Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gardening in the rain

Or at least talking about gardening while it is raining! Today I had a consultation with a landscaper. About a year ago John and I had a had a landscape artist come out and draw up a plan for our backyard that uses all native plants. We were really excited about it. A year later we've built the deck, but haven't started any of the other plants. So we decided to price having a landscaper install our plan. So Maribeth Flowers (yes, her last name is Flowers!) came this morning to look at my plan. We are going to do the yard in stages since it'll cost more than what we have set aside for the project. But we always figured we'd have to do it in parts. The project might cost more in labor, but that is partially offset by the fact that she can buy plants wholesale. And with the twins, it's just going to be hard to find the time to do a big project by ourselves. I'm really excited though, it sounds like we'll be able to get a big chunk of the yard done at the end of April.

John came home a bit early because of all the rain. He was worried he wouldn't be able to get home if he stayed at work too much longer. Sure enough they had some of the streets blocked off due to flooding. He had to come home a really weird way.

Cookin' Corner

Shepherd's Pie
Today seemed like a Shepherd's Pie sort of day. On a rainy day like this, you need a big, heavy, warm-you-up kind of meal. This version is Weight Watchers friendly. While not low points, you get a lot of food for the 9 points per serving.

mashed potato top:
6 medium russet potatoes
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp margarine
beef broth to thin potatoes if needed
salt & pepper

meat mixture:
1.25 lbs of ground turkey
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp fennel
1 bay leaf
Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp tarragon
3 tbsp flour
approx 1 cup of beef broth

Make mashed potatoes using ingredients listed above if you want to stick to a 9 point WW meal. Otherwise make your own mashed potatoes or in a pinch use instant.
Saute in a big skillet: chopped onions, celery, carrots & garlic. When vegetables are almost tender add ground turkey. (Again, this is lower points, beef is delicious too!) Add seasonings: fennel, bay leaf, tarragon,
Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper. When meat is cooked through sprinkle with flour. Stir flour in. Once it is incorporated, add beef broth. Stir in peas and parsley. Pour mixture in a casserole dish. Remove bay leaf. (If you forget to remove the bay leaf, then whoever gets it on their plate does the dishes!) Top with mashed potatoes and bake for 30-45 minutes. Serves a generous 4.

1 comment:

Crystalyn said...

I can smell the rain from your pictures. I'm jealous.. we are still having snow storms here. I love the St Patty Day pics of the girls, they are just precious!