Tag Archives: jalapeno

Fall Garden Update

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s been ages since I updated you on our little victory garden!  We started almost everything from plants this time (purchased last minute at Home Depot) back in early September.  A few things we did start ourselves from seed, and those seem to be doing the best, with the exception of our butter and red lettuces.  Anyway, let’s hop to the pictures.

Our purple flash pepper from Home Depot is doing pretty well, and adds some pretty purple color to the front raised bed.  It’s an ornamental pepper, and is edible, but we haven’t tasted it to determine if it’s delicious or not.  It’s just really pretty!

Purple Flash Pepper Plant | Oysters & Pearls

On the other corner of the front bed, we planted another pepper.  I can’t even remember what kind it was (also from Home Depot) but I’m just going to label it firmly within the Epic Pepper Fail variety.

Epic Pepper Fail | Oysters & Pearls

In this same front bed, we also have some cabbage that is absolutely nothing to write home about.

October Cabbage | Oysters & Pearls

But hey, at least it’s not dead or ridden with critters.

Also in this bed is our little corner of lettuce Heaven.

October Butter Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

We have butter lettuce (above) and red lettuce (below).  Both are doing really well, and we are thoroughly enjoying our salads.

October Red Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

In raised bed number two, we have a few tomato plants we started from seed what seems like AGES ago.

Romas:

October Roma Tomato | Oysters & Pearls

Cherries:

October Cherry Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

And a brave little Cherokee Purple Tomato (yep, just the one):

October Cherokee Purple Tomato | Oysters & Pearls

It’s definitely no summer crop. :(  And I’m worried that a frost is going to get them before they ripen, so these may get fried as-is.

Also in Bed 2: very colorful bell peppers!  We have green, yellow (really more of a white), and PURPLE!  These are actually ones we started from seed back in the Spring that are really just now getting going.

October Yellow Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls October Purple Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls

Also in Bed 2 are our jalapeño peppers we planted from seed back in mid-Summer.  They are really started to take off this month.

October Jalapenos | Oysters & Pearls

And rounding out Bed 2 is our lovely crop of spinach.

October Spinach | Oysters & Pearls

#gardenjokes

Actually, we have been using Sevin Dust on them periodically, because something thinks our spinach is really, really tasty.  I wouldn’t know.  But a couple of the plants give me a glimmer of hope.

October Spinach |  Oysters & Pearls

In back Bed number 3, we have a steady crop of okra that we harvest daily!

Below are okra pods of varying stages of development on a single stalk.

Okra Pods At Various Stages of Development | Oysters & Pearls

Here’s one that’s just about to turn into an okra pod:

Okra Blossom Turning Into Okra Pod | Oysters & Pearls

The ants and other bugs LOVE the okra blossoms.  They must have some serious sweets inside.  I got to thinking this summer that the okra blossoms really looked like cotton blossoms, and they both looked a whole lot like hibiscus blooms.  After some thorough Wikipedia-ing, I discovered it’s because they’re all related!

Okra Blossom | Oysters & Pearls

Anyway, okra blooms are really, really pretty, and I love having them in the yard.  And then having okra.

Finishing up the raised beds, we have some very, very sad collard greens.  Looks like I’ll still be buying those this winter.

Very Sad October Collards | Oysters & Pearls

That’s it for the raised beds.  For more info on how we built ’em, {click here} and {here}.

We still pick a loner strawberry every now and then, too.  They are in pots, but maybe at some point they will get transplanted into the ground.  They berries never get very big though, so I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Tiny October Strawberry | Oysters & Pearls

And moving on over to the herb garden around the patio, I planted some Faulkenberry-Beaver wedding favor mint in the herb garden a couple evenings ago!

Wedding Favor Mint | Oysters & Pearls

The wedding favors were little burlap bags containing a tiny mint plant and a little bottle of Jim Beam, along with an adorable recipe for a pitcher of mint juleps.  It was precious!  I ended up with a couple of leftovers the wedding planner handed to me at the end of the night (we shutter down).  So I planted three in my little herb garden.  Hopefully we’ll be drinking lots of mint juleps and remembering what a good time we had at the Beaver’s wedding for a long time to come. :)

You’ll note the moss surrounding the plants.  This area is where the water ends up settling when it runs off our patio, so I figured it would be the perfect spot for water-loving mint.  Only time will tell, though.  I’m excellent at murdering mint, which is supposedly practically invincible.  I call it the Titanic of the herb garden.

Side note: HOW DO YOU GET CATS TO STAY OUT OF FLOWER BEDS AND/OR HERB GARDENS?

How Do You Keep Cats Out Of Flower Beds? | Oysters & Pearls

Wallace seriously won’t leave a flower bed alone.  Sometimes he uses them as his litter box… sometimes he just rolls around and plays with stuff and a lot of the time he just lays in them, like he’s doing in this picture.  It’s so weird.  And annoying.  Any tips? Help!

Here’s a tip for you: wash your homegrown lettuce really well.  I recommend dumping all your freshly picked lettuce in the sink and washing it one leaf at a time, then drying in a salad spinner.  Because no matter how carefully you pick your lettuce, you still might bring one of these into your kitchen.

Snail Snuck In With The Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

Yup, that bad boy crawled out of my sink from some lettuce I picked a couple nights ago.  Pretty sure this is where George Lucas got Jabba the Hutt (Jabadahut?) from.

I’ve been making a delicious salad with these greens (besides the Shrimp salad I posted about earlier this week.

Fresh homegrown lettuce (sans snail), homegrown bell pepper, and whatever other veggies we have in the house at the time, topped with Canned Sand Pears, shaved Thomasville Tomme from Sweet Grass Dairy, and Maggie’s honey mustard vinaigrette.

Homegrown Salad with Pears and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette | Oysters & Pearls

Another side note: Sweet Grass Dairy’s new online store just opened a few days ago!  Now you can order their cheese, condiments, and all sorts of local foodie treats online at The Larder.  I die over their homepage.

Anyway, Maggie’s honey mustard vinaigrette is delicious, and is the same one she used on her brussel sprout slaw we had a couple weeks ago.

Maggie’s Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Copied and pasted from thesmintzes.wordpress.com

1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt

Whisk ’em together.  Top things with it.  Delicious.

Fall Salad with Canned Sand Pears and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette | Oysters & Pearls

Sorry for that insanely long post!

If you’re a Bainbridge local, the Bainbridge Country Club is having a Fall Carnival tonight from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  It’s $10 for adults and $5 for kids (non-members) and I’d love to see you there!

Happy almost Friday!

And watch out for those snails.

Until Next Time

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Now that you’ve seen my most recent kitchen fail, I’d like to backtrack and show you my good pizzas and my homemade pizza sauce, which was a definite success.

Our tomato plants have been really productive this summer, despite all the rain, and in addition to canning four quarts of romas, I also used some fresh romas to make a homemade tomato sauce!  I sort of just winged it with what I had, and it turned our really well.

Homemade Pizza Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Pizza Sauce

ingredients

– 10 to 15 fresh roma tomatoes
– 1 Vidalia onion, minced
– 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 jar tomato paste

instructions

Bring a pot of water to boil and drop the tomatoes into the water.  When the skins split, remove the tomatoes and set aside.  Once the tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel the skin off of them.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan, and sauté the onions over medium heat until transparent and soft.  Add the garlic and cook3 or 4 more minutes, being careful not to brown it.  Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the sauce is reduced, stirring often and smashing the tomatoes against the side of the bowl.  Add the can of tomato paste to make it more pizza sauce-y.  Cool, and blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This could totally be spaghetti sauce, too, and you could add ground sausage, meatballs, ground beef, etc. to beef it up (pun intended).

Onion & Garlic to Start Pizza Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Starting the sauce off with onions and garlic.

Tomatoes for Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Add the tomatoes.

Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Simmer and smash.

Homemade Tomato Sauce + Tomato Paste | Oysters & Pearls

Add tomato paste.

Blending Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Blend.

Pizza Crusts with Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Use sauce to top pizzas.  I use a spoon to put the sauce on the dough, then use the back of the spoon to spread it around.

Freshly Shredded Mozzeralla Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

Shred fresh mozzarella and top your pizzas.

Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto, & Pickled Okra Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

I topped my pizza with caramelized onions, spicy pickled okra, and prosciutto.  It was awesome!  I like to do a thin layer of mozzarella, then the toppings, then more mozz. It makes sure everything sticks together!

Caramelized Onion, Fresh Jalapeno, & Pepperoni Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

Wheat’s pizza toppings consisted of fresh jalapeños, caramelized onions, and pepperoni.  It was delicious, too!

Baking Pizza on Pizza Stone in Oven | Oysters & Pearls

Preheat your oven (woops, should have told you that before!) to 400 degrees with the pizza stone preheating along inside.  Transfer your pizzas on parchment paper to the stone, and bake for 20 minutes.

Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Spicy Pickled Okra Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

Yum!  Makes me want pizza right now.  Pizza for breakfast (or any time of day) is totally acceptable in my book.

That redeems me from my sad pizza-calzone-mess, right?

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Chicken Tacos & Jalapeno Hot Sauce

There is a new Mexican restaurant in town (no, I’m not cheesily referring to our own home) that serves the BEST, most legit Mexican food in all the land. It’s called Taqueria Los Sanches, in case you’re ever in Bainbridge. I have never been very excited about “Mexican” food, but this place is so good. They hand make all of their salsa, hot sauces, even their tortillas, I’m pretty sure. Their chicken tacos haunt me in my sleep, they’re so good. Flour (soft) tortilla, chicken, fresh onion and cilantro, and sliced avocado, with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of their delicious homemade jalapeño hot sauce. I’ve definitely, unashamedly, instagrammed their tacos, as seen below.

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As you probably have deduced, I LOVE HOT SAUCE. I love Crystal, I love the Rooster sauce, I love it all. Heck, I’ve even come to love Tabasco, and I’m dying to visit Avery Island. Thus, I have become obsessed with the “green hot sauce” at Taqueria Los Sanches. The sweet girl who works there was kind enough to tell me how they make it, and this is the story of how I attempted to recreate it.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Jalapeño Hot Sauce (adapted from Taqueria Los Sanches in Bainbridge, Georgia)

ingredients

– as many jalapeños as you can get your hands on
– half a vidalia onion
– 2 tablespoons onion powder
– 2 tablespoons garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Boiling Jalapenos for Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Boil peppers whole (“tails removed”) for 15 minutes or so with the rest of the ingredients. Remove from heat and puree. I only had a food processor, which didn’t puree the seeds as well as theirs was, so I pressed the hot sauce through a fine mesh strainer with a ladle and a canning funnel. It made it much runnier than theirs, which will be perfect to transfer into old hot sauce bottles. It’s almost the exact same consistency as Crystal or Tabasco hot sauce. Also, since I strained the seeds out, it’s not nearly as hot as Taqueria Los Sanches’ version. Leave ’em in if you want! Side note: I really need an immersion blender. Or just any blender. Or both.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

I ended up with 3 and a quarter jars of hot sauce. Because I don’t have a ton of room in the fridge, like ever, I decided to go ahead and process these in a hot water bath simply to see if they would be shelf stable. The best practice , however, would be to keep them in the fridge, since this recipe does not contain vinegar.  Botulism is serious business!

Jalapeno Hot Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Since we had all this hot sauce around, naturally it was taco night at the Kirbo house. I tried to recreate my favorite tacos from Taqueria Los Sanches as best as I could, but we really just made it a taco bar of sorts.

Chicken Taco Toppings | Oysters & Pearls

Tomatoes, onions minced with cilantro, and fresh avocado slices. The limes didn’t make it into the picture above, but they are an essential part of these tacos.

Chicken Tacos | Oysters & Pearls

So much Mexican goodness!!

Chicken Tacos with Avocado | Oysters & Pearls

Might I recommend some legit Los Sanches tacos for your 4th of July celebrations? They are so colorful and festive and fresh! They’d also be tasty with shrimp or fish.

Whatever you’re doing to celebrate this great nation of ours, be safe and remember, freedom isn’t free. Thank a soldier or a veteran this weekend!

‘Murica.

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