This year I planted a vegetable garden for the first time.
I bought a simple, self-watering garden box from Costco and then loaded up on seeds and soil. I even bought plant food just in case I needed it!
Everything was chugging along fine for a few weeks. My seeds slowly grew into sprouts (what joy!) and those sprouts grew into large stems with wide leaves.
I noticed a zucchini plant that had crispy, browned leaves. The leaves would fall apart in your hand much like autumn leaves that fall from a tree and lay on the ground for a few days. After scouring Google, asking fellow gardening co-workers and inspecting the plants thoroughly, I found the culprit: squash bugs.
The dreaded squash bugs.
Full-size adults were mating at the very bottom of the plants, disguised by the soil and the markings on their backs. I found seeds on the underside of one leaf and more adult squash bugs crawling around the stem. Those evil, infamous squash bugs are a major pain to get rid of and will decimate your squash plants if you’re not careful.
I scraped the seeds into a cup of soapy water and drowned the adults as well. I’ll continue to do that until I come up with a more permanent solution (any advice is greatly appreciated). I’m not giving up hope on my inaugural squash plants even if they’re only a few weeks old and are already starting to get eaten alive by squash bugs.
Sorry for all the talk about bugs, but I had to vent so I didn’t go insane. Also, my little backyard garden reminds me of a French countryside scene, just like French onion soup. Every time I order French onion soup I like to think I’m sipping it from a spoon on a terrace overlooking the velvety green French countryside.
French onion soup, like squash bugs, is a pain. You have to caramelize the onions first, which can take up to an hour to do right. Instead of wasting all that time caramelizing your own onions, you should make a French onion casserole instead using the Americanized classic: French Onion Dip.
Listen, this recipe is not healthy. It doesn’t have any veggies in it and it packs in the pre-packaged foods. But it’s a cinch to make and absolutely delicious to boot.
You can make this casserole and eat your squash-bug-sorrows away.
French Onion Chicken Casserole
A creamy, flavorful casserole using French onion dip and French Fried onions.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
- In a large bowl, stir together cream of mushroom soup and French onion dip. Add noodles and cooked, cubed chicken and stir until well combined. Top with French fried onions.
- Spray a 13×9″ baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake casserole for 25-30 minutes, uncovered, or until heated through.