Friday, February 11, 2011

There is light at the end of the Frozen Tundra Tunnel! Temps will be creeping up from well below zero yesterday to the 50's by this time next week! Hooray! I am sure Old Man Winter isn't done with us yet... but Spring is near! With temps that warm I am hopeful to open a few windows (even if only for a short time) and let some fresh air into the house!

I am in the beginning stages of planning my veggie garden for 2011! We are going to add a couple of raised beds this year as well as build a nice organized compost area. I found a great article in the November 2010 issue of Better Homes & Gardens about composting. I loved the photo of the compost bin made from shipping pallets! We have access to as many pallets as we would like, so I have plans for how and where the compost area will be! (Jim's thrilled) I will post pics later this spring when we have it all put together.

I will use the raised beds for onions, carrots, parsnips,shallots etc! Potatoes, Brussels sprouts, peppers, tomatoes, turnips, beets are already in the plans for the main garden area. I am going to tidy up and organize my herb garden this year. And I have also found articles about incorporating Swiss Chard etc in the flower gardens, so I plan to do that as well! Can you tell it's been a long, long, cold winter? *grin*

I plan on doing a lot of canning, preserving and freezing this year as well. Nothing better than preserving fresh veggies and fruits! My pantry will hopefully be overflowing with summer's bounty!

Next weekend I am attending a container gardening seminar at our local feed and seed store that is just around the corner from our home! I can't wait! Should be a lot of fun!

I am dreaming of spring and all the promises that come with the season. Easter will soon be here and

we will celebrate as a family Christ's glorious resurrection! I long to see buds on the trees ready to burst forth in color. I can visual the garden full of bounty that the Lord will provide. I can imagine lovely evenings enjoying food with good friends on the back patio. I can imagine early mornings with my coffee and the paper or quiet time out there as well.

I am sure you are all looking forward to spring as well! Do you have any special plans? Are you veggie gardening this year? I'd love to hear what your plans are!

Until then... I can look out my window and dream...

Deck from my window... today

Last Summer

Onions in June 2010

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Swap!

As the "Monster Storm" blew through Indianapolis I was happy to be tucked in my cozy home cooking! I had snipped this recipe out of the Indianapolis Star about, ummmm... 2 years ago! I found it after I had to reorganize my recipe box (I dropped it last year and all the recipes dumped on the floor - only to be mixed up and very unorganized - why it took a year to put back in order is another story) I have to say I was very, very pleased with the recipe! I did modify a bit - I only used one can of beans rather than 2 (as the recipe only serves 6) I didn't have any fresh parsley or a jalapeno in the house and the weather made it impossible to run to the market. So I used dried Parsley (just don't use as much as the fresh) I had jarred sliced jalapenos - so I pulled out several slices, rinsed them and chopped. I didn't put the garlic or jalapenos in until the onions began to sweat. I also used - gasp - jarred, minced garlic rather than my garden garlic. I served with a dollop of sour cream and Sea Salt Tortilla Chips rather than crackers! The recipe is a WINNER! And I will make again and again! For a larger crowd I suggest doubling the recipe! So without further adieu... here is my contribution to "Quit Eating Out ~ Saturday Swap!"

White Chili with Chicken

1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans (151/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 to 11/4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1. In a large saucepan, cook the onion, jalapeno if desired and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the broth, beans, parsley, lime juice and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into chili. Add chicken. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.
Serves 6

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SSMT Verse #3

Could January really be over? Indeed January is in the books... and February, well February has come in like a lion here in Indy. One wave of this ice storm has moved through. The next wave, which will be more dangerous is on it's way. I know so many of you dislike snow... believe me you would rather have snow than this ice. I am praying our power stays on and our trees remain in tact. After the first round the landscape is encased in ice, so branches sagging dangerously... I am hopeful our trees don't suffer and damage.

So on to Memory verse #3! So far, so good! I repeat my verses many, many times during the day! I know get to add this verse from Philippians:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:19

How is everyone doing with their memory verses? I have to tell you... I feel the prayers of Siestaville! I have yet to make it through a year of memory work... this year I will! Thank you for your encouragement! I am excited about this and am hoping that after I make it through 2011 that I can coordinate a Memory Verse Team at our Church for 2012!

I am praying for you girls who are dedicating 2011 to memorizing scripture!
Much Love,