Jan 20, 2013

P5213 - First 3 Weeks

Its been a while but surviving all of the 2012 doomsday prophecies seems like a good reason to blog some. Hopefully, you all know I am joking. But in all seriousness, a new year has begun and I have been missing my blogging.

My cousin recently invited me to join her Project 52 group. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the goal is to take at least one photo every week. There are usually prescribed themes for each week. Here are my first three weeks entries with a little tidbit.

First Week - Theme Cold


Frost on my car. Yes, even in northern Florida it drops below the freezing point and we have to defrost our cars.

Second Week - Theme Love


My oldest son (14 years old) snuggling the dog in his sleep. Such an angel.

Third Week - Theme Fruit





Three shots of a pomegranate. Whole, cut and the eating part... the little ruby of yummy. The seed photo is the one I actually entered into the weekly photo contest. It almost looks like a little heart (as in the organ) complete with blood. 

I am looking forward to sharing some more Project 52 projects as well as some other photos. Stay tuned in for more later. 

~Jessica~

Jul 17, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie

Tonight's supper plans ended up taking over three hours. No, it wasn't some fancy meal that takes hours of preparation. It was a simple pot pie using left over turkey. Unfortunately, I had several incidents. I would like to add that you shouldn't be intimidated by making pot pies from scratch. All of the issues I had were, for the most part, user issues. In other words, I was the problem. The base recipe is easy provided one is not having an off day. I am skipping all the little incidents like dropping utensils or shooting flour every where. I did have two major set backs that I will describe. 

First, I used an untried recipe for the pie crust. I am not going to go into the details but it was scrapped. I still have another lump in my fridge so there may be hope yet for a different kitchen experiment. So, back to square one, I decided a quick visit to my favorite cooking blog was in order (see the post before this). Wouldn't you know it, she had a pie crust recipe. This one turned out fantastic. By now, I was well over an hour in progress, mostly due to the first crust. 

My second major set back involved the sauteed onions. If there is one thing in the kitchen that I know how to do, it is sauteed onions. I make onions the same way just about every week. I love onions almost as much as I love bacon, which is a lot! How I managed to burn a stick of butter, half an onion and a clove of garlic is still beyond me. Tossing this usually yummy mix out, just about made me cry. Honestly, if I hadn't already gotten my dry ingredients together to make the roux as well as the liquids to finish my sauce I would have just gave up. But I did have it all set up so I cleaned up my pan, chopped up a new batch of onions and gave it another go. Fortunately, this attempt was perfect. 

Finally, the pie was ready for the oven and it came out wonderful. My husband and kids both enjoyed it and the crust was very flaky and buttery. The filling was perfect for when you are craving warm comfort foods. I do hope you will give it a try.




Hilah's delicious and super easy pie crust recipe is here: http://hilahcooking.com/how-to-make-pie-crust-from-scratch/ Double this up if you are making one pie. Quadruple the recipe if making two pies, as shown in my base recipe for pot pie.

The base recipe I use is here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dads-leftover-turkey-pot-pie/detail.aspx? I substituted veggies and the stock used. I put broccoli, cauliflower and green beans in my pie and used beef stock as that was what I had on hand. I also halved the recipe as I was only making one pie.

~Jessica~

Jul 11, 2012

FGT and Persian Lime Pie

If any of you follow me over on the Facebook, you will realize that I have found true love... with a cooking show. Seriously, I found this fantastic channel on YouTube, which led me to the connected blog. You can watch her show on either her YouTube Channel or her website. The show is called Hilah Cooking. This is the description from her website, "I create short-form, educational, and occasionally hilarious cooking videos geared towards beginner and intermediate cooks, as well as people who are just looking for simple, low-cost recipes..." This is a fantastic description. Hilah makes even more complicated recipes easy to follow. She is entertaining and very down to earth. She is definitely not one of the haughty "professional" chefs you see on certain networks. I have watched every video from the time I found her channel & website to now, even the ones I will probably never try. Here are two of the dishes I tried for my family this week.


Fried Green Tomatoes

This is an appetizer I have never tried making. We do eat tomatoes cooked in other dishes but my family generally doesn't just pop tomatoes in our mouths. Some of us were more on the fence than others but I decided to give it a try. First, we moved down to the south and Fried Green Tomatoes are practically a staple here. If I want to give my kids a authentic Southern upbringing, we need to at least try them, right? Second, Hilah described them as tasting a bit like fried pickles, which we all love. 

Here is my try at these yummy tidbits, and they were indeed yummy. I did run into a snafu with the first batch so ignore the slightly burnt ones on the bottom. If using a cast iron skillet on an electric stove, I would not heat the oil on high. Just let it take its time on medium heat and then fry. Also I cut the time on each side down to about 2 minutes but that was because my pan was too stinking hot.. 





You can find the recipe and video here: http://hilahcooking.com/fried-green-tomatoes/


Persian (Key) Lime Pie

We have had Key Lime Pie before but this was a new recipe for us to try. Right now, Key Limes are scarce (even in Florida) so I just went ahead and used the Persians. Even though it wasn't exactly a Key Lime Pie, it still turned out delicious. I could see this recipe being converted to a number of citrusy dishes. How about lemon or mandarin orange or kumquat? Yum!




You can find the recipe and video here: http://hilahcooking.com/key-lime-pie/

~Jessica

Apr 19, 2012

Surprise Blooms

I was outside on the front porch in a conversation with my step dad and my husband. In mid sentence, something caught my attention. Something I knew was possible but at the same time didn't expect to happen. Let me back up to when we first moved in our home almost 2 years ago.

We quickly discovered that we had cacti growing wild all over our yard. It was entertaining for a while but mostly it hurt when weeding the garden or planting and getting stuck by a needle. My mother figured out that we could transplant them into one big patch. So we did. They survived the winter in their new location and thrived all last summer. The cacti went dormant for yet another winter and had just started to plump back up this last week.

Imagine this sight greeting me when I got home from work and was relaxing on the porch. Yes, we have flowering cacti in our front yard. Not just plain flowers but gorgeous sunshine yellow double petaled flowers. Yay! I think I am in love.

Please don't mind the weeds in the cacti bed. I just haven't had time or the energy to go pull them this week yet.




~Jessica~

Apr 1, 2012

Visitors from Far and Near

As I mentioned before, we have had some visitors.

From near, we had a couple critters show up.

We had this adorable little frog stop in. We see them every year, all summer long, but I still love photographing them. He stayed for a bit before hopping along on his merry way.


We also had this peahen (female peafowl) show up. Not only did she want to visit with us, she wanted to visit with our chickens as well. As of this post, she has come a calling several days in a row.



From far we had family come visit.

My dad had business in south Florida so when he headed back home, he stopped off for a few days to visit. Here is Ori (our rooster), my Dad and I hanging out on the front porch.


Then my mother in law came to spend Spring Break with the kids and us too. Here is my husband and his mom walking along a local beach.


~Jessica~

Mar 27, 2012

What's Blooming?

It has been fairly busy at our home lately. We have had two different family members come from Michigan to visit. My husband and I have had pretty hectic work schedules and the kids always have something going on. I figured a "bloomin" blog was in order. There are many things blooming in and around our Florida home but here is a small smattering. 

A few Azaleas are still blooming.

Day Lily

Roses


Columbine

Bottlebrush Bush

Jessamine


My favorite "weed", Wild Phlox

Sweet William Dianthus

Another favorite "weed", Wood Sorrell

This is about as close as I can get to the Angelonia right now. There is a mated pair of House Finch building a nest. We are only trying to disturb them when we carefully water the basket. Hopefully, they can up with us until Friday when we can pick up an automatic watering bottle.


~Jessica~

Jan 24, 2012

Lemons: Start to Finish

This post was months in the making, literally. We planted a Meyer Lemon tree last February and we had to wait to get lemons. I diligently photographed the process from flower to cut lemons in my kitchen. We harvested our first lemons this past November. Happy birthday Ms Meyer Lemon. Hopefully you bless us with another batch of delicious lemons this year.

February - Lemon Blossoms


May - First little lemons developing. This is a close up so they look much bigger than they really were.


June - The lemons are quite a bit larger now.


July - The first hints of yellow begin appearing.


August - Yellow blush is definitely visible but there is still a lot of green left.



October - Almost completely yellow!



November - Our first ever lemon harvest! It was an exciting time to be had by all.








The kids opted to eat one right away, straight into the mouth. Dave and I opted to slice one up for a big glass of rum and Coke. Ahh, nothing beats the sweet tart flavor of home grown lemons.





~Jessica~