In the Garden

Autumn Garden Update

Normally, by now, I’m ready to close up shop in the garden. Pull out what’s left, clear out the brush, call it a season. I’m not sure why, but this year I decided I wanted to extend my gardening into the fall.

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I didn’t need to add much – so many of my plants are still going strong – I just needed to leave them alone and let them keep producing. My bell pepper, jalapeno, and eggplant are all still producing, as well as my now not-so-little volunteer Amish Paste tomato.

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In addition to these existing plantings, I sowed some lettuces, arugula, and radishes in the enclosure. The radishes are doing great, and have grown quite a bit since the photo featured at the top of this post was taken. The lettuces have been a bit more hesitant. I think it may have still been a bit too warm when I sowed them in the beginning of September. Now that things are really cooling down, I might try again with some more  butterhead and mesculin seed. The arugula I sowed in early September is doing great, however. Arugula is fool-proof, I think. It sprouts and thrives no matter what.

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In the Grow Camp, the chard and kale are still beautiful, and even though they are getting a little “long in the tooth” I’m going to let them have fun while they can. The kale still tastes terrific, and even the chard isn’t too bitter. I cleared the the bush beans out of the other side of the Grow Camp and planted broccoli rabe and some more kale.

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Hey, little guys!

How about you? What’s in your autumn garden? Leave me a note below, or tweet me @cloverandthyme!

 

 

Main Dishes, Recipes

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne

I committed the ultimate blogging sin earlier this week.

After happily harvesting 7 beautiful green bell peppers from the garden, I hurried to the kitchen to begin making my stuffed pepper recipe. I knew it was something I was going to want to share here on my blog, so I took a little snapshot of the peppers as I was getting started.

See how pretty? All ready for my recipe.
See how pretty? All ready for my recipe.

I placed the prepped, stuffed peppers in the fridge, because I had to take the kids to karate. I had Hubberman pop them in the oven while we were gone, and by the time we got home, the smell of the delicious peppers was heavenly to our hungry family. We dove in and enjoyed those peppers thoroughly.

Without taking a photo of them before we ate them.

Really!? So much for that post.

I promise I will post the stuffed pepper recipe eventually, preferably with a photo. Thankfully, I did still have two more peppers waiting in the wings for another recipe this evening. And so I present to you…(after the longest intro in history…)

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast (I used leftover grilled chicken with Copycat Ohana Marinade)

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly sliced bell pepper (I used a combo of both green and red)

1/2 pound (1/2 box) of penne pasta

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

for sauce:

1 1/4 cup heavy cream (no substitutes – treat yourself!)

juice and zest from half of a large lemon (about 1/4 cup of juice, or more to taste)

1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese (asiago would be yummy too)

1/4 tsp salt

Cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

Start a large pot of water to boil for pasta.

In a large pan, heat olive oil with garlic until fragrant. Add peppers and onions and saute until crisp tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Keep your pan handy, you’ll need it for the sauce in just a bit.

By now your water should be boiling. throw in your pasta and boil for 10-11 minutes for regular sized penne.

Meanwhile, in the still warm pan, add your cream. Heat the cream over medium/high heat to just boiling. Immediately turn down the heat and then add the lemon juice. The sauce should thicken as you stir.

Add your cheese and salt to the sauce.  Stir until cheese has melted. Add back the peppers and onions, and add the cooked chicken and heat through.

Drain your pasta and add the penne to your sauce and toss to combine. Top with more cheese and cracked pepper if desired.

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne

In the Garden, Photos and Galleries

Autumn Garden Gallery

 

A Grow Camp update is long overdue. The only remnant from the summer vegetables are the bell peppers and they are still going strong, despite the cold evenings we have had lately. So far, my autumn plantings are doing great – red and green leaf lettuce, onions and arugula are all sprouted and growing. I just hope my onions get big and strong enough to last through the winter. Enjoy the gallery…mouse over for captions. I threw in a photo of one of our pretty yellow mums for good measure. Happy Monday!