Saturday, October 11, 2014

Garden progress and Bruschetta

So despite having no job and no car (I have inquired about both though), I have been up to a lot lately.  I planted my garden, made my own laundry detergent, got a new iPhone 6, cooked a few new dishes and even made up one of my own.

Peter has been busy beautifying the outside and has done hours of yard work.  Just tearing down stuff and bagging leaves and cutting hedges.  Everything looks really nice.  All of that below was overgrown with vines and leaves and you couldn't even tell that there was brick there.

I'm thinking about planting something in the corner, but I'm not sure what to put there because that area gets little to no sun.  I'll figure it out though.  I made my own laundry detergent out of Borax, Washing Soda, Baking Soda 2 bars of soap and essential oils from THIS "recipe" that I found on Pinterest.  When you do the math, it ends up costing only 2 cents a load of laundry.  The recipe makes a HUGE amount.  If I were to do this again, which I probably will, I would add more essential oil because my clothes come out clean, but they don't smell like anything.  I guess that's not a huge deal but I like it when my clothes smell good.

Also, I finally got around to filling in my raised garden bed.  I seriously think that using an old bookcase as a raised garden bed is the best idea ever.  It is perfect for the lazy or carpentry-challenged gardener! All you have to do is reinforce it if it's a little bit wobbly and you are good to go!  I feel like it my responsibility to inform everyone in the world about this so I'm going to pin this on Pinterest.  There isn't really a "how to", you just rip off the back and the shelves and put it on the ground.

You can see from the picture that I have kale, spinach, basil and tomatoes growing.  I bought all of those plants because I wanted something to take care of.  But what you can't see are the onions, garlic, arugula, carrots and green peas.

The carrots and green peas poked out of the soil today and I think I got more excited about that than I have about anything in a very long time.  Look at them! Aren't they cute?!
If I was to ever describe a plant as "adorable" this would be it 
Eeeee they're so cute and small
I put the tomato in the ground two days ago and it's already grown a pretty decent amount.  I am a proud plant-mother.

In other news, I came up with a recipe for bruschetta.  If anyone knew me in Naples, my favorite pizzeria that isn't Da Michele's or Di Matteo's is Panda Pizza.  It is a 2 minute walk from my house and I've been eating there for years.  The only thing that they do better than pizza (in my opinion) is bruschetta.  I compare every bruschetta that I have to Panda's bruschetta.  There are a few that come close, like Cerbero's or Old Friends and there are some that taste like garbage... I'm looking at you Fratelli la Bufala.

I always say that I'm going to try and come up with something similar, but I never actually have.  This is my attempt and it was pretty darn good.  It wasn't the same as Panda.  But let's be honest, nothing will be the same as Panda.  Their bruschetta has a zing to it, that I have determined to be white vinegar.  

Bruschetta alla Pomodoro 
A few tomatoes - diced (I used 5 plum tomatoes)
A loaf of crusty bread cut into slices about 1 inch thick (I prefer sourdough)
a bunch of fresh basil finely chopped (I used the plant from my garden... so fancy) 
1 clove of garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
3 tablespoons white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the tomatoes, vinegar, basil, about a table spoon of olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.  I know this isn't how you make traditional bruschetta but it's worth it! Trust me.

When you're ready to serve, toast the bread on both sides.  Rub the clove of garlic on the side that you will be putting the tomato mixture on, then drizzle with olive oil.  Spoon the tomatoes on with a slotted spoon and you're done!  I like to splash a little bit of balsamic vinegar on it.
very sharp and new knife!
Peter did this. So fancy.
I can't wait until I have my own tomatoes to make it with! Enjoy!

Ciao ciao
xo Katelyn

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