I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.
This last week I was surprised by the sudden blooms of bright yellow on trees in the neighborhood. I wasn’t familiar with the species. I did some research on the golden trees. Tabebuias are from the West Indies, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Central America, but several species are very well adapted to South Florida. I was thrilled to find the golden beauties here in central Florida. Since they are tropical plants, they WON’T SURVIVE HARD FREEZES.
This is an updated post (2024) with information to help our pollinators. Several years ago I wrote about what to do to help bees,Make Your Garden A Haven For Bees, and butterflies, 5 Steps for a Butterfly Garden. Does it seem strange to write about gardening in February? No, now is the time to dream and plan. Forget the snow, and imagine a spring day.
Weather here in central Florida is still cooler than I like, but the skies are beautiful. Blue skies with white clouds make a perfect day despite the temperature. (I know folks up north won’t think it’s cool.)
These crispy cauliflower wings, coated in sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce, are a plant-based twist on the classic chicken wing appetizer. Made with just a handful of ingredients they’re a welcome way to add more veggies to your next outdoor BBQ or game-day get-together. Make sure to leave the florets slightly larger with a little bit of stem for easy hand-held eating. Serve the smoky wings with blue cheese or ranch dressing to add refreshing coolness to the tang.
Winter is a terrible time for many of us with dry skin. Harsh weather and forced air heating can bring on itchiness, dryness, discomfort and even cracked or chapped skin. I’ve tried using so many creams or lotions through the years. Dehydrated skin makes wrinkles and other signs of aging more visible. If you have a similar problem with dry winter skin, let’s discuss natural ways to try and prevent dry skin.
Next week is Valentine’s Day. Everyone enjoys the day from small children to grandparents. Today let’s discuss ways to provide healthy fruit treats for kids and adults that involve a heart shape. Remember Valentine’s Day treats don’t have to be red.
Strawberries are being harvested in central Florida in February and March as it is a cool weather food. Summer in Florida is way too hot for strawberries. I used a paring knife to remove the stem and notch the top of each strawberry. They are little hearts now.
Cutting hearts also works well with small melons for a multi-colored plate of fruit treats. These little hearts were made with cookie cutters.
A slice of watermelon can make lots of little hearts.
II. Use a Heart-Shaped Bowl or Plate
If you don’t have time to cut lots of fruit, start with a heart-shaped dish. Berries are perfect for this with no cutting.
Want a mix of fruit? Add berries, pineapple chunks, cut kiwi, grapes, and/or tangerine segments – whatever is in your local market. You now have a cute snack or dessert for Valentine’s Day.
III. Shape Fruit on Plate in Heart Shape
Start with a plate or bowl and add small pieces of fruit in a heart shape. Simple to do. I like white dishes with colorful blueberries. Place a dollop of whip cream in the center of the heart. I suggest having a bowl of just blueberries and one of whipped cream that everyone can spoon onto their saucers.
IV. Tangerine Valentines
Want an alternative to passing out candy valentines to your child’s class? Help your child write heartfelt messages on tangerine skins or decorate them with fun stickers.
I’m wishing you all a fun and tasty Valentine’s Day!
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