Category Archives: garden

Italian Style Sausage with Peppers, Onions, and Olives…Oh my!


This was on the menu earlier this week but I have not had a chance to sit at the computer and blog about it.  This is always a favorite at our Haus because it is easy to prepare and loaded with flavors.  If you have been following my blog for a while you know that my hubby and son have an aversion to tomato chunks, so I put a lot of my stewed tomatoes through the blender and this recipe is no different.  In addition, the tomatoes I used were grown by my hubby in his garden – yet he won’t eat them unless they are peeled, cooked, and no chunks… more for me I say!


1 tbsp. olive oil

Sausage  sliced (I used the ones I purchased at Costco that come precooked 6 to a pack.  You can use any sausage you wish – chicken, Italian, etc)

1-2 bell peppers cut into strips

1 small yellow onion cut into strips (I had green onions on hand so I used those and blended them in with the tomatoes)

1 can stewed tomatoes – blended until smooth (I used 8oz of roma tomatoes that my hubby grew and peeled)

2 cloves of garlic minced

about 10 Kalamata olives

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes – we like the heat

Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the oil on medium heat in a skillet and add the sliced sausage.  Sauté until the sausage starts to brown – about 3 minutes.  My sausage was the precooked kind and not the raw ones to cut down on cooking time.  While the sausage is cooking, slice the onions and add to the pan continuing to stir frequently so as not to burn the onions.  After the onions start to wilt, add the peppers and continue to stir fry.

Since my family is not a big fan of tomato chunks, I put the stewed tomatoes, garlic and seasoning in the blender and combine until smooth.  I threw my green onions in here as well.  This sauce should be on the lighter side so don’t worry if it is a bit runnier than normal pasta sauce.

Turn the heat to low and add the sauce and the Kalamata olives to the skillet.  Cook on low for about 8 minutes to get the flavors to marry.

That is it!  Serve over your favorite pasta with a nice side salad and dinner is served.





Plums, plums and more plums



This is the third year of our plum tree and we are having quit the harvest. The branches are so heavy they almost touch the ground. I have picked several batches for Mom and Dad, have consumed several at our house and offered some to the neighbors as well.
The hardest part is keeping the squirrels away.

We decided to try and preserve some plums by using the dehydrator. So we picked a huge haul.  Here is hubby washing just about 1/3 of what we picked.


Then we sliced them up and layered them in the dehydrator. (Yes there are 5 trays of plums in there)



After about 30 hours they looked like this.  (I wish the blog had a smell feature because as these plums were dehydrating it smelled like pie in my house.)


In an effort to preserve them even more we vacuum packed them in small batches.


We laughed as we thought about how they must have done a similar process back in the early days so they could continue to have fruits during the winter months. At the same time we realized how fortunate we were to be able to use the dehydrator and vacuum packer!

Happy Sunday – Orchid Tip


Hello all!!  Woke up this morning to a beautiful sunshiny day.  Hope this Sunday morning finds you well and in good spirits.

I want to share a bit about my orchids. I have never had good luck with them. Once they lost their blooms it was only a matter of time before the leaves fell off as well.

I did some research on the net and discovered the ice cube method. Since orchids do not like to sit in water the suggestion is to put 2 – 3 ice cubes in the plant once a week.  As they melt. The plants receive water.  I have been doing this and though the blooms have died, the leaves are healthy and are even getting new leaves. Now they look healthy but not as good as when they are blooming.

At a recent visit to my local craft store I came upon some orchid flower stakes.  I purchased them to adorne my orchids until – maybe – they bloom again.

I think they look quite real. What do you think?


Carrot Harvest 2013

IMG_20130629_104113_044We had quite the carrot harvest this year, but my garden planning was not to well thought out.  The carrots are ready, but I am not ready to use them.  I typically use them in stews, soups, etc. but with this hot weather, those are not on my list of items to cook right now.

Instead, the boy and I pulled all the carrots this morning and gave them a good scrub.  Then we set to peeling    



The boy

The boy

Then we sliced the carrots and put them in a large ziplock bag.

IMG_20130629_104421_045IMG_20130629_111055_744We have put them in the freezer so that they will be ready for us come Fall.






Garden Bounty

I had started my garden a few months ago, but think I was a bit premature.  I was so excited when I planted and then we had a weird cold spot come through So. California and even had some frost.  My beans stopped growing and so did everything else.  So bummed – 😦

Well the weather has made a turn for the better – warmer – but still not hot which is perfect garden weather.  My beans have started growing again, the carrots are doing nicely and the green onions look like they may make it as well.

In addition to these items I planted Cauliflower which we have already eaten – and red cabbage.  I don’t think the red cabbage will make it.  I also planted a lettuce blend.  I was so excited to see little heads of bib lettuce in the making and was able to harvest 2 of them for dinner along with some red lettuce as well.

In the photo you will see a few onions as well.  These are from my husband’s side of the garden.  He has planted onions, tomatoes, and pumpkins.