October Tomatillos & my Salsa Verde Recipe

So, as you may know, I grow my veggies in my front yard every year due to lack of sunshine in my back yard.  This year though, I had even less veggie space in my suburban front yard since I planted some perennials that needed a home in half the area I usually do my veggies.  With that being said, I skipped the tomatillos this year because of such limited space…until those volunteers popped up out of nowhere and I didn’t have the heart to yank them out of my new perennial garden (even though it looked absolutely ridiculous and completely blocked the beautiful flagstone front walk way that someone pretty awesome built for me).

Since my lovely volunteers showed up a bit late in the season, I got a late harvest, which was totally fine with me!  I finally picked the last of my tomatillos last weekend and decided it was time to get these guys out of here…along with my now ratty looking tomatoes lined up in front of my boxwoods.  I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the jalapenos or banana peppers quite yet however.  This is the latest I have kept my summer veggies going, by the way.  I usually pull them in the end of September right before we go on vacation.  I am certain that the mail man and the US delivery person were pleasantly surprised about this decision now that they can reach my front door without having to navigate through this obstacle course!

So what did I do with my newfound tomatillo harvest?  I made my favorite Salsa Verde of course!  Check out my “unofficial” recipe below!

Stephie’s Salsa Verde

  • Tomatillos husked and cut in half – enough to fit on a regular size baking pan (20ish)
  •  1 small onion
  • 1-2 Jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like)
  • 1 clove garlic or a couple small spoons of already minced garlic
  • Sprinkle of salt (approx 1/2 tsp)
  • Sprinkle of sugar (approx 1/2 tsp)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • Cilantro if you like – I’m not a big fan so I usually leave it out

1. Husk and wash your tomatillos.

2. Line your baking pan with foil.  Cut each tomatillo in half and lay flat side down.

3. Pop in the oven.  You can either broil or just 350 in the regular oven until browned on top.  Sometimes I throw a jap or 2 in the oven with the tomatillos as as well just for fun!

4. Throw all the ingredients in the food processor and blend.

5. Let sit over night in the fridge so flavors can mingle.  ENJOY!

So how did yours turn out?  Please share your experiences or recipe twists!

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Spring is here…or is it?

Wow!  What a spring…or late winter!?  Just when I thought I’d seen it all, this spring has surprised me again!  So unpredictable, this Northern Virginia weather.

I’m curious, with all of this late snow this year and consistently low temperatures, did you do an early spring garden this year?  Of course I couldn’t resist!  I absolutely LOVE cool season annuals.  Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re gonna say – cool season annuals don’t last very long…BUT they pack a huge punch for an early pop of spring color!  And what else are you gonna do to put out some spring color and get your hands dirty after a long winter?!

I didn’t go crazy this year but I did do up some pots for my new front stoop (thanks to a certain talented handy man I know, we now have a beautiful new front stoop and walkway!!).  While I potted my pots way back in mid-March, and at times had to scoot them into the garage because it was just too stinkin’ cold, my house has been the most colorful one on the block!  My veggie garden (below) on the other hand got planted a few weeks later.

Thanks to all the late weather we couldn’t finish the front walk as early as we wanted to.  And in case you missed my “Front Yard Veggie Gardening” post from last summer…I do my veggie gardening in the front yard right next to my front walk!  I have to – my back yard is too shady for that stuff.  So we were a little later than I wanted to get those veggies in but we’ll see how it goes!


Does anyone else have a favorite lettuce? Mine is this cool & tasty heirloom called Flashy Trout Back. They had me at flashy!

Here are just SOME of my favorite spring bloomers:


A beautiful bright orange Ranunculus.


I seriously can’t get enough of these gorgeous colors!


I absolutely ADORE Anemone!!! Especially the doubles!


Senetti, or Pericallis, has lovely daisy-like blooms.


Stock is a great one to add some height to a container or the garden…and it smells sooooo good! This one is called ‘Hot Cakes Mix’.

Here’s what I put together for the front porch this year:


Yellow Ranunculus (the most gorgeous I’ve seen – my grower did such a great job, he
truly knocked my socks off with these!), Stock ‘Hot Cakes Mix’ (fragrant), Nemesia ‘Angelart Raspberry’,
Alyssum ‘Clear Crystal White’ (fragrant)


This is what I call my “Antique Pot” this year. It includes Pansy ‘Imperial Antique Shades’,
Antique Ranunculus, Erysimum ‘Poem Lavender’, Nemesia ‘Angelart Almond’


A shot of the group. In the small square pot is Hellebore ‘Penny’s Pink’,
Erysimum canaries, Dianthus sunflor ‘Olivia’, Viola ‘Angel Tiger Eye’,
Alyssum ‘Clear Crystal White’ (fragrant)


Orange Ranunculus, Ranunculus ‘Bloomingdale Mix’,
Primrose ‘Hethor Giant Yellow’ (fragrant), Primrose ‘Hethor Giant Orange’ (fragrant),
Senetti, Pansy (variety unknown)


Anemone ‘Pandora’ Double Fuchsia, Anemone ‘Galilee Mix’,
Snapdragon ‘Snapshot Yellow’, Alyssum ‘Clear Crystal White’ (fragrant)




Tell me how you celebrated the arrival of spring. Please feel free to leave comment here or share a pic on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Petalpushin or on Instagram and tag me @Petalpushin. Looking forward to checking out your spring color creations!!!

Yes, I grow vegetables in my front yard.

Who says your vegetable garden HAS to be in the back yard?  I grow mine in the front!  Not because I thought my neighbors and HOA would appreciate that, but because my front yard is the only place I get full sun (except for a bit on my back deck).  So I decided to bite the bullet and go with it.  In previous years I’ve grown my veggies in the front of my house in containers – just in case any neighbors got up in arms about my seemingly unconventional growing practices, I could easily move them to…well, I don’t know where, but somewhere.

No one ever complained, so this year I took it a step further and planted them all in the ground.  We went crazy with tomatoes.  My boyfriend/labor force had the bright idea to line them in front of the Boxwoods that run across the front of the house (by the way, I live in a severely suburban neighborhood, it reminds us of that movie The Burbs at times which is a little strange).  I wasn’t crazy about this idea at first but I gave in and we did it.  I thought for sure that this time we would hear some neighborly complaints.  Not only did we not get any complaints, but we actually got complements!  I couldn’t believe it.  The couple across the cul-de-sac even came by one afternoon while we were playing in the dirt and took a brief tour of our front yard…I promised her some heirloom tomatoes as soon as they’re ready.  Lord knows we’ll have enough to share!  We also have a selection of peppers (some are heirloom as well), along with tomatillos, squash, cucumber and eggplant…all of which are also growing in the front yard but in a slightly less conspicuous spot.  I won’t go into too much detail about those at this time, they’re looking a little ratty at the moment (except for the peppers) due to some crazy spring weather.

Check out these photos of what the garden is doing right now.  Hopefully in the next couple days I’ll have some actual tomato cages (I know a really cool guy who said he’d make me some) for these puppies instead of using these flimsy bamboo stakes.  The tomatoes really took off while we were on vacation with all this rain we’ve been getting so some have taken over the stakes already.  I’ll post more later in the season when other varieties are producing.  Looking forward to some funky fruits with all these heirlooms!