Category: Urban Patio Gardening

Tips, discoveries, and tricks for growing potted plants in an urban setting with a small backyard.

Zinfandel Grape Sauce | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Zinfandel Grape Sauce Once a year I love making a peach cobbler while peaches are in season. And of course we need a scoop of @nadamoo gluten-free and vegan Vanilla…AHHH ice cream. Last year I had two clusters of Zinfandel grapes on the vines and I made it into a Zinfandel grape sauce.  And poured that over the cobbler and ice cream.  It was insanely good.    This year our grapevine went crazy and we have so many clusters of grapes.  These that are ripening and tons of new growth on the ends. So I wanted to make the Zinfandel grape sauce again for the summer peach cobbler as well as freeze the grape juice from this first batch into cubes.  Ideally, one day we’ll...

Grape Leaf Chimichurri | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

This was a fun experiment in the kitchen that turned out pretty well.  We used grape leaves and oregano from the backyard to make a grape leaf chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri Sauce Chimichurri sauce is a green spicy herb sauce that originated in Argentina.  It is typically made with parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.   Two of our favorite restaurants in town, District Kitchen + Cocktails and Fresa’s Chicken, serve a beef dish covered with chimichurri.  And it is one of my absolute favorites!    Right now I have so much oregano growing on the patio garden that I just had to try to make it at home.   But I also have a crazy grape vine...

Asparagus Mango Spring Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons | Gluten-Free

Asparagus and Mango Spring Salad Spring is here! I love this time of year so much. Nothing says spring like asparagus.  And the fruit available this time of year include some of my favorites. We found the most wonderful sweet grapes called Candy Hearts from Melissa’s Produce and organic mangos. So an asparagus and mango spring salad sounded perfect. We’ve been growing our own asparagus and this is the first season we could actually harvest it.  Although we live in an apartment, there is a nice sized back yard so I have potted herbs and plants growing everywhere. We have basil, thyme, oregano, and chives growing. Basil really grows well when planted with tomatoes. When I first started planting things, I used this great book...

The Weekly Menu March 27 #glutenfree #menuplanning

Hi everyone!  Time for the weekly menu plan again.   Last week, we tried a few new recipes while I was on Spring Break.   I was most pleased with the Leek, Potato and Goat Cheese Peirogies.  The Blackbird Bakery Pie and Pasta dough is awesome (I was equally pleased with the quality of the pizza crust).   I’m even considering buying a pasta attachment for the stand mixer now to make our own pasta. We met up with friends at Grizzelda’s Restaurant, too.  I’ve been dying to check it out.  It is such a beautiful space and most of the menu is gluten free (I called to make sure it was okay).   I’ll add it to my list of gluten free places to...

The Serendipitous Cucumber Experiment

Serendipity and Gardening I’ve always loved the concept of serendipity – a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. In science, I’ve known it to mean “chance favors the prepared mind”. Many great discoveries were serendipitous – the discovery of penicillin, x-rays, Velcro and even the not so great discovery of saccharine (ya know it’s really bad for you, right?). As a scientist, I loved working in the lab. One of the best things about being a scientist is that you are supposed to experiment. And although the experiments are usually well thought out and designed for a specific goal, sometimes it was fun to just try stuff and see what happened. We used to joke that it is one of the few professions that lets you “explore...

Quick Pickled Jalapeños | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Quick Pickled Jalapeños When our jalapeño plant is producing well we like to quick pickle the peppers just to use in recipes like spicy chicken spaghetti or in a hummus or to eat with nachos.   Most store bought versions of pickled jalapeños either contain yellow dye or distilled grain vinegar. Jeff’s Naturals is a good choice for free and clear pickled jalapeños. It is really a pretty simple process to do this at home.   You will need: 3/4 cup water 3/4 cup GF distilled white vinegar 3 tbsp raw cane sugar 1 tbsp kosher salt 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/2 tsp oregano 2-3 large jalapeños, sliced into rings 8 oz canning jar Before prepping the jalapeños, wash, rinse and dry them. Slice the...