Moving the Garlic Giveaway Up!

We have changed our moving plans and will be heading out-of-town sooner than planned.   The internet provider where we are going can be unpredictable and I want to make sure I have the winners picked and the garlic mailed to them before we leave.   So with that the Garlic Giveaway winners will be picked August 12 and have 48 hrs. to contact me.   You can leave a comment on this post or the previous Garlic Giveaway post.   There is also a post at the Growing Phases Farm blog where you can leave an additional comment.   A total of two winners will be picked – one from each blog.

Thanks and Good Luck!



Garlic past its prime

Some of the garlic I have from last season is starting to sprout and it makes sense since the garlic out in the ground is sprouting also.    It must sense that it’s time to grow!   At this point, the garlic is still very edible but it has lost its youthfulness and freshness.   I decided to dry some up in the Excalibur dehydrator and save it this way.   I will take it a step further and powder it for simple sprinkling into recipes.

This garlic press/slicer I found and purchased over the summer has been a true time saver!    Previous to buying it, I would cut each individual clove into slices and it did take forever.   Now I just pop the clove in the garlic slicer and presto …. nicely sliced garlic!

Patiently awaiting their time in the Excalibur

Here we have the garlic sprouting outside …

Planted in October to be harvested in July!

Make sure to add your recipe to Munchie Monday tomorrow.   I will be adding Garlic Herb Croutons … easy, easy!

My Gardening List for 2011

I finally started work on my Gardening List for the coming 2011 season.   Although I have notes and little reminders here and there, it’s time to pull it all together and get organized.

In previous years I have included my list on the above tab “Gardening” and will continue this year.   My biggest challenge when planning for the coming season is the fact that I am torn between two homes which are a travel distance of 5 hours apart.   I have learned over the past few years that you really have to be on location when gardening and if you are gone for several days in a row, you need to have someone look after all your plants.   This little tip hit hard last summer when I was gone for 2 weeks and the weather scorched out at 115 degrees and did a number on every little and big plant I had growing.   It was a painful experience and still very clear in my thoughts.   So as I look through my seeds, I have to first decide where I will be spending most of my time and if I do leave; will the plants survive.

The garlic was planted October, 2010 – 500 bulbs here up North and about 300 down South.   They are sleeping well underneath the huge layer of snow right now and will wake up as Spring approaches.   Mid-July I will be harvesting all the garlic and then it will cure (dry out) for about a month.   The 5 varieties growing this year are Chet’s Italian, Inchelium Red, Chrysalis Purple, Persian Star and Chesnok Red.

This year I intend to grow more Sunflowers.   They have always amazed me and I find them such a daunting yet graceful (in their own way) flower.   I have my seeds all ready and waiting the exciting season ahead … Chocolate Cherry Sunflower, Junior (good for containers), Cinnamon Sun, Autumn Beauty and I am trying the Edible Snack Seed Sunflower also.

I will be working on “the list” today and although I have my updated version posted, I still have to decide what to plant where and most importantly … Where am I going to be?

Will it be Munchie Monday or Menu Monday … that is the question!   The poll is still open for your vote !   Make sure to have your recipe ready for Monday … when the fun begins!!

Garden Goodies in the Winter

Preserving garden produce by means of canning is an excellent way to enjoy your garden during the cold winter months.   Along with this, another way to keep summer harvest coming is by dehydrating.   Here is a Post from a few months back showing my dehydrator doing a wonderful job drying garlic and tomatoes.   Now as a thick layer of snow covers the ground I can still enjoy the summer harvest!

Dried garlic, tomatoes and cayenne peppers – the peppers I simply let air dry and they can also be used in your crafty floral decorating.   The tomatoes are excellent and have a sweet flavor.   Having these ingredients within easy reach makes meal planning a little easier and quite a bit tastier!   I would definitely recommend an Excalibur Dehydrator for gift giving this Christmas or add to your own wish list.   Mine has paid for itself many times and is still cranking away drying more Chet’s Italian garlic which I will have listed in my shop selling in individual 2 oz. packettes some time this week.

I spotted this Spaghetti Bread recipe in an old recipe book, made some revisions and decided to bake up a loaf since I have the dried garlic and tomatoes ready for a recipe.   The dried garlic can easily be ground up in a blender (for coarse pieces) or a coffee grinder will powder the garlic for your own homemade garlic powder.   The bread does call for spaghetti as one of the actual ingredients so even though it sounds somewhat off the wall it actually tasted pretty good.   The dried tomatoes added the perfect taste.  A nice side bowl of marinara sauce for dipping and you have a totally unique appetizer, meal or even a gift!

HomeGrown Holidays and Giveaway

As each year passes I find myself growing, preserving and giving more Homegrown presents to family and friends and they Love them!  

The garlic harvest this year was excellent and gifts already have been given – fresh garlic, pickled scapes and garlic cloves … more garlic gifts will be given for Christmas.   I have only one more jar of the pickled garlic scapes left and those are mine … I really have enjoyed them and posted the recipe back when I discovered it.   In the Garden Online is the place I first learned about these wonderful garlic scapes and the blog writer, Colleen, also has a book out “Edible Gardening for the Midwest” which will be added to my Christmas wish list this year.

Since we are on the subject of Canning and books, I want to also mention “Canning & Preserving for Dummies”.   The author of this book, Amy, was actually the winner of the Garlic Giveaway I held not to long ago.   She hosts a blog over at The Farming Wife – check her out too!   I highly recommend both of these sources for your cooking and gardening interests!   Great gifts for others on your list too!

I made up labels to add to my canned goods this year in hopes of receiving the empty jars back.   Most people will forget (except my parents, they always return the jars) 🙂 and if they see this little reminder on the bottom of the jar when the goods are all finished up, odds are they will return the jar to you!

It’s has been a while since the Garlic Giveaway and since this is the week of giving thanks……. time to show appreciation to my friendly readers, I worked on some gift tags as a new giveaway this weekend.

These are actually stickers which were hand stamped – so you can peel off the back and place on your gift!

It is rather difficult to see the detail on the tags …. the stamped images are heat embossed which gives them a raised glossy look – pretty neat!   So leave a comment and the winner will be announced next Tuesday after the holiday and in time for adding to your holiday gifts.   Also the newest Linky starts today!!   The theme is Stocking Stuffers so make sure to head on over and add your listing – also on the same page I added a Linky to add your facebook fanpage.

Wishing Everyone a Safe, Fun and Enjoyable Thanksgiving!   Thanks All!

The Winner of the Gourmet Garlic Giveaway is …. and Zucchini Cookies!

It sure seems like a long 2 weeks since I announced the beginning of the Gourmet Garlic Giveaway and the

                                Winner is ……       Amy Jeanroy !!!

Please send your mailing address to and I will send the garlic right along to you!   Congratulations!!!

I want to Thank everyone who took the time to enter by leaving a comment here on my blog; it is truly appreciated!    I do hope everyone is enjoying the harvest from their gardens and if you are new to gardening and I can answer any questions, please let me know.   We will be planting the garlic for the 2011 season within the next few weeks – middle of October.   I have 2 different locations I plant and the distance between them is a 5 hour drive so the gardening does get a little tricky at times.   I am really grateful for the response to this giveaway and make sure to keep watch since I am sure I will be doing more in the future.   Thank you all very much!

I also have a Winner on my RunningGarlicDesigns blog and have decided to not only utilize that blog for my artistic creations but as a tool to document how I will be developing my business.   I posted this past weekend on designating days for certain business tasks in order to follow an organized routine.   So far so good!

I also joined a few days ago and am excited about sharing recipes and meeting some new folks.   I actually picked up their most recent magazine which showcases many of the members and their wonderful recipes.   If you are a member over there or join up, make sure to look me up and friend me.   Who knows you could end up featured in their magazine!

I made these Zucchini Cookies submitted by REBlue and they get a thumbs up from me!

Garlic muffins and puffs!

Yes … Garlic Muffins!   Never heard of them until the other day when I decided to do a search and sure enough there is such a thing AND they are addicting!   I ate 2 fresh out of the oven with a slab of butter …..yummy!

Garlic Muffins – Add 2 cups of flour with 3 teaspoons of baking powder.   Beat up one egg, add to that 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup melted butter.   Combine the flour mixture with the liquid mixture and 4 minced garlic cloves.   Fill muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.    So Good!   My next batch I may add some shredded zucchini … why not, it’s waiting on something!

I also have been using a very simple dressing for my salads – it consists of only 3 ingredients.   Olive oil, red wine vinegar and minced garlic.   Mix together and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors can blend and then just drizzle atop your salad and fresh veggies from the garden!

This morning I tried a little experiment which went so so.   I had crescent rolls in the refrig. for some time now and decided today was the day to use them.   I obviously didn’t observe the use by date on the can and the dough had lost its crescent roll ability.

So I gathered it all together and made little rolls of dough (was going to just make bread sticks) but decided to fold them into some type of form.

Actually …. the finished product looks alot like mini crescent rolls.   Before I baked them for about 12 minutes at 375 degrees I brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled on minced garlic and some specks of basil.   I could definitely taste the garlic, but the basil taste was very faint.

Mini crescent rolls or garlic puffs as I nicknamed them.   Make sure you don’t miss the Garlic Giveaway underway right now for a chance to win some great fresh garlic!   All you have to do is leave a comment here under this previous blog post along with all the wonderful folks who have done so already and the winner will be picked September 21st.   Thanks to Everyone and best of luck!!!