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Showing posts from July, 2019

Garden Pic Wednesday: Final Touch Daylily

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It may just be the beginning of August, but I already sense a feel of autumn coming. The squirrels sense it, too, and have started shelling pine cones,  littering the ground with petals and cobs. I'm pleased to say I have Black Swallowtail caterpillars on my curly parsley, which is amazing since I've hardly seen any Swallowtails. Sneaky, I guess. First I saw I had one, then I saw yesterday I have 4. That's really all my two parsley's can support, but I have a Rue nearby I can move any overflow to.  I plant the parsley in particular for the butterflies. Though, I use it for cooking at other times of the year. It's a bi-annual and stays green and vibrant throughout the winter for 2 seasons usually. I did some light outside tasks today: pruned my container blueberries and planting the purple Lantana that's been in a small container, rooting.  I used my new garden seat, which makes low to the ground tasks like that much easier. Today's photo is

Good Eating Tuesday: Garlic Mushroom Spinach Pasta Topping

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Today's Good Eating recipe is my own concoction:  Garlic Mushroom Spinach Pasta Topping1 It's not precisely a "sauce," which is why I call it a "topping." It's an olive oil based pasta topping infused with fresh minced garlic then sliced onions, mushrooms and a bag of frozen spinach plus Italian seasoning and a little pasta water to smooth it out. One 10 oz bag of Picsweet Farms Cut Leaf frozen spinach made enough for 4 generous servings, so we had it 2 nights: First night, over fresh Buitoni mushroom ravioli & second night, over Ramen noodles. (plain) I went meatless with just mushrooms, but Buitoni makes some delicious chicken ravioli and tortelllini, so you can always choose that. We decided this is a dish best served with garlic bread on the side, so you'll want that! (photos are my own) Garlic Mushroom Spinach Pasta Topping Ingredients 1 10 oz bag cut leaf Spinach, thawed 1 8oz package of baby Portobello mushroom

Mama Kat Thursday: 4-H Camp Memories

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The Mama Kat topic of choice today is, "Summer Camp Memories." My sisters and I were in 4-H many years. Our parents were also  4-H leaders for the our local club many of those years as well. A perk of being in 4-H was the annual summer 4-H came held at Lake Shakamak State Park, Indiana.  We'd meet up to board a school bus, then enjoy a jostling hour and a half ride to the park. My memories of 4-H camp are from the 70's. Some things, like the Mess Hall (pictured) look pretty much the same. There's actually a wide circular field of grass in front of this Mess Hall with a ring of cabins that were pretty utilitarian. Just bare cement floors, unfinished walls with 2 x 4's visible  and rows of metal frame bunk-beds. I have two high-light memories of 4-H camp: the Mess Hall singing and evening entertainment at the Vesper Bowl. In the 70's, the Mess Hall was filled with long lows of tables with long wooden benches for seating and every meal in

Garden Pic Wednesday: Julia Child Rose

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A Photo of something new I added to my front bed this year: a  "Julia Child" rose. This shot is from earlier in spring, but it's continued to bloom. It's a yellow rose that often blooms in clusters of 2 or 3. It's a floribunda with full, well petaled heads. It's presently in a growth stage for a fresh round of blooming.    Among my 4 O'clocks, this peppermint colored one is one of my favorites. It's usually a mix of white fushia-spattered blossoms and solid fushia blossoms. I found a young one and moved it today back to the area near the Night-Blooming Jasmine. (Here in the South where the ground doesn't freeze, 4 O'clocks become perennials, returning yearly from root.) Finally, my newest garden addition: a gardening kneeler/seat. It's pretty cool. It can be flipped this direction to sit on or flipped upside down to serve as a kneeler and the legs become handles to help get up. It's

Mama Kat Thursday: Last Thing I Won

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Today's Mama Kat topic I chose is, "What is the Last Thing I Won?" I recently attended a talk at the local Community hosted by the local Master Gardener's group and the Libary on the of "Moon Gardening."  They gave away live plants as door prizes and I won this little tree-shrub called a topiary.  It's a Night Blooming Jasmine. You can see the gravel channels on either side. This area is the back end of my rain garden and they're there to help move rain water when it collects back here. It looks nice and neat now, but usually this area is wild with daylilies, garlic chives, glads, flag iris, spider houseplants gone-wild and Chocolate Elephant ears.  Second View of the Jasmine from Other Direction: You can see the end of my rain garden, my neighbors deck on the other side and the wood pallets I'm using to hold down landscape plastic over a bunch of Liriope I'm killing off.  Close Up of Future Blooms: When I took

Garden Pic Wednesday: Rose Queen

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Today I worked on finishing my project where planted by new Night Blooming Jasmine. It's close to the end of the rain garden and that topiary stands on a island of dirt between two drainage channels I was reworking. They were bare dirt and since we're expecting rain this weekend, I wanted to finish laying down landscape plastic and river stone in those channels. All the rain water in the back yard basically runs to that back corner, where it flows and pools in the my rain garden, then trickles it's way across the back corner of my the neighbors back yard and into the woods behind us both.  That's where it wants to go, so I just help it do what it wants to do anyway. Today's photo is a Rose Queen. It's proper name is Cleome. It's other nickname is "spider flower." They're shades of pink or white, pretty wispy things that attract bees. This particular one is done now and I noticed it has seed pods.  I intend to collect those. 

Good Eating Tuesday: Herby Slow Cooker Baby Potatoes

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Bacause it was raining this past Friday, I cooked in for our weekly Friday company: baked boneless chicken thighs, Green Giant Steamer Tuscan Broccoli and Herby Slow Cooker Baby Potatoes , since I could use convenient herbs growing outside. For great boneless baked chicken thighs, I like to use instant potato flakes: Season the pile of instant potato flakes on a plate with salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning you like: rosemary, Italian herbs, garlic powder, etc. Coat the chicken thighs in the seasoned flakes, place in a oil sprayed baking pan with their smooth outer side down first and bake in 400 to 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Then turn thighs over with fork and return to oven. (if I have leftover seasoned flakes, sprinkle tops of the side just turned up)  Bake another 20 to 30 minutes until thighs are pretty golden brown.  The potato flakes make the thighs super moist. The Herby Baby Potatoes in a slow cooker is simple, but the original recipe left them wh

Mama Kat Thursday: Boat Tales

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The Mama Kat prompt I chose today concerned my experience "being on a boat." My best, most dramatic boat experience happened in 1978 when I was in the Air Force and assigned to Karamursel Air Base in Turkey. It was custom to be assigned a "sponsor" from the future location, who would meet me and show me around. I was a medic and she was an Airmen at the clinic I'd be working at. So I flew into Istanbul. It was near lunchtime and I'd been awake over 24 hours. My sponsor met me along with two friends she brought along, all medics as well. One was a guy and one was girl, who was their supervisor and would be mine, too. They hustled me and my baggage outside to the line of taxi's and haggled with the driver over the fare price, then when they agreed, we got in and drove off. They explained to me haggling over the price of anything was customary and expected---one never just paid the price asked for. So that was new. Then they took me to

Good Eating Tuesday: Beef Pot Roast Hash

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We had plumbing work done today.  I needed a new kitchen faucet we'd purchased put in, the values under the sink fixed (apparently they leaked when Hubby tried turning them off a couple weeks ago) and the master bathroom sink handle, which was straight, but 90 degrees opposite of straight, straightened. Clearing out the cabinets in both, then putting everything back has taken all afternoon. It necessitates cleaning along the way and I put shelf liner in the bathroom sink cabinet before putting it's stuff back. Hubby just called that he was stuck on base. A thunderstorm lightning strike triggered security alarms and the Air Base shut down the gate, stopping traffic from departing base. Right a rush-hour, too. That means a major back-up. He was in his car in a parking lot where he could see the line of traffic, waiting for it to start moving, so he knew the gate was open again. So, busy day. Today's Good Eating recipe is home-made   Beef Pot Roast Hash Chuck ro

Garden Pic Wednesday: Magic Dancer Daylily

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Today's Garden Pic is one a first bloom of one of my new hybrid Daylilies. It's called "Magic Dancer" It's a bi-color, which means 3 petals are a darker and 3 opposing petals are lighter in color. It was somewhat cloudy when I took this shot, so the light made it take on more of a pinkish shade to the camera, but to the naked-eye, it's really more on the purplish side. It's classed as a "re-bloomer," so I'm looking forward to seeing it again later in the season! Magic Dancer is one of 3 new fancy color lilies I've added to my garden in the past year. Over the years, I've lost a few of my others. The roots either just age out or disease gets them sometimes.  I try to pick "rebloomers," so I can enjoy them twice--so if you're buying daylilies, looking for that. The Night Beacon Daylily out by the mailbox, which is a rebloomer, has fresh bloom stalks up right now! ****** Thursday is Independence Day,

Tuesday Good Eating: Skillet Beef Lo Mein

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Today's recipe is from a box of Mueller's Thin Spaghetti for: Skillet Beef Lo Mein. The picture on the box looked appealing and the recipe seemed easy, so I decided to give it a whirl. It was really good and a fantastic way to stretch one sirloin steak into several meals! d I think it could've used 2 cloves.  For the veggies, I ended up using half a fresh onion, sliced and half a package of frozen mixed color Bell Peppers instead of the stir-fry mix, since I already had the frozen peppers on hand. I also used instant bouillon vs canned broth and fresh minced garlic. (Photo is my own and looks nearly exactly like the picture on the box.) Here's the recipe from the Mueller's box: Skillet Beef Lo Mein Ingredients: 1/2  of a 16oz package of Mueller's Thin Spaghetti  2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 lb top sirloin, cut into thin strips  1 16oz package Frozen Pepper Stir-fry with red, yellow peppers and onions. 2 cans beef broth (14.5oz each)