Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Apple Pie in a Bag and Nature's Aromatherapy

I was looking through mom's old cookbooks and discovered Apple Pie in a Bag and it was pretty much the same pie that Monique made from Kim's mom's recipe. I crossed my fingers while it was baking in the paper bag, and it was like unwrapping a surprise gift once it came out of the oven. I was almost afraid to open the bag :-) It came out great, and next time I will make a smaller pie using parchment cooking bags. I have a three cup pie dish that I use when making pie for two. It fits perfect in the parchment cooking bags! Tonight I will be testing rhubarb crumb pie in the parchment bag.
Our "fish truck" is back until December, so I go every Thursday before work to get fish. Last week the fish man (John) had some beautiful Alaskan salmon, so I picked up some local shitake mushrooms (amazing) and made a maple, soy and ginger marinade. Put everything in the bag, and baked it. Easy and five stars ;-)
There is nothing like the aroma of lilacs for me.  I look forward to lilacs every spring, and they are just perfect this year. My potting bench was looking worn and stained on the top (hey at least I use it). I am in the process of spiffing it up, and doing a bee theme.  I used modge podge and MacKenzie-Childs tissue paper on the top. Then put a protective coating on top.
Some little cuties from my garden.
And finally, I would be remiss to not show some Red Trillium blooms from a recent hike. Our  unseasonably warm temperatures at the onset of May caused everything to explode out of the ground. Leaves also came out almost overnight and transformed naked winter-like tree tops into a shady canopy. The photos were taken near our camp while we were summer-izing for the season ;o)

Have a wonderful week! I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The 1990's Began with the First True Garden

On Mother's Day, we enjoyed a private 35 acre garden in the village of Marcellus. A few times each year, the Hanford family graciously open their gardens to the public with proceeds going to benefit a local non-profit agency. This was the first time we attended, and we were so pleased to see all the families enjoying the gardens and having picnics on the grounds. It did rain a little, but it was welcome as it cooled us off. 

The 1990's began with their first true garden project, a planting done on Mother's Day to disguise a new leach field. Gold Flame Spirea, a few cotoneasters, a lot of shoveling, and presto, a pile of dirt turned into a garden of sorts. Father's Day brought the happy addition of their first Japanese Maple, and then they were off and running. They told us that the gardens will remain confined to their 35 acres and they will continue to rearrange plants, refine and add to their hardscapes. 
That evening, we all enjoyed grilled kabobs on the deck. It could not have been a nicer Mother's Day. I am very blessed to have a wonderful family.

I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sycamore Hill Gardens Mother's Day Event

Fifteen days without any precipitation here, and very sunshiney days. The parrot tulip bulbs that we planted in the fall were a success. Usually the critters eat our tulip bulbs, but this year we have 100 tulips and they are putting on quite the show this week.  They are great tulips for vases, so I added a few to my basil cuttings that I started from grocery store basil and put in mason jars. You can refer to  this post about using basil cuttings. Thanks for the tip Monique. My garden will be full of beautiful basil plants this summer.

For Mother's Day, I have been invited to Sycamore Hill Gardens for a fundraising event ;o) Can't wait. 
 I'll take lots of photos tomorrow, and show you the private 35 acre garden owned by Karen and George Hanford in the village of Marcellus. A few times each year, the Hanford's graciously open their gardens to the public. Proceeds go to benefit the Baltimore Woods Nature Center, well known for connecting nature and children.

I read that they have planted nearly a half million spring flowering bulbs and thousands of perennial plants, the grounds are graced with over 720 varieties of trees. They have themed gardens, statuary from Italy and the Far East and lovely chimes.
I dug into my archives to share a Mother's Day table that I did two years ago for mom and me :o)
Our picnic basket will be filled with chicken salad sandwiches tomorrow ;-) I am told I don't have to cook. 
Our dogwood trees always bloom on Mother's Day weekend. I just looked outdoors, and we have plenty of blooms. I've always loved the Legend of the Dogwood so I'm sharing it. 
legend of dogwood
Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Beetzza, Fritillaria 'Snake's Head' and Parrot Tulips

We belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and they gave us a bunch of organic beets in  November. They have lasted us throughout the winter  and they stored very well. I had just come from the cellar with beets in my hand, and discovered Beetzza on this blog La Table De Nana and the recipe here Chatelaine. For our dinner, we had Beetzza for an appetizer and grilled wild sockeye salmon, I hope you try it, we gave it five stars. Our first al fresco dinner of the year ;o)

All you need is puff pasty, very thinly sliced beets (I roasted first), olive oil, an egg, crumbled feta and fresh basil.

We didn't stop at Beetzza :o)  The following evening, we made this balsamic roasted beets quinoa and kale salad by Donna Hay. I love Donna's cookbooks.  Another keeper.

I planted some lovely Fritillaria 'Snake's Head' 18 years ago, and they are very hardy and require no care. After all these years, I am still fascinated with the snakes-skin markings in shades of purple with a checked pattern. 
Our weather has been warm and dry, and the parrot tulips are putting on quite a show. We planted 100 bulbs in the fall and so glad we did.

I'm joining Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.
Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Run for the Roses Pie For Derby Day

You still have time to bake this tasty Run for the Roses pie. Our dinner group is hosting Derby day tomorrow and what is perhaps the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" deserves a special pie.

To celebrate the Run for the Roses, you'll need a pie crust, eggs, unsalted butter, sugar, flour, pecans, chocolate chips and bourbon whiskey.  Instead of the 1/4 cup of bourbon whiskey that the recipe called for, I used 2 TB and decreased the sugar to 3/4 cup.

A hat is believed to bring luck to the jockeys, horses and your bets.
Born in the valley
And raised in the trees
Of Western Kentucky
On wobbly knees
With Mama beside you
To help you along
You'll soon be a growing up strong

All long lazy mornings
In pastures of green
The sun on your withers
The wind in your mane
Could never prepare you
For what lied ahead
The run for the roses so red
And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined in the dance
It's high time you joined in the dance

From sire to sire
It's born in the blood
The fire of a mare
And the strength of a stud
It's breeding and it's training
And it's something unknown
That drives you and carries you home

And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined in the dance
It's high time you joined in the dance

Dan Fogelberg - Run For The Roses Lyrics

Derby Museum photo from Pinterest

Happy Derby Day!
I am joining Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.