Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Kitchen Garden

Herbs in the garden are a must for me. There are endless culinary uses for herbs and there is something so very pleasurable about walking out to your garden to snip some herbs to go in whatever receipt I am preparing.

This time of year in North Florida where I live there is not much blooming in the garden because of our intense heat and humidity but soon in the Fall the blooms will come alive again. Until then I am enjoying the use of my Kitchen Garden.

The Kitchen Garden

There is Basil, Sage and Garlic Chives. Basil for pestos, Tomato Basil Pie which is a summertime favorite and I MUST have Sage for Poultry dishes and I can't forget that Thanksgiving Turkey. A baked potato topped with sour cream and garlic chives is pure heaven and my chives are used frequently to garnish dishes.

Lavender for those wonderful Pound Cakes and Madelines to go with my afternoon tea.

Then there are those herbs that I grow in pots on my patio.

Oregano for those wonderful Italian receipts.

Tarragon used in chicken dishes but is also excellent steeped as a tea for tummy issues.

Bay Laurel used in Italian receipts, soups, stews and those wonderful New Orleans cajun dishes. I couldn't be without Bay Laurel. I keep this in a pot on my patio because if I planted it in the ground it would get huge. It's easier to keep in bounds potted and on the patio.

I grow many other herbs that I haven't shown here such as Rosemary, several different kinds of thyme, other varieties of Basil, several different kinds of Mint and Italian Parsley. I have to have the Mint for Mint Juleps, of course, but also one of Florida's favorites, Mojito's. The Italian Parsley is a MUST also and I love it's fresh taste. Parsley is so much more than an herb for garnish.

A Kitchen Garden is a good thing.

I am joining in on Susan party Outdoor Wednesday.
You can find other Outdoor Wednesday participants by clicking here A Southern Daydreamer. Thank you Susan for hosting this weekly event.

Enjoy your day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding Details of Daughter's Wedding

I am joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. This is a fun event and I have just learned how to make and post a mosaic thanks to Mary. This is my first time joining in on Mosaic Monday and I thought I would share some of the garden details of my daughter's wedding which took place on March 28,2009.

She was married on a plantation in Thomasville, GA which is on the National Register, Pebble Hill Plantation. It was intended as an outdoor garden wedding but sometimes Mother Nature doesn't always co-operate. In which case it is necessary to go to Plan "B". We tried to create that garden look under a tent. In some of the photos you can see in the background the grand plantation home.

The bouquet in the bottom right hand corner without the blue hydrangeas was my daughters bouquet which I put together myself. It is wrapped in doubled faced satin ribbon and attached to the ribbon is a pearl and gold brooch which belonged to my dear mother. It is not shown in the photo but is a very sentimental piece.

You can view other wonderful mosaic's by visiting Mary's blog at Little Red House.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Farm Mosaic

Today I have learned something new with some help, of course. Maybe I should say I learned several things. Just goes to show you are never too old to learn new things.

I sent this pitiful email to a blogger whom I admire to ask for some help. You see, I have been wanting to participate in Mosaic Monday hosted by Mary at Little Red House. I have tried and tried to figure this out myself and then I decided that when all else fails ask for help. That was the number one thing I learned. By the way, Mary was so very kind and gracious to email me back and gave a great tutorial on just what to do. Many thinks to you Miss Mary. Not only are you a very talented photographer but so kind and generous with helping people. I know it took time out of your day to do that and I am so appreciative.

Here's the second thing I learned from the experiece. My very first Mosaic, a mosaic of our farm which is a weekend getaway.

Welllllllll, now I am addicted and will spend the next few days taking photos to join Mary at Mosiac Monday. Thank You. I think the best way to say thank you is to pass on the same kindness that Mary has shown to me. Enjoy your day everyone.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Summer Pasta Salad

Today is Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum and today I am sharing a great pasta salad that I enjoy during these hot summer days.

I grow herbs and enjoy cooking with them. They are so very easy to grow and can even be grown in pots on a patio. They give such wonderful fresh flavor to so many dishes. If you are tenative about growing herbs, DON'T. They are so easy and the rewards are amazing. There is something about going to my patio, clipping herbs to go in a dish that I am preparing that is so very rewarding. It's a "feel good thing."

Herbed Orzo Salad with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T lemon zest
1 tsp honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Olive Oil
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 # orzo
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
7 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, honey and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.

2. Bring broth to a boil. Stir in orzo and reduce heat to medium. Cover partially, cook until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and transer to large bowl tossing frequently until cool.

3. Mix tomatoes, feta, herbs and green onions into orzo. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temp. Add pine nuts and toss. Serve at room temp. and with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Add a little Roasted Chicken and you have a one dish meal. It's a "GOOD THING".

This is delicious and I hope you will try it.

Thank you for visiting my blog and there are lots of other wonderful recipes posted at Designs by Gollum. So check them out.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

Today I am joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for her Outdoor Wednesday party.

Over the Fourth of July weekend my husband and I went up to our farm in South Georgia. While there I didn't take too many pictures this time. As I was leaving the farm to come home I could not resist taking these photos.

Let me set the stage. Our farm is at the end of a dead end dirt road. We have two neighbors and as I was driving by the second neighbors house who boards horses these horses were right by the fence. When they saw me stopped by the fence they came closer but when they did my two dogs started barking at them. For some reason the horses seemed to want to play. They came close to the fence, heard the dogs and then ran down the fence line and back again. They were amusing to watch and my dogs enjoyed it as well.

Then a little farther down the road was this guy. When my dogs began barking at him I decided I best be on my way.

Now mind you, I have never been one to keep my camera handy but I am learning and I did enjoy taking these photos. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Have a very pleasant day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday

Today I am joining our gracious hostess, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. This is such a fun event and so many participating.

Last year about this time I was doing some redecorating. I actually spent most of the year making changes to our upstairs and still have a few little things yet to do but for the most part I am completed. Those little things are drapes in two bedrooms, the master bedroom and a guest room. I just haven't come across anything that just blows my dress up???

In any case, today I am sharing with you our foyer. This is where most changes throughout the year take place, seasonally. Unfortunately, I do not have before pictures but will describe it. The wallpaper is a red and white toile' and was already there. We took great pains to save it since it is a favorite of mine.

We had a new front door and side lights custom made out of mahogany. The man who did it saved the oval etched glass that was in my existing door at the time. It was also suggested that the side lights be all one piece instead of several as it was before to give it a taller look. I was told that those etched pieces are not made like that any more and it was also an anniversary gift from my husband many years ago so it was a "Good Thing" that we were able to save it. The table is an antique mahogany piece as is the mirror. The hanging light is also an antique piece and it was an oil lamp that was converted to electric.

Sitting on the table are two little guinnea hens that were made by a French artist. The white ceramic flower tree is a new "find" that I fell in love with and I think gives it an updated look.

I love birds and have them scattered all over my house, ceramic, stone, brass, and silver.

This is a better view of my new front door and side lights. I also had the rug made to match the runner on the stairs.

The stairs had the same carpet on it that we had upstairs. The stairs were wrapped in the carpet but I felt that it was an extremely dated look. Soooooooo, I had the carpet removed, replaced the stairs with oak floor steps and then found this carpeting placed on the stairs. The roses look as if they are cascading down the stairs.

Thank you for visiting my blog and don't forget to join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see other fabulous participants in Metamorphosis Monday.

Have a lovely day.