Columbine are one of my favorite perennials, I call them the ballerinas of my garden.
I love peonies and this year they are spectacular! Every room in my house is filled with luscious bouquets exuding the most exquisite perfume.
After years of apartment living, I moved into my house in 1986 and discovered a passion for gardening. I’d admired vibrant, showy poppies in other people’s flowerbeds but despite my efforts to grow them from seed I never had any luck.
A few years ago I was visiting my step-daughter and admiring her poppies, in full bloom by the front porch. Upon closer inspection of the green base of the plants I realized that I had been growing poppies every year – and pulling them out as they looked like big prickly weeds. The poor things had never had a chance.
Armed with knowledge (and a lack of patience) I dispensed with the idea of starting them from seeds that summer and headed to my local nursery. I bought the three colors shown below – red, pink and peach and they have been exceptional every year. There is something both bold and delicate about them and for sure there is a “pop” of color from these tall beauties gracing my gardens.
That same day I purchased Alpine Poppies. Tiny and delicate, this petite poppy is also incredibly durable and it’s tiny seeds must scatter everywhere evidenced by the number of them that have sprung up in between pavers and patio bricks, sidewalk cracks and along my fence. They even survived, in fact thrived, when our driveway was paved last year. My rule – if it’s a flower, let it bloom regardless of where it pops up.
Enjoy my Iris Slideshow, just a few of the beauties blooming over the last two weeks.
This is the second post in my new series, Cooking for One. Since losing Spence almost three months ago, it’s taken time to regain my appetite and rediscover my passion for cooking. Thankfully the desire to create and savor delicious meals has slowly returned. In sharing these ideas, I hope that even when it’s just you, you’ll feel inspired to make something special – you’re worth it!
Fontina & Prosciutto Flatbread with Figs & Balsamic Reduction
- 1 piece of Naan
- olive oil
- fresh cracked black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- sliced Fontina cheese
- thin sliced prosciutto, torn into smaller pieces
- chopped or sliced figs
- thin sliced red onion
- chopped pistachios
- fresh baby spinach
- balsamic reduction
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a cast iron skillet (or baking stone) with olive oil and place into the oven for five minutes. While the skillet heats, brush the top of the Naan with olive oil, add cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes, then add slices of fontina covering the top. Next add the proscuitto, figs, red onion and chopped pistachios. Place the flatbread into the skillet and return to the oven for ten minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately top with a handful of spinach then a good drizzle of balsamic reduction. I enjoyed this with a lovely glass of Prosecco.
Note: Naan is such a quick and delicious product to use for a quick flatbread or pizza – try any combination of fun toppings – there’s simply no limit!
This took all of 5 minutes to make and less than a minute to eat.
Warm a flour tortilla – I put it right on the burner, flipping it one time. Top with shredded cheese, lower the heat. Prepare one soft scrambled egg – add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. While it finishes, slice 1/2 avocado, placing it onto the cheese. Add the egg and a splash of hot sauce (I used Slap ya Mama). Fold over soft taco style and enjoy.
This is the first post in my new series, Cooking for One.