Sunday, January 19, 2020

Amaryllis update

January means it's time to take those amaryllis bulbs out of hibernation and replant them!  It's so exciting to have a January planting assignment, it makes spring feel that much closer!!

Just a quick recap on bulb care, in October, I removed all bulbs from their pots and placed them in a box with wood chips.  I left them in a dark corner of the basement where it stays around 70 degrees.  I'd prefer cooler but that's about as cool as I can seem to get it.  The bulbs are supposed to hibernate for 6 weeks, it's easier for me to just re-plant them in January after the busy holiday season. 

My husband set up this pink grow light which we bought from Lowes.  We bought the metal stand from Aldi for $40.00 this week.  The photos are a little weird because of the lighting.

I start out with a little water on day one, slightly more on day 2, try really hard to not get water on the bulb as it's fragile.  Each day I water a little more until the dirt seems more consistently damp.

I need to move the shelves, because they are right across from our heating/air conditioner unit which husband says sucks air from that general area so it might cause the plants to dry out too fast.  For now, I'm just happy to have replanted all 8-10 bulbs! 




Friday, December 27, 2019

Christmas Cookies

Here is a list of the Christmas desserts I like to make each year (reminder to self for following years as I seem to be more forgetful with age):

* Mocha Sandwich Cookies - Fine Cooking, these are a bit of work, but so worth it, I try to make them first so I don't get burned out with too much to do
* Fudge 
* Chunky Hazelnut Toffee Cookies
* M&M cookies
* Peppermint bark

Next Christmas I want to try Chocolate Crinkle Mint cookies.  I kept seeing them on Twitter and they look awesome.

Most of these make great gifts!  

Cherry Winks

I know this is a very common recipe, but my mom made a few minor changes that make this a family favorite so I need to document it here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup diced maraschino cherries
Mix the first two ingredients with a kitchen mixer until well blended.  Add cherry juice, vanilla and eggs until well mixed.  Add remaining ingredients until well blended.


Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cup smashed cornflakes
  • 14 maraschino cherries, cut into quarters
Create cookie balls and roll in the corn flake mix, then add one quarter cherry on top, continue until all dough is finished.

The beauty of this recipe is the cookie turns pink with the juice and makes a really pretty cookie.  We've omitted nuts due to personal preference.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Cards

Every year that I sit down to do Christmas cards, I start by updating the address labels list.  Who has moved, died, divorced, etc.  It always surprises me at how much can change in one year, then I go back to past years to make sure I didn't miss anyone and I see more major changes.  I must have missed updating our list for a couple of years as I had to start with 2017 and that made the changes even more drastic:

* Husband's uncle/aunt moved due to tornado that completely destroyed their home
* Death of my mom's 2nd husband
* Aunt moved back in with her elderly father, don't need prior apartment address
* Death of husband's great aunt
* Death of husband's step-uncle
* Friends in Dallas moved in the last couple of years, need to recheck their address
* Death of husband's cousin
* Why is my Great Aunt Millie still on there??  She died in 2013! 
* Found friend Bob from a really old address page, he might have moved in the last 5 years, I can't remember, but he deleted his facebook page so hoping this reaches him.

For one year I'd like things to stay the same, no deaths, no forced moves, but that's not realistic now is it. 


Monday, December 16, 2019

1st Snow of the Season

I was really hoping the kids would get a day off, but sadly all they got was a 2 hour delay.  It really derailed my morning because I lost all focus.  I slept in till 7am, then sat for 40 minutes drinking coffee and reading news.  I then wandered upstairs and reorganized Violette's clothing bin so we could find her school clothes, got two girls dressed for school and by this time the youngest was pushing quit urgently to go outside and play in the snow.  I pushed back more insistently that she must eat breakfast first, get her hair done, then go outside and that took until 9am.  I don't know how it took that long, I spent time in the basement looking for boots, then again for gloves which I thought had already been placed into the snowsuit bin.  In between jumping up to look for things I ate bites of butternut squash bread.  By 9:15 three girls had made it outside, I still hadn't finished breakfast or made lunches!  I was exhausted, still hadn't showered, and it's a work day!  See this is why I wanted a "snow day" and not a delay because the delay just delays the kids leaving for school and letting me get on with my day!  At least they had fun making snowmen and various other things.




Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

I'd like to give a shout out to our favorite seed company, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  We first discovered them when looking for Purple Sweet Potato plants and we've had great success with everything we've bought from them.  I think next year we will expand our Tex Mex plants to the following:

  • Anaheim peppers
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Tomatillos 

The Poblano's are impossible to find after the season is over so I'd like to stock up on these for our Salsa Verde Pork.  With the Anaheims I'd like to can as green chili's in small jelly jars!  I think that would be about the same size as green chili cans from the store, not that we care if it's an ounce more.



Monday, December 09, 2019

Blueberry Streusel Recipe

I love blueberry streusel pie, but some days I don't have time for a homemade crust so this makes a perfect, quick dessert without the fuss.

It's winter, so I went with frozen blueberries but this can work just as well with fresh in the summer.

Recipe:

  • 2lbs of frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix by hand, if the berries look a bit whitish, bake in the oven for about 10 minutes and stir again, then add the streusel.

Topping:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter cut in small pieces so it blends better
Pulse all topping ingredients in a food processor until chunky and then spread evenly over the blueberry mix.

Total baking time - 30 minutes at 350.  Best served while warm.

Use 8 x 8 glass or metal pan, or double the recipe to use a full size cake pan.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Fiesta Corn and Jalapeno Dip ~ Slow Cooker

This dip has become my favorite side with almost anything!  I even made it on Thanksgiving and it was happily consumed all afternoon while we played board games.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (retain some seeds depending on how hot you want the dip)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or monterey jack 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Homemade Taco Spice
Optional - 4 slices of bacon

Throw everything into a small slow cooker for 1-2 hours, stir before serving.