Friday, April 28, 2017

One Pan Wonder ~ Pesto Chicken

Ah yes, those meals that dirty only one pan.
Gotta love 'em.
One of my favorite is Pesto Chicken.
I will delve right in and let you get to cookin'.
First start by putting a generous amount of butter 
in the frying pan on medium heat.

(Note: this can be done in the oven and is equally delicious, but more difficult to take pictures as I go so I used the stove top this time.  If you use the oven, it would be a hot oven about 400 degrees.)
Then, add the chicken and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.
Once you turn it, wait until the second side is about half way done.

Then spread pesto over each piece.
The one piece here was thicker so wasn't quite ready.
Then add either sliced fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes.
I have lots of diced and no fresh tomatoes at the moment 
so I used diced. 
This part really is better in the oven because 
the tomatoes become "oven roasted."
That translates to oh deliciouso!

Let the chicken finish cooking and tomatoes heat up.
That should give you just enough time to get your plate
and a good handful of spinach.
When the chicken is cooked through,
use a spatula to place it on the bed of spinach.
This is one of my favorite one dish wonders (meals using only one pan.)
I like to make extra in order to take some for lunch the next day too.

And one other little note:
I could probably eat pesto from the jar.
That song "You had me at hello" I sing as "You had me at basil."
I am hoping to make my own pesto this year if my basil cooperates.
That means I have to not eat it when I'm in the garden:)
That said, use as much or as little pesto as you desire, 
keeping in mind it does get milder as it cooks.

Also, I'm having some issues with photos and preview on my computer
so these photos are unmarked and unedited~ sorry.
I looked up the issue online, and there was some colorful language
describing the problem so hopefully I can get it figured out soon.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Well Hello there~
Before we get soaked, let's go inside.
It's been raining the better part of two weeks,
even had a couple of snowy mornings.

Can I put the kettle on for you?
You should stand by the wood-stove to warm up and dry off a bit.
I'll be right there.

There we go.
Now, I wanted to show you something.
I began doing this years ago,
but you know how some things just kinda slip by 
until you have a project on your hands.
It's these buttons, you see.
I've always kept my buttons.
I know lots of folks say they're not worth keeping,
but I keep 'em.
Whenever I go to cut a shirt for rags or a quilt,
I take the buttons first.
I haven't bought buttons in years.
They come in handy.
Mr. LB is constantly loosing buttons.
I just go to my dish of ugly, man buttons and find one the right size.
That doesn't sound very nice, but that's what I call them.

I was recently pulling some shirts apart for a project and pulled these.

Then what I do is get safety pins and string the buttons on those.
If there are too many, I just use a second pin and hook them together.

Then certain colored buttons go in various jars.

When I need buttons for a project, I just go to the jars.
This is the part that's slipped.
I have buttons in the bottom of this little basket,

and that wooden box,

and a variety of little dishes sitting around.

And there are more yet in jars that are in need of sorting.

So now it's a project~
gather up all my buttons and put them to right.
I might need bigger jars.

Oh listen, the water's hot.
Why don't you pick which cup you want to use,
and we'll sit and chat.
By the way, how are you at sorting buttons?


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Making Do in the Garden

It's almost spring!  Yay!!!
I enjoy all the seasons, but we've had such a harsh winter
that spring is impatiently awaited around here.
Last weekend, Mr. LB was able to run the rototiller through the garden
(with only minimal mug-bogging:)
We spread the previous year's compost over the garden in fall 
then till it in spring.
It's been a pretty wet spring so far.
This early in the season, 
there are a couple of "tools" that are indispensable to me.
The 'Old Farmer's Almanac," a blank calendar page, and a pen or pencil
for making notes all over the page.
This is how my weekly "to-do" list is formed.
With my seeds handy, I jot down dates for planting each item in my seed box.
We are right on the border of two zones.
This year I am going with the earlier planting schedule 
and will see what happens.  I can always replant these few items as I have plenty of seeds.  If I was scarce on seeds, I wouldn't be so risky.
I plant by the moon signs figuring I need all the help I can get.
So far I've planted spuds, Brussels sprouts, celery, kale, and spinach.
You can see what I use as garden markers and how to make them here.
The next couple of weekends are now all planned out.
Since we can finally begin to get outside a bit, 
there are a couple of repairs I'd like to share
just for the sake of putting ideas in your head.
Just because an item breaks, which newer tools in particular seem to do,
doesn't mean it needs to go to the dump.
Both of our spring rakes had broken handles.
Rather than purchasing new handles, Mr. LB used some PVC
that we already had on hand along with a couple of screws
and made the rakes usable again.
(Obviously, I should practice using it.)
The other is my little hand fork that I purchased about 25-30 years ago.
The plastic handle finally gave out.
I had the leg of a broken foot-stool so drilled a hole in the end,
added some gorilla glue, then the metal fork, 
and now have my favorite garden fork again.
I probably use it more than any other one tool, especially come weeding time.
The frogs have began croaking in the last couple weeks which is the first sign of spring around here.
I love listening to them as I close my eyes at night.
I figure they know better that we do when it's safe to hatch.
If they hadn't started croaking, 
I probably wouldn't have been quite so antsy to get out in the garden
since it is still pretty chilly out there and I am a wimp in the cold.

Have you began planting where you are?
I'd love to hear what tips/tricks or signs you use.