All posts tagged basil

My Vegie Garden Patch – It’s growing!! It’s growing!!

Published April 11, 2011 by Mary Jane

Hello Bloggy friends, yes I must apologise for the inaction with blogging lately as you know I live a hectic life and often times it’s a luxury of turning my Mac laptop on and typing away at night when all I want to do is veg out and sleep 🙂 So here it is anyways. I’ve been very proud of myself that so far most of my vegies are growing great – these cow manures, mulch and soil really works and my brick laying garden bed is supporting the growth of my seedlings. So here’s a snippet of some of the my vegies that are growing quite well…

My string beans – I couldn’t believe it just a few weeks, I’ve planted them with seeds and now literally they are starting to climb their way up the wires. I did try to untangle them as they got a little out of control hehehe but then some withered away as I have accidentally snap their stems..ooops..

String beans continue to grow – I’m so proud of them!!

My chilli plants were also doing quite well. They got a little crowded so I moved one of them but it didn’t survive – I realised what I should have done is dig a deep hole and hose lots of water down so that when I move them the roots would still be soaking wet rather than shifting them to a dry ground and covering them up with soil and then water it down. So One chilli plant died 😦 but the rest are still doing well though 🙂

Then it was snow peas which I’ve also planted from seeds – and they are all growing quite nicely bunched up together. I have a feeling they are going to tangle themselves together cos I didn’t leave enough spaces between planting the seeds. Oh well, at least they will be all snuggle up 🙂

Then there was some lettuce which I also planted from seeds and unfortunately cos the seeds were really tiny I kinda just sprinkle them in a whole lot so I’m not sure how crowded it’s going to get with them growing bigger and bigger hehehehe

I also planted some tomatoes not from seeds but I bought them as seedlings from bunnings. Tonight as I was watering them I noticed they were flowering already – hooray 🙂 which is rather strange cos they are still so short looking and there’s already flowers on them…oh well, not that I’m complaining I hope I’ll have some fresh tomatoes soon. I also ran out of room to plant them so they are kinda all squashed together too 😦

Time to check out my very own garden brick bed – the rockets are doing extremely well – I even started harvesting some for my salads – but there were quite bitter, but I was told bitter vegies are good for your health so I’ve started eating them with canned tuna and it’s quite tasty 🙂 The carrots were also growing, I’m not sure when I should harvest them though…then most of my basil died…sniff sniff I have never successfully planted basil but tonight as I was watering my garden bed I noticed that 2 basil plants have survived – yay 🙂 I’m hoping I’ll be able to harvest some fresh basil leaves soon…then most of my coriander died too except for two of them…for some strange reason these two plants seemed to have survived through the harsh conditions, I’m hoping with their strong survival skills I would have plenty of basils and corianders -they are two of my most favourite herbs 🙂

Then there was capsicum plants and lettuce. The capsicum plant is doing quite well and the lettuce (there are two types of lettuce) were also doing quite well and I started cutting the leaves so I could have some of them with my bitter rockets! Yummy…

Here’s the harvesting of my rockets…Mighty fresh and mighty delicious!!!

So…that’s all folks, my wonderful organic small vegie garden patch…


Herbs, Herbs and more Herbs…

Published August 31, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, well just letting you guys know I’ll try to update my blog on a daily basis but now I’ve started working – staring at the computer for close to 8 hours straight is making my peepers very sore 😦 Anyways, today is my mummy’s birthday..sniff sniff and it’s the first time I’m not able to spend the day with her..oh well, so I thought I’ll surprise her by sending some nice bunch of flowers but you know what happened? The flowers were delivered 2 days early, my mummy called and said thanks for the flowers? I’m like “what??, they are not suppose to deliver it that early!!” anyways, so I emailed the florist to find out what went wrong and then they replied and said we’ll deliver another bunch on the right day they apologized. I couldn’t believe it! Wow, mum rang me and told me she received another nice bunch of flower today – on her birthday! Hooray! I love happy endings.

Anyways, when I first arrived in Melbourne – I was so keen to improve my culinary skills that I went crazy with purchasing lots and lots of herbs. Now, it isn’t a problem if you used it all within a week. But my fridge was playing up with temperature – sometimes it’s so cold it freezes my vegies and sometimes it’s not cold enough that I think our ham is going to go off. So anyways, my herbs are starting to look a little miserable. So I thought to myself rather than throwing them away, I might as well find out how to keep my herbs longer. So there’s are a few ways, but the one that interested me the most is drying it naturally by placing the herbs in a well ventilated place until it dries up and the other method is freezing – so for my basil – I decided to freeze it.

Now sometimes I’ve got to admire my creativity or crazyzity if there’s such a word, it was hard trying to find a well ventilated place in our small apartment. So I found our laundry room and there’s a sink there and I’ll just ventilate it by opening the cupboard to let some air in. It’s perfect, I just tie the herbs onto the tab so it dangles from the tabs.

After a week or two the herbs are all dried – I tried out tarragon and rosemary and started stripping the leaves off.

and then box them into a container for later use…very happy with the result and our laundry is starting to smell like a herb garden hehehhe

then there was the freezing method for my basil, dip them in hot water and then dip them in icy water and then you can freeze them – pretty simple…

Now I don’t feel too bad buying all sorts of herbs 🙂

Day 10 – Jamie’s Cook Book Challenge – Jool’s Favourite Saturday Afternoon Pasta

Published August 24, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hooray!! Pandabear heard me make some sighing noise and asked me what’s wrong? I told him I only got little storage spaces left cos all my photos are so big, he then showed me how to decrease the photo size and now I can upload another 1000s photos yay 🙂 it’s great to have an IT Guru around…So today, I asked myself what should I make – I’m moving onto pastas now…so came across this tuna pasta. Now to be honest, I’m not really a tuna person – it has a really strong fishy taste but I thought how interesting this is Jamie’s wife’s favourite afternoon pasta dish. So I went and grabbed a few ingredients. Here it is…



so I proceed to chop and slice ingredients – I was really happy to find that it requires one red chillie as I might have mentioned in my previous post I’m trying to train Pandabear slowly to start eating spicy food. Cos I love chillies and spicy food that’s what makes our food yummy. I find it strange to add ground cinnamon to the pasta dish as I thought ground cinnamon was more for sweet things. Nevermind, I persisted on following the recipes to the dot. Then I realised there’s basil in this dish – Pandabear hate all sorts of herbs and he will literally fish them out or complain about their taste. But since I’m following the recipe to the dot – he’ll just have to bear the basil taste. This is the first time I bought Rigatoni pasta, I have tried out spaguetti, penne, linguini, fettucine and ribbon pastas but never tried out Rigatoni – it’s kind of a huge version of Penne. So when it comes to adding everything together the smell is awesome and Pandabear just arrived home…

It was delicious, the tuna fishy taste is hidden by the basil, chilli and lemon juice so it was yummy. I loved this pasta, Pandabear even went for second serves and he didn’t complain about the basil or chilli! So I’ve very happy with this pasta and will definitely make it again, it’s so easy to make 🙂

Cook book challenge success? Yes!

Day 6 – Jamie’s Cook Book Challenge – Wicked Tomato Salad

Published August 14, 2010 by Mary Jane

Well, I love tomatoes and usually I cook them in my pasta or I eat them in my salad in which case it’s raw! I also love tomato sauce as well 🙂 So when I came across this recipe, it was like cool a whole plate of tomato salad. The tomatoes are the heroes of this dish. Jamie recommend buying all sorts of different tomatoes which also comes in different colours, I didn’t buy different tomatoes just one kind – normal red tomatoes so the colour contrast isn’t as nice but oh well it’s close enough.

Anyways, here it is…



Jamie said season the chopped up tomatoes with salt and put it in a colander over a bowl to wait for the juices to come out – how clever – I learn a new technique…

Also I have learn how to use a new herb – Marjoram – I have never used it in my whole life. It’s a nice smelling herb, can’t describe the smell it’s sweet and aromatic and I love how the herbs is furry and soft I could stroke it often heheheeh

chopped up herbs

chopped up herbs

and there you have it a wicken tomato salad – Jamie is a genius!

Jamie's wicked tomato salad

Jamie's wicked tomato salad

close up

close up

it tastes fantastic, basil and tomatoes are great buddies – they go so well together. I made extra so left overs I’m going to follow Jamie’s style toss them into some spaghetti and there I have another new dish!

Cook Book Challenge Success? Yes!