Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
This summer I purchased packets of wildflower seeds--and cosmos was included. I have also purchased cosmos in flats, and even gallon containers with larger plants. Here are the basic three colors, white, pink, red. and occasionally, some combinations of colors.
This blossom was a surprise one beautiful summer's morning. But it is unusual, cosmos generally has a solid color, even if a blend of red and white creating some tint of pink or purple. This white blossom looks like a child got creative with a Crayola marker.
Bees love these flowers, butterflies, too. Cosmos is often included in seed packets for Butterfly Gardens. They have long delicate stems and the flowers poke out their faces like a curious kid. They are easy to grow.
This flower is indigenous to Mexico, also called the Mexican aster.
The Cosmos in a Cosmos
Sunday, July 14, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Meatless Monday: Dutch Baby Souffle: A Dutch Baby In The Oven? Sounds Like Hansel and Gretel This recipe is also called German Pancake. I think it goes ...
A Dutch Baby In The Oven? Sounds Like Hansel and GretelThis recipe is also called German Pancake. I think it goes way back to colonial America when the Germans emigrated, mainly to Pennsylvania, and were facetiously called "The Pennsylvania Dutch," because the Dutch had first come to New Amsterdam (New York.)
History lesson aside, this is quick, easy and fun. My sister-in-law gave me this recipe in the '70s, I think, probably from a Sunset Magazine. The recipe has changed somewhat over the years.
preheat oven to 400 degrees
place 10 inch frying pan with 3 tbs butter in oven to melt
|Love my tiny measuring cup.|
3 or 4 whole eggs
3/4 c white flour
3/4 c milk
|With a cup of coffee.|
We serve powdered sugar over it, but being made of eggs, it is versatile and cheese or mushrooms, or whatever your fancy dictates would be good over this souffle. You can put mushroom to fancy it up for dinner. Serves four.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Flower of the Week: Viola 7/12/13: Cheerful faces, like a Kindergarten class, greet you in the morning. For such a delicate looking flower, violas are very resilient. Thi...
|Cheerful faces, like a Kindergarten class, greet you in the morning.|
For such a delicate looking flower, violas are very resilient. This hanging container has been in my garden since last Fall, blooming through the snow, and freezing temperatures (granted, the flowers were semi-sheltered.) Now, in the summer with over 100 F temps., they still flourish. Keep them watered, they love life!
And violas are edible! They have a faint radishy taste.
I sprinkled Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing over this salad. We liked it quite well, and, of course, it is beautiful.
Also, Viola is the name of Shakespeare's heroine from Twelfth Night.
Monday, July 8, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Gossamer Wings On My Mint!: A Butterfly Garden has been one of my goals this summer--and I was more successful then expected. This year I have been more closely obs...
A Butterfly Garden has been one of my goals this summer--and I was more successful then expected. This year I have been more closely observing what I had thought were moths (I previously hadn't paid much attention to these tiny winged critters because I didn't think they were butterflies. What an elitist I was!)
|...his fairy errand like the light and glittering gossamer before the breeze.|
Now that I'm looking more closely, have been finding the most interesting butterflies.
This is a Edwards' Hairstreak Satyrium edwardsii. Not supposed to be this far west.
His backside has camouflage--a faux eye and antennae that rub together to deceive predators.
He is considered a 'gossamer-winged' true butterfly; the caterpillar depend on eating ants, which could be why they like my yard here in the desert.
This butterfly isn't even on the flowers I specially planted for the Butterfly Garden--he's really enjoying the flowering mint which is one of the easiest plants to grow.
He's even compared to Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream:
"...his fairy errand like the light and glittering gossamer before the breeze."
Sunday, July 7, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Meatless Monday: Tia Melanie's Cheesy Mexican Omel...: Cheesy Mexican Omelot This tastes so good, you don't even notice there is no meat. Living in southern California has advantages. Not...
|Cheesy Mexican Omelot|
Tia Melanie's Cheesy Mexican Omelet
5 eggs, well beaten 1/2 c. picante sauce, divided
12 tsb butter 2 tsb milk
1/8 tsp salt & pepper 2 dashes (or 4 pinches) cumin
3 tbs fresh parsley
1 or 1 1/2 c shredded Mexican cheeses
(Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheeses)
As mix starts to cook, gently lift edges of omelet with a fork and tilt pan to allow uncooked egg mix to run underneath cooked part. When mix is set and no longer runs, sprinkle cheese on the omelet, cover pan and remove from heat. Fold omelet in half and place on warm platter. Top with remaining picante sauce. Serves 3 or 4.
Fairly easy to make, and muy delicioso. Lots of good protein, too.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Flower of the Week: Gladiola: Such ethereal beauty from an easy to grow flower. Gladiola are grown from bulbs planted in the autumn. By planting it forward, we have ...
|Such ethereal beauty from an easy to grow flower.|
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Having A Peachy Morning: Peaches: in the jam, on Auntie Melanie's oatmeal, and in the smoothy with an orange. This had been on my 'To Do List' for a ...
|Peaches: in the jam, on Auntie Melanie's oatmeal, and in the smoothy with an orange.|
Now I have twelve little jars of various jams in my freezer lined up
like Napoleon's Army attacking Moscow.
From fresh fruit, Strawberry-Peach, Raspberry,
Blueberry-Apple with a Cinnamon Kick, and Mixed Berry (including Blackberries.)
And this morning was the first taste test!
I chose Strawberry-Peach first, which kind of leans toward peach in taste and color.
|I think they are so pretty.|
Step outside into the morning to enjoy it with sunshine and birdsong.
The jam tasted sweet, and peachy with a hint of strawberries. Peaches to strawberries in the mix was about 3:1.
Here is the freezer jam recipe:
Recipe for Homemade Freezer Jam
1 2/3 c. cut fruit (mix and match fruit at you discretion)
2/3 white sugar
1 small package (or 3 1/2 tbs) Instant Pectin (some say specifically for freezer jam)
1/2 c water
2 8 oz sterilized jelly jars
Stir sugar and instant pectin together in medium size bowl. Wash fruit and dice small, you may wish to mash with potato masher. Put fruit with water in sauce pan and simmer for five minutes, pour fruit over sugar and pectin mixture stirring constantly for 5 minutes.mixture on. Ladle jam into jars, allowing 1/2 inch of space between jam and top of jar. Let stand 30 minutes. Use or freeze for later. To use later, thaw jam in the refrigerator and use within 3/4 weeks. Keep refrigerated.
Monday, July 1, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Red, White and Blue Flowers for the Fourth Garden: Lobelia, red verbena, and alyssum. Summertime and the living' is gardening. Color bowls are simple but pretty. Here are some Fo...
|Lobelia, red verbena, and alyssum.|
Summertime and the living' is gardening. Color bowls are simple but pretty.
Here are some Fourth of July favorites.
|Red pentas lanceolata, red dianthus, white alysum, blue lobelia.|
A friend said this arrangement looks like a colorful display of Fourth of July fireworks bursting in air...
|Hurrah for the red, white and purple.|
Hanging basket of petunia, red, white and blue. Sometimes you can find them striped. Very perky.
Local garden shops have variety of cute containers. This for cafe ole fans. Here are lobelia (you can suspect they are my favorite for the patriotic blue), red verbena and white alyssum.
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Who Is This In My Garden?: Can you help me identify this butterfly? He is about the size of a nickel. We live in the Mojave Desert in SoCal.
Can you help me identify this butterfly? He is about the size of a nickel. We live in the Mojave Desert in SoCal.
P.S. I figured it out. What a wonderful thing the internet is. this is a Marine Blue Butterfly.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Meatless Monday: Bean and Cheese Burritos: Bean and Cheese Burrito You can create these filling, healthy burritos in minutes. The beans and cheese have protein, the salsa is a d...
|Bean and Cheese Burrito|
In the summer, I just use the microwave.
I put refried beans, cheese and tomatoes in a large flour tortilla. If you have good luck, you may have a muy consada tortilla (very happy.)
Rolling the burrito is a skill. I tuck the long ends, roll from one side to the other, kind of like baby bunting. Then I put salsa, and cheese on top. I cook them two at a time on a dinner plate in the microwave on medium for four minutes. Cooking times vary with microwaves, so keep an eye on it.
|Looks kind of like a blueberry burrito, but those are black beans.|
I chose to make mine with black beans. Everything else is the same. It was surprisingly filling and delicious.
Mexican food is very versatile and hearty.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Barbeque or Cookout?: So, you call it barbeque or cookout? We've always called it barbeque. Maybe its a western thing. Mesquite wood, secret re...
So, you call it barbeque or cookout?
We've always called it barbeque. Maybe its a western thing. Mesquite wood, secret recipe barbeque sauce.
I'm surprised there's not a cooking show called Barbeque Wars.
Here in the desert, don't have to worry so much about bugs--Avon's Skin So Soft is a great insect repellant, BTW. If you are a vegetarian, don't ever feel left out. Apparently anything can be barbequed.
|The All-American Tofu dog.|
|My SoCal hibachi. A little grubby, but efficient.|
Grilling over an open fine, keeping connected with our Neanderthal ancestors.
Here's some music to barbeque by:
God Bless the USA, and anything by the Boss.
I'm proud to be an American - American Soldier Tribute
Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A.
Okay, you can call it grilling if you like.
Friday, June 28, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Flower of the Week: Moss Roses (Portulaca) 6/28/13...: These vibrant flowers are fascinating for kids. Moss Roses are photosensitive, closing at night. One plant will have many blossoms of var...
These vibrant flowers are fascinating for kids. Moss Roses are photosensitive, closing at night. One plant will have many blossoms of varying bright colors that surprise you in the morning when they open. Bees and butterflies love them. And, they are easy to grow. But, they don't have any special fragrance.
|Diverse colors on these cheerful blossoms.|
The plant looks sort of like ice plant. A kid can break off a piece of this plant and stick it in a pot and water daily. Moss rose is very resilient and will grow easily.
These cuttings were stuck in the planter just several days ago and are producing blossoms.
That's a long, lean sunflower stem in the center pot.
The bright blossoms are a magnet for butterflies and bees.
Little known fact: moss roses also attract fairies to your garden.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Keeping Butterflies, Bees and Hummingbirds Happy I...: This is a Cabbage White Butterfly on my flowering mint today. It is not supposed to be in the desert! Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds...
|This is a Cabbage White Butterfly on my flowering mint today. It is not supposed to be in the desert!|
|Catering to the hummingbirds and butterflies.|
So we have many baskets full of both flowers hanging or in borders.
The flowers are regularly visited by generations of Anna's hummingbirds that live and nest in our yard. The mom hummingbirds use spider webs to make the nest. They nests are so tiny, a little larger than the size of a computer key.
|Baby hummingbird in our Fruitless Mulberry tree.|
|Painted Lady on Rabbit Brush, grows naturally here.|
Our home is in a rural area, so I can't take much credit for attracting the birds, bees, and butterflies. But I try to make them happy.
I'm glad to report our bees are very active and productive.
I found this great site today. Maybe you would also like to participate.
|Thank you, Friend Bee, for pollinating the apricot trees.|
The apricots have been delicious!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Snacking During The Game: No, I wasn't actually at the game. In the background, that's my large picture of the most beautiful baseball field ever, home of t...
Here are the rare treats we had.
Grilled Beef Panini
|Prior to cheese.|
|My humble grill.|
1. sliced sourdough bread slathered with jalapeno ranch dressing, top and bottom
2. sliced tomatoes
3. barbequed thin-slice beef (chuck steak) dappled with mustard
4. grated mild cheddar cheese
The thinly sliced chuck steak was grilled and saved from the day before.
2 ripe avacadoes
2 tbs sour cream
Quacamole dip mix (until I create my own)
We also had gourmet Hank's Root Beer purchased at a locally run shop, Overland Meat and Deli here in Apple Valley, CAL. Buy local.
|Happy to shop local here.|