Monthly Archives: September 2013

Roasted Vegetables

This weekend marked the first “official” day of fall.  There are many indicators that fall is upon us; first days of school, frost warnings at night, the return of the pumpkin spice latte, to mention a few!  January 1st often gets all the glory of “New Year’s resolutions” but I know for many, September is also a time of new beginnings, and a time to kick-start good habits.  Myself, after a summer of barbecues and wiener roasts, I’m ready to add in some more vegetables to my mealtime. Luckily for me, fall is the time of year when an abundance of vegetables are being harvested, and I have TONS of options!

One of my favourite ways to eat more veggies is in soups; I feel like you can pack a ton of nutritious goodness in one small bowl.  It’s a bonus that most soups are quite easy to make!  My go-to soup these days is Butternut Squash soup.  I’ve made it so many times that I can do it without thinking, and in less time than it takes to order a pizza! I tried a new one last night, and it took longer, but was definitely worth it!

Butternut and Roasted Vegetable Soup

1 Butternut Squash

1 Leek

1 Onion, peeled, cut in half

5 Shallots, peeled

1 bulb Garlic, cut in half crosswise

2 Carrots, peeled, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 Stalks Celery, trimmed

1 Small bunch of Fresh Sage Leaves, stems removed

Olive Oil

Salt, Pepper

Cinnamon

Honey

6 – 8 Cups of Chicken Stock

Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 F. or 180 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, reserve them. Trim the root and the toughest part of the green end of the leek, cut it into quarters lengthwise from the root end toward the green, stopping before the end so that the layers are held together, rinse well under cool water, dry. Lightly coat the vegetables and sage leaves with olive oil. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet. Sprinkle all of the vegetables lightly with salt, pepper and whole sage leaves. Sprinkle the butternut lightly with cinnamon and drizzle it with a few drops of honey. Roast the vegetables in the oven, checking after about fifteen minutes, remove them as they become soft and turn golden brown on the edges and reserve them. When the butternut is quite soft, scoop out the flesh, cool it slightly, squeeze out the garlic to remove the peel, add with the rest of the vegetables to a food processor and puree until smooth. Place in a stockpot and add the stock. Simmer the soup for a few minutes, adding more chicken stock if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Lightly toast the butternut seeds in the oven. To serve the soup, sprinkle with toasted seeds and shaved parmesan.

Taken from: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/member-recipes/Butternut%2520and%2520Roasted%2520Vegetables%2520Soup/1594

 

Bonus: We’re currently selling free-range chickens at Lacoste, so after you’ve roasted one up for your Sunday dinner, while you’re cleaning up, toss the carcass in the pot, and make some broth!

I usually chop an onion in half (skin and all), break a few carrots and stalks of celery into chunks (unpeeled), toss them in a pot with some salt, pepper and a bay leaf or two.  It usually comes to a boil by the time the dishes are done, and then I let it simmer for an hour or two, strain out the broth and throw it in the freezer until next soup day!

Tulips

This week I’m planning to plant some tulip bulbs.  I’ve planted many around the yard already, but I like to add more every year.  It is such a quick way to prepare for a bright burst of colour in the springtime.

In celebration of the tulip, here are some facts you may not know about tulips:

  1. Plant the pointy side up.  The round flat side will form the roots
  2. Planting with a Mykes will help roots explode with growth
  3. Planting earlier is better, to give roots lots of time to establish before winter
  4. Tulips need to be planted in fall, as they require a prolonged period of cooling in order to flower
  5. There are over 3000 varieties of tulips, the most popular are red
  6. The most famous tulip is the “Queen of the Night”
  7. Tulips, although largely associated with Holland, actually originate from the Middle East
  8. The streaky  variegated look of some tulips was originally due to a virus
  9. “Tulipomania” in Holland in the 1600’s is often thought of the first economic bubble to burst
  10. The word ‘Tulip’ is derived from the Turkish word for turban

Nursery Expansion

If you’ve been by Lacoste lately, you’ll have noticed that one side of the lot looks very empty, and one side looks quite full!  We’ve emptied out the nursery area of all the trees and shrubs and moved them over, in front of Perennial World, in order to begin an exciting nursery expansion!

The expansion will connect the greenhouse (indoor) area to the (outdoor) nursery.  This makes it even easier to shop for all your garden plants, and co-ordinate your perennial, annual, tree and shrub purchases.  We’re adding on 3000 square feet of space, and paving the whole area, which will make it much more spacious, pleasant, and less “puddle-y” to browse around! Additionally, the “shrub shack” will be much larger, and house all the fertilizers, stakes, and everything trees need, as well as some extra registers and associates to answer all your questions!

Stay tuned here and on Facebook to watch as the progress unfolds!