Aqua Fresca with Rhubarb, Kiwi, and Herbs or Looking for Refreshment in all the Wrong Places…

Aqua Fresca with Rhubarb, Kiwi, and Herbs or Looking for Refreshment in all the Wrong Places…

I just tasted the drink I made for today’s video, and oh my, it is refreshing!   We talked about Aqua Fresca, or flavored water.  We used the following

2 cups cold water, bottle, filtered, whatever you use

1 stalk garden fresh rhubarb

1 kiwi (not local)

2 mint leaves, a few arugula leaves, and a couple basil leaves
Simply mix ingredients together and roughly blend or mash with you preferred implement!  Let sit for 15 minutes or more, strain and served chilled.  It really is best if it sits in the fridge overnight, but I rarely have such foresight.
It was great seeing so many of you at the Sheboygan Farmer’s Market last Saturday. I will be on Fox 11 Good Day WI around 7:45 on Saturday morning to promote the premier of the youtube show, Under the Apple Tree.  I have had so much fun working on this project and seeing it come together.  I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed working on it so far.  It will be a once a week show focusing on sensible and fun ways to have a more handmade life.  Recipes for eating fresh and local, home projects, gardening and yard endeavors and more will be explored. It’s going to be a blast.  Please follow the show on Twitter @appletreeshow and YouTube “Under the Apple Tree”.  Click here for the video for this recipe Chef Todd talks Aqua Fresca.

Thanks again for following! See you soon.
Chef Todd

Garden Update

Garden Update

IMG_6986Hey everybody! There is nothing better than to toil in the soil! We have been working hard the last few weeks and loved every moment of it.

Despite the weather working against us for the most of the spring, we are happy to report we are looking better than we have the last few years at this time.

We started peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, watermelons, and pumpkins in the house some time ago. We transferred them to the garden over the last week and sowed seeds for corn, summer squash, carrots, potatoes, peas, green beans, black beans, and, of course, romenesco broccoli.


I can’t wait to witness this one growing and discover how it cooks up! I swear it looks like something off an Allman Brother’s Band tour poster!

We spent a lot of time re-setting the raspberry and strawberry rows. We felt with better organized rows it would be much easier to harvest the fruit. The plants took to the change really well. We ended up with an extra row of raspberries and two more rows of strawberries. That includes giving away some and planting others in different areas such as the edge of the woods and patio planters.IMG_6971


The asparagus has been up for awhile.  We harvest about 4 dinner sides a week!IMG_6973

On the downside, we lost all but the garlic chives and dill in the herb garden due to the bitterly cold winter and the lilacs were ravaged by the last frost. We love cutting sprigs and bringing that beautiful scent into out home. We will have to ration them this year! We replaced many of the herbs with both seeds and some 3 inch potted ones. Mint, sage, purple ruffled basil, sweet basil, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, and Italian parsley are all looking wonderful!

The trees look beautiful in full bloom. My favorites are the cherry blossoms but they are all just so neat. IMG_6927IMG_6981IMG_6983This is our oldest, largest, and most awe inspiring apple tree. Man, the stories to be told if these trees could speak!

Amy has worked tirelessly on the flower beds and they look great. The daffodils and tulips are up and some annuals were planted to add color. We lost a rose bush but the others seem to be coming along.IMG_6888IMG_6985

IMG_6984We approach these projects with the mindset that we do not know everything we need to, but we will work hard and keep reading and researching how to do it better. Every year seems to be more efficient and rewarding, and, frankly, that’s enough to us!  On top of all that, working the garden turns into some quality family time.  The boys love to help and even Pippe, the garden cat is always somewhere close!IMG_6935IMG_6934