Wednesday, April 26

Garden Pic Wednesday: Hoosier Spring Flowers!

We were in Indiana recently and I got some good shots of flowers from my Mother's garden!
So today's Garden picks are some "Hoosier" flowers from her garden! Tulips, which I can't grow in Florida, and something purple I have no idea what it is!

Happy Tulips:
Pretty red and yellow tulips tip their faces up, enjoying the sunshine! This is what tulips look like in full bloom. 
Since they're shown so often in photos closed, I think people assume that's how they look all the time, but that's like assuming a rose bud stays a bud. 
Even cut in a vase, tulip stems will continue to grow and take on all sorts of curved and twisted dimensions, their blooms seeking sunlight like a sunflower.







This second picture I don't know what it is, except it's a very pretty purple. 
It was in my Mother's garden bed near the air conditioner.

Monday, April 24

Good Eating Monday: Quick Wonton Soup

We were out of town, so I had a little posting break for a week, but back now!

Today's Good Eating recipe is a Pinterest recipe I tried for Quick Wonton Soup!
What makes it "quick" is you use a bag of frozen pot stickers for the "wontons" instead of making your own!
I think this recipe works best if you make and heat the broth a day ahead, then refrigerate it, then reheat it and finish it about 20 minutes before you want to serve it by adding the frozen pot stickers, rice noodles, fresh sliced mushrooms and spinach leaves & heating it up!
It was fabulous as a leftover--if there's any left. Make enough for about 4 bowls.

Quick Wonton Soup:
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 bag frozen pot stickers/chinese dumplings, any kind (16 to 20 pieces)
2 cups sliced mushrooms, fresh
4 cups of baby spinach
8 oz of rice noodles prepared according to package directions
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper or to taste, if you like spicy
Garnishes:
Drizzle with Hoisin sauce if desired
Fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:
Broth:
Make either a day ahead or a couple hours ahead of when you want to serve:
Combine broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and red pepper if you're using it, bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.
Turn off heat, let cook and refrigerate until ready to make soup.

Finish:
Prepare rice noodles as directed, then divide among 4 bowls.
Bring broth to boil again then add pot stickers, sliced mushroom and spinach, then turn to a simmer for 5 minutes to heat pot stickers through.
Divide wonton soup among bowls, topping noodles with soup.
Drizzle with Hoisin sauce & garnish with Ciltantro as desired.
Serves 4.

(Note: spinach loses it's bright green color as it cooks and turns a dark green, so it won't look quite like the picture when finished.)

Thursday, April 20

Mama Kat Thursday: The Fennel Seed Caper

Today's Mama Kat topic is to share, "A Mistake I Made in the Kitchen."

I had to ask Hubby to help me remember a cooking mistake. I actually haven't made that many. He recalled a mistake I'll call the "The Fennel Seed Caper."
It was 1983, the first year of our marriage. We were living in Maryland in our first apartment. Hubby was still in the Air Force.
One of our wedding gifts had been a nice wood spice rack that included a dozen bottles of various spices. Most of them were common ones like Basil, Oregano, Celery Seed, Thyme and so on, that I knew what to do with. But there was one I had no idea what to do with: Fennel seed.
I wanted to try using it, so one day, I searched my Joy of Cooking cookbook to see if I could find a recipe that called for Fennel seed..
I found just one. It was called "Romanian Noodle & Pork Casserole."
It called for 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Fennel seed.
So I made it.
It was the worst tasting thing either of us ever tried. I threw it out and we went out to a fast food restaurant for dinner.
I also tossed the Fennel seed.

*****
About Fennel Seeds:
I read online that whole Fennel seeds need to be "cracked" before being used in a recipe to release it's fragrant oils---something the recipe never mentioned. It comes in whole seed or ground forms and it's most common uses are teas, dry rubs and Indian cooking.


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Thursday, April 6

Mama Kat Thursday: Wacko News!

Today I'm sharing tid-bits of local small town "Wacko News!"
These are true stories. Nothing is made up. 

On March 23, 2017, police responded to Burger King where two men caused a disturbance because they said, "Their food was not as fresh as requested."  The men demanded that a cook "re-cook" the food, but she refused. They were offered a refund, which they refused. Police were summoned because two men caused a disturbance. They were issued permanent trespass warnings for Burger King.

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On March 25, 2017 police responded to an address where someone had ransacked the center console and glove compartment of a vehicle parked in their driveway and stole a 9 mm pistol and a magazine with 15 rounds of ammunition. The owner wasn't sure whether the vehicle had been locked or not.

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On March 27, 2017 police responded to an address where a white Lincoln pick-up truck had been stolen from a driveway after the victim had left it unlocked with the keys inside.

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On March 17, 2017 a female resident was issued an order to appear in court for allowing her cat to cross a city street unsupervised and unrestrained and to enter onto her neighbors property.

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On March 18, 2017, a woman was arrested on several charges related to assault & battery. According to witnesses, the woman was seen speeding through a parking lot with 3 children in the vehicle and her van struck a truck while she was trying to run over someone during a dispute and kicking a police officer in the leg.
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Okay, here's some wise rules for life:
1)  Always, always remove valuables like purses,money, jewelry, cell phones, guns and ammo from any vehicle you leave parked outside and be sure to lock it up!

2)  Don't try and imitate things you see on T.V. shows, like chasing people with cars or hitting people with stuff!

3)  Be sure you know your town/city/county's lease laws for pets, so you don't end up in court!

Wednesday, April 5

Garden Pic Wednesday: New Blue Salvia!

Yesterday I was working on adding edging between the house foundation & the Hosta bed on the North side of the house, since it was the only dry day between rainy days. 

Today's Garden Pic features some new Blue Salvia I added to my front bed this spring!
It's a different kind then the one I already had. This one folds out petals with a white spots that look like little  hearts. Fancier then my other which is plain dark blue.
Salvia, in general, is a member of the mint family along with Bee Balm & Thyme.
This Blue Salvia is shown next to Shamrocks & my strawberry pot of Hens & Chicks!