Inspiration for April

By on April 12, 2011

By Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin of Gooseberry Patch –

Whether we’re turning over beds to get ready for warm weather veggies, sprinkling seeds or just potting up some pansies, gardening is one of our favorite ways to spend a weekend. We’re sharing some tips from our cookbook, Farmers’ Market Favorites…all about containers! And to enjoy that fresh produce, we’ve got a delicious recipe for Brushetta Pizza that’s so easy to make.

You may not have the space (or the inclination!) for a big veggie patch or flower garden but everyone needs a little splash of sunshine in the warm months, right?

• Auctions and barn sales turn up some of the best planters. Old gardening boots, watering cans, washtubs, enamelware pots & pans…even tea kettles and coffeepots!
• Fill a galvanized minnow bucket with cheery sunflowers…a centerpiece that captures all the nostalgia of summertime.
• Herbs are easy to grow, even indoors on a sunny windowsill! Fragrant and tasty, rosemary, oregano, savory, parsley, sage thyme or chives are delicious in soups and salads.
• Give an old wheelbarrow a new use when you turn it into a movable garden. Fill it with pots of your favorite herbs, flowers, lettuce or carrots…how clever!
• Lay a wooden ladder flat on the ground and fill the open spaces with gardening soil to create a clever raised bed! The small spaces are just right for growing herbs and lettuces.
• After enjoying an orange or grapefruit for breakfast, don’t toss out the hollowed-out fruit halves. Filled with potting soil, seeds and nice drink of water, these clever little starter pots can be planted directly in your garden!
• No more trying to keep tomato plants upright in the garden! Plant pint-size cherry tomatoes (or even smaller varieties like Romas!) in sturdy hanging baskets filling with gardening soil. They’ll grow beautifully hanging over the edges. Pinch back when they get too leggy and the shorter stalks will produce more fruit!

Bruschetta Pizza
10 roma tomatoes, chopped
5 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
13.8-oz. tube refrigerated pizza crust dough
1/2 cup pizza sauce
8-oz. pkg. shredded Italian-blend cheese
dried oregano to taste

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, onion, 1/4 cup oil, pepper, garlic salt and vinegar. Stir to blend; drain. Place pizza crust dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread with pizza sauce. Top with 1-1/2 to 2 cups tomato mixture. Sprinkle on cheese and oregano. Drizzle remaining oil over top. Bake according to pizza crust dough package directions. Serves 6.

Back in 1984, Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin were next-door neighbors raising their families in the little town of Delaware, Ohio. They were two moms with small children looking for a way to do what they loved and stay home with the kids too. They shared a love of home cooking and making memories with family & friends. After many a conversation over the backyard fence, Gooseberry Patch was born.

Today, Gooseberry Patch is best known for its homestyle family-friendly cookbooks. With more than 200 titles and nearly 9 million copies in print, plus a new collection of e-Books, Gooseberry Patch has grown from a kitchen-table operation to a nationally recognized best-selling publisher. The books are themed with today’s time-strapped, budget-conscious families in mind. Many recipes include personal stories from readers, giving the cookbooks a warm community feel that has proven extremely popular among cookbook fans and collectors.

About Gooseberry Patch

Back in 1984, Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin were next-door neighbors raising their families in the little town of Delaware, Ohio. They were two moms with small children looking for a way to do what they loved and stay home with the kids too. They shared a love of home cooking and making memories with family & friends. After many a conversation over the backyard fence, Gooseberry Patch was born. www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com. Today, Gooseberry Patch is best known for its homestyle family-friendly cookbooks. With more than 200 titles and nearly 9 million copies in print, plus a new collection of e-Books, Gooseberry Patch has grown from a kitchen-table operation to a nationally recognized best-selling publisher. The books are themed with today's time-strapped, budget-conscious families in mind. Many recipes include personal stories from readers, giving the cookbooks a warm community feel that has proven extremely popular among cookbook fans and collectors.

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Inspiration for April