my camera died just as the fun was really starting. Some of the bubbles ended up lasting over an hour! When they finally popped, we had a sticky mess in the yard, kind of like little blobs of Elmer's glue everywhere. Luckily, it was nothing a good East Texas rain storm couldn't handle.

If you're interested in a touchable bubble adventure of your own, there are lots of recipes online for making the solution. Our bubbles came with a little science kit called Test Tube Adventures that I picked up on clearance at Marshall's for less than 10 bucks. It includes several different experiments and has kept my little Knuckleheads entertained for hours!
On a completely unrelated note, we went to see Despicable Me today. It was GREAT!

Happy Thursday!!!
~Gridiron Girl

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adventures in the "Willy Tree"

Happy Wednesday Everyone! It's hot as sin here in East Texas today. The house needs cleaning and the laundry needs doing, but I don't want to deal with any of it. In my effort to cool off and avoid housework, I fixed myself a big glass of sweet tea and went outside to hang out in the Willow Tree with my little Knuckleheads. I know I've told you all before how much my kids love the Willy Tree, but it just gets better and better. The bigger they get, the higher they climb. The adventures are never ending. We've been considering building them an actual playhouse, but I don't think they'd get out of the tree long enogh to enjoy it.

While I was hanging out in the tree with the kids, we started to make big plans for Willy. First we decided he needed a face. I just happened to remember that I snagged the face off our Oak tree in New Orleans before we moved and it had been living in the attic ever since. So I climbed out of the tree and into the attic, moments later I descended with a face for Willy.

Next, we decided that we needed a better form of communication while they were up in the tree. Better than me standing on the back porch yelling for them to come in for dinner. What we needed was Tree Mail!

An old soup can, some string and few stinkers would do the trick! Now Coach and I can leave them special little notes and treats that they can retrieve while perched on their branches. My first message to them was a thank you note for letting me play in their tree and a few pieces of bubble would have thought it was Christmas morning! They are over the moon about Willy's new mail service.

Checking the Tree Mail.

This little Punkette goes higher and higher everyday!

I love that they love their Willy Tree and I love that they let me be a part of the their adventures. When I was little, I spent hours in the big Mimosa tree in our front yard and have such great memories of all the fun I had. I hope that when they're older, they'll remember how much fun they had together with Willy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mystery Plants

As I metioned yesterday, I have two mystery plants that are growing like crazy in the Oleander bed around our pool.

I have a feeling this might be pumpkins.

Or maybe watermelons?

Maybe some kind of squash?

Any ideas???

The second plant has not only sprouted up around the pool, but also along the back fence and in the flower beds in the front yard! I don't know where it came from and I have no clue what it could be.


It grows tall and fast and has tiny white flowers on it.


How does our garden grow?

This was our first year to give carrot growing a go...Obviously we've got a lot to learn!

This was our one and only survivor.
At least we had something to show for our effort!

As bad as we are a growing carrots, we rock at growing tomatoes.

(Wow. I look really tired.)

The only problem is, no one in our house likes tomatoes!

I take that back, we love tomotoes, just not right off the vine like most proper Southerners.
I've been roasting them with a little olive oil, garlic and fresh basil and eating them as fast as they come out of the oven. I've also made spaghetti sauce, pico de gallo and homemade ketchup. If anyone has any other wonderful ideas on how to use up a pile of Romas, I'm up for suggestions! 

In other gardening news, my cucumbers were a flop. I had cukes coming out my ears last year, but this Summer I've had exactly three. Bummer. I wonder if it's too late to start a second crop and see if they do any better? Summer just won't be complete if I don't make pickles!
I know I can just go buy some cucumbers, but what's the fun in that?!

My basil is growing like crazy again, so there's lots o' pesto making in my near future...So YAY! However, my cilantro and dill went to seed really quickly...BOO! I've put down some more seeds and will hopefully get some new plants growing soon.

And finally, I have two mystery plants that have sprung up around the pool. I'm almost certain one of them is a pumpkin vine or possibly watermelon (the kids tossed their Jack-o-lanterns under the Oleander bushes after Halloween and I've dumped a few watermelon seeds back there on occasion) and I have no clue about the other plant. I'll try to post some pics tomorrow and maybe someone can help me identify them.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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