Happy March…

I can’t belive March is here already… seems like we just started 2012!

So, as you have already picked up on, I am pretty obsessed with what each month is all bout – on a pretty basic level of course… nothing too crazy!

So, without further delay…

March is…

National Caffeine Awareness Month (I have been aware of this for about 8 months now, as you can guess why)

National Celery Month

National Flour Month

National Frozen Food Month

National Noodle Month

National Nutrition Month (one fun reason I am happy to be a March baby!)

National Peanut Month

National Sauce Month

As for some individual days… I picked out some of my favorites…

  • March 1 National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
  • March 2 National Banana Cream Pie Day
  • March 4 National Poundcake Day
  • March 6 National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
  • March 7 National Cereal Day (oh yes!! I was totally born on National Cereal Day! :))
  • March 8 National Peanut Cluster Day
  • March 10 National Blueberry Popover Day
  • March 11 Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day
  • March 14 National Potato Chip Day
  • March 15 National Peanut Lovers Day
  • March 19 National Chocolate Caramel Day
  • March 23 National Chip and Dip Day
  • March 26 National Waffle Day
  • March 31 National Clams on the Half Shell Day (just had to add this one because it made me laugh for some reason… seems like there should be a song about this!)

I hope everyone has a happy March! Tune in next month and you will learn more than you want to know about April! ūüôā

Garden Day 2: leveling and a little planting

It is day 2 (May 3) of working on our garden!

It¬†is a beautiful day!¬† The sky was so pretty this evening as we were working… seemed like we were going to get stuck in a downpour, but it never did – just a few sprinkles and it¬†quit!¬†

Greg leveled out the rest of the garden while I planted some!¬†It took his¬†just a little while to do a section like I did yesterday evening!¬†ūüôā He is fast!¬†

This is the final shot for the day… it will be getting dark soon, so it is a great place to stop! I planted¬†mostly plants today with a few seeds… tomorrow I will plant more!¬† I labeled my picture so you can see what I planted where!

 I am having a blast by the way! It is a good project and I am anxious to get it all planted!

The barefoot gardener

Our garden (or soon to be) at the old house!

This is our soon-to-be garden! Greg worked while I was in Oregon to disc up the grass with the tractor… for the before picture,¬†just¬†picture the spot fully covered with beautiful lush green grass!¬†¬†So…

Day 1: leveling out dirt and pulling grass that has re-rooted!

So, I wish I could just start planting stuff, but leveling out the dirt and loosening it up some is needed.  My task for the day was leveling out as much as I could so we can start planting as soon as possible!

I only got about half way this time, but we have progress! It takes a while with hand tools and working up¬†the grass that had already tried to re-root and come back up… AND this is my first time! You can see my flip-flops there, this is a barefoot job (why we have the blog title). The dirt just feel so good on my feet and hey, why not!¬† So,¬†the name “barefoot gardener” just works since every time I have walked through it¬†I have been shoe-less!¬†

still lots of work to do as you can see!

I have been trying to plan where to put what I have… I did not even think about it when I got all my seeds! I realized, I should decide where to plant what and plan how it will all fit together…

Stay tuned!

My home garden!

I am working on some plants for here at home that I can watch more closely and monitor a little better! So far, they are probably stick of seeing me, but I am excited about them!

Day 1 (April 29):

I planted 4 tomato plants!

Pot 1: Goliath Tomato Plant

Pot 2: German Queen Tomato Plant

Pot 3: Husky Cherry Red Tomato Plant

Pot 4: Mr. Stripey Heirloom  Tomato Plant

Day 2 (May 3):

I planted 5 pepper plants!

Pot 1:  2 Red Pepper Plants

Pot 2:  2 Yellow Pepper Plants

Pot 3: 1 Sweet Banana Pepper Plant

ane I am super excited… I will post more pictures and info soon, but in the meantime they are growing and doing great!

I am going to plant stuff!!

 

Yep… I am! I am really excited about it too! I got some plants at Home Depot and one of the local feed stores in town, as well as some seeds too! I have never had a garden or grown anything before…¬† (except some herbs and hard to kill inside plants) so it will be a big learning experience¬†for me… along with an experiment!¬† I decided to get plants so they would have¬† head start as well as some seeds to experience both.¬† I am hoping between all I got,¬†at least a few things will work!¬† I am¬†going to¬†try to post as I go and share my experiences here – hey something to blog about at least and maybe you will feel like you have dirt under your fingernails too! ūüôā¬†

My plants:

  • watermelon
  • cucumber
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • spaghetti squash
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash

My seeds:

  • pumpkin
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • onions
  • carrots
  • sugar snap peas
  • watermelon
  • peppers
  • basil
  • oregano
  • lettuce

So I will have quite the garden if we can get it up and going!  Greg prepped a spot for me while I was in Oregon Рwhat a wonderful surprise to come home to! We are going to put the garden at the old house. 

More updates to come on my experiences growing “stuff”!

Oh my goodness, isn’t it a miracle how things grow!?

Spring beauty

Spring is here… for sure!¬†I know it has been here for a while, but I am used to waiting for spring to come – getting a teaser, then watching it snow (repeat)… and here it comes so quick! It seems like the Ash Tree in the backyard finally, just finally dropped its last few leaves on the porch and now it is fully covered again! I welcome it of course, I am so excited to experience each season here. I know summer is coming and all I hear is how hot it gets and how misearable it is, but I am going to find a way to enjoy that too.¬† I am also excited about seeing things grow that I have never seen. I’ve not lived where you can successfully grow a full garden or have fruit trees for that matter, so I am excited!

 

A Foggy morning with the hope of spring!

It is a foggy morning around these parts, but the promise of spring is in the air! We have had a few warmer days combined with some good rain which has encouraged some green to come out! This is really exciting because I love spring! ¬†The warmth from the sun the past few days feels so nice… so nice that it is hard to stay¬†inside and get things done!¬† I love how the sun warms me and¬†puts a tingle on my face!¬† The weather people tell us not to get our hopes up about warmer weather sticking, but how can I not? I love it!¬†Anyhow, we will enjoy it while we can and if it is not here to stay, I know it will be back!

The warm weather is especially welcomed because we¬†have had¬†a lot of cold weather (yes, in Florida)! We’ve experienced many nights near or¬†below freezing along with¬†days of needing at least a jacket, if not a coat too!¬† I am used to¬†colder and harsher winters…moreso used to SNOW which brings with it shoveling, scraping etc.¬†¬† Locals have said it is a colder winter this year than usual. There has been¬†longer spells of cold and it just¬†hangs on longer.¬†¬† I am still thankful to have a break from the elements¬†though!¬† Snow,¬†ice and freezing¬† temperatures most of the time is a winter I am used to but I¬†have to admit, I kind of miss¬†it!¬†¬†Something I am not used to however ,¬† is the “wet cold”¬† here… it has more of a “bite” and it does not have to be too cold to feel it!¬†Enough about the weather… there are many many other great things to do and talk about – like things we CAN control! ūüôā

I hope this finds you enjoying your February day!

Mascarpone Cheesecake for Easter!

I was able to make the journey home for a long weekend with my wonderful family for Easter.  It was great!

 

I love getting the dessert duty – It makes me really excited and I always try and come up with something special or new. Today I made a recipe I have been waiting for an excuse to make that I saw on food network¬† (Giada De Laurentiis). I am not good at following directions when it comes to baking as I always find some kind of substitution to make, but this time I followed the recipe to the T, cheesecakes are not as forgiving as other things. It turned out wonderful, and there were no cracks whatsoever on the top. ūüôā¬† It has a lighter flavor compared to original cheesecake recipes, the mascarpone cheese really adds a twist and lightens it up. It also has an almond crust which is yummy. Here is the recipe!

 

 

Mascarpone Cheesecake

 

Prep Time – 10 min

Cook Time – about 65 min

Crust:

 

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Tightly wrap the outside of a 9″¬†springform pan with heavy-duty foil (more than one layer if necessary to make sure no water seeps in). Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor (improvise if needed). Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the¬†mixture onto the bottom of the¬†pan (not the sides). Bake the crust until it is beginning to lightly brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Lower oven¬†temperature to 325 degrees F.

 

Filling:

  • ¬†
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth Рmake sure to scrape down sides with a spatula to evenly blend. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Add hot water to the roasting pan so it comes up about halfway on the cheesecake pan. Bake (325) for about 65 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken. The cake firms up as it cools. Cool for about an hour and refrigerate until the cheesecake is fully cooled (at least 8 hours and up to 2 days).

 

Topping:

 

  • Recipe recommends Nutella, but we did something a little different. With cheesecakes we often make some kind of fruit sauce or berries when in season.¬†