Decorating The Porch, Dreaming of Summer and My Favorite Popover Recipe and Yummy Herb Roasted Potatoes
12/24/2012 9:30:44 AM
Decorating The Porch, Dreaming of Summer and My Favorite Popover Recipe and Yummy Herb Roasted Potatoes, Jean Smith from The Garden Gate Farm
I love to decorate for the seasons... inside and outside in all
the seasons. There is true beauty in all, yes even Winter (stay
sitting, I really do think so!) I'm not talking about all the
Christmas lights and plastic yard ornaments, I'm talking about
using nature to beautify along with some cool 'junque'... creative
decorating shall we say
Your porch is a reflection of your home and what you adorn it with
says a lot about you... That's why when the dog carries a deer leg
from one of the boys prizes, I get a bit cranky! Some of 'them'
just don't seem to get it. There's no reason that you can't keep it cute till we can once again adorn
our porches with live, beautiful flowers. Each season holds some
beauty, yes I do admit that with even winter... Evergreen boughs
strewn with red berries and there really is nothing like a hoar
frost glistening in the bright early morning. Let your neighbors
and those that pass by have a treat for their senses with the
beauty of your front porch! To see all the great shots that go with this blog post go to my blog spot listed below.
A common saying right now is, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas",
I just can't say that. I'm dreaming of a green summer... I'm sure
some people wonder why in the world I live in Michigan... move
somewhere where there is no winter you might say. I would love to,
but opportunity hasn't opened her door yet, so I try to make the
best out of my circumstances right where I'm 'planted'.
So I decided to share garden shots~ go to my blogspot at
www.fordragonfliesandme.blogspot to share in the sunshine where we
can make believe it's summer!
Here are some super cute idea's to decorate your front porch for
the winter months... not just the Holidays!
~Lay several pieces of evergreen across the window ledge(s),
window boxes or any other decorative item you may already have
under your window; put pint size glass mason jars* filled about
1/2 way with pea gravel (so they don't blow off), snuggle in
between boughs; put battery operated candles in each. Add some
service berry, holly or any other branch with red berries.
*The candle/jar will not work if you don't have a roof over the
~Surround any windows on your front porch and the front door with
live garland, intertwine with white lights! In Spring switch it
out with grapevine... leave the lights- there not just for
Christmas! I think lights in summer are even more spectacular,
especially in the patio!
~Put an old chair beside the front door; get an old fashioned
wooden sled with metal runners, lean up against the back of the
chair; hang a small Boxwood wreath with a bright red or powder
blue bow and drape a pair of red knitted mittens over the back to
hang down on side of chair!
~Take small wreaths and hang centered in each of the house windows
with a bow on it- and of course the front and any other doors you
may have. Put battery operated candles in each window.
~If you have large urns or other planters that you would typically
put plants in during the warmer months, change it up for Winter!
Add evergreen boughs, pampas grass, any branches with red berries.
Make it look like an arrangement you would set on your table... If
you have solar lights, put one in each planter to light it up at
~If you have a table on your porch: put several evergreen boughs
down the center from side to side, like a table runner, add any
branches you can get with red berries, intertwine; put a big bowl
in the center... preferably one long and shallow; place a 2 quart
mason jar in center filled 1/2 way with pea gravel; place a
battery operated candle in center, tie a big red or powder blue
bow around shoulder of jar; surround with pine cones,
pomegranates, oranges and nuts.
Here are some yummy good recipes to keep you and your family
eating while the children are home for winter break!
I know I've shared this recipe before, but it is seriously one of
my favorites. I don't always feel like making dinner rolls that I
have to wait till they rise. This is such an easy and quick bread
that can be made just before the meal! Enjoy friends!
You can use any combination of cheese & veggie you like–
that’s what makes this recipe so much fun & oh so yummy!
Nonstick cooking spray
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 sm.-med onion diced
preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 8 cups of a muffin tin with
In a medium bowl whisk together egg & milk until well blended,
add flour and salt. Stir just until mixed. Stir in cheese &
onion. Fill prepared cups about 3/4 way full– about 1/3 c batter
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350; bake for 10-15 more
minutes or until browned & puffed. Do not open oven door
until end of baking time or popovers will collapse!!!!
Remove popovers from oven and immediately remove from pan. Pierce
sides once with a knife to release steam. Serve warm with butter.
Broccoli & cheese
Dried tomato & basil with Parmesan cheese
Onion & chives with cheese
Ham & Swiss Cheese
The options are only limited by your imagination.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
About 7 c of Roma or Cherry Type tomatoes, stemmed
2 tbsp olive oil from Olive Grove
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar from Olive Grove
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 tsp dried or 4 tsp fresh Oregano leaves
1/4 c snipped fresh basil
2 red onions wedged
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degree. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with
In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt
& pepper. Toss tomatoes to coat thoroughly.
Arrange tomatoes & onions in a single layer on baking pan.
Roast uncovered for 14 to 18 minutes or just until the tomatoes
are soft & skins begin to split, gently stirring once.
Transfer the tomatoes to a shallow serving bowl. Drizzle the
vinegar mixture from the pan over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with
snipped basil. Serve warm with crusty bread.
Have fun with this one, be creative!
Herb Roasted New Potatoes
2 quarts new red skin baby potatoes
1 cup sweet onion, halved then sliced
1/2 cup thyme infused olive oil OR 1/2 cup olive oil and 2 tbsp.s
fresh thyme leaves
4 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese plus all juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. Put potatoes and onions in a deep dish 9"x13" baker; pour oil
over; toss to coat evenly.
2. Sprinkle with salt & pepper; dollop with butter; sprinkle
crumbled feta cheese evenly over top; pour the juice over top.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes; stir
potatoes to mix cheese in and coat all potatoes with oil; bake
for 15 to 20 more minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.