Thursday, July 12, 2012

All About Vases

pic from paulagracedesigns

Vases date back to over 5,000 years ago and are still being used today.

They can be old or new, shiny or rustic, colorful or plain...whatever their properties, they are beautiful and versatile.   

Display them with flowers or plants as usual to brighten a room.  

I really enjoy a table with fresh flowers.  Don't you?

pic from frostmeblog
Clear vases can show the beauty of petals, shells, stones, wine corks, or buttons and beads.  

Fill them with all sorts of show-and-tell decor.  

Daylily stalks

Going for something more unusual?  They can also be decorated with sticks, feathers, or daylily stalks.  
Yes, I said daylily stalks.  

Daylily stalks are something I thought of last year, and I love it.  

Once the daylily dies and the stalk dries, pull it out of the plant.  Then, you can cut it to the desired length.  

Using what ever is around the house will surely save some money and create a beautiful space at the same time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fried Fish

There are two versions to this recipe.  One is crispy while the other reminds me of having my fish coated in hush puppies.  While it was done by accident, it is just as yummy as the crispy version.  Enjoy both below!

Crispy Fried Fish
  • fish fillets (I prefer tilapia)
  • flour for coating
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs (find them in a can at the grocery)
  • 1 Tbsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried lemon peel
  1. Preheat your Fry-Daddy.
  2. Coat your fish with flour
  3. Dip the fish in a mixture of eggs and buttermilk.
  4. Then, dip the fish in the mixture of seasonings (Lawry's, garlic salt, pepper, and lemon peel)
  5. Fry them until nicely brown.  Drain on paper towels.
Hush puppy covered Fried Fish
  • fish fillets (I prefer tilapia)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or perhaps a little more)
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 Tbsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 cup cream-style corn (optional)
  1. Preheat your Fry-Daddy.
  2. Mix eggs, buttermilk, and all other ingredients.
  3. Thickly coat the fish in the mixture
  4. Drop in the oil and fry until nicely brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Green Thumb?

There was a recent discussion on a blog community about whether or not any of us had a green thumb.  I had to be honest and admit (with my tail between my legs) that I, unfortunately, do not have a green thumb.  In fact, some may argue that I have a black in the thumb of death, the black plague.

Many times my husband has brought home a plant to surprise me: miniature roses, an African violet, and bamboo that was beautifully intertwined in an Asian decor pot.  I killed them all.  

This past Christmas/Holiday Season, he brought home a poinsettia for our dining room table.  Within a matter of days, it was dead.  My children were a bit disturbed by this.  They kept saying over and over, "She killed it.  It was so pretty, and she killed it.  How can she forget to water it?"

As a joke, earlier this year, my husband bought a collection of cacti for me.  "Even you can't kill these."  He said with confidence that we may finally have some greenery in our home.  The kids laughed along with their father and cheered at the thought that their mother wasn't going to kill this plant...or so they thought.

Within a few weeks' time, all but two of the cacti were dead.  You should have seen my husband and I trying to fish out the dead cacti.  OUCH!  They still hurt even when they are dead!!!  Little, barely visible, needles were coating our hands and arms where the towel did not protect us.  The kids looked on with a combination of horror and amusement.  "Plant killer!" my children called me.  They had obviously reached a point where they realized I may be able to cook, but I can't grow anything, inside nor outside the home.  

I've tried to grow a garden, but with the hard, solid clay we have as a yard, even weeds have a hard time thriving.  I have tried and tried to grow a decent tomato, but the soil (cough) -I mean cement- isn't giving up and neither am I.  

I continue to try every year to grow a garden.  Though after a few weeks or months, or perhaps sometimes even days, I'm left with nothing except an occasional weed that my daughter picked and stuck into the ground on purpose to make up for my loss.  She feels sorry for me, I'm sure.  

My mother recently gave me a plant for our breakfast table.  It was part of my birthday present.  She returned a month later to find the leaves shriveled and crisp under her fingers.  They crumbled to the table as she touched them.  She gave me a look of, You are still killing plants, I see.  You definitely do not get the gift of gardening from me.  She is talented at growing...everything, while I am talented at killing all things green.  Poor plants.

Again, my children pointed in my direction with an accusing tone, "Plant killer!"   Zach, my son, said I didn't have a green thumb, but instead, I had a black thumb.  "She turns all green plants black because she kills them, so she must have a black thumb."  He wasn't being mean.  He was simply being matter-of-fact.

So, to explain the green plants in our house to any who shall visit, they are taken care of by my daughter who is sparing their lives.  To explain the weeds in our yard...well, that wasn't me either.