Friday, March 26, 2021

Ten days go by, and with them a few chores, some cooking and some tips & tricks.

So here we are, a little further down the road into spring. As I mentioned in my last post so many things are already in bloom. My neighborhood, when it was developed, was well-planted with azaleas and they are lovely this time of year but my yard is a xeriscape and utilizes red rock as the ground cover. As such, every leaf and fallen bloom makes it look messy and eventually breaks down into dirt which makes it easier for weeds to take hold. Since we are seasonal and not available to tend to it during the summer it can become overgrown and unkempt looking (and our HOA doesn't like that). The gist of this story is that we have 1 small azalea in our yard and simple enjoy everybody else's azaleas. 

They make a lovely scene (not my yard, btw, but a common area).

Common area in between buildings.

We get a fair bit of dew on our lakeside deck surfaces, and that translates to mildew. Part of our spring cleaning is to address any surfaces that got green over the winter, ha ha. It was my job to scrub up stuff deckside to beautify things for sundowners and dinners out back this spring.

Going, going, and gone, easy peasy.

On the cooking front, I made a new batch of cornbread breakfast strata which turned out great and will provide several heat-n-eat breakfasts which is so convenient. Add a bowl of fruit and you're all set.

I generally put sausage, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes,
asparagus pieces and cheese with the cornbread crumbles.
The recipe details are on the food page up at the top of this blog.
You have to scroll down a fair bit to find it..

Also, I thought a shot of my "seasoning" freezer baggies might be useful for y'all to see.

There's tomato paste, hatch chilis, chipotle peppers,
rosso pesto and basil pesto. 

Here's another cool thing I found the other day; snack bags from Walmart that are square and 5"x5". A much more useful shape then Ziploc's snack bag. Don't know how long they'll carry them so I'm going to set a couple of boxes aside just in case.

Pretty nifty size.

I'm sure to some folks (my sister included) all the cooking stuff gets boring but for those who enjoy reading other ppl's culinary exploits, I give you King Ranch Chicken.  I decided to take a stab at making this casserole after watching the Pioneer Woman prepare it. We love Tex/Mex flavors and I'm always looking for things that I can reheat easily. This really fits the bill. It was delicious and I reheated it a week later after being frozen and it was a big success around here. We serve it with tortilla chips for a salty crunch. Not going to elaborate on the recipe since you can get it off the site.

Creamy sauce w/Rotel, torn up corn tortillas

First set of layers built, includes onions, peppers, mushrooms
hatch chilis, cheese and shredded rotisserie chicken. I sautéed
the veggies as opposed to Ree's method of leaving them raw.

Baked up gooey and delicious. Glad I had a pan under it!

Yum, yum, yum.

Here's a shot of my latest puzzle effort.  It was pretty time-consuming as the pieces were all very strange shapes. I hadn't experienced one like that before. Also, since it was a thrift find, there were 5 pieces missing - Wha?! Haha - No big deal, it was still fun.

Wonderful southern breakfast with bacon, grits and eggs.

That's about it for today's effort, hope you enjoyed it and thanks for visiting.


  1. After reading your blog I'm starting to get hungry and wonder what I could snack on and it is only just 10.15 a.m. Those are great dishes you made and I just know they tasted wonderful. What is that magnificent blue flower on your blog header? So very pretty.

  2. Hi Marlene, that's a columbine. They grow wild in Colorado just down the road from our park. I was so taken with them! Different color combinations too. I enjoyed killing a few hours with making the King Ranch Chicken dish and it was well worth it. I think we got another 6 meals out of it for the freezer.

  3. Your food looks delicious. I might have to check out the breakfast strata recipe. Bill is a hard sell on anything unusual but sometimes worth a shot. :)
    Now that puzzle looks fun!

    1. Thanks Patsy, my husband pretty much introduced me to cornbread even though my mother was from Georgia (go figure, maybe dad didn't like it, lol). Anyway it seems like I end up with portion of each batch of cornbread I make going in the freezer. Thus this strata. It's work to make for sure but I find it worth it. Thanks for reading, have a great day.