Happy St. Patrick's Day

We look forward to St. Patrick's Day for a couple of reasons; the nice spring-like weather, the festivities and, probably most of all, the good eating! We stick to the traditional fare, except that I cook it all in the slow cooker so that it will be ready when we get home from work or play. Here's my simple recipe:
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
4-6 pound corned beef brisket with spice packet and juices
10 baby red new potatoes
8 carrots, cut into large pieces
1 onion peeled and cut into wedges
+/- 4 cups water
1 tsp pickling spice
1 bay leaf
1 medium head green cabbage, cut into wedges

Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of your slow cooker. Place corned beef on top of vegetable. Sprinkle the spice packet, pickling spice and bay leaf over brisket. Add water over brisket. Cook the brisket for about 6 hours on high. Add the cabbage on top of brisket and continue to cook on high for 1 ½ hours.

Don't forget the horseradish sauce. I mix hot prepared horseradish with a little sour cream.
Oh, and don't forget to wear your green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What's Blooming?

Howdy friends...what's blooming? 
There are new blossoms every time I walk outside this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. These are a few pictures that I took on my morning stroll with Cotton today. I wish you could smell the scents of fresh grass mixed with blossoms and hear the birds singing. Spring is early!
One of many birdhouses greets us as we
start our walk through the rose arbor.
This pretty "Peppermint Camelia" is a large topiary
outside the front door.

Stone paths lined with daffodils
pass by the seasonal flag...yes, it's "my"
St. Patrick's flag!
Try as I may to get rid of them,
wild violets spring up everywhere each spring.
My favorite coral pink camellia.
Dew drops each morning line petals and leaves and keep
everything "northwest green" all year.

My favorite daffodils have orange centers. We have thousands
of daffodils on our property; it makes for a very cheery early spring!

This is Glen's favorite view on our acreage...down the path between
large fir trees. The giant purple plum tree is frosting on the cake!
Our new neighbor.

In the garden: Garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage,
peach, apricot and almond blossoms, and the berries are leafing out.

These johnny-jump-ups return every year and have
self-seeded the whole flower bed

Glen uncovered the picnic table and we had
BBQ burgers and potato salad last night. 
The rocks are covered with bright moss and mini plants.
Our 8 large koi and 6 babies are back to sunning themselves and eating regularly.
Well, I guess it is past time to get to work. I am starting new paintings today for a new art collection which I'm excited about. I'll give you a small hint...