1
A Stop on The Writing Process Blog Tour
2
Behind The Scenes: V Magazine Fashion Shoot
3
Preparing for Tomato Season With Double Cages!
4
Easy Jelly Donut Holes
5
Double Chocolate Banana Frozen Smoothie
6
OneBar One Serving of Fruit + GIVEAWAY!
7
Baked Lettuce Soy Sauce Meatballs
8
This Week’s Harvest – Bok Choy, Broccoli, Peas and More!
9
Diced Tomato Salsa (Made with Canned Tomatoes for Easy Cooking!)
10
BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!
11
Caramel TWIX Popcorn Recipe
12
Creamy Ziti Pasta with Lettuce and Radishes
13
Time to Pick Radishes! They’re quick!
14
One Pan Taco Casserole
15
Lettuce Picking… It’s everywhere!
16
Dainty Ladies Cookies
17
Chinese Fried Rice With Lettuce
18
Getting Tasty With Taste of Nature
19
Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup
20
First Full Spring Garden Update – It’s started!

A Stop on The Writing Process Blog Tour

Today we’re going to take a minute and talk about blog identity and process writing on a stop on The Writing Process Blog Tour.  The lovely and talented Shashi made her post and then nominated Brooklyn Farm Girl to continue the tour.  I’d like to thank Shashi and all her amazing recipes and inspirational posts she makes.  Plus I really want to thank her for her No-Bake Mocha Protein Bars because seriously… look at them! 

Brooklyn Farm Girl was created a year ago.  Prior to that I was blogging on a personal blog where I think 5 other people knew about for many years.  Prior to that I always had a blog in some capacity since I got my first computer when I was 13 years old. I’ve always loved sharing information with others and building relationships online with people that shared similar interests.   Towards the end of my previous blog I started to really enjoy posting about our garden and recipes so I decided to create a blog that went full force into that world.   Brooklyn Farm Girl started…. and here we are.

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Behind The Scenes: V Magazine Fashion Shoot

I’ve been promising to start posting more of what I do outside of gardening and cooking, so here I am with a Behind The Scenes of a recent project we did.    If you guys dig this new feature, let me know  in the comments as I’d love to start documenting and sharing more of our work!

For this post here we’re going to look at a recent fashion shoot we did for V Magazine.    You can see the final project on our website as well as V Magazine’s website

We’ve been working with V Magazine for years now and they were one of the first believers in showing moving images and videos for fashion content.  They really let us do our thing and be creative so it’s always fun working on a project for them.    For this shoot our goal was to do a project that focused on 3D scans.  We wanted to shoot the model as is on a regular background and then have her avatar, a 3D scan of herself, next to her.   After some testing on ourselves we figured out what was the best software to use along side the Microsoft Kinect which we’d be using for scanning.

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Preparing for Tomato Season With Double Cages!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Lipton, but all my opinions are my own. #bemoretea #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Well it’s that time of the year where the heat hits and the tomatoes start to take off to the sky!

Let’s talk tomatoes and enjoy a big glass of iced tea while doing so.  A post garden refreshing iced tea is pretty much the best treat. 

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Easy Jelly Donut Holes

So there’s no judging here, right? So when I tell you we made these Easy Jelly Donut Holes late at night one evening and the next morning they were gone already, you won’t judge me, right?  Ok good. Because this totally happened and I have no regrets.

Before we get to the donuts, can we talk Game of Thrones? Why is it by the way whenever I talk Game of thrones I talk about sweets?  Can we talk last night’s season finale?  I am a book reader so I knew what was coming and just thinking about this episode for the last week I felt like I was bursting with excitement.   And now the dreaded year wait comes with waiting for the next season… it’s so hard!  If you only watch the show, you should totally read the books.  I think it puts a new perspective on watching the show and you get to compare book to show.  Also, there are some things that the show has been adding in which is new to even book readers that leaves me shocked.  See you next year Game of Thrones, I will be waiting for you.  

Back to the recipe!  I have been craving donuts.  Bad.  I think I say at least once a day “I want a donut” and I really do want one.  I love chocolate donuts, peanut butter donuts, tea donuts, carrot cake donuts and more but I have a very soft spot for Donut Holes, especially when they are cinnamon sugar covered.  Oh and also when they are filled with homemade jelly that just smells like strawberries and Summertime.  These donuts you guys, they’re made of happiness and magic.

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Double Chocolate Banana Frozen Smoothie

This Double Chocolate Banana Frozen Smoothie is the perfect breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert! 

When I made this Smoothie we enjoyed it for dessert one evening.  Matthew is not big on bananas at all but he sipped this smoothie down with a smile.    Although the banana flavor can be tasted, it’s not a banana overkill making it a happy pick me up snack or dessert for both banana lovers and not so big fans. 

This Smoothie is also double chocolate because I think everything in life should be double the chocolate. Don’t you agree? This recipe calls for cocoa powder and chocolate peanut butter. Chocolate peanut butter is something I’m obsessed with in baking and smoothies but if you don’t have access to it, regular peanut butter would totally do the trick too!  Also don’t you love having Double Chocolate anything for breakfast?  Talk about a great way to start the day!

Enjoy this Smoothie and have a great weekend!

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Double Chocolate Banana Frozen Smoothie

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Double Chocolate Banana Frozen Smoothie
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  3. 1/4 cup chocolate peanut butter (or regular smooth peanut butter)
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix all in blender.
Notes
  1. If you do no have a frozen banana, use a fresh one but add a handful of ice cubes into the blender.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

OneBar One Serving of Fruit + GIVEAWAY!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OneBar.

If you’re anything like me then you crave  fruits during the day, especially in the Summer time.  In the morning I prefer a banana or raspberries, in the afternoon I love some apples or blackberries and for dessert it’s all about cherries!  Because I’m often on the go or am not working from home I always love a healthy snack that I can throw in my bag.  Have you ever thrown a pint of raspberries in your bag, forgot about them, and then thrown a laptop on top of them? Ugh.  Or don’t remind me about that banana I totally forgot about… weird things can happen to bananas that are forgotten.  Trust me.

Let me introduce you to my new favorite friend that solves all these problems.  OneBar!  OneBar is a low calorie snack that offers one full serving of fruit in each bar.  I know, isn’t it amazing? What makes OneBar unique is that it’s line contains baobab as a flavor.  Baobab is a super fruit that is packed with more nutrition than any other super fruit.  Because of how awesome Baobab are, their trees are endangered.    Because OneBar sources the fruit fair trade then they’re able to protect the trees from being cut down.  Baobab is a great source of dietary calcium – perfect for vegans and vegetarians.  It also has nearly 6x (!) the amount of potassium then bananas.  You can use baobab in OneBars as a healthy snack, but you can also use it in smoothies, baked goods, cereals and more.  

What’s my favorite OneBar flavor? I’m glad you asked!  I am totally in love with the Cherry flavor.  It reminds me of a adult fruit rollup.. in bar form.  It’s pretty magical when you take that first bite! I can’t wait to hear what you think of OneBar.  Tell me in the comments if you have tried them.  If you haven’t tried them – which one do you think will be your favorite? Cherry, Apple or Mango?

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Check out how awesome the ingredients are of the Mango flavor.  
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Because I think you rule (I really do) enter the giveaway below for three boxes (Apple, Cherry and Mango) of OneBar.   40 winners (!) will be picked!  The giveaway ends on June 19th at noon PST.  
If you can’t get enough of them, you can also buy here and use the coupon code EasyFruit which will give you 25% off.  Just make sure to order before April 31.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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OneBar is encouraging people to show all the places you snack at so share your Onebar photo on their Instagram page.

Make sure to enter the giveaway!  

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OneBar.

Baked Lettuce Soy Sauce Meatballs

 This is a meatball recipe full of flavor! It’s perfect for pasta and meatball subs!

With our big lettuce harvest, you might have heard me on Twitter exclaiming it was a Meatball Date in the kitchen!  There’s Matthew, Me, 16 pounds of ground meat, dozens of eggs and a entire sink full of lettuce that was just washed.  If that doesn’t sound like a romantic evening then I don’t know what is!  So there we stood for the next few hours, in assembly line fashion, making meatballs!  How many meatballs did we make? I’m glad you asked.  We made 226 of them!  After we made them, we divided them into bags for dinner and froze them.  With this big lettuce harvest we were able to freeze over 25 dinner meals.  Pasta and meatballs? Done! Meatball casserole? Done!  Meatball subs? Done! 

These meatballs are full of lettuce! Each batch of 30 meatballs calls for 4 cups chopped lettuce making it a great way to use up a ton of lettuce at once.   Combined with the lettuce we’re throwing in a few tablespoons of soy sauce making them extra full of flavor.    I don’t think I can go back to not adding soy sauce to meatballs now.. it makes them real special!

I hope you enjoy these Baked Lettuce Soy Sauce Meatballs!

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Baked Lettuce Soy Sauce Meatballs
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 4 cups chopped fresh lettuce
  3. 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 2 pinches of dried rosemary, parsley and oregano
  5. 6 cloves garlic
  6. 1 pound ground beef
  7. 1 pound ground turkey
  8. 1 cup bread crumbs
  9. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add lettuce, spices and soy sauce. Cook until your lettuce is wilted.
  2. Put lettuce mixture, garlic, beef, turkey, bread crumbs and eggs and pulse until it's combined. Depending on food processor size you might have to do 2 batches.
  3. Form this mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Put meatballs on foil and cook 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.
Notes
  1. Makes 30 meatballs.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

This Week’s Harvest – Bok Choy, Broccoli, Peas and More!

Hi guys!  Happy Wednesday! In today’s post I’m going to show you some of the yummy green harvest we’ve been picking!

The season usually starts with lots of green and then it’ll lead into more colors… the reds with tomatoes, the pinks with watermelon, the oranges with pumpkins… but first up the bushy green friends that make my heart pitter patter!  Right now it’s all about bok choy, broccoli, peas and cauliflower!  Because of these harvests we’ve been having some pretty delicious dinners… I just can’t say enough great things about a simple pasta dinner with fresh veggies! It’s always the best!   And if you want to take it to the next step, you can always make the dish creamier.  Who doesn’t love that? 

Last week we picked our first cauliflower.  Since then we picked a few more!  Cauliflower is one of those extra special plants that always gets you excited to see grow.  As soon as I see the small white head start to poke out I always let out a big sigh of happy relief.
Also, I’m totally living in black linen dresses this Summer!  
First big multi vegetable harvest of the year!  Sugar snap peas, broccoli, bok choy and the first cauliflower! HAPPINESS! #sugarsnap #sugarsnappeas #broccoli #cauliflower #bokchoy #basket #yum #green #freshfood #vegetablegarden #rooftop #NYC #Brooklyn #ve

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Right next to the cauliflower is the broccoli, also a winner of hearts and sighs.   Right now our refrigerator is filled with broccoli, there’s no greater sight than that!  
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I love a good basket full of broccoli!  I’ll soon have a whole post dedicated to broccoli.. just because I love it so much!
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Want to see something silly and sweet? This broccoli here had a leaf guarding one side so it left him with a half tanned design!
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Next up is the Sugar Snap Peas!  We’re about to enter into a world full of Sugar Snap peas as the pounds we’re picking a day has quickly increased.  We tripled our sugar snap pea plants this year so it’s about to get intense!  One day it’s just plants… the next day it’s flowers.. then suddenly it’s peas everywhere!
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Lastly we have the bok choy!  The bok choy plants grew amazing this year, pretty much we never expected them to grow this big or well.  What we’re left with is big bags full of bok choy!  Last night I made a delicious garlic bok choy noodle recipe that left me with ultimate harvest happiness!  I’ll be sharing the recipe on the blog next week!
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I hope you guys enjoyed a look at this week’s harvest!  
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I also want to thank this little bee who keeps stopping by the garden.  It always makes my day when a bee somehow finds it’s way up to the roof and lives in the garden.  The same goes for ladybugs.   You guys are always invited in the garden!
Pretty much makes my day when a bee finds its way up to the rooftop and hangs out in the garden.  This bee has been back for a few days now, I totally they want to be friends! #bee #pollen #flower  #rhododendron #friends #bff #vegetablegarden #garden #gar

Don’t forget to check out our Garden Yield Chart where we’ll be weighing all the vegetables we pick this year!

Diced Tomato Salsa (Made with Canned Tomatoes for Easy Cooking!)

collectivebias

It happens to us all. We’re out of fresh tomatoes and we need salsa. Maybe we need salsa for a get together. Maybe we need it for a recipe. Maybe we’re just craving it with some chips. I’m here to help save the day by letting you know that you can totally make great tasting salsa with canned tomatoes! Let’s check out this easy cooking recipe that you’re going to love!

This salsa is delicious and can fight with the best of them in terms of a salsa battle.  So grab a bag of tortilla chips and meet me in the kitchen for some Diced Tomato Salsa! 
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You might be surprised by how fresh this salsa tastes.   When I made it I kept getting compliments and questions about if all the ingredients were homegrown.  Alongside the diced tomatoes this recipe calls for fresh green peppers and onions so there’s a great fresh crunch that happens when you take a bite!Canned Diced Tomatoes Salsa_1

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I also want to thank Goblin, who’s my official photography helper.
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Diced Tomato Salsa
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  2. 1/2 onion - diced
  3. 1/4 cup green pepper - diced
  4. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. pepper to taste
  8. 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  9. pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times. Start out with 3 pulses and then decide what consistency you want from there. Pulse more for a wet salsa, pulse less for a thick salsa.
Notes
  1. Makes 32 oz of salsa.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
I shopped at Walmart for my Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes.  As a kid I would slather their tomato sauce on just about everything so it’s no surprise I turn to them for diced tomatoes as well.  You might not know this but Hunt’s uses a flashsteaming peeling method instead of lye like some other companies do.  In only 10 hours the tomatoes are picked straight off the vine and then canned.  That’s sometimes quicker than I work at home with our own tomatoes!  You can find more great recipes here and here.  #DinnerDone #CollectiveBias
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Enjoy this Salsa! 

BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a great weekend and got to spend some time getting your nails dirty in some soil!   
I wanted to take care of some changes that you might see around Brooklyn Farm Girl in today’s post. 

First you might have noticed the BlogHer banner to the right.  I was so happy to receive word that I’m now part of the BlogHer Network!  This is something I was hoping to be a part of almost since Brooklyn Farm Girl started so I’m happy to see it here!   With it comes some advertising banner changes that I had to make.  I had to remove some ads to work with their terms, but in the long run I hope this is a good idea.  I’ll be monitoring this through the next few months to make sure it’s the best fit for the blog.   I’m honored to be part of such a great group of bloggers so I’m hoping everything works out here!

Second,  I have  been wanting to show you guys this video that the fine folks at Miracle Gro and Home Depot made of me in the garden.   It’s only a few minutes now and I hope it doesn’t bore you too much! ;)  Welcome to our garden!  By the way, don’t you love the thumbnail for this video? I’m either gardening or burying bodies on the roof.

Lastly, I wanted to share some new features I created in the Garden section here at Brooklyn Farm Girl.  When you visit the Garden part you’ll notice a few new sections.
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What are all these about? Let me explain!

Posts – This is where all the garden posts will live.  Basically anything garden related from how to’s and harvests will be archived here.

Recipes – This is where all recipes will be archived that focus on garden recipes.  If we grow it and I use it in a recipe, it will be here.   Eventually I am going to have a ingredients picker here so it’ll be more specific to what you’re looking for.  Example:  You just grew a bunch of lettuce and don’t want to search through a bunch of recipes, you  just want the lettuce recipes.   So you’ll click lettuce and all those recipes will be listed.  I’m working with a designer now to get some pretty graphics for this!

Garden Yield Chart – This year we are tracking the weight of all the vegetables we harvest.  We’ve been meaning to do this for years but finally got around to doing this.  This chart will be updated every single time we pick something so keep checking back.   Already we’re close to 25 pounds! High 5’s!

How to Store Vegetables – This is a long list of directions on how to store vegetables and fruits.  It lists how to store each to make them long as possible.  It also gives instructions if you can freeze it or not.  I pretty much visit this page myself whenever I need to know what to do.

Seed Calendar – This lists the dates for every seed we have planted for the past few years.   This is a good way for us to keep track of our seed schedule so we can compare with past years.  It’s basically the list we live by in regards to knowing when to plant and when to transplant.  If you’re in a similar zone as us I hope this helps you.

Our Garden – This is a little about section dedicated to the garden.

When I first started the blog I had a section called “Peeking” where I visited other people’s gardens.  It was a way for me to show other people’s spaces for inspiration and just to really appreciate what others were doing.  This section got pushed to the side a bit, but it’s always been something I wish I did more of, so I’m bringing it back.    This week I’ll have a new Peeking feature so look out for it… it’s a good one!

So that’s some Monday cleanup here on the blog.

I hope you guys like the changes and I hope you are digging (hahaha) the garden section being expanded.    If you ever have any suggestions for future garden posts, or need info on a how to, let me know! 

And to leave you with, my current cat video I’m obsessed with.  Everytime I watch it I have to hold my stomach because I’m laughing so hard. There’s so much truth in this.  

Happy Monday guys… see you tomorrow with a tomato based recipe!

Caramel TWIX Popcorn Recipe

collectivebias

Today we’re going to make homemade Caramel Popcorn with some chopped up TWIX Bites candy bars on top.  This recipe is happy snacking at it’s finest.

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One of my favorite snacks at sporting events or carnivals is Caramel Popcorn.  At the Brooklyn Nets game you can get a variety bucket of popcorn that has in it Caramel, Cheddar and Chocolate popcorn.  It’s a beautiful snack.    What I noticed is whenever we get this Matthew and I are always fighting over the caramel popcorn pieces, so I decided why not make some homemade caramel popcorn with chocolate thrown on top?  I mean seriously.. isn’t life always better with chocolate on top?  

This popcorn is insane.  It’s happiness.  It’s smiles.  It’s OH LA LA.  It’s sweet.  It’s crunchy.  It’s worth all those sticky dishes due to the caramel sauce.  Trust me.

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 The caramel sauce you’re going to make over the stove is made out of dreams.  Whatever was left in the pot when I was done I basically let dry and then scraped it up with my hands and a spoon and ate it because I’m classy like that.  Oh and the TWIX Bites you’re going to use on top?  Addictive. I’m warning you now.  I love these on the go snacks  so much that I bought a undisclosed number of bags before I got around to finally making this recipe.  I bought a bag specifically for this recipe and then we would just eat them all. And then we repeated this  Again.  And again.  Don’t ask me how many Bites I ate!  Also who wants to unwrap small candy bars?  I love that these are all unwrapped for you…. quicker to eat! :) #EatMoreBites right?

Caramel TWIX Popcorn Recipe

So lets get on to this Caramel TWIX Popcorn already!  Grab a bowl..

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Caramel TWIX Popcorn Recipe
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 quarts popped popcorn (this is 1/2 cup unpopped)
  2. 1/2 cup butter
  3. 2 cups brown sugar
  4. 1/2 cup corn syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 7oz bag of TWIX Bites - chopped in half
Instructions
  1. If you are popping your own popcorn do this first.
  2. Place popcorn in large bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  4. In a saucepan over medium high heat melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then don't stir it for 3 minutes straight, letting it continue to boil.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in baking soda.
  6. Pour this hot caramel mixture over your popcorn, stirring to coat all kernels. You need to move slightly quick during this part as the caramel dries.
  7. Prepare 2 large cookie sheets by spraying them with nonstick spray. Place popcorn on top trying to make it 1 layer.
  8. Put in the oven for 1 hour, stirring it every 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break popcorn into pieces.
  10. Put popcorn in bowl, add in TWIX Bites and shake to combine.
  11. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
I found my Bites at Walmart.  Again, don’t ask me how many I bought! :)
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And because I love you guys.. here’s a coupon to grab some TWIX Bites to make this recipe! You’ll receive $1 off when you buy two 2.83 oz. or larger bags OR $3.00 off when you buy two 6 oz. or larger bags.    Also here’s another link to save $3.00 off any two (2) MARS Brand Bites, 6oz. or larger. Includes TWIX®, 3 MUSKETEERS®, MILKY WAY® Simply Caramel, MILKY WAY® & SNICKERS®.  What I’m saying is go buy lots of chocolate Bites this weekend! Thanks to #CollectiveBias for alerting me to these coupons!
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Have a great weekend everyone!

Creamy Ziti Pasta with Lettuce and Radishes

Get ready for a creamy pasta meal full of vegetables!  It’s the perfect combination! 

As you saw earlier this week we picked a bunch of lettuce so I’ve been going dinner recipe crazy with coming up with ways on how to use it.  Most people think salads when they have lettuce but we’re not big salad people so I always want to think of ways on how to use it for dinner.  I love using lettuce as a main ingredient in adding crunch and healthy vegetables to a dinner dish.    We love creamy pasta for dinner but often vegetables go unlooked when adding to it, especially lettuce.  For this recipe here we added a big pile of lettuce and radishes to the dish which complimented the creamy pasta perfectly!

After dinner we both proclaimed this to be one of our new favorite dinner dishes… so bring on the lettuce in this creamy dish!

Creamy Ziti Pasta with Lettuce and Radishes

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I hope you guys give this a taste for dinner soon! I think you’ll love it! 

Creamy Ziti Pasta with Lettuce and Radishes
Print
Ingredients
  1. 12 oz of ziti or penne pasta
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 cloves garlic - minced
  4. 2 tablespoons flour
  5. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  8. salt + pepper to taste
  9. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  10. 1 cup lettuce - chopped
  11. 1/4 cup radishes - chopped
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta as instructed on box. Drain and set aside in pot.
  2. Melt butter and garlic in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add flour and cook 1 more minute, stirring.
  4. Add chicken broth and milk, continuing to stir until sauce thickens.
  5. Add parsley, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir so combined.
  6. Pour cheese sauce over pasta. Add lettuce and radishes.
  7. Stir so everything is mixed and serve hot.
  8. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Time to Pick Radishes! They’re quick!

Radishes are a quick producing vegetable which makes them always a great beginner plant to grow.  After planting your seeds you only have to wait about 30 days before they’re ready to pick.  Don’t you love that quick producing turnaround?

I hope you guys got your seeds planted after the How To I posted.   I wanted to show you the harvest that we got that was picked from that very post.  I am totally in love with these Radishes and have been including them in almost every single pasta dish we are eating.  Who doesn’t love a radish as a snack too?

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After a few weeks your radishes will begin to pop out of your container. They will just get bigger and bigger.  Most radishes are ready to pick at around 30 days so once they’re popping out, just yank them up!
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For radishes I will usually start by picking 1 or 2 to enjoy as I need it and then I’ll just clear the entire container and pick them all.  Radishes store well so you can enjoy them for a few weeks after harvesting.
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And then immediately after they were picked, a new bunch of seeds were planted!  I’ll keep on doing this process until Fall.Radish Picking May 2014_5

Did you guys plant radishes?  
Tell me about it in the comments! 

One Pan Taco Casserole

 Let’s have a Taco Tuesday in Casserole form!

We love tacos.. who doesn’t? If you don’t then we have to have a taco talk asap!  For this Taco Tuesday recipe we’re going to turn it into a quick casserole.   The casserole includes lettuces, tomatoes and corn on top and is made with Instant rice making it super quick! There’s also a layer of cheese to make it all stick together.  Plus cheese is just delicious! :)

The first time I made this for dinner it was a hit.  So much that I made it 3 time that week. And don’t get me started on the leftovers… they are equally delicious!

So next time you’re craving tacos, try this One Pan Taco Casserole!  You’ll be done in no time and will only have to dirty up one pan!  Enjoy!

 One Pan Taco Casserole_1

One Pan Taco Casserole

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One Pan Taco Casserole
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1.25 oz package of taco seasoning
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 2 cups uncooked instant rice
  5. 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  6. 1.5 cups shredded lettuce
  7. 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies (I use Ro*Tel)
  8. 1 cup corn - cooked
  9. Cilantro to garnish
Instructions
  1. Add meat to large skillet and brown until done. Drain off any excess fat.
  2. Add taco seasoning mix and water, stir. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in instant rice. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  4. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Top with lettuce, corn and tomatoes on top.
  6. Finally garnish with cilantro.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Lettuce Picking… It’s everywhere!

The garden is going crazy with lettuce!  Lettuce here, lettuce there, lettuce in my dreams.. it’s everywhere!
If you haven’t already seen I started to create recipes with our lettuce harvest (hello fried rice!) so expect many more in the next couple of weeks!

I used to not like lettuce, it’s true.  As a kid I was very picky when it came to that leafy green to the point of I would not touch a burger or sub that accidentally had lettuce on. I drove my parents insane.  I stopped being this way just a few years ago when I realized lettuce is pretty darn good!   So I’ve come a long way from not touching it with a fork to growing our own! We went a little crazy this year by planting a bunch of lettuce seeds that left us with a quite a few big heads of lettuce!  Actually they’re massive.. seriously, wait till you see these bushy greens!

Let’s tell the story of our lettuce plants!
Lettuce seeds were planted on March 6 and transplanted outside on April 1.
Here’s a photo of them on April 1 getting ready to move outside!
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We planted them into a 4×4 box.
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And said good luck lettuce plants!
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Lettuce starts off slow and then when a bit of heat comes it starts to go wild!  We came home from a trip and the lettuce plant doubled in size. This was on May 1.
We leave for a few days and the plants just blew up into adults!  Look at our beautiful lettuce plants already! Each one is at least 10 inches wide already! #lettuce #harvest #garden #gardenchat #happiness #urbangarden #rooftopgarden #containergarden #veg

And this was on May 6, see how much it grew in just a few hot days?
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May 9… still growing!  Also note here that I stole a lettuce plant for dinner here and it was delicious!  
I find that instead of cutting pieces of lettuce at a time it works best to just remove the entire plant at once.  As soon as your plant gets bushy enough then you can pick it to eat or let it grow to it’s full size.
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But first, we need to marvel one more time at the beauty of these lettuce plants.  Sigh.  Hello beautiful!
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And here’s a few harvest photos..

Lettuce Harvest

Dinner is picked.  #lettuce #fresh #farmtotable #green #rooftop #NYC #Brooklyn #vegetables #healthyeating #garden #gardening #urbanfarming #urbangarden #containergarden #harvest  #gardenchat #greenthumb #rooftopgarden #citygarden

After we picked a few individual plants we decided to go on one big lettuce picking afternoon date. The plants were pretty much at their maximum size as they were getting giant and with the upcoming heat I was worried they would start to bolt.  
 Lettuce Harvest

So then we yanked up all these big beautiful lettuce plants!
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Goodness gracious lettuce plants, I’m so happy I got to see you grow this big!
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And then we thought.. what the heck are we going to do with all these lettuce plants!    
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So we brought the lettuce downstairs and went on a wild lettuce meatball making night.  In the end we ended up making more than 25 dinner meals that we froze with this lettuce (recipe coming in a week!).  How awesome is that?
That's A Lot Of Lettuce #harvest

Do you grow lettuce?  Do you have any unique ways to use lettuce besides in salads? Share them in the comments!

Dainty Ladies Cookies

For today’s recipe we’re going to make some Dainty Ladies Cookies, perfect for your next High Tea!  

Hi Kitty Cats, are you busy?  Of course you are.  Look at you all working hard at taking a afternoon nap together.    But would you like to come to a tea party?  I promise it’ll be fun! Yes, you would? Awesome!
  Dainty Ladies Cookies

Guess what.. you’re invited too!

This recipe is another one inspired by my Downton Abbey Cookbook (see this post for more details).  So many of you guys told me that I need to start watching the show so you have my word I’m going to start as soon as I catch up on Mad Men!    Dainty Ladies cookies were served primarily to female guests during the Edwardian Era during High Tea.   This recipe is thought of as a extra special treat because it has coconut in it.  Because of the cost of importing coconut to Great Britain during this time guests would think of this as a very special occasion if these cookies were served.  How fancy was coconut? If the abbey had coconut it was locked up and only the butler of the house would have the key!

During High Tea many of the women wear white gloves.  Because these cookies are buttery women would remove their right glove and retrieve a cookie that the footman was presenting them.  We wouldn’t want those beautiful gloves getting all buttery now, would we?
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Hope you enjoyed the cookies FiFi Bofinkles.. I know you did by the amount of licking our lips you did afterwards. :)
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Dainty Ladies Cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 cup flaked coconut
  3. 1 cup rolled oats
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  6. 1 pinch salt
  7. 1 cup butter
  8. 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  9. 2 tablespoons water
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, coconut, rolled oats, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
  3. In a small pan over medium heat melt the butter into the corn syrup and water. Once the butter has melted, stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it is combined.
  5. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes for the oats to soak up the butter mixture.
  6. Roll into tablespoon size balls.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  9. Enjoy
Notes
  1. Makes 32 cookies.
Adapted from Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards
Adapted from Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
I hope you guys have a great weekend!  Enjoy it.. and eat some cookies!

Chinese Fried Rice With Lettuce

This Chinese Fried Rice recipe tastes just like Takeout (minus the extra calories) and is full of garden vegetables!

We have a ton of lettuce right now in our garden. You might have seen a sneak peak of our lettuce earlier this week in the Garden Update, but if you saw my refrigerator today you might go running in fear!  Lettuce is awesome, but when you have multiple giant lettuce heads staring at you with eyes that say “Eat me before I go bad” then you start to feel the stress!   That is one reason (there’s many) that I love gardening, it makes me explore ingredients and go outside my regular cooking box.   I have a few recipes coming up in the next week that involve lettuce and they’re all ones that I wouldn’t traditionally think of adding lettuce but since I want to use my harvest I get to have some kitchen fun and do some new ideas.   Because of this Chinese Fried Rice with Lettuce was born!

This Fried Rice is delicious and so full of vegetables.  It tastes just like Takeout Fried Rice but because you’re making it in your own kitchen you can be sure it’s much healthier for you!   Many times you throw vegetables in your rice but often times lettuce gets looked over… but not here!  In this recipe we’re going to throw a ton of chopped up lettuce and eat away!    Enjoy it for dinner sometime soon!

Chinese Fried Rice with Lettuce

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Chinese Fried Rice With Lettuce
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups white rice
  2. 4 cups beef broth
  3. 2/3 cup chopped carrots
  4. 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  5. 1 1/2 cup chopped lettuce
  6. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  7. 3 eggs
  8. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  9. 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  10. sesame oil to taste (don't skip this!)
Instructions
  1. In a small pot combine rice and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small pot boil carrots in water for 3 minutes. Drop frozen peas into water, boil for 1 more minute, drain.
  3. Heat large pan over medium high heat. Pour in vegetable oil then stir in carrots and peas. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Crack in eggs and stir them quickly to scramble them with carrots and peas.
  5. Add in cooked rice, lettuce, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir to combine everything together.
  6. Add sesame oil to taste on top. Stir again.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Getting Tasty With Taste of Nature

 I need to tell you about my new delicious obsession… Taste of Nature bars!  Lately I have became super obsessed with their Canadian Maple Forest bars so I just had to tell you about them!  

Did you know that 98% of Americans snack but 9 in 10 (85%) admit they find healthy snacking to be difficult? I totally fit into this category. Even as a gardener of many vegetables it’s really easy to grab a box of high calorie crackers or sweet pastries instead of going for something that is much better for your body.  Many people say that it’s hard to find a healthy snack that is actually good tasting and I can totally understand this too.  Have you tried to eat healthy, bought the said snack, went home, tasted them and just stared into space depressed because it just tastes awful.  That totally isn’t going to help you eat healthy!    I am so excited that I found a snack bar that is delicious (I’m serious, I’m talking NOM NOM NOM knock your socks off good) and healthy.

Recently I had a afternoon full of friends for a taste party that also involved me trying to beat my record of bouncing a ball up in air with the fun paddle ball sets!

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Taste of Nature

Here are the 6 flavors that were tasted and loved.  Many of friends were raving about the Persian Pomegranate Garden bar and they were the first to be completely gone.  The Persian Pomegranate Garden bars  have pomegranates, figs and tasty walnuts in them. The entire ingredients list is cashews, walnuts, agave nectar, figs, cranberries, apples, pomegranate juice concentrate, brown rice syrup, whole grain brown rice crisps, raspberries, sunflower oil blend and agar.  They are only 160 calories as well which also received rave reviews.  In fact I think some friends even took one and threw them in their purse when they needed that next day afternoon snack! 42 percent of snackers say they are most likely to have a unhealthy snack between 2:00PM and 5:00PM so is a great substitution to grab instead!

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Let me introduce you to my new love interest, Canadian Maple Forest bars from Taste of Nature.    These bars include pecans, apricots, Brazil nuts, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, raisins, whole grain brown rice crisps, maple syrup, sunflower oil blend, maple flavour, vanilla flavour, sea salt and agar.  Oh hello beautiful.   I am totally in love with these.
Taste of Nature

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Some facts for you:
Taste of Nature comes in 6 super delicious flavors in the US: Brazilian Nut Festival, California Almond Valley, Quebec Cranberry Carnival, Canadian Maple Forest, Himalayan Goji Summit, Persian Pomegranate Garden
The bars are certified organic, gluten-free certified, non-gmo project verified packed with real nuts, fruits and grains. There’s nothing scary, artificial or chemical filled in these bars.
They are under 200 calories a bar. 
They are $1.99 a piece. 

Click here for more information on Where to Buy.  I have a bunch of locations nearby that stock them (yes!).  Both Fairway and Back To The Land in Brooklyn stock them so those are my 2 go to places.  

You can find out more about Taste of Nature on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup

In today’s recipe we’re going to go back to the Edwardian era and make classically delicious Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup.

I have a new favorite cookbook.  It’s called Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards.  I don’t even watch Downton Abbey (YET) and I’m already obsessed.  The cookbook  includes 80 recipes from Sweet to Savory that include Breads, Side Dishes, Entrees, Desserts.  In the opening the author states “Long before there was the rage of organic food, sustained living and natural eating, there was the abbeys of Great Britain. Though Downton Abbey is a fictitious abbey, what we see dramatized is very real.  Also very real in the television dramatization is the food”.  

Edwardian Cooking
(Those cookies are coming to the blog soon!)

Everything that left the kitchen during this Era was made from scratch. The abbey cook would start their day around 6AM and the day would last 18 hours.  They would prepare 8 meals a day (including meals for the abbey staff). Besides the meals they would also prepare food for the High Teas and many social gatherings on the grounds of the Abbey. Hard work, right?

For this recipe here I have to warn you that this Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup is delicious.  Not only was it good for dinner but I made so much we also had it for leftovers the following day and it even warmed up beautifully.   I’m also pretty proud of myself because this recipe calls for onions and since they are pureed up I totally ate (slurped) them and enjoyed every minute of it!  

Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup

During the Edwardian era it was pratically required that if you served bread with a meal, you had to serve soup. These people knew how to live!  The most popular soup among the aristocrats was the smooth Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup.  The book describes it as the “quintessental English soup” as it includes potatoes, onions, cream and cheese.  When this soup was served it was never served hot.  It was always served at room temperature so guests at the abbey would not have to blow on the soup (the horror!).  

Lastly, it’s cool to note this Soup was always served at dinners when special guests were present.. so consider yourself fancy and enjoy this delicious Satiny Smooth Soup!

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Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  3. 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  4. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  5. 6 cups chicken stock
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  9. 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  10. 3 tablespoons minced chives or grated carrots
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, and garlic and sauté 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the contents of the saucepan to a food processor and puree.
  4. In the saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the dry mustard and heavy cream.
  5. Stir the puree into the saucepan and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and hot sauce and keep stirring until the cheese has melted.
  7. Ladle into serving bowls, top with some chives or carrots, and serve.
Adapted from Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards
Adapted from Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

First Full Spring Garden Update – It’s started!

 Are you guys ready for the first big garden update of the year? I sure am! 

So let’s dive in and see how the garden is looking in the beginning months of growing season.  All these pictures were taken on Sunday where we did a full day of hard garden work (while lathering on SPF 1 million).   This post is picture heavy as I’m going to take you on a full tour and introduce you to every single vegetable we’re growing.  Besides my usual harvest posts I’m going to continue to do full garden updates about every 2 weeks so make sure you keep checking back to watch  their progress!

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We were just planting radish seeds and now they’re ready to be eaten.  Expect a radish harvest post very soon!

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Here are the 5 gallon buckets that house the strawberry plants.  The winter was pretty harsh on the strawberries so it’s nice to see them finally looking strawberry lovely again.  I’m interested in trying to grow more in the strawberry family so we just got ourselves a raspberry plant to test out.  Because it takes a while… check back next year for a update, hahaha.

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This 8 feet long container used to house carrots, kale and onions but it’s totally turned into the kale crazy  container.  As you can see there are 6 growing kale plants already but there are 12 more babies growing there.  How did this happen?  Well there were baby kales that just popped up and Mama Kale can’t say goodbye.. so more kale for us!

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Beautiful kale babes. I say beautiful alot in Garden Update posts. I can’t control myself.

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This is just a ton of onions.  They all look pretty great.  

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Now on to the Sugar Snap Peas – yeah!  I mentioned in a past post that we went Sugar Snap Pea wild this year and are growing 3 boxes.  So far the box all the way in the back is winning the race on who will grow to the top first. This is Sugar Snap Pea Papa helping his peas climb to the top.

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These are the other 2 boxes that are beginning to take off and have begun climbing up the tall fence.  Grow peas grow!

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I love how the peas naturally attach themselves and grow.  It makes my heart pitter patter with garden happiness. 

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In one of the Sugar Snap Peas we have a bunch of lettuce heads growing up front. The lettuce grew absolutely amazing this Spring and I will be doing a full post on their beauty and amazingness very soon as it’s currently Lettucepalozza 2014 at our house. 

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Lettuce you rule.  Really.

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I mean seriously look at you bushy green beauties! *Does the lettuce dance*.

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You read about a bok choy harvest last week but here’s 6 more plants.   Cutting the outside leaves was a great idea as the plants are growing back nicely again.

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Now let’s look at some of my favorites (shhhhh)…. broccoli and cauliflower!

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The broccoli is starting to grow.  Hoping we’ll be able to harvest in 2-3 weeks.

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All the broccoli plants have heads on them! The cauliflower isn’t visible yet but I looked around and saw their baby heads that I just stared at adoringly.

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About this time in the garden a lady bug flew at me and landed on my face making me scream as I thought it was a spider (the horror!).  Then after I learned it was a ladybug I felt horrible.  We then placed her in the broccoli and I apologized to her a million times.

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OH YEAH! Tomato and pepper time!  We have tomatoes and peppers in 2 different sets.  This is set 1.  The 3 containers in the back are beef and roma tomatoes.  The 2 containers up front are pepper plants, both jalapeno and bell pepper plants. 

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This is a beautiful Roma tomato plant.   You are so lovely. You will turn into delicious salsa. 

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This is section 2.  The plants in the top left are cherry tomato plants.  The plants in the top right are more pepper plants.  The plants in the bottom right are tomatillos!

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3 bushy cherry tomato plants! Can’t wait to get these tomatoes growing so I can just throw them in my mouth nonstop.

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I can’t believe we grew this many peppers this year.  I really can’t.

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We usually have 1 container of 3 pepper plants and this year we have 3 containers of 12 plants.  It’s because we couldn’t kill the seedlings.  Our hearts are too big.

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This is the first year growing tomatillo plants.  Right now we have 3 growing and there will be 3 more added from downstairs when they’re ready for the heat.

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This section here are seedlings that were just transplanted.  We put up this fabric to harden them off as the sun is very harsh to new plants.  What’s underneath?

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We have 2 pumpkin plants, also favorites (shhhh).

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Then a bunch of cucumber and watermelon plants.   Soon cantaloupes will be added!

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And just to show some love, some people ask me if we grow flowers in the garden.  The answer is not really as we stick to vegetables but I wanted to show you the flowers we do grow.  

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We recently added a Forsythia bush to our garden.  At first we thought this could possibly be too big for the garden but then we thought… nah! Let’s do it!

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This lovely fellow was planted with love.  Grow strong!

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This is our azalea that is a few years old.  She’s always so pretty.

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And then this is my favorite girl (shhhh), rhododendron.  I picked her out one year specifically because she had a giant arm hanging off one side.  Matthew scoured at me because I always pick the most quirky looking plants (also Christmas trees) but he loves her just as much as me now.

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Also who knew Brussels Sprouts plants produced such beautiful flowers!  I would almost grow them just for the flowers…

I grow Brussels Sprouts for the flowers, aren't they gorgeous? Vegetable flowers! #brusselssprouts #vegetables #flowers #bouquet #home #garden #gardenchat #citygarden #urbanfarming #plant
Aren’t they just beauties?  Half vegetables, half flowers, all gorgeous.

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 Hope you guys enjoyed the first full garden update of the year!  Let me know in the comments what your garden looks like and what you’re growing!

Happy gardening everyone!


For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.