Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garden Mirror Chains

 Click for a better look.  I had trouble getting good photos of the mirror chains but I had several requests to show how I make these so here goes.

 Buy bags of mosaic mirror tiles or pick up an old mirror at a thrift store and cut it into little squares. Get some fishing line and fast setting glue.

 Cut a piece of the fishing line to the length you desire. Lay it over the back of one of the tiles and put a dab of glue on it.

 Press the back of another tile onto the one with glue.

 Continue down the line spacing them about 1  1/2 inches apart.  Let it sit until the glue dries.

 Make sure you have a handy helper nearby.

 Hang them from a branch in your garden where the sun will reflect off of them.

 When the sun hits them, little sparkles of light dance on the ground. Again, they are hard to photograph but they are really very pretty.

 A special cool spot on a hot day.

 My clematis is covered in blossoms.

 I already have over 2 dozen green tomatoes.  I am fertilizing with compost tea and these plants are loving it.  If you want to try this, just fill a bucket with compost and add water.  Let it sit for 24 hours.  Pour the water from the bucket into a sprinkler can and water your plants.Do this a couple times a week.

If you look closely here you can see 2 mirror chains.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spring Chicken, Basil and Orzo Soup

 I stopped at Sur La Table yesterday and look what I found on sale!

 The last thing I need is another knife but I could not possibly pass this up.  It's a sign.  A sign of what I do not know!

 I can't imagine anyone having cool weather since we have been melting in this ridiculous heat, but if you do, you might want to make this soup.  Why I am making soup in 95 degree weather I will never know.

 I made chicken stock but you can use store bought if you want to.

 Saute' a large onion in a bit of olive oil.  Add 3 diced carrots and 3 diced stalks of celery.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Add your stock and bring it to a boil. Add some orzo.  The amount depends on how much of it you want in your soup.  I added 2 cups to about 2 quarts of stock.  Add 2 packets of Knorrs Concentrated Stock.

 Add some diced chicken.  You can use a store bought rotisserie chicken if you don't want to roast your own.  Shred a bunch of basil and add it to the soup.

A very good bowl of soup.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken, Cheddar and Bacon Rolls

 I went to a restaurant recently that served these and I could not wait to make them at home.

 First make some ranch dressing because these babies are dipped in it as you eat them.  Put 3/4 c. mayo, 3/4 c. sour cream and 1 cup of buttermilk in a bowl.

 Add 3 T. of granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp. of black pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 T. granulated onion and a bunch of chopped fresh herbs in a bowl.  I used chives, dill and parsley.

 Make this in advance so the flavors have time to mingle.

 It is so easy to make a quart of this and so much better and cheaper than store

 Now for the rolls.  These are made with pizza dough.  Make your own or use the stuff from the store if dough intimidates you.

 Cook some chicken with seasonings. Use any kind you like.  I used rotisserie chicken seasoning.

 Roll the dough out and try to make a rectangle.  Not like my wonky handed rectangle.  One handed rolling is interesting!

 Brush it with garlic butter.

 Sprinkle with grated cheddar.

 Oops...I forgot to mention that you need to fry a pound of bacon.  Do this ahead of time.  Crumble it and sprinkle it over the cheese. Cut the chicken into small cubes and sprinkle it over the bacon.

 Roll the dough like a jelly roll.

 Because I can't make pizza dough without making pizza, I made extra and cooked a few pizzas while I was working on the rolls.

 And I got to use some of my basil!

 Anyway, slice the roll into 1  1/2 inch pieces.  It was so hot in my kitchen between the ovens blasting and outside temps of 95 degrees, my rolls were sort of falling apart.

 Bake them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Serve them with the ranch dressing.  Kids will love these.  Big people too!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Eat some poppers!

Have some hamburgers and banana pudding.

Decorate your bike.

Watch some fireworks.

Because before you know it guess what will be here?

Time to dance naked under the moon! 

Have a great Memorial Day!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hamburger Sliders

 If you are looking for a good Memorial Day recipe, you will like this one.  Kids love these too and they are easy to make.

 Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle the entire surface with dried onions. These add tremendous flavor to the finished sliders.

 Place 2 pounds of ground meat on top of the onions.  Don't use extra lean or your sliders will be tough.

 Place plastic wrap over the beef and roll it out in a uniform thickness over the onions.

 Roll it as close to the edges as you can.

 Sprinkle the top with seasoned salt.

 You can buy slider rolls most places these days or just make your own. I made mashed potato rolls.

 Bake this in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

 Remove it from the oven, turn the oven off and sprinkle the top with grated cheddar cheese.

 Place this back in the warm oven just until the cheese melts.

Cut them into squares to fit the buns, add some ketchup, mustard and dill pickles and feed them to a hungry crowd.  One tray of these makes about 35-40 sliders.