I'm still a "planting fool." If playing in the dirt is your favorite hobby then this latest weather must have you fired up.
The perennial I am featuring today is the Canna. The first ones I planted many years ago amazed me; what a show they put on all summer long adding a colorful and tropical backdrop to almost any garden, and are especially attractive with a fence in the background behind them. This year, I bought some of the dwarf variety and planted them in pots around the pool area to add a bit of color. For great information, visit: email@example.com. This is the home of Horn Canna Farm in Carnegie, Okla. Mike and I visited the farm a few years ago and from then on we liked to order cannas from them. Cannas grow from tubers, love full sun and thrive in a well-drained soil but I have never had a problem growing them almost anywhere. They should be divided about every two to three years in the spring. Imagine months of spectacular beauty and lush foliage - a carnival of color that lasts all summer long. I cut them back to the ground before first freeze and they almost always come up every spring.
If you need a fast and tasty appetizer, try this olive surprise.
100 Olive-cheese Puffs
The first time I took these to a gathering I thought 100 would be too many. Surprise, they were gone in no time.
• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 stick butter, softened
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
• 100 stuffed green olives
1. Blend cheese and butter in a bowl.
2. Mix salt, paprika and flour in a bowl.
3. Add to cheese mixture; mix well.
4. Shape by teaspoonfuls around each olive. Place on baking sheet.
5. Chill about 15 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until light brown.
I have made this with the very large stuffed olives, makes less olives but still fantastic as an easy appetizer!
Thompson's Reuben Chicken Delight
This is easy, wonderful and different way to make a chicken casserole.
• 4 boneless chicken breasts
• 8 slices Swiss cheese
• 1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained
• 1 (8 ounce) bottle Russian dressing
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Arrange in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam.
3. Layer the Swiss cheese and the sauerkraut over the chicken and cover with Russian dressing.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until baked through.
I use a meat thermometer to sure the chicken has reached the correct temperature.
Sour Cream Banana Cake
This is a very moist and delicious bundt cake.
• 1 (18.25 ounces) package yellow cake mix
• 1 (3.4 ounces) package instant vanilla pudding
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 2 ripe bananas, cut into pieces (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan. If using a 10 cup pan, fill 3/4 full and make 3 or 4 cupcakes with remaining batter.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed.
4. Spoon into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
6. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack.
If desired, drizzle with your favorite recipe for a glaze. We like this cake "unadorned."
Tip of the week:
Try planting something new in your garden this week.
What my Grandmother didn't teach me:
Clip and save your favorite recipes, preferably where you can easily locate them-like a notebook, box or on your computer.
Have another great spring week in Parker County! Let's buy some new garden gloves and gather some good planting (potting) soil and add some color to our gardens.