Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gardening is hard work!

So for the past few days The Hub & I (okay, mostly The Hub) have been working on our backyard. On Saturday afternoon/evening we laid sod in our side yard thanks to a barter of sod we got from our neighbors. Of course, you have to pre-order your sod. And it has to go into the ground (onto the ground?) within 24 hours of you receiving it. And of course... it was raining and thundering all day. Oh well! Truthfully, I didn't really do much work per se but I did stand in the rain with The Hub and offer unhelpful advice and gripes. And I did dig up some weeds and help level out the yard! Okay... I went and had margaritas with the girls while The Hub did the job of actually laying down the sod. But he told me I would be less helpful if I stayed! So I went.

Sunday I mostly lazed around the house, refusing to do any housework and recovering from the pitcher of margaritas + beer I drank the night before. Take my advice: do not drink a whole pitcher of margaritas by yourself. Or rather, do not drink 4 pitchers of margaritas with three of your friends. Oh, and also don't do karaoke after partaking of the margaritas. And don't demand to the wait staff that each subsequent pitcher be "stronger! They need to be stronger!". Yeah. Apparently, I was "funny". Whatever that means (I think it means I maybe embarrassed myself... which would probably be mortifying if I truly cared).

Anywho, I -gasp!- did actually make a good dinner! I know, right! Mainly, for The Hub to thank him for his awesome sod laying job. I would have made steak (I think steak is almost as good as sex to him!) but I didn't have any in the freezer and there was NO WAY I was leaving the house, so I made burgers out of the ORGANIC ground turkey I had in the freezer.

These were some damn good burgers, let me tell you. I grated cabot spicy habanero cheese in them along with some spices and YUMMY!

I made a really good mediterranean-inspired potato salad to go along with them and it too was damn good! Of course, I really believe that anything with sun-dried tomatoes and capers is delicious. But, I really love sun-dried tomatoes and capers!

Monday, I did a [very] little bit of cleaning and one of my best girlfriends and I went and looked at plants for the yard. When I got home, I found out that The Hub, just home from work, had already weeded our largest raised flower bed, relocated the multiplying and spreading tropicanna lilies and transplanted our pineapple mint (which, let me tell you, could take over 10,000 acres of forest, FOR SURE)! Of course, I got roped into helping him, and we weeded the graveled area of our yard. I was actually really surprised, because once I got gloves on to protect me from the nasty bugs, pulling up the weeds really didn't take that long. Then The Hub raked all the gravel around and leveled it out all nicely. By the time we were done, though, it was late and I was tired from being not-lazy and did not want to cook. So we had [ORGANIC] spaghetti & canned sauce. Awful, I know, but surprisingly we were still sustained.

Today we [hopefully] almost finished the yard, except for a couple of little things.
We bought marigolds and azaleas and a mandavilla and a garden arch. And two tomato plants, a red pepper, a california wonder pepper, a jalapeno, and a habanero. Did you know you can buy organic vegetable plants? You can! And -gasp!-I know this is gonna really freak you out... they don't cost any more! Freaky, right?!? I was pretty excited about it, personally.

I really hope that everything grows well, especially the newly relocated tropicannas. They're so very beautiful when they grow up, I will just cry if they don't!

It all looks really stark and beautiful, and I just want everything to GROW! GROW! GROW! But, I think it will. Last year, our little yard was absolutely overflowing with marigolds and tropicannas and I hope we get a repeat!

I can't wait until the mandavilla covers the green garden arch. Did you know those are hard to find? Fancy-schmancy $300 super-embellished arbors and trellises, yes. Simple garden arch who's purpose is only to support the beautiful climbing vine so that it can shine on it's own? It took a trip to 6 stores to find one! (thanks to The Hub's perseverance!)

Really, the last thing we have to do (and by we, I of course mean The Hub) is cut the sod around the tree-bush thing in the side yard and put some pine straw around it and the azaleas that The Hub planted. Oh, and pull up the weeds that are invading from our neighbors yard. I'm guessing we'll do that tomorrow!

Damn Good Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Cabot habenero)

Pre-heat the grill to medium high. In a bowl, mix all ingredients well using your hands. Shape into four patties. Place on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until done. Serve on buns with arugula (or other lettuce) and mayo and hot sauce, or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Arugula-Potato Salad

4 medium potatoes
6 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons diced sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
2 cups arugula
2 tablespoons (or more!) of crumbled feta
Salt & pepper to taste

Dice up the potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a pot. Cover with water and bring the potatoes up to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a bowl, mix together the mayo, sugar, vinegar, and spices.
Once the potatoes are done, drain, rinse in cold water and place in a serving dish. Add the arugula, tomatoes, capers and feta, top with the sauce (you might not need all of it) and some salt and pepper (taste for seasoning) and stir gently to combine. This would also be great with some diced or sliced red onions or shallots, but I was too lazy to chop up anything else! Still, this is so good!

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