Monday, June 30, 2014

Basil Cookies

Last Saturday we had a Employee Appreciation Picnic. It was lots of fun for all We all brought pitch in food, and that is always good eating. I brought two of my favorite marinated veggie salads, my Dad's homemade red hot applesauce and Orange Basil Cookies.

Maybe because the food took longer to cook and everyone was snacking on them or maybe because they just good; my Orange Basil cookies were the hit of the day.

This is a old recipe I pulled from my files but so easy and an unusual way to use basil. Give it a try and you will have everyone asking for it!!!


Orange Basil Cookies

1/4 cup butter
3oz cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1 TBLS orange juice
1teaspoon orange peel
1 Box orange cake mix
1cup nutmeats and raisins (I use pecans)
2TBLS dried basil

Mix together butter, cream cheese, egg yolk, juice and cake mix. Stir in the nutmeats and basil. Chill dough at least an hour. Roll into 1/2 inch balls and place on buttered cookie sheets. Flatten each one with a fork. Bake in a pre- heated oven at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes

Then sit back and just wait for the complements !!! Enjoy.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lightening Bugs

So I am sitting outside trying to photograph images of the lighting bugs. Last weekend I had Thatcher my beloved 3 year old grand child with me watching the same show. And he was fascinated

As a young child we would catch them and put them in a jar. It was a cool lantern. I will not let my babies do that . But we will continue to sit on the porch swing and enjoy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Peony saved is a Peony Earned

My dad use to preach the old saying "a penny saved is a penny earned "to all six of his kids. But I doubt he was talking about the peonies I love. But Mom certainly was talking about her beloved plant.

My Mom loved peonies as did her Mom.(Grandma Goldie) I remember every Memorial Day we would gather all the peony blossoms and take them to Grandpa Austin's grave. It was a tradition in spite of the big gray goose that would chase us.

When mom and dad moved to Brown County Indiana, Mom tried to grow peonies but it was tough in the clay soil.

So when at the end of May some 20 years ago we were looking at houses in Kentucky and we happened upon a house that had rows and rows of peonies, I was sold.

Since then I have transplanted the peonies to places they love and now I have more rows and rows of the beautiful May beauty. I would take bunches up to mom every May and she loved them. They bloomed magnificently this year I believe it was in mom's honor.

I have been doing some research on the varieties I have found that I have varieties some that are very rare. I am going to continue my research and label them next spring. So dad would be proud. Because I am saving a peony and maybe earning one as well.

On my bucket list next May is to take some up to my  grandma and grandpa Austin's grave site. I wonder if the big grey goose will be there or maybe one of his ancestors any way... I will spread the peony blossoms with pride and fond memories

OH.....and about the ants. Please don't worry or try and spray the ants with insecticide. It is an old wives tale that the ants are needed for pollinating the young buds. (By the way my Mom use to tell me that ) It appears as though the ants are attracted to the sweet nectar in the emerging buds. The ants seem to disappear when the blooms open up. If they persist just shake them off when you bring in the flowers. I find this ant/peony relationship very unique and fascinating.

Most of all pick and enjoy this heavenly flower. They are beautiful in bouquets and so fragrant. I enjoy drying the petals and putting them in bowls. It just helps me keep the love around longer.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mom.....Guess What is Blooming Today !

I garden for many reasons but the # 1 reason is because it brings me close to family near and far and most of all to my wonderful parents, grandparents and relatives that have moved on to the next chapter in their lives.

I use to call Mom everyday when I was working out in the garden and tell her what was blooming, she loved it and would ask me many questions. Most of the flowers I grow are connected with someone or a story.

I have been really missing Mom so I am going to blog to her and everyone else when her favorite flowers are in bloom. I know she will be smiling and loving it as I pass on her wisdom and love of flowers.

So we just returned from a wonderful trip to Disney with Jake and Megan and our precious grand-babies. Callum and Thatcher were great and enjoyed visiting Mickey's house but I think they enjoyed the pool and splash area the most!!!!

But pulling into our driveway I was thrilled because the Iris were popping out. I remember helping Mom compose special bouquets of iris as she got them ready for competitions. She showed me how to arrange them in small vases, pick off the dead buds and leaves. Mom had such a good sense of what looked together and she always
won....well at least that is how I remember it! (These are the Bearded Iris)

Then in late July Mom and I would divide her iris that were crowded. We dug the rhizomes up, disregarded any soft ones , divided when needed but not before giving them a quick bath in a weak bleach water bath. I hated the slimy bores that were sometimes hidden inside.

Then we would replant. Mom told me never to crowd the iris, and that they really like their own space !! She would instruct me on how to plant them just under the surface and not to mulch because that would make them too deep.

My Mom, Virginia liked the old fashion iris... Not all the new varieties. She really loved the deep purple ones. So that is what I grow. I remember taking vases of iris up to Grandma Goldie and I continued the tradition of taking vases to mom when every I made the journey to Columbus.

So the tradition continues as I took some to my daughter Kalee on our way to Florida. The iris have such a sweet innocent smell. I love it.

I know Mom is smiling ....this is how I will keep Mom's love in my heart, mind and soul forever.

Stay tuned for the next favorite to bloom!!!!!

Location:Becky's Garden

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cast Iron Love

With warmer weather forecasted, I was excited to grill out!!  I pulled a flank steak out of the refrigerator to defrost and rushed off to work. Returning home after a long day, I was confronted with several major obstacles. #1 I have not used flank steak very often and did not realize 90% of the recipes called for at least 8 hours of marinating.  #2  It was very windy and cold!!

So thanks to my trusty I pad I searched out recipes and found one that sounded interested and included two of my favorite cast iron skillet and herbs.

So I gave it a shot, and it was delicious.  Here is the recipe, I adapted it a bit (as usual)

Roasted Flank Steak with Olive Oil-Herb Rub

I preheated the oven to 400, then went outside to pick my fresh herbs. I combined  1small bunch Greek oregano, 1 small bunch Italian Flat leaf parsley, and a couple sprigs of French thyme.  I chopped the parsley and oregano ending up with about 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs. I just laid the thyme sprigs on top. ( It is very tenuous to pull the little leaves off the stem, so I simply put the whole stems in and the leaves fall off naturally. Just make sure to pick out the stems after it has cooked.)

To the herbs, I added 2 teaspoons plus Olive Oil, fresh grated lemon rind, and 1 clove garlic minced.

Then I liberally salted and peppered the flank steak, which I had brought to room temperature and seared it on both sides in my cast iron skillet. I used a combination of saved bacon grease and coconut oil. ( I have been eating Paleo preservatives, with great success....down 20lbs)

To  this I added a liberal 1/4 cup red wine and 1/4  cup beef broth and let this simmer for about 2 minutes. I then placed my herb combination on top of the seared flank steak and placed in the oven.
I baked it for 12 minutes and then let it rest with a foil cover for 10 minutes.

We sliced it very thin and diagonally across the grain and put the sliced beef back in the pan sauce.

This was delicious and very tender!!   I will defiantly make this again!!  So my cast iron skillet saved the day!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yellow is Popping out all Over

Over 20 years ago I was driving to visit a good friend, when I spied pops of yellow on the hillside. Upon closer inspection, I discovered an amazing Spring Beauty, Stylophorum diphyllum . Commonly called Celandine Poppies or Wood Poppies.

Flash forward to my now emerging Spring garden and this plant plays a commanding role. The bright yellow blooms combine so beautifully with the purple wind anemones, daffodils, money plant, Dames Rocket and other spring bloomers.

It is not only the eye-catching blossoms that will wow you, l love the fuzzy buds and lobed bright green leaves as well.

Blooming period in my garden is from March to May, however in shady areas the bloom may continue a bit longer. The leaves do eventually fade and disappear with the heat of summer, but have no fear they will reappear after a long winter's rest.

They grow to about 1 to 1.5 ft. in height and have a spread of about 1 ft. wide.  They are a perennial and thrive in light to medium to full shade.

I love this plant mixed with my early spring bulbs and perennials: but beware this yellow baby does spread and jump around the yard a bit. But no worries, they are easy to transplant and neighbors love them!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let the Love Continue.

So we continue to fill my mothers room with daffodil love. Janet,my sister and Ben,my brother went out to our property in Brown County and picked masses of the daffodils that our mom and dad have planted over the years.

Then took them over to Greentree. This is where mom has so happily lived with her cat Burky for the last 8 years or so. What a great place this has been for mom.

She loved to give all the tables a vase full of her yellow love. So Janet and I have vowed to continue to carry on this tradition.


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