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Archive for May, 2013

One day, while watching a Lexington, Kentucky news broadcast, I saw a commercial that really caught my eye.  It was for Springhouse Gardens which, come to find out, was a nursery in Nicholasville, a nearby town to Lexington. 

I mentioned seeing this ad to my aunt and Nanny so we decided to take a little road trip to visit and it was well worth it!  Nicholasville is about 2 hours from where we live so we started out early one morning just a couple of weeks ago.  It is so worth it to take the scenic route up Highway 68 through Lebanon, Perryville and Harrodsburg.  The view up the Kentucky River when you cross is breathtaking!  I wish there was a place to stop for photos at that location, but there really isn’t.  The huge limestone walls and forests along the banks of the flowing river is absolutely beautiful!

We arrived at the nursery after passing some manicured horse farms and we weren’t disappointed.  Since they are located in a more upscale area, the prices reflected that a bit, but they weren’t too bad.  I bought an “American Hero “ hosta and Nanny purchased something I had never seen before…a non-vining Clematis which will make a shrub instead. 

If you are looking for some specimen trees or shrubs to add to your landscape, then I highly recommend going to Springhouse Gardens.  They had things I had never seen before, including a weeping redwood that was out of this world.  I didn’t even know you could grow redwoods in Kentucky.

Would you like to see a few photographs from that day?  I thought so…I’ll be quiet now and just let you bask in the beauty of Springhouse Gardens.  Oh, one last thing…the owners were there that day and they are just delightful.  Let them know if you are from out of town and they will have you sign a guestbook.

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Yes, we are in horse country.

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Beautiful Japanese Maple trees:

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I loved the tree they trimmed to look like a flower:

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Garden…

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Since I didn’t get to make any candy last Christmas, I decided that it didn’t have to be a holiday to make it.  Why not make fudge any old time of the year?  This recipe from Buns In My Oven that I found on Pinterest looked so yummy that I decided to try it. 

I usually like the classic fudges the best such as chocolate pecan and peanut butter, but I have to say that this one is right up there with them.  Of course, being chocolate-flavored helped a little! The only problem I had was that my chocolate chips wanted to melt a little in the warm mixture and Ms. Buns’ has perfect little chips in each piece.  Thankfully, it didn’t hurt the taste, just the appearance a little.

cccdfudge

For the cookie dough:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons half and half
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the fudge:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter
pinch of salt
1/3 cup half and half
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

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Line an 8×8” baking dish with foil leaving a little overhang and spray with non-stick spray.

For the cookie cough: beat the butter and white sugar until they are light and fluffy which takes about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, salt and half & half and combine. Stir in the flour and set aside.

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Now make the fudge base:

Combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, and half and half in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat.  Warm and stir until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is dissolved. 

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Remove from the heat and slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Stir in the vanilla and then stir in the cookie dough.  Mix in the chips and spread it in the prepared baking pan. 

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Chill for at least 3 hours.  It was a little humid when I made mine so it took more time to set up.  Cut into small pieces and enjoy!

cccdfudge

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Thanks for joining me today for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  The book I am spotlighting is “A Clash of Kings”, the second in the series by George R.R. Martin.  To call these books “epic” is something of an understatement.  They are long and detailed with many characters with unusual names.  There are many times when I had to go back and re-read a few sentences to make sure I had all of the players straight!

“The comet’s tail spread across the dawn, a red slash that bled above the crags of Draonstone like a wound in the pink and purple sky.”

Was the comet a sign?  Is Dragonstone an important place?  You will just have to read and find out.  I hope to eventually read the rest of the series, but I may have to take a break from it for a little while.  Usually reading relaxes me and I can do it anywhere, but these books take a lot of concentration to keep up with all of the action.

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Another week has passed so it is time for another weekly menu plan.  I don’t know about you, but the days just go by faster and faster.  Just think, next Monday is Memorial Day ALREADY!!  Why do pretty days seem to last half the time dreary days do? 

Speaking of dreary days, this weekend has been a little damp for us around here with scattered showers both days so we spent most of our time indoors taking it pretty easy for a change. Hopefully we will have some nice evenings this week to get out and enjoy. 

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven fries (2 nights)

Easy deep dish pizza casserole (new)

Shredded beef taco roast (didn’t get made a couple of weeks ago so it is still new.)

Pizza night

Cinnamon roll cake (new)

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.  Have a great week!

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A little while ago, C’s family hosted a baby shower for his cousin and wife who now have a precious baby boy so, of course, I offered to bring a sweet treat.  I had been wanting to make this beautiful fruit trifle from Chef In Training and this was a great opportunity.

I love fruit and dip and this is just another pretty way of having that.  I kept the types of fruit pretty close to the original, but you could use any that you like.  It is a very versatile recipe

FruitTrifle

Strawberries

Green grapes

Red grapes

Pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup sour cream

8 oz. crushed pineapple

1 3.25oz box instant banana cream pudding

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Layer fruit in a large bowl or trifle dish.

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Whisk the remaining ingredients together to form the topping.  Pour this mixture over the fruit and use a little leftover fruit to make a pretty design on the top.

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FruitTrifle

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For today’s Thoughtful Thursday post, I would like to tell you about two garden centers in my area that I love to visit.  When my mom was living, she ran a small garden center with my aunt and grandmother and, on my days off, I would go with her to pick up wholesale flowers.  I loved these trips and enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful things offered by these businesses.  Thankfully, they also sold retail and now I return every year to purchase my flowers from them.  Please excuse the phone pics…I didn’t have my big camera with me.

Mammoth Cave Transplants is located in Edmonson County, Kentucky,  just a short distance from Brownsville.  The owners are retired school teachers who have this wonderful business right beside their home.  If you are near, please stop in and have a look around.  There are many greenhouses packed tight with blooming beauties along with trees, shrubs, garden art and vegetable seeds.

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While you are there, take a second and pet the resident nursery cat, Smoke, who has been there for YEARS!

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The second business is Greenleaf Nursery in Glasgow, Kentucky which is only about 30 minutes from where I live.  This was the main place we bought flowers when I was a child and I remember going here with my mom every year.  I have loved gardening from an early age and always enjoyed looking at all of the pretty plants and wanting to try them all! C & I stopped in a couple of weekends ago to pick up a hanging basket so I grabbed a few phone photos while we were there.  It was a nasty wet day but the bright cheery flowers made it worth the stop in the rain.

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Greenleaf had some beautiful displays set up to give people ideas of how to decorate with their flowers.  If it had not been so rainy, I could have spend hours just wandering around looking at everything!

I hope you enjoyed this short virtual tour of two of my favorite places to shop.  If you are in the area, please stop by and support these two long standing Kentucky businesses.

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