I adore this time of year! The days are long and warm, not yet sweltering hot with hair-curling levels of humidity. The grass and trees are a beautiful, lush green, perennials are taking hold and forming buds, annual flowers are providing masses of color throughout the flower beds. I run the trails in the meadows and woods behind our house and have to fight the urge to stop too frequently and take huge, deep lung-fuls of air scented sweetly with wild rose, blackberry blossoms, and honeysuckle.
I saw yellow petunias, with white centers, at Lowe’s last month and bought several. Although I am not a huge fan of this particular flower, oh my, the scent! And they look gorgeous. I bought some dark purple ones, too, and mixed with the yellow in a few planters. I don’t usually buy a lot of annual flowers, preferring perennials for the single reason that they do not have to be planted every spring when I’m elbow-deep in potting mix in the garden, but these are converting me. Next year, more petunias!
We have two green frogs in the pond this year that (for lack of a more descriptive term) cavort every morning among the corkscrew rush plant. They splash enough to interest Spooky, although as soon as he leans his head over the edge of the pond, the frogs disappear with barely a ripple.
I love our farm, but there is so much to do these days from keeping the cracks between the patio stones free of weeds to maintaining the vegetable garden, flower beds, landscaping, and pond; scraping and painting… lots of things from window frames to siding, and a myriad of other projects.
And then there is the lake house where a good deal of entertaining takes place during the summer months, plus maintaining the planting beds (much less extensive than those at the farm, but still…) and fun stuff like cleaning the huge windows and scrubbing the green off of the patios and steps.
This is why I have not been posting more regularly. The days truly are packed, and I am afraid that by the time I am able to sit in front of the computer in the evening, I fall asleep. I have a backlog of recipes that I have prepared and photographed but the reviews will be slow in coming, and I apologize. :)
Lunch is usually something quickly grilled, and most often dinner is the same. My creativity frizzles along with my energy at the end of the day, and just to have something decent and hot on the table is a goal to be accomplished. Tonight, for example, I dredged tilapia fillets (cut in half) in a mixture of flour, cumin, s& p and pan sautéed them, serving in corn tortillas with finely chopped onion, hot sauce, cilantro, and Trader Joe’s salsa verde. Incredibly simple. The corn, red bell pepper, and edamame “succotash” took longer to make then the tacos.
Today I will mention a barbeque sauce/ glaze which Josie posted on 1 Kitchen 2 Dogs and a Girl. I made this several weeks ago and have used it many times on chicken and shrimp. She created this from cleaning out her refrigerator where a can of fruit nectar awaited a use. Since I had a can of mango nectar in the pantry, I gave it a try with great results. This isn’t your typical thick, tomato-based barbeque sauce, but has a wonderfully fruity/ spicy flavor and can be used as a marinade or glaze, or thickened and used as a sauce.
I have used it to marinade chicken breasts (and then boiled the marinade for a few minutes to use as a glaze on the cooked chicken), and have reduced the sauce to brush over skewered shrimp and mango cubes on the grill. It seems to keep for a long time (the other night I used the last of my initial batch, 6 weeks after making it, and it was still “good”), and is perfect for quick meals.
Next time, however, I will use the lesser amounts of chipotle and hot pepper jelly! Jack loved the heat level, but it was a tad too hot for me.
Here is a photo which I took the first time I used this sauce. I was so hungry and it was late, and I hadn't planned on photographing it, but one bite and I just knew that this recipe would have to be posted on my blog. I served the chicken (and the wonderful barbeque sauce) with grilled potato wedges and a mango/red bell pepper/red onion/jalapeno salsa. Perfect.