How does your Garden Grow…..

​Enjoy the bounty of your garden by preserving!  Read on for “My Tips” for Saving Summer Tastes for the winter blues…..See my recipe for “Basil Oil” (below) ~ Keeps for 3 months ~ drizzle it on everything!!!!

Gardening in Newfoundland is always unpredictable!  The fog and the wind play havoc on many a crop and then if the sun doesn’t shine and the days are chilly, that’s a double whammy! But I have to say, even though the summer started off miserably (cold, cold, cold) August has certainly been beautiful and my garden is showing it’s bounty, FINALLY!! 🙂

Everything in the greenhouse is growing prolificly while my raised bed is growing half assed!  Lost my broccoli and cauliflower to root maggot, the slugs got my potatoes, and the birds ate my strawberries and quite a few of my seeds (peas, lettuce, spinach).  I would LOVE to hear how you keep the birds from eating your seeds.

My basil, oregano, hungarian peppers, green peppers, hot peppers, cukes, zucchini, kale, and romaine lettuce are producing more than we can eat.  I am one of those people that likes to use everything!!!! so here are some ways I preserve my produce to enjoy after the warm days of summer have passed.  Which in Newfoundland, is much sooner than I would like! (sniff, sniff)

DD’s Tips

Zucchini:  I grate my zucchini, bag it in 2 cup measurements, squeeze all the air out of the bag and freeze it.  Great for baking!  Just defrost, squeeze out the extra liquid and mix in your recipe as per the directions.

Oregano:  I have been using my oregano in everything!  That stuff grows like a weed.  I am on my third drying, have a few bottles of “DD’s Garden Oregano”  and have frozen some in ice cube trays with olive oil to use in sauces, soups, dips, or melted over fish or chicken. 

(NOTE: To dry your basil and oregano, tie stems with twine, hang upside down in a non drafty room until nice and crumby.  Gently remove from stem, do not crumble, and place in a mason jar.  When using, just crumble into food ~ it’s just like using fresh herbs).

Basil:  My basil is drying as I write this, I also have some frozen in ice cube trays with olive oil and they get added to spaghetti sauces, soups, dips, or drizzed over a salad…it’s even great just thawed for dunking with a fresh baguette.  I also made this delicious “Basil Oil” (recipe below) that will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 months. Drizzle it on everything!!! and then drizzle some more. (eggs, veggies, meats, chicken, fish, salad…….)

Kale:  I cut my kale up into bite size pieces and place it in a large baggie, remove all the air and place it in the freezer.  I add this to soups, stews, sauces, smoothies….here is one of my favorite recipes using kale…Spicy Fish Stew with Vegetables.

Once all the air is removed from your Kale, it takes up little room in your freezer!

Spicy Peppers:  I just found this “How to Roast and Store Chilies” this morning and will be roasting my chilies this week to make my own “canned green chilies”.  Store in the freezer in 1/2 cup measurements = a 4oz can of chilies.

I hope you enjoyed my little garden tour!  Would love to hear your ideas on how you preserve your garden’s bounty!  Leave me a comment at the bottom of this post 🙂 

Basil Oil

“A great oil made out of all that extra Basil from your garden!  Great to drizzle on everything from eggs, to veggies, to salads, roasted potatoes…the possibilities are endless!”


  • 1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil


Assemble your working station ~ Put your water on to boil, fill bowl with ice water, place paper towels on counter with slotted spoon to drain basil, add oil oil to blender. 

Once water starts to boil, add basil and blanche for 1 minute.  Remove basil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  Use an extra paper towel to blot the top of the basil.  Add basil to the blender and blend until finely chopped.  Using a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl (not pictured) pour basil oil into strainer and let strain until all the oil is in the bowl.  (Do not discard the finely chopped basil).  Pour basil oil into a mason jar or squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Spoon the finely chopped basil into a clean ice cube tray, top with olive oil, and place in your freezer. Once frozen, remove from ice cube tray, put in a ziploc bag, label with contents and date and use whenever you need fresh basil (soups, sauces, dips, marinades, etc).
Enjoy 🙂

NOTES:  Blanching the basil helps the basil retain it’s bright green color!

Loving this Life Living “Around the Bay” ~ DD

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Raspberry Almond Muffins

The raspberries that almost got away!!!! Read on……

A healthier raspberry muffin made with apple sauce, almond milk, yogurt, coconut oil and whole wheat flour.  Very moist with a slight almond flavor and big pops of Wild Newfoundland Raspberries!

About a week and a bit ago, I went to check on my “Secret” berry patch.  “My” berries were still not ripe enough yet so I planned to check back in another week.  So the other day, I was just finishing my workout in the gym and my husband was working on his quad (4 wheeler) down by the ocean.  He calls me down and says that a guy on another quad just went by and then suddenly stopped.  I knew immediately that my “secret” spot had been discovered.  I slowly walked over, and sure enough, there he was picking my berries!!! I could not believe it…did he not know this was my spot and that I had been picking here for the last 3 years and I needed those berries to make some delicious muffins!! The nerve.

So being me and never one to back down, off to the house I go to throw on my ball hat (incognito) and my rubber boots (never know what you are going to step in!) and off I go with my tupperware container. My husband just laughed and shook his head saying “I guess he’s not getting all the berries!” Luckily the berry stealer is already gone and he didn’t discover my raspberries but found a ripe patch of my blueberries instead! So I picked whatever raspberries I could before he decided to come back!

And get this…..Yesterday my husband said the berry stealer’s whole family was there, picking the rest of my blueberries!!! Guess I’ll have to be quicker on the draw next year! or find a new berry patch 🙂

So here is my recipe, using my wild Newfoundland raspberries ~ delicious, super moist, healthier “Raspberry Almond Muffins” ~ Enjoy 🙂

Raspberry Almond Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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“Made with wild Newfoundland Raspberries, a lightly scented almond muffin with pockets of delicious raspberries  ~ a lightened up muffin that is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack on the go!”


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh raspberries (if large berries, slice in half)


In large mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir to combine and set aside.

In another bowl, add coconut oil and sugar, stir to combine then add apple sauce.  Stir to combine.  Add egg and stir until smooth.  Add Greek yogurt, almond milk, and almond extract and stir until combined.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Gently fold in raspberries.

Using an ice cream scoop, evenly fill muffin pan.  Tap pan to remove air bubbles.

Bake at 400 degrees for 3 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 13 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove from oven, let sit in muffin pan for 5 minutes then gently twist muffins and remove.  Let cool on cooling racks.  Enjoy!:)

NOTES:  My raspberries were really small so I left them whole but if they are large, slice in half.  Raspberries are super delicate so fold in as gently as possible.  These muffins freeze beautifully so make a double batch and keep them in the freezer! If you don’t have coconut oil or almond milk, just use canola oil and fresh milk. If you don’t have applesauce, use another 1/4 cup of oil.

Recipe adapted from “Lovely Little Kitchen”

Loving this Life Living “Around the Bay” ~ DD

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