Sunday, March 13, 2016

Food and fun...

Ok, the food part is true; fun is in the eye of the beholder.  I actually enjoy cleaning the flower beds and raking the yard.    I cleaned the pine needles out of the rose bed.  Despite the 60 degree weather I will not unleash the roses until the end of May.  
 The veggie beds are cleaned.  The onions look good and I see the garlic peeking out.  I have big plans for this year's vegetables.  Last year I let the slugs get the upper hand.  I will be better prepared this year.  There was also the small issue of confusion about seedlings.  I still haven't found a good idea for labeling seedlings.  Any advice is appreciated.  

My German Chamomile is already making progress.  I keep it in an old wash tub in the greenhouse during the winter.  As you can see below, the temperature in the greenhouse is a balmy 80 degrees.  Last week I planted lettuce and spinach.  I think the lemon thyme (a zone 5) made it.  I'm not positive, but I thought it would have a good chance in the greenhouse.  

My flower beds look good.  So far it seems like everything survived.  My only concern is my Miss Kim Lilac.  I tried to re locate it into the new raised bed in front of the house.  It isn't looking positive.   
 I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen this week.  I found some great recipes on pinterest that I was anxious to try.  One is a copy cat Texas Roadhouse Roll recipe.  I ate there for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love with the rolls.  I couldn't wait to try.  The recipe was perfect.  I am a sucker for bread.  I honestly love it more than chocolate.  The other recipe is a Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta.  Another good choice.
 Texas Roadhouse Rolls

2c. milk
3 T. butter
1 T.  active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar divided
1/2 c. honey
7 1/2 c. flour
2 eggs
2 t. salt

-Heat milk in sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Allow to cool slightly.  Melt 3 T. of butter and cool.
-Combine yeast, warm water and 1 T. sugar in a mixing bowl and allow to bubble.
-Add remaining sugar, honey, milk, and 3 1/2 c. of flour to yeast.
-Add melted butter, eggs, and salt.  Mix well.
-Add additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough begins to separate from the sides.  
Let rest.
-knead dough for about 5 minutes.
-Add dough to a greased bowl and let rise until it's size has doubled.
-After it doubles, punch it down, roll out into a big rectangle on a floured surface, until it is 1/2 inch thick.
-Fold it over onto itself so it is about 1 inch thick and roll a bit more.  
-Cut into 2 inch squares and place in greased baking sheet.  Allow to double in size.
-Bake at 350 degrees for  15-20 minutes.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
1/2 lb penne pasta cooked
8 slices of cooked bacon
1 T. butter
2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
2 T. flour
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
-Cook pasta as directed.
-Cook bacon, drain, cool, and crumble.
-Use fat from the bacon and use it to brown the chicken.
-When the chicken is cooked add flour and ranch dressing.  Coat evenly then stir in milk.  Cook until thickened.  Add cheese and half of the crumbled bacon.  
-Heat until cheese is melted.
-Serve with remaining bacon crumbled over the top.

Both recipes were perfect.  It made for a wonderful Sunday dinner.  I also bottled my Prairie Chokecherry wine.  We also took our traditional spring Sunday walk.  We were lucky enough to see the bighorn sheep.  They weren't close enough to get a good photo, but they were fun to see.  The weather is supposed to get cold again, so we enjoyed the outdoors as much as we could this weekend.

Do you have any weekend traditions?  How do you label your seedlings?  What is the best thing you have cooked or baked lately?


  1. MMMMMMM I like the bread, but don't take my chocolate away.I make all my breads during the cold months, and it is hard to use store bought.I start my seedlings in numbered trays with different initials on both sides. I can then plant seeds in #3 from S to W and know what end and side I started at. Sometimes I might have 3-8 rows in each tray.I have 4 trays of peppers, but will start tomatoes this next week.Have 10 new lambs and have 30 eggs in the incubator. Just got in from trout fishing, it seems that is all I want to do. Headed for walleyes next.

  2. I've got some seedlings started and used a sharpie and popsicle sticks for markers.

    The bread and pasta dish look fabulous. I love food like that, but try to keep the carbs at bay.

  3. Your place always looks lovely. I wouldn't usually put a link in a comment, but here is what I have done the last 2? years as garden markers (can just copy & paste in search engine.);postID=4241453782869698727;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=105;src=postname

  4. If Popsicle sticks won't work because of the grow lights I use address labels. As long as I don't soak them when I'm watering the labels stick to the plastic six packs and 1020 trays just fine. Labels make it easy to plant six different varieties in a six pack without concern about sticks getting knocked out and mixed up.

  5. Sunday is always a baking day for me and making a really nice supper. Love your roll recipe...I'll be posting my Brioche-like rolls tomorrow that I like to make for special weekends, XOXO

  6. Good Morning, so glad I made it to your blog for a visit. I found these tiny Popsicle sticks and a sharpie that worked okay, I always have that problem when I grow seedlings too. Your recipes sound so wonderful. Your chamomile looks so good already. I saw yesterday in one of my flowerbeds, all of the things I could make herbal tea from, lemon balm, nettle and mint. The lemon balm and the mint have escaped the pots I had them in and reseeded. I have been baking quite a bit this week, the one thing I would say that is a wonderful recipe is this one. They are fun to make and look very impressive and are wonderful with a cup of coffee or tea. :) Have a lovely rest of the week, it will be flowerbeds this weekend for me, and my husband will be on the tractor. Hopefully we can get caught up.

  7. Those are all lovely, hopeful, springy pictures! I don't start seedlings in trays anymore, but I still have to label rows of seeds that I plant out in my garden (Not yet, here!) I've had everything from special Lee Valley metal stakes that you write on with sharpie marker, to cutting strips out of yogurt and margarine containers (too thin!) and using sharpie markers on those, to just drawing a diagram of the garden and writing it on the diagram instead... Usually I just make do and when things come up, I can tell what's what. -Jenn


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