Monthly Archives: December 2010

My Gardening Project and Garlic Knots

So I told you all a while ago that I had an herb garden started to cut back on trips to the grocery store and to avoid huge transportation costs (I know my herbs and vegetables are locally grown 🙂 ). So here’s the update:

  • My mint keeps dying and I cut it back and then it dies again. It was doing very well for a while but it’s super water intensive and I went away for a couple of weekends in a row without getting someone to water it for me. I’m working on getting it back in shape but it’s taking a lot of work.
  • My tomato plant is successfully growing some tiny awesome looking tomatoes regardless of how cold it’s been in Santa Barbara recently.
  • My basil keeps getting eaten! Does anyone have any suggestions for how to keep the bugs away? It’s being devoured! 
  • My bell pepper plant hasn’t done much since I was forced to cut off its few leaves due to death. Any clues for this one?
  • My rosemary and thyme are doing well though it’s kinda hard to tell with these two whether they’re actually doing well or just look good.
  • And of course my succulent is thriving. They don’t need much work. Though the heavy rains we had a few weeks ago took away a lot of the soil covering the roots so I need to go out and get some more of that.

Ya. If anyone out there in internet land has a green thumb I’d love some thoughts and suggestions. I know I’ve always had a bit of a brown thumb unfortunately haha.

Keep up your good work on your own little gardens! The more things you can grow yourself, the less you have to depend on grocery stores and the less gas is being guzzled up to get the vegetables/herbs to you.

As for food, I had a huge craving for garlic knots a while ago, and stumbled upon this recipe from Food Mayhem

Garlic Knots



  • 3/4 cup +1 tablespoon Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/3 cup water at room temperature
  • 5 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 packed tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese, to taste

Instructions –

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Whisk in salt last (preventing direct contact with yeast). Make a well in the center and pour in water. Stir together to moisten the flour, just until dough begins to form, about 20 seconds. The dough will look shaggy and bumpy, not smooth. If you do not want to make your own dough, ignore Steps 1 and 2, get Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, and continue with Step 3.

2. Pour 4 teaspoons oil in a 2-cup sized bowl or cup (bigger if you are increasing recipe size). Place dough in and turn to coat. Cover tightly and rest on the counter until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F at least 30 minutes before baking. Meanwhile, stir together 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, garlic, some parmesan, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

4. When the dough is ready, place it on a board and gently press into a rectangle. There will be left-over oil in the cup/bowl that the dough was rising in. Spread that oil over a baking sheet. If using pizza dough, just drizzle a little oil onto a baking sheet as there will not be any extras.

5. Spread half of the garlic mixture across the rectangle dough. Cut into 3/4″ strips (6″ long).

6. Tie any type of knot and lay on baking sheet with about 2″ space in between. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden and crispy on the outside (it will be doughy in the middle still). Meanwhile, add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and parsley to the garlic mixture. Stir.

7. When garlic knots are done baking, toss in the garlic, parmesan, and parsley mixture and serve immediately.

***My changes are in RED***

eco-benefits

  1. Whole wheat flour goes through less processing than bleached white flour.
  2. Parsley is a great and useful herb to grow!
  3. You can find garlic and parsley organic at any grocery store year round! But definitely check for where they are coming from. Remember, organic is good because it means no pesticides getting into our waterways and diets, however, local is better if coming from very far due to the fossil fuels used to get the food to your plate.
  4. Most to all of these ingredients should already be in your pantry so you don’t need to use fossil fuels to go to the store to get a great garlic knot.