"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
They are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul."
Meals are important at our house~ they are a time where we all sit together and talk about the days events, big news, mishaps or anything else that happens to pop up. Meal times can get a bit on the noisy side, but they are special together times that everyone gets to give their two cents worth. Last night at the supper table, Taylor said she wanted to do 'Guinea Pig' Suppers every night next week~ Neil said, 'no way'; Kyle said, 'yeah, cool'; Ethan said, 'uh-uh'; I said, 'OK, but I have to say yes first before anything is approved'; Neil said, 'That sounds better'; and then my sweet little 10 year old Ryan said, 'Where are we going to get the guinea pig meat?', quite seriously. So you may be saying, what is a guinea pig meal? Well they are fun & easy. All you do is try a new recipe that you think looks good that you have never tried, really not that scary. Anyway, I thought that this was cute!
*The other day I was at a friends house and they gave me a tour of their new 'little' greenhouse. It was cute- her daughter had saved several of her seed packets to keep for a handy reference. I saw them as something much different- cute Fridge Magnets for home & gifts of course! I am sure most of us gardeners are guilty of buying that 'extra' pack of seed just because of the package, the photo of the flower, herb or veggie- "Oh," we say, "I have to have that ....." . We all love a pretty picture- as they say, 'a picture says a thousands words'... So often I purchase a seed packet just because of the package. Seed companies would be smart if they all put more energy into the packaging! I have already used them as name cards at a tea party, pasted on the front of a homemade card and to make Fridge Magnets. It is so easy and they are the cutest gift to quick throw into a card you are going to send someone! Here's how~ You will need a laminator or self laminating sheets, a roll of self sticking magnet and of course your empty seed packets. Simply laminate the pack and then stick on the magnet! So cute, so simple and so fast!
*Some people collect shoes, purses, books, I collect table clothes. No matter what thrift shop I go to, the first place I hit is the linens department; I stand back and look down the rack so I can pick out the fabrics that catch my eyes~ plaids and floral's are always first on my list. After I find a few things it's off to the sheets~ yes the sheets! Sheets make wonderful outdoor entertaining table clothes; they cover picnic tables beautifully! I also have used quilts for a unique touch on a special occasion! Be creative, it's your table!
Everyone loves the first yummy things out of the garden in spring, lettuces, greens, spinach, radishes, scallions and the list can go on & on. Here is a variation to the everyday salad using some of Garden Gates awesome Bacon, lettuces, greens and radishes!
Garden Gate Farms Special Springtime Salad
1 bag mixed Greens from Garden Gate Farm, about a pound
1 bag baby lettuces from Garden Gate Farm, about a pound
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried Cranberries or cherries or mix of both
1 bunch Radishes from Garden Gate, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 pound Garden Gate Bacon, crisply cooked & crumbled
1/ pound blue cheese or feta cheese (without juice), crumbled
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing- see recipe below
Homemade Croutons- see recipe below
1. Wash & snip greens & lettuces into bite size pieces; arrange in a large salad bowl or on a large serving platter.
2. Layer each of the remaining ingredients, except dressing, on top of lettuce/greens.
3. Serve with dressing on side.
This is a large batch and will feed 12 to 15 hungry folks!
Yummy Poppy Seed Dressing
1/2 cup raw organic sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mustard
1/3 cup real lemon juice
1 tsp. grated red onion
3.4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. poppy seed
1/8 tsp. pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper
1/3 cup grated Fresh Parmesan cheese
6 slices french or sour dough bread, day old is fine, crusts trimmed* (don't throw away)
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter foams; Add garlic and cook about 1 minute; add bread cubes and toss to coat with butter.
2. Season with salt & pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees fro about 15 minutes, tossing once in between, until lightly golden.
3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese and toss until cheese melts.
Makes about 4-6 cups.
*Don't throw away those crusts- put them in a freezer zip lock bag or freezer plastic container and freeze for up to 3 months. Use them for your next batch of homemade dressing!