Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cleaning Up, Getting Carried Away, Italian Stuffed Peppers and Big Pet Heads.....

It was time to clean out the front garden which was full of Virginia Creeper vine roots and taking over everything. A few months ago I ripped the vine down. I love vines on houses but this one was a big mistake!

The fellow was climbing up the wall. Not sure who he is, but he`s clickable to have a closer look....


The top of the "cat jump up and down" thingy broke so we stuck this press board on top, but it`s not sturdy enough. Need to find something else. I made a stone path for the pusses to get to it. The garden is now ready for the cold weather...which, by the way, I`d prefer not to have arrive. I`ll figure out in Spring what to add.

Then I hand sawed the high bush cranberries on either side of the door. They were becoming a nuisance and getting way out of hand. What a job that was. When I was finished I felt like I`d spent a good 5 hours at the gym. I would so love to have windows with window panes in them and a really nice cottagey door. Some climbing ivy to take away from the ugly siding....

I decided to try a recipe that looked delicious, the other night called Stuffed Peppers, Italian Style. I had bought some couscous awhile back and wanted to try it ....

Picked what herbs remained healthy from the pots outside, Italian Oregano and basil...

Boiled the halved peppers in water for a few minutes....

Fried up the mix....

Then added the couscous....


Filled the peppers, topped with cheese and popped them into the oven....

Voila! These were really good and I`ve added the recipe at the end for anyone who wants to try them.



Stuffed Peppers, Italian Style

6oz) ground beef (180 gr mince)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic ( next time I`ll use a bit more )
1 tbs olive oil
dash of dried hot chili peppers
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano ( I used fresh )
1 tsp dried basil
1/3 cup couscous
1 can whole, peeled tomatoes, 15 oz (450 gr tin)
1/3 - 1/2 cup red wine
2 nicely shaped bell peppers I like to use 3 smallish ones
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella ( next time I would choose some sharp cheese )

Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil. Cut peppers in half the long way (try to find the best flat sides before cutting so that they will lay nicely) and remove stem end and seeds. When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish that will just hold them (if possible).
Finely chop onion and garlic. In non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add paprika, fennel and chili powder and sauté 1 minute. Add garlic and onion and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add beef and sauté until cooked through breaking it up as it cooks. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice. Chop and add to pan. Add 2 tbs reserved tomato sauce, herbs, couscous and 1/3 cup red wine to skillet. Stir well. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer until couscous is done, about 5 minutes stirring frequently and adding more wine if necessary. When ready spoon mixture into the pepper halves. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C). Remove foil, spoon reserved tomato sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. I saved one of mine for the next day and it still tasted yummy.

Teddy will be 22 in March....

And Elvis is still as adorable as ever....

Happy weekend!

24 comments:

Heather said...

Kisses to the furry ones! That stuffed pepper recipe looks fabulous!

Tricia said...

Yummy dinner! I just made stuffed peppers too, with rice and tomatoes, herbs from my garden and onions and garlic...yours looks better!!!

Wowza! Teddy is 21 years!!! Amazing.
My kitty Eddie is 15 and at the moment is overnight at the vet's getting treatment for kidney infection. I hope he lives until Teddy's age!

Pearl said...

The green insect is a praying mantis. Love your blog
Pearl

Dreadnought said...

Hi Tea, looks like you were right busy in the garden, I guess you won't have time to pop on over and give me a hand. Anyway as I like visiting and reading your blog so much I've decided to give you an award, if you want to collect it you can do so by visiting my blog, best wishes, Bob.

Deb said...

That recipe looks yummy - I am going to give it a try. And I agree with you - I would be fine if winter would forget to arrive this year. The older I get, the more I dislike the cold! And Elvis is adorable! :)

Calamity Jen said...

Oooooh. that recipe looks delicious!

Teddy is 21? Holy moley! My cats are jealous; we haven't enjoyed that kind of feline longevity in our household.

Julie said...

Hi Tea,

Yes, Elvis is still just as gorgeous as ever! My doggies have been bugging me since in came home at 5:00.

They just need ALL THIS LOVE! It gets better when my husband comes home but tonight he worked until 8 so I had to bear the brunt of it.

Elvis is so soulful. Penny is soulful too, but Gracie is just...Gracie.

Wow, your kitty is really getting up there. I was so proud that we had Dusty for 18 1/2 years. Our kitties must be pretty happy with their families if they live that long!

Gena said...

Wow Tea those peppers look yummy! I shall try those,your pets sure look well!we had one of our cats till she was 25 and I have a friend whos kitty is 31 and still going strong! you must be doing something right!

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Cool bug!

CatHerder said...

MMM I love stuffed peppers, i havent made them in awhile thats a good idea! I have tons of basil thats going to die as the weather is getting colder..was going to make pesto...love the pet pics...i lost my Angel (norweigan forest cat) this year, she was 22, and Casey our short hair at 20 the month after. Love your blog.

Saur♥Kraut said...

The green thingy is beautiful (what IS he - praying mantis maybe?), Elvis IS adorable, and I want to come to your house for dinner.

jessica said...

yes, a praying mantis it is.
elvis has the sweetest face.
teddy is cute too.

Sheila said...

Teddy looks good for his age. We had cats (litter mates) that made it to 20. He's doing well.
Those stuffed toms look delicious. Hubby won't eat couscous, I tell him it's the same as pasta, which he loves, but no way. I guess it's the texture. Maybe I could make then with rice.

laughingwolf said...

ex-so.ont. boy sez: that's a praying mantis, you want em in your garden to rid it of all nasty pests

recipe looks delish, and your critters are divine :)

Lesley said...

What is your fall garden plans? Do you clear out all the bits or leave them for winter interest? I usually go the lazy route and leave it until spring when I'm dying to play in the dirt again.
I'm trying to add another garden now so it's got a good head start for spring. I need to finish getting those tulip bulbs in before it gets too cold.
Keep writing I check in often on your blog to see what you are up to!

Rowan said...

Sounds as though you've been working hard in your garden, me too. I've a long way to go yet though before it looks as neat and tidy as yours. Teddy looks great, the longest I've had a cat is 19 years so Teddy has him well beaten. Big hugs for my friend Elvis.

Pearl Maple said...

Followed your link from the Cyber Bottle and really enjoyed reading through your posts. The stuffed pepper recipe is yummy. Happy Thanksgiving.

PG said...

22!!!!!!! That is amazing.
Your nice stuffed peppers have inspired me with what to do with the mince I have languishing in the fridge.

carolyn said...

A 21 year old cat, that is just wonderful, hope mine keep going that long.

Kahshe Cottager said...

Lucky you finding a praying mantis in your garden. It will have been feasting on all the bugs you don't want there!

Teddy is a handsome old timer and could Elvis look any more innocent in his photo?

Happy Thanksgiving Tea!

It's me! said...

22, wow, doesn't look a day over 5 lol. That recipe looks great(minus the meat).(smile) I love couscous, never thought of putting it in peppers. Thanks! Great pictures too. :)

Annie said...

Teddy is 21?! How amazing. In our years with cats, we had one make it to 19 1/5. Most topped out at 10ish. Lucky Teddy has a wonderful home to stay around so long.

Deana said...

I couldn't find your comments spot above. I can't believe you've had frost already. I moved many plants in last night. I hope you feel better soon. I too have been really sick and it just sucks.

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