What Are the Easiest Foods to Grow?

Easiest Vegetables to Grow in Your Home Garden You can grow different vegetables during spring, summer and fall to maintain a healthy supply of foods. Seasonal eating has regained popularity and makes homegrown vegetables more fun to plant and harvest. Beets The root crop, beets thrive in spring and early summer and the fall. You'll most likely harvest your last crop in mid-June and begin harvesting again in late September or early October. Maturation is usually between 55 to 70 days, depending on the variety. Plant succession crops every week to ensure you have all the beets you want. When you harvest, don't throw away the leaves, which are delicious and very nutritious. Carrots Carrots are simple to grow. Make sure the soil is loose enough to allow this root crop to grow freely. You'll want to grow in the spring and early summer since carrots don't tolerate summer heat very well. Your last harvest will most likely be mid-June. You can plant your fall harvest toward the end of July for an October harvest. Check your seed package for maturation dates and plan accordingly. Cucumbers Cucumbers can be grown vining on the ground, but for best results try growing vertically. Cucumbers don't like…

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Very Berry Virgin Mojito

I hate summer – really, I do!  But, that’s no excuse not to partake in a refreshing and delightful summery drink like this Very Berry Virgin Mojito.  Before you get your knickers in a knot, yes, you can most certainly undo the virgin part by adding a good splash of rum! WANT AN ALCOHOLIC VERSION? JUST ADD A SPLASH OF RUM! As for me, John.e, and of course, McKenna, we like our drinks to be virgin.  John.e and I never consume alcohol. He doesn’t like the taste at all. And, I tend to be very picky with what I like and dislike. No matter the type of alcohol though, I will immediately break out in sweat. I get so overheated on just a sip or two. For those reasons, we tend to make virgin drinks only. Because I am not very well versed in the amount of alcohol to add to a drink such as this, I had to research it. From what I can tell, most people add just one shot of their favourite rum to one cup of the mix. Does that sound right to you? It sounds like a lot to me, but then again, I have…

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HOW TO GROW PLEIONE ORCHIDS

Learn how to grow Pleione orchids indoors or outdoors with this easy to follow gardening guide. Pleione orchids, also known as “windowsill orchids”, Glory of the East, Indian Crocus, and Himalayan Crocus, are known for their large, oversized flowers and their small stalks. Unlike regular orchids, Pleione orchids have annual pseudobulbs, which means they only grow for one season and then need to be replanted again next year. The Pleione orchid can be grown either indoors or outdoors. Growing Pleione orchids indoors is similar to growing regular orchids. Outdoors, these orchids are hardy to about 5F, and if taken proper care of, can usually survive mild winters. THE ORIGINS OF THE PLEIONE ORCHID Pleione orchids are native to Nepal, China, Taiwan, and Tibet. As such, they're usually found on moss, trees, and rocks. The enlarged flowers (3-4 inches across) will usually bloom in spring, with 2-3 more flowers blooming throughout the spring and summer growing season. Once the flowers fade, a single leaf will emerge and usually last all summer long. A new bulb forms at the base of each leaf, the leaves will die down in the fall, and the old bulbs will wither in the winter. HOW TO GROW…

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What is Diatomaceous Earth? How to Use DE for Garden Pest Control

ave you heard about diatomaceous earth, or perhaps a recommendation to “use DE!” to solve a pest issue, but aren’t quite sure what it’s all about? You aren’t alone! DE is an excellent organic material to use in the garden (or around your homestead in general) but is often misunderstood.  Read along to learn all about DE and get answers to your frequently asked questions. This article will cover exactly what diatomaceous earth is, and how to use DE in your garden for organic pest control. We’ll explore what pest insects DE is effective against (or not), a few notes on safety and limitations, and how to apply it for the best results. What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?  Diatomaceous Earth, known as “DE” for short, is a very fine, chalk-like white powder. It is made up of the fossilized remains of single-celled aquatic microorganisms called diatoms. In a nutshell, it is ancient phytoplankton. Diatomaceous earth is found naturally in sedimentary rock and mined to use in industrial products, swimming pool filters, as an organic insecticide, in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and even in food. Like its many uses, diatomaceous earth comes in many grades. We always choose to use food-grade DE for our garden and…

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Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

Last weekend, while John.e and McKenna went into town to pick up pizza for dinner, I decided to make some appetizers. One of those was 3 Cheese Jalapeno Poppers. With quite a few jalapenos and lots of cheese on hand, I knew they would go great with pizza! The other appetizer I prepared were these Homemade Mozzarella Sticks. We are cheese lovers, so we could handle three food items with lots of cheese. You have live a little once in a while, right!? Besides, we have been staying at our house since the lock down started, so we can indulge a little. EATING IS WHAT I DO BEST LATELY! Everyone on social media seems to be talking about the fact that they are eating more now that things are at a standstill. The same applies to me. There are a few reasons for this. First, I blog about food, so I’m always baking or cooking something. Seriously, Dear Reader, I prepare recipes every single day. When we were told that we could start working from home, we packed up our computers and the cats and all three of us headed to the house. After all, there was really no reason to…

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Classic Ermine Frosting

When I was younger, my mom would often make a cake on the weekends. She loved to bake and would make many cakes from scratch. I have fashioned my Tomato Soup Cake after her version. And she would make Gumdrop Cake quite often too. But when it comes to regular, everyday baking, she would just break out a boxed cake mix. It was very rarely chocolate or vanilla though. Nope, she preferred the flavoured cakes. Should loved the yellow cake, and she would make the cherry chip cake often enough. Whatever flavour she picked, it was topped with one of two things. The first was Dream Whip. There was always a box of that in the cupboard. If it wasn’t that, it was Ermine Frosting. Of course, she never used the word frosting in her life. She called everything icing. I remember mom using the flour-based frosting, but it took me years to track down the recipe. Finally, here it is in all it’s glory! WHAT IS CLASSIC ERMINE FROSTING? I’ve tried to put into words – to describe – what this frosting is, but I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. I found this description on the Wilton website…

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Sweet Jalapeno Pork

It seems that I cannot get enough of jalapenos lately. I’ve been experimenting with them a lot. If you’re a Lord Byron’s Kitchen fan, you might have noticed that I have been posting jalapeno inspired recipes lately. I swear, I’m almost over it! What happens to me quite often. I will find a new ingredient and I’ll run with it until I grow tired of it. I’m doing it with jalapenos now, but I’ve done it before with shallots, butternut squash, and even Brussels sprouts! But, I think jalapenos have been winning in terms of recipe popularity. It seems that everyone loves jalapenos! Once you’ve finished with this recipe, I encourage you to consider my 3 Cheese Jalapeno Poppers, these Jalapeno Corn Muffins, and also, my Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad. If you’ve never grilled jalapenos before, you must try it! FRYING JALAPENOS In this recipe, the pork and the sliced jalapenos are tossed in the same batter and fried in the same manner. I sliced the jalapenos about 1/4 inch thick and left the seeds in. As you know, Dear Reader, it’s the seeds that make the jalapenos spicy. If you remove them, the jalapeno is mild and sweet. Because I wanted the spiciness, I left…

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Chicken and Asparagus Teriyaki

This is one of those recipes that I threw together for myself one night and loved it. Sometimes, I swear, I put more thought into what I’m going to prepare for John.e than I do myself. Being that he’s a vegetarian, it requires more thought and more planning. One particular night I had dinner all planned. But I forgot about what I was going to have. I had chicken and asparagus in the fridge. There was also a jar of my homemade 10 Minute Teriyaki Sauce. That’s pretty much all I needed to make this delicious stir fry. Let’s talk a little bit about the ingredients, and then I’ll tell you all about my homemade teriyaki sauce. You should have a jar of it in your fridge at all times. It’s so versatile! CHICKEN BREASTS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Our fridge is never without boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Yes, I know they can be quite boring. But, they’re also quite fast to cook. Chicken breasts have a bad reputation for being dry. But, that’s only because they were not prepared properly. Chicken breast meat is very lean, healthy, and high in protien. That leanness is exactly why the cook up very…

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HOW TO GET RID OF POWDERY MILDEW
HOW TO GET RID OF POWDERY MILDEW

HOW TO GET RID OF POWDERY MILDEW

If you're here, you may be wondering how to get rid of powdery mildew. But, what is powdery mildew? Powdery mildew is actually a group of fungal diseases that usually develop in warm, humid weather. It is one of the most common and most noticeable fungal diseases in plants, and today we'll show you how to get rid of it once and for all! Surprisingly, almost no plant is immune to powdery mildew, and there are a few plants that are especially susceptible to this disease including cucumbers, squash, grapes, lilacs, phlox, and roses. WHAT IS POWDERY MILDEW & HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT As you may have already guessed from the name, powdery mildew looks much like a powdery deposit on the leaves and stems of plants. Sometimes, these deposits are in splotches, and sometimes, they're blanketed on. These are a number of different powdery mildew fungi, but they're very hard to tell apart because they all look the same. Powdery mildew will usually start underneath the leaves, and can also spread to the flowers, fruits, and buds, before finally depositing onto the tops of leaves. The interesting thing about powdery mildew is that it can be plant-specific. A different type of powdery mildew will…

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Red Berry Swirl Tartlets

In the world of food blogging, Canada Day is one particular celebration that’s almost completely void of food that mimics the colours and/or patriotic symbolism of this beautiful country. Here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen, I have a few recipes that celebrate America’s Fourth of July. So, this year, I decided to up my Canada Day recipe game as well. ARE CANADIANS AS PATRIOTIC AS AMERICANS? Using the word patriotic to describe Canada is not something I feel really comfortable with doing. It’s not that Canucks aren’t a proud people; I think it’s the fact that Canadians are modest and humble. Of course, I’m not stating that in contrast, Americans aren’t those things as well. But, it seems that America loves a good excuse to host a party! You must admit, my Dear American Reader, the Fourth of July is a huge deal for you. Just a few years ago, while writing up a recipe, I found some facts about America’s Independence Day. I stumbled upon a fact sheet which I found extremely interesting. The website had compiled a list of Fourth of July food consumption. THE TRUTH IS IN THE NUMBERS Americans consume around 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth…

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Puff Pastry Cream Cheese Fruit Tarts

If you’re a loyal reader, you will mostly like know already that home for me is Canada. To be more precise, we call Toronto home. There’s a positive side to living in a metropolis. Everything is readily available and pretty much at your finger tips. But, I long for a quiet life in the country. But, just because I live in Canada, that does not mean that I cannot celebrate and prepare a recipe for Independence Day. I love living in Canada, but I’m very much drawn to the United States. You know, Dear Reader, that I have a weakness for shopping and for country decor, and I find those things in the US. I have a full on love affair with Trader Joe’s (which we don’t have here in Canada) and I love Target and Barnes & Noble. In addition to my attraction to obviously materialistic things, a large portion of subscribers and readers of Lord Byron’s Kitchen resides in the United States. So, for those readers, I prepared these delicious and super easy Puff Pastry Cream Cheese Fruit Tarts. (Don’t worry, my Canadian readers, there’s a special Canada Day-based treat coming for you in a few days!) STORE BOUGHT PUFF…

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HOW TO PREPARE SOIL FOR GARDEN

If you're deciding to grow a vegetable garden, knowing how to prepare soil correctly is crucial. But did you know that the best time to prepare the soil is at the end of the growing season? Depending on where you live, this will usually be in early or late fall. Preparing soil during this time will enrich the soil for the next season, in spring. Today we will share some tips and tricks with you where you can first identify the type of soil you have the things you can do to prepare it for the next growing season. Before we get into that, let's take a look and see why preparing soil is crucial. WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD SOIL? If you're new to gardening, you may think that you can just plant directly in the ground, in your backyard. But, that may not be the case. Gardening soil is not just dirt and pebbles – it's usually amended with minerals and nutrients which your plants feed on. Just like we need nutrients to grow and survive, so do plants. Providing them with a nutrient-rich soil is very important, especially if you're growing edible plants, such as herbs, vegetables, or fruits.…

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Guacamole with Charred Corn and Tomatoes
Guacamole with Charred Corn and Tomatoes

Guacamole with Charred Corn and Tomatoes

I have spent most of my life avoiding guacamole as much as possible. Prior to me preparing dishes on my own, every guacamole I had found was loaded with cilantro. I hate cilantro. I’m one of those people who will argue that cilantro tastes like soap. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a mouthful of soap, but if you did, you would understand why guacamole was avoided. A few years ago, I discovered dried cilantro. I took a chance and tried it in the guacamole I was preparing. And, guess what!? It didn’t taste like soap! It was so good, in fact, I made it again for this blog. I called it Guacamole for Cilantro Haters just so that my readers knew where I stood on the issue! So, there we were. I had found a way to make guacamole that both the cilantro hater and the cilantro lover could agree on. I thought that was it, but there was so much more to guacamole that I had yet to discover. GUACAMOLE – WHAT A WEIRD NAME FOR AVOCADO SAUCE! Guacamole has been around for since the sixteenth century. Can you believe that? Apparently, the Aztec’s were the first to…

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Tomato Tortellini Soup

As a food blogger, I sometimes feel guilty about using prepared food items. I think I should be preparing things from scratch. But, I remind myself that Lord Byron’s Kitchen is all about recipes that can be made easily by anyone. There’s no shame in buying frozen tortellini, but if you’d like to make your own pasta, you can do that too! I’m reminded of a conversation I had with McKenna a few months back about school lunches. I’ve always struggled with what to send with her. She’s a picky eater when it comes to school lunches. So, I asked her to give me some ideas; tell me what her friends bring. She proceeds to tell me that one of her friends asked her why she brought a sandwich so often when her dad was practically a chef. Well, thanks for the partial compliment! But, I’m sure this friend wasn’t aware of the fact that I ask McKenna every single day what she wants for lunch. Her response is always the same – I don’t know. Well, kid, if you don’t know at your age what it is you want, you’re getting a sandwich! The thing is, I’m not a…

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Almond and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Okay, dear Reader, I don’t officially have a top ten list of pesto recipes. Not one that I carry around with me in my wallet. And, certainly, not one that I’m going to admit to at this particular time.  But, if I did, then this pesto would be on that list, and most likely, very close to the top. This is one of those pasta dishes that make you feel better about yourself and make you happy to be alive.  Am I the only one that can feel such powerful emotions from eating good food?  If I’m not alone, please come forward.  We can start a club! COOKING AND BAKING IS PERSONAL! I’ve shared this with John.e before, but I’m not sure I’ve talked about it at Lord Byron’s Kitchen.  My recipes – my creations – are extremely personal.  I try my best to not take negativity to heart. But, it’s really hard to hear the words, “I didn’t like it.”  Everyone has their own personal tastes, but when it comes to sharing food you’ve prepared, it’s very personal. When someone loves to cook and bake, and likes to share it with the world, yet that same person is an introvert…

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