Take a tour with me before you have some Dip

My garden, is just like one of my kids, but without diapers,and it doesn’t talk back, doesn’t even whine, doesn’t roll it’s eyes at you either….come to think of it, my garden is nothing like my kids, it’s much more easier to train and deal with. šŸ™‚ Just,don’t tell my kids that.
Before my daughter was born, (she’s now turning 5 in 14 days) I started my first garden. We were in NC and were able to map out a good one with rows and rows of vegetables, this is me holding my daughter around the garden in 2005.
We moved when she was nearly 5 months old, and I had to rip up every plant still in the ground. Can you imagine that? Planting and caring for things for months, and then just having to rip it all to shreds? It was heart breaking to me. Though the move itself was just a bit more overwhelming at the time. We packed and left within a week, on Thanksgiving no less! My garden just faded away as we drove across country, two kids, two dogs. Talk about stressful!!
    Now here we are in the same place we have been since that move . Guess what I’m not willing to do? Plant anything long term in the ground. Yup that’s right I plant out of containers, lots of them as well. Ones my husband made, which are about 8ft long, 3ft deep and 2ft wide. The others are self watering , which saves us on water big time.I have 14 self watering, and 8 others, plus two “flat bed containers”. Not counting the other huge ceramic planting pots. I’ve lost track. Very few things go in the ground, peas, and beans, sunflowers as well, but nothing else. Nothing I may end up having to yank from the ground or wave good bye too as we move. This way I can bug my husband and beg, plead him to drag these heavy, fully loaded containers onto a truck and haul them to our new place.. Much better this way I think, don’t you? Ha. Trust me, my husband doesn’t like that idea at all, but I’d much rather be able to know I can take it with me, rather than leave it all behind.
This year my garden took a heavy beating by weather, which brought hail even in May. A Squirrel, a.k.a. Mr Nutters, and my children have left a big dent in it as well. They pulled all my labels and tossed dirt around before they sprouted which left me with 4 different kinds sprouting in one cup, or more in others. It’s funny now, it wasn’t at the time. I’m just happy that I have a garden right now!
These are my girls searching for strawberries.
That’s my son not about to pass up a fresh picked berry šŸ™‚
This “Mutant” Squash, I still can’t figure out. It’s growing on a yellow summer squash plant, the plant right next to it, grows zucchini, maybe it’s my first cross? Who knows I’m leaving another day or so before I pick it. Still wondering what’s inside. We’ve harvested, tons of peas, strawberries and a couple zucchini already, so my first dish from my own garden was Baked  Zucchini sticks with Sweet Onion Dip. Tell me what about that doesn’t sound good?
                    This monster zucchini made the baked sticks the kids gobbled within 15 minutes!
Baked Zucchini Sticks
3 medium zucchini (1 1/4 to 1/2lbs) cut into 3 in sticks
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup (1 3/4 ounces) Panko bread crumbs (I didn’t have these, just used plain bread crumbs and it was fine.
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon pizza seasoning
1/2 cup (4 ounces) egg substitute
 Olive oil spray
Salt for sprinkling
Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit & drain for an hour.
Combine the Panko, Parmesan and pizza seasoning in a bowl set aside. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with olive oil (I just brushed it on)
Blot the sticks dry with paper towels. Dredge them a few times in the egg substitute, and then roll in the crumb mixture. Place sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
 Bake for 12 minutes, then turn over to bake for 8 more minutes until golden brown & crispy. Serve immediately.
    Sweet Onion Dip
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium sweet onion about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced.
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cider
2 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounce) honey
1 tablespoon mustard
1 cup ( 8 ounces) mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste.
Melt butter in med. frying pan over moderate heat and add the sliced onions. Cook stirring occasionally, until the onions soften then caramelize. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
 Once the onions are medium brown remove from heat and deglaze the pan with the cider. Place the onions and liquid into a small food processor or put into bowl to blend. Add the honey, mustard and process till smooth. Add the mayonnaise , salt and pepper to taste. Use as a sandwich spread or with vegetables for dipping. 
Hope you all like fresh vegetable recipes, because I have a garden full of them!

6 thoughts on “Take a tour with me before you have some Dip

  1. Echo @ Barely Mommy

    I'm jealous! I'd love to have a garden, but that's something I'm saving for our first "home". Right now we live in an apartment, and I refuse to plant a garden that someone else will get to enjoy! Haha.

    I'm just stopping by from MBC, and I'm now following your blog! Please feel free to stop by mine when you get the chance.

    Have a safe and very happy holiday weekend!
    Barely Mommy

  2. Jinnia Low

    Hi Melanie! You have a beautiful garden! That monster zucchini and baked zucchini sticks look so good!

    Stopping by from MBC Simply Follow, you have a new follower! Come visit me at http://jinnialow.com.

    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!


  3. mangiabella

    these zucchini sticks look awesomeeeeee! found u via MBC and just became your newest follower! would love to have you follow me at mangia-bella.blogspot.com

    have a marvelous holiday weekend sweet bella

  4. Kimberly

    Hi Melanie, I had to laugh as I sat here reading your blog I was just about to work on a post on my blog about my garden! I'm a novice…first year doing one! Your garden is much prettier than mine! šŸ™‚ Thanks for following me! ~Kimberly


  5. Laura

    Oh my those zucchini sticks and dip look so delicious! I'm going to have to try those soon! Thanks for sharing!

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