country life, insects, nature, photography, Uncategorized

The Very Hungry Caterpillar


A few nights ago, we found this fat and sassy caterpillar happily munching on our tomatoes.  It was quickly apprehended and now lives in Wyokiddo’s bug jar.  At least for another day or two.

After some research, I discovered it is a tomato hornworm, so named because of it’s penchant for devouring tomatoes and the little horn-like appendage on it’s tail.  After it pupates, this caterpillar will turn into a Sphinx moth.  Google also told me this probably wasn’t the only caterpillar we had in our garden…where there’s one there’s probably 10 or 20.  Sure enough, on subsequent trips to the garden, we another 15 or so of the chubby green menaces.

As Wyokiddo stared at one mowing down my plants, she said “Mama, it looks just like the very hungry caterpillar in my books!”

It really did resemble the star of the Eric Carle books.  But this caterpillar won’t get a chance to eat through oranges, apples, pears, salami, cheese, pickles or an ice cream cone, and neither will his brethren.  You don’t mess with my tomatoes and live to tell the tale.



food, photography, recipe, Uncategorized

Zucchini EncHAILadas

County Fair 1-3

One of my favorite recipes for using up the summer’s bounty of zucchini is Skinnytaste’s Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas.  I had big plans to shred and freeze a large portion of our garden’s zucchini so we could enjoy this delicious spin off from traditional Mexican food.  Last week’s storm rendered that goal impossible.  Sad face.

Instead used the few zucchini I had in the fridge and this one I’d salvaged from the hail storm and we feasted last night.  I might only have gotten one batch of homegrown zucchini enchiladas, but they were amazing!  Any further creations will have to be done the old fashioned way – with zucchini bought from a store.

If mother nature smiled on you and blessed you with an ample harvest and lack of hail, consider these cheesy bits of vegetarian heaven to use up your summer zucchini.  They are great for a meatless Monday or a Lenten Friday or anytime you just need to switch it up!

Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas – From
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 large enchilada • Points +: 7 pts • Smart Points: 7
Calories: 258 • Fat: 13.5 g • Protein: 22 g • Carb: 30 g • Fiber: 17 g 


  • cooking spray
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated reduced fat mexican blend cheese (I just use cheddar)
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • chopped scallions (optional)
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

For the Enchilada sauce:

  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (optional for more heat.  I skip these all together most times because I never have them on hand, and my daughter and husband like them less hot)
  • 1 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup fat free vegetable broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste


For the enchilada sauce: in a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chile, chili powder, cumin, broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium nonstick skillet, sauté garlic and scallions in olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes; add zucchini, salt and pepper to taste and cook about 4-5 minutes.

( I throw the cooked mixture in a colander to drain, otherwise I find the mixture gets a little soupy and slimy.  Once it is sufficiently drained, I proceed with the next steps.)

Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cheese; mix well.

Divide zucchini between in each tortilla, roll and place seam side down in baking dish.

Top with enchilada sauce (you might not use all) and remaining cheese and bake until hot and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Serve with chopped cilantro, scallions, and reduced fat sour cream if you wish.

Buen provecho!


agriculture, country life, photography, Uncategorized

Tender as She Grows

Garden Salad.jpgThis week, we were able to harvest our first produce from our garden.  Our lettuce is so prolific that I was able to send my mother-in-law home with a bag full of delicious buttercrunch leaves and a sack full of radishes.  This is quite a feat, considering I once killed a spider plant.