Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Garden Party

All the petite blooms 

above are from my summer garden.

Welcome to a Summer Garden Party!

Summers in Texas can be brutal, 

but up until today our summer temps 

haven't been all that bad.

Today's high:  103º.

The Knockout roses you see above are not so

 bright and colorful today, but the blue plumbago 

doesn't seem to mind the heat.  They bloom 

like this from spring to first frost.

The Yellow Bells do too!

As do the Golden Thrialis 

and Firecracker Ferns.

The Golden Thrialis is one 

of my favorites for cut flowers.

I like to add this wispy

 bloom in with fresh bouquets.

The Blackfoot Daisy 

isn't much for cut flowers,

but it sure does like the dry, hot summers.

Blue Daze likes to spread easily and mixes 

well with the sizzle of hot orange Coreopsis.

Coral Vine offers 

a touch of hot pink.

The heart shaped leaves of this pretty  

vine eagerly climb our porch posts.

This jewel is a 

Habranthus Pink Rain Lily.

I planted some of these bulbs in 

my herb garden years ago.

The bouquet of pink was its gift

shortly after an unexpected 

thunder storm two weeks ago.

In contrast to all the hot colors out front,

our back yard is a shade garden of

mostly evergreens and touches of purple and white.

Scented Geraniums spill out from the large urns 

and don't seem to mind the Texas heat.

I like to add in Fancy Leaf Caladiums 

for the hot summer months.

The white and green heart shaped leaves 

visually offer a sense of cooler temperatures.

Hope you enjoyed 

my little summer garden tour.

I've been cooking with lemons this week.

Thought you might enjoy a 

lemony French macaron before you leave.

Oh, go ahead and have two!

They are light as a feather meringue 

with the creamiest lemon curd filling.

I participated in Michael Lee West's 

Mystery Ingredient Club 

where the mystery ingredients were all 

about Meyer lemons.  

Click here for 

  Cooking With The Meyers  

For more summer flowers and gardens, don't forget to stop by 

Cooking With The Meyers

  Meyer Lemons That Is!  
Michael Lee, the weekly host of 
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm,
sent me this assortment of mystery ingredients with 
instructions to cook up something to share on August 1st.
What a delicious idea!

Meyer Lemons, a cross between a 
lemon and a mandarin orange, are native to China.
Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the US 
Department of Agriculture, brought them to the US in 1908. 

You can see from the price above 
that these little citrus goodies are a food luxury.
Regular lemons sell for about 49¢ a pound.
Both Alice Waters and Martha Stewart 
are credited with creating a popularity for cooking 
with these sweeter less acidic fruits.  
I'm a fan of anything made with lemons, 
and Meyers provide the perfect essence of lemon.

Want a closer look
 at these lovely products?

  Perserved Meyer Lemons  
These tangy treats are often an ingredient 
in Moroccan Tagines, but once you get a taste of these,
you'll want to use them in everything from salads to risottos.

  Meyer Lemon Olive Oil  
Oh, is this a wonderful ingredient 
to have in the pantry!  

Just look at all the suggestions for 
how to use this oil to enhance a variety of dishes.

  Lemon Sea Salt  
These salt flakes are perfect for vegetables, seafood,  
sweets, and rimming those margarita glasses.

  Grilled Salmon  
  with Preserved Meyer Lemons  
Salmon is one of my favorite fish, 
so I was eager to try the 
preserved lemons on a salmon fillet.
You can find the recipe for 
this quick and easy main dish here.

Enhanced with thinly sliced preserved Meyer lemons,
the salmon is placed within an aluminum foil pouch for grilling.
I also used the Meyer olive oil to coat both the salmon 
fillet and the aluminum foil used for the pouch.
This dish is so easy and tasty, 
I may never have salmon any other way.

  Preserved Lemon and Spring   
  Vegetable Risotto with Grilled Pernod Shrimp  
Now this is what I call a one dish meal!
My "chef" frequently cooks risotto, 
so he volunteered to make this dish for our lunch.

You can find 
this flavorful recipe here.
With asparagus, peas, fennel, and mint, we will 
most definitely repeat this dish.  

  Lemon Blueberry Muffins  
We had a supply of fresh blueberries in the fridge,
 so I just had to make these!
I found the recipe here at Gimme Some Oven.

I recently made Martha Stewart's cornmeal and
buttermilk blueberry muffins that I posted here.  
Those muffins aren't real sweet and have a rustic texture.
This recipe is more cake like with 
lemony goodness and a stresuel topping.

Lemon yogurt with berries is frequently my breakfast.
With the lemon sea salt flakes at hand, 
I experimented with adding some to my yogurt.
The sunny yellow flakes were so pretty that 
I got carried away.  If you do this, 
I recommend adding just a flake or two.
Sea salt is powerful stuff!

  Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake  
One of my favorite local restaurants serves an olive oil cake.
It's the dessert that I order every time.
Can you believe I found a 
recipe for a Meyer lemon olive oil cake?
You can find it here.

This deliciously lemon infused 
cake is topped with a sweet lemon glaze.

  Nothing says lovin' like Meyer  
  lemon goodies straight from the oven!  
Thank you, Michael Lee!
There is a whole lot of lemony goodness 
going on at Hyacinths for the Soul.

The Mystery Ingredient Club ~ Foodie Friday
Rattlebridge Farm