Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Wish List and Garden Inspiration

After clearing a new area in the back yard yesterday- I am trying to inspire or talk Scot into making some more of his cedar creations. Here are a few ideas. He has already made three Arbors so I think a bench would be a cool project next. The Boys still call the arbors his Arks- it makes me laugh when they say that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kid Friendly Recipes for 4-h workshop

Chocolate Peanut butter swirls aka Sandcastle Dessert


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup peanuts,finely chopped
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cups tub-style light cream cheese
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons fat-free milk
1 4-serving size package sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix


2 small bowls
measuring spoons and cups
large bowl
wire whisk
six 4-6 oz glasses
table knife
plastic wrap

How to make it

1. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and peanuts. Stir in butter until combined, save until step 4.

2. In another small bowl, stir together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Gradually stir in 2 Tablespoons milk until smooth. Save until step 4.

3. In a Large bowl, whisk together 2 cups milk and pudding mix until combined. Continue whisking for 2 minutes.

4. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon crumb mixture into each glass. Top with a rounded Tablespoon of pudding. Put a small spoonful of peanut butter mixture on top of pudding. If you like, swirl with a table knife. Top with remaining pudding and peanut butter mixture swirling, if desired, then top with remaining crumbs.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 2 hours or until set. Makes 6 servings.


3/4 cups fruit loops

2 Tablespoons creamy Peanut Butter

4 Pretzel Rods

Waxed Paper

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

Thin Metal Spatula

Storage Container with a lid

How to Make:

1. Lay wax paper on the Counter. Spread desired amount of cereal on waxed paper.
Set aside. Using the metal spatula, spread peanut butter in a thin layer over each half of each pretzel rod. Roll each rod in the cereal so that it sticks to the peanut butter. Eat right away or put logs in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 day. Makes 4 servings.

Berry Dip & Roll

You'll Need:

1 pint fresh strawberries
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sour cream


Measuring cups and spoons
3 small bowls ( about 1 quart each )
Large Serving Plate or platter

How to Make:

1. Wash and drain the strawberries and remove the stems and the leaves
2. Put the brown sugar in one of the bowls. Add the cinnamon and blend the mixture with a fork. Put the sour cream in the other bowl.
3. Now, the fun part. Roll a strawberry in the sour cream, lift it up, then dip it all over in the brown sugar. Place it on a pretty serving plate and repeat until all the strawberries are dipped. Eat them while they are still cold.


We enjoyed these VERY DENSE brownies last night after dinner and again for breakfast this moring. Yes, Brownies for Breakfast.

Recipe comes from my new Martha's Cookies Cookbook -

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

For the batter:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsley chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325ยบ. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining; set pan aside.
2. Make batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Set aside.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
4. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well combined.
5. Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
6. Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle reamining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining peanut butter mixture on top.
7. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Daylily 'Daring Deception'

The Daylilies are starting to bloom. Check out this new Hybrid Daylily I added to the garden this spring. I have been playing around with flickr and using the picnik to edit the photos.

Moby Dick before Last Night's rain

Moby Dick
Originally uploaded by missagnes1
We had tremendous rainfall last night. Our Pond is a mess. Hopefully all the fish are doing alright. I don't think I have ever seen it rain so hard .

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Garden Tour

Check out some amazing Gardens on Tour from A Cottage Industry
This is one of my most favorite blogs to visit. It has been FUN taking a peek at all the different gardens and getting new ideas.

Potting and Potting and Potting up Plants

I have been spending a lot of time lately in my backyard at my new potting bench potting up plants. Scot made the potting bench out of junk we had just sitting around and the top is one of those free barn doors I found a while back. I can't wait to clean up this little spot and make it look better. I have been too busy making a mess with dirt. I went a little too crazy with buying seeds this spring/winter. I have had a lot of people stop by to purchase plants- Everyone has been so friendly and it has been fun sharing our garden with others.

Rebuilding the Broken Brick Path

Due to High Traffic around the Hosta Mound, we have been replacing a path made out of salvaged old brick and brick pieces with a more solid path made with old whole bricks. I have been looking for old brick pavers on craigslist and at garage sales. I just love the terra cotta color of the old bricks.

Today's Bright Spots in the Garden

The Lilies and the Roses are starting to Bloom with last few sunny days.

BEFORE: My Old Countertops

AFTER: My New Countertops

Father's Day Crepes

Basic Crepe Batter

Yields about 22 six inch crepes

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk- more as needed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 T butter, for basting crepe maker cooking plate

Combine eggs and milk in a blender. Add flour and salt and mix on high speed until smooth. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over med heat, using a pastry brush to add a butter coating to the crepe maker cooking plate before dipping and cooking.

Father's Day last Sunday Started out with opening presents. Quinn had picked out this crepe maker a couple weeks ago. He has been so excited and had been giving quite a few hints to Scot that he had an awesome father's day gift a coming. I am not sure but Dad may have been a little disappointed. Quinn, however is thrilled with the crepe maker and has been requesting them everyday for breakfast. Quinn has been obsessed with crepes ever since the beginning of 1st grade last fall when his class had a French day complete with crepes. This little maker is very easy to use and the recipe that came with it makes a ton of crepes in one batch.

Splish Splashing at Swimming Lessons

Another Season of summer Swimming Lessons is over. Cade enjoyed it this year and has made tremendous progress and Quinn hated every minute of it. All in all, I think their fear of water is gradually going away. They are looking forward to spending a lot of time at the pool just for fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Busy Summer Afternoon

The Boys had fun trying to fish while I spent the afternoon volunteering at a Garden for the Master Garden Program. It is so windy there - I am amazed at how well the plants hold up. All this rain probably helps. They did not catch any fish. A boy fishing next to them was able to catch a large bullfrog and they got to hold it. They thought it was Cool.

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