Garden Potato Salad {recipe}

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You know that scary yellow stuff staring back at you from the deli case? Eww! That’s what I always envision when I hear Potato Salad. Well this American classic has undergone a makeover and it’s now bursting with fresh herbs and a tangy vinaigrette.

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the (unofficial) start of summer. Although summer officially begins June 21, it’s not too early to impress your BBQ crowd with mouth-watering side dishes like my Garden Potato Salad.

WARNING: This is not your granny’s potato salad!

Start with, of course, potatoes.

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My organic potato plants

 “I love potatoes – they’re my favorite food!”- Trisha Yearwood

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Drop them like they’re hot!

 “I have these big piano-playing hands. I feel like I should be picking potatoes.”  – Sandra Bullock

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Harvest time!

“A lucky person is someone who plants pebbles and harvests potatoes.” -Greek Proverb

Then add garden herbs.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a member of the celery family.  Leafy dill has a slightly sharp flavor. This aromatic herb can be also used as a digestive tonic to calm an upset stomach. Perfect after stuffing yourself at a weekend cookout!

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Fresh Dill

 “The intense perfumes of the wild herbs as we trod them underfoot made us feel almost drunk.” -Jacqueline du Pre

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are related to onions, yet with a milder flavor. Easy to grow, chives bloom into beautiful purple flowers.

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Garden Chives

Toss the potatoes and herbs into a bowl with some celery.  Whip up a simple vinegar dressing and you’re done! How easy was that?  This tasty Garden Potato Salad is sure to be the Pride of the Picnic! Enjoy!

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“What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” – A.A. Milne

Garden Potato Salad

Serves 6

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites

“Dress the potatoes while they’re hot; that way they are infused with the flavor of the dressing. These are delicious served hot, at room temperature, or chilled.”

Ingredients

5 cubed potatoes (Red-skinned are very attractive; I used white potatoes)

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons salt (plus extra for salting cooking water)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup celery

½ cup finely chopped scallions or red onions, or freshly snipped chives

¼ cup minced fresh dill (can substitute other fresh herbs)

Preparation

In a soup pot, cover the potatoes with cool salted water. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce to a vigorous simmer. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, in a serving bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Place the celery and scallions/red onions/chives in the bowl.

Once the potatoes are done, drain well. Add them to the serving bowl and toss with the oil and vinegar while still hot. Stir in the dill and season with more salt and pepper, to taste.

***

 

What’s your favorite side dish?

Photos by Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.

Shared with Fiesta Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Old Fashioned Fridays, Real Food Friday, From The Farm Hop, Plant Based Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday, Link Party Palooza, Simply Natural Saturdays, I’m Loving Linky Party, Simple Saturdays, Creative Mondays, Motivation Monday, Busy Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Munching Mondays, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday

50/50: Fifty years of life’s lessons

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Me with Mom in Miami

You’ve come a long way, baby!

This is it!  The Big 5-0! Half of a century. Five decades.

Adios, youth.  Hello, AARP! Egad!

….Cue music: “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” 

Where has all the time gone? I act so silly sometimes that I just can’t believe my age. Well, I’m definitely older and maybe a little bit wiser. I have learned much over the past fifty years. But the lessons I have learned have not all been easy.

As I laugh myself into the next 50 years, I reflect on a few, okay, 50 things that I know for sure from 50 years passed.  Here’s my 50/50 countdown:

50.  You should always talk to strangers.

49. Diamonds Dogs are a girl’s best friend.

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My rescued dog, Dingo

48.  Cherish your family.

47.  Life’s too short to drink cheap wine.

46.  Friends are measured in quality, not quantity.

45.  Eat dessert first.

44. Never talk to Dad during a football game.

43.  I believe in angels!

42. Watching the sunrise can change your whole day.

41. Rainbows make me giddy.

40.  ’70’s and ’80’s music rocks!

39.  I will always be Daddy’s little girl.

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Dad, my first true love.

38.  Bees are beautiful.

37.  Laughter can cure anything.

36.  You don’t know how strong you are until you have to be.

35.  My mother loves me.

34.  I may be a little bit older, but I’m young at heart!

33.  The smell of rain intoxicates me. (Cue music: “Have you ever seen the rain?”)

32.  I smile at strangers. (You should try it!)

31.  My garden fills me with peace.

30.  Me gusta el café cubano.

29.  The ocean calms me. (Cue music: “Well I was born in the sign of water, And it’s there that I feel my best.”)

28.  I love the Autumn breeze blowing my hair.

27.  My 99 year old grandmother is amazing (and she wishes she was my age!)

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“A garden of love grows in a grandmother’s heart.” ~Author Unknown

26.  I could dance for the rest of my life! (Cue music: “I could have danced all night and still have begged for more.“)

25.  It is better to be alone than in bad company.

24.  A smile is a reflection of your soul.

23. No matter how bad life seems, remember: “This, too, shall pass.”

22. I love the smell of a wood-burning fire (and eating smores)!

21. If you have one true friend, you are rich.

20. Snowflakes make me skip!

19.  Mean people stink!

18.  Fall leaves are absolutely spectacular!

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17.  You should really, really listen to people.

16.  Sunsets rock!

15.  I sing along with birds.

14.  Sunshine on my shoulders really makes me happy.

13.  I love watching butterflies visit my flowers.

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12. Music moves me.

11. Trains are really cool!

10. I wish upon stars.

9.  Writing satisfies my soul.

8.  You are responsible for making yourself happy.

7.  A random act of kindness can make all the difference in the world.

6.  God loves me.

5.  A rescued dog rescues you right back.

4.  There’s nothing like a really great joke!

3.  A good, cold craft beer is totally worth the calories.

2. I would rather be in my garden than in the courtroom.

….and the number one thing I know for sure is…(drumroll please)….

1.  50 is the new 39!!!

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I’m excited to see what the next 50 years will teach me!  Stay tuned…

What life’s lessons have you learned?  I would love to hear them!

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Shared with:  Wordless Wednesday, Fiesta Friday, Great Idea Thursday, Natural Family Friday, Farm Hop, Home and Garden Thursday, Foodie Friday, Old Fashioned Friday, Real Food Fridays, Share Your Cup Thursday, Simply Natural Saturdays, Simple Saturdays, Full Plate Thursday, Craft Spices, Busy Monday, Motivation Monday, Creative Mondays, Mix It Up Monday, Totally Talented Tuesdays, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday

Winter into Spring: A Gardener’s Dream

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“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.” – Victor Hugo

Snow, rain, ice and sleet. The days are dark and dreary. No flowers blooming. No organic veggies in my garden. No signs of life. My dogs are miserable. Even my homemade Kombucha needs a heating pad just to keep warm!

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These boots were made for walking…in my garden!

“In a way winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurge of nature.” – Edna O’Brien

But today as the snow slowly melted, I spotted a beautiful robin perched in my tree! I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Ecstatic, I rushed towards the singing bird only to scare him away like a big ole scarecrow. So, sadly, the red red robin went bop bop boppin’ along!

Could it be that my fine feathered friend was chirping to say that Spring is just around the corner? Oh Spring, where art thou?? I miss you so. I’ve got The Gardener’s Blues!

My garden is frozen.

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Gives a new meaning to “frozen peas”

 “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Anne Bradstreet

No partridge (or pears) in my pear tree.

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Winter: Just grin and pear it!

“The color of springtime is in the flowers;

the color of winter is in the imagination.”

– Terri Guillemets

When will my magnificent magnolias replace the frosty snow?

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I’d prefer frozen Margaritas over frozen Magnolias!

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland

With every bird’s sweet song and each sunbeam peering through the wintry clouds, I am filled with anticipation and excitement of Spring’s arrival. When I dream about Spring, I’m as hopeful as Tony in West Side Story, (cue music) … (Click on link to sing along)

(Something’s Coming)

“Could it be? Yes it could.

Something’s coming, something good, if I can wait.

Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is but it is gonna be great!”

Soon my seeds will begin to sprout and hopefully I will be blessed with a bountiful harvest. My flowers will bloom in every color of the rainbow, attracting buzzing bees and fluttering butterflies. Then I will blissfully watch my dogs chase the butterflies.

Yes, it will be Spring, indeed.

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Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” – Robin Williams

The air is hummin’ and something great is comin’! Like Spring, my birthday is just around the corner. Although I’m not exactly a Spring chicken, this garden girl can receive no better gift than the joy of Springtime. What a way to celebrate!

Perhaps the Rockin’ Robin will sing Happy Birthday to me? Hoppin’ and a- boppin’ and singing my song! I may, however, need a strong Autumn breeze to blow out all the candles on my birthday cake!

Are you ready for Spring? What about Spring excites you?

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

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Shared with Fiesta Friday, Natural Family Friday, Farm Hop, Flashback Friday, Foodie Friday, Simply Natural Saturdays, Simple Saturdays, Motivation Monday, The Clever Chicks, Busy Monday, Creative Mondays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, You’re Gonna Love It, Tasty Tuesday, Mix It Up Monday

Hot Mulled Cider! [recipe]

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“Give me juicy autumnal fruit,

ripe and red from the orchard.”

Walt Whitman, The Complete Poems

A gentle breeze blew my hair as I picked the summer’s last tomato. Ahhhhh-tumn! It’s that time! A comfy jacket in the morning. A warm scarf in the eve.  Ahhhh, yes, it’s Fall.

Soon the leaves will showcase a brilliant yellow, burnt orange and fire red. They shall dance with the wind just before painting the ground. Before long, my dogs will be leaping into the piles of fallen gold.

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

 Albert Camus

So long, summer tomatoes. Welcome, Fall apples! Cozy up with a steaming mug of Hot Mulled Cider.

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 “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than any other seasons.”

Jim Bishop

Breathe in the bouquet of exotic spices with each magical sip of Hot Mulled CiderCheers to Autumn! 

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Hot Mulled Cider

Serves 10

Adapted from cooks.com

Ingredients:

2 quarts apple cider or pure apple juice

3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

Ginger root (approx. 2 inch section), peeled and cut into 6 pieces

1/3 cup brown sugar

fresh grated nutmeg (to  serve)

Preparation:

In a saucepan combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks and ginger pieces. Wrap allspice and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth, and add to pot. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain into mugs. Top with fresh grated nutmeg. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.  Serve hot.

***

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Let’s celebrate National Hot Mulled Cider Day on September 30th. But I plan on sipping this cup of love every day of the season! Yum!

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 “Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

William Cullen Bryant

What’s your favorite Cider recipe? How do you plan on celebrating Autumn?

I’m bringing my warm mug of Cider over to the party at Fiesta Friday #35, Melt in Your Mouth Monday Blog Hop #185, Natural Living Monday, Tuesdays With a Twist,  Fresh Foods Wednesday and  Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 172.  Join us!

Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

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Payaya, “Fruit of the Angels” [recipe]

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It’s getting hot in here! The kitchen was hot! My friend and I were already overheated from harvesting tons of green beans in the afternoon sun. Now we were standing over a scalding stove while canning the beans.

To cool off, I suggested a refreshing Papaya smoothie since I had picked up a beautiful, ripe Papaya at the farmer’s market. Not being familiar with Papaya, (which is different than mango), my friend watched closely as I whipped up my creation.

“You’re not going to throw the rind in there, are you?” “What are you going to do with all those seeds?” “Do you chop it up or throw the whole thing into the blender?” My friend was very curious. I chuckled. But, I guess she may not be the only one with little knowledge about this wonderful fruit.

So, here’s a little history on one of my favorite fruits, and an easy-to-follow recipe for my Tropical Papaya Smoothie.

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Columbus called Papaya “Fruit of the Angels”

Papaya (Carica Papaya) has a high nutritive and medicinal value. This enzyme-rich fruit is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is no wonder that Christopher Columbus named Papaya the “Fruit of the Angels”.


Explorers from Spain and Portugal are credited for bringing the fruit to the tropics. Soon after, Papayas grew all over the world. In Britain, papaya is known as the “pawpaw”.  In Brazil, it is the “mamoa”.  The Spanish call it papaya or “lechosa” (Venezuela). India is the world’s largest producer of papaya.

Loading papaya at the market near Manek Chowk, India.   Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.

Loading papaya at the market near Manek Chowk, India. Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.

 “When eating fruit, remember who planted the tree;

when drinking water, remember who dug the well.”

Vietnamese Proverb


It’s easy to grow your own papayas. Just a short time ago, my grandmother scattered some papaya seeds in her Miami Beach yard.  Look at her tree now!

 

“The entire fruit is already present in the seed.”

Tertullian, (“Founder of Western Theology”)


The Papaya tree can grow up to 20 feet!

 “Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing “Embraceable You” in spats.” 

Woody Allen 


Fruit grows under the leaves, on top of the tree. My friend’s tree is filled with gigantic fruit! I joked that I was coming back in the middle of the night to “harvest” the papayas! (Lucky for her, I couldn’t find a ladder high enough.)

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 “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” 

Will Rogers


Papayas are pear-shaped and green when raw. The fruit turns yellow when ripe.

Papayas ripening on tree. Photo courtesy of Guah.

Papayas ripening on tree. Photo courtesy of Guah.

 “There is no fruit which is not bitter before it is ripe.”

Publilius Syrus, (Roman Writer, born 85 B.C.)


With it’s beautiful sunset color, ripe Papaya is used in many mouth-watering recipesPapaya has a thick, creamy texture with a sweet, tropical hint.  Personally, I prefer mine chilled, with a little bit of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. Do yourself a favor and get a Papaya as soon as you can.  It’s an experience you will not soon forget.

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Papaya is the star in my healthy, refreshing smoothie. This exotic fruit’s soft-buttery texture mixes well with other tasty tropical fruit like coconut, lime, pineapple and ripe bananas. (“You put the lime in the coconut…” I can’t get that song out of my head!)

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Blend these delicious flavors together for a sweet Papaya Smoothie that will make you believe that you are in paradise. Relax with this tropical treat in your hand and your toes in the sand. (Don’t forget the suntan lotion!) Aloha!

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Tropical Papaya Smoothie

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 – 20 ounce can pineapple chucks in natural juice, chilled

1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk, chilled

½ of a large papaya, peeled, deseeded and diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons agave or honey

1 ½ ripe bananas, cut into pieces (preferably frozen)

1 cup ice cubes

Raw coconut, toasted, for garnish

Preparation

Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Blend for one minute or until smooth.  Pour into your favorite exotic glass and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Garnish with lime.  Add a tropical accent with a colorful straw and a paper umbrella. Serve immediately.

Enjoy a taste of the tropics with this Tropical Papaya Smoothie. Cheers!

***

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What is your favorite papaya recipe? 

I am bringing my smoothie over to party with the folks at Fiesta Friday #28!

Photos courtesy of Guah and Meena Kadri

Original photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.