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Monday, July 28, 2014

Rhubarb Crisp Bars

I went after my rhubarb plant again so I could try another new recipe.  It didn't disappoint.  I'm a rhubarb super fan anyway, so it would be hard to find a treat I didn't like.

You can find the recipe here:  Rhubarb Sugar Cookie Crisp

The original recipe name is a wee bit misleading.  I don't know where the sugar cookie part comes in.  You mix up what is essentially a crisp topping, press half of it into the bottom of the pan for the crust, spread out your rhubarb, then top with the remaining crisp goodness.  Bake and eat.

Here they are coming together at my house:

And hot out of the oven:

The recipe says that they need to be refrigerated in order to get them to cut up nicely into squares.  I didn't find that to be necessary.  Mine cut up perfectly, and held their shape, once they were cooled.

Good stuff, kids!
Looking for more rhubarb treats?
This is my most favorite rhubarb recipe in all the land:  Rhubarb Takes The Cake
It's like coffee cake, with rhubarb in it, and it's AMAZING.
This Rhubarb Nut Bread doesn't suck at all either.
For more rhubarb recipes, sweet and savory, you can check out my Rhubarb Pinterest Board.

Please see my sidebar for the parties I link up to.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Front Yard Path Overhaul

I busted out a ton of things from the outside to-do list last week and over the weekend.  It feels so good to actually cross things off, rather than just adding more.

We borrowed some long handled pruners and went after the big tree in the front yard, that desperately needed it.  It was blockin' all my sun!  We also used it to take care of the overgrown nightmare coming into our yard from the neighbors behind us. What a mess.  It's so frustrating to have neighbors that do nothing in their yards.  The morning glory and wild clematis vine that I worked years to get rid of, is coming back through the fence with a vengeance.  Grrrrr.

I completely limbed up the lilac out front.  I don't know if it will do anything for the lack of blooms it's been givin' me over the past two years, but it sure does look better.

I weeded all the cracks in the driveway, sidewalk and street next to the curb.  Not my favorite thing to do by a long shot, but it looks so much better.

I spent HOURS weeding that stupid parking strip.  I can't keep up down there!  But we got a 1/2 yard of compost and spread it, so hopefully that will at least slow 'em down.  And freshly spread compost is sooo pretty.

We got a load of pea gravel to redo all the paths in the backyard and the fire pit area.

I sewed ten new covers for all my outdoor pillows.

And the biggest project of them all, was the two-day front yard path overhaul.  What a job.  I can't remember how many years ago I put it in, but it was so weed infested that it was impossible to do anything about it.  So I decided to rip up all the bricks and start over.  They had been so tamped in, and half buried by years of adding compost, so most of them needed to be dug out.  The Girl was a huuuuge help.  She busted it out with me the entire time.  The Kid lifted two bricks and was "tired."  Leave it to the girls to get the job done.

The first day was deconstruction and a crap ton of weeding.
At one point, I had Blue Star Creeper in the path, but the weeds had choked it out long ago.
Once I got it all weeded, I leveled it out a bit.  The yard is still sloped toward the street a bit, so I couldn't get it perfectly level, but better than it was.

This is The Girl's stack.
Impressive, no?

Once everything was prepped, I started relaying the bricks.
I put newspaper under them, for all the weeds I missed, or didn't get the roots of.

I got about two-thirds of the way done when I ran out of newspaper.
And oompf.
It was in the 90's that day....HOT.

The next morning, I loaded up the kids and we headed to the store for bark mulch.
Annnnd, how could I walk through the garden center section of the store and NOT buy plants?
That's like expecting me to walk by the cheese case and not throw a chunk in my cart.
Ain't gonna happen.
I WAS making the path narrower, so I had bare dirt to fill.  :)

So the rest of the second day was spent finishing up the path and planting.
And taking too many pictures, of course.

The fibrous Begonias and Caladium are new.

I stuck a few new dark red Coleus in.
They're hard to see in these pictures 'cause the lighting is so weird.

I got a couple six-packs of annual Vinca.
I've never grown it, so we'll see how it does.

More new white fibrous Begonias.

Two more Coleus and an existing Hosta that looks like the dog must have layed on it.

The first year I put a tuberous Begonia in this hanging pot, it was a sight to behold.
The last two years, they've done crappy.
This thing has been in the pot for months, and I think it's maybe grown an inch.
It's gettin' Impatiens next year.

A couple more of those Vinca.
I completely cleared this corner out.
It had an almost dead Heather and the rest was solid yellow Japanese Iris.
I was over it, so I started over.

I got a few shots of the area up against the house where I took the rhodies out.
I spread my extra bark mulch in there.

I got a new variegated leafed Loosestrife that I stuck down in there.

The porch area.

Ivy Geranium.

This Impatiens came home with me a couple trips to the garden center ago.

One of my porch pots with Angelonia.

I don't think I've ever shown pictures of the bed right up against the front porch.
Maybe 'cause I hate it.
I love the Daphne that's there, but I can't get anything else right.
There's a Hellebore that's not really established yet and a new-ish Phlox - that's completely covered in mildew.
I stuck some Zinnias in this year, but they're not really doing anything.
When we were buying the bark mulch for the path, The Kid insisted we get these Celosia for The Dad.
They both love them.
I hate them.
But they sorta go with the orange and red theme that is happening against my will, so I stuck 'em in.

They look like brains.

 This is looking down from the porch.

Anywho, moving right along, ahem, here's a shot of the parking strip from up in the yard.
I need to get down there and take some pictures, now that the compost is spread.
If it ever stops raining.

More of the Ivy Geraniums.
I love them.
Until the worms come.

The wagon.
It will appreciate the limbed up Lilac.
Poor thing was in the shade.

And last, another angle of our hard work.

I suppose the three days of rain gave me a mini vacation from all the yard work.
Back at it tomorrow.

Please see my sidebar for the parties I link up to.

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