Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sausage and cabbage a low-carb treat

A couple of weeks ago I saw this recipe for kielbasa and cabbage on Pinterest. The photo above, is the original recipe for Kielbasa and Cabbage from Very Culinary. I showed my husband and we cooked it the very next day. I didn't follow their recipe. I just used kielbasa and cabbage. Those two ingredient and nothing else. I thought the kielbasa would have plenty of salt, fat, and flavor. I was right. It was very good.

My husband thought it had a little too much flavor for him and we made it again this week with smoked sausage. It was milder and still was packed with flavor. Above is the photo found via Pinterest on from an October recipe. Their recipe uses smoked sausage and my finished dish looked a little more like this. This recipe is a more spiced up version using a number of ingredients, and I'm sure it is really good. I just again used the sausage and cabbage. No other ingredients at all in just one pan. Easy, quick, tasty.

My house did smell a bit like cabbage but the sausage elevated the aroma and it really did smell great.

It also was gluten-free and low in carbs, which is exactly what I need to get past the weight I gained over the holidays.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


There are many things a gardener can do at this time each year, besides sitting by the fire dreaming of spring. I'm not knocking sitting by the fire--or dreaming of spring, but with the heirloom seed craze spreading throughout the gardening world, a seed swap seems like a grand idea.

I actually went to a seed swap last week at the meeting of our local Down to Earth Organic Gardening Club. As I expected, I swapped my seeds--many of them heirloom tomatoes with my fellow gardeners for other heirloom seeds of several varieties.

I just had to have these High Mowing Sacred Basil seeds. After a bit of research, I found that these seeds are from the High Mowing Seed Company. They have large leaves and were evidently worshipped at one time. While I clearly am not going to worship my basil, I do find basil a delightful herb to use when cooking. It's my favorite herb, in fact. So far I have loved Genovese basil but I think there is room in my herb cabinet for Sacred Basil.

I also picked up some brown cotton seeds. The grower said you can just plant them without removing the cotton and yes, this looks dirty but it grows this color. They grow it to attract bees and I think I would like to attract bees, too. It is worth a try.

Lettuce. There is nothing like fresh lettuce picked from the garden an used straight-away in a big wonderful salad. Red lettuce if my favorite and I enjoy trying this variety, then saving the seeds for even more lettuce during the year.

I know I will enjoy the Bok Choy but what really caught my eye was running okra. I have never seen okra growing on a vine. I will certainly try it because we just can't grow enough okra in my family!

I was happy to come home with these Seminole squash, also called Seminole pumpkin. These pumpkins are featured in Baker's Heirloom Seeds. They are supposed to be very good with a deep colored flesh and they are supposed to be resistant to many bugs. I love winter squash and pumpkins so I think this will be a great variety of squash to try. It originated in the everglades and I think that is interesting. It might just love our hot, humid summers. It's an heirloom so I know I need to separate it from my other squash so that next year my Seminoles won't exhibit strange growing behaviors.

The only heirloom tomatoes I found were these Stump of the World Pink Heirloom tomatoes. They are supposed to be large pink heirlooms and good slicers. They shouldn't grow as large as Brandywines.

The last one is Tatsoi, Brassica narinosa or Brassica rapa var. rosularis. I love Bok Choy and this is a mini Bok Choy. I think it will be a pretty salad green.

I do have a huge pile of seeds, new and leftover and right now I am dreaming of seed starting. It's that time again!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Blooms in winter and all year round

I once knew a man who would go out for a walk every morning and returned with a flower for his wife he found along his way, presenting it to her after she woke. He said that there is something blooming almost the whole year through, if you take the time to look.

One day he looked everywhere but couldn't find a bloom anywhere. After his walk, he created a small, simple flower using crayon, paper, and scissor, then presented it to her when she woke. He said that of all the flowers he brought her, this was her favorite and it was still fastened to her bedside lampshade. It is a beautiful story and according to his wife it is a true one.

I was very impressed by this story and often think that there is often a bloom out there if we take the time to look for it.

With this in mind, I was visiting my Mother the other day and as I was about to leave, she suggested I go out and pick some Camellias from her tree beside her house to make a nice bouquet for New Year's Day. As I approached the tree I saw just how beautiful they were. I quickly picked a bunch for myself and for my mother and dressed up her sitting room and my New Year's Eve and Day table with beautiful blossoms.

They are so lovely that I decided that propagating one for my yard from her bush was a MUST.

Though I don't think I will ever have anyone bringing me flowers each day, I will work hard to fill my yard outside with flowers, plants, and shrubs that can bloom all year round so I will have something to grace my table and entryway, maybe not as lovely as these camellias and maybe not every day, but as often as possible. That is my New Year's goal.