Friday, April 18, 2014

Cowboy Caviar

I've shown this before but with summer on the way I thought it was worth showing again.  I made this yesterday and it sure is good stuff.  I serve it with tortilla chips but it is good as a salad too.

 Drain 1 can of black beans and 1 can of pinto beans and dump them in a bowl.  Add 1 can of diced green chilies.

 Add 1 bag of corn.

 Add 6 sliced green onions, 2 diced stalks of celery and 1 diced poblano pepper.  If you want it to be spicy, add several jalapeno peppers too. Add 2 diced tomatoes.

 Dice 1 bunch of fresh cilantro.

 In a separate bowl, add the juice of 4 limes, 1 T. tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt, 1 T. cumin, 1 T. chili powder, 1 T. granulated garlic, 1 T. granulated onion, 4 T. honey, 2 T. red wine vinegar and 1/3 C of oil.  Whisk this and pour it over the bean mix.
Let this sit at room temp for about an hour stirring occasionally.  Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.  Make sure to give it another good stir before serving.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Best Drying Rack

 I love to dry my laundry outside in nice weather.  I would love to have a laundry line but I don't have a convenient place to install one.  I found these racks online recently and they are wonderful.  They are made in the USA out of maple and steel.  They are also very easy to set up and take down.  When they are closed, they measure 8"X27".  They are also very sturdy.

 This is going on the trunk of my dead maple. Click for a closer look.  That is a kitty peering out of the window.

 I bought some mushrooms to go around it too.

 I bought a dwarf sweet cherry to plant in a container.  I can't wait to see how it produces.

 These are the two climbing roses which I will train up the dead maple.  It looks like winter might actually be behind us now.  Time to plant!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I lost Spring Yesterday

 I misplaced it all day.  I had it the day before and the day before that. I even had summer for a few days. But then I lost it. The day started out with cold rain.

 Which soon turned to sleet.

 Then heavy snow.

 The ground was still warm from when it was summer so not much stuck to the ground.

What do you think?  Is this the last one?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Sugar Cookies

I made cookies for my daughter to take to work yesterday.  She requested these decadent frosted sugar cookies.
 This recipe calls for almond paste which makes them very dense and flavorful.

 You can find the recipe here:

 Get out your colored sugars and have some fun.

 My daughter said people were eating them like M&M's.  I can't even imagine!  They are very rich.

The cold front is moving in!  It was 55 when I woke up at 4:30 am and it is 30 degrees at 9:45.  And it is sleeting!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chive and Cheddar Omelet

If you can get your hands on some fresh eggs and some chives that are just pushing their way through the ground right now, make this omelet.
 The number of eggs you use depends on how many you are feeding and the size of the eggs.  To feed 4 people, I use 6 extra large eggs.  Whisk them until combined.

Chop up some fresh chives.
 Grate some good cheddar cheese.  I used Double Gloucester.

 Melt some good butter in a non-stick pan on medium heat.  This omelet is all about using fresh and high quality ingredients.  I buy good European butter to use in recipes like this.

 Pour your whisked eggs into the pan.  Tilt it to coat and then lift the edges as the eggs set to allow the runny eggs to fill in underneath.

 When the eggs are almost set, sprinkle the chopped fresh chives over them. 

 Sprinkle on some sea salt and pepper.

 Next, sprinkle on the cheese.

 Roll the eggs towards the center.  Turn off the heat and let it sit in the pan for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

 Slide it on to a platter and sprinkle with more chives.  It might not be the neatest omelet in the world but it sure was delicious.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


It's a good thing that I like to garden as much as I do because it is the only thing that enables me to let go of winter.  And it was the best winter we have had in years.  It was 78 degrees yesterday and will be 84 today so the lettuce went into the raised bed.
 I was able to plant 6 different varieties in this bed.

 Teddy wants to visit the lower gardens and waits patiently for me to open the gates after I finish watering.

 This is the time of year when we post stupid pics like this one.  Those tiny green flecks are my first radishes.  So exciting!

 I wish I could remember what I planted in the Apostle planter last year.

 I have to go back to last year and see what I planted here.  I think some of these are day lilies.

 I have been studying this for days and I think it is time for it to come down.  I am investigating the possibility of having a grand gazebo built here.  This one was built from black locust trunks and is slowly returning to the earth. I would like to build one that could act as a guest cottage.

 Chows love nothing more than to observe their domain.

 She only moves her head looking for any movement below. She is ready to spring into action at the slightest sign of any movement.

 She checks every bit of the lower garden.

 You never know where a bad kitty might be hiding.

 After her job is done, she descends to the pond.

 But wait.....

 Teddy smells something.  (click to enlarge any photos)

 She decides it is not a threat and stomps through the pachysandra.

 Currents leafing out.

 The rhubarb is unfurling.

 Lots of asparagus popping up.

 These trees covered only 2/3 of the neighbors house 8 years ago.  No prying eyes now!

 Drink time.

 The red spots are the fish.

 For whatever reason, the fish swim up to Teddy when she drinks.  Stupid fish.

 The tour is over and after assuring herself the gardens are safe from intruders, she heads home.

 A short stop for a pooh...I spared you that shot.  However, notice how Teddy runs as fast as she can from her poop? It never ceases to make me laugh.  She is a serial pooper.

Job well done Teddy!  You took care of a lot of stuff in a short period of time.