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Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter Everyone

Hi,

Hope all of you are having an enjoyable spring.  I've been busy planting flowers and awaiting a shipment of Ranunculus bulbs to plant.  I ordered some 20 pink and 20 white and they came today all the way from The Netherlands so I will be planting them tomorrow in groupings.  In case you are unfamiliar with Ranunculus I found this lovely image via Google to show you what they look like.  If I plant them now they will flower in late May and June (hopefully, if I do everything right).

Aren't they gorgeous!
We purchased some bird feed and have been enjoying the native birds of Florida that visit to feed.  My, I've seen such gorgeous birds.  Try as I might,  it is hard to capture them in photos because as soon as I see them from my kitchen window, grab my camera, open my kitchen back door ever so quietly, aim my camera they have already flown away.  Anyway, husband has done a marvelous job of getting a few snaps of some of them and I might add very good shots!  I've a few to share with you.

Mr. Blue Jay is a regular feeder now and I have just noticed Cardinals and Yellow Finches too.















This lil guy is hard to capture and husband was able to get him from behind.  HAH!  It is a woodpecker!  Such a beautiful bird.
Did you know that Yellow Finches (tiny birds with a bright yellow breast) lose the bright yellow color in the summer? Yep, you wouldn't know what type of bird you were looking at except for a bit of yellow still in-between their wings.

It rained all of last night and all day today and when all is said and done we were to be blessed with  2-4 inches of rain before it stops tonight but tomorrow and Easter Sunday will be glorious and sunny!

I want to wish all of you a very wonderful and happy Easter and if you have kids or grandkids, watch out for the candy that will be calling your name!  Hah.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter Granola


I have found the ultimate recipe for homemade Peanut Butter Granola.  It's so easy and makes a great nutritious snack for not only the kids but adults as well.  I've added a few extra ingredients to this recipe and the next time plan to add a few more.

Here is the basic recipe:

2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats (not quick serve)

1/4 Cups Creamy Peanut Butter (I wondered if Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter would work and I think I will try it the next time)

1/4 Cups Honey

2 Tablespoons packed light-brown sugar








Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Pour oats into a mixing bowl, set aside (I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and two handfuls of dried cherries and cranberries to the oats). In a microwave safe mixing bowl (or it can be melted in a saucepan), combine peanut butter, honey, and brown sugar and heat mixture in microwave or pan until runny and smooth, about 25 seconds. Pour mixture over oats in mixing bowl and toss mixture with a spatula until evenly coated.


Spread mixture onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet into an even layer and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, 18-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking.  I inadvertently skipped stirring halfway through) Allow to cool completely (it won't be crunchy until it cools) and store in an airtight container.



It is delicious!!  I broke my granola by hand into small bite size pieces.  This is a great recipe and I think next time I will add some pecans and maybe some coconut.

Bon Appetit!

Here are some photos I took recently with and without the Waterlogue app.  I hope you enjoy them!


Photo I took
Painted in Waterlogue

Painted in Waterlogue

Photo I Took
Painted in Waterlogue

Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflections on Last Week

Since my last post, I have had a cold which threw me for a loop!  As colds go it started out with me being achy and tired... and because it has been 2 years since my last cold I had forgotten how my body reacts to one.  But, after the aches came the congestion, nose blowing and the overall feeling of fatigue.  I knew then I was going to be s~i~c~k, and I was for about 5 days.  I'm feeling much better now but still a bit on the run down side.  I'm not one to give in to colds, so I tried to continue doing my gardening, going for my morning and afternoon walks and cleaning.  Soon though I was praying for a rainy day so that I could sleep in and not feel guilty about it.  LOL

During my "sick" week I

Planted some Jasmine

More Jasmine

Close up

Same photo painted in Waterlogue

I always find time to play with Waterlogue!


I helped husband put cedar mulch in my fern garden which now has Gardenias, and hydrangeas added to it.



And, I was extremely excited to see my asparagus fern and my other fronds shooting up from the ground.  After the cold winter (for here) I was very concerned about them because even though I covered them with a blanket we had two freezes where it rained first and then turned to ice and snow and I could not protect them.

So pretty!


My "babies"
I must admit that I do "baby" my plants and feed them regularly with hubby's help.  I try to keep the leaves from getting around them but as you can see it is isn't working to well as tree leaves are constantly falling on my back garden.  Sigh...

To reward hubby for all his hard work I also made homemade Macaroni Salad


YUM
And I made some Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Coconut cookies and added some dried cherries and my special ingredient...which I didn't even tell husband about.  LOL  I also shared these with (3) of my elderly neighbors, Dot who is 81 years old, a widow, and still drives a car, Mr. W, who is in his late 70's and can be found on the pier of any neighbor along the Bay fishing, and Mr. and Mrs. K, in their 70's and late 80's.  Mr. K can be found on his bicycle everyday but Wednesday picking up cans from various places for his church.  The church use the money to help the homeless and people in need.

So many of our neighbors have lived here all of their lives (some in upwards of 60 years) and are in their late 80's.  Mr. S turned 89 today and was out raking his yard as we see him do nearly everyday.  He is a spry small man with a remarkable smile that makes me smile every time he smiles and Mr B who is also 89 and can usually be found on his tractor preparing his garden for summer or mowing his yard.  These are amazing people and I hope that I can be as productive as they are when I am their age. Its funny to hear them talk about how lovely the day is and how lucky they feel to be able to get out of bed and how they give God a big thank you for it!

We also hung a handmade metal fish made in Haiti on our back patio wall to add some extra color.

I love this!!!

And here it is painted in Waterlogue



Well,  I ended the week with purchasing some tulips for myself.  I do love them so much and they also bring a big smile on my face when I look at them.  So, I'm sharing them with you along with another photo I took painted in Waterlogue.



One of my favorite photos.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and that spring has finally brought all of you in the East/Northeast and Midwest some nice warm weather!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blackballoon

I've found a great Swedish website that has some really cool items and selected some of my favorite things to share with you.  The website is called Blackballoon and you can visit it here:  Blackballoon.

A few German and Scandinavian blogs that I follow have design styles that tend to be more modern.  The colors are often monochromatic using variations in lightness and saturation of a single color for a more clean and elegant look.  It's a different look but one I'm starting to like. The items on this website are along those lines.  What do you think?

Love the color 


I've had my eye on this for some time...I collect little creamers

A set of these would be nice!

Gorgeous blue vase


While I've never been real fond of horns or heads, I think something like this would be okay in the right spot.
A shell ball

Hope all is well with everyone and I hope you all have a great weekend!

A photo I took of St. Andrews Bay with Waterlogue App.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

St. Louis Ribs

 I think using an outside grill to make ribs is difficult. They always seemed to turn out tough.  So, yesterday I decided to try my hand at making some St. Louis dry rub ribs in the oven. After scouring the internet recipe sites, I found a spicy dry rib mix that I thought sounded good.  I've made Wolfgang Puck's Dry Rib Rub but wanted something a bit different.  I must admit they turned out delicious.  So, I wanted to share the recipe with you along with instructions on how to make them in the oven instead of on an outside grill.

Recipe for the Dry Rub Mix

2 1/2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2       Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1       Tablespoon Coriander
1       Tablespoon Paprika
1       Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
   1/2 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
   1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
   1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
   1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Preparing the Ribs:

I used St. Louis Style Pork Ribs but you can use Baby Back Pork Ribs too, whatever your preference is.  I think St. Louis Style ribs are a bit more meatier than Baby Back so I used them.  Next you will want to remove the membrane from the back of the rib bones.  This can be tricky but I googled a video that showed how to do it and it really wasn't too bad.  Removing the membrane enables you to really rub the dry mix better onto the boned side plus the membrane is tough and not all that good for you.

After you do that I squeezed mustard (I used spicy brown) onto the front of the ribs and rubbed it into the ribs.  I took  1/4 cup of the dry rub mix and rubbed it onto the meaty side really good making sure all of it was caked onto the ribs.  I flipped them over and did the same with the back of the ribs...first squeezing the mustard, spreading it around and adding the 1/4 cup of rub mix.  I then let this set overnight in the fridge wrapped in Saran Wrap.


Rub added to Ribs before cooking


Cooking:

I set my oven for 300 degrees and placed a pan half full of water on the rack directly beneath the ribs to add moisture while they cooked.  The ribs are placed in the center of the oven on a rack and baked for 1 hour meaty side up.  After one hour you will bake an additional 2 hours setting a timer for every 30 minutes turning the tray the ribs are on in the opposite direction. Leave the oven temperature at 300 degrees and DO NOT TURN THE RIBS OVER just turn the tray.  After the 3 hours are over pull out the ribs and let set 15 minutes before cutting.  I guarantee that you will have the most tender and spiciest ribs you have ever eaten.

After cooking

Add caption



Soon I will share a recipe for a lemon tart made with a gingersnap crust.  Double Yum!

I leave you with a photo I took of a bluebird sitting on my fence that I used the Waterlogue App on.

"Tweet tweet", spring is on it's way!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring Plantings...I think?

Hi everyone,

 I was eager to write a post about the hydrangeas that I planted last weekend so I took some photos of the two plants that I bought and planted (really husband was the one who actually planted them, I supervised) LOL. Anyway, they look so lovely and perky but alas it appears that we may be in for a possible frost :-( (32 degrees) tomorrow night. So, I will dutifully cover the hydrangeas and my ferns who have just started to grow new fronds to keep them from freezing.

 It was a dreary, cloudy day with intermittent rain and a good day to tackle some cleaning chores so I immersed myself in cleaning blinds and washing curtains and inside windows so that when spring does arrive for good I'll be ready to enjoy the warm, breezy, sunny weather. I hope all of you are well and if living in areas that are cold and snowy keeping busy waiting for the weather to break.

 One last thing...I thought I was going to be able to share with you a recipe for an Apple Tarte Tartin but my first experience with making one didn't turn out AT ALL. LOL It was a disaster...except for the crust which I made in my food processor, it turned out delicious. So, now that I know what I did wrong I will attempt it again or better yet, maybe I'd better stick with baking an apple cobbler. Sigh...






I hope these photos bring a bit of sun and warmth to all of you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beach Photos

Here are a few warm weather photos that I've taken since we moved to Florida. I hope it brings a bit of warmth to all of you in the Midwest and on the East coast. I am just starting to see the grass start to green up and have started digging in the dirt getting ready to plant some perennials in the next couple of weeks. The weather has been pretty crazy here for Florida so I don't want to take a chance and plant to early. And to all of you who are still in the throes of winter, don't despair...soon spring will be at your doorsteps too!
















I hope you have a wonderful week!
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