Thursday, June 30, 2016

Shrimp Salad Sandwiches

The Blog Tech and his Fiance love shrimp salad sandwiches.  I made these for them yesterday.
 Cook some shrimp or defrost frozen cooked shrimp, remove the tails and cut into thirds. Pat them with paper towels to get them as dry as possible. Add some diced onion and lettuce, some fresh tarragon or dill, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp. of Old Bay Seasoning, 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice and about 1/3 cup of mayonnaise.  Mix thoroughly.

 You can use any kind of bread that you like but I like to make these rolls:


  • 3/4 C. water
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter(this is for brushing the tops)


  1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients to make a soft, smooth dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour.
  4. Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.
  5. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
  6. Cool the buns on a rack.
  7. Yield: 8 large buns.
 Perfect buns.

 Well, almost perfect.  That hole in the one on the left is from improper shaping.

 I like to line the buns with bib lettuce to keep them from getting soggy.

 Pile the salad on the lettuce leaf.

 Top with more lettuce.  It sort of cups the salad holding it in place.

The salad is in there somewhere!  Just take a bite and you will find it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


 I took my camera out for a walk just as the sun was rising.  This is the first year, since I was a little girl, that I started my marigolds from seed  and they are fantastic.

 I will never buy another marigold plant again.  I'm saving seeds from these to start next year.

 I planted lots of Nasturtiums this year too. 

 My planters are just starting to fill in.

 I started celery from seed and it was so small I was afraid to plant it in my main garden so I planted it in these pots.  So far so good.

 The yellow day lilies are blooming.

 I like how I caught the sunrise streaming in through the trees.

 Blurry Snapdragons.

 And this is my first pumpkin bloom.  I hope it sets.

 I always aim to get my first red tomato by the 4th of July.  This should be it.

I started making Fall themed mirror chains.  Click for a closer look.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Shrimp Salad with Pesto Pasta

The future Bride and Groom eat lots and lots of salads.  I make them each one almost every day so I am always trying to come up with new recipes.  This is what I made them a few days ago.
 I used my basil from the garden to make pesto and made some pesto pasta.

 Then I sauteed some shrimp sprinkled with Old Bay Seasoning.

 A layer of the pasta goes on the bottom topped with lettuce, kalamata olives, radishes, tomatoes, sliced onions and some pickled mushrooms.

 I sliced a couple of my Amish mustard eggs and added small pickled carrots and placed them on top along with the shrimp.  The clincher is this dressing:


  • 3/4 C. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tsp. honey (2 if you want it a bit sweeter)
Place this in a jar and shake until emulsified.

And since they are sticking to their diets so well, I bought them Japanese green tea KitKats and Oreos.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cinnamon Biscuits

I made these cinnamon biscuits this past weekend and served them with honey butter. They were a hit.
 Mix 1/3 C. honey with 1/4 C. softened butter.

 For the biscuits:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • cinnamon-sugar mixture
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 8″ square baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in butter until crumbly. Place the flour mixture in a bowl and stir in milk just until moistened.
Sprinkle additional sugar on a counter and dump the dough onto the sugar. Sprinkle with more sugar and pat down until it’s about a 7″ diameter round. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits, re-shaping the round as necessary to cut additional biscuits. Don't worry if the pieced ones don't look great.  They get better as they bake and they still taste terrific.  Place the biscuits in the pan and sprinkle the  tops with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for about 15 minutes until they start to turn golden.

 Serve them with the honey butter.

Make sure to spray the pan.  I forgot and mine stuck around the edges.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Salem Witch Day Lily

 As the sun was just coming up this morning, Teddy and I went out to  check our plants.
These are San Marzano tomatoes growing right behind the mushroom table and a pot of green onions to the right.

 I am going to grow the zucchini vertically if any of my blossoms ever set.

 Flowering potatoes.

 And my cukes sure are loving being planted in their bag of potting soil. The bag on the right is holding surprise plants.  I have no idea what they are.  I started them from seed and marked them but the ink washed off of the markers.  I can't wait to see what they are.

 This tomato (tree) plant is as high as the roof on my garage.

 And I have lots of green tomatoes that are about half way to ripening.

 The cistern is running.  It's wonderful to hear it on these scorching hot days.

 And the surest sign that the days are getting shorter, the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are turning pink. It never ceases to amaze me that they know when it's solstice.  The very next day you can see the pink on them.

 Have you seen the adds for the new Rust-oleum product you use to  restore the finish on old pieces which have become dull?

  This furniture has been sitting outside for almost 20 years and was really looking dull and dingy.  We washed it thoroughly and coated it with ReCOLOR.  Here it is right after it was coated. It restores the color instantly and repels dirt and water, resists stains and adds UV protection.  We shall see if this works, if it does it is a miracle product!
 Teddy is looking for 'bad kitties'.  She knows they were frolicking while she was sleeping.

 I started these morning glories from seed and I am going to train them to grow up over my potting table.  They are already wrapping around the leg on the little table.

 These are black eyed susan vines that I am training to grow on the shelves on my outdoor sink.

 And I have beans growing on my lantern.  If you stand still too long around here, I will train something to grow on you.

 My okra started out slowly but now it is growing like crazy.

 This is Fall Flowering Clematis which is white with tiny flowers.  The painters cut it down to the ground last summer and now apparently a different Clematis has grown back.  See the big purple flower?  I didn't know that Clematis was grafted?

 And oh the gardening shame.  I had 4 tomatoes and nothing left to grow them in so I ripped open bags of potting soil and just like my cukes, the tomatoes are now growing in bags. Hey....grow bags are selling for 20+ dollars in gardening catalogs so why not just do it like this?  Sitting on hot concrete in the sun is like sitting on grow mats.

Another sign that Summer has arrived is the blooming of my Salem Witch Day lily.

It always blooms within days of the solstice.

 I took these pics this morning as it was opening.

They don't last long but they sure are pretty.