Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

It’s Done

June 5, 2009

Well the backyard is quickly becoming a playground for the gkids.  The swingset is finally done….After three 100 lb boxes and more pieces parts than countable.  Many thanks to DeeJaye’s new friend, Rex.  And the kids LOVE it.

IMG_1465Of course I had to add the flag.

IMG_1464And the pool is up..filled with water and ready to go.  It is still awfully cold and I don’t know how the kids stand it.  Girlie has been in it two days now and got really sunburned.  She had today out and thank goodness it was rainy or not sure she would have made it.  Hopefully tomorrow will be nice and I can get pics of all of them in the pool.

Even though the weather has been iffy all week the flowers are lovin it.  This iris came from MIL’s and my Honey thinks it originally came from his Grandfather’s yard.  Don’t know for sure, but love the color.

IMG_1451And under the willow tree in front.

IMG_1452These are the first of the clematis.  They should be loaded with blooms shortly.

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And I haven’t totally given up cooking.  Found a wonderful stuffed mushroom recipe…courtesy of Paula Deen.  Yummy.

CHEESE STUFFED MUSHROOMS

  • 24 fresh mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 (10-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion, with tops
  • 1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Wipe mushroom caps clean with a damp paper towel. Thaw spinach in a colander; squeeze out as much moisture as possible. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except mushrooms and Parmesan. Mix well. Fill mushroom caps with mixture and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle Parmesan on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

    These are really yummy.  I chopped the stems very fine and added them to the filling as well.  No sense in wasting any part.

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    First Cookout 2009

    May 16, 2009

    What an absolutely beautiful day we had.  I promised the kids if the weather was good, we would have a cookout.  Damn, either the wood is  hard as hell or I can’t chop wood any more.  But got enough of it done to get the fire going on the first try.  Don’t expect that again.

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    Of course the menu consists of hot dogs.

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    And it takes such concentration.  But then we get s’mores.

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    And everyone has their own way to cook marshmallows.

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    Bubba’s favorite.

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    Of course I lost track of how many marshmallows were consumed.  But we had a great time.  I did get to the Farmers Market this morning and I was surprisingly impressed.  Got heirloom tomatoes.  More on them later, but here is a pic.  I think they are really pretty plants and very healthy looking.

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    Last ten laps of the All Star Race.  Grabbin a beer.  It’s fixin to get serious.  A million bucks……DUH.

    And Just Who Needs Pasta

    May 9, 2009

    Got some of the yard work done today.  With and without the help of the grandkids.  I got the flowerbed under the willow tree in front cleaned out and remulched.  Of course I was about 1/2 a bag short.  Never fails does it???  The more I work with this rubber recycled mulch the more I like it.  Hope it continues to impress me.

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    And I got started at the front.  I trimmed back the clematis.  Poor things have been badly neglected the last couple of years.  I hope they survive the pruning they got.  Had to give the bed a good soak and will get to the weeds tomorrow.  Thinking real seriously about changing the ground cover.  I really like the stuff we planted on the east side.  It takes over and chokes out the weeds.  It would make a great cover the the clematis’ feet. 

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    Wow…I have 5 again, huh.

    MIL brought me a spaghetti squash the other day.  I decided that I would make a mushroom sauce and try it that way.  Of course my shrooms are not quite mature yet.

    SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MUSHROOM SAUCE

    1 spaghetti squash

    2 Tbsp olive oil

    1 onion, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 can mushroom soup….yes I used it

    1 cup sour cream

    2 cans sliced mushrooms

    Bake or nuke squash until done.  Heat oil in large fry or Chefs pan.  Cook onion and garlic then add soup, sour cream and mushrooms until hot.  Add squash insides.  Sprinkle with Parmesan when ready to serve

     

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    I fixed the old standby French Dip Beef for the meat dish.  I never did eat any.  Just a bowl of squash.  Weird for me.

    Well, 60 laps to go in Darlington on a short track Saturday night.  And actually it is a full moon Saturday night.  Go Tony

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ONE AND ALL.

    Plants, Plants, Plants

    May 9, 2009

    Frost Warnings again last night, so of course I had to go out and buy more veggie plants.  Needless to say, the top of the washer and dryer is covered with greenery.  I’d better quit till things warm up just a tad.  Oh yeah….not suppose to freeze tonite. 

    My trek started out after a conversation with my Honey about heirloom tomatoes.  I found one.  Brandywine.IMG_1347

    The lady at the greenhouse said that this is the only one they get.  They had an old guy who used to bring them seeds to start for him and let them keep the plants he didn’t want, but she thinks that he has passed on.  I will keep my eyes open and hopefully find some more.  So got a couple of the old standbys.  Yellow pear and Roma tomatoes

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    Got some dill, oregano and Italian or flat leaved parsley.  Hiding behind them is a 6 pack of green bell peppers and a 4 pack of broccoli. 

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    And I did find a couple of Lilac bell peppers.  We had seen a thousand different colored peppers at the farmers market that BrazenBites took us to when we were in Portland, that I just couldn’t resist.

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    All of the above I got at the greenhouse…a pleasant change from WalMart….and I will see if they do any better.  I did go to CalRanch and pick up a couple of their tomato plants and some red/purple onion sets.  Getting a couple of CalRanch’s tomato plants has almost become a tradition.

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    And then last, but not least, I got two dwarf Pomegranates from Gurneys.  Got them potted and going to see if I can keep them alive.  Am waiting for two oranges, two meyer lemons and a banana.  We shall see.

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    Windy Morning Muffins

    May 7, 2009

    Meant to post last night, but camera batteries died…go figure.  It stayed dry long enough yesterday that we managed to get the garden dug up and the front lawn mowed.  I will do the back today…if we don’t get any rain…and get someone in here with a tiller to finish the garden spot.

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    It’s gray and windy this morning.  Got a few drops of rain on the way to town when I took the Gkids to daycare.  But, I guess if I had posted this last night, I wouldn’t have had a name for my muffins.

    WINDY MORNING MUFFINS

    3/4 cup quick oats

    1/4 c whole wheat flour

    1/2 c sugar

    1/2 c chopped nuts

    1/2 tsp salt

    1 Tbsp baking powder

    3/4 c buttermilk, room temp

    1/2 c vegetable oil

    1 egg, room temp

    1 c blueberries

    Topping:

    1/3 c quick oats

    1/4 c brown sugar

    1 tsp cinnamon

    Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl.  Combine wet ingredients seperately.  Combine and mix until just combined.  Fold in blueberries.  Combine topping ingredients.  Put batter in muffins cups and top with topping.  Bake at 350 for about 10 min or until test done.

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    I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes, but changed so many things it is almost unrecognisable.  I ended up with 18 muffins.  I used the silicone cups and sprayed them.  Otherwise I would use paper liners.  Makes clean up easier….and kids think they are cupcakes.  Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee on a windy cool morning or anytime you would like.  Hoping for Spring.

    Quick…Quick

    May 3, 2009

    I’m gonna do this post in a hurry.  It is really black out there and probably going to have a pretty good storm hit pretty soon.

    Working in the garden today.  DeeJaye got the garden spot mowed and the kids and I got the trees trimmed and all the shoots trimmed off.

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    So now we are just hoping that it dries out enough to plow and the rest of it.  Did manage to get some bread baked today.  Another one from Erin on Dinner and Dessert.  Last one for awhile….I promise.

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    BUTTERMILK HONEY BREAD

    3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
    1 tbsp. instant yeast
    1 tsp. sugar
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk, warmed to take off the chill (or brought to room temperature)
    2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
    3 tbsp. honey, warmed until runny
    1 tbsp. salt
    6 – 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk or cream (for egg wash)
    Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping

    Directions:
    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the water, yeast, sugar, buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, and 4 cups of the flour.  Mix on low speed just until a dough has formed.  Switch to the dough hook.  Continue mixing on low speed, adding the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl.  Continue kneading on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 60-75 minutes.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently punch it down.  Grease two loaf pans (if using).  Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape as desired.  Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

    To make a braided loaf:

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (a silicone rolling mat works well), divide it in half, and then divide each half into three equal pieces.  Roll each piece into an 18″ log.  Working with three logs at a time, make a braid, pinching the ends together.  Coil the braid into a lightly greased 8″ or 9″ cake pan, shaping it into a wreath-like circle and pressing the ends together where they meet.  Repeat with the remaining logs.

    Twenty minutes before you want to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Center a rack in the oven.  Just before putting the loaves in the oven, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with topping, if desired.  Place the pans on the center rack and bake about 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through the baking time.  If the tops brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  Remove the loaves immediately to a cooling rack.  Let cool completely before slicing.

    It’s starting to rain and I can hear thunder boomers in the distance.  Going to turn off computer for awhile.  Hope the dog doesn’t get stuck under the bed again.

    Strawberry Bed and NASCAR

    April 26, 2009

    Another busy Sunday.  Got my strawberries this week in the mail and knew that I had to get them planted.  So…here we go.  With the help of DeeJaye and kids we got it done and the other three raised beds laid out.

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    Girlie is getting the hang of the 4 wheeler even with the trailer on behind.  Lots of top soil hauled.

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    Lots of digger links drove and “Eeeeeeeeeewwe.  That looks like a hairball”

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    But the rings are built, and baby strawberries have had a good drink and covered under their straw blanket for the night.  It has been freezing or below the last few nights, so they are covered rather well.

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    Of course we did alot of sneaking in the house to catch a few laps at Talladega.  And even though my driver ended up finishing 23rd, he is still 4th in the standings.  We decided to have a race dinner.

    TAILGATING BRATS

    Boil the brats in beer until almost done, grill on the BBQ till brown and almost split.  Add bun and whatever else you want and enjoy.

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    Sure Signs of Spring

    April 25, 2009

    Look what I found outside the kitchen/dining room window……

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    I don’t remember planting these.   It might have been the lady who took care of my yard last summer while we were gone that did the planting.  I never had good luck with bulbs….most of them never see the light of day again after being planted.  I know there is no Garden Fairy, but however they got there, it was a very beautiful surprise.

    And more sure signs of spring….

    Had company last night.  The neighbors from across the road came out of hybernation.  They brought me some of their stew.  It was yummy.  We sat and had a few beers and got caught up on each others lives.  And that is why this blog is about 12 hours late.

    Ran into BB at the grocery store yesterday.  Haven’t seen him in forever.  He used to work with my Honey in American Falls at the Case dealer.  He has been laid off since early December, but hopes to go back the first of the month.  He had been working in Utah, but now has to go to Missouri.  I know winter layoffs are common in construction…lived through plenty myself…but this one seemed a little long. 

    MIL came home from Idaho Falls yesterday bearing gifts.

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    And

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    DeeJaye and crew have already been into them as you can see.  So I traded MIL goodies for dinner and she went away a happy as a clam.

    PULLED PORK

    RUB:

        2 Tbsp Deen House Seasoning

        2 Tbsp Penzey’s Smoked Spanish Paprika

        1 Tbsp Penzey’s Crushed Brown Mustard Seed

        1 tsp Dried Mustard Powder

    Rub a pork sholder/butt roast with dry rub.  I used the latex glove trick that Alton Brown suggested and yes, more of the seasoning stuck to the meat instead of my hands.

    Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker and add any seasonings that didn’t stick the the roast and then the roast itself.  I cooked mine for about 6 hrs on high, but I was home and could watch the water level.  You can adjust the temp to suit yourself.  Cook until fall apart tender then remove, let cool a bit and then shred.  If I was going to use all the meat for BBQ Pork Sammiches, I would put some brown sugar in the rub.  But I only used half the meat.  The other half reserved for……..

    BBQ SAUCE

    Sweet Baby Rays Award Winning BBQ Sauce

    shot of Tequila..use the cheap stuff and save the Patron

    chapped garlic

    Combine in sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add meat.

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    I found a pretty loaf of bread in the day old bin and cut it up for buns.  Add a little coleslaw and you have dinner.  Enjoy!!!!