Sunday, May 17, 2015

Let's Eat Oranges

It's all about orange today.

But orange in recipes.

I love to follow a theme when I cook.  (OK, just sometimes).  It's not like I think of myself as another "Martha".

But when I buy a bag of oranges it's fun to use it up in all kinds of recipes.  Here are some of my favorites.

For the main course Orange-Braised Chicken hits the spot.  This recipe is easy.  I left the prosciutto out because I'm not a big red meat eater, but I'm sure if you added it in the flavor would possibly improve.

Not a chicken lover?  Go with Orange Shrimp instead.  The salsa really makes this dish.

Here's another token orange flower.

Let's move on to dessert. 
This Orange Pound Cake is delicious.  Just be sure you follow the directions and use something like a wooden skewer (a toothpick just isn't long enough) to make holes in the top of the cake before brushing on the glaze.  I used a toothpick and the glaze only went halfway through.  (You can see my note to self in the lower right.)

Or try this Orange Almond Upside Down Cake of which I actually shot a photo when I made it.

The one change I made to this cake was to double the sugar glaze.  Doing so made the cake extra moist.  Don't be afraid to leave the orange peel on the orange slices.  But I would recommend using organic oranges.

Print off these recipes and have fun.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tough Boise Winter

It's been a rough winter in Boise this year.

As this article by Margaret Lauterbach attests.  "We luxuriated in one of the warmest autumns on record, then as if a once-friendly door were slammed, the thermometer plummeted to one degree above zero on Nov. 15, 2014.  We weren't ready for winter then, and neither were our trees, shrubs or ornamentals.  Many were killed."

Our garden was no exception to this winter kill.  This is how our akebia quinata vines looked this spring.

Here's what we're accustomed to seeing;

At least they aren't entirely dead.  They're coming back from the base.
The ivy that used to climb the walls in the background and to the right all died back also.

Another victim of the harsh winter was our beautiful tree peony.

We won't be seeing these blooms for quite a few years.

I'm glad it's at least still alive and showing some growth.

We've heard lots of reports of the loss of cherry trees over this winter.

This article speaks to that issue.
"Cold injury usually occurs from a sudden freeze following milder weather."

One thing I have learned during my twenty-some years of gardening is that the garden changes, with or without our intervention.  Gardeners need to be resilient and willing to go with the flow.  The alternative is......insanity?  Ha ha, maybe!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mom's Day!

I was shown this information at work this week and was a bit embarrassed that I'd never heard of it.

The Original Mother's Day Proclamation  (It's worth the read).

Basically:  Make peace, not war.

My best memories of being a mom are, of course, of the great times spent with my children.

The full marathon Vanessa and I ran together.  She stuck by me as I experienced awful altitude sickness.  And we crossed the finish line together.

When my children take time out of their busy lives to spend time with me, not just an hour or two (which is appreciated too), but the commitment of an entire weekend.

Winter hikes with Casey.

The time Vanessa convinced me to attend an expensive spa with her.

Our many, many, winter yurt trips.

Our many family dinners.

Thanks for sticking with me through thick and thin.  You've made me a very happy Mom!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Token Tulips

It's all about springtime blooms and color right now.

Kim took some photos of the Antoinette tulips which surround the phlox in our front yard.

Cummins tulips.

A red species tulip in the back garden.

Along with a yellow one.

And the first of our clematis to bloom;  Pink Champagne.