Monday, March 26, 2012

Panko-Crusted Mashed Potato Patties

These are simple to make and quite a nice change from regular mashed potatoes.

All you need are seasoned left over mashed potatoes (not too whipped and creamy or they will fall apart--the lumpy ones work best for this),

 a beaten egg to dip the potato patty in and some bread crumbs (I used Panko). I also did not have leftover potatoes, so I just made some earlier in the day and refrigerated.

Fry them in a butter/oil mixtuer until golden on both sides.  YUM!

A nice crunchy celerytini with a little cream cheese herb dip was the vegetable.

I also finished my metallic runner project.  This is the block I ended up making:
I made 12 similar blocks. You can click here to go to my sewing/quilting blog to see the project I finished Saturday morning.

We ended up going out of town Saturday and did not get back until Sunday at 1:00 p.m.  It is so wonderful to be empty nesters and able to get away whenever we feel like it.  Once the work week is over, the next two days are ours to do whatever we please.  So when I got an 8:00 a.m. call from a friend who wanted us to hang out with her that night, we took one look at the cold wet day and decided to get away for the whole night.
After getting home Sunday, I cooked for two hours  making advance meals for the week--grilled chicken breasts, chicken noodle soup, pasta salad and egg salad.  By then I had no time or energy to go outside and cut down the Sedum. So that project is still hanging over my head. I am hoping to get to it after work this week.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I spent some time this morning looking at last year's garden photos to decide what to get rid of and where to plant some of the new flowers.  From past experience I know that by noon I will have forgotten what I spent so much time figuring out.  So I have learned to mark up my photos (I used Paint program) to remember.  This is what I worked on this morning:

I saved it all to a folder on my desktop.  Now when the new bulbs arrive, I can just open the folder to see what I had planned to do with them.  Of course, it's all subject to change. :)  But at least this is a starting place for me.

Today is not turning out to be very nice. It's cold and wet. I did go out on the deck and move some of the liatris plants to the other barrel.

So at least I accomplished something outside.  I probably won't do any more outside work until tomorrow afternoon when it should at least be in the 50's.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Bevy of Botanical Beauties

I ordered a few more bulbs.  I have always admired toad lilies, but have never tried growing them. So I ordered six of these assorted colors:

I ordered five more that are all white with purple specks:
From what I understand these will not bloom until late September.  I think the flower is rather small, so I will have to remember to plant them in the front of a shady path, where I will see them every time I walk by.   Do you any of you grow them?  Any tips? I am probably going to plant them near hostas.  I read they were deer resistant, yet on another site, someone posted that they are a tasty snack for deer. 
Do deer eat them in your garden? 

I also picked up 3 Flore Pleno lilies.
The orange and chocolate-spotted lily is double-flowered with no stamens. I like that because it means no pollen falling all over my tablecloths, should I decide to make an indoor bouquet. This lily has an incredible amount of petals (up to thirty-six ) which poke straight out when they open and gradually fold back into the familiar Tiger lily turks cap shape.

So this little order combined with the lilies I ordered two days ago, should give me plenty of  new flowers to look forward to this year. 

The exceptionally warm weather has brought my crocus to flower much earlier than usual.
They are nothing special, but they are my official first bloom of 2012.

The weather has cooled down (54 right now) and there is some rain predicted for the weekend.  I am hoping to dodge the rain pellets to get a lot of garden cleaning done.  Even if I even just get the couple hundred Sedum Autumn Joy plants cut down before Monday, I will be happy.

I have plenty of indoor projects to work on, too. I am making something (have not decided what it will be yet) from the metallic fabric I picked up for a song at a bazaar last fall.
All in all I am hoping for a productive weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My First Wheelbarrow Load for 2012

I finally went outside after work today and started my 2012 garden chores.  I think I spent about 45 minutes cutting down Sedum Autumn Joy plants, picking up fallen pine branches and removing weeds. 

After I finished this chore, I made myself a lemon drop martini to celebrate the beginning of a new gardening season.
  It's just the juice of one fresh lemon, some simple syrup and a shot of citrus-flavored vodka combined with ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake until it's too cold to hold any longer and pour into a martini glass.  Now that's the way to start a new season!

We have had beautiful weather this week. If I did not have to be a work at my paying job during my most productive morning hours, I would have gotten a lot more work done outside.  I am hoping it will be warm this weekend, so I can rake those beds in earnest.   I don't even want to think about all the work I still have to do before I get to the fun part of enjoying the flowers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Finally Caved In

Last fall I did not order any new bulbs from Breck's for my garden.  Many of you may remember that I was not happy with 50% of my orders last year.  After I emailed them, they did refund my money, but even that does not make me happy. I don't want refunds, I want what I order to grow as stated.  It's hard work to dig, plant, pamper, and then have nothing to show for my efforts.

Since this is the third day of mid-70 degree weather, the garden bug has hit, so I decided to click on the email they sent and I found two items that I really wanted.  So I ordered  12 of these new Lionheart Tango lilies:

I just could not resist that price. 

I also ordered 12 Crocosmia Fire King  bulbs.

A few years ago, one of my internet friends (thanks again, Chopsticks!) sent me some of these and I just loved them. Unfortunately they did not return the second year.  I never see them for sale in any of the box stores or nurseries here, so if I want them, I need to order online.

Now I need to find a place to plant these. 

Have any of you grown Lionheart yet?  I would love some reviews.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Easter Dessert Table

I showed you the Easter egg shelf, but I did not show you what was under it. 

I redid my Valentine's Day table and it is now ready for the next holiday.  I removed the burlap and  layered the table in fabric --

 you may recognize that purple fabric as it's what I used for the dining room tablecloth for Valentine's Day. I found some yellow fabric in my stash and used that to tie in the yellow egg shelf color.  I pinned on a length of twine to make the bunny bunting across the front.
 Of course, most of you know I made that purple/pink quilted table runner that hangs down the center.  There are two of those runners. The second goes across the top of the table.  As I post this, I realize that I made everything on this table, except for the four wooden hinged bunnies in the back and the carrot fence in front of them.  I even made the big wooden Mama bunny on the side.  I think it's time to repaint her face. I may do that one of these days....then again, maybe not.

If I end up having an Easter dinner, then this table can be the dessert table.  I have left a space on the top to hold a few desserts.

I have been playing with a table to go with the new dining room chair covers (not necessarily an Easter table, though it could be with a few changes).  It's a bit more difficult than I thought it would be.

After trying two or three different colors of plates and tablecloths, I came up with these colors:
I am semi-pleased and will continue on some other day.  I need to buy some floating candles for the long row of colored water holders.....OR... my other idea is to buy white daisies and put them in the colored water. They will take on the color of the water. That would be pretty cute,  don't you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Doughnut Muffins

I always like to bake when snowed in on the weekend, so Saturday I made these doughnut muffins from  the King Arthur site.

  In the middle of making these,  I discovered I didn't have any ground cinnamon. Luckily I did have some cinnamon sticks that worked nicely once I grated them.

DH really loves glazed doughnuts, so  I made a glaze instead of the cinnamon topping they showed on the King Arthur page.

He proclaimed the recipe a keeper. I was surprised because he does not normally like muffins.  I will most definitely be making these again.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Do You Think Easter on a Weekend Like This?

Despite the snow, I had Easter on my mind all weekend. 

I was eager to transform that  old green shelf I showed you a few days ago.

I primed it earlier in the week.
Saturday morning we were snowed in so I could not get out to buy paint.  Instead I shopped the basement to find a color.  I had a tiny amount of a very bright yellow. It was way too bright, so I mixed in a couple  cups of the white primer until I had a workable yellow color.
Yes, I painted it right in the family room  with just a blanket thrown over the carpet. That's living dangerously when you're as sloppy a painter as I am!

This morning DH helped me screw in my eye hooks (I think that's what they are) and then I went to work bringing my vision to life.

Here's a reminder of what I started with:

and now I have this:

It's an Easter egg display shelf!  I thought it would be a new way to display some of the real eggs I decorated over twenty years ago.  I am getting tired of doing big egg trees.

I made this blue jean bunny a long time ago, too and I still love her all decked out in her pink bandana holiday skirt.
 she has a nest of eggs on the top of her hat.

I put some Easter grass in the sled coffee table and added some of my quilt-themed decorated eggs.
I think the grass is too green, so I am probably going to switch it out to purple and pink.   I also removed the red sofa slipcovers and am back to pastels.

I have enjoyed the weekend at home.  I have cooked/baked a bit and did a tiny bit of cleaning.  I still have a major  mess with the Easter decorations.  I may putter around a bit more with them today.

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend, too.
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