Category Archives: Garden

Mojo Roast Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

DSC_0544 (1600x1060)I bought a bottle of sour orange juice so I could more closely replicate the mojo marinade needed for a proper roast pork  Cubano sandwich.  I haven’t done that yet, but a recipe for mojo marinated roast chicken caught my eye.  A mojo sauce is mostly olive oil with garlic, citrus, and oregano.  I used fresh oregano instead of dried in mine.  The lemon and lime juices in the recipe are intended to get to the sour/bitter taste profile of the sour orange juice when sour orange isn’t available and regular orange juice is substituted.  Lacking a rotisserie on my grill I used the beer can roaster gadget with good result.DSC_0541 (1600x1060)A recipe for Cuban style black beans and rice worked well and fit the general theme of the plate.  I have no Idea if broccoli plays much part in the Cuban diet but I like it so I steamed some florets and gave them a squeeze of lemon.  I picked the green pepper and a couple of sweet banana peppers from my container garden to make the bean dish.  The addition of a splash of red wine vinegar to the beans right before serving them really made the dish.  I never would have thought to do that but it works!

Food Pr0n – Burrito platter

DSC_0514 (1600x1060)Just a quick lunch – beef and bean burritos with cheese on a plate with pico, guacamole, and black beans.  Just as an aside, the tomato in the pico de gallo is our first ripe tomato from the patio container garden.  It was deep inside the foliage and nearly hidden.  Hoping for many more.  Plenty of grape tomatoes are ripening but this is the first of the larger variety.  It came from a bush Goliath, there is another called Mountain Fresh that is very close to producing – fingers crossed!

Size Matters

DSC_5367 (1600x1060)We have a couple of clumps of day lilies near the hummingbird feeders but we seldom see a hummer taking much notice of the flowers, inviting as they must seem.DSC_5365 (1600x1060)I think it’s because the reach for nectar is just a tad too far for birds that like to hover as they sip.


DSC02458 (1600x1060)This scared looking minipin, Hannah, is a refugee from a breeding program and is gradually learning that not all humans are assholes.  She turned up at a shelter in a neighboring town but they had no luck placing her – staff at St Francis said they would try their luck at finding her a home.20150611_165955 (1600x1060)This mantis was hunting ants on my parsley, I took out the cell phone to see how it would work for macro.  This is the best I could do, he was very lively and scurried around trying to avoid the looming rectangle.  He’s only an inch long, or so.DSC02479 (1600x1060)Mrs J tried several times to get a decent photo of Suzy, this one is as good as any.  There was one that would have been really good due to the expression on her face but it was, alas, just too out of focus to use.20150611_163448 (1600x1060)Steak and fries with garlic green beans.  The trick to the beans is to cook them a bit before dumping them into a pan with garlic butter to heat through.  Nice thing about it is that you can boil or steam the beans ahead and then finish them quickly when the rest of the dinner is ready.  I dug a huge rib eye steak out of the freezer, one that I had the butcher cut off of a rack of them.  I couldn’t find a mate to it so I cut it into two steaks and trimmed it up some.DSC02487 (1600x1200)Amelia is a Siamese about 1-1/2 years old.  Mrs J says she’s a squealer – if a dog or another cat touches her she becomes very vocal.20150612_121932 (1600x1060)I have a thing about cheese crust pizzas.  Thing is I just love them!  This one has the meatballs you can see, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and onions that you can’t because of the cheese, unless you look really close.  I do see an olive or two peeking through.

Slo-Mo Hummers

More fun with the new camera phone.  Trying out the slo-mo video capture feature.  This one is quarter speed, not sure if that is a fixed setting or whether I can adjust it.  Bonus!  It uploaded the video to Youtube right from the camera over wifi.

Patio Panorama – Gadget Post

20150604_101837[1] (1600x1060)I upgraded my phone and discovered a panoramic photo feature built in.  I downloaded the photo to my desktop and resized it.  Phone is a Samsung S6, this is the first result after a few tries to learn how to do it despite the lack of a good explanation in the help section.  The gallery app provides a slow pan when viewing the image on the phone.

I’m happy with the new phone so far but it’s not that great a leap from the last phone, a Samsung S4.  The new phone doesn’t have a removable battery or a slot for an SD card but it does have a ton more internal memory (128GB) than the miserly 16 GB I had on the S4.  There are some nifty work-arounds for limited memory in many Android devices:DSC_5355 (1600x1060)This is an OTG (on-the-go) mini Micro SD card reader – a mouthful that means you can plug it into the phone and use the material you put on the card.  The device comes with an adapter so you can plug it into a regular USB port on your computer to load with songs, movies, photos, or whatever.DSC_5356 (1600x1060)I have this one loaded with a bunch of music, it will work with SD cards up to 128 GB capacities – enough for four or five HD movies.  Cheap OTG adapter cables are available to use with regular USB card readers but I like these because they are easier to use.

Gnomelandringham… idealic village….OR is it?!?!

My friend Larilyn had much too much fun in her garden this spring. Here’s her story:


Gnomelandringham is a lovely, rural gnome village.


 It’s tidy, safe, and a place to share tea.


But through the door in the wall, life and vegetables can be uncertain!


Mighty Viking mercenaries are called to duty. Great bravery is needed from them to save the village!!
And the vegetables!!


The moral of this story is NOT that monsters abound. nor is it one of avoiding going through doors…


The moral of This tale is


The End

Thanks for letting me share Lari!  Hope everyone has a great weekend and can get in some actual planting – TaMara


A Good Day for a Cookout

DSC_5339 (1600x1060)Thighs are the best part of a chicken.  These are bone in and they still have their skins and are perfect for a bbq.  Cast iron works great on a grill, these beans will have a smokey flavor because of that chunk of hickory I have in the smokebox over one of the burners.DSC_5452 (1600x1060)Bonus Butterfly!  I just like the look of this one.  That’s a Yellow Swallowtail on purple cone flowers.

Suddenly, Cicadas!

DSC_5319 (1600x1060)Cicadas!  One of a myriad that appeared overnight.  They are kind of pretty, fresh out of their old skins.  This one is perched upon a coralbell Mrs J planted last fall after nurturing it all last summer in a container.  Not really looking forward to their singing 24/7, talk about the sounds of summer…DSC_5317 (1600x1060)Once we noticed and started looking we found the empties all over.  These things emerge on a cycle, I’m not sure if these are the 13 year or the 17 year models.DSC_5316 (1600x1060)

Random Wildlife – Hummingbird

DSC_5295 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby-throated hummer, notwithstanding the dusting of pollen on its throat from sipping nectar out of this Columbine.DSC_5297 (1600x1060)


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