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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Vikki's Vegan Chunky Cookie Recipe

I've had a few requests for this recipe so here it is. Let me know how your turn out!

2 C quick cook oats
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour ( I like white wheat as opposed to red wheat. I'm going to try 2 C wheat flour instead of doing the 1 Wheat, 1 white thing)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

2/3 C canola oil
2/3 C evaporated cane juice ( you can use regular sugar)
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C unsweetened soymilk ( you can use whatever milk you want)
1 T ground flax
1 t vanilla
2 C of your choice of filler. You can use nuts, fruit, chocolate chips, etc. I used a mix of raw peanuts & walnuts, dried dates, pineapple and papaya.
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Line your cookie sheets with paper.

Mix the oats, flour, soda, powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together oil, sugars, milk, flax and vanilla. I just use a rubber spatula for the entire recipe.

Add flour mixture and fold in. When combined add the coconut and your filling of choice.

I used my bigger cookie scoop and spaced them a few inches apart. The dough is a bit chunky so I had to shape them because they started to come apart after using the scoop for a while. Just get a little water on your fingers and shape them how you want them to look.

Bake until the edges are brown, about 15 minutes. Cool on the pan for a few minutes so that they hold their shape and then transfer them to a cooling rack. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Name that lettuce

I finally started harvesting our lettuce yesterday. Honestly, I have no idea what some of the names are because it was a mix. I tried to make a lettuce bouquet in the picture above but I ran out of room in the bowl. The following pictures are just some of the varieties that we grew this year.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Video of our Backyard and Garden

This is just a short video of our yard so that you can get an idea of the layout. It's a bit shaky because I was filming with my phone...not the best quality, sorry about that.
Hope you enjoy our yard.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another turtle

This past week we looked out our dining room and we saw this....a poor turtle had somehow found there way into our yard and managed to flip itself over. To top things off, it was roasting hot outside. This is the second big turtle in our yard that we have found, the first one was in our pond.
We flipped him over and he went on his merry way. He moved pretty quickly into the bushes. Hopefully he won't come back and go into the pond like the last one.

6/1/2011 Garden Update

This is a view of our backyard facing our house. The upper deck that you see in the distance is where I normally stand to take several pics of our garden.
Our tomatoes are doing fairly well. Some of them are doing great however, some of them have been attacked by aphids this year. A couple of plants may need to be replaced because they may not come back. =(
This is a picture of the Rocky Top Salad Mix. I tried to see if I could find a list of the various lettuces that are in the mix but couldn't find one. All I know looks pretty cool in person. I love the different colors and textures. Hopefully this mix will taste as good as it looks.
On the left is the spinach. It is slowly starting to bolt because the weather is going up. I have already put 1 pound in the freezer and am planning on doing the rest in the following week. I think the spinach from our garden will be great with our tomatoes in a lasagna this summer.

On the right is the Red Romaine, onion dividers, scalloped squashes and the Rocky Top Mix.
We purchased 4 more whisky barrels for our deck this year. I am trying strawberries and cucumbers for the first time, as well as 4 tomatoes. The small pots in the back have my herbs: Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Cilantro and something else I can't think of at the moment.
A close-up of the snow peas. If you look closely, there are sugar snap peas in the back.
The arched trellis we made for the peas. I am waiting for these to die so that I can plant my beans. The snow peas are already on their way out due to the high temps we have been having.
Butternut Squash and Blue Hubbard
We transplanted the cabbage into pots because they were in the way of the other things we planted.
This is a close-up of one of the scallop squashes.

We planted zucchini in our pots this year. Hopefully these ones won't be attacked by borers this year.
More squash on the side of the house.
We have a few bean plants coming back from last year. Unfortunately there is squash planted there so....we may need to pull them out.
I thought I would include a picture of our hostas in the front yard. They are HUGE! We keep forgetting to separate them each year so they are a bit bunched up.

Friday, June 3, 2011

DIY Tomato cages

This year we decided to not tie up our tomato plants like we have for the past 8 years....we're doing tomato cages. Eek! I' m hoping that things will work out because we put a tad bit of effort into making them. Adam had to remove the wood slats that he had attached to the top of our tomato garden before we could do anything else. We are seriously hoping we made the right decision.

Now....if we were going to try cages were going to do it properly. None of that flimsy tomato cage stuff for us. I wanted nice sturdy cages that would hold the 8 foot plants that we normally grow. I'm thinking they won't be reaching those heights since the cages are only 5 feet. *sigh*

We started off with the concrete reinforcement wire that you see above. They are nice and rusty when you buy them so be prepared. We also purchased some snippers to cut through the stuff.

Yes, I realize that I forgot to take the tag off of the clippers before we took this picture. (I finally cut the thing off after cutting the wire for 5 cages.) I'm not the strongest person in the world so cutting the cages took a bit of effort on my part. I believe the wire is 5 feet high and I cut enough for 13 cages.
For the tomato cages in the garden I counted 12 squares and then cut in the middle of the 13th square. For the cages that are in the whisky barrels, I counted 10 squares and then cut the 11th.
Oh, I also cut the top edge off so that the wire is exposed on one end. That is the part that you shove into the ground.

Adam had the fun job of bending the wire of the cut edges over each other. This creates the circle and hold the cage together. Lots of fun on the hands. =)

This is what they look like when they are done. We should be able to use these for several years. The only bad thing is the fact that they don't stack like the store bought cages. I think we will need to just leave them in the beds each year. The cages are perfect to hold the groundcloth in place. We also cut the leftover edge pieces into little sections so that Adam could bend them in half. We used those as "staples" to hold down other areas of the groundcloth. Much cheaper than buying the ones from the store. He also arched a few so that they would fit over our soaker hoses. I'm hoping that we can install a drip line next year. =)

This is the finished product. We have 8 plants in the garden. I'll try to post pics of the 5 plants on our deck soon.