Growing potatoes in bags: Day 28

growing backyard potatoes day 28

I planted 5 Yukon gold potato seeds in a Potato Deck-Patio Grow Planter Bag on 3/20.  For those who are interested, here is more info about growing potatoes in a bag.

My happy little potato plants are still growing strong.  I hope that I didn’t overcrowd the taters in this bag.  In hindsight, I would have planted 4 in each bag.  I found this handy chart that describes what’s happening in the dirt.  I think it’s in stage 3.

 

Also here’s an update for the other set of potatoes that I planted in an old potting mix bag on 4/1.  This is day 15.  Looking good!

growing potatoes in plastic bag day 15


grown-up ramen

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I’ve eaten instant ramen for as long as I can remember. My parents usually added vegetables like cabbage or bok choy and a poached egg. I’m always surprised when I hear all the different way people like to eat it, like eating the noodles dry and sprinkling the soup packet on top.

I recently watched the first season “Mind of a Chef” on Netflix, and I was mesmerized with authentic shoyu ramen. I didn’t have the funds nor the patience to make my own dashi so I bought premade dashi from the store. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor, and I’ll probably always make it this way.

I had radishes on hand, but feel free to add any fresh vegetables you have. Some suggestions are mushrooms, spinach or thinly sliced onion.

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Ingredients
- pack of instant ramen (any flavor will do)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 3 small radishes, washed and thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp dashi base
- 1 tbsp mirin (optional)
- chives (optional)

The Rundown
1) Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add add soup mix, dashi, mirin and soy sauce. Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
2) Add noodles and radishes. Decease heat and gently boil for 3 minutes.
3) Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with chives.

Growing potatoes in bags: Day 23

growing backyard  potatoes

Lush.  That’s the only way I can describe the potato plants.  I rolled up the bag and added about 3-4 inches of potting soil.  Also Smart Gardener keeps reminding me to water it about an inch every week.

I’m a little worried that garden pests come so I’ve sprayed a thin mist of organic pesticide in the evenings.  It worked well last year, but I’m thinking about switching to an organic insect killing soap.

Also I planted three potato seeds in an empty potting mix bag on 4/1.  This is the growth after 11 days!

growing potatoes in plastic bag

Note:  I planted 5 Yukon gold potato seeds in a Potato Deck-Patio Grow Planter Bag on 3/20.  For those who are interested, here is more info about growing potatoes in a bag.

simple sweet chili chicken

simple sweet chili chicken

I just recently put myself on a strict budget, so my goal is to try to cook with ingredients that I have in the house and avoid those “Oh, I’m just going to stop by the grocery store for one thing, but end up with $50 worth of food” impulse buys.

In essence, I quickly marinated chicken with various Asian sauces I had, baked it, and served it on top of frozen vegetables . Feel free to adjust to whatever you have on hand!

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken leg quarters (skin and bone in), cut up to thighs and legs.
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (substitute suggestions: brown sugar, sugar, mirin)
  • 1/2 sweet chili sauce (This isn’t spicy, so don’t worry.)
  • 1/4 cup of sriracha sauce (optional; adjust to preferred level of spiciness)
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flake (optional; adjust to preferred level of spiciness)

The Rundown

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except the chicken.
  2. Coat the chicken and let marinate for at least 15 minutes. If you are using chicken with skin, be sure to put sauce underneath the skin.
  3. Arrange chicken on roasting pan. Occasionally baste chicken with left over marinade while it’s cooking. Bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken is done.   Serve on top of vegetables.

Landreth’s Stringless Green Beans: Day 17

 

Landreth Stringless Green Pod

I planted six Landreth stringless beans beans on 3/22 in a Jiffy Seed Starter Greenhouse.  I think I may have over watered them because all but one started looking white and gross.  =( This is the lone survivor and judging by its growth so far, I think it’s going to make it! It grew so large I had to transplant it into a plastic cup.

Landreth Stringless Green Pod

Grow, baby, grow!

I still wanted to grow beans this summer, so I’ve decided to plant Sunset Runner Beans  that I ordered from Baker Creek.  Since these are runner beans, it looks like I might need to buy a trellis.  Looking at pictures, I can’t wait to see the beautiful peach flowers bloom!

Growing potatoes in a bag

Last summer I was catching up with my good friend Jason, and he told me that his dad was growing potatoes in a barrel.   What?!  A barrel?!  I was completely taken aback. Right then I made a vow to learn more about it so I could grow my own potatoes in 2014.

I'm a tad dramatic when it comes to food.

“As God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again!”  (I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to food)

Seed Potatoes

One of the first things I learned was that you shouldn’t try to grow a potato brought from the grocery store. Apparently there is a chemical applied to store-bought potatoes to stunt the growth of eyes. My best bet was to plant  seed potatoes.

So I bought Yukon gold seed potatoes at my local Home Depot, which was about $3 for about 8 little seed potatoes. Personally I didn’t want to spend a lot of money since this a “proof of concept” that I could successfully grow potatoes.

Research

From what I understand, planting potatoes is sowing potato seeds in some sort of container in the spring. As the plant grows, you add more dirt to keep the plant growing tall. When the plant starts to wither, then it’s close to harvest time.

There is a lot of good information about chitting (yeah that made me laugh too), and when you should plant.  Here are the other sites I reference when I have questions:

Containers

Apparently there are lots of different options for a potato growing container. The general idea is you want something that is tall (or will grow to be tall) so the plants can grow tall and produce more spuds.

Some containers I’ve read include:

 

Foodie adventures in NYC

I recently spent a long weekend eating my way through different districts of New York City.  It was an incredible experience, and I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed with any of my meals.

Joe’s Lobster House in Staten Island

This meal was AMAZING.  That’s the only word to describe it.  The lobster was stuffed with a stuffing made of (if I remember correctly) shrimp, scallops and a bunch of other goodies.  This was a recommendation from my good friends Amanda and Pete (who is a native Staten Islander).

Joe's Lobster House in Staten Island

stuffed lobster with a side of pasta and sweet sauce.

H K Wonton Garden  in Chinatown

The first thing you should know is that the service is very …detached. I think that’s the only way to put it.  However it’s not so unfriendly that we felt offended; it was actually really funny to us when the waiters just kind of slapped down our waters and food.  BUT with that being said, the food was really good, and I would go back to order more dim sum.

Caffe Napoli in Little Italy

The desserts we ordered here was life-changing.  I really think this cannoli has set the bar for any other cannoli I will ever have in my life.  I was literally savoring each bite with teeny forkfuls to prolong the experience.  My friend/travel buddy/emotional hostage Arianna ordered a tiramisu which was fantastic as well.

Cannoli and american coffee

cannoli and american coffee

Meson Sevilla in Hell’s Kitchen

I forgot to take pictures of my sangria which was awesome, and our tapas (stuffed clams and roasted artichokes), but I highly recommend those too.  This paella was brimming with seafood and was very good.

paella valenciana in Meson Sevilla

paella valenciana

Junior’s in Brooklyn

I’m not ashamed to admit that I, like most people, am a Netflix-aholic.  A few days before the trip, I was watching “The West Wing” when President Bartlett talked about how much he loved an egg cream.  With that recommendation, who was I to ignore it?  Funny enough, there are no eggs or creams in the drink, which kind of reminds me of Mike Meyer’s SNL character Linda Richman (“Egg creams are not made of eggs nor cream. Discuss!”).  It tasted like a very yummy chocolate soda.

My steak burger was incredible, but I had to forgo the fries because I knew I had to leave room for cheesecake which the dessert for which Junior’s is known.  P. Diddy made a people walk across the Brooklyn Bridge in “Making the Band” to pick one up for him.  I took that endorsement seriously! =)  Usually I only each cheesecake for the graham cracker crust, but this cheesecake was so smooth and rich I have been officially  converted.