Sunday, April 30, 2017

April has flown by

Spring is such a busy just flies by with weekly mowing, sprucing up flower beds, washing windows, and so forth.

I had started some seeds indoors...a few things for the vegetable garden, some hyacinth bean vines and seeds from a couple of different trees.

A couple of days after I had the seeds in their little cups, I came down stairs one morning to find dirt scattered and seeds missing.

It had to be the work of a mouse!

I found the hoard of seeds behind my stand mixer...some chewed open.  I just tossed them out, sanitized the whole area, replanted my seeds, and set mouse traps.
I caught two of them. I think that's all there are for now.

The pool guys were out and opened up the pool...

None of us have taken a dip yet, but I did have to scoop a poor drowned opossum out of there later that week.

I threw him over in the field not really thinking about it, then a couple of days later we had vultures flying low through the yard as they came in for a landing to have a tasty possum feast.

One was this black vulture, which I'm pretty sure is the one that was hanging around last summer. He seemed to remember that he could get a drink at the birdbath...

Then he studied the pool for a long time...    Please, no swimming!

Well, sorry to show you dead animals and scavengers!  Here is a cute baby squirrel to change things up. There's been about 4 or 5 of them scurrying around eating helicopters (maple tree seeds).

Not much time spent in the sewing room lately.

In the kitchen...a couple of new recipes.
I made these bars twice. Once for dessert on Sunday, then again for Lonnie to take for a potluck dinner at his bible class.

The recipe came from a Land O Lakes butter box so as you might imagine - it takes a lot of butter.
Really good though, sort of a toffee flavor.  Probably would be a good Christmas time treat too, but I think it's better to spread out the goodies throughout the year! 


I bought a 10 pound bag of frozen chicken wings at Sam's, then searched the internet for ways to make Buffalo wings/hot wings.  

I knew I didn't want to fry them so I decided on this recipe " Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings ".
Basically, you toss the thawed wings in a mixture of baking powder and salt. This helps to draw the fat out of the skin so it will crisp up.  Bake at a low temperature for a while then at a high temperature for longer.

I wouldn't exactly say mine came out crispy but they definitely weren't soggy or greasy.

I had to order wire baking racks to use for this recipe.  I balked at buying a new kitchen item...I've done without them all this time.  But now that I have them I'm sure I'll find other uses for them.

We had the wings for Sunday dinner. Just before serving, I tossed them in a mixture of Frank's RedHot Sauce and butter.   My family liked them and there were plenty left over to send home with Chopper and the Sasquatch.

So, that about winds things up for April.   Rain in the forecast this week so maybe I will do some sewing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

a couple of new recipes

I've tried out a couple of new recipes this month.

First there was Pork Carnitas.  I followed this recipe (click to see recipe) but instead of simmering the pork on top of the stove, I braised it in the oven.

And I made a Tomatillo sauce using this recipe...except I roasted the tomatillos rather than boiling them. There was plenty of juice and I didn't need to add water.

The Carnitas were good. 

It's one of Choppers favorites at the Mexican restaurants. He said they just serve the pork and sauce with tortillas, so that's the way we ate them for Sunday dinner,  but when eating as leftovers we found they are better with lettuce, tomato and some shredded cheese on them.

I've been wanting to try making Cabbage Rolls ever since my dental hygienist was talking about how good hers are. She is from Romania so I'd like to get her recipe sometime, but meanwhile I tried out  this recipe, except I microwaved the head of cabbage to soften it and baked the rolls in the oven instead of simmering on the stove.

I think my rolls may have been a bit small...

...but they were tasty.
Lonnie really liked them and I had plenty to freeze for later.  I think they might be good with a slice of American cheese melted on top!

While I'm talking about food...I've been buying papayas at the grocery.  They are delicious - so long as you let them ripen until they are fairly soft.
The information book in the produce section at Kroger said the seeds are edible...well sure they are but they taste horrible!

I have the top all sewn together for the Ninja quilt. This photo is a little washed out. It's brighter than this.

Next, I am going to put together another top like this but in girly colors because I am not sure if the upcoming new arrival is a boy or a girl.  
Either way I will be glad to have an extra baby quilt on seems like they just keep coming!

My outdoor project is re-doing this flower bed.  I've dug out an overgrown Forsythia that was there when we moved here in 1986.  It was the kind that arcs over and had an out of control, messy growth habit. It only looked pretty a couple of weeks a year when it bloomed. The rest of the time it was just a tangle of stems, no matter how much I trimmed and pruned.  
I did save about 8 or 10 "babies" from it - you can see them there on the right. Not sure what I'll do with them...maybe plant along the edge of the woods.

Now, I will thin out and spread the Iris, Day Lilies, Daffodils and Crocosmia  growing in there.
Also I will lift those three asparagus plants (you can see the tall stalks - used to be my asparagus bed) and give them to the Sasquatch who is going to try growing some asparagus.

I still think I need something taller and larger to balance out that side of the bed...maybe a small evergreen?  I have some growing in containers that I could use. I'll keep thinking about it as I continue cleaning it up.