Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Perennials!


The pinks, the whites, the lavenders along with the greens are popping up in our back perennial garden!  What a welcome sight!  Enjoying the beautiful colors of Spring is always a treat after the snow disappears.  Our weather is a bit warmer now, so the blossoms are here.  It's so very cool that so many shades of color are now found in our yard.

We are enjoying!!
 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Color-

Bright Yellow Daffodils!!
(Photo taken yesterday)
The sky is overcast and the raindrops have started to come down.  But, a quick look outdoors is proof that Spring is here.  The color of the day is YELLOW!!

Delicate Yellow Forsythia Blossoms!! 

It's a great sight to view the Forsythia bushes this year.  Last year the long branches only had green leaves.  This year we can see the flowers, first.

Enjoy!
Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

~Roasted Asparagus~

Roasted and ready to enjoy!
Roasting is definitely my favorite way to prepare Asparagus!  I've enjoyed this veggie for literally decades.  Growing up next door to the town of Hadley in MA, Asparagus was always served at least 3 times a week in the Spring while the local Hadley crop was sold at the road side stands.

As time has moved on, I no longer boil the fresh stalks and serve with drizzled butter.  That was how it was prepared before being placed on the dinner table- so many years ago.  My "go to" method these days is roasting it.  My Spice Rack comes in handy here!

The stalks are cut in half and combined with Olive Oil, Garlic Powder, Basil and Oregano before placing them on a cookie sheet.  Roast 12- 13 minutes in a 425°F oven.  It's that quick!  It's so yummy!

Ready for my oven!

Roasted Asparagus
Oven Temperature:  425°F            Time:  12- 13 Minutes


Ingredients:

1 Bunch- about 1 Lb. fresh Asparagus
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil for baking & sauteing
2- 3 Shakes each of Garlic Powder, Basil and Oregano (dried)
 
Method:
  1. Cut off tough ends (about 1 and 1/2") and toss from bottom end of Asparagus stalks.
  2. Cut each stalk in half.
  3. Double rinse in cold water and drain.
  4. Toss Asparagus with Olive Oil, Garlic Powder, Basil and Oregano.
  5. Place each piece on foil lined cookie pan in a single layer.
  6. Roast in a preheated 425°F oven for 12- 13 Minutes
An easy tasty veggie that is quick to prepare for dinner!

Enjoy!
Yummy!

 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Welcome Spring!!

Our perennial gardens are beginning to come alive!  The Rose Bushes survived the cold winter and the Salmon Daylilies are beginning to sprout.  Forsythia Bushes have small buds and the Hydrangea looks like new shoots are coming out.

It's interesting to watch the flowers as they begin to grow and then blossom. 

Hyacinths   

These dainty Vinca flowers are much smaller than the dried Oak leaves.

Vinca


A great surprise has been the clump of Daffodils!  Last year they did not make an appearance.  Wondering what color they will be!

Daffodils  
Spring is definitely here!!!

Enjoy!




Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Perfect Timing!

A Welcome Surprise!
Lavender Crocuses!
This afternoon after doing errands, I checked out the status of our Crocuses.  I've been watching their growth for the past 2 weeks.  Little green sprouts that did survive the snow. 

Today- Surprise!  Perfect timing on the 1st day of Spring!  Today, in a different area, lavender flowers were visible!

Happy Spring!!
 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Best Irish Soda Bread!

Irish Soda Bread
It's that time of year when everyone is Irish!!  St. Patrick's Day is approaching.  Me?  I'm Irish by marriage and yes, it does count as being Irish!  For that reason I always bake an Irish Soda Bread for us to enjoy.  Usually I bake it a day or two before March 17.

I had tried different recipes over the years.  The results were, well, too dry.  Then, I hit the jackpot one year.  I discovered it by googling.  It was on another foodie blog.  This is the best Irish Soda Bread that I've ever baked/ tasted!!  The Irish Soda Bread was made using Buttermilk, Butter and Raisins that were first soaked in hot water.  There was no need to spread any additional butter (flavored or not) on top before eating.

Heating a slice of this scrumptious bread in the microwave for a few seconds results in a warm "melt in your mouth" slice of bread!  Double yum here!!

One year in my haste of preparing it, I melted the Butter, first.  That proved to be a good move!!  The dough comes together much easier using cooled, melted Butter.

Oh, Butter is a necessity here.  I've used Margarine, but it is not as tasty.  So- Unsalted Butter it is!

The dough is very sticky.  For that reason I spread a little Butter on my hands before removing the dough from the bowl.  The dough becomes easier to work with.

Ready for the Oven!
For the recipe, click here.  More of my hints are also included in this post that I wrote a few years ago.

Usually, I freeze 2 slices for us to enjoy at a future date.  That is a great find in our freezer!

Bake an Irish Soda Bread using this recipe and you and your family will be very happy on St. Patrick's Day!!  No need to buy one!!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
          

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Winter Salad

So colorful!
Preparing and then enjoying fresh veggie salads during the colder months seems so much more challenging than when fresh local colorful veggies are available in the summer.  It may be because I like the taste of the fresh local tomatoes served over spinach leaves.  Now that is a great salad when it has a balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over the top!

All is not lost during the winter months in New England.  Tasty baby spinach leaves are still available to purchase.  With a few other staples in our pantry and fridge a great colorful salad is just minutes away!  This is also quick and easy!  Double plus!!

A dollop of cottage cheese (with or without pineapple chunks) placed on the fresh spinach leaves is just the beginning.  Then, add a few chunks of a pear (fresh or canned) on top.  Craisins (dried cranberries) are the last addition to this nutritious, colorful, flavorful salad.  No dressing is needed! 

After enjoying this Winter Salad as part of our dinner last night, I definitely do not miss the fresh local tomatoes anymore.  There will be plenty of them to enjoy in a few months!

Enjoy!
Yummy!