The Pleasanton Express has loved seeing newbie and experienced gardeners’ photos during the last few weeks. We want to see more! We are starting a contest, “How does your garden grow?” We want to see photos of your freshly grown tomatoes, crispy cucumbers and ears of sweet corn from your home gardens.
Send us your photos of your vegetable or flower garden and you could win a prize worth $25-$50 from local merchants plus bragging rights and a photo in the Pleasanton Express. We welcome all types of photos. Get creative. Close-ups of your veggies and flowers, photos of kids working in the garden, the biggest watermelon, the craziest shaped tomato, the longest squash, the beauty of your garden design …
Tell us a little about your produce or flowers – what are you growing, how long have you gardened and who in your family helps.
We also are looking for the best summer garden recipes. These can be old family favorites or a new one you just created. Send us your recipe along with a photo of it to be featured in the Pleasanton Express. The best summer recipe will win a $50 gift card.
Submit photos to email@example.com. Select entries will be featured weekly in the Pleasanton Express on the front page of our Farm & Ranch pages. The contest ends August 9.
Beef Pho, a hidden delicacy
When I met my boyfriend, Joe four years ago, he introduced meto what would soon be my most favorite dish of all time … Pho. I can eat this delicious Vietnamese soup anytime of the year. Yes, even during the hot summers in South Texas. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to enjoy our usual Pho restaurants in San Antonio like before. So, Joe and I decided to try our hand at making our favorite Vietnamese dish ourselves, and the result was spectacular!
You can find the majority of these ingredients at H-E-B, your homemade garden or, if you really want to get authentic, any of the Asian markets in San Antonio. Our favorite is called Vietnam Market off Wurzbach Rd.
Here’s what you need for the broth:
• 1 onion
• 4 quarts of water (this amount can vary)
• 1 tbsp. salt
• 1 tbsp. sugar
• 2 tbsp. fish sauce (we use the Lucky brand)
• 1 beef stock cube
• 1 pk. of Pho seasoning
• ¼ cup of Hoisin sauce
• Beef soup bones
Other ingredients you’ll need:
• bean sprouts
• steak of your choice
(we used ribeye)
• Pho noodles
• Thai basil
• Cilantro (for spice)
• Hoisin sauce (for
• Sriracha sauce (for
First, you bake the beef bone wrapped in onion for about 30 minutes to bring out the juices. Then you place it in a pot of water with all of your broth ingredients and let it boil for about 3 hours. You can boil your steak meat of choice in a strainer over the boiling broth or in a separate pot. Boil your noodles in a separate pot for 2-3 minutes. (You don’t want them too soft or the broth will make them mushy once you combine everything.)
Once everything is cooked, place your noodles in a bowl with the meat on top. Then pour the broth over it. Squeeze lemon juice, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce to your taste into your bowl and mix. Next, add the bean sprouts, cilantro and Thai basil. Let your vegetables sit until soft to your liking and enjoy! For added broth flavor, add more Pho seasoning to your liking. You can make other versions of Pho – chicken, seafood, pork – by replacing the meat ingredients in this recipe accordingly. I hope you enjoy this delicious Vietnamese dish as much as I do!
Here’s a nice salsa and cucumber salad recipe from Isabel Rodriguez:
• Salt and pepper
Toast the tomatoes and jalapeños on the grill and saute the onions with a little bit of oil. Put the tomatoes and jalapeños in a blender and blend them for about 15 seconds. Pour it in the pan with the onions and add salt and pepper to taste and you have yourself a delicious hot salsa!
• Salt and pepper
• Italian dressing
Slice the cucumbers, chop the onions and cut up the tomatoes. Mix them together with salt, pepper and a little bit of Italian dressing and you have yourself a nice refreshing cucumber salad!