I’m spreading a little blog love during the month of July! I’ve been reblogging recent entries from some of my favourite bloggers, but there are a few that do not have the reblog feature and so I’ll link to them over a couple of posts. I encourage you to click through and check out more of their work. Enjoy! ~Sheryl ♥
If you embroider and are on the hunt for new patterns, I recently discovered that the DMC website has
about a zillion five hundred or so available for free. Download away and enjoy stitching!
My favourite recipe of this past week? Judi’s Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes, found here. They are the ultimate in comfort food and are a breeze to make. I could probably eat these every day. I’m totally not exaggerating here; they are that tasty.
It’s a few years old now (it was published in 2013), but if you haven’t already checked out Deborah Madison’s cookbook Vegetable Literacy, go grab a copy from the library pronto. If you have a passion for cooking and gardening, you’ll delight in this breathtakingly-photographed tome. The recipes look amazing but I can’t stop drooling at (on?) the pictures. (And this one of the reasons why we sometimes find water-damaged books at the library, lol). Take a look at the author describing her book in this video.
The Spring issue of The Gardener for Canadian Climates will be out shortly on newsstands across Canada and a couple of articles I wrote are inside: “Carrot Cousins” and ” Preventing Common Lawn Problems.” The magazine also features the annual Plant Picks section, which I always love contributing to. And will you get a load of that cover? WOW. We don’t have many print gardening magazines left in Canada, and I would encourage gardening enthusiasts to support this amazing publication if possible.
Do you have any “tidbits” you want to share this week? – favourite or new recipes, interesting links or news items you’ve come across, fascinating blog posts you or someone else have put up? Feel free to mention them in the comments!
A co-worker recently recommended the book Stitches to Savor and the website (here) of a marvelous quilt-maker, expert embroiderer, and (as my colleague stated) “rock star” of the stitching world, Sue Spargo. The book was written in 2015 and as the subtitle states, it is a “celebration of designs by Sue Spargo,” created from wool, embellishments of scraps of silk, velvet and other fabrics, beads, various threads and so on. I was previously unfamiliar with Spargo’s work and to say that I was absolutely blown away by it is a massive understatement. The photography in the book is utterly stunning as well, capturing the intricate detail of the motifs so perfectly that you can almost feel the textures. What an inspiring treat, and highly recommended if you can track it down at your local library.
I don’t know if any of you out there are soap makers (I’m not, but it’s on an unfathomably gigantic list of things that I want to pursue some day), but if you are or if you want to try something new, this recipe for Gardener’s Soap might be right up your alley. When she lived in Calgary, I worked at the library with Margot, the owner and creator of Starfish Soap Company, and this is one of my favourite soaps that she makes. She is based out of Gabriola Island, in British Columbia.
My favourite recipe from last week? These Chocolate Chip Blondies with Chocolate Ganache that I made for my hubby’s b-day. The recipe is so easy you think it can’t possibly be accurate, but it is and the end result is decadent, sweet, and definitely special-occasion-worthy. You could omit the ganache if it’s not someone’s birthday, I guess, but why not go big and bold? It’s chocolate, after all.
Have an amazing week!
If you love peonies, this post about “peony anatomy” may be of interest. Or you can just ogle the beautiful photos. Either way, it’s a win.
Yummy recipe alert: these muffins are tops! Except I didn’t have ube and substituted yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes…plus, I didn’t add walnuts due to my allergies, and I skipped the glaze, as it really isn’t necessary and sort of makes them cupcakes instead of muffins, doesn’t it? They’re sweet enough as they are, but the glaze would make them special-occasion-worthy: like a “I managed to get out of bed this morning to go to work, so let’s celebrate!” kind of muffin/cupcake/whatever.
Even if you’re not a fan of Martha Stewart, her latest book Martha’s Flowers is absolutely droolicious (drooleriffic?). I know, I’m making words up here but there aren’t sufficient superlatives in the English language to describe the photography and artful styling in this book. If you can get your hands on a copy from your local library, do treat yourself. I haven’t even gotten around to reading the text yet (ahem) as I keep staring at the photos and stammering out awe-struck gibberish.
From the Boast and Braggart files…a couple of articles I wrote about herb gardening have been recently published: “Tea Time: Growing Herbs for Tisanes” appears in the Winter 2018 issue of Archive magazine, and “Designing a Meadow Garden” is featured in the Winter issue of Herb Quarterly.
Have a wonderful week!
While putting away picture books at work this past week, I came across an illustrator I am now officially absolutely gaga over: Sonja Danowski. You can see some of the work she did for Michael Rosen’s story Forever Flowers here, as well as a gallery of other art she has done. An incredible talent!
Despite its name, the site American Literature doesn’t feature strictly American authors; it’s actually a great source of public domain short fiction, novels, and poetry from writers from all over the world. Enjoy!
Although I found it a bit late (the article was published in June of last year), this information about discovering rare plants in Hawai’i using drones is fascinating (and you have to watch the breathtaking video at the end!).
Have you ever come across a dead tree with an odd spiral shape? I’ve found a few examples on our mountain hikes but unfortunately the only photograph I have of one was taken with a film camera way back in the early 2000’s and a printed copy that I can scan and post isn’t immediately at hand. Although the title of this article is sort of misleading, the explanation it offers is accurate. Another interesting thing to watch for during those walks in the woods!
My fave “new” recipe of last week? This sweet and sour chicken. (I didn’t make the fried rice; I just served it over hot cooked basmati. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup, cut back the vinegar to about 1/3 cup, and used only one egg). Easy and delicious!
Does anyone out there grow paprika peppers? I’ve used sweet paprika in a few recipes but just recently discovered smoked paprika when I made a spice mix for use as a dry rub in grilling. Now I’ve been putting smoked paprika on everything: scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, slow cooked beans…and as everyone but me seems to have already known, it elevates deviled eggs to a seriously crazy pinnacle of excellence. I’m curious, what are your favourite ways to use this fantastic little spice in cooking? (Tell me how you use other types of paprika as well!). And if you’ve grown the peppers, please tell me about your successes (or failures) with them. I don’t think I can easily grow them here without the benefit of a greenhouse, but I am nevertheless very interested….
I came across a fascinating article about the history of embroidery – although it references 900 years of the craft, it’s a very brief overview so it won’t take you long to read. The photos are fantastic, too. Check it out here.
Whether you’re a reader or a writer, you may enjoy this little piece posted up at Tor.com – it’s a thought-provoking take on writing botany into fantasy fiction. How do you name and describe plants that exist in worlds that aren’t real? Stuff like this is why writing is so fun….
Oh yes, and let’s cycle back to food: I posted a recipe for zucchini and salmon loaf up at Grit.com last week. Use fresh salmon if you have it. If you’re vegetarian, I think you could make a variation with scrambled tofu. And throwing in a few diced mushrooms and red or yellow peppers would be pretty yummy, too. Don’t forget the smoked paprika! ♥
Time-lapse photography is awesome. It’s even more awesome when it features spring flowers. Don’t miss this!
Here are some great photos illustrating crown shyness in trees. Next time you’re in a heavily wooded area, look up – maybe you’ll spot a display. I keep thinking I’ve seen it in aspens, but I have no documentation of it…I’m now on a mission to photograph it if I come across it. I’m not sure if Populus is a genus that exhibits it – not all trees do.
My article, “Growing Green Flowers,” published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Heirloom Gardener, is available to read online here.
I didn’t do a lot of holiday baking, but this ginger cookie recipe was so good, I made more than one batch. It’s gluten free but if you don’t have dietary restrictions, you should be easily able to substitute wheat flour for the GF blend. The almond flour may also be successfully swapped out with the GF blend (or wheat flour) as well. And it’s cool if you want to omit the candied ginger, too – just add a touch more ground ginger. ♥