Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

Hidy there everyone. How are you doing today? I am alright this morning. I got up early so I could write all my friends because as soon as I drop off the kids I am off to my mom’s house to dig up berry vines YAY! Yummy berries! Yea, I think I am a berry addict LOL… strawberries, blackberries, etc… yep I have an addiction LOL! And would you believe that it turned out to be an actual lazy day for me yesterday?! Yep… I sat on the loveseat to warm up in the morning and I actually fell asleep and woke up about noon! Isn’t that shocking? I was pretty amazed myself. I didn’t clean, didn’t go to storage, didn’t do anything until the afternoon hours! WOW I know… but today its back to the same old on-the-go me! Gonna go to mom’s, wash some clothes while I am there, get the kids, come back and probably clean the house or sew, then cook, and the nightly rituals of prepping 3 teens for the next day of school.

First issue today, I need to apologize to one of my readers! I am so sorry Hazel, I forgot to answer your comment question the other day… how do I get them to participate. Well honestly, I’m not sure LOL. Maybe it’s their love of eating the foods I make, maybe it’s the actual food, maybe its just getting out… I’m really not sure. I’m just really lucky I guess. I have stressed the importance of fruits and veggies to my kids since they were tiny. I also always say I will never tell my kids they can’t have fresh fruit or veggies… ok so they eat 2 apples, an orange, and a banana in one sitting… so what!? At least its not greasy fat covered popcorn with a coke and a candy bar… at least its healthy. Now that popcorn, soda, and candy is totally fine for a splurge LOL… even I do it. BUT I have lean-mean band and sports machines so I guess I am doing something right. My mom installed beliefs in her kids early on. We try everything at least twice in this house… first to get over the shock of it and the second to see if we like it. She always tells me, even now, that there is a way to cook everything to your liking. Ok, so you don’t like it grilled… saute it or steam it… use different spices… you never know! (She’s a very wise woman!) As for where I get the energy… not real sure about that either. I have just learned that when it hits me, I need to use it wisely cause some days I don’t have any at all.

Now, I know there is still a week left before the end of the month, but I am already preparing my major shopping lists… starting to inventory what I have and what I don’t have. I know that the fridge & freezer going out did some damage to my stockpiles, so I have to start again from scratch. Plus Easter is the first weekend of the month too, so I have to add THAT into the equation. I am planning a major cooking marathon for the first part of the month, so I have to start my lists now. I might even make another trip back to the big Market and do a BIG run! Maybe I can recruit some of the band kids that weekend!

OMG speaking of the band kids… one of my “other kiddos” we call “Veggie” is having her QuinceaƱera in May, so my DD is freaking out LOL. I told her everything will be ok. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY VEGGIE! We love you! For those of you who don’t know, a QuinceaƱera in the Latin/Hispanic culture is a coming of age ceremony held on a girl's fifteenth birthday, comparable to a Sweet Sixteen celebration. It’s a formal affair filled with music, food, and tons of tradition.

Today I have a garden craft for you. It’s really a simple one, but has endless possibilities! It would make a great gift for anyone you know or even for yourself… Mother’s Day, Birthday, etc. You can paint them anyway you’d like, but these instructions are for the watermelon looking pots pictured because I think they are adorable!



Craft Idea of the Day: Painted Pots

Ingredients:

3 small terra cotta flowerpots
1 large terra cotta saucer (big enough for all three pots to sit in)
Acrylic Paint in the following colors: Forest Green, Light Green, White, True Red, Black
Large Paintbrush
Small paintbrush
Very small paintbrush or a toothpick
Waterproof varnish/seal

Instructions:

1. Using the red paint, paint the bottom part of the flowerpots and the inside of the saucer. You will want to use at least two coats, as you do not want to see the terra cotta through the paint. On the flowerpots, paint up to the ridge.
2. Use forest green paint and paint just the ridge and the inside of the flowerpots.
3. Using the same forest green paint, paint the ridge and the entire outside of the saucer. Again, use two coats to be sure you cannot see any terra cotta through the paint.
4. Take the black paint and put teardrops randomly in the red part of the flowerpots and the saucer. These will be the seeds. If you need to, you can draw the teardrops on in pencil and then fill them in.
5. Using the light green paint, put a little on the paintbrush and then "dry" the paint off on a paper towel (just put some paint on the brush and take most of it off on a paper towel). In a back and forth motion, make 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch vertical lines on the ridge of the flowerpots. The dry brush will give your watermelon "rind" a more authentic feel.
6. On the saucer, do the same thing, but take the ridges down to a point in the center of the saucer-base.
7. Using the white paint and the dry brush technique, make a small, vertical columns in the light green columns. This adds a highlight to the markings.
8. Using the very small paintbrush or a toothpick, dip it in the white paint. At the base of each "seed" put a parentheses mark. This adds a highlight to the seed.
9. Let your flowerpots dry overnight. Even though they may feel dry to the touch, they will not be fully dry for 24 hours.
10. Paint or spray on your varnish or seal. Follow the directions on the side of your sealant and do it outside. You will want to use something waterproof to protect your plants and the paint.
11. Let the sealant dry. Then feel free to plant whatever you would like in the pots.

OK its time to talk food! So you remember that pasta salad I made with the fresh veggies Sunday? I paired that with some Lemon Chicken Leg quarters for dinner and it was scrumptious. I also had Hawaiian flavored leg quarters, but we’ll save those for another day LOL! (Something is wrong with my camera USB cord, TECHNICAL DIFFICULITIES, so I will work on fixing it when I get home later and posting some pretty pics of last night’s supper for ya!)

Grilled Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions

In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, red bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture to use for basting. Place chicken in the bowl, and marinate at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill for high heat.

Lightly oil grill grate. Drain and discard marinade from the bowl, and place chicken on the grill. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade.

And of course, looking at my plants and waiting for tons of berries to begin popping up… I dream of the day I can make this for dessert.



Blackberry Cobbler

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup boiling water just until mixture is evenly moist.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Mix in remaining 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries. Transfer to a cast iron skillet, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Drop dough into the skillet by spoonfuls. Place skillet on the foil lined baking sheet.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until dough is golden brown.

Alrighty kiddies, its time for me to skidaddle on outta here (How’s that for “soundin Texan LMAO!). Ya’ll take care in whatever adventure finds you today! HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"March 23, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Yum, blackberry cobbler. Delicious! Love cobblers of any flavor. We used to have wild blackberry vines all over our area free for the picking but Hurricane Ike salted everything down and they died off. Plus a lot of property owners have bulldozered down whatever vines were left. Its a shame. The early Indian tribes used to live off foods grown on these plains near the Gulf. Now one would be lucky to find anything edible. Its sad to me and even sadder because a lot wild animals also depend on these wild foods to survive. Guess they will have to migrate to somewhere else to live. Says something for our modern world, doesn't it.?

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