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Warm weather has turned to rather hot weather here in Atlanta, allowing the basil, tomatoes, and herbs to gather strength and begin their season of growth.
Even though I’m commuting to Orlando for a work project, the Hubby is being ever so diligent – he is maintaining the beauty of the garden and sharing his good work by sending pictures of the veggies to me.
Here’s a peek at what is happening in our small corner of the world. Hope your corner is bountiful this year!
Not only was it Friday the 13th of June last week, it was our wedding anniversary – #27, to be exact.
Here’s hoping that you did not walk under any ladders, have a black cat cross your path, or break a mirror on Friday.
Us? We enjoyed a toast to the past, present, and future together!
Our Lenten rose is quite the story. We used to live in an old 1920’s bungalow close to Downtown Atlanta. Around the corner was a really old park that we in the neighborhood helped to clean of debris, trash and weeds. During one of those adventures, we found baby Lenten rose plants growing in the crack of the sidewalk…each with one tiny stalk and 2 tiny leaves.
We thought to ourselves “Why not try to transplant these little lovelies? Maybe they’ll grow for us..” Lo and behold! This one surely did!
Now it is the star of our late Winter/Early Spring garden. Color when the rest of the plant world is sleeping.
Comfort food takes on a new meaning with this recipe for Chili Mac from the March issue of Cooking Light magazine. Usually, ground turkey is a “non event”……you know what I mean – not a lot of taste, and kinda spongy in a dish. Not when spiced to the max in this one dish wonder!
Trust me on this one, the leftovers are even better than the main event. As if that were not enough, the recipe makes two large dishes of yumminess – one for now, and one for the freezer. (Freeze for up to 2 months, without the cheese. Thaw, add the cheese, cover with foil, and reheat at 400 degrees for 20 minutes). Can you say “time-saver”? Yep, thought so.
Simple items we changed: had some leftover roasted red peppers, so diced and added in lieu of the green bell peppers. Added some chopped black olives. Omitted the onion and added lots more garlic. Our marinara was only about 3.5 cups, and it was the perfect amount. (Don’t think I’d recommend using a full 4 cups, unless you like it a bit on the runny side.) Added some grated fresh parmesan on top, for a bit of additional flavor.
Served with hot bread, which cooks nestled alongside the chili mac, and a side of sautéed kale with garlic and olive oil. Or you could add a simple green salad to get your veggies for the meal.
Let’s dive in – No need to wait to enjoy – eat it while the gooey cheese on top is melty!
It’s officially Spring! Well, at least on the calendar…. Hope you enjoy these first signs of life from our patio garden.
Seems funny that this will soon be a full-blown hosta, shooting up stately green and white leaves, then tall stalks with dainty flowers for us (and the bees!) to enjoy.
I’m always intrigued that the hydrangea starts out so brown and dull, then little buds start to appear – soon to become a showcase of blooms.
Just where do the bees go all winter? They are always the best part of the “flower show” as they get pollen drunk with the available abundance that will soon appear. Happy First day of Spring!
Since the weather here in Atlanta gets “stuck” between Winter and Spring this time of year, we know to take advantage of those random warm, sunny days that tease us out from our homes.
That is exactly what happened last Saturday.
Waking to find the birds chirping, the sun shining, and the weather warm, we dared to test the outside temperature. Yes, it was above the 60 degree mark. What could that mean, you ask? Just one thing – Breakfast On The Patio…..Wooo Hooo!!!
Care to join us? Pull up a chair and enjoy the bubbling fountain.
Simple to prepare, we enjoyed freshly made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins slathered with organic peach jam from Italy, and soft-boiled eggs.
Yes, I cheated and used the Trader Joe’s pumpkin muffin mix…super fast. Sub’d apple sauce for most of the oil, added oatmeal, ground flax-seed, mini chocolate chips, almonds, and raisins to the mix. On the plus side, since you never know when the weather here will change, we were assured of our patio time in the sun.
Alas, it started raining on Sunday, and has continued until today. But, with visions of breakfast still on our minds, we know Spring will be here in full force any day now….right? Yes? Please!!!
It was Thursday, prior to leaving town for one week…what to do to clean the fridge of lonely bits of food? We’ve never been good at throwing things away that are in perfect (or almost perfect) condition. As chance would have it, here is the result of our Thrifty Thursday night dinner.
This recipe for Sweet Potatao and Black Bean Chili for Two at the Eating Well website emptied the fridge and filled our tummies. Fast, simple, with ingredients on hand – this has to be the most inexpensive dinner ever!
We (imagine this….) improvised a bit, by adding a handful of leftover kale and a smidgen of chopped green chilis that were in need of fridge elimination. Omitted the onion and added more garlic. Had a small amount of jarred marinara sauce that got “dumped” in. No cilantro on hand – no big deal. Added a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese on top.
Simple pantry and kitchen staples made this come together in a snap….yes, such a snap that we did not snap the photos until we were just about ready to dive in. Hurry and look before it’s all gone!
One burning question to contemplate:
Why does the entire universe go to the grocery for milk, eggs, and bread when the Weather Channel predicts ice and snow?
Is everyone making french toast at the exact same time? Not us. We’re more oatmeal kinda folks.
Which brings me to this:
Baked Oatmeal. Creamy Greek yogurt topping. Cozy breakfast table. Set for two.
And today was just perfect for said hot breakfast, since it was icy, cold, and the entire population of the Atlanta area is homebound due to snow and ice covering the roadways. No problem – as long as you’ve got a well-stocked pantry and freezer with frozen fruit.
Did I mention that the leftovers are perfect for dessert? Or even for breakfast again tomorrow? Dive in, and stay toasty warm…cause winter just ain’t over yet!
Whenever Whole Foods has in-season fresh, wild salmon on a special “One Day Only” Sale, be sure to count us in. What do we do? We get all excited, jump in the car, and buy a big slab of fish love.
“What to do with said slab o’salmon“, you might ask? Invent something tasty!
Papa C was in town for the big SEC Championship Weekend. He is the perfect guest for kitchen experimentation, since he will eat all of our inventions! And then, profess to like them all….Thanks, Papa C!
Let’s get cooking.
With rainbow chard in the ‘fridge just waiting to be enjoyed, and lentils (which pair perfectly with salmon) in the pantry, we let the invention begin.
While the lentils cooked in boiling water, we sautéed the rainbow chard with olive oil and minced garlic in our other pan.
Being that the salmon was so fresh, all it needed was a light dusting with mild homemade Cajun seasoning. Out to the grill it goes with Hubby, who keeps a watchful eye so the salmon stays moist and flavorful.
Just like that – no more than 25 minutes of prep and cook time to get this on the table, ready to savor. And when company is in town, why eat out in a noisy restaurant – wouldn’t you rather enjoy each other’s company around the dining table at home?