Thursday, January 22, 2009

Funk Uncle

Our son participated in a school's talent show, his Funk Uncle band performed the closing act.

The video is now uploaded ... just click here to listen. Thanks my sweet friends for putting up with this proud mama! ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snow Day

Since one of my blogger friend, Redlan, enjoys seeing photos of snow and since it snowed all night last night, this morning I went outside and took more pictures of our backyard.
Pictured here is our apple tree. You'll notice a tree house that is now falling apart. When our kids were little, they used to enjoy going up there.

... view at a different angle.

I love how the snow outlined the tree branches in this photo. This is an ash tree.

See what we have to go through every time we get snow? Uncover our cars! We don't have a garage so we park them on our driveway, exposed to weather conditions.

This is how much snow we have after the guy plowed our driveway...about 4 ft. tall which is not too bad, other times it's taller than this.

This is the same angle as the one I posted below, can you tell the difference?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ready in a jiffy

Picture of my backyard. It's been snowing for a few days.

This time of year and as the weather dips below freezing point, I love to cook comfort foods for the family. I normally "shoot from the hip" like looking in the refrigerator or pantry and see what needs to be cooked while it's fresh.

I only measure my ingredients when I'm baking cakes, cookies and pastries. For all others, I "guesstimate" ;) Pictured below is one of my...ahem, specialties. It has simple ingredients, tastes delish and it's one of those 30 minute meals. :) I love it with buttered French or Italian bread.

In case you dare to try, here's the more or less recipe.

1 lb 90% lean ground beef or ground sirloin steak
1 Tb cornstarch or flour
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
4 Tb water

4 cups water
4-5 pcs thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 large potato, cut in small cubes
1 large tomato, diced

Mix first 5 ingredients; set aside.

Boil water with ginger slices. Add potato and tomato, simmer till done. Season to taste.
Turn up heat and add beef mixture. Stir to separate beef.
Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Propagating an African Violet

I love African Violets, that is why when one of my friends told me how to propagate them, I was ecstatic!

I tried it for the first time this summer. I was intimidated at first but hey, there's no harm in trying, right? In this picture, I was also potting cuttings from my other indoor plants.

This is what I was told, and believe me, it worked! Snip a leaf from a healthy African Violet. Cut the leaf part in half so that the nutrients will be concentrated in the new plants. Cover the stem lightly with potting soil and keep it moist. I kept the pot on our front porch, with plenty of light, but not direct sunlight.

I used a potting soil especially for African Violets, but you can use any other potting soil, I believe.

After about 6-8 weeks, tadaaaa! ... new plants from the old! Isn't this rewarding? It only required a simple method, a little patience, minimal work and the result was successful! If you look closely, there are 2 new plants in here. My friend said she usually gently separates the "babies" from the "mother" leaf, and after a few weeks it will reward you with more babies. I opted not to do that.
I have to 'fess up though, the photo below was started in early summer while the photos above were taken in the Fall and because of the cold temps I kept them by our window. Sadly, only one out of three African Violets made it but it's not looking good ... not getting enough light, I assumed. Next time, I will attempt to propagate again in the summer now that I know it worked.
So there, you have it my good friends... how to propagate an African Violet. Happy gardening! ;)

From reading about African Violets, (opinion varies though) you're not supposed to wet their leaves, so I let the pot sits on a tray or dish, and fill the dish with water. I took a picture of my African Violets that are in my office just to give you an idea. AND they like their roots crowded, so don't plant them in big pots.