May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

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May 12, 2013

Identifying plants - Bachelor Buttons

Couple years ago I bought a pound of wildflower seeds. There was no description about what flowers were inside and so this started the process of trying to identify the flowers. Since collecting seeds and sharing them with others it's best to know what you are sharing to start with! This weekend I finally figured out what this one flower was, took me months. I started looking up dazzling blue low growing wild flower- turns out the same flower came up in white, then pink. There went my searching prospects!

It may have taken me awhile but in the entire process of knowing what the seed looked like, the stem, leaves and then finally the flower I get to know the plant even better. Just like the Sunflower process I took pictures of I am learning plants, and flowers from seed to seed. It's fun and interesting.
 These Bachelor Buttons grow about 35 inches tall. Long thin stem and spread out just like a button. So far I have seen the blue, white, and pale pink, but have been told they show up in purple.

Here is the Bachelor Button from seed to seed!

I think they have cute seeds! 

You can tell the color of the Bachelor button when it hits this stage, look at the very tip and you can catch either a light color for white and pink or a dark one for purple or blue. 

Blue seems to be dominate, I like the pale pink ones though. The whites and pinks seem to also be a little smaller than blue. 

The pedals slowly die off and the seeds form right at the base o the pedals . You will collect them one all the pedals have gone pale in color and it starts looking dry. The seed pod will look fuzzy on top which will be the tops of the seed. Store in cool dry place! 
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Happy Mother's Day !

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May 10, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Hot days are upon us which means frozen treats are as well! My grandfather used to make his own ice cream during the winter with snow and a hand crank ice cream maker- The BEST ever ice cream I ever had. I miss that so much I have begun to make my own ice cream. Not with snow of course, though that would be a triple treat!
My friend gave me this and she says her mother copied it from a Better Homes and Garden book ( magazine?)  Not sure which year but it is not my recipe.

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 whole vanilla bean
1  3/ 4  cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar ( divide)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In heavy saucepan stir together cream, milk, half the sugar, and the salt and vanilla.
Heat this over medium-high heat until the mixture  starts to bubble . Remove from heat and cover.
Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk. Add in the remaining sugar until smooth.  Set aside. Uncover the cream mixture and heat over medium-high heat until almost simmering. Reduce heat back to medium.
Using a ladle,  scoop some of the hot cream,  whisking constantly at the same time as you pour into yolks one scoop at a time. pour into yolks. Stirring constantly , slowly pour yolk mixture into hot cream in saucepan. Continue to cook on medium, stirring constantly and making sure you scrap the entire bottom of the pan. Make sure nothing burns.  Cook until mixture goes from the consistency of heavy cream to that of a thin puree.
 Remove the pan from heat and immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup or small bowl.
Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir frequently with a clean spatula until it is all cooled off.  Remove and cover. You will refrigerate for at 3-4 hours until completely cold. Follow the ice cream maker instructions after this.

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May 8, 2013

Enchiladas made easy

It's been so busy around here lately things seem to go at warp speed! Ever have days like that? With warmer days approaching and summer on it's way school projects are coming to a close and we've been scrambling to get other things done as well. Days like this I need a quick dinner to put together and I thought this one a friend gave to me was worth sharing.
Instead of using the more spicy sauce you normally use with Enchiladas  this takes tomato paste. My kids enjoy this more but I still spice my own helping up more. Can't help it, I like the spice!


1 pound of beef
1 can diced tomatoes ( 14 oz) Drained, save the juice for later use
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
1 medium onion chopped up ( about a half a cup)
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
about 10 flour tortillas ( the small 8 in ones)
2 cups four cheese shredded

*measure the tomato juice in a measuring cup and add enough water to make a total of 1/2 cup

 Brown the beef and cook onion in a large skillet until heated through. Drain any of the fat out. Stir in the the tomatoes, the paste and the tomato juice water mixture along with seasonings. Mix well.
Line large baking dish with foil and spray with baking spray. Take the tortilla's and fill each one up with the beef mixture Roll up and place seam down. Finish the rest of the tortilla's . Top with any remaining beef mixture and add cheese on top. Cover with foil and stick in the fridge or bake right away.
Oven at 350F and cool for 35-40 minutes. Uncover the dish for the last 5 minutes and serve right away.
You can freeze these, just take out about 45 minutes before you want to bake.
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May 6, 2013

Monster's University Activity sheets for the kids

Here are some fun Activity sheets for the kids from Monster's University ! Use this link right here should take you to my Google docs ( let me know if there's a problem)

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May 5, 2013

Garden Update

The weather has been all over the place but this past week it was perfect for planting. Not to hot, which if planting in super hot weather could cause the plants to go into shock!.
What's happening in the garden now is a whole lot of everything!

Peas are climbing

More squash is growing, the copper mesh is protecting the young plants from pests

I've got chives going all over the place,

Tomatoes finally went into the ground. With the weather so up and down it's starting to effect the growth but I think they will take off quickly!

What's happening in your garden this week? 

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May 4, 2013

I'm still around!

Haven't posted in a couple weeks due to busy happenings around here. With the end of school ( just this past Thursday)  and other chaotic events it's just been nuts !
 I'll catch up with posting and garden events in a couple days so don't go anywhere!

Happy Summer all!
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