Once again, the days are flying by, and I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! Warmer weather is on the horizon, evidenced by the birds singing quietly this morning. I can’t wait for Spring!

On my mind today are Springtime and vegetables. I had grand ideas of planting a lavish garden this Spring. Planting and harvesting vegetables from my own yard sounded intriguing and delicious. While it still sounds intriguing and delicious, the reality is that I am completely unprepared. Let’s face it…sometimes I don’t even have time to use the bathroom uninterrupted by needy children, let alone plan and prepare a garden of the century. 🙂

So while I still want to try my hand at gardening, and I am still trying hard to incorporate more vegetables in our diet, I think I’ll start much smaller than originally planned with my garden. Save me some time, friends…can you recommend your favorite books or websites that have been helpful with your gardening experiences?

I don’t think I will be able to have a traditional garden…the area of our yard that I plan to use once housed a 90-foot cottowood tree. While the tree is gone, its massive roots still permeate the ground. I don’t know a lot about gardening, but I’m guessing it’s not healthy for vegetable plants to compete with old roots of a tree? So, I’m thinking raised bed gardening would be a good option. I’m envisioning something gorgeous like this, but not sure I have what it takes to make something that pretty happen in my backyard.
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While we’re on the topic of vegetables…may I share with you my new favorite way to serve  green beans? Fresh beans would work best when they’re in season, but I used frozen whole green beans, and it worked well.

Orange-Infused Roasted Green Beans 
1 pound green beans
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
zest from one orange
1 teaspoon salt
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine green beans, pepper slices, orange zest, salt, and olive oil. Spread evenly into a metal cookie sheet, and sprinkle generously with ground pepper. Roast until tender, but not mushy…nobody wants mushy veggies! Mine took about 20 minutes, and I stirred them twice while roasting. Immediately toss with chopped almonds, and serve warm.

These veggies have a slightly sweet taste due to the orange zest. But they have a wonderful savory taste at the same time. So yummy, and much more fun than plain green beans.

I’m planning to try a new roasted broccoli recipe this afternoon. I seriously LOVE roasted broccoli, and I’m not sure the original recipe can be improved. But, I’m going to try a new recipe and I’ll have to let you know how it turns out.

Enjoy your day, friends!

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