Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Double Day Lily, Golden Corn Muffin Recipe

This is a recipe for simply delicious corn muffins. It's adapted from the Farm Journal's Complete Home Baking Book, copyright 1979, the year Bob & I married. My grandmother gave me the cookbook for a gift my first Christmas as a wife. I love that she signed the first page. Unless it's a first edition or valuable collector's book, you should always sign books that you give as gifts. It might bring someone joy to remember you when they open their book, even decades later.

Here's the recipe, right below the photo I took yesterday of a flower that was given to me years ago. When it blooms every summer, I am reminded of the dear lady who gave it to me. Oh, and at the end of this post you'll see a photo of one of our very traditional vegetable plate suppers. (The tiny bit of ham that seasons the beans doesn't count.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Potting Bench, Fried Okra Recipe

I've long wanted a potting bench with a nice deep sink for scrubbing and soaking pots and vegetables, so when I found this sink at a local Habitat store for just $10, I snatched it up. Bob was so inspired that he built this potting bench around my sink the very next day, just in time for washing all the okra I harvested from our garden. He installed a faucet as well as an extension of the garden hose for a sprayer. Right now I catch the water coming out of the drain in a 5 gallon bucket, and use that water to give my flowers a drink. I think he's brilliant and so very thoughtful!

Here's a recipe for fried okra, right below this photo of my wonderful new potting bench. You can see Bob and his "helpers" in the first picture.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Freezing Basil, Photo of Cuties

Ever wonder if you can freeze basil? You sure can. Here's my first harvest, three big, beautiful, aromatic plants. I'll tell you how to successfully freeze your basil so it won't turn black. And speaking of black, there's a picture of two of the three "Cuties" down there at the bottom of this post. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Magnolia Flower, Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

This is magnolia flower season here in the South, and the fragrance is incredibly strong and lovely. Break off a blossom, place it in a pretty vase, and put it on the table on the porch. Sit back and watch the bees, so intoxicated by the flower they will pay no attention to you, as you can see in this photo of one busy little bee.

Friday, June 17, 2011

There's nothing so good for the inside of a man 
as the outside of a horse. ~ Ronald Reagan

Horses at Swift Creek Kennel
With love from me to you...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aunt Julia's Yellow Squash Casserole Recipe, Bob & Debbie 1980

I lived my whole life in Pennsylvania until Bob & I were married. He took me to Atlanta to meet the whole clan, and I remember feeling that I'd never experienced anyplace more hot and humid than Georgia in July. It was 106 degrees the day we took all Bob's little cousins to Six Flags over Georgia. Uncle Buster's teeth almost flew out of his mouth on the roller coaster! Here's a photo of us way back when we were first starting out together. Oh, the memories!!!

Bob & Debbie in 1980

Atlanta Bob's late Great Aunt Julia gave his mother this recipe and she passed it along to me. Happiness is family recipes passed down through the generations! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fence Garden & Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

Remember when my fence garden looked like this in February? Scroll down to see it in June!
Fence Garden in February

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Invite Hummingbirds to Your Yard, Recipe for Nectar

Hummingbird at my feeder
This was the first hummingbird of the season for me. Put your feeder out as soon as the azaleas begin to bloom and then wait with great anticipation for the first little male to arrive. He'll scout out the territory and soon the larger, but less brightly colored, females will join him. If you haven't put out your feeder yet, it's not too late. One of my friends told me yesterday that she'd neglected to put out her hummingbird feeder, and a returning hummer hovered at her kitchen window as if to remind her to feed him! Here's how you make the food and maintain the feeder:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happiness is a Garden of Girlfriends, Lemon Bars

Garden Club Lemon Bars
Lemon Bars are a true Southern tradition, and I took mine to our garden club luncheon this spring. Everybody brought salads and desserts, many made from recipes appearing in our state garden club cookbook, and there was much laughter and happy conversation served with our delicious food. Here's my recipe for lemon bars. It's really easy and so quick to make that you can do this when you don't have much time to spend in the kitchen. Just a few ingredients and less than an hour results in a perfect summer treat. Here's the recipe:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Best Baked Spaghetti & Easy Does It Roses

Did you make the Really Easy Marinara Sauce from my last post? If you didn't, you can certainly use store-bought marinara sauce in this recipe. You can make this a completely meatless meal, or brown a pound of ground beef and some Italian sausage and add that to the sauce. The last time I made this (last week) I sauteed onion, bell pepper, chopped zucchini, and sliced crimini mushrooms and added those to the sauce instead of meat. You are only limited by your imagination!

Best Baked Spaghetti
(Based on a recipe from Rowe's Restaurant in Staunton, VA)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Really Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce & Eagle Nest Photo

You don't have to use the most expensive canned tomatoes for this sauce. I used my grocery store's Clear Value brand, which was .67 per 14 1/2 ounce can. I also used Riunite Lambrusco red wine, which was about $4 a bottle. It's really quite fruity and my favorite wine for this. It's a very good value recipe!

Really Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (I like my sauce zippy but not deadly.)
1/2 c. red wine (not sweet)
3 (28 oz.) cans (or equivalent) diced tomatoes in juice
1 (28 oz.) can (or equivalent) tomato sauce
Italian herb blend of choice, about 1 tablespoon or to taste