Sweet Garbanzo Beans

Although Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas can be a challenge to grow in the garden, they are readily available in the grocery store either canned or dried.   I think the main problem I had with my success in growing the beans last summer was the location I picked to grow them.   It wasn’t a good choice – very heat intensive and it was a HOT one down south!   I did manage to produce about a handful for harvest so at this point I won’t be growing them again any time soon.   They sent up a long stem and only one or two pods (with one bean each) grew on each stem.   Regardless of my not so successful harvest … I absolutely love Garbanzo Beans!

I could eat them right out of the can in a salad or toasted in the oven nice and crispy crunchy!   I thought for a nice snack I would add a little sweetness and they came out pretty good!

Sweet Garbanzo Beans

  • 1 can 15.5 oz. Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered chai mix

Rinse and drain the beans – toss them with the olive oil and sugar and then spread out on a cookie sheet.   Toast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes stirring a few times so they will not burn.

Once roasted, remove from the oven and toss with the other dry ingredients.   If you don’t have chai mixture or there is some other combination you would like to try … nutmeg, allspice – give it a try!

Enjoy a Healthy Snack!!

Head on over to Munchie Monday and share a recipe and browse through recipes added by others.    Stay healthy!

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Newest update: I now have Photoshop

I still consider myself to be in the learning stages with my Apple Mac and I am making it a habit to use it even for the simple searches or mail checks.   If I don’t use it I will never learn all the fantastic features it contains.   I did purchase the iWork when I first purchased the computer, so I have been dabbling around with iPhoto.   I reasoned to myself though if I am in this learning mode at present, I may as well throw more into the equation, so I now also have Adobe Photoshop.   I received the software yesterday along with the Missing Manual for it and am excited to dive in!

If you have been following along with the Post A Day challenge and my blog, you may have noticed my list of topics for each day is gone.   What I found happening was that I was trying to follow the outline of topics exactly and I was feeling pressed to come up with a new craft or tech idea to write about and, quite honestly, it wasn’t fun.   My topics were great and definitely part of what I do, but if you notice my posts have become more centered on photos, recipes and now with the gardening season upon us…much more gardening!

I still haven’t missed a day although there are gaps.   These are filled by my other blog GardenDish with gardening recipes which will become more frequent.   …and gosh, who knows where this new Photoshop will send me.   So like an evolving diary … my blog keeps learning and moving on to new facets in life.   The one underlying lesson I am taking away with this challenge is not to limit myself and to write about what I am passionate about – it is much more interesting.   Since that changes (almost weekly) you will never know what to expect next.   For now it’s ……. Gardening, Photos and some good ole’ healthy eating.

Thank you for your patience as I shift gears a bit.   One more note – it seems using the air card brings me back to prehistoric time and my computing is slow and although I can check in … there is not a whole lot of browsing and commenting I am able to do.    My trips and air card use will be on the increase and I can read most …. very slowly and very patiently.

Easy Blueberry Muffins

Happy Munchie Monday!   Make sure to head on over and share your recipe here!

Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg or 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients and carefully stir in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin or cupcake baking cups.   Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Peppers are makin’ Flowers already

I planted my pepper plants back in the beginning of December – the 6th to be exact.   So it’s been a bit over 3 months and flowers are starting to develop.   Since I still have another 3 months before the frost will be gone for good here I may have to take on the task of some pollinating with these peppers.   Normally, outdoors the peppers will pollinate on their own between the bugs, bees and wind helping the situation – indoors, is another story.   I have helped along my gourds the past 2 years since I wanted to guarantee a good harvest.

Once the flowers fully develop and open all that is needed is either a small paintbrush or a q-tip.   Simply swipe the pollen from one flower to the next and keep doing this randomly – you can pretend to be a bee buzzing from flower to flower.

A while back I wrote and published this great post titled Peppers Planted and I am looking forward to making the Red Pepper Soup once again.  It is simply delicious with the Alma Paprika Peppers adding just the right kick of heat and flavor.   A recent arrival in the mail made my day this past week – a new magazine …..

…..looks like some good gardening information for me to read 🙂

Bunnies Love Green Beans

Green beans are good for you, easy to grow in the garden and the bunnies will devour them before you have a chance to wink your eye.   They don’t seem to care that you spent hours planting, weeding and watering your beans anticipating the day of harvest.   They will even stare you in the eye as they munch away oblivious to the fact that this is YOUR garden and not theirs!   There are quite a few greens bunnies love and green beans are on the top of their list!

I established a new garden out in the far part of the yard several years ago and although I had it fenced in …Mr. or Mrs. Bunny found a way in and enjoyed every single bean growing.   I would see movement and run out waving and yelling only to arrive and see the bunny still munching and going no where quick – just looking at me like I was some half crazed human.

You would think scary Gargoyle would have the situation under control.   Needless to say, that year I had no beans and actually removed the whole garden out that way, since it was too far to keep an eye on.   The year before a squirrel climbed in and had a daily party with the Blue Corn growing.

Last year I planted TriColor Bush Beans from Renee’s Garden close by and had a nice assortment for freezing.   I will be adding a post to GardenDish this week with some of the frozen beans I have packaged up.   Beans are easy to grow – just keep the area fenced in if you happen to have a bunny or two around.   Plant the seeds directly outdoors when the soil has warmed and the danger of frost has passed.   Plant 1″ deep and 3-4″ apart in rows 1 1/2 – 2 ft. distance.    Planting seeds several weeks apart until the end of June will assure a continuous harvest throughout the season.   There are many different varieties and types of beans from bush to pole to snap beans and dried beans.   Try some different types and you will discover some new and exciting dishes to serve.

TriColor Bush Beans with fresh Dill (watch for recipe later this week)

Grow some Beans … just watch for those Bunnies!

How to Make Graham Crackers

I have always wondered how to make Graham Crackers and finally came across a recipe and guess what……they taste just like store-bought graham crackers!   Once again I left the topping off, but if you want the total graham cracker experience, sprinkle on the topping!

Graham Crackers

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 TB all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat as a substitute for 1 cup all-purpose)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 3/4 tspn coarse sea salt or kosher
  • 7 TB unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes and frozen
  • 1/3 cup clover honey
  • 5 TB milk
  • 2 TB vanilla extract

Topping – 3 TB granulated sugar and 1 tspn ground cinnamon

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in bowl of mixer.  Mix to incorporate.  Add butter and mix on low until consistency of coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla extract.  Add to the flour mixture until dough barely comes together.   It will be quite sticky.   Lay on large piece of plastic wrap, dust with flour, form into rectangle 1″ thick.  Wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to make crackers – roll out half the dough; returning other half to chill.   Layer down the flour (very sticky to work with until you get the flour integrated in).  Roll dough 1/8″ thick.   Cut the dough into squares and place on baking sheets.  Chill again for 30-45 minutes.   You can use the knife and make line indents to resemble the graham cracker look (see pictures).

Bake 20-25 minutes on 350 degrees depending on thickness.   Watch carefully so they don’t burn!  I created some shapes with cookie cutters.

Head on over to Munchie Monday to see more recipes or add one of your own!   Enjoy!!

 

Crazy Cardinal and Edible Bird’s Nest

I mentioned this female cardinal a while back and she is at it again.   She will fly into the window for some unknown reason and I actually caught it on video this morning.   At first I thought she saw something in the house and moved things out of the way so she would stop.  I was concerned she was going to hurt herself.   After watching the video, I can see her reflection in the window and I got to thinking maybe she is flying at her own image for some reason.   The male cardinal is not far away when she does this so it’s possible she is guarding her space from another female cardinal.   Watch the video – she doesn’t hurt herself and the dogs usually start barking at her insane behavior and she leaves after a few minutes.

The video of the crazy cardinal fits the theme of today’s cookie craft!   Perfect for the upcoming Spring season and Easter celebrations.   These simple to make bird nests will add a special touch to your parties and celebrations.

Bird’s Nest Cookies

1 lb. chocolate or vanilla candy coating

2 cups chow mein noodles

2 cups corn flakes, chopped

Mix the noodles and corn flakes gently with a rubber spatula.   Melt the candy coating in the microwave and pour over the dry mixture.   Blend until all is coated evenly.   Drop onto wax paper and shape into a nest.   You may have to work to create the shape you are trying to achieve.   Place the nest shapes in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to harden.   Add M&M candies to the center as your eggs.