Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Food, Friends and Fun.....

I had big fun with my pals a couple weeks ago. We got together for a great dinner, lots of laughs, great food. We dined on a colorful salad, jalapeno cornbread, summer squash and zucchini on the grill, along with a melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin, followed by a blueberry tart and elegant little cookies for dessert. Yummmm….

I decided to share my Jalapeno Cornbread recipe, since the peppers are growing like crazy in my garden right now:


3 c. corn bread mix (2- 8.5 oz. boxes Jiffy or store brand mix)

1 c. milk (I use ¾ c. Heavy Cream w/ ¼ c. water)

3 eggs

3 Tbs. bacon drippings

2 c. canned corn (I use yellow-and-white sweet corn I’ve cut off the cob and frozen)

½ c. fresh chopped Jalapeno peppers, seeds washed out (or use pickled canned Jalapenos) Want it a little hotter? Use ¾ cup peppers.

2 ½ - 8 oz. pkgs. (hmm, guess that’s 20 oz.) cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat variety – mixes easier, but regular or a mix of both will work once at room temperature.)

6 tsp (6 individual packets) Splenda (or you can use sugar)

½ tsp. ground white pepper

Open peppers, wash out seeds. In a bowl, combine corn bread mix, milk, eggs, Splenda, corn, Jalapenos. Mix well, then add bacon drippings (warm in microwave if it's been refrigerated.) Mix cream cheese into the batter (the cream cheese can remain in medium-sized chunks…. no need to mix smoothly or dissolve in.) Spread mixture into a greased 8 ½ x 11 baking dish (I use spray oil.)

Bake at 425 degrees uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes. Top should be golden w/ some brown, edges should be quite brown, toothpick should come out clean.

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Speaking of Food, Friends and Fun, alliteration came to mind. I decided to go through my photos for alliterative titles.

Without further ado, please enjoy some Fitting “Foto” Folly!!

Fantastic Fiddlehead Fern

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Fat Fluffy Feline on Fence

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First Fall Foliage

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Fine French Florets

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Flourishing Fringed Flowers

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Floating Flat Flotilla of Fall Frondescence!

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Have an Extra Enjoyable Evening :)

Until next time,


Monday, July 20, 2009

Clouds, Clouds and More Clouds.....

Clouds! Oh so pretty!

Spectacular skies, truly a natural wonder! Simply, water evaporating as vapor and forming mist in the sky, lighter than air.

I love seeing the clouds at home, at the farm, or as we travel. Sometimes I get lucky and get a great photograph, too!

Please enjoy this variety of clouds from all over North America…...

Ohio Sunset Clouds

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Lake Chautauqua, New York

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Stoco Lake, Tweed, Ontario, Canada

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Southern Ohio White Blossoms & Clouds

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Clouds Opposite the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

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Ohio Winter Clouds

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Snow Clouds, & Kitty on the Crystallized, Ice-covered Snow

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Ohio Storm Clouds

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I hope you enjoyed this mini-tour of clouds and dramatic skies from my travels.

Have a great week..... and don't forget to look up to the heavens now and then!!


Friday, July 10, 2009

LOOK!! Etsy Front Page

Woo hoo... My photo "Foggy Sunrise" made the Etsy Front page on 7-9-09!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bugs that Bug ME!

I love to see and photograph bees on the flowers.
But something's been eating the petals on all the daisies.....

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I found the culprits: Japanese Beetles!

The nasty bugs are eating everything in sight including my Brussels sprouts leaves. My neighbors put traps up, so I put one up this afternoon. YIKES, the trap is filling up fast. Anyone else having the same problem? If "yes" please comment at the end of this post.

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Here's something that does NOT bug me:
A sweet little backyard visitor...

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And speaking of visits, yesterday I visited my "old" college roomie, Candy, and her adorable 4-month old granddaughter, Mallory. Most of my photos turned out blurry, but this next one turned out just great:

"Baby Toes"

Life is beautiful even with a few bugs!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My First Vegetable Garden!

I planted my first ever vegetable garden this year at our farm. My back is aching but the harvesting is so much FUN!

Here’s what the garden looked like mid-May:

All the grids and hanging cans and bags, along with scattered egg shells, have successfully kept the deer, rabbits and other critters away. . Plus I’ve used a smelly spray made of garlic cloves and habanero peppers soaked in water. (Horrible, but it does the trick!)

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Next take a peek at how it looks today with thriving tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, celery, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels spouts, and lots of sunflowers.

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Below is the side garden with more beans, yellow squash, cantaloupes & zucchini,oh my!

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Bee Happy…. A Busy Bee at work on a cantaloupe blossom.

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And now, the fruits (or veggies) of my labor so far:

Yellow Crook-Neck Squash

Hungarian, Bell and Jalapeno Peppers

And the best, freshest Cauliflower and Broccoli cooking on the stove (absolutely delicious!)

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The Southern Ohio climate and the extra rainfall we’ve had make everything grow like crazy.

I also grew a couple hibiscus plants this year and the blooms are huge:

And finally, my little kitty cat posing with the flowers by the fence. (awwww isn’t that just the cutest?!)

That’s all for now. Have a fantastic week!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Celebrations - 4th of July

Time to embrace summer! Coming up: Independence Day in the USA!

Happy 4th of July!!!!

Let’s celebrate all things red, white and blue............

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And a special "shout out" to all my Canadian friends and neighbors to the North:

Happy Canada Day!!!

Until the next time....