Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mystery plant contest

This is one of my newest plant acquisitions. I have wanted one of these for a while, if only because I liked the name. What I didn't know was exactly how this plant would look in full bloom. So I saw this at the nursery last week. It looked pretty cool. See the purple leafy-looking things around the base of the flower? That's pretty much all I saw when I bought it. I liked the contrast of the purple against the green. I thought it would look great somewhere in my garden.... Then, after it sat in my yard for a few days, it started bursting out in the beautiful, pink petals that you see here. Now, the whole thing is a ball of eye-popping pink! I was so pleasantly surprised!! Can any of you name this plant? Either the common or the Latin will do.....I will make a treat for the first one to correctly identify this pretty posey! Unless you live in Georgia......then bragging rights will have to suffice......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Do you see what I see?

I was playing hide and seek in the garden the other day. The garden that we almost didn't plant for lack of a "good spot". Well, Jason decided on the spur of the moment that our newly cleared side of our yard would make a great spot. And you know what? He was right!! (He's always right.....) We amended, tilled and planted the garden in one weekend.

Nice and orderly huh?

Now it looks like this:
Crazy what a little water and weeding will do. The only thing that could make this garden prettier would be a fence for a backdrop instead of a bobcat, an excavator, an electrical and phone utility box and lovely pile of garbage. (Must be patient.....Must be patient.....Must be patient....)

Let's look a little closer, shall we?

The ubiquitous zucchini. Sometimes I think we grow zucchini just to make ourselves feel productive. I hardly ever actually eat it. I think it's best use is in cakes, myself....

I infinitely prefer these. Mmmmm, saute with some onion in a little butter...oh my!

I think squash blossoms are beyond gorgeous.

Sugar snap sweetness

One of the 457 varieties of tomato that we planted.....

You can't eat this, but isn't it pretty?

Your standard egg-shaped egg-plant. Egg-plant is weird. There's just no getting around that fact.

So there you go. I know, it's an awful lot of green in one post, but what can you do? I think next year we'll do the same thing. Only bigger.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Adventures in baby food--part one: Guess who likes carrots?

Much as I've tried to slow time down with Connor, time is not cooperating!! He thinks he needs more food than I can naturally provide. HMPH!! So in the interest of having a healthy, well-rounded, baby, (get it? well-ROUNDED? hahaha!! I slay me!!) I started giving him rice cereal a few weeks ago. He took to it like white on rice! (hahaha! white on RICE! Really, I am clearly too funny....) So yesterday, we broke out the carrots. For a little variety. This is what happened.....

Relatively carrot-free...

Hmmm.....what is this?....

Veeerrry in-ter-es-ting......

WOW!! I haven't had this much fun since.....about thirty minutes ago!!!!

That was EXCELLENT!!! What next?!

UMMMM......this tastes only slightly less good than that other stuff...(It took me two days to completely remove the carrots from his eyelashes)

Carrots are the greatest thing in the UNIVERSE!! Except for my mom. She's pretty amazing too. Look how clean she got me!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Fourth=Food, flags, family, friends, flowers, floats, fireworks, firefly, & fun

The Fourth of July is officially my absolute favorite holiday of the year!!! I can think of nothing negative to associate with it.....unlike some commercially overdone celebrations.
We usually follow a set pattern of events. Parade, party, & fireworks. This year we added balloon launch to the list. I think it will stay on the list. There's just something about hot-air balloons, despite the 5:15 wake up call. I still can't believe we actually made it on time!
Our firework show was altered a little due to construction, so we just decided to forego the traffic and put on our own show! Here are some of my favorite photos. (I ask you to consider the fact that I'm trying like heck to learn a new camera without relying on the "sissy-settings". I thought it would be best to just dive right in....)

Watching the balloons inflate & lift off

I love this picture.....and not just because this balloon was made by the Firefly Balloon company as is stated on the label.....(hey, I plug my Firefly whenever and wherever I can....I'm a true Flan!)

Parade pics....

Okay...none of those were actually pictures of the parade, but we were AT the parade!

Alright, alright! Here's a float.
Shelby's pictures of the floats turned out MUCH better than mine. However, they are not loaded onto my computer yet.....

A less than great picture of the flag cake. Geez! Give a girl a break! My camera setting was wrong and I was late to Kellie's house so I'm stuck with the only pic that turned out half-decent. I'm obviously a beginner. At photography. Not baking. Clearly I can make a beyond awesome flag cake! (Thank you Pioneer Woman!)

Okay. We finally made it to Kellie's house for our Annual (whenever they aren't in Pennsylvania) Fourth of July Bash!

Red, white & blue theme in this pic...

Wicked flames from the grill-master.

DO NOT lean too close to your screen to admire the pretty colors. Doing so might result in a spit-soaked screen.....from all the drooling....thanks to Kimmie for the recipe!

The licking contest...I think Shelby lost.

Can you say "Kellie's gorgeous garden" 10 times fast?

How about "Excellent Echinacea" (that's harder...)

I don't know what this pretty flower is, but it's kinda hard to get bugs in flight, so enjoy! (just's lavender!)

Cameron, after his affair with the chocolate fruit dip....

An appropriate reaction to the exciting fireworks!

Well, after that, all my pictures were crap because the light went away, so that's all folks! Let's meet again next year when hopefully, I can provide a truly excellent firework picture like this one:
(thanks again, Pioneer Woman!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Nirvana in a bowl.

At a recent family/friend get-together, there was this dish.....a dish that I can only describe as incandescently delicious. If any of you are fans of fruit-type salads, y'know...a little jello, a little cool whip, etc, etc, then you MUST, MUST, ABSOLUTELY MUST! try this salad! It is so delicious to the taste!!!!

Let me go a little deeper and explain how I feel about fruit salad. About side dishes in general, really...I truly think that all that meat & main-dishy stuff is superfluous. It's all about the sides for me baby!!

Potato salad,

noodles,(these are yummy rice-stick noodles--all smokey & soy-saucy!)

macaroni salad,This happened to be "Amish"-style macaroni salad my friend Kellie made--a delicious first for me!

rolls, potatoes & gravy, STUFFING!,

big trays of fruit & cheese,
a well made green salad; Erin, you rock!(Nothin' like a tasty salad in a beautiful bowl! This one was even yummier than it looked--which is saying something!)

and of course, the fruit salad.

The sheer variety of what you can comPILE onto your plate is mind-numbing!

See what I mean....

This plate is pretty good...missing some noodles maybe....although I would still give it an "8" out of "10" because of the layering technique used.

Here's another....

Now this plate is near perfect! Notice the noodles nestled next to the macaroni salad. Very appropriate.....ditch the chicken for a nice, fat peanut butter finger, and you're there!

Anyway, back to the fruit salad! I have special feelings about fruit salads. I never met one I didn't like. And this one I LOVED!!!! Three times now I have made myself utterly sick eating this salad! (and I mean utterly sick in the best way possible.....)

I will be making it AGAIN this Fourth of July. I will double the batch because I could eat a whole batch myself. No lie. I suggest you do the same.

This recipe requires several hours to set up. It's best to make it the night before you want to serve it.

I call it:

Nirvana in a Bowl

1 small box COOK and SERVE vanilla Jello pudding mix
1 small box COOK and SERVE tapioca pudding mix (Jello brand)
1 small box whatever flavor fruit Jello you want
3 cups water
1-8 oz. Cool Whip-thawed
Fruit to match Jello flavor. Trust me, raspberry is BEST. Then orange.....

Empty the three boxes of Jello & pudding into a medium saucepan. Add three cups of water to the powder mixture. Stir and cook on medium high until the mixture begins to boil. Let boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat and place into large bowl to refrigerate. Let sit in fridge overnight. When you are ready to serve, take jello mixture and stir it to loosen it up. Stir it pretty good, but not TOO good. Then, fold in the 8 oz. Cool Whip and the fruit. How much fruit is a personal decision. I use 1 1/2-2 pints of raspberries to a double batch and it's perfect.

Seriously, people.....if you have any love at ALL for the fruitus saladus genus of food, you MUST make this ASAP. And then pass this recipe along. And don't forget who gave you the recipe that changed your life.

Related Posts with Thumbnails