Morning Moths

 

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the activity that takes place in the garden.

garlicchiveblossomsmoth2

When in bloom, Garlic Chives (above) and “Autumn Joy” Sedum (below) are always sure to attract butterflies and moths.

sedumdarkmoth

Wishing you a lovely end of summer day!

An Icy Day

With the freezing rain that we have had over the last 24 hours, it is a good day to stay inside, have a warm drink and read a book … or go outside and take pictures in the garden for a wee bit first if you are someone like me! These are quite a contrast from the photos that I took just 12 days ago. It is so dreary out today that I had to use a flash to get a few of the shots, something that I almost never do outside.

IceOnMarilynRose

IceStormHouseNov2015

IceEastSideNovember2015

IceOnMagentaRose

IceOnLion

IceOnViburnum

IceOnCrapeMyrtle

IceOnCrapeMyrtleBerries

IceOnPumpkin

IceOnSandCherry2

 

IceOnViburnumLeaves

IceOnBeautyBerries

Wishing you a warm and lovely day … and safe travels to anyone out on the road in this area today!

 

Late Autumn Garden

So far this year, it has been a very mild autumn here in Manhattan, Kansas, allowing for an extended period of color in the garden. The weather, the last few days, has been grey and damp, with rain on and off. So the colors are really showing up in bright contrast to the skies. Here are a few pictures that I took this morning. I hope that you enjoy them!

JapaneseMapleNov2015-2

 

RoseMagentaNov2015

RoseMarilynMonroeNov2015

Pumpkin&Geranium

ChrysanthemumNov2015

DaisyNov2015

BeautyBerryNov2015

JapaneseMapleArtisticNov2015

Wishing you a beautiful day!

First Snow of the Season

Here are a few photos that I took in our front garden earlier today during our first snowfall of the season. I was glad that the snow did not amount to much, but it was fun to get out and get a few pictures before the colors in the garden had entirely faded. But, brrrr …. it was cold.

RosesMagentaInSnow

MumsGoldenInSnow

MoudryGrassInSnow

AstersInSnow

SedumsInSnow

Have a great weekend! Stay warm!

Pear Drop Cookies with Lemon Icing

Sweet, soft cookies with bits of fresh pear, flavorful autumn spices and a zesty lemon icing.

PearDrops

Pear Drops

Makes about 24 cookies

1/2 c. peeled and diced pear

1 t. fresh lemon juice

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. rolled oats

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1/4 t. baking soda

1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1/4 t. salt

1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c.  granulated white sugar

2 T. dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 t. freshly grated lemon zest

2 T. of beaten egg

3/4 t. almond extract

1/3 c. sweetened dried cranberries

1 1/2 t. cinnamon sugar (or Lemon Icing, recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss pear chunks in lemon juice and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, beat together butter, sugars and lemon zest. Beat in egg and almond extract.
  5. On lowest mixer speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in pear chunks and cranberries.
  6. Scoop batter by rounded teaspoonful onto bakings sheets, spacing cookies 2” apart. Sprinkle cookies with cinnamon sugar, if not using Lemon Icing.
  7. Bake for approximately 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Place baking sheets on wire racks and allow cookies to cool.

Lemon Icing

A tart icing that enhances the citrus flavor in baked goods.

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 T. + 1 t. fresh lemon juice

1/2 t. fresh lemon zest, optional

1/4 t. lemon extract, optional

  1. Place confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl.  Stir in lemon juice until the mixture is perfectly smooth and a workable consistency. (Icing should run off a spoon in a thick stream.) If desired, stir in 1/2 t. fresh lemon zest or 1/4 t. lemon extract for a stronger flavor.
  2. Drizzle or pipe onto baked goods right away. (This is thick enough to pipe thin lines but not thick enough to pipe firm shapes.)

Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

A Beautiful Day in the Autumn Garden

Here in Manhattan, Kansas, we’ve been having unseasonably warm weather this October with recent day time highs hovering around 80 degrees F. (It is actually supposed to get up to 85 here tomorrow.) So it seems as though nearly everyone is giddy over the sunshine and warm temperatures. I took advantage of the weather today to get some photos of the gardens. Enjoy!

Roses

PeachMiniAutumn

RoseInAutumn

Toad Lilies

ToadLilies

Chrysanthemums

OrangeMums copy

MumsInFountain 2

Hibiscus (This is probably the latest I’ve had one bloom. My other three are already dying back for the season.)

HibiscusHotPink

Quince

QuinceOnShrub

Asters Raydon’s Favorite

AstersRaydonsFavoriteWithBee

Beauty Berries & Asters

BeautyBerry&Asters

Japanese Maple Garnet 

JapaneseMapleStartingToTurn

Liatris (stalks)

LiatrisStalks

Viburnum Leaves

ViburnumLeaves

Wishing you a lovely autumn!

Pumpkin Dried Cherry Quick Bread

PumpkinBreadSlice

Pumpkin Dried Cherry Quick Bread

Ingredients:

2 c. all-purpose flour or white rice flour

1 T. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground mace

1/2 t. salt

1 c. packed pumpkin puree

1/2 c. canola oil

1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk

2 lg. eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

3/4 c. dried cherries+extra for garnish

confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking pan* with vegetable oil.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, mace and salt. Set aside.
  3. Stir together pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir in sugars until well moistened.
  4. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until no dry spots remain. Fold in dried cherries.
  5. Scoop batter into baking pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with large crumbs that look cooked through.
  6. Cool for 10-20 minutes on a cooling rack.  Invert bread onto another rack, then re-invert onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving. Serve warm or cool. Garnish with dried cherries.

Enjoy!

*The pan that I use is a non-stick fluted cake pan that is a little bit over 8 cups in volume.

PumpkinBread&Roses

Roses&CarnationsOrange

Have a lovely day!