These babies are safe from all the rain...
I check them to make sure I haven't killed them yet.
Mother's Day present from my daughter.
Phantom petunias and garden art
Lady's Mantle after rain showers
Garden photos. Playing around to learn what this looks like. Click on any photo you may want to enlarge.
Salvia and irises
These are so easy and adaptable that even I can make them, and I'm not creative. I went to Lowe's and experimented with the different sized clay pots until I'd found four pots and two saucers that worked well together.
I spray painted the largest saucer with Stone spray paint. It could also have been painted black or red and turned upside down to sit the largest pot on top. I spray painted all the pots white.
I used aluminum foil and painter's tape to cover everything but the rims of the pots.
Painter's tape is so wonderfully forgiving. It can be positioned easily, and if a mistake is made, it can be repositioned with no trouble.
And it's easy to fill in the gaps. Voila!
I used Rustoleum paints, but any good outdoor paint will work.
First, I sprayed the undersides of the rims,
then I turned the pots over and finished. [I also sprayed some extras for something else. ]
After 24 hours, I removed the tape and foil, used a stencil to draw the doors and windows [I said I'm challenged. I can't even draw a straight line.], and painted them with black gloss acrylic Patio Paint. An inexpensive lantern with a flickering LED candle inside finished it off. I plan to place the pebbles from that bag all around the base to give it the look of a lighthouse on a rocky cliff.
These dolls are inexpensive and easy to make.
The shoes are made for 18" Madame Alexander dolls. I found these on ebay.
7/8ths inch dowel rods cut in 3" sections and painted pink.
I made good use of the glue gun today.
There are many ways to do this. I glued beads on the parachute cord to space the pots for the arms and legs. Working with the hot glue gun on Non-Stick aluminum foil helped.
I also glued each bead in place as I worked.
I measured an inch from the previous pot and marked the cord to glue the next bead.
My plan to run the cords through the opening in the pot went awry when I discovered I had oh so efficiently glued the saucer to the bottom of the pot. Dave helped me drill holes in the side of the pot instead.
I positioned the cords to have the arms and legs hang like I wanted...
Then I glued and positioned and glued everything within an inch of its life.
Before I think about leaving her out in the weather, I'll seal her well with polyurethane spray...if I put her out in all sorts of weather.
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 lb. Italian sausage, mild or hot
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
8 oz. can tomato paste [See note.*]
2 28-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. Italian seasoning
2 Bay leaves
1 t. Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
1 t. prepared mustard
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. beef broth
1 lb. ziti or other pasta, cooked to al dente
2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Brown the meat and drain; add the onion and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft.
Add the tomato paste and
stir for 5 minutes to bloom the paste. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, Bay leaves, Sriracha sauce, prepared mustard, salt, pepper, and beef broth.
Cover, bring to a boil, lower the
heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir
occasionally and add more broth, if necessary. Remove Bay leaves. [*Or use 2 quarts of your favorite commercial spaghetti sauce.]
Combine with cooked pasta and pour into a large greased casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees. Remove cover and sprinkle evenly with cheeses. Bake an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until cheeses are melted and casserole is bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
This can be made up to two days ahead of time and refrigerated. Bake for 45-60 minutes the first time, until the casserole is heated through and bubbling.
This is a great opportunity to get flavor into to the pasta. I add 2 packets Knorr Beef or Chicken Stock Concentrate to the water used to cook the pasta. Use a few bouillon cubes or flavor paste or whatever floats your boat. You won't be sorry.
Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. plus 2
T. Crisco Butter Shortening
1 c. firmly
packed brown sugar
2 drops Butterscotch
Flavor LorAnn Essence Oil, optional
1 t. vanilla
2 c. AP flour
1 T. ground
1 t. salt
¼ t. baking
3 c. oats ,
quick or old fashioned
1 ½ c. pecans
11 oz. pkg. butterscotch
8 oz. pkg.
Bit O’Brickle chips
together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
shortening and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl. Add eggs,
butterscotch oil, and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour, salt and
baking soda mixture. Add pecans and chips and mix just until combined.
heaping tablespoon, three inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350
degrees F for 11-13 minutes until light brown around the edges. Cool 2 minutes
on the cookie sheet and then place on rack to continue cooling.
cookies, store overnight in a sealed container with a fresh slice of bread.
These REALLY are good! Butterscotch and toffee chips with pecans in a cinnamon oatmeal cookie.
Easy Broccoli Chicken Stuffing Casserole
broccoli cut into florets
2 pkgs. Chicken flavored stuffing mix
3 c. cooked
1 can Cream
of Chicken soup
½ t. Sriracha
sauce [or Tabasco]
broccoli until crisp tender. Prepare stuffing according to box directions.
Combine chicken, soup, and Sriracha sauce in a large bowl. Gentle combine with stuffing
and broccoli. Pour into a greased 9” x 13” pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30
be prepared a day or so ahead of time when covered and refrigerated. Bake at
350 degrees for 30 minutes; remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes, or
until edges are browned.
We had a funeral luncheon Friday for a church member, and boy, did we have a lot of food!
Sausage, Cabbage and Noodles
packages Smoked Sausage, sliced
1 small head
cabbage, sliced thinly [About8 c.]
1 ½ c. sliced
Butter or oil of choice [I used turkey fat.]
2 t. Sriracha or Tabasco Sauce
1 t. salt
¼ t. Pepper
16 oz. Kluski style noodles
3 c. grated
cheese of choice [I used Kraft Five-cheese Italian blend.]
sausage in large skillet over medium heat until slices begin to brown. Drain
fat and place in a large bowl.
and onions in oil in the same skillet, covered, until soft. Add Sriracha sauce,
salt and pepper, and add to bowl with smoked sausage. Cook noodles in chicken
broth, drain, reserving about 2 c. of the broth. Add to the bowl with
the other ingredients and toss everything with the cheese. Add reserved broth
as needed to desired moistness; err slightly on the side of wet.
large, greased baking pan and cover. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and
remove cover. Bake 15 minutes longer, or until edges begin to brown.
This casserole was a big hit at a small luncheon today. Two people asked for the recipe. I put it together yesterday, and baked it at the church today.
The spicy smell and taste of this cake just screams Christmas. The recipe came from Cuisine at home magazine, which I recommend for its great cooking tips, delicious recipes and total lack of ANY ads.
½ c. each granulated sugar, water and minced fresh ginger.
For the cake,
1 ½ c. packed
light brown sugar
1 c. 2% milk
½ c. molasses
½ c. sour
2 ¼ c. AP
2 t. each
baking powder and ground ginger
1 t. ground
¾ t. freshly
½ t. each
ground allspice and salt
¼ t. baking
1/8 t. ground
whipped topping, whisk:
2 c. heavy
2 T. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla
Bring syrup ingredients
to a boil over medium high heat; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10
minutes. Strain syrup, reserving the ginger.
Preheat the oven
to 350 F and liberally spray a 10-15 c. Bundt pan with PAM and coat with
sugar, milk, oil, molasses, and reserved ginger. Whisk together eggs and sour
cream; whisk into the other wet ingredients.
dry ingredients.; whisk into wet mixture in 3 to 4 increments. Pour batter into
prepared Bundt pan. Bake 1 hour or until
cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and tests done with a toothpick. Cool
45 minutes in pan. Poke cake all over with skewer or meat fork; drizzle ginger
syrup all over the top. Invert cake onto a plate [tap pan to release, if
necessary]; let cool completely.
cream to soft peaks; add sugar and vanilla. Whip to medium firm peaks. Top
slices of cake with whipped cream and garnish with crystallized ginger.
Chopped fresh ginger smells amazing.
Turbinado sugar is raw sugar, but if you don't have it in the cupboard, granulated sugar will work great.
Crystallized ginger is sometimes labeled candied ginger. It's supposed to be useful for settling stomachs. Most grocery stores carry it, and it is a nice garnish for this cake. But it isn't absolutely necessary.
The kitchen, heck, the whole house, smelled like Christmas.
I used Reddi-Wip for Dave's tasting piece. He gave it two thumbs up.