In the Garden

My family joined a Community Garden in Denver this summer.  We found out about it during our Heirloom Vegetable Plant Sale and decided that it would be a great way to grow some of our own veggies.  Our garden at home is full of perrennials and does not receive full sun so growing vegetables was never successful there.

My husband is the one who really knows what he’s doing in the garden but after this summer I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it.  The hardest part was ammending the soil in the very beginning.  Later on I discovered the joys of weed pulling (heavy sarcasm) but things got easier once I got into a rhythm.

We were hit hard during the draught but our plants made it through.  For me the best part was watching the kids help out with gardening.  They were really excited to see all of the great food we were bringing home.  I’ve been very proud of our little garden plot and have shared our experience with friends and family.  Most recently I wrote a guest post for a friend’s blog about our tomatoes.  When she was in town this summer, I showed her the community garden.  Since then she has started working on starting a community garden in her own neighborhood in Austin, TX.

Bringing home vegetables every week has forced me to learn a few new things in the kitchen as well.  Hopefully I’ll be sharing some tips in the coming weeks.  For now here are a few pics.
I’m surprised at how many pumpkins we’ve grown!
Heirloom Tomatoes on the Vine

 If you’re in the Denver Metro Area, check out Denver Urban Gardens online to get info
on joining and/or starting a local Community Garden 

Harvesting veggies each week keeps me busy in the kitchen!
Mmmm Mmmm

To Market, to Market

This weekend I’m helping my husband sell the plants he has grown for our  Heirloom Vegetable Plant Sale in Denver.  This is our second year and the turnout has been great so far.  I have to admit that the past ten weeks have been full of ups and downs.  Still, we like the fact that the plants we watched grow from seed are now strong, healthy and ready for the garden.

Why buy Heirlooms?

Heirloom Tomatoes and Peppers

Normally you’ll find hybrid vegetable plants at your Big Box stores like Home Depot and Walmart.  This is when you cross two plant varieties to create a completely new one (a hybrid).  Because of this, the seeds cannot be saved to plant the following season.  Heirloom vegetables offer more taste and nutritional value than those that are grown from hybrid varieties.  Also, the seeds can be saved and used to grow new plants the following season.

It’s fun to hear how the plants will be added to gardens and containers.  Still, even though we have been lucky with the warmer temperatures this spring, we explain to our customers the importance of waiting until May to plant them.  This is because of the unpredictable Colorado weather.  One frosty night can stop a healthy vegetable plant in its’ tracks.

We are both weary from today’s activities but happy to know that there are lots of people in town who prefer to by from local growers like my Husband.  We’re so excited to meet others who appreciate the value of our heirloom plants.  The plant sale will continue through Sunday.  Here are some pics from the first day.

Straight Eight Cucumbers

Heirloom Bell Peppers

Genoa Basil

 CLICK HERE  for more details on the Plant Sale

Easy Cheesecake Recipe



For our 10 year Wedding Anniversary, the hubby asked if I would make a cheesecake for dessert.  I thought, “Why not…It’s been a while since I’ve made cheesecake”.  Normally I just use the recipe on the back of the graham cracker box but, the one I picked up didn’t have one.  So, I searched for a recipe online the night before the big day.  It was too late to head out for any last minute ingredients.  After reading a few recipes, I figured out that I could probably pull something together using what I had on hand. 

The results…an easy cheesecake recipe that was good to the last slice.  Try it and you won’t be dissapointed.


10 whole graham crackers
6 tblsp. butter (salted)
2 dashes cinnamon
9″ Spring Form Pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare pan with Non-Stick Cooking spray.

Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs (I used a food processor).  Set aside.  Microwave butter until melted.  Add butter and cinnamon to graham cracker crumbs.  Using a fork, mix the ingredients until the crumbs are moist with butter.  Pour into springform pan.  Use the back of a spoon or measuring cup to smooth the crust into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Turn oven down to 325 degrees.



2 pkg.’s Cream Cheese (room temp)
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
2 Eggs
Lemon Zest from 1 Medium size lemon
1 can Cherry Pie Filling for topping-optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Using a mixer, blend Cream Cheese and Sugar until well combined. Add Vanilla and Yogurt. Mix until creamy. On low speed, add eggs, one at a time. Fold in Lemon Zest. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes (will be jiggly in the middle). Run knife around the outside of crust to seperate from pan (to prevent cracks). Allow to cool on cooling rack. Place in refridgerator overnite. The cheesecake can be served plain or with optional topping.  Enjoy!
TIP:  To release cake from pan bottom, set on top of eye on the stove to warm the bottom slightly.  Since the crust is made with butter, it will release with the help of a knife and slide onto a cake platter.  Place back into fridge until ready to serve.

Summertime Lemon Iced Tea

My husband and I love Iced Tea.  I came up with a recipe that is quick and not too sweet.

1) 2 quart Pitcher
1) 2 Cup Measuring Cup
2 Large flow thru Iced Tea bags
Luzianne or Lipton brand
2 Cups water (for brewing)
1/2 Cup sugar
4 Lemon slices
Place the two tea bags in the measuring cup and fill with water to the 2 cup line.  Brew tea in the microwave for 2 minutes and 45 seconds.  When the microwave stops, leave the cup and teabags to steep in the microwave for 12-15 minutes.  While the tea is brewing, slice a small lemon in half and thinly slice one half to make 4 slices.  Place the slices in the bottom of the pitcher.  Add in the sugar.  Once the tea is finished brewing, pour into the pitcher covering the sugar and lemons.  Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves.  Fill the pitcher to the top with cold water.  Slice up the remaining half lemon for garnish.  Serve and enjoy!