Problem-Solving – Broccoli Gone to Seed


My four broccoli plants are going to seed. They never produced heads of broccoli, and were destined for the compost bin. Before I got around to pulling them the buds bloomed into interesting and colorful flowers. Hmmmm? Would it be possible to press these beautiful florets? I have tried to press lettuce flowers gone to seed in the past, and they were too delicate and thin? I am always on the lookout for yellows; would the broccoli work in book or microwave?


Oh YES! I picked several florets and pressed them both ways. The microwave and book pressing both worked perfectly. The florets greatly resemble wallflowers after being pressed, but instead of fluorescent orange, they turn a brilliant yellow. I can’t wait until the rest of my broccoli plants go to seed, in fact, I might plant a few more mid-summer just for the blooms. Go figure!!! Aren’t the unhappy surprises that turn into blessings one of the things that makes life grand? YES!

Broccoli florets, lower right, with wallflowers and pansies.
Broccoli florets, lower right, with wallflowers and pansies.

Pots and Pans – Chicken Broccomuffin

This is a scrumptious and easy meal. It’s also very healthy and well-balanced. I added a side dish of leftover spaghetti on the night I served it. The two items paired perfectly for a delicious Saturday night dinner.

Chicken Broccomuffin

1 package extra thin chicken (steak sandwich thin)

1 bunch broccoli florets

Good Seasons Italian Dressing

Shredded Cheese (I like 4 Cheese Pizza Cheese already shredded)

3 – 4 Thomas’s English Muffins

Mayo mix (my own)

Marinate the chicken steak for 6 -8 hours just covered in Good Seasons Italian Dressing. Before cooking drain chicken in colander to remove excess dressing.

Make up your mayo mix. I use a low-fat variety with a touch of Dijon mustard and horseradish. Mix at least a fourth of a cup or more of mayonnaise mixture.

Cut florets away from broccoli stems. Steam until just able to pierce with fork. Turn off heat and leave in steamer to retain warmth.

Lightly toast English muffins on toaster oven tray. Do not allow to brown. You just want a slight crispness on the tops. Take tray out of toaster oven and set aside while you cook the chicken.

Cook drained chicken in a pan. Use knives or sharp spatulas to shred chicken into smaller pieces as it cooks. You don’t need any oil or butter in the pan, the dressing has oil and keeps the chicken from sticking. Cook chicken all the way through.

Put a dollop of mayo mix on muffin, spread it out, heap chicken on muffin, cover chicken with broccoli florets, and sprinkle liberally with cheese. Toast until cheese is melted. This is so easy and so delicious. Any leftovers heat up easily in the microwave the next day.

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Projects – Square Foot Garden Update

This is an early morning photograph of my Square Foot Garden. I have to say, hopefully without sounding like I’m bragging, this method of gardening has been a major success for me. I have lettuce daily, my broccoli and bread seed poppies are ready to begin budding. I have cooked and eaten my kale and swiss chard, and though I have always loved fresh greens cooked in various ways, I can now feel a “fresh greens fanatic” point of view taking me over.

The Square Foot Gardening Website can be found here: Square Foot Gardens. Take a look and browse the information and photographs. Better yet, buy the book and create your own little area of vegetable heaven.

This is a view of the back of my Square Foot Garden. I know my pea trellis leaves a lot to be desired, but the peas come and go quickly, and I will be replacing them in a few weeks.

Because I didn’t want to give up too many of my squares to the dozen tomato plants I am growing I planted half in containers. These are doing very well too, the stems are beginning to look like tree saplings. I already have some flower buds on a few plants. O Happy Day…tomatoes in a month or two. Hooray!

I was honored to see one of my Square Foot Garden photographs was featured in a Mel Bartholomew Blog Post. Take a look: My Square Foot Garden Squares On Mel Barthlomew’s Website.

Plants – Update Square Foot Gardens and Swiss Chard

My Square Foot Gardens are doing great. Except for a few empty squares in the second garden, most of the space is filled with seeds or plants and growing well. I have harvested many servings of lettuce already. In fact, I can’t eat it fast enough and have been taking handfuls to family whenever I visit. The lettuce comes in a wide array of greens, pinks and reds and pairs perfectly with the arugula and water cress I have growing in the herb garden. A new sowing of mesclun is thriving and will soon be ready to begin harvesting. The bread seed poppies are magnificent and I expect them to send up budding stalks any day now. The peas in the back of the garden are in need of quick staking,  they are growing a few inches daily.

Here is a closeup of the earliest sown squares. Last week I sauteed a few pieces of kale with olive oil and garlic powder. Ah, so amazingly good; I wish I had begun this type of gardening years ago. This week I tried several leaves of the swiss chard. I chopped the stems and ribs and kept them separate from the leaves.

I gently boiled the chopped stems, and after about three minutes added the leaves along with a little Adobo spice mix, and gently simmered a few minutes longer.

Wow! The taste was beyond my highest expectations. I sprinkled the swiss chard with a squeeze of fresh lime, and “oohed” and “ahhed” with every mouthful. The best thing about both of these greens is they are still producing. I can’t wait to try my hand at cooking and eating them again.