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Showing posts from July, 2018

Good Eating Monday: Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad!

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I've saved a number of Pinterest pasta salad recipes to try, so today I'm sharing this weeks try:  Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad! This one is so deliciously yummy, it's going to become a pasta salad I use regularly! It's this summer's big winner! The home-made Greek dressing is so tasty, it would be good enough to put in a cruet and use on any salad. I loved it! The recipe calls for artichoke hearts, but Hubby hates those, so I subbed a chopped Bell Pepper.  You can use either or both. I also calls for sliced olives, but I don't like olives, so I served the olives on the side those who like them to add, (though a put a few on my salad just for the photo!) The dressing is the thing and you can add any mix of ingredients you like to the Tortellini! I used fresh Tortellini this time and decided it's more flavorful then the dry type. Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad: Ingredients: 1 pound cheese Tortellini pasta (fresh or dried, cooked according to

Mama Kat Thursday: Garden Plans

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T he Mama Kat topic I chose to today was, "Share a recent purchase." ...which just happens to be a few new items I've recently ordered for my yard projects to be delivered in Sept/Oct.  Blue Fescue Grass A small mound of grass suited to dry, hot landscape areas. I purchased 4.   2 of these fun looking "Green  Twister" Coneflowers Here's the Plan: I'm getting rid of all the remaining grass in this location by the mailbox,turning it into a non-mow landscape of ground covers and what not. (I painted over what grass is still there in photo shop.) The Blue Fescue will be arranged around the base of the mailbox. I'll plant 3 Asparagus Fern along the road edge and the Coneflowers in-between.  Pink Lantana I'm rooting will be along the property edge. It's a work in progress. And finally, I ordered of this: It's called "Snakehead Iris, a citron green

Garden Pic Wednesday: Beautiful Red Zinnia!

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I can feel the change of season in the air already signalling autumn is on it's way.  Suddenly, there's a dryness in the humid air. Squirrels started cobbing pine cones 2 weeks ago for the pine nuts inside, fattening up for winter. I can see the pine cone petals they drop, daily spattering to the ground on the patio when I look out the back door.  The birds are feeding more at the feeder. I saw a Downy Woodpecker slide through the bars to enjoy some seed just this afternoon. I planted new tomatoes in the garden yesterday. I've never tried a second crop before really, but recently acquired a planting chart put out by a local garden club that shows a year round schedule of what can be planted, when. I saw tomatoes can be planted for a second time not later then the end of July for a harvest by October and I discovered local garden centers right now have a fresh supply of special heat tolerant breeds on sale. I bought a pair, each different, with cool names: "S

Good Eating Monday: Sweet Macaroni Salad

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Last summer I tried out new Potato Salad recipes; this summer I'm trying out new Pasta Salad recipes. Sweet Macaroni Salad was the first. I found it on Pinterest.  What makes it unique is it calls for Sweetened Condensed Milk (like Eagle Brand). It's actually sweet-sour, since it uses vinegar to balance the sweet. It's not rich or overly sweet or anything. I felt it could stand a tad less vinegar, but I'll give you the measurements as is and you can try it out and make your own adjustments. This salad needs to be made and refrigerated overnight---so remember to make it the day before you want to serve it. (photo is from Pinterest) Sweet Macaroni Salad Ingredients: 1 (16oz) box elbow macaroni 1 cup carrot matchsticks  1 fresh green pepper, chopped small 1 red onion, chopped small Dressing Ingredients: 2 cups mayo 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand) 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 te

Mama Kat Thursday: A Must Visit Camping Spot

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Of all the places my family ever camped, I think Great Dunes National Park in Colorado was the most fantastic! I rate it as a "must visit" place.  I was reading the National Park website on the place before writing this and I guess it's possible nowadays to use snowboards on the sand and it's open in winter for sledding and snowboarding as well. We visited in May in 1973, I think. We were on our way to western Colorado, to Durango for a steam-train excursion, so we just stayed the one night at Great Dunes, but the one night was memorable! We arrived about mid-afternoon. The huge golden pile of sand was visible from the camping ground and, once the tent was set up, my sisters and I headed over to the Dunes to do some climbing. We could see people, who looked like tiny ants, some way up high on those immense sandy hills. We crossed a wide, shallow icy cold stream to get to the dune area, then proceeded to try to walk up them. No easy task , let me

Garden Pic Wednesday: Asparagus Fern In Bloom!

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Today's Garden Pic: One of my pretty Asparagus Ferns that drapes over a wall, dotted with white blooms like snowflakes! Wren Nesting News: We have a pair of Carolina Wrens nesting in one of our hanging bird houses, like the one pictured.  I could tell by their coming and going the parents were feeding youngsters this past week. Curious to see how many there were, I took a step ladder outside and took a peek. I saw only one baby, feathered, but still too little to leave the nest. It ducked down in the dark when I looked in, but a couple taps on the bird house made it move around, so I could confirm it was there. I can see my veggie garden from my sliding glass door and noticed a lot of wiggling going on among the bean leaves. I kept watching and finally saw it was one of the wrens, finding something delicious on those bean leaves. Then it flew to the bird house to deliver the morsels into a waiting mouth. I went out to look. The beans are done, the leaves all fa

Good Eating Monday: Picking A Good Watermelon!

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I ran across this Pinterest tip on key things to look for when you're at the grocery, trying to pick a watermelon. The recommendations come from farmers. #1: Look for a creamy-colored or even a gold-colored field patch. This indicates melon was in the field the longest, so it has the best chance of being perfectly ripe. #2: Look for Webbing:  Webbing is the scratchy looking marks, but these are actually produced by the number of times a bee touches the melon flower. More webbing = more bee touches = sweeter melon. #3: Look for a Dry Brown Stem: If a melon still has a stem on it or "tail" as it's called, make sure it's dried and brown. (Not all melons have one) If a stem appears greenish still, it means the melon was picked too early to be it's best ripeness. #4: Sweet or Watery? Apparently, watermelons have genders and a "girl" melon is sweeter, while a "boy" melon is more waterly. However,

Friday Finds: Things to Do With All Those Photos

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I got this idea from someone else's post in my Google+ and thought it great to pass along! We all have tons of photos around---in our phones, saved in our computers, sitting in boxes waiting for that being made"someday" into a memory book! Heres's some easy ideas for putting those photos to use: 1 )  Enjoy your photos right on your computer screen! Select "Slideshow" in your computer screen Personalization setting, choose a file of photos for "browse," and enjoy a shifting display of your photos! The time is automatically 30 minutes, but can be set to other options. (This means you'll have to save your camera and phone photos to your computer to have a file to browse---if you haven't already.) 2)  Make a Calendar! For yourself of your last vacation or a family photo one to send to relative! It's a great Holiday gift idea! Lots of options online for making calendars.  Also you can walk into Walmart and use their photo g

Garden Pic Wednesday: Sunflower with Little Visitors!

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Today's highlight photo is this pretty Sunflower with 3 little striped Sweat Bees! They were coated in pollen loving this sunflower! Since I have a bird feeder and the seed mix includes various sunflower seeds, I just pushed a selection of them into my flower bed and get and interesting mix of sunflowers. This one was one of those seeds. In the background, you can see the yellow melon blossoms on vines that have crawled up into the tomato cage. My New Home Made Bird House I had a cute little bird house similar to this one pictured--it was just made of painted wood. It lasted 3 years, was even used a couple times, but this year I had to discard it because it was simply rotting away. My humid and rainy climate was too much for it.  I did salvage the wood ring on the front to reuse, though. I replaced that bird house with one of my own using a small plastic Folgers coffee canister topped with an old license plate for a roof with that wood ring from the other

Good Eating Monday: Chocolate Ice Box Cake!

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Ice Box Cake is Hubby's specialty! It makes a delicious, lightly sweet cookie or cake square, depending on how you slice it! Usually, it's  just plain white lite cool whip layered with graham crackers kind of like a graham cracker lasagna. But Cool Whip now makes "Cool Whip Mix-In's" in either Brownie or Oreo, so he's been experimenting with making Chocolate Ice Box Cake using both an 8 oz container of Lite Cool Whip and an 8 oz container of Brownie Mix-In Cool Whip. He's tried combining the two in a large bowl to make a lighter chocolate version and he's tried using the Double Chocolate Brownie Mix-In for the bottom layer and Lite Cool Whip for the next. Both are good, though I liked the lighter version using the two mixed together. To make your own Chocolate Ice Box Cake you'll need: 1 10 x 13 pan 1 box of Regular Nabisco Honeymaid Graham Crackers 1 8oz container Cool Whip Double Brownie Mix-In's 1 8oz container Regul

Mama Kat Thursday: 4th of July Memories

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Wiener roasting, roasting marshmallows for S'mores & running through the dark with sparklers was what our 4th of July celebration was like in the 60's and early 70's. We lived on heavily forested property just off a state road in Indiana, where gun-powder based fireworks are illegal. We usually just purchased the legal ones sold in the grocery stores that contained assorted large and smaller sparklers, glow worms and smoke bombs. Our "fire pit" we used for roasting wieners was usually 6 cinder blocks stacked as an open ended rectangle and we'd build a fire in the middle. Being made of cinder blocks, it could be moved, so our "fire pit" enjoyed being in several locations. Since we lived in the country, sticks and branches were readily available, so we 3 girls would search along the edge of the woods, collecting armfuls.  We were experts at building fires, criss-crossing small tinder first, then adding sticks of increasing size on top.

Garden Pic Wednesday: Pink Rain Lily

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Today's Garden Pic:  After plenty of standing water in the rain garden from all the rain, one of my Pink Rain Lilies bloomed!  The pink are the showiest looking, though I have yellow and white that have smaller flowers. They don't bloom all at once.