Friday, August 31, 2012

In a Daze

These Blue Daze were acquired from Leslie
They are esteemed for the periwinkle color of the blooms.

(Periwinkle is my favorite hue.)
They are an essential component of the blue garden we are working on.

They do well with very little care.
Considered a Florida-friendly plant,
as they tolerate heat and are drought-tolerant,
they require only a trim once in a while.

They were starting to spill over onto the driveway
and while I like the softening it adds to the hardscape,
it's not too practical when you are making your way
up the drive on foot.

I'm all about curves in the landscape,
but I thought I'd try something different.
They were trimmed in a square shape.

If I end up not liking the formality,
they'll grow back in no time
and I can let 'em go wild.

Plans have been made to use these beauties
elsewhere in the blue garden,
so I'll attempt to sprout some seedlings.

I took the cut stems and stripped the bottom leaves off.

I used rain water to see what happens.

This is how they looked after 3 days.

Yeah, Mother Nature is a marvel.

Hopefully, I'll have enough to use
and even more to share!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Enchiladas Two Ways

We rarely go out to eat.
With multiple allergies, it's not easy finding food
that will accomodate our dietary needs
and is of high quality.
In fact, I don't have much of a desire to eat out anymore.
If we get a hankering for a certain something,
we make our own.
Here's an easy recipe for gettin' your fix
of Mexican food in a flash.

These chicken enchiladas were made
with leftover cooked chicken,
onions, beans, corn, homemade gravy and cheddar cheese.

Simply add the filling to flour tortillas, roll,
and place on a baking dish
  Top with a little gravy and cheese.
Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Everything is already cooked,
so it's just to heat it through and melt the cheese.

This vegetarian version contains pinto beans,
gravy and cheddar cheese.
You can also use soy crumbles with the beans.
Assemble these the same way as the chicken version
and bake at the same time.

Just a couple of these will fill you up.
And you didn't have to spend an ounce of gas to enjoy
delicious Mexican food!

For a gluten-free version, use these brown rice tortillas.
They are really tasty,
especially when pan-fried and used for tacos and burritos.

They can also be sliced and baked as chips.

Mary’s Kitchen


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bloomin' Tuesday!

With the Labor Day Holiday approaching,
summer is almost officially over.
We have a few lovelies to share today.

Cottage Garden Party - button (3)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Planting Garlic

Several weeks ago, the veggie garden was solarized.
Over the weekend, the cover was taken off
so that I could plant one of my favorite crops.

This garlic was picked up at our local grocery store.
Starting with organic is important.

From one head of garlic...

you get all these chances for new plants.

About 12 were planted in the square-foot veggie garden.

Here's the root end.  

That's the part that gets planted down
about 6 inches.
Four should fit into one square foot plot.

Just for kicks, I put some into the butterfly garden.
I'm thinking of changing it into an herb garden,
as it's right near the kitchen door
and we have many other areas in the yard
that the butterflies enjoy.
I'll be curious to see if there's a difference in the two locations.
We were blessed with a bit of rain
in the afternoon.  Love it when Mother Nature
gives her seal of approval.

Garlic is one thing we use an awful lot of around here.
Guess we won't have to worry about any vampires, eh?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chicken From the Hip

Spontaneity is not one of my strengths.
Our menu is planned out well in advance,
thanks to our menu-by-the-month system.
This recipe looked so good that I decided to try it
on the spur of the moment.
It comes from  Barefoot Contessa.

I had been thinking about a new chicken recipe
to add to the family cookbook.
This one fits the bill, even though
only Big K and Mimi can eat it.
(Lil' Guy has multiple allergies and I don't eat meat.)

Would I love to hang out with Ina Garten in her kitchen
for just a day and learn how to cook
some luscious treats for my family!
She makes everything look so easy,
but I guess that's what happens
when you are passionate about what you do.
We used this recipe almost exactly
as she illustrated on her show.
It took under 30 minutes
and very few ingredients.
Hey, maybe I'll learn to be more impromptu!

Take 3 (or 4) chicken breasts, place them between wax paper
one at a time and pound with a rolling pin
(or whatever else you have handy).

In separate containers, take 1 C of flour,
mixed with 1 t salt and 1 t pepper,

2 eggs, beaten with 1 t water, and

1 C breadcrumbs and 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese.

Make an assembly line toward your skillet.

Lightly dust the chicken in the flour,

dip it into the egg wash, then

dredge it through the breadcrumb/cheese mixture.

Pan fry in 2 T unsalted butter & 2 T olive oil,
3-4 minutes per side.

It should have a crispy, toasty crust.

Big K said the chicken was so tender,
it could be cut with a fork.
This one's a keeper.

Thanks, Ina!

motivation monday