Archive | May 2012

Food List Friday: Shrimp Selection as a Guest Dinner

I am a planner. That being said- I like to prepare myself for a guest situation by listing in menu form the items I would like to make for my company. I then like to make sure I have all ingredients available to prepare my special selection by listing what each item is going to need to be prepared. If some of those items are not already in my fridge, freezer, or pantry- then there’s another list beside the menu list titled: “Need to Buy” items. Today’s food list Friday is associated with my guest dinner plans that will take place sometime during this three day weekend. I am planning on making available a “Shrimp Selection and Snack Buffet” to enjoy until there are full stomachs all around.

Here’s the list of what my menu will include this weekend- but I won’t bore you with what is needed make each. Some are by scratch and some are just bought “as is”. If you’d like to share your ‘make by scratch’ recipes for any of these items- I’d LOVE to see you post a link to one that you like or to one you’ve come up with! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Dinner/Appetizers:

Salad

Onion Rings

Fried Popcorn Shrimp

Chipotle Marinated Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Steak Fries

Chunked Fresh Pineapple

Sauces:

Cocktail sauce

Tartar sauce

BBQ/MAYO Sauce

Ketchup/Mustard

Drinks:

Juice, Soda, Water, or Milk

Dessert:

Best Ice Cream Cake Ever (Have to give this away- Coldstone Creamery 🙂

 

Memorial Day BBQ- Rub it down with Big Herm’s BBQ!

Image

This week,in honor of the three day weekend BBQ kick off of the season, I’m sending out a shout out to a fellow Etsian artist of delectable delight. Nick with Big Herm’s BBQ seems to have some amazing looking rubs available for sale in his shop- and though I’ve yet to try them- they look delish!

I love BBQ foods- who doesn’t? I especially love it when there is an extra kick added to flavor up my juicy steak or chicken breasts that I can convince my husband to occasionally grill up. (Another part of my love for the BBQ season comes from not having to do the cooking myself!) Seriously though- If we don’t have nice enough weather this weekend to be outside and eat- that doesn’t mean we can’t still fire up the barbeque and enjoy the smoky smell and flavors on our meat!

Please go see my feature of Nick and his rubs on my website: http://delightfullyperceptive.com/perceptive_delectables/featured_food_designer

My Self Diagnosed OCD Makes it Difficult To Garden!

I am unsure what makes a person completely OCD- but I am sure some of my ‘symptoms’ are very similar. Here is just a funny example that I wanted to share with fellow gardeners- and perhaps get some encouragement that I’m not the only one out there that is like this!

Here’s the sign of my first OCD tendency: I had pre-planned where to place everything in my garden space on some graph paper a few weeks ago. Turns out- I wanted to add a couple of other things to my garden that weren’t there before. I didn’t have the time to re-draw everything out on graph paper- so I just put some sketches together on othe paper. It was frustrating me though because my paper didn’t show the wierd and natural tendencies of our garden area that have to be worked around and it was harder to get proportionate measurements when not using graph paper this time. In other words- the garden space has a few hiccups in it that aren’t smooth and perfect as everything on paper can be. Duh. It’s nature. Why didn’t I just accept that without feeling frustrated?

Second sign: It REALLY stressed me out that my perfectly pre-planned baby starts that I had in my house all had to die in one way or the other. (See the “My Greenhouse Effect… post for more details). But ok— I think I’ll be ok with this. I’ll just restart everything in the ground.

Third sign: I can’t exactly split my garden right down the middle and have there be patterns to what I plant. I was going to do potatoes in the middle, pumpkins on each side, 2 lettuce patches with spinach in the middle, the herbs lining the front, tall sunflowers in one corner and tall corn in the other, etc. That’s not happening due to the hiccups of soil types, easier watering areas, etc that I couldn’t write out on my paper. Oh well- I’m learning to get creative and try to organize the garden space into one that is pleasant to my eye and won’t drive me crazy that it’s not “matching” or proportionate.

Fourth sign: I’m working on my first set of rows and for the life of me I can’t get them to be even. I keep ending up with the first ones being longer than the last ones, or vice versa. Oh forget it. It’s dirt. It’s going to move around and get watered down. Not to mention- my dog keeps running through them and our new little piggie keeps trying to enter in the area too! AGHHHH!!!

So- my point is. Being OCD can make it difficult to work with nature. But that’s ok… I think?

 

 

 

My Beautiful Machine

My Beautiful Machine

My husband spoiled me this year and got an amazingly large and gorgeous rototiller for me to get my 5000 square foot garden area ready. He also bought me some peat moss and dumped some of his grass clippings from his lawn business into the dirt so my soil would be improved to have better growing conditions for my veggies and fruits. And guess what- I got to use this machine ALL BY MYSELF! It feels so good to start up a big machine and push it around ALL BY MYSELF! And it’s great to know I am putting in the work ALL BY MYSELF to make my garden great! I am SO looking forward to the fresh items that will come of this hard work for me and my family to enjoy!

Giving the gift of a well balanced meal to your good little student!

Giving the gift of a well balanced meal to your good little student!

This is my featured “delectable gift” on my website this week. I love being able to reuse certain food containers to hold leftovers and to pack lunches fit for my family. This is a gift that can be given daily and for no good reason except to express your love by satisfying a stomach.

If you have any ideas on delectable gift ideas- I’d love to hear them! Please peruse my web pages for details on how to reach me and what information I might need to feature your idea!

My Lack of Greenhouse Effect has Affected my Gardening!!!

So this year my husband was going to go all out and build me this wonderful greenhouse that he’s been promising to build me for the last two years. Well- he got started with the project (as you can see above) and then his business doing lawncare picked up too much due to some massive marketing we did. Don’t get me wrong- I am very happy and excited that his business picked up and that our marketing worked- but I am very disappointed too. I poured quite a bit of time during late nights (and a little bit of money) to get my little baby seedlings started in the main house so I could take them out to my new gorgeous greenhouse…

Alas, since the greenhouse was not getting finished, I did not want to kill all my babies so I kept them inside for quite a while to keep them warm. Because they were inside so long they were all stretching to reach for whatever light was in the house and they all overgrew trying to reach for the light. This caused quite a few plants to die off due to the stems just stretching out too long and the plants just falling over. OK- whatever. So, a friend gave us one of those greenhouses with the metal poles and the plastic covering last year but there were holes in the plastic and I was unsure how well it would work on staying heated. Last weekend I decided it was warm enough to bring my little seedlings outside and go ahead and put them in this little tiny greenhouse. I checked on everything daily the past few days and it seemed like it was staying warm enough. It was so warm one day that most of my stretched out herbs and flowers already died off- but my stronger stemmed plants were doing ok (pumpkins, peppers, sunflowers, cucumbers, etc). So I was content for a while.

Then we had this monstrous windstorm. Now I’m not stupid- I know it gets seriously windy where I live (due to no tree blockage I’m sure) so I bricked down this little greenhouse so it wouldn’t blow away. That wasnt good enough. As you can see below- the wind blew the whole thing over, blew off all the plastic, and all my baby plants fell all over the place. I came home from work the other day and when I looked out the kitchen window and saw the sight- I was devastated. Now I am at a loss for what I should do now.

Do I try starting some of my baby plants in the house again? Should I just go ahead and plant everything directly outside? Should I buy another one of those little models of a greenhouse and screw it into my house wall so it doesn’t blow away again and start some seedlings in there? Help! I’m trying to make my decision ASAP so I know what needs to be on the shopping list of gardening supply that I can’t afford (some more seeds, potting soil?, greenhouse?, starts instead of seeds for my tomatoes/peppers?)…

Any comments or advisory are appreciated! Happy Friday to All!

Mother’s Day Apron- Cute and Practical

Here’s a great gift idea for the homemaking and cooking mom in your life. As a mom who enjoys cooking- I have a hard time wearing a nice apron and actually feeling like I can cook in it. As I bake and get batter all over my hands, or as marinade splashes onto my face, or as hot oil pops onto my arms- I, somehow out of instint, use the apron I’m wearing to wipe it clean. Usually the apron I’m wearing doesn’t work very well. Why? Because it’s made out of a light cotton fabric that doesn’t spulge up the moisture of whatever is on me. This means I have to walk around the kitchen to the last place I put the darn dish towel to clean myself off before quickly going to the stove and stirring that sauce, or helping my children open their water bottles, or move the mail my husband set down on the counter right where I’m trying to cook. Ugh.

So I decided to combine the idea of an apron with the idea of a dishtowel. I sewed a dishtowel onto the skirt of my apron! It is now the most convenient cooking clothing to wear EVER! It is not only adorable and cute- it is useful and practical!

The image posted above is of a current apron I have for sale in my shop. Check it out! http://www.etsy.com/shop/PerceptiveDesigns