Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kid Friendly Veggie Dish - Tomato & Potato Bake

This is my spin on a dish served at so many family get together's growing up that I had sworn to myself to never eat it again. But, when you really don't feel like cooking, a simple all veggie dish is quick, easy to prep, and easy to clean up.

So, all I did was add some spice and color to the tradition dish (at least in my family) of Potatoes, Mushrooms, and Onions. It is super easy to make, and you can feed a lot of people without a lot of input, either physically or monetarily.

My version goes like this:

4 medium all purpose yellow potatoes (any kind will do), diced to bite sized pieces
1 large beefsteak tomato (any variety with good flavor), diced
1 large vidalia onion, rough chopped
1 large handful baby bella mushrooms, rough chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
olive oil

Very simple. Once everything is diced, throw it in a casserole dish. Top with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a couple pats of butter, salt, pepper, little bit of natural sugar/molasses (whatever you have), and any spices you would like. You could try fennel, or rosemary. Personally, I did not add a whole lot of extra spice to this dish. It is so simple and so good by itself.

Toss everything together again and place in a 350F oven. Once the potatoes get a good crisp top to them, cover the pan with foil and finish baking until everything is tender.

I served this topped with shredded Parmesan cheese. The kids just gobbled it up. Even my dear hubby didn't complain about a vegetarian dinner. Must have been filling. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Garden Glam

 I got to spend a lovely few hours recently out in town by myself. Usually I have all three kids in tow, so this was especially wonderful. Listening to nothing but quiet, and a few passing radios.

I ended up stopping at one of my favorite places. A small, inconspicuous shop on a corner of a busy road in Florence. You can not walk in this place without brushing up against something green and usually good smelling. I am talking about Savanna's Garden Treasure, on Irby Street.

 I love going into Savanna's. If I've been lacking in the creativity department, a trip to see Carolyn and all her wonderful creations always gives me a boost. Not to mention all the lovely plants.

The craziest thing I saw on this last trip wasn't something I would usually be excited about. I had been there walking around for a few minutes, and hadn't really paid much attention to this massive grouping of plants to the left of the main walkway. As I made my second circle around the front, I happened to notice a very round, very buzzy bee flying by. I watched him, and realized he wasn't the only ones keeping us company.

The mountain mint plants Carolyn is growing are pollinator magnets! I have never seen anything like that, and all the bugs were just as docile as a puppy. Not one was paying me, or my camera any attention. And I had brushed against these plants a few times.

Needless to say, I took a small specimen of the mountain mint home with me on this trip.  I love home grown veggies. And if my pollinators love a plant, I by default also love that plant.

So if your garden is in need of some love, either human, insect, or art, stop by and see Carolyn at Savanna's Garden treasure on Irby St. She will surely have something to make your garden smile.

You can also check out Savanna's Garden Treasure's Facebook page and Carolyn's etsy shop for more great information and local treasures.