Thursday, October 23

Mama Kat Thursday: Pinterest Garden Fails

The Mama Kat prompt topic this week is: "Share something you tried inspired by Pinterest---was it a win or a fail?"

My most recent Pinterest recipe win:"Sausage/Pepper Spaghetti Squash." You can view that recipe here on my Good Eating Monday post.

I also have 3 garden solutions that were Pinterest fails this year:

#1) The Cornmeal Weed Fix Fail:
The Original Caption read,
"Did you know that cornmeal is birth control for seeds? Sprinkle it on your garden and it will keep weed seeds from germinating and growing into plants. Of course, cornmeal will keep any seed from germinating, so don’t try this on your vegetable garden until your plants are established and you’ve finished planting seeds."

The result: Nothing. It didn't work. It wasn't very good birth control for weeds after all. It, however, did kill some plants I planted much later in that bed I put the cornmeal on, but that was long, long after the application. Better to use cornmeal for making cornbread.

#2) The Baking Soda Weed Fix Fail:
This wasn't exactly the Pinterest pin I read, but I read a similar one that said someone, "Edged their flower beds with a sprinkle of baking soda to keep weeds and grass out and that they did that twice a year with great effectiveness."
So I tried a whole box of baking soda sprinkled over my gravel parking spot that was overgrown with all kinds of weeds.

Result: Nothing. I also tried a sprinkle around a bed, but heavy rain washed it into the bed practically killing off all my Shamrocks! Baking soda can be a little dangerous that way. I don't recommend it for weed control.

The Orange Peel Semi-Fail:
I tried this. And I think it is mildly effective as long as the orange peel is fresh enough to give off odor, but in the Florida heat, the peels dried out fairly quickly. I realized I'd have to be putting out fresh orange peel about every 10 days and I just don't eat that many oranges. It's kind of an expensive cure if you don't eat oranges by the bag full. I really wanted it to work on squirrels, but it didn't.

Result: Not effective enough long term or cheap enough to be worth the effort. Smells nice, though. 
What was the last thing from Pinterest You tried?
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 22

Garden Pic Wednesday: Pineapple Sage Bloom

Today's Garden Pic of the Day is a nice shot of my Pineapple Sage that has just recently come into bloom!
Here in north Florida it blooms now and through-out winter.
I still have a Hummingbird or two visiting my feeder, so they might yet get to enjoy these!

For more on growing Pineapple Sage and a couple recipes for using it, you can visit this older post: Herb Savvy with Pineapple Sage.

For Bible Study on base last night I made M&M Blondies with peanut butter & peanut M&M's. (I had 1/2 a bag of each.)
Such a delicious recipe! 
Come back tomorrow for Mama Kat!

Tuesday, October 21

Polvyore Tuesday: Leonardo & Blue Mustang

Today, my final car themed Ninja Turtle set, this one being a modern Ford Mustang in Leonardo blue!
Like Raph, I don't think Leo would prefer a car he'd have to work on all the time.
Leonardo Blue Mustang

Leonardo was portrayed by Pete Ploszek.
Pete Ploszek
(You can click on his name above for a You Tube link to him talking about his role as Leonardo and hear his actual voice.)
But they didn't use his actual voice on film.  Johnny Knoxville was hired to voice-over for Leonardo instead.
I looked and looked for an explanation, but found no particular reason specified. All I found out is the Turtle actors were only guaranteed the physical acting job; not necessarily their voice use, though the actors portraying Donnie, Raph & Mikey were lucky enough to have their real voices left in.

So I'm left to making a couple guesses for why the Leo voice-over:
#1) Maybe Nickelodeon wanted their movie Turtles to have a voice tone somewhat similar to the voices of their Ninja Turtle cartoon characters.
#2) Or maybe they wanted each Turtle to have a voice so distinctive, the audience could easily identify which Turtle was speaking just by sound and Pete's voice wasn't different enough from the other actors voices to do that, in their opinion.
But, like I said, those are just guesses.
Of course, Pete said all the lines while acting the part, then Johnny's voice was looped in later.
Pete is originally from Illnois and he and his wife presently live in Los Angeles. He's has a Master of Fine Arts in Acting.

Pete's eyes &  his eyes as Leonardo

Monday, October 20

Good Eating Monday: Sausage/Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Greetings on this lovely fall day!Today's Good Eating recipe is one I'm trying tonight that that I saw on Pinterest called, "Sausage & Peppers Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats."I bought a spaghetti squash, knowing I'd have Johnsonville Sweet Sausages left-over from Sunday's cookout, just so I could try this recipe.To me, most squash is bland tasting, so the challenge is always making it flavorful. While I find spaghetti squash fairly often quite tasty if it's seasoned right, I would never, ever try and pass it off as a real substitute for pasta. It's more like virtual spaghetti. Pasta is pasta and spaghetti squash is still squash and neither shall the twain meet.However, I have sausages to use and I love Italian, so I'm going to give it a go.

Sausage & Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats
1 (4 pound) spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound Italian sausage (spicy or sweet)
2 cups sliced bell pepper (or frozen pepper strips)
1 cup diced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 (24 ounce) jar tomato/spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with a parchment paper.

Place whole spaghetti squash in the microwave for 5 minutes. ( I usually put a knife through it for ventilation first.) This helps slightly soften the squash so it's easier to cut open. Remove from the microwave and carefully cut in half, length wise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle. Drizzle each half with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour or until the flesh of the squash will shred when scraped with a fork.

While the squash is cooking make the sauce that will stuffed the squash:In a large skillet set over medium high heat add sausage and break up while you stir. If the pan gets too dry simply drizzle in a little olive oil so the sausage does not stick to the bottom or burn.Once the sausage is lightly browned add in peppers and onions. Continue cooking until the sausage is fully browned and the vegetables are soft. Add in garlic and Italian spice. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in tomato sauce and simmer while the squash cooks. You are looking for a little of the water in the sauce to simmer away leaving a nice thick sauce.

Once the squash is fully cooked remove from the oven and carefully scrape and fluff the flesh until fully shredded. Lightly press down into the squash half and fill each squash half with half the sausage/sauce mixture. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for about 15 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.
Scoop out of the squash and serve. A 4 pound squash should give you enough for 4 servings, 2 servings per squash.
I've provided the whole recipe "as is." Though I, personally, am NOT going to serve it as "boats." (Like a twice-baked potato, I consider this too much trouble). Instead I'll just fluff the spaghetti squash out directly onto plates, top the squash with cheese, then with the  sausage/pepper sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Basically, like regular spaghetti.
My after-dinner report: This was yummy.  Using the spaghetti squash lets you heap on the pork sausage/pepper sauce pretty much without guilt, because you're minus all those pasta calories. Also it's a way of getting more veggie into the diet.  I did add sliced baby Portabella mushrooms to the sauce and I did need to microwave the squash a bit more after baking to finish it off, as they didn't divide evenly and one half was thicker. 
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

Thursday, October 16

Mama Kat Thursday: TV Shows I'd Like Back

The Mama Kat prompt topic this week is: "My list 6 retired TVshows I'd like to see come back (as good as before)."

Before I get into my list, let me qualify that I want these shows back as good as they were the first time, under the following conditions: 
 * Without making them risque & sleazy, like so many modern shows & comedies are.
 * Without adding a bunch of extra foul language.
 * And I want them to high caliber, well-written, good family hour story telling on network television.

With that said, here's my list:

#1)  The A-Team: 
But like it was with lots campy of action that didn't really kill anyone, a sense of humor and an ability to escape any situation while helping people out of a jam.
 Of course, George Peppard will remain irreplaceable.

#2)  Airwolf: 
But like it was in the first 2 seasons: helping people with lots of just plain adventure flying around in a secret, impossibly fast combat helicopter

#3)  Some kind of new, good Star Trek story:
(emphasis on "good")

#4) McGyver:
But like it was with a clean-cut, eco-minded guy who hates guns and can save the day with just what he finds under your kitchen sink.

#5)  Murder She Wrote:  But like it was with an older, classy lady mystery author with excellent taste in clothing, solving murder mysteries that she gets drawn into through friends & relatives.

#6)  Bonanza or some kind of western.
There hasn't been a good family friendly western on network TV in a coon's age. TV used to be thick with westerns.

I guess I'm way old school in my selection of shows. I would've suggested "The Dick Van Dyke Show," but I simply don't believe modern television remotely able to reproduce that show as cleanly or with as much honest humor as the original. 
So what retired TV shows would you like to see back?

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 15

Garden Pic Wednesday: Red Rose In Sunlight

Greetings!  Another fine October day! It's getting into that nice fall-ish weather that, here in north Florida, ranges from 60 at night to 70's or 80's during the day with next to no humidity--great for doing all that fall yard clean up!
 I finished mowing the back yard today, which included policing up a bunch of pine cones and branches thrown around by a recent rain storm. Then spread the mowing mulch around various beds and especially stacking it around new shrubs in back.
I'd done the front yesterday, so today's work polished off the lawn mowing, which conveniently vacuums up all the pine needles.
I don't like to rake---ever tried raking up the long southern type pine needles?

Today's Pic of the Day is a shot I took this afternoon of my rose topiary against banana trees and late-day sun.

We spent all day this past Saturday at the Pirates of the Sea Festival in Panana City Beach, Florida, from about 2:30 pm until after the Fireworks at 8:30 pm.
We went dressed as pirates, of course, and it was a great day of relaxing, frivolous fun.
This event is held at Pier Park annually, which is like an outdoor mall that stretches from the main highway on the north to the highway that runs along the Gulf to the south. It's massive. It's beautifully landscaped, and, just off from the center is an extensive array of amusement rides. It's the only mall I know of locally with it's own amusement park.
For the Festival, traffic is cordoned off from the middle round- about circle to the beach highway, so it's free for walking, various bits of entertainment and parade use.
The middle round-about is called "town center" and a band stand is set up there and a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator hosts the event. It was a rather warm day, so he abandoned his long pants & pirate boots for knee-length tan Bermuda shorts and sisal rope sandals. Someone mentioned this and he replied, "Resort wear, mate."
We watched a "pirate battle" in which defenders of the town & a band of pirates faced-off for the "keys to the city."
Jack Sparrow is captured along with the town mayor, who get put in a cage-float until Jack gives up the "keys to the city," and the Mayor can be released.
There was a magic show on the band-stand, hosted by a rather good local magician, then a pirate band from Nashville that actually plays pirate-themed music, called "Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers," came on.
(You can look them up on Facebook & maybe Amazon.)
 They were good with the crowd, with lots of sing-along songs and hand-clapping. We bought one of their CD's and had the whole band autograph it. That was cool.
At 5:30 we found a seat on the curb to watch the parade, which features floats of various sorts loaded with Pirates throwing bright colored Mardi-Gras bead necklaces at the crowds.
Last year, I collected a neck full, since that was my first experience with it. Once was enough.
This time, I didn't keep any, except two hot pink ones. What was fun, however, is the lady and her husband sitting on the curb next to us were from Atlanta, staying at a local condo and just lucked into coming to this pirate festival. She'd never had Mardi-Gras beads thrown at her before either and she collected a massive neck full, enough to topple her little self over, plus more wrapped around her forearms like bracelets. 
You can always tell the first-timers at the bead throws--they're coated. Most of what we caught, we passed to her or other people around us.
Then another band was on the band stand to entertain until fireworks time, then we watched the fireworks. It's the only fireworks display I like to go to.
After that, we drove home listening to our new pirate music and that was our day.

Tuesday, October 14

Polyvore Tuesday: Raphael & Red Challenger

Today I have for you my next car-themed Ninja Turtle set featuring Raphael with a modern Challenger in his favorite color: Red!
I figured he wouldn't want a car he had to work on all the time, so he'd go for a current model.

Raphael Red Challenger

The actor who portrayed Raphael was Alan Ritchson.
Alan Ritchson
I was recentlywatching a interview by him on You Tube about his role in the TMNT film, then suddenly noticed my home town associated with his name---that's when I suddenly remembered who he was!
Alan graduated from Niceville High School, right here in my town of Niceville, Florida.
 He's a military brat--his Dad is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and the family settled in  our area when Alan was 10.
I learned this after first seeing him as Aquaman on Smallville, which resulted in a huge write-up in the local paper on "local boy who's made good."
He also was in the first Hunger Games and he's a songwriter/singer with an album out. Alan is married with two children. I'm sure they quietly sneak back here to visit the folks with the grand-kids whenever that can. 
On being the Raphael Ninja Turtle role, I read that he said he was constantly spinning those Sai in his hands, so they'd to look correct when he handled them on-screen.
Also, the studio used Alan's actual voice for Raphael and that's him you're hearing. No voice-overs. 

Each Turtle's eyes roughly reflected their individual actors eyes:

Alan  as himself & as Raphael