Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Asparagus

I love asparagus. When I was a young bride living in Bellville Michigan, there was a field full of asparagus where we would go and fill the backseat of the car with the tender green stalks as full as we could. Afterward, I would spend many happy hours preparing it for the freezer.
That was then. Now, unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near a field full of asparagus but I still love it so when it's on sale, I buy as much as the (store) law allows. My recent haul:
A couple of bunches were set aside to eat raw as snacks & to go into Mike's lunch. The rest will be put up for later meals.
With the tough ends snapped off & waiting to be blanched...
In the hot pot you go...

After a nice chilly ice bath and waiting to be stowed in the freezer...
but not until after a few delicious nibbles!

Do YOU like asparagus?





Monday, March 30, 2009

PB & J Bars

I found myself faced with...
So I decided to make PB & J bars! Easy and most ingredients you will have on hand.
The ingredients (well, most of them!):
Blending...


Patted in the pan...
Strawberry jam spread on top...
Tada! Finished product...
Have a bite...
Don't forget the milk!
The recipe
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups peanut butter, smooth or creamy
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups jam or jelly, your favorite flavor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 13" X 9" baking pan. Set aside.
Blend butter and sugar on medium high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla to sugar mixture and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, blend flours, salt and baking powder.
Add to wet mixture and blend on low speed to combine.
Pat two thirds of mixture into prepared baking pan evenly.
Spread jam or jelly on top of pb mixture and then crumble remaining peanut butter mixture on top of jam layer.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.
Makes approx. 3 dozen bars.
Delicious!















Thursday, March 26, 2009

In My Backyard

I had been spending too much time in the office here...

so I decided to head outside to see if last nights downpour had washed away my seed sowing efforts of yesterday morning.

Mike's orchid station...he's very diligent about watering & fussing over them. I gave him each one as a gift on different occasions.
My african violets have found a temporary home to recuperate on this cart after suffering sunburn on the kitchen windowsill...
Okay, out the back door...only time will tell if the seeds stayed put. These carrots and radishes planted a few weeks ago are happy and it looks like the radishes are going to seed...
Signs of Spring are everywhere! My sweet smelling rose has a couple of buds...More pretty blossoms...
The red hibiscus that STAYS in bloom...and it's apricot colored relative...Last year I planted a few spider plants in the ground for the heck of it and now few are many...Bobo likes to keep me company when I'm outside...
Not too long ago this fig tree was completely bare. Last year we got no figs at all. I'm hoping it will produce fruit this season...Fig trees provide good "hiding" places...
The sun peeked out for just a moment, winked at us and then hid behind the clouds again...
More blossoms...

Gigantic leaves! This plant produces huge seed pods!
Okay, time to go in. I've got some baking to do.
I may be back out later...this lounge chair is calling to me...SOMEbody's not happy that mommy is going inside...
Have a great day~come again soon!








































































































Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day Birthday Daddy!!!

Today is my father's birthday...
AND St. Patrick's Day...
Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!!




Friday, March 6, 2009

Granola


Granola is one of my very favorite cereals and I've recently started making my own homemade. Everyone who has tried it loves it! Here's the recipe I use:


Granola



Dry ingredients:


2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cook)


2 cups whole grain cereal (I've been using mixed grains cereals~one was a four grain mix in the bulk bins @ the grocery and one was a five grain "Bob's Red Mill" brand. )


1 cup raw, unsalted nuts, chopped or sliced (almonds, walnuts etc.)


1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds or coconut flakes (unsweetened preferred but not necessary)


1/4 cup sesame seeds


1 tablespoon each of ground flax seed and wheat germ (optional)


For coating:


1/2 cup Sucanat (Ifoundthis in the bulk bins at the grocery store too)


Pinch of sea salt


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1/4 cup oil (I've used organic coconut oil but you can use other healthy oils~olive, canola, avacado etc.)


1 teaspoon pure vanilla


1/4 cup honey


Optional add ins (to be added after baking):


1 cup dried fruit of your choice (raisins, blueberries, cranberries etc.)


*Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients well. Set aside.

*Place all coating ingredients in a small saucepan and warm on low until honey is dissolved.

*Pour coating mixture over dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until all ingredients are coated. (coating will be hot at first-use caution!!!)

*Spread the granola on a large non stick cookie sheet or you can line you baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with a non stick spray like Pam)

*Bake for forty minutes stirring often with a wooden spoon.

*Transfer to cooling rack. Add dried fruit if you like (I haven't done this yet). Let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or freeze.
Enjoy!
What is your favorite cereal?







Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pillow Talk

I think decorative Pillows are a little like our jewelry. Little accessories that can complete the look and have lots of fun with. I thought I'd share a few of ours with you...




Do you enjoy decorating with pillows? What are your favorites?

Thanks for stopping by!

































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