Sunday, April 28, 2013

Biscotti on the bench...

Going a little stir crazy here in the hills.  There is too much snow to do much.  I am keeping busy with lots of little projects.   The first one is one I saw on Pinterest about starting a celery plant from the base of store bought celery.  So far so good I guess.  I also started some Red Letter Raspberry wine with some frozen raspberries I had.   I painted the ugly old steps going downstairs a nice chocolate brown.  Also as a follow up the last weeks projects...  The Anne of Green Gables Lemonade is wonderful!  The taco seasoning was a tad spicier than I like, but I will live.  Next time I will lay off the pepper flakes.
My next endeavor was to make some No Bake Granola Bars that I also saw on Pinterest.  I'm not attaching the link because it appears to be broken.   These were easy to make and delicious.
No Bake Granola Balls
1c. oatmeal
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. ground flax seed
1/3 c. honey
1 t. vanilla
Roll into balls and put in the fridge.  

 The next project was a windmill for the garden.  Kelly and I had fun putting it together.  As you can see it isn't in the garden due to the snow that still covers everything.  I can't wait to cover our ugly old well with it.  My goal is to surround it with Black-Eyed Susans and Scarlet Runner Beans. 

Last but not least is my biscotti on the bench project.  I love, love, love biscotti with my coffee, but it is impossible to find any here in the hills.  I usually make my own.   Here is one of my favorite recipes.
Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
2 t. baking powder
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. dried cranberries
Add sugar, cocoa, and baking powder to whipped butter.  Beat in eggs and add flour.  Mix in chocolate chips and cranberries.  Bake 2 cakes for 20 minutes at 375 degrees and then lower the oven to 325 degrees and bake another 16-20 minutes.  Sit on the bench and dip in your coffee on a warm spring day.

 Have a great week.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pinterest posts...

 It is still snowing. I'm not going to dwell on it.  Gardening is at a halt, despite the fact my seedlings are getting bigger by the day.  The greenhouse and the Japanese Maple are holding tough, so even though there is three feet of snow about I am still watering plants. 

What am I doing to occupy my time, since my quilt is done?  Well, I will admit it.  I have become a Pinterest junkie.  I can't stop looking up ideas.  I have tried several.    Some I will share here.  Since lemonade on the porch is my summer routine, I decided to try the Anne of Green Gables Lemonade.  I have to say it is quite enjoyable and a much better substitute for my aspartame loaded Crystal Light.

Anne of Green Gables Lemonade.  1 1/2 cup of water boiled for 5 minutes with 1 1/2 cup of sugar.  Let cool then add 1 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice.  My husband enjoyed juicing the lemons.  Add some lemon zest.  After it is cooled use 1/4 cup of this concentrate and fill the glass with ice cubes and water.  I found it wonderful, not too tart and not too sweet.  You can also add two tablespoons of pureed strawberries.  I always like to add raspberries to my lemonade. 

Another endeavor was homemade taco seasoning, since it seems I am always out when I need some.  I haven't used it yet.  Maybe for dinner today.  You can find the recipe here:
That is pretty much what I have been up to.  I am still spring cleaning.  I cleaned my closet and the basement storage room.  I also made a few other things from Pinterest lemon body scrub, grilled pizza sandwiches (thanks Becky that one is a sure winner), and am gathering ideas for a retirement party I am hosting next Friday.   I have to say Pinterest has kept me sane during this last two weeks of snow.  I hope everyone else is able to keep busy outside.
Weekly Top Shot

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nothing better to do than shovel...

Not much to say.  Just took a few shots while I was out shoveling.

Cabin sweet cabin.
Birdhouse sweet birdhouse.

We won't be using the firepit any time soon.
Ella is very excited about the snow.  Have you ever seen such a happy dog?

 A more dignified pose.
Now that I'm done shoveling I will spend the day finishing up the last of my spring cleaning, make a cake, make a batch of buffalo berry jam, and rack some wine.  I guess I will be able to keep busy inside.  Enjoy the weekend. 

Weekly Top Shot

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In case you were wondering...

Yes, it did snow
 and it is still snowing.
Guess I'll have to wait a little longer before I can plant.
Hope everyone else is staying safe and warm.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Time is on my side...

 The weekend started out with some serious cleaning, inside and out.  I continued my spring cleaning frenzy and wiped down the inside logs with orange Pledge.  I feel better having that yearly project finished.  Then Ella and I move outside for some serious raking.  Although half the lawn is still covered in snow I like raking in increments.  Otherwise it is a huge undertaking.  Then I filled my gardening basket with all sorts of spring goodies and went outside.
Do you like my cork labels?  They are working great in my little seed starting kit.   I also took some scraps and tried to make a garden trug to wash my veggies.  I don't hold much hope of it lasting through the season.  Still, I saw the plans and had to give it a try.
Words cannot describe the joy I felt when I made a huge discovery in our garage.  My Japanese Maple had sprouted new leaves.  It lived through the winter and is ready to go again.  I am so happy.  Since it has quite a while before I can safely put it outside, I moved it next to a window and gave it some water.   That is an attempted photo of it's new leaves below.
My tomatoes, dahlias, pumpkins, melons, and marigolds are up and waiting to be planted.    For now I will slowly harden them with little trips out to the greenhouse to enjoy sunshine. I don't think it will be much longer before the weather is good enough for them to spend the night out there.

Everything is cleaned out.  All the tools are ready.  Plans are made and remade. Seeds are started.  Now I have to wait patiently.  We are supposed to get a blizzard tomorrow.  I'm not too disappointed.  Spring is getting closer every day. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter bonnet?


   It was so nice on Easter, I put on my Easter bonnet and went out to clean my front perennial beds.  Now, I know it looks like there is nothing there except snow, but I promise the beds are melted off.  I keep a wary eye out for a sneaky guy with a camera, because I know it is coming.  My husband is getting a bit trickier with his Bonnie hunting.  This weekend he came out, took some photos, threw a few snowballs for Ella to catch, and then wandered innocently back into the house.   Now I could concentrate on gardening.   You can't believe how many pine cones were in that bed.   Little did I know, he quickly snuck out the back door and stealthily walked through the snow.  Using the potting bench as a blind, he snapped a few more photos.

He did capture the essence of the moment.   A woman desperate to garden and her faithful sidekick.  Of course the only reason Ella is so intent on my gardening is because that bed is filled with pine cones she lost over the edge of the porch last summer.  She has waited all winter to get those pine cones back.  It sounds like everyone had a wonderful Easter.  Ours was also fun and the good weather proved a ointment for my spring fever.