Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Homemade Blackberry-Lemon Ice Cream

 

Have an ice cream maker? Whip up a batch of this easy-to-make blackberry-lemon ice cream. The sweet lemon flavor comes from prepared lemon curd you can find in the jam section of your grocery; I used Dickinson's brand. The blackberries add a bit of tartness and crunch. And the best part? This no-cook recipe takes only minutes to prepare. I think it's the perfect summer dessert. Serve it up in a vintage glass. It's so rich, you don't need a large portion. Enjoy!


Blackberry-Lemon Ice Cream

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup jarred lemon curd
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 oz. fresh blackberries

Directions:
1. Combine first four ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

2. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

3. Coarsely chop the blackberries and fold them into the custard to create a swirl effect. Cover and freeze at least 3 hours or up to 1 week.



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Additions to the Garden

Hello there! I wanted to share some changes we've made to the garden. We went back to the nursery we discovered this spring because two varieties of plants we purchased weren't doing well, and I wanted to ask the owner what was ailing them. By the way, he offered to give us new plants free of charge, which we greatly appreciated, but refused. That wasn't our intent; we only wanted to get to the root of the problem (excuse the pun). However, after purchasing several new plants, we realized we were given 20% off our entire order. How sweet! There's nothing better than supporting small, local businesses and dealing directly with the owner. So much better than buying from big box stores.

Anyway, you may remember in this post I introduced you to our new plants. It was the coreopsis 'Jethro Tull' that was dying -- the one with beautiful yellow flower. The other coreopsis called 'Zagreb,' which I didn't take a photo of at the time because there were only tightly closed buds, has been thriving. We learned yesterday that the two types, while both sun loving, have different water needs, and 'Jethro Tull' had gotten too much water (it had rained a ton just after Paul planted everything). 

We decided to pull out the 'Jethro Tull' and replace them with more 'Zagreb.' You can see it in the photo below. The yellow flowers are small but plentiful, and the needle-like foliage is full and bushy. It's a lovely plant and looks perfect along the fence.

One of the new additions is Stokes' aster 'Peachie's Pick.' It is a full sun plant that blooms from mid-summer through early fall and reaches a height of 14". I just read that the foliage is evergreen, which is a nice surprise. The vibrant flowers, which attract loads of bees and butterflies, appear to close up somewhat toward the end of the day.




Behind the aster we planted a grass called Upright Little Bluestem 'Standing Ovation.' The purplish tips of the stalks look beautiful with the purple aster. This plant grows to 3 or 4 feet and flowers in summer.


The other grass we purchased is purple fountain grass 'Rubrum,' which we added to the Japanese garden, below. This grass also flowers and reaches a height of three to four feet. Ornamental grasses are some of my favorite plants in a garden, and I especially love dark red ones. 

I'd like to add more grasses to the garden over time. My husband won't be thrilled to hear this since every time "we" put in new plants, it's a backbreaking task of hacking through thick roots from old trees and other junk. It's a lot of work for him. See the rock in front of the temple below? It was unearthed as Paul was digging a hole for the purple fountain grass. He placed it there as decoration, and I love it. I would like to add more rocks and stones to this part of the garden over time.


Last, but not least, are some shots of our pretty dahlias, which are doing beautifully. I love cutting them to enjoy throughout the house!



Well, that's the tour. Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's growing in your garden, from flowers to vegetables. Leave a comment by clicking on "Comments" below!
 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Trip to Seattle, Part 2

Well, I am certainly not meeting my goal of creating more blog posts! I can't believe there's only one more week left in June. Where has the time gone? I came down with a cold on Monday and worked from home Tuesday. Aren't summer colds awful? This one is relatively mild, as colds go. I hope it will be gone soon.

I wanted to share a few more photos from my trip to Seattle.

The first is a version of salad Nicoise prepared by my friend on my last night there. It featured boiled new potatoes, Kalamata olives, sauteed snap peas, hard boiled eggs, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, tuna and fresh greens. Delicious!



Very sweet (and very old) kitty curled up on soft sheepskin



Vibrant flowers at the Ballard Farmers Market



Isamu Noguchi's "Black Sun" sculpture in Volunteer Park


Tree in Volunteer Park


Colette (her sister looks just like her, but without the extra toes)


Lettuce and herb garden with dahlias on my friend's deck



 Mid-century style buffet in my friend's dining room (coveted)


Stunning view from a lovely Seattle neighborhood

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Garden Blooms

Look what I returned home to from my trip to Seattle! The hydrangea in full bloom, the gardenia with its fragrant white blossoms, and dahlias popping up all over (the yellow ones look the best so far). Sadly, we had a terrible thunderstorm with hail several weeks ago, which ripped to shreds the new hosta plants, broke off many of the blooms on the hydrangea (see some of its torn leaves?) and killed the one fern we planted, which is in the upper right corner of the photo below. The hydrangea wasn't too badly hurt, thank goodness, and many of our other plants (including all the dahlias) were spared.





Every time I see the hydrangea plant as I walk through the side gate, every time I smell the heady scent of the gardenias, every time I cut a dahlia for a simple indoor bouquet, I feel a sense of pure joy and gratitude. I'm grateful to my husband who planted them and to our Lord who created them.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Trip to Seattle

Hello there, friends. Sorry for the infrequent posts. I've been very, very busy at work and in my personal time have had less interest in being in front of the computer (I get enough of that Monday through Friday!).

I spent a lovely, long Memorial Day weekend in the Seattle area visiting my best friend and her husband and son. I flew out on Friday and returned home Wednesday. In the span of four days, I experienced both Seattle weather extremes: chilly and drizzly Saturday and Sunday. Warm, dry and sunny Monday and Tuesday. 

Below is Mt. Rainier and Lake Washington -- a view that is just a short walk from my friend's house. Such a beautiful part of the country it is! In the other direction, views of distant snow-capped mountains from my friend's house never disappoint.


 Here are some highlights from my four-day stay:
  • We visited the Seattle Unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, which is actually a museum located in the historic Cadillac Hotel
  • We sampled goodies, from hard cider to microgreens, at the Ballard Farmers Market
  • We explored Pioneer Square, Seattle's "original neighborhood" dating back to 1852. There we popped into The London Plane, a beautiful cafe/bakery/specialty foods store and floral workshop with the most gorgeous flowers and delicious rose water meringues! At Davidson Galleries I fell in love with the work of artist Wendy Orville (I will, at some point, be purchasing one of her beautiful monotypes)
  • We strolled through one of my favorites places ever: the 40-acre off-leash dog park at Marymoor Park in Redmond. There's a reason they call it "Doggie Disneyland." I've never seen so many happy dogs in one place! During my visit, I was struck by how many people have dogs, and how many businesses are dog-friendly, too. It was great because I was missing Henry and Ella!
  • I also made a return visit to Glassybaby in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle. If you've followed my blog for a while, you may know that Glassybaby votive holders are one of my favorite things. On a previous trip to Seattle I purchased three Glassybaby, and on this trip I purchased three more: gingerbread, homegrown and warm gravy (shown in that order, below).


Glassybaby in Madrona is a very "cool" place (forgive the play on words; glassblowing is actually a very HOT business). Click here to watch a video about Glassybaby and here for a wonderful video on how a Glassybaby is born.

Stay tuned for part two of my trip to Seattle! Oh, and if you subscribe to my posts, you've probably noticed a lapse in email notifications. I realized a month or so ago that no emails were being sent about new blog posts. There was some trouble with Feedburner, but I think I fixed it this morning. I'm not even sure how I did it. A nice blog follower of mine reached out to say she received the email (thanks, Karen!). Hopefully things will be working smoothly from now on. If not, send me an email at mylittlebungalow2[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks for tuning in!
 
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