Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Tidings-Garden Update

Here are some recent happenings around Maple Hill.


These sweet potatoes were just harvested not too long ago.
After placing them in a bin, we noticed them sprouting.

These will be used as new slips
and the rest were placed in the refrigerator for enjoying.

Pine bark mulch had been used around the butterfly garden.

This newly acquired "acorn mulch" will be replacing it.
I like the texture and the best part
is that it's free for the taking!
We'll add to it as it is collected.

The pine bark mulch has also been used in the areas
surrounding the veggie garden.

As our back beds have a different material which is preferred,
we made a change this weekend.

Pine straw mulch is my hands-down favorite ground cover.

This natural material adds a trail-like feel to the area.

I made sure to designate where the clothesline goes in.

The pine bark was used out front
(where HOA eyes are watching),
to replenish any barren areas.

These moonglow tomatoes
have been feeding someone well...

but it hasn't been us.

So far, the birds have eaten more produce
from the backyard than we have.
I'm happy to share,
but I may have to take measures.

Thankfully, we haven't got any burrowers,
so the carrots are safe.
(So far, so good!)

This pineapple surprised me!
I'll have to keep an eye on it.

The relocated amaryllis is starting to bloom.
Tomorrow's post will feature more of this area.
Spring is beginning early this year!

Have a wonderful day, y'all!

Monday, February 27, 2012

French Roots

My mom was probably the best cook I've ever known.
That woman could whip up some delicious fare.
We're talkin' from soup to pastries.
I guess it didn't hurt that she is from France,
where food is king.
Now that she is no longer able to prepare meals,
I am so grateful to have a few of her tried-and-true recipes
from my childhood.
This is one.
After sampling last week,
I am glad to say it is "Mimi approved".


Mimi's Ratatouille

2 large eggplant, chopped
3 medium zucchini, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 t salt
2 t Italian herbs
olive oil

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil 5-7 minutes until fragrant.
Add veggies, and Italian herbs and bring to a boil.
Turn down to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, covered.
Add salt to taste.
Serve over rice, pasta
or with a big hunk of homemade bread.

This recipe would lend itself well to crockpot cooking.
The kicker?
It gets better the longer it sits.


Friday, February 24, 2012

OMGosh Whole Wheat Bread

I've been making the same type of bread for a while now.
Nothing wrong with that,
I just wanted to try something new.

I found this recipe here.

OMGosh Whole Wheat Bread

1 C warm water (115-120 degrees)
1 T milk (alternatives are fine)
2 T olive oil
2 T honey
2 T sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 t salt
1 1/2 C bread flour
1 1/2 C wheat flour
2 t yeast

Warm water to correct temperature (see ingredient list).
Add milk, oil and honey to container
when water is sufficiently warmed.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl,
combine dry ingredients.
Mix well, then add water mixture.
Stir with wooden spoon,
then turn out onto floured board or counter
to knead up to 15 minutes.
Oil the same large bowl and place dough in
and turn once to evenly coat with oil. 
Let rise at least 30 minutes.
Lightly oil a bread pan and place dough in
to rise another 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

***Note-This bread is really great for folks who like
a softer, more tender bread. 
Even Big K, who unfortunately
uses what I call "killer white" bread for sandwiches,
 said he would eat it on a regular basis!
Never thought I'd hear him say he'd eat whole wheat.
Now that's somethin'!

I doubled the recipe the first time I made it
and it turned out fantastic!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One Simple Thing-Size Matters

One of the biggest impediments
to folks getting organized is taking that first step.
Especially if you've been in your home for a while,
it's amazing how much accumulates.
Oftentimes, until one is forced to deal with it,
say getting ready for a move,
the sheer volume of possessions isn't realized.
Ya know what?

Just start small.

One drawer in the kitchen.

One cabinet.

One shelf in a bookcase.
I had been putting off organizing these shelves.
Not that they were a mess,
just couldn't get motivated.

So, after purging any books we didn't absolutely need to keep,
I took one shelf per week and got it done.

My final project for this bookcase
is to house all of our appliance manuals in binders
and make 'em look pretty.

(Look for a future post on this...)
Even though it's taken me a few weeks to get it done,
the important thing is that I did it at my own pace
and, in keeping with my new year's promise
to focus on intentional simplicity,

It doesn't have to be done all at once.
If there is an overwhelming feeling of impossibility
in completing the task,
break it up.

Do a room in sections or
a piece of furniture one drawer at a time.
With each successful exercise,
it becomes more motivating to complete other areas.
Just take that first step...

One Simple Thing

TALU link up

A Bowl Full of Lemons