Crabapple Front 2005

Our front yard in 2005

Crabapple Front 2008

And the front yard in 2008











We live on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  It doesn’t rain much and Kentucky Blue Grass just isn’t right for our arid, sunny climate.  When we bought our house I was inspired by our next door neighbors, the Kings.  Their front yard was more garden than lawn.  I designed new beds and we installed 7 tons of strip stone and 10 yards of mulch.  The only grass left is on the new paths – we just haven’t had the money and inclination to lay the stones yet.  I’ve planted native and drought tolerant shrubs and perennials and now we only have to water once a week – and I do it by hand so I can check in on each of my plantings.

You can probably guess what drew us to the house – our amazing crabapple tree (and the 6 other mature trees on our little suburban plot).  We’re so grateful to the original owners who also loved to garden and had the foresight to plant so many awesome trees.  We have a shadiest yard in the neighborhood.  And now, our front crabapple tree has been nominated as a Colorado State Champion.  We’ll find out in December if we’re winners.  Stay tuned.


2005 Grassy Lawn

2005 Grassy Lawn


2008 Mulched Beds

2008 Mulched Beds


Colorado Elm Fall 2008

I love the colors of autumn.  This year our Elm tree is particularly spectacular.  It inspired me to create a yellow dish – Quinoa stuffed Acorn Squash.  Of course the squash, onions and yellow carrots I used are from Monroe Organic Farms.  

Here’s what you need:

1 Acorn Squash
Maple Syrup
Olive Oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp Tumeric
Salt and Pepper
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
1 and 1/2 cups stock – vegetable or chicken (just don’t use water if you can help it!)
1/4 cup golden raisins

Here’s what you do:

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Preheat oven to 450.  Split squash from stem to butt and remove seeds (this sounds like a surgery I don’t want to have).  Drizzle 1 Tbs of syrup over cut side of squash.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over it as well. Place squash on baking pan and cook in oven while you prepare the stuffing.  Heat 1Tbs of olive oil over medium heat.  Saute onions, carrots and garlic until very soft and slightly browned.  Add tumeric and pepper.  Add quinoa and stock.  Bring to boil and then cover and simmer until liquid is soaked up and evaporated.  Add raisins and check flavors.  Add salt and pepper if needed.

Take squash out of the oven and spoon stuffing into the squash cavities.  Drizzle a little more syrup over the top and put back in the oven for 1/2 hour or until squash is soft and cooked through.