Sunday, August 30, 2009

Apricot Cobbler Recipe

If you have a few extra apricots hanging around the kitchen or you see them on sale at the supermarket - you've gotta try this recipe! My husband went gaga for it - even proclaimed it was the best dessert I've made (hmmm?). I am more skeptical about that statement being a chocolate lover myself, BUT it was pretty good! Especially hot out of the oven!

This is my second cobbler in the last month - last time it was with blackberries - apparently I get in ruts. :) Haha! Or more accurately - I have buy/find too much fruit in the summer months and don't know what to do with it all since I am the only one in the house who really eats fresh fruit and then waalaa! Cobbler!


1 lb. fresh apricots, halved

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Sprinkle topping over apricots; bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Delicious served with ice cream!

Recipe taken from California Apricot Advisory Board Recipe Booklet.

Found online along with other apricot recipes here

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our Visit to Lucas Oil Stadium

Finally a non-garden related post! I can hear you all sigh with relief! :)

Matt and I finally were able to experience the inside of Lucas Oil Stadium a few weeks back now. We were feeling like the only two Indianapolis area citizens who hadn't been inside for awhile there! :) It is a great new complex - loved it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Men Grow in the Garden

My husband's gardening efforts this year have been pretty focused on peppers - specifically hot peppers! This is a little it of his harvest! He wants to find and plant the "ghost pepper" for next year - but I'm a little hesitant with out nosy chihuahua who likes to eat things out of the garden. Hmm? We'll see. :) Maybe if he plants it in it's own special pot and keeps it up out of chihuahua reach.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why plant cherry tomatoes if you don't like them?

I get asked this a lot actually - why plant cherry tomatoes if you don't like to eat tomatoes?
Yes, shocker to some of you maybe, but common knowledge to anyone who knows me well-enough. I am quite the culinary conundrum - loving ketchup with a passion and eating my fair share of tomato soup but turning my nose up to any sort of fresh tomato slice whether in my salad, crunchwrap or otherwise - don't like the taste of tomatoes. And P.S. I am picky eater - trying to slowly get myself out of this habit but somethings just stick (but hey, I do like steamed and grilled asparagus and steamed brocolli now! baby steps!) so I know there is hope for me yet.

But anyway, back to why I plant cherry tomatoes even though I won't eat them and my husband eats a total of two before he's sick of them himself.
  1. Well, because, for one, they are pretty - just look at them!
  2. And two I like salsa and tomato sauce and the like and am hoping that one day my hubby or I (but primarily my hubby) will make of these things with our tomato surplus instead of giving it all away to coworkers, family and friends.
  3. And three, I LIKE giving things to family, coworkers and friends! It's fun! :)
  4. And four, I like the idea of tomatoes, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar - the dish looks amazing and seems like it would taste good - but just haven't worked up the gumption enough to make it - plus don't have any balsamic vinegar in our pantry.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garden Update: Late August

I can't bring myself to take any pictures of our garden in it's current state. Sigh. We planted so early so of course we had the height of our growing season early and now, yup, it is all ending early. So the garden looks pretty wilty, crinkly, brown and dying.

We still are harvesting quite a bit of goodness, but it just looks less than pretty.
  • Still getting a few yellow summer squash - but they are significantly smaller than what we were getting a few weeks ago.
  • A few good onions!
  • Lots and lots of cherry tomatoes!
  • And the most marvelous cantaloupe I've ever tasted! Ate it with a spoon the insides were so ripe and soft - ah...marvelous!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Planting Weeds In My Garden

Spent a good part of Sunday afternoon weeding the flower beds at my church. And while out there I meet this little guy! :)

I kept noticing these striped caterpillars - like the one above but much smaller, and I knew that they looked kinda like Monarch butterfly caterpillars but they where tiny. They were consistently on these awful viny weeds and I thought that Monarchs only ate milkweed and with no milkweed in sight I just kept picking them off so they could live and crawl off somewhere else and not be mashed and smothered in my weed pile.

On the final garden bed, lo and behold there was milkweed and with caterpillars (meet little guy in pic above) on it! So, I dug some up and took it home to plant in my backyard, caterpillars and all! :) Now, I just need to explain to my hubby why I need to go out and find more milkweed to plant.

After some research I learned that I was supposed to take the tiny plants because milkweed doesn't like to be transplanted but smaller plants tend to handle it better and I am sure I damaged the taproot on this one. So, now to be able to supply my two new pets with ample food (and to encourage more in the future) I am going to have to go out and find some baby milkweed plants (pretty sure we have some growing in the vacant field/lot next to our community).

So if you see me and a shovel out in the field here soon, don't be surprised! :)

But back to the title of my post, yes, there is now milkweed growing on my backyard. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Apple Season Start Dates

Getting in the mood for apple season and all that fall has to offer!

Gleaned some info about apple season start dates by variety from one of our favorite orchard's website.

Availability dates are approximate; please call Anderson Apple Orchard (317) 831-4181 for more specific starting and ending dates.

All apples store best when refrigerated.

Apple Variety Availability Flavor Additional Information
Summer Apples (Poor Storage Apples)
Lodi Early to Mid July Sour Cooks to Mush
Great for Apple Sauce
Must Refrigerate
Jersey Mac Mid to Late July Tart McIntosh Family
Good for Cooking
Must Refrigerate
Earligold Mid to Late July Tart All-Purpose
Must Refrigerate
Paula Red Mid to Late July Tart McIntosh Family
Good for Cooking
Must Refrigerate
Akane Late July to Late August Tart Early Jonathan
Mollies Delicious Mid August to Early September Sweet Similar to Red Delicious
Good for Eating
Must Refrigerate
McIntosh Late August to Mid September Tart All-Purpose
Recommended for Cooking
Fall Apples (Good Storage Apples)
Ginger Gold Early to Mid August Sweet/
1st Good Eating Apple
Gala Mid August to Late October Sweet 1st Sweet Eating Apple
Golden Supreme Mid to Late August Sweet Similar to Golden Delicious
Honey Crisp Late August to Late September Sweet/
Senshu (Early Fuji) Late August to Mid September Sweet Good for Eating
Grimes Golden Early September to Late September Sweet Old Fashion Apple
Jonathan Early September to Mid November Tart All-Purpose
Popular for Pies
Cortland Early September to Late October Tart All-Purpose
Recommended for Cooking
Cooks Soft
Must Refrigerate
Red Delicious Mid September to Mid November Sweet Good for Eating
Golden Delicious Mid September to Mid November Sweet All-Purpose
Jonagold Mid September to Mid November Sweet All-Purpose
Winter Apples (Best Storage Apples)
Melrose Mid September to Late October Tart All-Purpose
Ida Red Late September to Mid November Tart All-Purpose
Similar to Jonathan
Scarlet Beauty Late September to Mid November Sweet All-Purpose
Turley Winesap Late September to Mid November Tart All-Purpose
Mutsu/Crispin Late September to Mid November Sweet/
Braeburn Late September to Late October Sweet/
Stayman Early October to Mid November Sweet/
Fuji Early October to Mid November Sweet All-Purpose
Granny Smith Early October to Mid November Sour All-Purpose
Great for Cooking
Black Twig Mid October to Mid November Tart All-Purpose

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reader Help!

I'm helping Candace at Frugal Indy design a button for her blog.

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Leave a comment on her test blog telling us your favorite!

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Gorgeous Glads

One of my Valentine's Day/Birthday-month presents this year were some Gladiola bulbs my hubby got for me! I planted them in our front yard and have been dazzled by their gorgeous display for the last couple of weeks now!

Pretty sure that writing a post entitled "Glorgeous Glads" makes me a gardening geek. :( Sigh.

Now, I just gotta remember to dig them up before winter!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Recommendation: Love's Pursuit

Been a little lacking in the reading department after going through too many great books all at once, kinda left me burnt out and left wondering how any book could beat the stories I had just read.

Well, I am finally getting bored and wanting to read again and lucky for me I happened to pick up an excellent read at the library the other day!

Love's Pursuit
by Siri Mitchell

A definite must-read - a great inspiration story about love - both romance-wise and faith-wise. A great twisty tale that had me on my toes trying to figure out what was going to happen next! And the tears! Oh the tears! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blackberry Cobbler

Our neighbors and friends, who heard our blackberry story and saw the little cup full of blackberries we had picked as we finished our walk and strode by their house - asked us recently if we had actually eaten our finds.

I told them yes and mentioned the cobbler we had made. And after a kind of long awkward pause they asked if we felt sick afterwards. LOL!

Oh goodness! :) No, we feel fine - unless the berries were sprayed with some kind of chemical we were in no harm of getting sick. I've picked this berries growing up for many years and know what they look like. Hehe, made for a good chuckle for me though! Those suburban kids! :)

I was telling my husband as I was picking them that it is a good thing the neighbor kids who play in the woods have no clue that these berries were edible - or there'd be none left! But I am sure they all got the "don't eat berries they could be poisonous!" story we all got growing up. I had the talk, I know the fear, but I've also been with my parents as they pointed out what WAS edible - mulberries, blackberries, black raspberries, morels in the springtime - all that grow wild in wooded areas of Indiana. Yum!

Another Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Lots of Blackberry Recipe Ideas from Homestead Farm

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Another year as all but flown by!

Happy Birthday - wonderful husband of my mine! My knight in shining armor, my bug killer, garden-box builder, fellow book worm, encourager, garage-sale habit enabler, beach bum, yummy salsa maker, perfect grilled cheese toaster, shrinker of my clothes, mower of our yard, good listener, griller extraordinaire, bringer home of the delicious crunch wrap, fellow library fiend, quite decent antique store shopping companion, you are wonderful - my perfect match.

Love you!

Suburban Foraging: Wild Blackerries!

(Me and my little helper - picking blackberries!)

One of things about growing up in rural Indiana is that you get the chance to learn a little more than the average suburban Hoosier about what grows native in Indiana. Especially if you lived near any sort of wooded area, etc.

A favorite memory growing up in northern Indiana is picking blackberries with my siblings from the brambles just down from our house at the edge of our property. Your fingers get stained purple and you're bound to come away with a thorn or two lodged in your wrist, but it was all worth it when my mom made it all into a delicious blackberry jelly!

Though we now live in a more suburban area, I still have that eye that roams the ground and while I have had zero luck in finding any morels or arrowheads near our new home, I have had the pleasure of finding a fairly decent sized blackberry patch!

Out walking the dogs we walk the path that loops around one of the man-made ponds and on the far edge of the pond is a line of trees that separates the community from the field next door. And, yup, that is exactly where the blackberries grow!

Blackberry cobbler here we come!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On the Ballot for BLINDY!

Very humbled and excited to have been nominated and actually be on the ballot for 2009's BLINDY Awards - Best Hoosier Blogger category! Thank you to all who nominated me, I am still in shock! :) Definitely made my week/month/year - especially after having a particularly rough weekend.

My readers are fabulous and in case you don't hear it enough - YOU ROCK!

We've got till Saturday to vote!


Here's a tidbit off the BLINDY website:

The 2009 BLINDY Awards will recognize Indiana's best blogs, bloggers, and social media magnates for their efforts across a spectrum of categories. Help put your favorite blogs & bloggers in the hoosier spotlight by voting!

Please, only one vote per person. We're just going to toss out any extra ballots you fill out, so please only vote once - it'll save us a ton of time.

Voting ends at 12:00AM Saturday, August 15th.

The 2009 BLINDY Awards will take place Saturday, August 15th during BlogINDIANA's Saturday Social Media Summit. Tickets for the summit are available for $49 - reserve your seat today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Actually been very impressed with my newly installed strawberry patch this summer! Wasn't sure how it'd do, especially when I didn't see anything for weeks. Lately though, we've been able to pull off 2-3 good strawberries a week - even now (Early Aug)! And, OMG, are they are delicious! Like no strawberry you can buy in the store - ahhh, homegrown tastes SO GOOD!

A little surprised at how much it has filled in the 2 x 4 raised garden bed we put them in. They are even vining out trying to reach the ground around the box! Good grief! I might just let them! :) No harm in more backyard berries!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Speaking of Stars

I can't believe I didn't mention my Hibiscus (or are they rose of sharon??) when I gushed on and on about my flowers. These dinner plate blooms are right outside my dining room window!

Sadly, they got a little bullied as well by those severe storms.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flower Fun

Really enjoying my flowers this year! The last two years have been very labor heavy getting shrubs, trees, etc in our yard but this third year has been more like coasting in the yard department. We did put things in overdrive once or twice - we planted tons of lovely plants that a coworker had separated from overgrown areas of her yard. But mostly it has been nice to just sit back and watch things bloom.

Right now the stars of the show are my Black-Eyed Susans and Gladiolas!

See my bright pink Glads on the corner! Swoon! I wish I would have gotten a better picture before Tuesday's storms decided to slam them around - they look a little beaten at the moment.