While I was riffling through my recipes and cookbooks looking for inspiration for Easter, I came across a banana bread recipe I’ve been wanting to try. I love breads of this nature because they freeze well and make the perfect little sum’n sum’n to go along with my morning coffee.
For this recipe, I tweaked it a bit to make a little more tasty and squeeze a little more goodness into it.
With no particular plans for Easter Sunday (except to avoid any work whatsoever and try our best to relax), I woke up bright and early in a mood to cook! 6:30 this morning, coffee in hand I started rummaging through several of my cookbooks for inspiration. Funny enough, it was a fellow blogger that provided one of my key menu items. The Pastry Affair posted a flourless peanut butter cookie, and I knew I had to try it.
I’ve never been all that into oysters. Raw, ok every now and then. But cooked, they just were never my cup o’ tea. I’ve tried them in gumbo…No, thank you. Fried…ich No thank you. (except for the succulent fried oysters at Janohn’s—mmmmm!) On a salad…No. On a po’boy….No. Charbroiled…. Wait a second.
Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy at work and with my outside “chores” when I get home in the evenings that I haven’t spent much time in my kitchen. With Easter approaching, I’ve been itching to bake and decorate all manner of sugary delights, but I just haven’t had the time. Since my day is spent in the confines of my shop, I decided to make the most of whatever down time I may have throughout the day. So I set up my craft table and got to work.
In the past three days I’ve managed to be quite productive. When I could steal away short blocks of time, I sketched and painted and actually finished these four veggie canvases. (see more of them at my etsy shop)
I also finished a Louisiana water lilly that I’ve worked on for the past couple of months. It was nice to release some creative energies and feel like I accomplished something!
If you happen to make it to etsy, also take a look at themilkandmoon. You’ll find great recipes and some pretty crafty jewelry.
It was a great weekend, but an exhausting one! We finally finished our privacy fence–100%! Cleaned, repaired, (in some cases) built, stained and sealed. DONE! (Spice-hubby is the best b/c he pretty much did everything all by himself. I only helped a little.)
So far, so good. My tomato plants are growing. All cucumber seeds have sprouted, and Man are they growing fast! I think I may have too many in my small garden, but I’m hoping to give them a trellis to climb to corral them a bit. My small, fragile pepper seedlings are finally sprouting second sets of leaves, and even the onions are coming up!
Spicehubby and I spent our Sunday afternoon making our little garden accessible, more organized and more visually appealing. I place tomato cages (round, galvanized trellises) around all five tomato plants. This needed to be done before they get any bigger since these cone-like cages taper in considerably at the bottom. Had the plants been much bigger, I would have had trouble getting these cages around them without damaging the plants. Mission accomplished and crisis averted. ☺
After Spicehubby tilled up the ground and leveled out (somewhat) a pathway, we spaced out 16×16 pavers to make a walkway from the pool deck to the garden. This particular area of our back yard is very low with little grass. That means it retains water and mud after every rain, making it undesirable to actually get to the garden. Now, it’s convenient and, more importantly, mud free!
Assuming all goes well with my first attempt at gardening, I have a larger, expanded version all mapped out for next year!
What a week to be in the Big Easy! Perfect spring temps and lots of happenings made our few days in the city wonderfully enjoyable. I got to spend lots of time meandering thru the French Quarter and shopping on Magazine Street. We were even lucky enough to catch the opening day of French Quarter Fest before heading home and back to work today. It was a nice mini-vacay, even though spice-hubby was actually working (at a conference) while I was freely enjoying myself. ☺
But don’t worry, even he got to enjoy the food, art and gorgeous weather. Wednesday we met for lunch at a little place next to our hotel. We couldn’t go far since he was only on a short break from the conference. But who could go wrong with po-boys and fries? I ordered the crawfish and he got the shrimp (fried, of course!), and they were both excellent. (Sorry, no photo– we ate them before I even thought of snapping a pic!)
Then, after a jazz concert in Lafitte Park on St Charles Ave, we made our way to Lüke’s for a couple of pre-dinner drinks. This is one of native New Orlenian John Besh’s restaurants. A beautiful French Brasserie and local hang-out. Plenty of raw oysters, mussels and clams on the menu here, but we opted to save our appetites!
We then headed up a couple of blocks to Herbsaint Restaurant for dinner. FANTASTIC.
Back in the Big Easy for a few days, and the weather is perfect! Bright blue skies, sun all day long and highs of 75. It’s not like this for long, so I intend to enjoy every minute of it while I can. Soon, it will be 95 with 80% humidity. Ugh. Miserable.
But not today! Today is a glorious spring day, and I will drink it in to the fullest. And I plan on eating. A lot. ☺
We (my husband and I) checked into our hotel about 8:00 last night. Hungry and thirsty, we wanted something convenient. We’re staying on the corner of Canal and Bourbon, so take your pick. Fabulous food is all around. We decided on Red Fish Grill since it’s practically right across the street from us and we were both in the mood for some fresh seafood. As expected, it did not disappoint.
A few weeks ago I started seeds for tomatoes, peppers and cilantro inside. I’ve enjoyed watching them sprout and outgrow the little “hothouse” terrarium that began and fostered the process. Then, day by day, I watched all my lovely tomato and cilantro sprouts wilt and die. ☹
I’m not sure what I did wrong. They just stopped growing, fell over to one side and the stalks began withering. The peppers, on the other hand, have done well. They continue to grow and thrive. So after taking a few days to ‘harden’ them to the outdoors, I decided it was time to plant them outside.
Since our temps are already pushing 90, I’m pretty confident we are past the threat of a late frost. This past weekend was warm and sunny. Perfect weather for planting. I chose a small area in our back yard and prepared it for the raised garden frame.
Our back yard is a work in progress. The area I chose for my garden is really low and tends to retain water after it rains. We have plans to have dirt brought in to level it out, but we’re not quite ready for that yet. So in order to create the area I need, my husband added sand to build up a small area and leveled it out. This also created a nice barrier between the soil in our yard and the growing medium I’m using in the garden. I then laid out weed-x fabric for an additional barrier for weed prevention.