Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Babies

I'm so excited that things went so well today.  We took our two beagles to meet their two new "brothers" today.  Buford, the 4 year old Bassett Hound and Cody (formerly named Diesel) the 1 year old Shepherd/Lab mix.
Are we crazy, some have asked.  Maybe.  Four dogs is quite a lot to handle.  But one look at these two sweethearts and we were hooked.  Both dogs seem to be starving for attention and love.  Just a little patience and training and they'll be fine.  Especially with Molly and Buster's example to follow.
Here are some pix of our visit today, I hope they make you smile!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Georgia Gardening Update 2 and 5 weeks

The title might be a little confusing - but allow me to explain a little.

When we started this little gardening endeavor, we had cleared out a small area in a flower bed and decided a few tomato plants would look nice there.  Three tomato plants, a japanese eggplant, a zucchini and a cantaloupe later....we knew we were ready to build the garden chronicled in a previous post.  So these plants are about 3 weeks ahead of the big garden and we anxiously await the, um....fruits of our labor.

Here's our first big whopper tomato haha!  This is the Amelia hybrid regular ol' red tomato.  Several other Lemon Boy tomatoes are growing also, but are sadly more difficult to photograph, since they are hidden behind the zucchini.  Coming in a close third is the German Queen heirloom with no discernible set fruit yet.  

Here's our first baby eggplant - Ichiban Egg eggplant, to be precise.  Can't tell you how excited I am!

Here are the "baby" peas, which in two weeks have grown to over 6" tall.  I can only attribute the copious amounts of rainfall over the past 2-3 weeks to their magnificent height!

Making their way into the garden today are spicy globe basil, onion chives, and curly leaf parsley, since I was craving some more herbs.

Check back soon for more pictures!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Light and Fluffy Peach Muffins

I adapted this recipe from Bobby Flay's recipe.  I absolutely can see substituting the peach for raspberry, blueberry, strawberry or other fruits depending on the season.  While it is not yet peach season, I try to make new recipes "as is" the first time out of the gate.  Then I can figure out where I want to go from there, what tweaks I'd like to make and how to make it better.  Canned peaches actually worked beautifully in this batch of light-as-air muffins.  I did also make them mini-muffins rather than regular sized muffins.  This makes for easier portion control, if that's a concern :)
The original recipe called for a crumb topping which might have made these tastier, but was completely unnecessary for the fabulous muffins that resulted.  If I were to make them with the crumb topping, I'd likely choose rolled oats instead of the bran cereal since that's what we like for crumb topping.


The wet team:

12 ounces thick Greek peach yogurt (conveniently this is two containers of the yogurt you might already eat :))
1 cup diced peaches (or one 8 oz can peaches)
1/3 cup light brown sugar (or 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend)
1/3 cup white sugar (or 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Splenda sugar blend for baking)
1/2 cup neutral oil like canola
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

The dry team:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Grease muffin pans (makes 12 regular size muffins or 36+ mini muffins).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yogurt, peaches, brown sugar, white sugar, canola oil, vanilla and egg.  Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet (so you don't wind up looking like Casper!) and mix slowly until just combined.  Any more than that, and you'll have tough muffins.

Fill the muffin cups with batter about 3/4 full.

Bake until a toothpick inserted int he middle comes out clean - about 10 minutes for mini-muffins and 15 minutes for regular sized.

Cool on a cooling rack so they don't get soggy!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Georgia Gardening

In an effort to inject more fun and less couch potato into our lives, we decided we needed a garden.  You see, recently I've become a bit obsessed with fresh, ready to cook, GOOD TASTING veggies.  What better way to have that than to grow your own?  It is a labor of love, to be sure.
In the Atlanta area, there is a service gaining momentum that delivers local and mostly organic fresh fruit and veg, and I could talk about them forever.  Nature's Garden is the service and definitely worth checking out.  But what could beat going out your back door to cut your own tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas or herbs?
I'm not saying that we did it the "right" way or the "best" way according to the Gardener's scripture of planting.  We did it the "best" and "right" way for us for right now.
Here are a few pix of how we laid it out and chose what to plant where.
Laying out the raised bed kit.  We bought 2 4'x4' kits to make one large 4'x12' bed.  The spot was chosen for consistent sunshine and access to water.

We rented a tiller from Home Depot and the ground wasn't nearly as awful as we expected.  This is after tilling in 3 bags of mushroom compost to lighten our Ga red clay.

We added lots of ammended dirt to our box, after removing as many rocks as we could.

We built our own trellises for running veggies like beans, cucumbers and sugar snap peas.  Being a planner, I had to check spacing before I made the final comittment to permanent growing locations.

All mulched out and ready to....water and wait.  Marigolds added to bring good bugs and get rid of the bad.  

Show the artichoke a little love too, won't you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Teriyaki Glazed Fishy

Not feeling so well this week, I needed a quick and easy go-to for dinner tonight.
Enter, the Teriyaki Glazed Salmon adapted from Publix's Apron recipe card.

2 Pcs Tilapia filet
3 Tbsp Mayo (I prefer the olive oil mayo)
1/4 cup Prepared Teriyaki sauce
1/2-1 inch piece of fresh Ginger
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Parsley
oil for cooking

Mix sauce ingredients in small bowl.  It is better to allow the fish to sit in the sauce several hours, but is equally tasty if you only have time to brush it on while it grills.
I have grilled this fish, both indoor grill and outside gas grill, as well as preparing it in a pan on the stovetop.

I prefer Salmon for this recipe, but any firm fish will do.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, new blog

Okay, so starting a blog was really just something that "happened."  Seems like everyone has a blog these days, so why not me, right?  Maybe it is a place to capture things that I create, make and do all in one place.  Maybe it is part brag board to say "yeah, I did that!"
So this year, I hope to have something to actually post to make the blog interesting.
Stay tuned!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The most fabulous meatballs and creamy tomato sauce EVAH

Taken from the WW website and altered with that "special touch".  Actually, the sauce is all me.  Meatballs are ww.


  1 tbsp minced onion  
1 pound(s) raw lean ground beef (sirloin)   
  1 large egg(s), beaten   
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes   
3/4 tsp table salt   
1 Tbsp parsley, fresh, finely minced (or 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning)
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs or rolled oats  
  1/4 cup(s) canned beef broth, or chicken broth   
1/4 cup(s) white wine   


  • Soak onions in the broth/wine and add to a large mixing bowl. Then add beef, egg, red pepper flakes, salt and parsley (or Italian seasoning) and crumbs/oats; mix well to combine. With damp hands, roll forty-eight 1/2-inch meatballs.
  • Bake meatballs on 375, about 20 minutes. Yields about 6 meatballs per serving. 

The BEST creamy tomato sauce EVAH:

1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp celery salt
2-3 large basil leaves, chiffonaded (is that a word?)
6 ounces 2% evaporated milk

Stir all ingredients together over very low heat until heated through and slightly thickened.