Sunday, March 22, 2009
I decided to give them all names to help clarify which is which, and since I don't know their actual full scientific names (they are all just hybrids anyway).
Meet the new 'chids on the block:
The twins, Phalaenopsis Castor & Pollux:
(This plant has two spikes coming from one crown!)
Phalaenopsis Boo'ya Moon:
Phalaenopsis Piebald Pete:
(This one actually has a real name! I've seen it called "The Queen" but I like to call mine the Green Lady)
I have not had this one bloom yet, but this is what it is supposed to look like, hopefully this year!
This is what it looks like now - it has started losing some leaves on the original fan, and there is new leaf growth on the new fan.
It's also starting to grow a new root!!! You can just barely see it in the center of the photo:
Remember this rescue that Mike saved from certain death in the garbage? How sad and barren it was?
Look at it now!!!! It has three blooms (there was a 4th, but it only lasted a few days) and another bud in the works!
Phalaenopsis SloMo Survivor:
This one was also a rescue. It is growing very slowly, but little by little, things are happening.
Here it is shortly after I first got it, when it just started growing it's first new leaf:
And with a new leaf growing:
That leaf is now full grown, and there is another one about halfway grown. I am still waiting for some new roots or some other sign of progress, but for now, I am just happy it is so strong and healthy and continuing to produce leaves!
Here is my big daddy of Phals! Remember how beautiful it was in all it's glory -
Almost immediately after the last bloom dropped, new branches started, and new buds started growing! Take a look at him now -
These babies are growing FAST! It caught up to mysterioso really fast, and now it's a race to see who's bud blooms first! He is also growing a new root - FINALLY!!!! :)
Phalaenopsis Von Primus - my first orchid.
Remember how pretty it was?
It has been slow going...I trimmed the spike on it after it's blooms dropped, and it feels like forever ago. It hasn't been quite a year though, so hopefully a spike will start one of these days soon! It is growing new roots and leaves like crazy, so I'm very positive about it!!!
So much fun with my flower family! I look forward to seeing them every day and finding what new things they have decided to grow!
I used the same recipe as my last loaf that went over really well, the supposed Weight Watcher's Banana Bread that sure doesn't seem very healthy to me. But who cares, really! It is SO tasty.
This time, I made different changes, and ended up with a LOT of vanilla in there!
Weight Watchers Moist Banana Bread recipe
Makes 12 servings
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used a teaspoon of my new Singing Dog Vanilla AND a vanilla bean!)
1/4 cup milk (My milk was expired, so I ended up using Vanilla Soy Milk instead)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4-1/2 cup walnuts (optional) (I used pecans)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla.
3. Add the flour and baking soda.
4. Mix well to combine for about 2-3 minutes.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
WW POINTS per serving: 6
Nutritional information per serving: 286 calories, 10.4g fat, 1.3g fiber
Once again, this bread is phenomenal. I greased the pan and coated it with sugar...sinfully tasty. All the vanilla in the bread is SO good!!! I really love the Singing Dog Vanilla - it is organic, and it looks unfiltered - I love the smell of it. SO yummy!!!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Chicken and Potatoes over Sauteed Spinach
(recipe adapted from Cooking Light - www.myrecipes.com)
This recipe exemplifies the Chinese technique of red cooking--braising meat in a flavorful combination of soy sauce, ginger, alcohol, and spices. Serve in shallow rimmed soup bowls so you can enjoy all the broth. Sautéed mustard greens would also be good with this dish.
6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups chicken mixture and about 1/3 cup spinach)
- 4 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery (My celery was all wilty, so I used shredded carrot instead - it tasted great, and added some color!)
- 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup julienne-cut peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry sherry (I used the dry sherry)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into thirds (I used chicken breasts...I prefer white meat to dark!)
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled white potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 2 (10-ounce) packages fresh spinach, divided
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add chicken; return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add potatoes; return to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and pepper.
Heat oils in another Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute, tossing constantly. Add remaining spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Serve chicken mixture over spinach.
Note: I didn't cook the spinach - I just drizzled sesame oil over it and tossed it well. Then I served the chicken mixture on top.
- Calories: 343 (20% from fat)
- Fat: 7.6g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.7g,poly 2.2g)
- Protein: 29.6g
- Carbohydrate: 39.4g
- Fiber: 6.1g
- Cholesterol: 94mg
- Iron: 6.2mg
- Sodium: 846mg
- Calcium: 170mg
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
My mystery orchid bloomed - just in time for Valentine's Day! So very exciting. As much as I hate purple, I really love this little orchid, just because I brought it back from nothing - and to have so many blooms so quickly just tickles me pink. Or purple, in this case! Sadly, it wilted just as the second bloom began to open. The second one is now fully open, so I still have one bloom, and two more large buds on that stem, as well as a new bud forming on the second branch.
very first orchid is growing like a weed these days. Along with these root growths you can see, there is now another one that is growing VERY fast, and a new leaf that is also growing at an accelerated pace. I am hoping that a spike will start soon!
My little paph (the green lady slipper to be) is starting to grow a new leaf as well, and I am eagerly awaiting a spike on that one! It's flower season!!!
I hear they will be updating their website soon, and featuring all sorts of fun vanilla recipes. So exciting!
Thanks again, Tracey - I will definitely let you know what I decided to make with my vanilla!