Archive | August 2013

Food – Taco Seasoning

I found a great taco seasoning recipe. I modified just a little because it calls for oregano and I am not a HUGE fan of oregano, just a SMALL fan so I decreased it. It is nice to find seasonings because so many in the stores have ingredients I don’t care for. Thanks!

Taco Seasoning 

To make a batch, add the following ingredients in a sealable bag and shake to combine:

10 Tbsp. chili powder (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp.)

1 1/2  tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves – not ground

3 tsp. paprika

3 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

6 tsp. cumin

5 tsp. salt

6 tsp. black pepper

Three to four tablespoons will equal a packet of taco seasoning.

Start with one cup of water, pour and stir until you get the consistency you want.

Garden – Dahlia’s

This is my first year growing Dahlia’s. Man are they beautiful!!! I have orange, yellow and pink flowers.

I also found out that I can keep them over the winter and put them in the ground again next year! What an excellent way to save money 🙂 The problem? Trying to get a straight answer out of someone whether asking in person or on forums or researching. So I again, asked my master gardener friend and she gave me the answer of all answers!!! To winterize Dahlia’s, wait til the first freeze, cut it down to about 6 inches above the ground, with two forks or small shovels carefully get it out of the ground, give it a shake to get the excess dirt off, put it in a planter and store it under the couch (or anywhere where it won’t freeze) on it’s side (so the water can drain out of it).  Then next gardening season, put it in and it should grow again. So I am looking forward to winterizing my Dahlia’s so I can either rejoice in the new growth because I did it right or figure out what I did wrong because doesn’t grow, haha!

I hope this helps all humble gardeners out there! Gardening is a special thing and being able to participate in it is refreshing.

Time for Coffee :)

I am from Duluth, MN the land of long goodbyes 🙂 so when my mom had my aunts over for coffee and then afterward would walk them to the door for the 20 minute goodbye, I, at age 6 or so, would drink the leftover coffee..hee hee. Thus started my love of coffee. But not only drinking but researching it . Did you know that the longer coffee brews, the more caffeine there is? And, contrary to popular belief, the roast of the coffee does not determine the amount of caffeine – it just determines the flavor.

A few years ago I was in Minneapolis, MN and went into a Caribou; it was about 4pm. I asked for a large dark roast brewed coffee and the barista said “we don’t brew dark roast after 3pm because most people don’t want the caffeine.” So I, being the coffee diva that I was, said “the roast of the coffee has nothing to do with the amount of caffeine.” She looked at me and said “well the darker the roast the more that caffeine” and I told her that it is the brewing process not the roast. Well she started getting all upset with me so I said, no problem I will go somewhere else :\ Can’t understand to this day why Caribou wouldn’t have trained their barista’s in this.

At any rate, coffee is an antioxidant and good for your skin. If you want it strong don’t use less water, use more coffee; but if you want to make a strong cup to take the place of an espresso (sorry it isn’t expresso) then yes use about 1 cup of water with about 6 tablespoons and then go from there for flavor.

On the subject of espresso, some people think that microwaving the milk is just as good a steaming the milk – NO, it isn’t. Microwaves changes the taste of drinks, in my opinion, so then it wouldn’t taste the same. A good espresso drink is 3 shots of espresso, steamed milk in a 12 – 16 oz cup/mug. My favorite Starbucks drink is: a Venti, 4 shots, steamed milk to only 135-140 degrees (otherwise you can’t drink it and any espresso drink should be ready to drink right after ordering) and I always ask how many pumps of flavor they put in and if it is vanilla they put in 5 pumps and I think their mocha is the same; I ask for 1 pump of each otherwise it is way too sweet and I like the bitterness of coffee.

Any questions? Feel free to ask 😀

Talking with a Master Gardener

Today I had a 2 hour conversation with a Master Gardener. It is so nice to talk to someone who can carry a conversation with something you both have in common and are passionate about.

A couple of things I learned was that Creeping Charlie grows little purple flowers and bees love them – so if you have them in your garden, keep some – under control but keep them – so the bees have pollen.

Second: the small pansies I have in my garden are not pansies but instead are viola’s. This is not a bad thing because I can take the seed pods and spread the seeds wherever I want them 🙂

Third: the fretting I was doing over how to store my Dahlia over the winter has been for nothing. I can just cut them back to about 6 inches above the ground and store them in a box under the couch!!!

Dahlia Plant Dahlia Purple Wave Purple Wave with Twine Violas Violas2 White Waves

Gardening, Coffe and Food – New Blog

I am hoping for myself and anyone that follows this blog that we will get a good sense of what we want to learn or just see. Gardening, Coffee and Food are my three favorite things to do and learn about.