Author Archives: Ray

Garden Update

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Okay guys, lets talk about a garden. So we wrote in the spring about how I was building a raised bed, and we were planting all kinds of heirloom tomatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers etc. I’m not sure if we mentioned this, but we also wanted to try and grow everything as organic as possible.
We are now reaping a few of the benefits of our first garden. So far, we’ve harvested about 50 small cherry tomatoes. All the other tomatoes (and almost everything else) were eaten alive by stinkbugs.
First they attacked our cucumbers, which up until that point were growing beautifully! Huge vines and giant leaves, tons of yellow buds, it was looking like we were gonna have cucumbers for months. Then, I started to notice some yellow and brown spots on the leaves. It took me a few weeks to figure out what was going on, and by that point the bugs had already taken over. They moved their way over to our peas and beans and a few of the tomato plants. Worms keep eating our bigger tomatoes, although our cherry tomatoes do seem to be thriving!
I’ve decided maybe for our fall garden and next years summer garden I’m going to grow some trap crops and then pesticide the mess out of those dirty bugs!
So any ideas on what to do for my fall crops? Or what kind of struggles I’m going to deal with then?

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Cooking with Ray: Potato Casserole

cwr2Sometimes you just need a good Potato Casserole that is cheesy, creamy and EASY. This is that casserole!!!

This is one of those recipe that you can change up however you like, but this is the way I go about it.

What you need:
cwr1Potatoes – I like to use red potatoes, mostly because you don’t have to skin them. You just clean them, cut them up and go. You’ll need enough for 1 layer to cover the bottom of your backing dish.
cwr3Onion – I usually dice up one large onion for this, I prefer a good yellow onion.
soup2 Cans of Cream of Mushroom soup
cwr4Cheese – lots of cheese… I love cheese and don’t believe you can ever have too much in something like this. I love a sharp Cheddar cheese! For this I used Sargento’s 4 State Cheddar shredded cheese. Delish!

So, I said this was simple. Here is what we do.

Step 1 – Clean and cut up all the potatoes.
Step 2 – cook up some bacon
Step 3 – add the 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup. Mix in some of the Bacon with the soup and potatoes. Make sure to save a little bacon though.
Step 4 – cover with cheese
Step 5 – crumble the saved bacon and add to the top
Step 6 – Cook for 45-60 min on 350 (or until the potatoes are good and cooked!)
Step 7 – Enjoy bacon-y cheesy creamy potato goodness!


Ray’s May Favorites

may faves ray1. Minnetonka Moccasins – Its been a lot hotter here in the FL so I’ve traded up my norm of boots for moccasins a few days a week… They aren’t as hot!
2. Sports drinks – so I’ve been working out in the yard a lot lately and these and 1000 water bottles keep me hydrated.
3. Popsicles – Its been hot. These are cool.
4. Aquaponic Gardening by Sylvia Berstein – Reasearch for future projects
5. Working in the garden
6. Soaker hose for the garden. HUGE time saver.