Monday, May 27, 2013

Mary, Mary How Does Your Garden Grow?

It is that time of year when the weather flip flops and Mother Nature gives you just enough hope that it's going to stay warm. Yesterday was like that. I wore shorts out for the first time in months! No jacket was required and the sun was pleasantly warm on my face. I noticed the family of robins are back and preparing their nest in the hole near the gutter. 

For months, I have been receiving my garden seed catalogs and I have looked through each of them several times. Always planning a garden with new and exciting plants and already thinking of the recipes I would use.  Last year didn't go so well, my cucumbers didn't do a thing, they didn't even grow into vines. My bean plants while beautiful produced a mere handful of bean pods. My tomatoes, beets and turnips made a good showing and even the onion bulbs I planted did okay.  I planted a lot more in that garden, and was sorely disappointed by the lack of variety that grew.  This year we are going to really step up and fertilize the soil. 

We expanded the garden to the back fence and it is now 33x13ft.  We found a small garden center that had extremely good prices and bought all the plants for the garden. We still have to sow the beet and turnip seeds.  I am so excited about the variety we chose this year. We are doing the old standby veggies. Tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers, and green beans. I bought a few varieties that we have never tried. Cantaloupe,  zucchini, eggplant, and strawberries. We also have yellow onions and garlic.  I got chives, basil and rosemary. I have successfully already murdered the rosemary. I've no idea what happened.

This year was so much easier! We found about a community center that has a tool loan program and we were able to get a tiller. Man that saved some time and a lot of back pain! I've got to get one of those!!  I can't believe we have ever  prepared a plot without one. All these years just accepting the pain. That explains how so many older people are able to garden in their back yards.

Once I get a few pictures taken I will post them. Now come's the hard part.. waiting!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chicken Breasts with Swiss Cheese Casserole

 Last week one of the ladies at the church brought in a casserole.  Now, understand I am not a casserole type of person. Growing up my family never really made casseroles and I don't really give casseroles much thought. I really liked the casserole and asked for the recipe!  This is the recipe.  My husband who also did not grow up eating casseroles was skeptical. All I can say is that it did go over pretty well.  My daughter liked it, and even though my husband said it was "just okay" the entire baking dish was empty by the end of the night. I think they both went back for seconds and thirds.  i should I have taken a picture but I didn't have time! 

Chicken Breasts With Swiss Cheese
8 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 pieces Swiss cheese
I can ( regular size) cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms (optional)
2 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1.  Place chicken k  13’x9”x2” pan.
2.  Place cheese on top of chicken.
3.  Spoon undiluted soup over all.
4.  Melt butter and mix with stuffing mix.
5.  Sprinkle above mixture on top.
6.  Bake, uncovered in 350 degree oven for 40- 45 minutes.
Serves eight.

I only had 3 large chicken breasts so I cut them up into chunks, but other than that I made the recipe as written. I'll admit I liked it better with the chicken cut up, made it easier to serve.  The only real complaint that I had was it came out a little salty. I used a store brand stuffing and I don't know if that affected the salt content and I will try different brand next time.

I made a romaine and cabbage salad with cukes, carrots and tomato. Very satisfying meal.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Polymer Clay Roses

I am pretty new to working with polymer clay. I've made a few little figurines and some beads for jewelry.  Tonight I was looking through youtube tutorials and found one on making roses.  I watched it and then pulled out the poly clay.   It looked pretty easy and I will say it really is.

  Here is the first rose I made.

 Very pretty lavender color that doesn't really show up all that well in the picture. I thought this looked awesome!   So I start fooling around some more.

Two colors. I flattened the petals a little too much I think.

This is actually quite small. About the size of a dime.

I made a couple extremely tiny ones. I guess I will need to add a picture of those later. (der)

I made a beautiful rose out of a very pretty red color I had. The picture of course does not do the color justice, funky phone. The pictures look perfect on the phone. But always so dark when uploaded. Sigh.

I LOVE this! 

I really wish the pictures could show the true color and how pretty this really is.


I am going to look for other types of flowers to make. I am really digging the idea of making more.