Blog Archives

What Color is Your December ?

For many, the answer is probably white as in snow. Others might be red and green, glittery gold and silver, perhaps some shiny tinsel and colorful ornaments? Maybe blue for Hanukkah. Mine is green and lots of it.

sugar snap peas are thriving

Green grass, green trees and beautiful green leaves in my vegetable garden. One of the most wonderful things about living in Central Florida can be found in my garden. Not too hot, not too-too cold, December is a great time to be outside.

green harvest

Doesn’t matter if I’m harvesting or weeding, I love it. Right now I have kale, peppers, sugar snap peas, lettuce, onions, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and the last of my tomatoes and zucchini. Come January I’ll plant some red and white potatoes, but until then, I’m simply going to enjoy the green of the season. Find out how and what I’m doing with all this harvest on my blog over at BloominThyme.

December salad

How about you? Any garden to speak of this time of year?

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Time in Get OUTside!

After my whirlwind year of 2013 when writing took up a good chunk of my existence, I’m going back to the garden. Taking a break, if you will, from the fervent typing in exchange for the rhythmic till of soil. It’s good to be outside, especially on a day when it’s sunny and 70! Florida living…. Not that the polar vortex missed us. It didn’t. But we do get a reprieve where many of you do not. My condolences.

My plants have missed me but are loving the cooler temps. Cabbage and broccoli love this weather.

cabbage is happy

Brussels Sprouts are coming along nicely, plumping on the stalk.

Brussels are sprouting

Onions, too. The warm bed of hay mulch helps.

sweet onions are snug

I also have carrots, kale and lettuce in ground. A few peppers, plus, we planted some potatoes today. All seem content. Miraculously, my tomatoes are not brown and dead from last week’s freeze.

frozen but not dead tomatoes

Not sure how that happened but I’m not chancing a bite of the fruit. I think I’m good until spring. 🙂

Spring. In Florida that’s only 6 weeks away! I hate to boast but life is good here in the South.

Sweet Spring Onions

My sweet onions are ready for harvest!  Is there a better sign that spring is in the air?

Okay, so spring isn’t in the air everywhere at the moment and I should know–the family and I just flew home from Denver, CO where Old Man Winter is blowing hard and furious.  But the cold will make this recipe all the sweeter. 🙂  It’s sweet and savory and the aroma alone will delight your senses.

If you like French Onion Soup, you’re going to LOVE this dish.  While a sure-fire hit in the fall, this delicacy is welcome in my home any time of the year.   Taken from the magazine, Cuisine at Home, it’s simple and easy to make, much like homemade French Onion Soup.   And worth every minute.   Sliced onions cooked until they caramelize are a guaranteed winner in any household and when you add cheese, the whole world turns sweeter.   Especially when we’re talking Gruyère cheese.   (Is your mouth watering yet?)

Baked Sweet Onions

Onions au Gratin

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

8 cups sliced sweet onions

1/2 cup dry sherry or chicken broth (I used sherry)

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (I skipped these)

Preheat oven to 400°F

Melt butter in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stirring until slightly softened to make room in the pan (I don’t know what this means—I just sautéed the correct amount of onions); cover and cook until completely softened, 10 minutes.

Add sherry, thyme, and bay leaves; increase heat to medium-high.  Sauté, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates and onions are browning, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes (mine may have been 20 minutes, but caramelizing onions is a fairly forgiving process).

Combine cheeses, then stir 1/2 cup of cheese mixture into onion mixture.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned, about 20 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves, then sprinkle with olives.  Let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 4 servings.   Total time: approx. 50 minutes.

Cuisine at Home is a great publication.  Not only does it offer phenomenal recipes, but it includes color photographs of the cooking process.  Indispensable for novices like myself!

Enjoy!

 

The Eerie Feeling I’m Being Tracked…

Have you ever been surfing the internet, leaping from site to site, forgot where you left off last only to have your web browser remember for you?  Or whatever remembers for you?

Flickr: Itani stock photos

I’ll admit it.  I don’t know how all this web stuff works, but I do know they’re tracking my every movement.  No big deal coming from the woman who’s certain she’s made the “list” somewhere along the way, but seriously.  Am I crazy?  Paranoid?

I don’t think so.  I have a few WordPress blogs, a couple of websites using WordPress platform (though not accessed via WordPress.com).  But when it came time to write my post for this week, I was denied access.  Denied access?  I practically saw red lights flashing around me, horns blasting “intruder!”  What do you mean denied access?

And then I read a bit further.  Seems I was logged in as “gardenfrisk” ~~ my garden blog persona.  Yep.  Not only do I multi-task, I multi-alias to boot!  No wonder I feel crazy–half the time I don’t know if I’m the author of romantic fiction or the organic gardener-extraordinaire.  Am I mom today, or career gal?  Incognito, or looking for attention and promo opportunities at every turn?

Phew.  This social media business can be downright exhausting.  Adding to this is my new venture into Pinterest.  Ever heard of it?  It’s all the rage.  Though I still haven’t convinced myself to sign on for the “Pin It” button action.  My web security detail, Mr. McAfee, doesn’t approve.  And if he doesn’t approve, I don’t approve.

So how I can remain part of the “in” crowd?  Guess I’ll have to upload and “pin it” photos myself, the old-fashioned way.  Is it worth it?  Well, that depends on what you’re after.  I was recently “discovered” by Pinterest because a member decided to “share” (hence, pin)  one of my garden blog photos to her Pinterest board.  I had over 500 hits that day!

Incredible.  If those numbers aren’t enough to make you look twice, I don’t know what is.  So I blinked.  I looked.  And now I’ll wade my way through yet another fabulous, revolutionizing social media site.  How about you?  Is it worth it?  Or is it merely a part of a greater, sinister plot?

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