Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Overnight Pickles Recipe

This recipe is called Overnight Pickles but they really don't taste like pickles.  They taste like deliciously flavored cucumbers.

My husband loves this recipe!  We occasionally enjoy visiting a Thai Restaurant down on South Monroe Street here in Tallahassee that is just about four to five blocks South of the downtown Capitol Building.  It is called the Behn Thai Restaurant, and they have the most delicious Asian and Thai foods.

When we go there, we order a very similar tasting Cucumber dish as an Appetizer.  The restaurant Cucumber Appetizer is very similar to this Overnight Pickles Recipe a friend shared with me several years ago.

I recently made this recipe as a dinner vegetable, and was again reminded how simple and good it is. Next time I make this recipe, I am going to cut down on the sugar amount called for in the recipe to just one cup and see how it tastes with less sugar.

Ingredients for Overnight Pickles Recipe.

Mr. Google tells us Cucumbers are low in Saturated Fat, low in Cholesterol and Sodium.  They are a good source of Vitamin A, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese, and a good source of Vitamins C, K and also Potassium.

This recipe also has onions and a green pepper, which are good sources of Vitamin C and minerals, and both are considered good for the cardiovascular system.

Overnight Pickles Recipe

·      6 cups unpeeled cucumbers, sliced thin
·      1 cup chopped green pepper (or use green and red mixed)
·      1 cup thinly sliced onion
·      1 cup white vinegar
·      1 Tablespoon salt
·      1 Tablespoon celery seed
·      2 cups sugar

Mix all ingredients and put in refrigerator overnight, stirring a couple of times to let all ingredients reach the liquid.  The liquid will increase during the night.

Place in an air-tight container and all of the ingredients will stay fresh for several days.

If you make this recipe I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we do!

Happy Spring and blessings to you wherever you may be.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Snowballs and Cherokee Roses are Blooming

Spring continues to unfold so beautifully in our Southern part of the world here in Tallahassee, Florida.  In mid April the Cherokee Roses,  and the very elegant Chinese Snowball Plants began to bloom.    Both of these  beautiful plants continue to bloom for about three weeks in our area.
Cherokee Roses

I love how the Cherokee Roses climb all along the wooded areas and along this front fence.  This evergreen climbing shrub can grow to heights of up to 20 feet, dotted all along the way, with beautiful white four inch blossoms.

We recently had a fairly strong morning of thunderstorms with heavy rains, as one more late cold-front arrived to our beautiful Springtime. 

The Cherokee Roses are so hardy they were not at all destroyed by 
the pelting of heavy and continuous rains.

This lovely Cherokee Rose grows nicely in zones 7 through 9.
This flower is a native of China and was introduced to the Southeastern United States in about 1780.
This beautiful climbing Cherokee Rose became the State Flower of Georgia in 1916.

These Cherokee Roses like full sun.  As with every other plant,  a little "Tender Loving Care" makes for a beautiful, healthy plant.  Add a little mulch to the base of the plant,  and a little 10-10-10 fertilizer in early Spring. 

Another beautiful plant blooming at the same time as the Cherokee Rose 
is the very elegant Chinese Snowball plant.

Chinese Snowball

We planted this Chinese Snowball plant many years ago and it has now grown into a tree.

These blossoms are so beautiful in a cut-flower arrangement and last and last.   
They are so pretty in a colorful mixed arrangement as well.

As you can see, they grow from 12 to 20 feet tall and wide and blooms span 6 to 8 inches across.  They survive in full-sun to part-shade.  They need a well-drained, slightly acid soil.  They can be fertilized each year after flowering.

This particular tree survives nicely in it's partial shade conditions,
 since it is surrounded by a wooded area down by our pasture.

But, now, look at the beautiful Chinese Snowball plant/tree in the below photo.  Our friend who lives up in Byron, Georgia sent this amazing photo of his beautiful plant which is blooming now also.  This just shows you the difference in how full and beautiful this tree can be if it gets full-sunlight. 

Yes, Spring continues to delight all of us in our area with so many lovely and beautiful trees and flowers.  I hope you are having a beautiful Springtime also.

Wishing you a lovely Springtime and a happy new week wherever you may be.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Palm Sunday Weekend

As we entered into Palm Sunday weekend it was very special to be reminded we were beginning the sacred time of Holy Week.   This week we would be reminded again of all that Jesus did for the throngs of people who followed him.

This Saturday our sweet grandson Preston who lives here in Tallahassee with his Mom, Dad and three brothers celebrated his 12th birthday.  Preston's older brother John Scott had a working commitment and could not be at the party.

Preston's 12th Birthday party, with Mom, Dad, big brother Will - 14, and little brother Lawson,  who will turn 9 the day before Easter.

As you can see in the above photo,  Preston's Mom made him a delicious Chocolate Cake, which all of us enjoyed at his Birthday Party, when we returned home from his favorite restaurant, the Golden Corral. 

Good heavens!!  Have you ever been to the Golden Corral Restaurant?  It is a buffet-style restaurant and they have more food choices than I have ever seen anywhere.  Preston loves to go there.  Then we returned home for the rest of the celebration.

Happy Birthday sweet grandson!

Then, the next day,  Palm Sunday, we celebrated another family birthday at our daughter Stephanie's home after attending Palm Sunday services.  I was kicking myself for not taking my camera....How did that happen!

At the party our grandson Lawson had blessed Palms from the morning Palm Sunday Church Service and he wanted to show us how he made crosses from the special Palms.   He found a You Tube video showing step-by-step instructions on how to make the Palm Crosses.  If you would like to see this interesting how-to video you can click on the link below:

Since I did not have my camera Lawson's mom took how-to photos with his Dad's iPhone.  Below you can see not too detailed how-to photos.

 Starting with a single Palm, he folded the Palm into a cross.

And he continued folding, following the You Tube instructions....

... until the little cross was finished.

Lawson asked Aunt Stephanie for a stapler so he could make sure the crosses would not come apart.
Then he gave the crosses to those around him.

There are so many Bible Paintings depicting Jesus entering into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  The below photo taken from the Internet was painted by French painter Hippolyte Flandrin,  1842

It is so amazing the lives Jesus touched and the lasting legacy of special teachings and Christian beliefs that have lasted over 2,000 years since his amazing story unfolded.

It was fun to watch my grandson Lawson demonstrate that the touching story of Jesus is still alive and flourishing and remembered still of the day Jesus entered into the City of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and began this amazing Holy Week.

Wishing you a Holy Week of many blessings and much happiness wherever you may be.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Breakfast Casserole Muffin Recipe

In February I made these Breakfast Casserole Muffins for a covered-dish brunch for the Garden Club meeting.  Everyone enjoyed them,  and I mentioned back then that I would like to include this recipe in a future post.

Below is a photo of the very inviting brunch table for that February meeting.

Below on the right,  you can see the Casserole Muffins.  I used cupcake papers, but found out it is better to spray the muffin cups with Pam Spray,  because the cupcake papers don't come off easily.

This was the Garden Club Meeting where my daughter Sharon 
demonstrated how to make this very pretty Easter wreath.

If you would like to see her demonstration you can click on the link below:


All of the photos below will show how to make the Breakfast Casserole Muffins:
 All of the ingredients you will need are in the below photo.

First cook the sausage until done.

To get rid of a good bit of the fat in the sausage I always fold up several layers of paper towel and place the sausage on the paper towel.  Then, roll the sausage in the paper towel,  and squeeze the fat from the sausage.  Then I repeat the process again removing all of the fat possible.

Spray the muffin pan with Pam Olive Oil Spray to prevent the muffins from sticking to the pan.

Then I simply mixed all of the recipe ingredients together.

Using a measuring cup fill the muffin tin with the mixture.

In the below photo are the finished muffins.  Run a knife around the edges to loosen the muffins.

This time of year a pretty Easter Lily on the table would be a nice centerpiece.

For a delicious breakfast,  add the Muffins with some Canadian Bacon,
Mixed Berries and Orange Juice

These Breakfast Casserole Muffins can be made in advance and then re-heated in the microwave without loosing any of their delicious flavor.  This would be a good company breakfast your guests and family will really enjoy. 

Breakfast Casserole Muffins 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 pound Sausage, browned and drained.
        (I like to use the Jimmy Dean Maple Flavored Sausage.)
8 eggs
1 cup Biscuit Mix
2 cups Half and Half (fat-free is available)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups grated 2% Cheddar Cheese
½ package of Shredded Hash Browns     

·      Spray 24 muffin cups with Pam Spray.
·      Place drained Sausage evenly in cups.
·      Mix eggs, Biscuit Mix, Half and Half, salt and pepper together.
·      Mix in shredded Hash Browns.
·      Pour evenly over Sausage.
·      Top with grated Cheddar Cheese
·      Bake 350 degrees
·      Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
The original recipe calls for the above steps for making this recipe.  However, I just mix everything together and then pour in muffin cups.  Then I top with additional grated Cheddar Cheese.

Would love to give credit to the magazine or source of this recipe, but I don't have any information as to where I got this recipe.  If you try making these delicious Breakfast Casserole Muffins I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Wishing you a happy early Spring weekend with many blessings wherever you may be.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Azaleas Are Blooming

You probably have seen the very old movie called The Wizard of Oz.  The first part of the movie is filmed in black and white.   Later on in the movie,  Dorothy lands in the beautiful Land of Oz.  As Dorothy slowly opens the door of her little house that has just landed in Oz ... she opens the door to the most beautiful colorful Land of Oz.   From then on, the film is in color.

Each Spring I am always reminded of that movie as we transition from an almost black and white winter look to the glorious colors of Springtime.

Looking out the kitchen window you can get an idea of how the azaleas are beginning to bloom and how all the beautiful little green leaves are returning as the trees slowly wake up from their long winter sleep...

I decided to take my camera on a walk just to see what was blooming 
in the yard along with the Azaleas.

Opening the door to the front walkway I feel like Dorothy in the colorful Land of Oz now that everything has turned green.  Walking down the front walkway you can see the beginning of the circular driveway.  Inside of the circle we planted multiple colors of Azaleas many years ago.  It is worth the wait each year to see them all in bloom.

I love the way the whole entire Azalea bush is covered in beautiful blossoms.

Inside the circular driveway.

In the below photo the darker purple Azaleas are what they call Formosa Azaleas.   The lighter pink in the forefront are the beautiful little Pink Ruffle Azaleas.  The smaller darker pink Azalea is the Red Ruffle Azalea.  And then, there is the White Azalea which is beautiful in it's own way also.

Do you ever experience the feeling, as you view an object, hear a song or even get a whiff of a fragrance,  of being suddenly swept back in time to another place and time?  That is the case for me with our sweet little pig Yard Art seen in the below photo on the left.

Growing up as a teenager we had a little 3 acre farm in South Florida.  Daddy felt it would be a good idea for all of us 6 brothers and sisters to have farm chores to do and to learn about the land.  We had a big garden we were responsible for,  plus chickens, rabbits, cows and pigs.  My job was milking the cow in the morning before high school and then again just before dinnertime.  I loved my sweet "Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair."  She gave lots and lots of milk and she was so sweet and gentle and had the most beautiful face.

Yard Art Pig Statues on the left.

My brother Tim and I were responsible for taking care of the pigs.  We loved them!  They were our pets too!  We fed them and petted them and loved them.  It was the saddest day when they were taken away for their intended destiny.  I never forgot them!   When I told my husband I really wanted some pigs for our yard he very wisely did get me some Yard Art Pigs instead of the real thing.  He said they were much easier to take care of and he was right.  I never walk past our Yard Art Pigs without being swept back in time and reminded of our two little pet pigs from long ago.

Formosa Azaleas

I love the pretty flower buds of the Azaleas.  And, as always at this time of year,  you can see the pollen all over the leaves.

From the back porch we can see lots of Springtime blossoms.  The big white tree is a Cherry Tree with Formosa Azaleas on each side.  Closer up to the patio is another Pink Ruffle Azalea.  And, one of my very favorite Springtime flowers by the light-post is the lovely little yellow Lady Bankshire Rose.  Some just call her the Lady Banks Rose.

There is something about this little yellow thorn-less rose that I just love!  She is definitely very easy to grow and when Spring comes she blooms and is completely covered in these beautiful little delicate yellow blossoms.  To me she does not look like a Rose, but is referred to as a Rose.

A Lady Bankshire Rose is extremely easy to grow and if you leave her alone with no pruning she will become a Climbing Rose and can grow as long as 30 feet, which would be so beautiful for an arbor.  I have pruned this particular Lady Banks into a bush instead of a Climbing Rose because this is not a good spot for a climber.  From what I can find out the Lady Banks will grow nicely in full sun in the Hardiness Zones from 6 through 9.

This is one of my favorite Springtime plants growing in our yard.  It is called the Bridal Wreath Spirea.  It is a traditional Southern plant with beautiful flower-filled cascading branches.  I love to take cuttings of these beautiful cascading flowers to use in an Azalea Flower Arrangement for the dining room table.

The breezes were gently moving these pretty flowers as I was trying to photograph them and therefore not very sharp photos,  but you can still get an idea of how delicately beautiful they are.   From what I can find out,  Spirea plants do well in Hardiness Zones from 4 through 9.

Nelson,  short for Willie Nelson,  our kitty,  sometimes likes  to walk around with me in the yard.  He looked like he was thinking: "Well let's go!".  Can you see all the pollen on the porch in the background ... It is everywhere this time of year.

In the below photo, walking out toward the front yard,  on my way to get some photos 
of the Native Azaleas,  I spotted this pretty little wildflower growing beside the driveway.

 Native Azaleas

When planting these Native Azaleas they need to be put in a location where they 
have lots and lots of room to grow, because in time they can grow to the size of a  small tree.

My husband planted these Native Azaleas many years ago, 
 and they remain his favorite Springtime plant.

Sometimes I think an extremely cold winter like we had this year
 somehow makes for a prettier Springtime.

Later in the day I headed into town to run some errands.  I remembered to take my camera for any of those "just in case" moments.

I have told you in the past just how pretty it is to drive down Thomasville Road here in Tallahassee.  I think it is such a scenic drive.  The below photo was taken just as I was driving past our local Tallahassee Nurseries, which I just love because of all the beautiful old Oak Trees. 

On this particular day they especially caught my eye because they are filled with beautiful new brightly colored green leaves that sparkled in the sunshine.  This time of year the old leaves fall off the Oak Trees and they get a whole new tree full of leaves.  To me they are so-o-o pretty!

Along the drive on Thomasville Road this pretty entrance caught my eye and I had to stop and snap a photo of these extremely colorful Petunias and other colorful flowers.  Don't you LOVE Petunias!!

Driving past a bank building on the same Thomasville Road they have landscaped with beautiful different colored Azaleas.  Isn't it amazing how the whole entire bush is totally covered in blossoms.
The Good Lord made this one for me ... I LOVE this color.

This is a combination of white Azaleas with the beautiful George Tabor Azalea.

If you get close enough to this beautiful George Tabor Azalea 
you can get of whiff of their lovely fragrance.

Azaleas are easy to grow and do well in Hardiness Zones 4 through 9.   They need a well-drained acidic soil and when watered they like water on their leaves.  They also like sun, but are also shade tolerant and like living under trees.  Azaleas were first introduced into our country in the 1830s at the now well-known rice plantation called Magnolia-on-the-Ashley in Charleston, South Carolina.  

There were so many more Azalea photos waiting to be taken.  A lot of them were not in locations where it was easy to park and get close enough to photograph them.  But, I think the Azaleas shown here will give you an idea of Azaleas in the Springtime here in Tallahassee.  They only bloom about 3 weeks, but to me it is worth waiting for all year long.

I hope it is a special and beautiful Springtime in your part of the world also.  

To so many of you who have asked through your comments which blog platform I use, I'm happy to share that I use Blogger.com.  It is super simple to navigate for those of you who have said they wanted to design their own blog.

Have a beautiful, blessed weekend wherever you may be.