Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicken Thighs wrapped in Proscuitto & Rosemary

Little House on the Prarie Living is having an Old Fashinoned recipe exchange and I thought I would jump in. This meal is so yummy! Medium prep time and not too expensive. I never seem to put the ingredients in any specific order so just follow the directions and improvise to your own taste! You could use some fresh thyme in place of the rosemary and I bet it would be good too. Enjoy.

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
8 sprigs of rosemary
1/4-1/2 c olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves sliced thinly (or more if you want)
salt & pepper
rosemary minced finely
8 pieces of proscuitto ham (use bacon if you want)

Salt & pepper the chicken, place a sprig of rosemary in the fold of the chicken and wrap with a piece of proscuitto. It should stick to itself, but you could dab some oil on it too to hold it together or even use a toothpick. Mix the oil, garlic and minced rosemary in a pan and marinate the chicken pieces in this. Prep your grill so the chicken doesn't stick. After about 10 minutes you can grill for about 8 minutes each side. If you are grilling indoors, then grill on med high. You want to sear the meat and leave it alone and let it cook through on each side. Serve with veggies and orzo or rice. Whatever you want. :) Yummy good! (I got this recipe from Rachel Ray's show, 30 minute meals).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gardening around Dollwood Farms

This past week I have been working on my small garden and have almost all of it in the ground &/or containers. I am in central Florida and we have been having some great weather. It has been in the 80's most days. (Sorry for you folks still having snow). We are supposed to get rain this coming week and we could use that too.

I have planted my corn, beans, summer squash, moon & stars watermelon, yukon gold & red cloud potatos and lots of various herbs. I love getting out in the pretty weather and having that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. I am hoping to get my tomatos in this week and I should be just about done. It seems like after only a few days, my corn was popping through the dirt! I was so amazed. I have never tried corn before so I will be blog about my successes and failures if you'd like to follow along. :)

This weekend, in downtown Tampa, we had our annual "GreenFest". Lots of plants, herb & vegetables and some food vendors set up under the beautiful old oak trees down by the river on the UT campus. All of us gardeners lined up waiting to get in, with our wheel barrows, wagons and whatever we can find to bring our treasured plants home. There were also garden art type vendors, honey & herbs, and tree vendors. Everything imagineable and having to do with gardening! While I am much more the veggie garden type, I do love to go down there and see what interesting herbs and such they have. The flowers are pretty too. :) This year I saw an herb called Rue. It is a pretty herb, but I don't know much about it so I didn't buy it. Yet. But I am going to research it and see if it might be something I can use. Anyone heard of it? Has anyone used it and know and good recipes? :)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures from the garden...

I took some pictures of my garden(s) this evening...

Lavendar on the patio...

my poor old beans from last season, still hanging in there

Orlando Tangelo & hives

yukon gold


herbs, cabbage & carrots


cukes, squash and moon & stars watermelon

My two hives

Rosemary, Thyme & Chives

the bread I baked today

Hunan Peppers & a Strawberry plant

And that is it...until the corn, beans, and more come up... ;)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring and bees!

Spring is here! It is a time when gardeners dream about wheel barrows, dirt, rakes, seedlings and shovels and all things gardening! Oh, maybe that’s just me…
The little bees have gotten back to searching out nectar, nurturing babies and cleaning the hive. They will fly up to 2 miles away to search out nectar and water. Orange Blossom honey is one of my favorites and during the year I can usually get the orange blossom, wildflower and brazillian pepper honey from my hives. A lot depends on the weather. I love the different tastes from each flower and season. Even the colors of the honey are different! It still amazes me.
Another type of honey we can get from the hive is Saw Palmetto, but as many palmettos as we have around here they don’t seem to bloom that often. Hopefully this year will be much better than last. Last year was a rough one for me. I lost a queen and at least half my hive due to old age (queen) and my neighbor spraying insecticide. When you lose an older queen, the new one has to learn her ways and that can take a little while.
I made a point to go over and visit with the neighbors this year and talk to them about my hives in hopes they would spray their pesticides either before or after the blooms are blooming. They were very receptive and understood. They used to have someone that had some hives on their property and understand all about bees and how helpful they are. They also said they were using a very low grade pesticide this year and were grateful for my bees coming over and helping out! Their groves are filled with wonderful citrus trees. They have this amazing Lime tree over there that my neighbor told me her granddaughter gave to her. I offered to trade honey for some Limes any day of the week. I can start on my own little grove right here on the homestead. J I have actually already added 2 “Orlando” Tangelo trees this year, thanks to my niece who gave them to me for Christmas!  I can’t wait to taste them in a few years! One of the plants had one single little bloom on it and I am sure my girls did the work required, but I am not sure if I will actually get fruit this year or not. We have a few Key lime trees also, but only one produces so far.
I hope you enjoy what you read here and continue to come back. Feel free to comment any time and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The weekend!

I am starting my weekend today. The weather is going to be so pretty that I just can't wait any longer. My potatos are starting to come up, but I think they need more sun so I am moving them to a better spot. (I have them in potato bags, lol). I am going to plant corn, beans, squash, pumpkins and watermelon. Oh yeah, and tomatos! I just love a good tomato! I actually have a tomato plant from last season that is doing pretty well. It is coming back, has anyone heard of that happening before? I keep looking for blooms, but haven't seen any so far. I will keep you updated and post pictures soon! :) Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bees & Daylight Savings time

Sunday was the start of Daylight Savings Time. To a commercial beekeeper, who makes his living from his bees, this is not a good thing. Most of the time bee keepers check their hives in the evenings. That way all the bees are in the hive and you can get a better idea of how many are inside and how they are all doing. Are there lots of babies? Is the queen doing well? How is the honey production and especially to check for hive beetles and mites.  With the sun going down later this means the bees are out and about doing what they do. Which is a good thing, however, it makes things complicated when the bee keeper has 700 hives to check. He may not get home until after midnight, depending on how far away the hives are. Some beekeepers move their hives with what is blooming. It helps out the farmers that are growing the trees or crops and he gets the benefits of the honey.

                                                 My queen is there, can you find her?

For someone like me that has only 2 hives it is not a problem. I can check my hive and still get to bed at a decent hour. I can also garden longer in the evening so I don't mind the time change. Having more sunlight is a good thing for me and my bees.


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