Friday, March 21, 2014


It may be just a bit early for swinging under the Hydrangea but these days are on the way!
Beautiful FREESIA,  This flower comer in may colors and is so fragrant.  FREESIA (IN THIS COLOR) is one of PANTONE'S colors for 2014.  This would be so fresh and vibrant for a Spring or Summer Wedding.

Coincidentally, the first day of Spring fell on the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS!
I think this is perfect timing. 
After the very long and cold winter we've endured, we are all happy today!
I am happy for Spring asparagus!
On a cookie sheet, fan your asparagus out on the baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little minced garlic (bottled is fine). Give your asparagus a little rub to incorporate all those delicious seasonings into the vegetable. Pop it in the oven and bake them for twelve minutes at 425 degrees. If you like, shave some Parmesan over the top.
Blanche your beautiful asparagus very quickly, (about 2 minutes) in salted boiling water. Drain asparagus and quickly plunge into an ice bath.  Allow 3-5 minutes for asparagus to coll.  It will be a beautiful bright green. Take out of ice bath and dry with paper towels.
Eat as is or drizzle with olive oil, S& P, slice into 1" pieces and add to salad or you can serve as an appetizer with a lemon yogurt dressing or dip
1 cup plain yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of lemon zest
salt & pepper to taste
mix, serve and DIP!
OH, and I am thrilled about gardening!  In most areas of the country it is still too early, BUT, we can dream and we can start planning! 
Greens can be planted now, if you can turn the soil in your garden.  If it's still too hard. plant in pots.  Cut the leaves when they are ready, leaving the roots, they  will bless you with MORE!
Try early Spring lettuces, spinach, arugula
P. Allen Smith has some Spring gardening tips & planting times for your area.

Enjoy a happy weekend!
So what makes you happy?

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I could not resist this crafty bit of LEPRECHAUN MAGIC!!  
It is from a child's craft site,  
A Differentiated Kindergarten but I think it would be a HILARIOUS SURPRISE for any member of your family, first thing in the morning!! or your PARTY GUESTS after a few beers!

Don't want to dress in all green or wear the obvious Shamrock Tee-shirt?  Try a fun and festive nail design!
How about a GREEN French manicure or the Irish flag?


3 cups of bleached flour ( I used unbleached.)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 egg
2 cups of buttermilk
¼ cup of melted butter
I added:
1 cup of raisins or a dried fruit
1. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Dump in all the dry ingredients.
3. Mix them together.
4. Add the egg and melt butter.
5. Stir until all the ingredients are moist.
6. Add raisins and stir just until they are blended into the mixture.
7. Pour into pan.
8. Bake for one hour.
9. Let it cool overnight.



  • 2 quart(s) water
  • 1 cup(s) coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon(s) pink curing salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon(s) mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon(s) black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crushed
  • 4 dried bay leaves, crushed
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 5 pound(s) flat-cut beef brisket
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 1 medium celery stalk, halved
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, halved
  • 1 pound(s) baby turnips, peeled, trimmed
  • 1 pound(s) baby carrots, peeled, trimmed
  • 1 medium head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 pound(s) small red potatoes
  • Dijon mustard, for serving

  1. Make the brine: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salts, sugar, and spices; remove from heat, and stir until salts and sugar dissolve. Let cool.
  2. Make the corned beef: Place brisket in a nonreactive container just large enough to hold it. Pour cooled brine over meat. Place 2 small plates on top to keep meat submerged; cover, and refrigerate for 2 weeks.
  3. Rinse brisket; discard brine. Place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add onion, celery, and halved carrot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Set a steamer in a large saucepan. Add enough water to reach the bottom, and bring to a boil. Add turnips. Reduce heat, cover, and steam until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with baby carrots, steaming 10 to 12 minutes. Add to turnips.
  5. Transfer corned beef to a cutting board. Tent with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard remaining solids from broth, then bring to a boil. Add cabbage and potatoes, and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Add turnips and carrots, and cook until warmed through. Transfer vegetables to a platter; reserve broth.
  6. Trim excess fat from beef. Slice thinly against grain, and transfer to platter. Serve with broth and mustard.

Rainbow Cupcake Ingredients:

Prepare cake mix or other cake recipe. Divide batter into 6 bowls and add coloring to each bowl.
I added about 1 cup of batter for the Red, and then a little less for each color. Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each cupcake liner.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
To assemble the Rainbow you will need…
  • Red – 20 cupcakes
  • Orange – 17 cupcakes
  • Yellow – 14 cupcakes
  • Green – 11 cupcakes
  • Blue – 8 cupcakes
  • Purple – 6 cupcakes
To decorate…
Fit a decorator bag with a giant round tip, add the frosting to the bag. Pipe on a small amount of frosting and immediately add colored sugar.

End your St. Patrick’s Day toast off with a hearty ‘Sláinte!’ (pronounced ‘slawn-cha’), 
which means Health! and is the equivalent to ‘Cheers!’
Personalized Shamrock Beer Mug