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Showing posts from August, 2015

Good Eating Monday: Quick Peach Snack Cake!

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I didn't realize Pillsbury was making such fancy frosting flavors until I ran across a can of this at the Air Force Commissary: Creamy Supreme Tropical Mango! But what to do with it? I had some plain yellow cake mix on hand, but I didn't want it to be just yellow cake. I felt the cake flavor ought to compliment the Mango frosting. If you've never tried Mangos, they have a slightly peach-like flavor. So  I decided I could add some canned peach juice and peaches to the cake mix, so the two would go together!  And so Peach Cake with Mango Frosting was invented! And boy, did the Air Force kids gobble it up! It was yummy! Unfortunately , this frosting was a limited addition frosting that was only out in Jan & Feb, which is why I found the can I bought on the dent & bent shelf, reduced for quick sale. So, here's the recipe for Quick Peach Snack Cake!  Frosting isn't needed. Just sprinkle top of batter with cinnamon & sugar before baking

Garden Pic Wednesday: Blue Balloon Flowers!

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I feel a change in the air already--the feel of autumn! I mowed the back yard today and it was so nice outside. Warm, but with a dry feel. Finally--not sweltering! For Garden pictures today, I have 3 things: First: A Balloon Flower blooming in front of my blue ceramic cat: This Balloon Flower is one of about a dozen I raised from seed I saved last fall and planted various places. I put one in each pot that sits in front of the Pampas grass out front. This one looked so sweet blooming in front of the ceramic cat! That ceramic cat looks beat up because the deep freeze of the 2014 Arctic Vortex it sort of blow apart, but since it's yard art, it's okay if it looks a little rugged. Balloon Flowers are a terrific, compact perennial that bloom all season. I prefer the blue, because I collect blue garden flowers, but it also comes in white. Next: My fully bloomed out Pink Pampas: A couple weeks ago I had a bloom of the first couple plumes, but here she is in all he

Good Eating Monday: Asparagus!

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Today's Good Eating topic is "Asparagus."  Certainly one of my favorite veggies. And extremely good for you, too!  Mature Asparagus Asparagus is actually about a 5 feet tall when allowed to mature and has a airy, fern like character. My Mother had a patch of it when I was growing up in Indiana. According to what I've read, it performs best in climates with cooler temperatures and well augmented, weed-free, mulched soil.  It's a perennial, so it comes back from the roots each year. Though there are apparently improved hybrids that can tolerate warmer climates, such as California, the plants don't like being too wet and are prone to fungal issues--both of which are very big problems in Florida where I live. So, I've never bothered trying to grow it. Young Asparagus The part you eat is the immature spear heads the come up in the spring for a period of 8 to 10 weeks, then, after that, the next growth is allowed to mature. But just be

Mama Kat Thursday: Country Living

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The Mama Kat blog prompt option I'm doing today is,  "Your Childhood Neighborhood." The trick is--back when I was growing up in rural Indiana camera's used film and personal computers didn't exist. I never imagined forty years later I might want pictures of the old homestead to load on a blog on a personal computer! Thank goodness for Google Earth!  In order to  screen print a couple views, I had to go to street level view and actually "drive" down the road until I found the proper location.  Funny thing is: things don't look that much different from 70's, when I lived there, to 2009 when Google collected these images. A few more homes here and there, older trees, but pretty much the same. When I say rural, I mean rural. Here's a Google Earth shot of where I did my growing up: This house isn't actually the one I grew up in, though it stands on the same site. The original was one built by our Dad. It was

Garden Pic Wednesday: Mexican Heather!

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Today was mowing and a light bit of edging in the front and north side yard, plus laying down weed & feed in the last front section. One of my biggest lawn weed issues is Doveweed, a flowering ground cover weed that blends into the grass, then smothers it. I didn't use to have it, but my next door neighbor quit using weed products several years ago and his lawn got it thick. Then, naturally it spread to mine. It's a vining weed. I generally pull up any I spot--that's the best weed control really. Today's Garden Pic is Mexican Heather! This is a small, low-maintenance flowering shrub needs no pruning that I love to use in my landscape! Here in the south, it's a perennial, but an annual in the north.  It runs roughly 12 inches tall by 20 inches wide. In my experience, since mine come back from the root every spring, as a perennial, Mexican Heather generally have a life span of approximately 3 to 7 years. (In contrast to my Gardenia, for example, whic

Good Eating Monday: Grilled Romaine!

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Have you ever grilled Romaine lettuce?  When I went to lunch with my Yoga class, I mentioned grilling Romaine and those ladies acted like they'd never heard of it before! I suppose they haven't watched much Food Network or Cooking Channel. Grilled Romaine is absolutely delicious--but I couldn't figure out how to do it so the lettuce both cooked well and didn't fall apart. I finally  hit upon the secret in Pinterest: you leave the stem on and cut the heads in half and the stem connection keeps the head together while it's grilling. I found this Pin about Grilled Romaine on Pinterest and tried it out. The original Pin used Olive Oil for drizzling, but I used Italian Dressing, which has oil in it instead because it gives the lettace flavor without any extra seasoning! Grilled Romaine: Ingredients: 1 head of Romaine per every 2 people being served 1 bottle of you favorite Italian Dressing Optional : salt, pepper---and possibly cheese as this Pin topp

Mama Kat Thursday: A Quote to Live By!

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Today's Mama Kat blog prompt challenge ends up being a combination of "sharing a favorite quote" and "writing a blog inspired by the word 'cheap'". Here we have Calvin selling " A Swift Kick In The Butt For $1.00. " He says to  Hobbs, " Everybody I know needs what I'm selling." I would agree. Case in point is Hubby's most recent conversation with an Air Force guy from our Singles Ministry, whom I'll call Joe.  Joe and Hubby have breakfast together every other Saturday so Hubby can help Joe grow in his walk with Jesus.  Joe is 22 and is an Air Force cop. Currently, he lives off-base in a shared apartment in Ft. Walton. About 100 miles north of here, is a small town called Florala, just over the Florida border in Alabama.  Apparently a couple other Air Force guys, who work with Joe, rent a house in Florala and have invited Joe to move in with them, so they could split rent 3 ways.    Joe tells my Hubby this pro

Garden Pic Wednesday: In The Pink!

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I got out and mowed half of the back yard earlier this afternoon and laid down some weed & feed on the mowed part. Now it's raining. Today's Garden Pic is the first beautiful plume of Pink Pampas! I just saw it yesterday. It's the first Pampas to bloom. The plumes are baby pink for a few days until the sun bleaches them out, so the first bloom is the best photo! My Mini Review of Movies We've Seen Recently: Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation: Just a clean fun action spy movie with a generous smattering of humor throughout. I give it two-thumbs up.  (The action could be considered be scary for kids under 7 or 8.) Fantastic Four: It's re-make movie about how the Fantastic Four became the "Fantastic Four." It's a back-ground movie. It's not a bad Marvel movie, but I wouldn't compare it to any of the Avenger related films.  I rate it as "okay."  This version has them experimenting with exploring another dimens

Good Eating Monday: Cheese & Spinach Pita!

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I saw this pocket pita sandwich picture in Pinterest and put it on my food idea board to try. Today I tried it for lunch. Unfortunately the pin just linked back to a general blog and not to any specific recipe--which I never appreciate. So--I had to guess the recipe, though it seemed simple enough: one wheat pocket pita, plus fresh spinach and Baby Bell cheese. The original pin also mentioned "tomato sauce" in the description, but I skipped that. It was fine without. Overall, I found it filling and tasty. However, my sandwich DID NOT come out like the picture! Here's my actual sandwich: I used two Light Baby Bells; one for each pita half.  To get as much cheese spilling out as shown in the original Pinterest picture, I think you'd need to use 4 Baby Bells maybe. Funny thing is the original Pin describes this as being only 100 calories! But according to my pita pocket bag nutrition guide, one wheat pita is 150 calories . One light Baby Bell i

Mama Kat Thursday: Strange Food

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Today's Mama Kat topic is,  "Talk about a food someone convinced you to try." Because the military is full of wives from other countries, the base grocery store, called a "Commissary," is full of unique fruits and veggies you just won't find at your local Walmart. Dragon fruit, bread fruit, daikon radishes---strange food I have no idea what to do with. Among them, Jamaican Sweet Potatoes. So one day while shopping at the Commissary, Hubby and I run into our friend, Richard, an Air Force guy who is part of our Bible Study group. He's originally from the island of Barbados, which is in the Caribbean. In his cart I observed several Jamaican Sweet Potatoes. Jamaican Sweet Potatoes Of course, I'd seen them in the vicinity of the regular Sweet Potatoes many times, though I didn't know anything about them aside from the fact they had a darker red skin then the other kind.  Curious, I asked Richard about them. Richard paused, searching f

Garden Pic Wednesday: Rain Garden & Pink Vinca!

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It started off this morning with a summer thunderstorm, but by lunch had cleared off, though it remained cloudy. Plus the rain cooled things off, so it has halfway pleasant to work outside. My planned outside project was to finish cleaning up leaf debris along the house foundation on east & south side and refresh the pea gravel. Most is done, except, though I ran out of pea gravel to finish  behind the strawberry bed. I have a frame house and keeping the foundation edge clear and visible helps protect it from termites, which can be a serious problem in Florida.  Also makes things easier for the termite guy, since our annual inspection is coming up. Today's Garden Pics: A nice recent shot of my rain garden on the north corner of the house including Ponytail Asparagus Fern, purple Ajuga and a Hosta. I love the upright habit of this Ponytail Fern. Despite it's name, it isn't a member of the fern family, but is, in fact, a Lily family member. It can also be called

Good Eating Monday: Quick Creamy Fruit Salad!

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One of my favorite things for a quick semi-dessert style salad is just throwing together a can or two of fruit cocktail, a sliced banana  , if I have one ready, and some cool whip!  But apparently there are "levels" of fruit salad. What I just described is "basic" Creamy Fruit Salad: Basic Creamy Fruit Salad Ingredients: 2 to 4 15oz cans of fruit cocktail, drained 1 or 2 ripe bananas, sliced 1 container of whipped topping Directions: In a bowl combine the drained fruit cocktail, sliced banana, then add enough whipped topping to thoroughly coat your fruit. Cover & refrigerate until time to serve. **** I often pick up various kinds of canned fruit on the dent & bent shelf at the grocery and creamy fruit salad is a good way to use them. You can make your Creamy Fruit Salad fancier by adding any of the following: *A small jar of Maraschino cherries, halved or whole *A can of Mandarin Oranges *Other canned fruit, such as pineapp