Tangent Gardening "Extras"

Urban Gardening in unnatural heat... Why Not?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Brilliant Intentions....

Intentions - The definition .....

1. An act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. 

2. purpose or attitude toward the effect of one's actions or conduct: a bungler with good intentions.
     The thought that putting seed  to ground, and the assumption of it growing; to have an incredible garden to show off with all the trimmings makes the visualization almost complete....
     Now that I have tackled some challenges, I need to have some for-thought as to how I use the product... I have done things to see if I would succeed... I made jelly, mustard, wonderful recipes, dried herbs, gave plants as gifts... Trying to Start a purposeful Cocktail Garden for unique social food and drink,

      Expanding the thinking now seems fitting..
      One of my favorite books created an effective grocery store in her back yard.... Well, I'm sure that everybody will be screaming "DUH" that's why you have a garden, silly! 

      Not only do I want to have a Cocktail Garden, but to be able to use my garden all year long, it seems to be an incredibly huge task... I know people do this with no challenge and its not a big deal.. 
      Living in desert conditions and having a very small backyard, (not even a 1/4 of an acre,  More like, 1/8 of an 1/8 of an acre). This is a Giant task to be reckoned with... 
     Can it be done? Of course.... But the dedication is a different story...When people have forty hr work weeks, errands on the side and countless other responsibilities, the last thing to come home to is manual labor...

     There I said it... LAZY!  
      Is it? Or is being exhausted from the days' antics the reason... Whatever the path results from, I just know I have a challenge to step up to....

     Well the question is and has been asked already! WHY?    Why do You Garden?  I asked it... Yep!... Mr. Nitty Gritty Dirt Man, an incredible blogger, http://nittygrittydirtman.wordpress.com/ even had a contest to win a most fabulous ever book "wanting that book by the way" asked the question!... By the way, He received incredible answers for it! 
     Maybe I still haven't learned why yet! Well, honestly I know I haven't learned yet! When I wrote my response on his blog, I probably didn't reach down deep enough to have a good answer as I thought I had...   
Here is my response!

     "This is the same question I had posted a while back, so many answers and thoughts, YOU can’t just have one… I really reached within, inside and tried to dig for what could be the right or comforted thought… But I have no answer, unless gardening really is to challenge myself.. I think a lot of non-gardening people think that to work a garden is to be a hard worker and time consuming, although that may be correct for it could come easy to some, but what if the gardener feels the power of being nurturing, and competitive all rolled up at the same time… Make that seedling function no matter how many seeds it takes, and each time you become more understanding and educated and wiser… I’m not sure how The question, “Why do you garden?” is so important. But it just is… There is no better question than to ask yourself each and every season, Right?"

     I thought is was a good answer... But,  I really still need to reach and learn...
     So "The God Father" term " Take it to the Mattress," Is true,

Got to fight!  fight! fight!.... as the chant, repeats in my head!

Seedling Check-In

    My Seedlings are beginning to sprout, well just the Lemon, & Armenian Cucumbers and Black Cherry Tomato...

They Look amazing though, I can't wait!

Black Cherry Tomatoes


    We are having another real cold time again, it is on the verge of a freeze for the next three nights... compared to all of the weather that is going on else where, this really isn't anything to worry about... but, I do have to prolong my work in the garden as well... darn it!

     So with that at hand,

     Here is another thought to Cocktail hour! My favorite time! 

Would Non-Alcoholic drinks be welcomed also? Just a thought?




1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Triple Sec
3 oz. 7-Up
Lime wheel, Blackberries, Pomegranate seeds to garnish (or whatever you have)
Combine the three spirits in an ice filled cocktail shaker.  Cover, shake well, and pour into a Rocks glass.  Add the 7-Up, gently stir, garnish accordinly, and get ready to feel the bite of your delicious Barracuda!  Cheers!


Shrimp Mojo de Ajo

Shrimp Mojo de Ajo
Try these shrimp that are smothered in a Mojo de Ajo sauce made from Guajillo peppers that boast a tangy taste with a kick of heat.
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings
  • Prep time:20 Minutes
  • Stand/soak:30 Minutes
  • Grill:4 Minutes


1. Peel shrimp, leaving tails on; devein, if desired. Combine shrimp and Mojo de Ajo, tossing to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water 30 minutes.
3. Remove shrimp from Mojo de Ajo, discarding marinade. Thread 1 shrimp onto each skewer.
4. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Garnish, if desired. 

Shrimp Mojo De Ajo

Guajillo [gwah-HEE-yoh] chiles are dried peppers with a bright tangy taste and kick of heat. Find them at grocery stores and super-centers alongside other Hispanic ingredients. Cook the chiles in hot oil for just seconds to mellow out the flavor and for easy crumbling. Don't let the 3/4 cup minced garlic scare you away. The flavor smooths out as it cooks.

Cook Time:
Prep Time:
Cool: 5 Minutes
Stand: 5 Minutes


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 whole guajillo chiles*
  • 3/4 cup bottled minced garlic
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice $
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


  1.  Heat oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat to 350°. Using tongs, submerge 1 chile into oil, and cook 5 seconds; remove and drain on paper towels. Let cool 5 minutes or until completely cool. Repeat with remaining 2 chiles. Remove and discard stems. Process remaining portion of chiles in food processor 30 seconds to 1 minute or until crumbled into small flakes.
  2.  Cook garlic in hot oil in same saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3.  Stir in chile flakes, lime juice, and salt. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days. Allow mixture to come to room temperature before using.
*2 Tbsp. sweet paprika may be substituted. Omit Step 1 proceed with recipe as directed, stirring in paprika with lime juice and salt in Step 3.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Spinning My Wheels!

      January Mess........

     Now that January is out, I really need to get my be-hind out in that garden and start cleaning and planting, I actually should have been doing this in January... So back to January? mmmm, not really!...

     After loosing just about everything, which was okay,  I now can create something more amazing...

So with a nip still in the air,  my body beckons me to stay indoors. So what better way than to start off by being inside and begin gardening...

Indoor Seed Starts

I trotted out to the shed and grabbed some supplies...

Seed Starting Mix

Peat Pots

A plastic container to give the seeds a green house effect..

The Seeds

     To begin with, I will get the container nice and clean...

I will Start with.......

Tomato ----   Black Cherry... Heirloom Yields clusters of round1 in deep red with a black hue

Cucumber ---- Lemon.... The size and color of a lemon, Heirloom good for pickling

Eggplant---- Early Midnight Hybrid.... Large and the earliest, 10oz fruits on a 3' plant...

Cucumber---- Armenian... Grows 2-3' long, (can't wait for this one) really it's a type of melon!

Hot Pepper---- Hungarian Wax... Tapered and long kinda hot fruits...

Pepper (bell)---- Grand Bell Mix.... Different looking colors

Jalapeno ----Red

**These are some tips to help be more successful than I had in the past...

*Moisture and watering — Plants should never be over-watered. Allow drying time between watering, and don't allow seedlings to wilt.

*Fertilization—Seedlings will need some fertilization. Those in artificial mixes without fertilizer need prompt and regular fertilization. Use a soluble house plant fertilizer such as 15-30-15. Young, tender seedlings are easily damaged by too much fertilizer. Apply fertilizer at about half of the recommended strength a few days after seedlings have germinated. After that, fertilize at 2-week intervals with the dilution recommended by the manufacturer.

 So this is the beginning,  What do you think?

       On my way or what?

Now for the Clean up! 

     I am going to yank out  all the dead stuff and rake out the  areas...
Hubby added a bunch of leaf material from the front clean up...

     I will make a plan to put "what" where...

     I will also wait to any pruning until around end of Feb. beginning of Mar. because of possible frost.. I am pretty sure we are safe now,but  that was what I thought before the Freak Freeze...

     Also, I think I want to see what my compost looks like, a nice add to the soil!!!!!

 Cocktail Garden Time 



  • Salt, for rimming the glasses
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes), rinds reserved
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 cups light Mexican beer, such as Corona
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon Maggi or soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
  1. Place enough salt in a wide, shallow dish to cover the bottom. Rub the rims of two glasses with the reserved lime rinds and dip the glasses into the salt. Fill the glasses with ice and set aside.
  2. Place the lime juice, beer, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and Maggi or soy sauce in a pitcher and mix to combine. Pour into the prepared glasses, top with a few grinds of pepper, and serve.


Texas - Queso Dip

Texas Queso Dip

  • 4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles, juices reserved
  1. Place cheeses in a large bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to coat. Transfer cheese mixture to a large saucepan and add milk. Set over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth and melted, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in onion and chiles with reserved juices until well combined. To serve, transfer dip to a slow cooker set on low or keep in the saucepan at a simmer for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips and cut-up raw carrots, jicama, celery, and radishes.

Happy Gardening!!!

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