We live in zone 6a and I have been gardening and cooking for years. This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my success and those failures that come about on occasion. Plus, I want to hear from all the gardeners and bakers and cooks out there and learn from you. Feel free to share your ideas.







Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goal For 2017- No Knead Bread

I came across a link to a site called  breadtopia.com and there is a recipe for no knead bread. The olive and rosemary bread and then cranberry pecan grabbed my attention. This  website is pretty amazing with tutorials and fabulous photos. Plus there is a blog and a forum section. The site even won Saveur Blog  Award for 2016. A pretty amazing achievement for an amateur website I must say. Lots of great info and recipes. Stay tuned for my baking adventure. Which shall it be? Cranberry pecan or olive and rosemary? Ummmm.

Meyer Lemon

I bring our lemon tree or bush in during October and move it back out to the patio in mid May. Currently it has about ten lemons on it. In the next few weeks I will probably harvest a two or three. It takes months for them to ripen to the point of harvest. But they certainly are like sunshine in these winter months. Hope you are having a great New Year so far.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve


Just a few photos of our decorations. The tree is in our bedroom. This is the one that goes up every year in that room. It really would be out of place in the rest of the house, but this is the tree for us as Stephen Andrew Jones would say--"Do you decorate for yourself?" and the answer is "Yes"
 I made this wreath from shiney bright ornaments stored in a box in the basement. It was a piece of cake to put together with a hot glue gun and a greed foam form.


I really like this Santa, but my niece's husband thinks the reindeer looks like a chipmunk. He is right, but I still thought it was adorable.


More Santas. I really enjoy decorating the mantle with them. However, I have stopped collecting because we need to downsize. Or at least stop collecting in general. After cleaning out my MIL's condo of her personal items, it really hit home how difficult it can be to have to do such a clean out after someone dies. She was a collector and never tossed things. A couple weeks ago I packed up 28 medium moving boxes, 24 were just kitchen items. We had been going through her things over the past few years while she was ill. I calculated we tossed between 400- 500 13 gallon hefty bags over those years. What a chore. I thought, oh this is too much stuff.  However, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

By the way--One of my favorite Sanats I found at TJ Maxx a few years ago.
We are having family over for dinner this evening for ham, scalloped potatoes with Swiss cheese on top, fresh green beans and toasted almonds, and biscuits. Plus an assortment of candies and cookies--all homemade. Hope you have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Baking

I am on a roll with Christmas baking and candy making. Recently I took a Christmas cookie baking class and one of the favorites from the class is a ginger . It involves a lot of chopping of pecans and candied ginger, grating of ginger, but it is worth it.

I also mixed dough for gingersnaps. I love this recipe that comes from a Williams Sonoma cookbook that I bought years ago.

The final adventure was a chocolate bark that I make every year. Only use really good chocolate. otherwise it just is not worth it. I add toasted nuts and dried fruit and then a little sea salt.

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Christmas Prep: Amaryllis Bulbs

Some may say it is a bit early to be preparing for Christmas, but not when it comes to Amaryllis bulbs. I have a collection of Red Lion and I put them outdoors around May and repot in September. For the next 4 weeks they will get very little water and in October I will bring them indoors to a cool dark place to settle in to start to rebloom. Hopefully around the Christmas season I will have beautiful flowers. We shall see.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

More Basil with Great Garlic, Makes Bunches of Pesto

Well this may not be the best photo of pesto that I just made and placed in the freezer, but it gives you an idea of what is going on. I had a bumper crop of basil this year. The garlic was the best crop ever. So I made more pesto. I have lost track of how many packets I have frozen, but I believe it is over 20.

I was lucky because where we live basil sometimes does not do well. I still have more in the raised beds that I could process into pesto. It is so wonderful to have this in the Winter over pasta or mixed in with vegetable soups. I cannot imagine how much this would cost fresh in the stores , but my guess is over $100. What a deal making your own from the garden.  I need to place my order for garlic soon to plant. It is the easiest crop ever.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Basil, Garlic, and .......?

What do you do when you have lots of basil? Make pesto. I just finished putting the food processor away. I cannot imagine making pesto without it. A couple of years ago our 30 year old food processor gave out while making pesto. What a chore to finish up the batch. I ran over to Costco and bought a Cuisinart. Fabulous piece of equipment when I have to make batches of pesto.

I have 7 large packets in the freezer now. This is the best pesto I have ever made. The basil and garlic have been terrific this year. So I planted more basil today. I should have basil by mid September for probably 12 batches of pesto. That should be enough to last until next summer. Yum!