Thursday, June 22

Mama Kat Thursday: Throwback Thursday:

The Mama Kat blog prompt this week was to revisit something I was writing about in June last year:
I was participating as a guest blogger for a series called, "Between the Lines: Women Bloggers Over the Age of 50."
An blogger acquaintance on Google+ invited me and many other women to be guest bloggers the series.
I was initially told it would just be about how I got into blogging and would involve answering a few questions. I imagined I'd just be answering a survey, then she's put my answers together and post it on her blog with a back-link to mine.
It wasn't like that at all.
It involved me posting on my blog all her weekly lists of hyper-links of everyone else's guest posts she was hosting on her blog.

 It felt it incredibly complicated to manage every week, though I stuck it out most of the way through.

I did enjoy writing my guest post about how I got into blogging, which you can visit here, if you missed it the first time:
Between the Lines Choice Morsels: Blogging After 50

Good news since then: I was promoted to Pro Bronze Designer level in my Zazzle store just last week! It's just a label on my storefront, but it means things are going well.
What was going on for you last June?

Thanks for Visiting!

Wednesday, June 21

Garden Pic Wednesday: Happy Day Lily!

After 3 days of rain from a tropical storm, the sun is finally out!The rain garden has been full of water---maybe some of the Rain Lilies will be prompted to bloom this week!
My Curly Parsley has become a nursery for Black Swallowtail caterpillars. There were quite a few, but caterpillars have a high mortality rate because they're a food source many insect predators: wasps, spiders, various bugs. 
Originally there were nine. This morning there were three; now there is only one who is nearly full size. The good news is that leaves plenty of Parsley is still available for another round!

Today's Garden Pic is one of my cheerful yellow & burgundy Day Lilies from my front bed.

Monday, June 19

Good Eating Monday: Steak & Potato Nachos

This recipe is a Pinterest recipe from my "Food Ideas" board that I tried out: 
Steak & Potato Nachos!
It was good tasting. We liked it and since Hubby is a steak & potatoes guy, it was a great way to give him something he liked as well as give myself something new to try.
However---Nachos are normally something arranged either over chips or eaten with chips. This recipe has replaced chips with real potatoes and didn't say in the directions how to serve it. It's kind of heavy, too and not very "scoop-able."
So, I just winged it by plopping servings onto a plate. We ate it with a fork along with some whole-grain taco shells I had on hand.
It's pretty much a meal and not really a crowd appetizer. The recipe only makes about 4 servings, but it is a great leftover that's better the next day.

I did diverge from the recipe, which calls for baking & boiling, to have Hubby cook the steak and potatoes on the grill, then I arranged them in the skillet per recipe, topped them with cheese, put a lid on the pan and just turned the flame to melt the cheese.
(Photo is my own. I just had cheddar on hand and I think I seasoned my potatoes with Cumin.)
Here's the recipe as it was originally posted on Buzzfeed, which  includes a video for making it with oven & broiler.

Steak & Potato Nachos
2 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 lb. skirt steak 
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
Salt & Pepper
Sour Cream, Green Onions & Salsa, if desired

1)  Place thinly sliced potatoes in a bowl and toss with Olive Oil, Paprika, Salt & pepper. Lay potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 475 F. degrees for 20 minutes.

2)  Season steak with Salt & Pepper and cook on high heat to the level of doneness you prefer. Let steak rest 10 minutes, then slice  into small chunks or cubes.

3)  In a oil sprayed cast iron skillet, arrange potatoes in bottom to form a nice layer. Then top with steak chunks, then Cheddar, then Jack.
Turn over to broil and put skillet under broiler for 5 minutes to melt cheese.

4)  Top with sour cream, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, salsa or any other topping of choice. 

5) Figure out how you want to serve & eat it! 

Wednesday, June 14

Garden Pic Wednesday: Around the Garden

Today's Garden Pics are shots from around my Garden:

From the Front Yard:
This corner garden in front is looking just about perfect this year! 
My plan when I planted it was for it to form natural screenbetween us and the neighbor's house, so it's a collection of tall and short plantings:
Pampas grass, a skypencil shrub and an 8 foot Hardy Hibiscus form the back row and, in front, a bunch of 4 O'Clocks, a pot with Red Saliva and a dwarf Nadine shrub.
This shot was about 6 p.m. on a cloudy day, so all the 4 O'clocks are open!  That one light pink one is about 40 inches tall! Unusual.

The Back Yard Veggie Garden:
You can see a summer bush squash, Bell Peppers and one of the tomatoes. That front squash is called  a bush squash"Enterprise," and makes a straight-neck yellow squash. Directly behind it is a bush Zucchini called "Spineless Beauty."  
Not in view is a second tomato and Amy Melon vines in the corner beyond the bush squash.
(It was raining today when I took this photo.)

I don't find growing veggies in Florida as easy as in the mid-west and the things I do grow are things I've found perform reasonably well here during summer in my small space.

Next post will be June 19 for Good Eating Monday!

Monday, June 12

Good Eating Monday: Lemon Rosemary & Sun-dried Tomato Potato Salad

In my "Summer of Potato Salad," here's is another Pinterest recipe try:
Lemon Rosemary & Sundried Tomato Potato Salad!

The appeal of this recipe was it called for fresh Rosemary & Parsley, both of which I have an abundance, so it was a chance to use my fresh herbs plus try a new recipe.
I rate this potato salad recipe as "just okay." 

It's a little too lemony for me. I think just using the zest would be enough. Making as directed, I found it necessary to add a tad of sweetness to cut the sour.
The sun-dried tomatoes were probably the best part, but being mixed into the dressing made them really clumpy. 
I recommend adding the herbs & chopped dried tomatoes directly to the chilled cut-up potatoes, then lightly stirring in, then adding the dressing afterwards.
(photo is my own salad)

Lemon Rosemary & Sundried Tomato Potato Salad
3 lbs of potatoes (about 6 or 7 medium red or gold)
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary leaves, finely snipped or chopped 
3 or 4 Tablespoons finely chopped Sun-dried Tomatoes 
Optional: chopped scallions

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Wine Vinegar
Finely grated zest from 1 med Lemon
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 cloves Garlic finely minced
1 teaspoon Salt

1) Boil potatoes in water with 1 Tbsp salt till just tender; don't let over-cook. Drain & let cool till you can handle. Cut into 1 inch chunks in a bowl and chill. 
(Potatoes are less prone to falling apart when cold.)

2) Dressing: Combine olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon zest & juice, Dijon mustard, minced Garlic & salt in a food chopper or blender and mix to emulsify oil & vinegar.  Let dressing sit at room temperature until ready to use so flavors mingle. 
(Taste. You can add a tad of sweetness of whatever type suits you if it seems a little sour.)

3) Chop up your herbs & sundried tomatoes, then lightly toss with cold potatoes. 
Pour on dressing and lightly toss it all till well coated with dressing. Taste and season as needed with pepper and additional salt. 

4) Chill. About an hour or so before serving, take out and let warm to room temperature.
(this recipe is slightly better served at room temp.)