Category Archives: Gardening

Tomato PiešŸ…

There are only a few ways to respect a perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomato. A tomato sandwich with baked white or sourdough bread, Hellmann’s Real Mayo, and salt/pepper is a classic favorite. I would even put a toasted BLT in this catagory. However, if you want to take it up a notch, tomato pie is absolutely a little slice of heaven. 

There are a million ways to make a tomato pie, but this is one of my favorites. For those who don’t know my cousin (remember, the one with the unbelievable shrimp and grits recipe?!), she’s quite the cook also. This is her recipe that has come down from her mom’s side of the family. Her mom (my aunt) is one of the best cooks and bakers I know. Period. 

You obviously want to begin with the most perfectly ripe tomato slices you can find. These came from our garden. 

Slice a large vidalia onion and sautĆ© it with a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. I like to let the onions cook way down until they begin to caramelize. 

Rinse and pat dry about 15 basil leaves. 

Now here is where this recipe stands out from the rest. Instead of using cheddar cheese, combine 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Set aside. 

Cook your pie crust according to the package instructions and let cool completely. Layer your tomatoes and generously salt and pepper them. 

Now layer in your onions and basil leaves. Repeat 2 more layers of each, ensuring you salt and pepper each tomato layer.

Top with your cheese and mayo mixture. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pairs well with fresh corn and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!

Adapted From: Catherine Ballard Logan 

Fresh Shrimp Sliders

We just returned from a week at the beach. The beauty of living here is that we didn’t feel the need to eat out whatsoever. We simply picked veggies from our garden, brought fresh local shrimp from The Shrimp Lady, and bought some good bread, meats, and fruit. I mean, no place in town could beat the view from the porch anyways….

Every dinner felt like a date night…..

One of my favorite meals that we cooked were these Sliders. Now, these could easily be served as full size sandwiches or even bite size mini biscuits for the perfect brunch treat. Any size, they are absolutely delicious. 

Begin by whisking together 1/3C mayonnaise, 1tbl chopped basil, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed orange juice + 1tsp orange zest, and 3/4tsp Old Bay seasoning. 

Fold in a pound of cooked & chilled fresh shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or smaller for smaller servings), 6 crispy crumbled slices of bacon, and 1/4tsp each of salt and pepper. 

Prepare your buns by buttering each side and sliding them under the broiler or onto the grill until the edges begin to brown. 

Spoon some of your shrimp mixture onto one half and top with fresh basil leaves and garden fresh tomatoes before capping with your top piece of warm buttered bread. OMG.šŸ˜ƒ

Adapted From: Southern Living

Roasted Poblano & Chicken Enchiladas

We love enchiladas in my house. LOVE. These were so amazing that my husband insisted we put them into our regular rotation. 

Begin by rinsing and drying 3 poblano peppers. Brush them lightly with EVOO and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 35-45 minutes until the skin is dark and the outer lining is wrinkled. Let stand for 30 minutes. 

Salt & pepper 1.25lbs of chicken tenders and cook them over medium heat in a sauce pan with 1tbl of EVOO.Set aside. Add into the same pan 1 sliced green pepper and 1 small sliced yellow onion. Cook until soft. Dice the cooked chicken and place into a large mixing bowl. 

Add the cooked onions and green pepper into the mixing bowl. Now skin and seed the poblanos and add them to your mixing bowl. Your filling is complete. 

In the same saucepan, melt 1tbl of butter and then add 2tsp minced garlic. Once garlic becomes fragrant (1 minute), add 1tbl flour and whisk to combine. Slowly add 1.25C of whole milk and then 1/2C sour cream. Whisk until it becomes thick and then stir in 1/2tsp cumin and 1/2tsp chili powder. Continue stiring until sauce thickens and warms through. 

Lay a couple spoonfuls of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Using freshly cooked flour tortillas, roll approximately 1/2 cup of the chicken mix into each tortilla. Top chicken with shredded pepper jack cheese and place into baking dish. Now cover with remaining sauce. 

Top with more pepper jack and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Top with avocado and enjoy!

Adapted from: Will Cook For Smiles

Pickled JalapeƱosĀ 

We have picked approximately 2 million jalapeƱos from our garden this year so I love trying different ways of preserving them. This recipe only takes about 25 minutes for a jar that can last for weeks. 

Begin with about 15 large jalapeƱos sliced with the stems cut off. 

Combine 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 garlic cloves (slightly smashed), 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil and add in your jalapeƱos.

Remove promptly from heat and press all of your slices down into the mixture. You will begin to see the jalapeƱos turn color. 

After 15 minutes transfer the jalapeƱos to a jar using tongs and pour the remaining liquid over the top. Let cool completely before putting the lid on. So good!!šŸ’ƒšŸ»

Adapted from: Simply Scratch

Grilled, Cheese Stuffed Banana Peppers

With yesterday’s harvest of 15 banana peppers and 18 jalapeƱos, we felt compelled to try something new.


We took a small batch of 5 banana peppers and hollowed out the seeds and membranes.

Slice them lengthwise almost all the way down one side. 

Combine 4oz of cream cheese and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Then add: 2 cloves minced garlic,  1/4tsp basil, 1/4tsp oregano, 1/2tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan. Fill each pepper with mixture. 

We capped the ends with foil and put them on the grill until they blackened on the bottoms and began to brown on top. 

These were really tasty, however, we love spicy food, so next time we make them we will either use spicy cheese or leave some of the seeds inside!

Adapted from: Cooking a la Mel

Baked Zucchini Fries

With our abundance of beautiful zucchini from our garden, I decided to give this recipe a try. It exceeded my expectations, and was quick and easy to prepare. 

After slicing up 2 huge zucchinis, I combined 1 cup of Panko, 1/2 cup of parmesan, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and salt/pepper. In small batches I dredged my fries through flour, then beaten egg, and then my Panko mixture.

Place a cooling rack (or 2) on top of your baking sheet and coat thoroughly with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the fries begin to turn golden brown. Enjoy this delicious guilt free snack plain or pair it with aioli, marinara, or ranch dressing.

Adapted from: Damn Delicious

Grilled, Bacon Wrapped JalapeƱo Poppers

With a million jalapeƱos from our garden and a cheat day/Father’s Day upon us, what better way to use some of our fresh produce than load them up with cheese. These were a bit labor intensive, but worth it.

I used 12 jalapeƱos and halved them, removing the seeds and membranes.

Combine 1 cup shredded cheddar, 8oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Use a dinner knife and spread each half with as much as it will hold.

Cut 12 strips of bacon in half and wrap each jalapeƱo, placing a toothpick in each to hold the bacon in place.

Grill with the cheese side down for 6-8 minutes and then flip and grill until the bacon blackens.

Try not to eat the entire batch!

Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Homemade Dill Pickles

Another summer staple is the almighty dill pickle. Nothing completes the sandwich and chips trio more perfectly.  Well, with the insane amount of cucumbers we have growing, I knew I wanted to not only have cucumber water in the fridge daily, but also plenty of pickles! They could not be any easier to make. 


I used 3 of our garden fresh cukes about this size. 

Chop off the tops and bottoms, and slice the haves into spears. 

Bring 3.5 cups of water and 1.25 cups of white vinegar to a boil. Then add 1 tablespoon of sea salt and remove it from the heat. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, chop up a small container of fresh dill and put it in the bottom of a large mason jar. Cram as many cucumber spears as will fit on top of the dill. Drop a teaspoon of minced garlic on top and a handful of black peppercorns. Then pour the cooled mixture in. Once you screw your top on, give it a good shake and put them into the fridge. So Good.šŸ‘šŸ¼

Adapted From: My Frugal Adventures

Garden Progress

This year’s garden is in full swing now and I can’t believe the early success we are having. Everything aside from the grafted tomatoes were started from seeds. A shout out to Territorial Seed Company (and my dedicated husband) – So impressed!

Squash & Zucchini

Cucumbers

JalapeƱos, Banana, & Sweet Peppers

Sunday’s Basket

Tuesday’s Bounty

3 Days of Banana Peppers

First 2 Cukes (pulled yesterday)

My little helper ~ Look at the size of those things!!

The tomatoes are starting to grow fruit and the pumpkins and eggplants are also coming along. Stay tuned!

Banana Peppers

I LOVE banana peppers on sandwiches and salads. They add a little heat and a ton of flavor….however (for me), only if they are pickled. Our garden is kicking off some serious banana peppers already, so I couldn’t waste time preserving these beauties as more are ripening right behind them!

These were literally all picked within the last 3 days. 

I cut the tops off, ran my knife around the inside to seed and devein, then sliced away. 

After transferring the peppers to a mason jar and topping with about a teaspoon of minced garlic, I combined 3 cups white vinegar, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar and whisked over medium heat until the salt and sugar dissolved. Let it cool completely, then pour mixture into your mason jar. 

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours ~ these puppies just get better with age.šŸ˜‹