I so look forward to this Saturday Meanderings post because I have SO much to share with you! Houseguests have left and I was anticipating more for Thanksgiving. However, an unexpected physical injury occurred and unfortunately they are not coming. Thankfully my family loves turkey because I have ordered a BIG one. Here is what else has been happening this week.
Typically we do not have critters that infest the garden. However, this year my kale and some of the other greens have been eaten down to the ground. On four separate occasions, I have planted new kale starters only to find them munched on ~ over and over again. Using those heart traps, we caught 2 rats (ewww). Who knew they like kale?
And now something is eating holes in my Swiss chard. So I put out two bowls of beer at ground level. Both bowls have successfully lured caterpillars, crickets and slugs. It seems like a humane way to get rid of them~drowning in a good IPA.
The weather went from summer to winter with temperatures in the high 30s to low 60s. But we are back up to the mid-to-high 80s. The plants are so confused. Tomato leaves are curled from the chilly temperatures with ripening fruit on them. So strange.
And the hollyhocks, which typically bloom well after the holidays, are starting to show their ruffled blossoms.
With this warmer weather, the chickens are laying up a storm. Yesterday I gathered 14 eggs from the hen house. So if you are nearby and want fresh eggs, please let me know. Once the weather cools down and the days are shorter, the egg laying will slow down. And don’t you just love all the natural colors of the shells?
Fun New Recipes
There is something very therapeutic about baking. With so many eggs, I made two quiches with spinach, shallots, ham and goat cheese. Not really following any recipe, I just use eggs, heavy cream (sometimes with low fat milk too), sautéed spinach/shallots (and squeeze out excess water) and goat cheese.
I did try a new pie crust recipe that was super easy from Confetti and Bliss. The author wrote perfect instructions and this pie crust takes 30 minutes from start to finish, including refrigeration. Here is the link to the recipe.
With the leftover pie crust dough, I decided to try making a tart with pears. I love pears and this tart is another simple, delicious recipe. Even though I have possessed this square tart pan for years, I have never used it. Just perfect for this particular recipe, but I am sure you can adjust it to accommodate apples, too. The recipe is from Food Network~click here.
In my Holiday Gift Guide (see post here), Mad Dash Mixes is offering my readers a 10% off on their Host Bundle. They sent me some samples to try and this week, I made their Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup. Typically I make all our food from scratch, but these mixes are PERFECT on those nights or weekends when you just don’t feel like cooking. Here is their home page (click here) and if you use BELLATERRA10, you will get an additional 10% off your order.
All that is required is a can of tomato sauce, milk, water, chicken (can use canned or rotisserie) and shredded cheese. I did add a can of black beans for extra protein. Topped with avocado and cilantro, this is just yummy. Great gift for the holidays!
New Bakery in Town
This particular bakery was a favorite and they closed their doors years ago. I am so excited that they have finally re-opened and are located right next door to where I take Pilates. Exercise an hour at Pilates and then go to the bakery. Perfect, right?
This European bakery, called Europa Pastry has a fine assortment of typical treats from across the pond. Plus they have the pastries my grandmother (from Poland) used to make! Check them out: Europa Pastry at 6522 N. 16th Street, Phoenix. And they serve coffee drinks too. Always want to help our local businesses.
Hand Carved Mounting
My goal for our mountain cabin decor is to add more of a European/Black Forest look. We just received the mounting mechanism for the huge elk antler sheds (see post here).
This beautiful, totally hand carved, chestnut panel, with carved oak leaves and acorns, is ideal for mounting all types of antlers. Apparently the owner of this company has relatives that makes these in Europe and he imports them to the US. Here is the resource.
Right now the elk antlers are being used as holiday decorations, so it will be a while before we can take them up to the cabin and properly mount them. To see the centerpiece using the antlers that I posted this week, click here. Will share the holiday mantels with you next week.
A Great Costco Find
These amaryllis come in a 3 pack. The base is a wax ball that apparently contains everything the amaryllis needs. There is no water or soil at all. This one has been sitting on the kitchen window sill and is now almost in full bloom.
You cannot buy them online, however, I believe they are available in Costco stores. Here’s the link to the description online. My husband seems to think he paid about $20 for the three.
Well, that’s a wrap! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Stay healthy and safe out there. Next week is Thanksgiving and I am hanging onto the last days of autumn. Sending big virtual hugs to all.