February 15, 2011

Digging Into Garden Chic!

The Maine House hosted a Garden Party last month in order to share expert advise from local New England gardeners and pull together a few of our favorite things to get a head start on Spring! Each guest was to bring a package of their favorite plant seeds, garden tools and design plans which will help us all shake the "snow doldrums" and update our garden journals!

The Cloche Gardens

 One of the fun things I learned was to create a succulent garden which could be moved from place to place in your home. Pull together a trio of your favorite species of succulent plants, a colorful container and mineral mulch! You can admire your little garden creation in a sunny window all winter, then relocate to your deck or patio in warmer weather!

I learned to grow flowers that will last, such as Lavender, Hudrangea, Globe Araranth and Yarrow which are a few summer flowers that retain their shape and most of their color when dried. I love hanging these dried florals in the kitchen or tucking them into wreaths for the front door. This year, The Maine House, is adding the Pink Sensation Tree Hydrangea! 

 My neighbor brought one of her favorite skin care products which would be perfect for gardeners called Jurlique's lavender, and is made from botanticals grown organically! It smelled lovely and was very moisturizing. Check out their website for wonderful skin care products!


My favorite item to share was this new bird feeder....I could not resist her whimsy! She can be found this at Wind & Weather....
one of my favorite catalogs!

Estelle's shared this muffin recipe with the gardening club guests....
a most requested recipe and a Maine House Favorite!

Estelle's "Oh, Baby These Are Good" Muffins
1 cup flour
1 cup Quaker Oatmeal
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 ripe banana
1 egg, plus rest of egg left from cream cheese filling
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 t. vanilla extract
 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chunks
3 ounces of peanuts, chopped finely
3 ounces of butterscotch chips
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces of cream cheese
1 1/2 T. beaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Melt butter and set to the side to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt & sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, mash your banana, and mix in the egg, plus the left over beaten egg from the cream cheese mixture. Add buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to this banana mixture and gently fold together. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate pieces, peanuts and butterscotch chips. Fill each muffin tin to the halfway mark. Place 1 T. cream cheese filling onto the center of each muffin tin. Then top of with the remaining muffin batter, covering the cream filling. Bake for 15 minutes! Divine!!

"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." ~Proverb

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