Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flashback Friday ~School Days

I'm planning on attending my 25th High School reunion in a few weeks so thought I might show you some random school pics my niece found in a photo album at my parents house recently. My how time has flown!

And a few shots from my spring flowers

My roses (that survived) are far away from blooming. This is a bloom on a little mini I bought at the grocery store.

I love these little fuzzy pasque flowers.

My little mini path all freshened up with new dirt. Thanks honey!

Snowflake and red primrose

The bleeding hearts are starting to bloom

Daffodils enjoying a minute of sunshine

For my Foodie Friday contribution I'm showing Chocolate Milk French Toast. It was as yummy as it sounds.

Chocolate Milk French Toast

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chocolate milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
8-10 pieces bread - french or brioche would work best.
butter for pan

Combine beaten eggs, milk, sugar, and extracts in a shallow pan (like a pie plate). Lay bread in pan to soak up liquid. Flip to get both sides. You can poke your bread with a fork to make sure it soaks in. Transfer bread to butter pan and cook on stove over medium high heat until done on each side. Repeat until bread is used up.

I served with strawberries sliced and mixed with 1/4 cup sugar & 2 Tablespoons maple syrup plus a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The chocolate flavor is not overwhelming in this but gives it a great taste. For a stronger chocolate flavor you could add cocoa to the milk/egg mixture.

If you have a flashback of your own that you'd like to share please add your link here and LINK back to this blog.

I have thrown out the Great Cooking Magazine Challenge again. The date is May 8th. I'll have Mr. Linky up on the 7th since the 8th is Mother's Day. The idea is to try something new out of a cooking magazine. But rules are made to be broken so if you don't have a magazine any new to you recipe will do. Can't wait to see what you will try!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter 2011!

We celebrated Easter with too much good food

Too much Candy!

And a little tie dying! This is the third year I've tried this technique. It's so much fun to see how they come out. Using silk from ties (or other silk fabric) cut pieces big enough to wrap the eggs, then tie the ends with yarn.

Then wrap the egg in a white or light color piece of fabric. I cut up an old pillow case. Pull the fabric close and tie the end with another piece of yarn. Put all of the eggs in water with 1/4 cup vinegar. Boil for 20 minutes. Let cool in a colander before unwrapping eggs.

You never know what you will get! The wrinkles in the fabric leave white gaps, but it kind of adds to the swirly pattern.

I like how this pastel paisley came out

The twisty marks at top look pretty cool on some.

Last year I blew a few eggs so I could keep them. I didn't take the time to do that this year and I will hate to throw them away!

Once the eggs have cooled and dried use a little dab of cooking oil to give them a shine.

Word of warning! I don't think the eggs dyed using this method should be eaten. The dye isn't necessarily food safe and it seeps through the shells.

That's a good excuse to keep them around for a while after Easter :-)

For those of you that care - there is a new Egg Pocking champion!!!!!

Yes that IS my hand! Read up on egg pocking HERE if you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flashback Friday ~Bok Choy Salad

For Flashback Friday I have this vintage photo to share. It just makes me laugh...

Flashing back to a family favorite recipes as well. This is a great salad for a crowd or holiday. Consider it for your Easter table. I promise it will be a hit. The recipe comes from my friend Belinda who is one of the best cooks around. I think you can find it online, but she's the one that introduced it to my family so I give her the credit!

Bok Choy Salad
my friend Belinda

1 Bunch Bok Choy Cabbage
6 Green Onions

Chop bok choy into bite size pieces - use the whole thing. Slice green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2 pkgs ramen noodles (use the seasoning packet for something else)
1 small package slivered almonds
1 stick butter
2 tsp sesame seeds

Brown crushed noodles and almonds in butter. In the last couple of minutes add the sesame seeds and brown without burning. Drain on paper towels and cook to room temperature. Reserve until ready to serve salad.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate and reserve until ready to serve salad. When ready to serve combine topping, salad and dressing then toss. Serve immediately.

If you have a flashback of any kind, Easter or otherwise please add your link below!

I'm joining in for Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum. Check it out!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mosaic Monday ~Mushroom!

Spent Saturday exploring a new (to me) garden, The Bloedel Reserve, with my parents. At 150 acres there were a lot of woods too! More pictures later, but wanted to share the fungi I found.

I'm joining in for Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Check it out HERE.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mosaic Monday ~Opening Night and a Garden Open House

We started the weekend going to the Seattle Mariner's Home Opener. The ceremonies before the game included two Golden Glove award presentaions, the Cy Young award presentation to Felix Hernandez - my current favorite player, and a tribute to the long time radio announcer and Hall of Famer, Dave Niehaus who passed away this fall. His trademark homerun saying was My Oh My! We had a fun night, but temps in the 30s and a less than stellar performance sent us home a little early :-)

Which was got me home at a decent hour and into bed, so I was fresh in the morning to go to a plant sale and garden tour at a place close to me. I had to ride through the country to get there. Which I LOVE. I have a weakness for barns and I loved how the blue on this one matched the color of the sky!

The garden is one I have wanted to visit since first learning of it last year during the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour I went on. The proceeds from those tours went towards the preservation and upkeep of Chase Garden. The garden was originally part of a private home, but now is owned by the Garden Conservancy and a nonprofit organization. You can read more about the garden HERE.

The house itself is modest, but the view is sensational. If the day had been clear you'd see Mt. Rainier in the distance. I plan on returning on my next clear day opportunity! The valley below is the Puyallup River valley which runs from Mt. Rainier to Puget Sound.

The gardens were designed to mimic the mountain meadows and fir forests across that valley. This photo reminds me of some I've taken when visiting Mt. Rainier

The style of the gardens is pretty natural, but there is also beautiful lawn to compliment the more natural areas.

Lots of paths and interesting features including this "stream" bed that reminds me of looking down on the rivers near the mountain - except in miniature.

Can you imagine have this gorgeous path to stroll down while drinking your morning coffee?

Much of the garden is devoted to mass plantings of native and well suited plants to the Pacific Northwest. There are some plants that just look better in groups than bergenia at the center left of this picture.

And these dainty little anemones

Several benches are scattered in the garden for resting and taking it all in

There were a few bulbs planted here and there. More of a compliment to the natives than the focus. Like these daffodils amongst the pulmonarias

And these cute little grape hyacinths

I loved this little sweet clump of blue anemone. I have some growing in my front yard under the viburnum. I'm always excited to see it emerge each year.

There were some really nice shrubs planted throughout including some huge rhodys. It's still early for most to be blooming, but this was was already putting on a show.

This monster hellebore had me thinking I better do some dividing in my yard!

Here and there were patches of primroses running rampant...not a bad thing at all!

Here's a little different perspective looking toward the mountains and house with a view of the "meadow" and paths.

We are still very early in spring here and the heather which is a winter bloomer is still looking pretty

This walkway made my heart go pitter patter.

Beyond the meadow is a wooded area that will have you thinking you were deep in the woods

Ancient fallen trees and moss typical to this area give it a lush green feel.

You can see evidence of a "nurse" tree - fallen many many years ago and "new" trees that grew on and over them hence the elongated exposed roots.

Signs of spring were in the woods too including this spread of trillium or Wake Robin as its commonly known. Do you think its called that since it blooms in spring and its a sign to the Robin to wake up?

Here's a closer look

And here's a little native that I had to buy at the plant sale after seeing it on my tour. Its called Erythronium revolutum or Pink Fawn Lily. The flowers are dainty and fairy like and the foliage is a neat purple and green variegated

Hope you enjoyed the tour. I plan on returning several times this year to photograph it through the seasons. I was told May would be I'll try to hit it then.

I'm joining in for Mosaic Monday over at Little Red House. Check it out HERE.
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