It’s Spring, the sun is finally making an appearance, windows are starting to open, and the sound of kids playing in the neighborhood fills my house. I love preparing dinner while listening to my kids play. I gather all of the things we need to eat, condiments, napkins, utensils, plates, I glance out the window and see our neighbors chatting. I smile. I grab the chicken marinating in the fridge, the cutting board and of course the veggies, I take a peak at my husband pushing my kids on the swing set. I smile. I head out onto the porch and I do what I love doing the most. Prepare dinner for my family.
Today we are celebrating around the family table with recipes from the garden. We are joined by our sponsors, American Family Insurance and our wonderful host Jennifer over at Peanut Butter and Peppers. I had the pleasure of working with American Family Insurance back in November. I’ve enjoyed getting to know this family insurance company and discovered that AmFam are true believers of each and everyone’s dreams. Dreams are what forever makes our lives full and complete. So I encourage you to follow AmFam’s “Choose Dreams” Pinterest board. You’ll find a variety of recipes coming from the garden!
I always wanted to grow my own herbs and then once I succeeded in doing that maybe even grow fresh vegetables. Well last year my husband bought me a few plants and I successfully had sage, rosemary and chives for the whole summer. This Summer I’m adding oregano, parsley and basil to my list. If I can manage to keep these fresh herbs going throughout the summer I will surely be starting the vegetables next year. I want to teach my children the importance of growing fresh herbs and vegetables. Last summer my daughter spent a lot of time with her grandmother and grandfather. Grampy Gary would take her out to his garden and they would pick all kinds of vegetables. She would come home on Sunday afternoon all smiles, with big bags of fresh green beans, zucchini galore and potatoes to last us all week. She took such pride in picking them herself. That’s when I realized I have to at least try to grow my own herbs and vegetables because seeing my child this happy over picking vegetables is enough to make any mother happy.
So research I did! I wanted to know which plants grew better inside so I could start in the early Spring, and I wanted to know how to care for each different kind. Here are some tips I learnt a long the way that I wanted to share:
1. You have to play mother nature to indoor plants. They stay healthy and strive with four to six hours of natural sunlight. Keep them growing in the kitchen or the bathroom where they are most likely to stay slightly warm and humid naturally.
The next one surprised me because I thought you couldn’t water a plant enough, but I guess the watering is just as important as the location of your plant.
2. Never let your plant sit in standing water. The roots will rot! Grow all herbs in a pot that has holes for drainage. You want to keep your soil moist being sure to not over water.
This last tip was a good one, I’ve read a lot but this one I discovered last year with my sage, it grew the best out of the three herbs I had and it took me awhile to realize why.
3. When pruning your plant don’t always pick the larger leaves. Plants need those large leaves to continue the growth process. So no matter how tempting it is to reach for those large leaves that you can visualize in your recipe, make sure you mix it up by pruning some large ones and small ones.
I think using fresh herbs really completes a dish. It adds so much flavor no matter what you’re making. One of my favorite things to do with fresh herbs is make marinades!! I made this one easy yet fresh and that’s exactly the result I got. I think the key to this one was allowing it to marinate for 24 hours in the fridge.
1- 1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breasts
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. of chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper
Assorted Veggies of your liking (We used peppers, zucchini & summer squash here)
Chop chicken into large chunks and season with salt and pepper. Place in a large zip lock bag.
In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients except the veggies. Add to the bag and mix well to make sure all of the chicken gets coated. Fold bag in half and marinate for at least 6 hours. The longer the better. Another good tip is allowing the skewers to soak in water for a few hours, this prevents them from burning while they cook on the grill.
Add chicken and veggies to the skewers and cook for 15-20 min or until chicken is cooked through, turning the skewers periodically. I even grilled the leftover veggies I had on the top rack which gave us great leftovers. The chicken was so moist and just burst with fresh flavor.
Do you need more idea’s and inspirations for cooking fresh from the garden??? Go and check out AmFam’s Choose Dreams Pinterest board now! Here is how you can connect in other ways:
Don’t forget to check out all the other recipes that the Sunday Supper family has put on the table today:
- 3 Cheese Naan Pizza with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Arugula by Neighborfood
- Asparagus Penne with Bacon Cream Sauce by Country Girl In The Village
- Basil, Honey and Walnut Gelato by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Chimichurri Skirt Steak by Magnolia Days
- Garden Foccacia by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Greek Stuffed Tomato by Yours And Mine Are Ours
- Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Sweet Peppers by Daily Dish Recipes
- Herbed Chicken Kabobs by Momma’s Meals
- Individual Indian Corn Pudding Souffles by Delaware Girl Eats
- Lemon Herb Slow Cooker Roast Chicken by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Quinoa Tabbouleh by Supper for a Steal
- Rosemary and Lemon Chicken Thighs with Asparagus by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Rosemary Cornbread by Alida’s Kitchen
- Salmon Peppers and Onions by Family Foodie
- Spinach Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Strawberry Basil Pasta Salad by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Summer Pasta Puttanesca by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Summer Vegetable Lasagna by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Tortellini with Garden Fresh Pesto by The Foodie Army Wife
- White Bean Cilantro Chopped Vegetable Salad by Shockingly Delicious
This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.
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