Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Bunny Loves Me

I bought these bunnies a few weeks ago from Pier1.  The more I see them, the more I fall in love with them.  They are so adorable and oh so photogenic.  They posed for the watercolor painting I painted and posted at the top of my blog

I love their pudgy little tummies

I placed them for awhile on my kitchen counter along with the rustic Easter basket  and cookbook holder I also bought at Pier1

I'm also in love with these rustic Easter eggs and grapevine basket

I moved them last week to the buffet in the dining room.  The table runner belonged to my mom.  There's no telling how long she had it before she passed away in '95 but it's something I will treasure forever.

 This is my favorite picture.  Looks like he's looking straight up at the camera

I have them placed on the center of my dining room table on my favorite Spring tablecloth that I've been using for probably a decade now.  I'm always excited to pull it out to place on the table.  That means it's Springtime and Easter

As you can see, I don't have a lot of bunnies and Easter decorations around my house.  Just never got around to it.  I just might change my mind next year though after seeing "Be Book Bound's" blog.  I've been smitten by her Peter Rabbit mantel and just may end up copying it for next year.  Take a look at it HERE and you'll see what I mean.  While you're at it, take a look at her whole series on Beatrix Potter posts.  They are adorable and I've been spending a lot of time over there lately.

Have a great weekend as it's just around the corner and don't forget to savor every moment.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring around Spottswood Place

Welcome to the springing sprouts of Spottswood Place

Scarlet Flame Creeping Phlox and Touran Neon Rose Saxifraga.  Both will return year after year :)

Tulips and Hyacinth.  I bought these in a pot last year and planted them in the ground a couple weeks later.  I was thrilled to see them come up this Spring.  I must've done something right

 These same Hyacinths from above picture were taken a couple days later.  They're planted just below the sunroom windows so their delightful fragrance was welcomed into the sunroom - who needs Air Wick?!

I planted Red and Pink Tulips along with some Miniature Daffodils a couple of weeks ago just below the sunroom.

Here they are about two weeks later from the picture above this one

Dianthus I eventually planted near the Tulips

Pansies my MIL and I planted near the front entrance to greet our visitors

I threw away the information tag that came with this flower so I can't remember it's name but the purple is so vibrant and the picture still does not display it's beauty

 Camellius around the northeast side of Spottswood Place

 Miniature Daffodils in a pot by the front entrance of Spottswood Place.
For several years I have adored miniature Daffodils from afar and finally bought my own.
I look forward to many more next year
I love and adore having all kinds of flowers, floral bushes and plants around my home and am elated when I'm able to keep them growing and flourishing which is very challenging for a brown thumb.

Hope your weekend is going well and don't forget to savor every moment

I shared this with:

Fertilize Friday @ Tootsie Time

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New England Brown Bread

Start early in the day if you want this for dinner.  Pre-heat oven to 300F degrees. 

1/2 cup ground stone-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup rye flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup of unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup of buttermillk
1 egg lightly beaten

Butter for greasing and serving

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients

In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients

 Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

 Stir with a spoon until just combined.

 Transfer to a well greased meatloaf pan and spread evenly.  (I didn't have a 13 oz. empty can nor could I find one).  I made two loaves because I know one won't be enough.

Cover with foil and place in a large pan, large enough to hold 6 cups of water and to place on the stovetop.  (I used my turkey pan without the rack)

Place the large pan over the stovetop and bring the water to boil.  Once the water boils, transfer the pan into the pre-heated oven, yes, the whole kit and kaboodle.  Bake for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, until toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf come out clean.

When I took it out of the oven, I couldn't wait to let it cool.  I had to slather a slice with butter and taste it.  I also told hubby who was already in bed reading that I would bring him a slice.  He said it tasted just like the bread he grew up with....score!!

I LOVE, love, love bread.  It is my weakness.  When we go out to eat at Outback Steakhouse (OS), it takes everything to hold me back from eating the whole loaf of bread they serve before the entrees arrive.  I have often wondered what kind of bread it was and why I never saw it sold at any bakery or bread section in our local grocery store.  I somehow bumped onto the website that had this recipe.

  I told hubby I wanted to make some and he out of nowhere comes out and said he grew up eating "New England Brown Bread" but only during the holidays because it was so expensive.  What??  I never knew!  After almost 30 years of marriage, I'm still finding out all kinds of things about my hubby.  This bread is for real, it's solid baked goodness.  Nothing compare to what OS serves.

I had some with my coffee this morning before I sat down to blog.  I just worked up an appetite. . . . . time for seconds.

I shared this with:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Friday, March 16, 2012

Copycat "Not Your Mama's Tuna Casserole"

1 Pkg Extra Wide Egg Noodles, cooked and drained (I used a 16 oz. pkg.)
4 Cans White Albacore Tuna, drained well and flaked (I used two 12 oz. Light Tuna as that's all I had)
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (not salad dressing/Miracle Whip)
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (heaping) (I used Chinese hot mustard as that's all I had)
1/2 Cup Milk, Half & Half or Cream
2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup French Fried Onion Rings
1 Cup Potato Chips (I didn't have chips so I used a little more of the French Fried Onion Rings)
2-3 Tbsp. Butter, in small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 13"x9" pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl (I had to use my large 5 qt. ? salad bowl) combine the noodles with the cream of mushroom soup, milk, sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard.  Add the spices, drained tuna and lastly the cheese.  Combine thoroughly without breaking up the noodles.  Pour into baking dish (I need to get pretty casserole dish like Mary's).

Spread it out evenly

Sprinkle on the fried onions and potato chip mixture over entire dish

 Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden brown

I am a fan of tuna casserole.  I bought two large cans of tuna last week when I went to the grocery store before I even saw this recipe on the "Go Ahead... Take A Bite!" blog.  The second I laid my eyes on this recipe, I knew this is was the reason why I bought those two cans of tuna.  My usual tuna casserole recipe was getting old so this one with the crispy topping jumped out at me.  This casserole is creamy, spicy and savory on the inside and crunchy and tasty on the outside.  An awesome combination and a definite keeper.  Thank you Mary Sullivan Frasier from, "Go Ahead... Take A Bite!", we enjoyed it thoroughly

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

From the Scrap Heap

It's Spring break this week.  I had today off as well as tomorrow.  My mother-in-law and I went shopping this morning.

Pictured here are the good bushes.
While my MIL and I were out shopping, hubby was out working in the backyard. . . . . 

He was trimming overgrowth coming from the neighbors yard . . . .

 and this is what I came home to....I almost had a heart attack and thought that he was tearing down my good bushes but thankfully he wasn't.  I decided to take a few of these scraps

  and turned them into this

Is this a type of Azalea bush?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cajun Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

3 fresh tilapia filets
Cajun seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil, heated in a skillet
1 mango, peeled, sliced and diced
1/2 red onion, sliced and grilled until translucent
Red peppers (I had some mini-sweet peppers in the freezer that I used - they were already grilled)
Fresh leafy green lettuce
8-10 Fajita size flour tortillas

Jasmine rice
Fresh parsley, minced

Grill the onions and peppers if you haven't already.

Start on the rice too according to package directions.

3 tilapia filets (or any other kind of fish you like to use).  Cut each filet in half.  Season with cajun seasoning, salt and pepper

Add to hot oil and brown each side (about 6-8 minutes each side) until golden brown and the fish flakes off with a fork.  Set aside.

Combine the mango with the grilled peppers and onions and chop.
Then combine in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Take two forks and start separating the fish into small flaky pieces

Place a leaf of lettuce on a warmed tortilla, add the fish and top with mango salsa.  Fold in half, repeat with at least 8-10 more tacos.  Set aside.

When the rice is done according to package directions, sprinkle on the parsley and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.

Now take a bite and enjoy!

I love me some spicy food.  It doesn't have to be Mexican either.  I had my first Cajun Fish Tacos at Bonefish Grill in Charlottesville, VA recently.  My oh my!!  I couldn't get enough!!  When I love a dish I have at a restaurant, I go home and try to mimic it.  There are several sites on the internet saying they have the original recipe Bonefish Grill's Cajun Fish Tacos. I read them all and gathered their information and this is what I came up with.  My only complaint is that the mango I bought did not have much of a mango taste???  Why?  Did I buy an old one? Do they lose their flavor after awhile?  I don't know.  Other than that, this was very, very good.  Even hubby said it was a keeper!!  I think I'll make me some more soon, this time I'll pick out a fresh mango.

I shared this with:
It's a Blog Party

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