Easter Bean & Ham Bone Soup

When I was growing up, Easter usually meant a ham dinner. Of course, I love the memories of my mother’s cooking and being with my family. I must admit most of the time when I was older and cooked Easter dinner for family, I bought a spiral sliced ham. If you are having ham on Easter or any other occasion, don’t just throw away the bone from your ham. It’s great for soup and ham broth. It’s also wonderful to add to a pot of collard greens or cabbage. You can keep the ham bone in the fridge for 5 days or freeze it for at least a few months.

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How to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’m wishing you good luck and happiness today. This last week has been incredible in the amount of snow that hit the country. Many of us are wanting spring while nature gives us more winter. Here in central Florida we had high 80s degree weather last week. This week the cold front came down and Wednesday was in the 50’s F. I know that is not cold to most of you but it was to me. The sky started out gray with cold rain. Later the sun came out. I know that eventually the weather will start to warm up everywhere. When the sun shines brighter and little green things poke their heads out of the soil, it’s the perfect time to bring your garden to life. Create a vibrant outdoor space to enjoy throughout the summer. Though, it’s important to remember that nature doesn’t rush its processes. As Lao Tzu once said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Take the time to plan your garden layout, choose the right plants, and incorporate the elements that will make it beautiful and functional. Several years ago, I shared basic garden landscaping ideas and printables. They’re great to use when you want to update your garden too.

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Eastern Redbud Blooms

Last month I mentioned that the tree down the street had bloom and I didn’t get the chance to take photos. I first photographed it 2 years ago and asked for help identifying the tree. The owner did not know what kind of tree it is. In February it has pink blossoms for a short while. Some people suggested a fruit tree or almond tree, but the tree makes no fruit or nut. Most people suggested a Redbud tree. I looked it up and found this description:

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Hummus Vegetable Pizza

This is a unique take on the classic pizza without a red sauce. Today I’m suggesting you make a homemade pizza with a hummus as base. You can use any flavor hummus you like from black bean hummus to spicy hummus like roasted red pepper hummus. I like to use the refrigerated pizza dough from the supermarket. You could also make your own pizza dough or use pita or naan bread. You can adapt this simple recipe to meet your needs so easily. Use the vegetables you already have or replace broccoli with your family’s favorite. It’s great with mushrooms, baby spinach, zucchini, or yellow squash. Alternate with what’s in season. This is a fun meatless meal. For vegans, replace cheese with plant based cheese alternative.

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Terri’s February Backyard

All photos are courtesy of my friend Terri who lives just outside Nashville, Tennessee.

If you’ve seen other photos from Terri’s backyard, you may remember her bird feeders and her sightings of deer. Today are a collection of animal visits she captured in the month of February. I always look forward to her photos. Let’s start off with a hungry raccoon who dropped by the bird feeder. He worked very hard to achieve his goal.

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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

I love easy slow cooker recipes. Today’s recipe is BBQ chicken in the crock pot. I’m using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but it would work well with boneless, skinless thighs or chicken parts with bones. It takes minutes to put it on to cook. Return home from work and it’s waiting for you. It’s great on rolls and buns for a shredded chicken sandwich, but I like to experiment.

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