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Showing posts from June, 2019

Mama Kat Thursday: Food I Love

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The Mama Kat topic I chose today is, "Write about food you love that most other people hate." Growing up out in the country in Indiana, we had a huge garden: it was two levels, with a thick patch of strawberries in-between. Also rubarb & asparagus were home-grown commodities. This was the late 60's and early 70's, before convenience restaurants were readily available.  We ate dinners at home, as a family, seated around one table and much of what was on the table came from the garden.  In general, I ate everything. I love most vegetables, including squash, rubarb and asparagus. I didn't realize until after I grew up  what a privilege it had been to have such things readily available right out in the backyard! It's funny, Mother, later in life admitted she was actually a picky-eater and grew what she did in the garden in order to teach herself to like more, something I didn't know as a child. I've never been a picky-eater. When I was a

Wednesday Garden Pic: Night Blooming Jasmine!

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I've spent the past two days clearing out a spot for my new Night Blooming Jasmine topiary. I wanted the use the area behind the rain garden, which has been a jungle of leaf build-up, native daylilies, flag iris, spider plants (houseplant type), glad greenery and Chocolate elephants ears. The elephant years weren't thriving, so I dug all those up to move. I mowed and clipped everything else to the ground, giving me space to plant the new topiary.  It's the only sunny location I had left to plant it.  I replanted 4 of the Chocolate Elephant ears around it's base, then transplanted a bunch of Ajuga ground cover in the area as well. Everything else will grow back by fall, probably. (The Chocolate Elephant ears turn a rich burgundy color.) We'll see how it does. This is Florida. Soggy is pretty much our middle name. Here's my supply of Ajuga: It's on the north corner of my house among ferns with a Hybr

Good Eating Tuesday: Two Bean Pasta Salad

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I always like trying new summer pasta salads and found this one on Pinterest:   Two Bean Pasta Salad! It involves mixing chick peas & kidney beans with pasta for a higher protein/veggie salad. This recipe came from a blog, but I felt it didn't have enough dressing. Even waiting to the last minute to add it, the pasta still absorbed and it tasted a little dry.  So, here, I've doubled the dressing ingredients, to give you extra to add to help prevent the dry-out! It's a pretty salad and I did add extras like grape tomatoes and carrot matchsticks because I like a lot of color and I didn't have any spinach and I don't like black olives. I also used colorful veggie pasta. (Photo my own) Two Bean Pasta Salad 2 cups cooked pasta, any kind 1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed 1 can chick peas, drained & rinsed 1/2 cup sliced black olives 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced red onion 1/2 cup fresh Kraft Parmesan or Romano cheese 1 1/2 cups fre

Mama Kat Thursday: Things That Make Me Happy

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Today, I've chosen the "Share Some Things That Make You Happy," prompt: Food: I can think of very few things that make me happier then eating. Planting Something & Seeing It Grow: If it's something I can also eat, that's a plus! Growing My Own Flowers: I used to be a florist, so there's nothing I appreciate more then being able to put my own flowers in a vase on the table. For free. Watching the Birds Outside There's much satisfaction to gotten from just quietly sitting and watching the various birds visiting the feeder and bathing in the bird bath. It's both entertaining and peaceful. Hubby and I Love Playing Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Online Together. It's a quest game, where you chose a Dark or Light side character and rank up via quest achievements. Working together makes it easier. Playing solo, you die a lot more. (Here's our two characters together from recent play

Garden Pic Wednesday: Garden Spiders!

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At the far end of my back yard, behind the maple tree, strung around a Plumbago and an Azalea are two Garden Spider Condos---multiple layers of finely spun webs, each belonging to a different spider. It's like a 3-dimensional web of webs. I can see them sparkling in the late afternoon sunlight. Intrigued one day recently, I went back to see what was there: Several Black & Yellow Garden Spiders: Some were larger, older ones and also younger, smaller ones, each with their own web. (This one is about about 1 1/4 inch in size.)  Sometimes these are called "Zipper Spiders." They're very common. (And harmless.) Orchard Orb Weaver Spiders: On webs layered in among the Black & Yellow Spider's webs were also lots of these shiny green Weavers with their iridescent orange spots. Always around the garden also. (And harmless) A Nice Shot of A Sunlit Spider Web I Won This Shrub As A Door

Good Eating Tuesday: French's Crunchy Onions & Peppers Steak Topping

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Hubby always orders extra-onions on sandwiches or salads at fast-food places or restaurants and,one of his friends he often eats lunch with knows this, so on Hubby's birthday that friend celebrated his love for onions by giving him a gift bag full of assorted onion things: 3 kinds of fresh large onions (red, yellow, white); a package of pearl onions, a bag of green onions, a 2.8 oz can of French's Fried Onions, a box of Lipton onion soup mix and a bottle of dried minced onions plus a pack of Peppermint Tic-Tacs. Since, then I've been working on using all that up. So, that's how I came to try this  Crunchy Onion & Pepper Steak Topping since it calls for fried onions. I found the recipe on French's website. The topping is really goodand super simple---just sauteed fresh mushrooms, red bell pepper and a 2.8 oz can of French's Fried Onions! Just grill up a steak the way you like and top it with this quick  crunchy saute! You might want to add a

Mama Kat Thursday: Something I'm Growing

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For Mama Kat today, I'm going to share some garden vegetable photos in answer to "Show Us Something You're Growing? " Butternut Squash: New for this year, I planted this "small garden" type of butternut squash. It's highly productive on a short vine that doesn't exceed about 6 feet and makes a smaller fruit then the kind you see at the grocery. I can already tell the vines are done producing as the squash are all changing color toward tan, which means they're getting ripe.  The sunlight makes them appear more yellow then they are actually. Took this shot this morning. Container Pickle Cucumbers This seed was a new try this year, too. It's designed to grow in a container---perfect for my in-ground clay pots I put next to the veggie garden! I planted two. They have short, climbing vines and are extremely productive. I put tomato cages in the pots for them climb, which keep

Garden Pic Wednesday: Boxie in the Birdbath!

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I have a number of Eastern Box Turtles who live in the vicinity of my yard. One of them has albino markings on it's neck and face, whom I've seen visiting my yard for years now.  This morning I saw Albino Face walking across the back yard near the end of my patio,clearly headed for the ground level birdbath I have out, which is a large shallow plastic plant-pot saucer. Everyone uses it for liquid refreshment during hot summer weather--- cats, squirrels, birds and box turtles. Anyway, Albino Face crawled into the dish of water, then just settled down in it toward the back, head resting on the dish rim for about 5 minutes in the cool water, then crawled out and left. I captured this shot right after Albino Face got in the birdbath and  paused, it's eye on me, to see what I was going to do.  I was standing behind the grill, took the picture then went back in the house, so Albino Face could enjoy a spa moment in peace. Box Tu

Good Eating Tuesday: Baked Zucchini Fries!

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I've decided to switch "Good Eating" from Mondays to Tuesdays! My time is just busier on Mondays now and Tuesday's I have more free time. So it's "Good Eating Tuesdays" from now on! Our little 5-cup Mr Coffee died this week.  Funny thing---about 6 months ago it gave us a false alarm and we thought it was going to quit then, so we ran out and bought a new one. (same model that has a timer to turn itself off.) Then, it started working fine again, so we just put the new one in the closest. Well, it came in handy as the old Mr. Coffee gave up the ghost. It was somewhere between 2 and 4 years old, so it served it's time. Monday we had to renew my Military ID, which actually expired back in November. Oops! But redoing it in June now seems handier then having to worry about it in the middle of the winter holiday season. Today's Good Eating Tuesday recipe is for "Baked Zucchini Fries." I have zucchini outside pumping out zuc

Garden Pic Wednesday: Blooming Ground Covers!

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This morning I was out picking beans.  They get ahead fast. Also watered all the veggies, hydrangeas, blackberries and daylilies with some Miracle-gro.   I enjoyed a fresh cucumber on my sandwich for lunch. They're a container breed that makes 4 to 6 inch cuc's, so they're ready quick. Fresh cucumbers taste so crisp and light and full of water, like watermelon. No comparison to store bought! Lots of Butternut squash, purple peppers and zucchini as well! Today's Garden Pics features 2 blooming ground covers I have out front my the mail box: Creeping Basil and Creeping Thyme. They've expanded much since last fall and they plus the Golden Creeping Jenny are there to cover the whole surface of where they are. Creeping Basil I didn't know there was such a thing. It was a door prize I won at a event at the library sponsored by a local Garden Club last fall. Since then it's expanded to about a 30 inch circle. The leaves lay very low to the ground and