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Author Archives: TaMara

Saturday Dinner Music: Alison Krauss, When You Say Nothing At All

(Keith Whitley’s original version can be found here)

 

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Saturday Dinner Music: The Way You Love Me, Faith Hill

This CD used to be on repeat at full volume as I drove to LA back in the day:

Spring Gardening Continued…

When we last left the side garden it looked like this (click here).

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Above you can see I’ve started to add rocks. I did a few a day…

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And this is how far I’ve gotten this week:

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Next I’m going to plot out where the plants will be and create little areas for them and I’ll fill the rest in with rocks…of which I still have plenty.

Stay tuned…



 

A Little Unexpected Help

unexpected-helper

I was cleaning up more of the yard today and found this little unexpected guy. I think he will live in my window box for the foreseeable future.



 

Valentine’s Day Cornish Game Hen Dinner Menu

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I think going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day is a fool’s errand. Better a quiet dinner at home. This is surprisingly quick and easy for a weeknight holiday. Flourless Chocolate Torte (above and recipe here) is on the actual menu tonight.

In case you’re feeling really ambitious, click here for JeffreyW’s wonderful stuffing recipe.  And if you’re looking for a more elegant dessert for Valentine’s Day try this recipe for Raspberry-Chocolate Cupcakes in Raspberry Sauce.

On the board tonight:

  1. Cornish Game Hens w/Stuffing
  2. Buttered Peas and Carrots
  3. Tossed Salad
  4. Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Cornish Game Hens

  • 2 pkgs. stuffing mix
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ cup boiling water or chicken broth
  • 4 Cornish game hens, cut in half *
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

9×13 glass baking dish

Add stuffing mix, 2 tbsp melted butter and boiling water to baking dish, stir & spread evenly over bottom of baking dish. Lay hens cut side down over stuffing (it’s a tight fit, but you should be able to get all 8 halves in the 13×9 pan). Melt remaining butter, add spices and mix well. Brush some over hens and continue to baste every 10-15 minutes while baking. Bake at 350 to 375° until internal temperature is 175 ° about 45 minutes. Remove, cover loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 4

*Hens will have to thawed completely and you’ll need a sharp knife to cut them in half. You can check with your butcher to see if they’ll cut them for you. If you don’t want to cut them in half, cook them whole and allow 1 hour 10 minutes cooking time.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Preheat oven to 375°

  • ¾ cup chunky peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 13-16 oz bag Hershey’s Kisses

2 bowls and baking sheet

Combine peanut butter, butter, sugar, milk and vanilla in bowl. Beat with mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add egg, beat until blended. In small bowl, combine flour, salt & soda. Add to creamed mixture at low-speed until just blended (don’t over mix). Scrape sides and bottom and make sure all flour is mixed. Drop by heaping teaspoon full onto baking sheet, unwrap kisses and press 1 into each cookie. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove to racks and cool.

Shopping List:

  • 2 pkgs. stuffing mix
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4 Cornish game hens, cut in half if possible
  • chunky peanut butter
  • 1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 13-16 oz bag Hershey’s Kisses
  • 1 egg
  • 16 oz bag frozen peas and carrots
  • Tossed salad ingredients

Also: rosemary, sage, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, milk, flour, baking soda, chicken broth

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Friday Dinner Music: Then He Kissed Me, The Crystals

I’m Not Sure What To Say Here…

bixby-bottle



 

Let The Spring Gardening Begin

I was lying in bed the other night and the full plan for the garden beds came to me. So the first nice day this week, I began to implement the vision.

Here is phase one of  the side garden:

side-garden-phase-one-2-17

This bed is home to two Aspen groupings that are struggling at this altitude. My first order of business is to turn this into a rock garden with ice plants, black-eyed Susans, ornamental grasses and some flax for good measure. Hoping by clearing out all the high water plants, it will take some of the stress away from the Aspens. I’ll probably contact an arborist for tips on getting them healthy again.

side-garden-rocks-pt-1-feb-17

Turning the bed into a rock garden will be easy. It appears it was a rock garden in a previous incarnation, before soil and mulch covered the rocks and plants added. The former owner collected rocks and fossils, so the yard (and by yard, I mean every inch of the yard) is full of some beautiful and unusual specimens. This was from phase one. I more than doubled it during phase two today.

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Phase two – before!

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An hour later, rock, mulch and plant free.

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Making good progress with just a couple hours of work. I think I’ll have it completely scraped by the end of the week. Then I can begin to add the rocks back. After that, I’ll start pulling some of the larger unique ones from the backyard and add them.



 

Kitchen Is Coming Along Nicely

kitchen-2-2017

The kitchen is shaping up. The table and chairs still need a coat of paint, but that will wait until the days are warm for more than just a few hours. The planters need to be hung, but not until we finish the crown moulding.

Took down the old vertical blinds, painted my old wooden rod white and hung my old panels. They are too short, but will do until I decide what I really want on the window.

Bonus  puppeh picture:

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Why I never get any work done. My faithful staff. They are part-time and trade shifts with the feline helpers.

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Bailey is still choosing to sleep in most mornings. Can’t say I blame her.



kitchen-2-2017