Monday, February 11, 2008

Blink of an eye

Some days pass by with a blink of an eye. It feels like I brought my daughter home yesterday and soon she will be having her forth birthday. Where has the time gone? 

I am hoping to capture my discoveries and experiences, as I travel through my days. As my husband will tell you, I always have to be doing something. And, he's right. I am always in search of something new and something different. Find out more to a thought that just popped into my mind. I have so many things that interest me and so many things that I want to find out more about. 

I am most passionate about activities and anything to do with my little one. I love being able to enrich her life and just experience life along side her. As any parent will tell you, a child brings true joy to your heart and your life. I love being home with her. 

Lately, I have been cooking more, which my husband loves. I love trying new recipes and I especial love Everyday Italian, which is on the food network. The recipes are so simple and so good. Tonight, I am making Pecan Crusted Chicken topped with Maple Balsamic Butter and Sweet Mash Potatoes. It is so easy. 

Add course chunks of pecans to plain bread crumbs with a pinch or two of nutmeg, salt, and fresh ground pepper. 
Dip your chicken in an egg wash and then into your bread crumbs. 
Put on coated baking sheet and cook on 400 for 15-20 minutes. 

Cook your sweet potatoes until they begin to crack open and you start to see some sugar run out. 

Now, for the maple balsamic butter. For a serving of three:
2 tablespoons room temperature butter (or you could melt butter in the microwave) 
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (maybe even 3 teaspoons=1 tablespoon, depending on your tastes)

Hopefully, my little one will be more interested in the sweet potatoes tonight. It is hard to believe that she does not like them, they are like candy. The maple balsamic butter is great over carrots as well.

It is only February and I am already dreaming about my perennial garden. I absolutely love gardening. When we purchased our house, it had 3 shrubs on the entire property. One lilac bush on the corner of the garage and 3 overgrown hydrangea paniculata (PeeGee) bushes in the front of the house. I remember my childhood home being filled with the fragrance of lilacs in early spring. We had a huge lilac bush outside the dining room window and that the spring breeze carried the fragrance through our entire house. It was delightful and such a found memory of my childhood. So, I decided to add a perennial garden on the side of the garage, near my treasured lilac bush. At the time, we had no idea what to do with the overgrown hydrangea paniculata bushes and we were so overwhelmed with renovating our 1918 property that we let them be. I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming bounty of beautiful and massive flower heads that started blooming mid July. I always had a vase full of Hydrangeas in bloom. The PeeGee bushes had to stay. The hydrangea starts blooming mid July and continues to add beauty into fall. I can not tell you how abundant the blooms are. Early on, just as the buds start to bloom, the panicle has a beautiful display of green buds at the top and stark white flowers that have just begun to bloom. Then, the bush is filled with massive white blooms that mature to a reddish pink, a wonderful color late in the season. Since, we purchased our house, we have added landscaping and my perennial garden has enlarge year by year. 

I would advise anyone just starting out or thinking about starting a garden is to find out a few essential things first. 1. Your zone  2. Your sun exposure  3. Your soil type. Then, jump right in. You learn so through just doing and learning from your experiences. As my grandmother says, "Everything will talk to you." If you are lucky, you may have someone to share your passion with. My grandmother has taught me so much about gardening and she has shared a lot of her knowledge with me. My grandmother has more of a wildflower garden. She spreads her flowers and her color out. So, all of her plants have come with a surprise or two. I like my garden to have chunks of contained, condensed color. I am learning to enjoy the surprises. 

I recently placed an order with White Flower Farm and I can not wait for the ground to thaw. Here's what I ordered:
Chelone lyonii Hop Lips
Centurea montana Purple
Gomphrena all around purple
Lantana peach surise
Rubeckia subtomentosa Henry Eilers
Veronicastrum virginicum Erica

The Connecticut Flower & Garden Show will be at The Convention Center next week. It is running from February 21st - February 24th. I am really excited to go.

1 comment:

windingcirclelifeschool said...

I love lantana, its such a pretty flower.You are lucky to be able to grow it, here in australia it is considered a weed and you just are not allowed to have it.Enjoy your garden.


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