A New Year

More posts coming soon, lots of projects in progress, check back often. You can follow me on Facebook. I will link up there with updates.



Please contact me with questions, comments or suggestions at
jmgargoyle@msn.com.































Saturday, September 22, 2007

Zabaglione


[zah-bahl-YOH-nay]noun: an ethereal dessert of Italian origin made by whisking together egg yolks, wine (traditionally Marsala) and sugar. This beating is done over simmering water so that the egg yolks cook as they thicken into a light, foamy custard. Traditional zabaglione must be made just before serving. (There is also a frozen version.) The warm froth can be served either as a dessert by itself or as a sauce over cake, fruit, ice cream or pastry.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Arabesque


adj: style using flowers, foliage, or fruit creating an intricate pattern of interlaced lines.

Basil

Basil for Love, Blessing, Best Wishes

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Focaccia


noun: an Italian olive-oil bread, quite flat and usually round or square. It has an almost cake-like texture and is often flavoured with herbs such as rosemary, sage or basil, perhaps olives or tapenade, and sometimes has a filling of ham or cheese. Cut it into generous wedges to serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nandina


noun: also known as Heavenly Bamboo, is completely unrelated to Bamboo. It's common name comes only from it's resemblance to bamboo due to the fine lacy foliage, and the growth pattern of the plant, which is cane like. Nandina is classified as an evergreen, but will lose it's foliage if the temperature drops below 10 degreed F. The canes will die back to the ground at -10 degrees, but will come back readily the next spring.What makes this plant special is the color it provides in the garden, during all four seasons of the year. In the spring, the new foliage emerges as bright bronzed red, and is soon followed by large, six to twelve inch panicles of creamy white flowers.As the season changes, the foliage becomes blue green, fading to light green. Clusters of bright green berries replace the flowers. By late summer, the berries will ripen to a bright red.In the fall, the foliage color again begins to change to shades of pink and red, ending the year with bright red leaves and berries. The berries will remain until they are discovered and enjoyed by the local birds.Heavenly bamboo will slowly grow to 8 feet if it is left alone. However, it can be kept at a very compact size by pruning. This makes it an excellent choice for entryways, patios or foundation plantings. Multiple plantings may be used as a screen or hedge. It is also suitable for growing as a container plant, indoors.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Calico Beans



8 ounces bacon, about 10 to 12 slices
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. dry mustard
2 cans pork and beans
1 can lima beans or butter beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vinegar

Brown bacon, ground beef, and chopped onions. Combine drained ground beef mixture in slow cooker with remaining ingredients; cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 5 hours.

Entrecôte


noun: boneless steak of beef cut from the sirloin, more commonly known as a sirloin steak. It’s a prime cut of beef so is best cooked quickly - either grilled or fried.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Marjoram


noun: an herb cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. It is often used in herb combinations such as Herbes de Provence because of its sweet pine and citrus flavors.
Although considered cold-sensitive, marjoram can sometimes prove hardy even in zone 5.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pelmet


noun: a framework to conceal drapery hardware at the top of a window. It is similar in appearance to a cornice or valence.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mâche


noun: a salad green of the valerian family. The plant grows in a rosette of long spoon shaped leaves which may also be clustered in loose heads. Used in salad mixes together with other greens. It can also be cooked like spinach and used in soups and stuffings.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vitex


noun: also know as the chaste tree is a beautiful little deciduous tree or large shrub with a showy summertime flower display. The leaves are 3-4 inches in diameter and palmately compound with 5 to 7 fingerlike leaflets. Also called sage tree, the foliage is likewise aromatic and is typically grey-green to dark green above and lighter on the undersides. When in bloom, due to the similarity of the flowers, the chaste tree is sometimes mistaken for butterfly bush (Buddleia). The chaste tree is a sprawling plant that grows 10-20 feet and about as wide. Branched flower clusters are produced on new wood in late spring and early summer in a great flush that makes the tree look like a hazy purple cloud. It continues to bloom sporadically until early fall. Not only is the tree strikingly beautiful when in full bloom, but it is also fragrant and attracts pollinating bees and hummingbirds make hungry visits. Flower color ranges from violet to blue to deep purple.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nasturtium

Nasturtium for Optimism

Catalpa


noun: deciduous tree growing 10-25 feet tall, and can be recognized by their large heart-shaped to three-lobed leaves, showy white or yellow flowers in broad panicles, and in the autumn by their long fruits which resemble a slender bean pod, containing numerous small flat seeds.Due to their large leaf size, Catalpas provide very dark shade and are a popular habitat for many birds, providing them good shelter from rain and wind. These trees have very little limb droppage, but they do drop large bean pods during late summer.

Pumpkin Praline Pie


Filling:
1 can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream

1 prepared pie crust
Adjust oven rack to lowest position.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk pumpkin, sugar, spices, salt, and vanilla in mixing bowl until blended. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Whisk in cream. Pierce bottom of pie shell with fork.Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake 20 minutes.
Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Whisk butter, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla together in small saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
Scatter nuts over pie and cover with topping. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Bake just until pie is set, 30-35 minutes. If edge browns too quickly, cover it with strips of foil.
Let cool completely.
Serves 6.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mint

Mint for Wisdom and Grief

Pluot


noun:a complex cross hybrid of plum and apricot, being ¾ plum and ¼ apricot in parentage. The pluot, like the aprium, is derived from the ½ plum ½ apricot hybrid called the plumcot.
The fruit's exterior fairly closely resembles a plum's. Pluots are noted for their sweetness (due to a very high sugar content) and for their intense flavor. They are also very, very juicy. Pluots are also rich in vitamin A.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Sorrel

Sorrel for Affection

Veneer


noun: paper-thin wood sheets applied to the outer surface of furniture, which are often inlaid in decorative patterns or matched to create various patterns.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Pansy

Pansy for Merriment and Rememberance

Arborvitae


noun: the narrow, pyramid shape makes it a natural choice for windbreaks. Tall and elegant, it requires almost no care when used as a hedge or screen. Pairs of these hardy trees make great accents for doors and garden gates while single specimens soften house corners. In the wild single specimens commonly grow 40' to 60' with a spread of 15'. In urban settings a height of 20' to 30' with a 12' spread is more typical. Plant 3 feet apart for hedge. (zones 3-7)

Plant Hardiness Zones


The Plant Hardiness Zones divide the United States and Canada into 11 areas based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature. (The United States falls within Zones 2 through 10). Suggested hardiness zones have been indicated for all trees and perennials available at nurseries. If a range of zones, for example, zones 4-9, is indicated, the tree or perennial is known to be hardy in zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Suitable hardiness means a plant can be expected to grow in the zone's temperature extremes, as determined by the lowest average annual temperature.
Keep in mind that local variations such as moisture, soil, winds, and other conditions might affect the viability of individual plants.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Cilantro

Cilantro for Hidden Worth

Kirsch


noun: from the German meaning cherry, this is a clear liqueur distilled from cherries and their almond-flavoured stones, often used in sponge cakes, for macerating and to flavour dishes containing fruit. It's often added to fondue and is used in the dish cherries Jubilee - poached cherries flambéed with kirsch.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fresco


noun: painted mural or decoration done on a wet plaster wall or ceiling.

Sage

Sage for Wisdom

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pay It Forward

As a small business owner I feel that it is my honor to help others that also have the dream of owning and running a successful small business. I am lucky to have had money available when I started my business in 2000. There are many people around the world that are not that lucky. Got $25 and a PayPal account? You can be an international financier — powering businesses of your choosing from Kiva. org.
Kiva is a micro financing organization that assists small businesses in developing countries stride toward economic independence. 100% of the donations go directly to the loans. Once the loans are paid off, users can re-loan to other businesses in need. It is literally the gift that keeps on giving. Just click www.kiva.org and start making a difference.

Elder

Elder for Zealousness

Aubergine


noun: French word for eggplant. An essential Mediterranean vegetable, featuring in classic dishes such as ratatouille, moussaka and imam bayildi (stuffed aubergines). They’re also an important ingredient in many Indian vegetable-based dishes and are the basis of the Arabic mezze dish baba ganoush. In decor it refers to a deep reddish purple-brown color.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Butter-rum baked apples


4 Golden Delicious or Baking apples with stems
1/3 Cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 Cup dark rum
2 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 Teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/8 Teaspoon cloves
¼ Teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Cut off top third of each apple and reserve. Scoop out seeds and some of flesh from apples using a melon-ball cutter or round teaspoon measure to form a cavity (do not puncture bottoms). Stand apples in a buttered baking dish just large enough to hold them.
Heat remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Pour some of syrup into cavity of each apple and remainder into baking dish. Return apple tops to apples and cover dish loosely with foil.
Bake in middle of oven until apples are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

Mirepoix


noun: mixture of diced vegetables - usually onion, leek, carrot and celery - and sometimes bacon and herbs. It's sautéed in butter and is the basis of many sauces, soups and stews. It's often used as a foundation for braising meat, poultry or fish as well.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

No Wire Hangers,EVER!

Soon, that phrase made famous by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, may come true. If you've ever done dry cleaning, you've probably noticed the wire hangers that come with every piece of clothing returned to you. About 3.5 billion of them escape from closets around the country and end up in landfills. The EcoHanger was created as alternative — it's made of 100% recycled paper and pays for itself with advertising. Basically, dry cleaning companies get the hangers for free because of the direct marketing ads on the hangers. So far, EcoHangers have appeared in New York, San Francisco and other large cities. The distributor, HangerNetwork, is trying to get more dry cleaners to use the new hangers.

Lavender


Lavender for Devotion and Loyalty

Pentas

noun: dark green, lance-shaped leaves provide a lush backdrop for prolific clusters of never-ending, five-petal flowers. These may be red, white, lavender, purple, or shades of pink. All are extremely attractive to butterflies, and the red and dark pink varieties delight hummingbirds. Depending on the variety, the habit of growth may be upright to about 3', or low and mounding. The flowers are held in terminal clusters and self-deadhead. In warm weather the plant grows fast and stays in bloom constantly. Where winters are not too severe, pentas are perennial. They may always be treated as an annual and replanted after danger of frost for long lasting summer color. Blooms better and is more robust in good sun, but will still bloom in shade and look good!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Leaving So Soon?

Check out http://www.foliagenetwork.com/ for reports from more than 500 "foliage spotters". Updated twice weekly September-November. Great site that includes maps , photos, info on places to stay and things to do and suggested scenic drives. The ultimate site for "Foliagiphils".

Thyme

Thyme for Happiness and Courage

Langoustine


[lahn-goo-STEEN]noun: French word for the Dublin Bay prawn (which isn't actually a prawn at all, but a small lobster, Nephrops norvegicus). It's also known as Norway lobster. They are available fresh or frozen, in and out of their shells. If bought fresh, cook them by boiling or grilling. You're more likely to find fresh ones in good fishmongers and although they're pricey, they're delicious. Serve with drawn butter and lemon wedges.