All posts by sunrise-saltbox

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


Cut top quarter off each tomato and set tops aside. Scoop out pulp. Drain upside down on a paper towel to dry. Combine cream cheese and shrimp and mix thoroughly. Stuff each tomato with cream cheese mixture. Put tomato tops backs on if desired.


  • 60 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz canned shrimp, drained

Strawberry Spring Mix Salad


Place lettuce, strawberries, pecans and radish in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Toss dressing into salad just before serving.


  • 6 cups spring mix
  • 1 pt strawberries, sliced
  • 4 red radish, sliced
  • 1/2 c pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c vinegar
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seed

Lighten Up! Brightening and enlivening the shade garden

sq-lightenupHosta and ferns are standards for the perennial shade garden. They have similar growing condition requirements and the contrast of fine-textured fronds and broad Hosta leaves does bring dimension and quiet contrast. All well and good for a supremely serene retreat, but what if you’d like to energize your shadowy shade realm a bit? Continue reading Lighten Up! Brightening and enlivening the shade garden

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Recipe


Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add cabbage, sauté until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, toss to coat cabbage evenly. Add vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer until cabbage is tender, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • 1 2lb red cabbage, sliced thin (about 12 c)
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 c balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Stuffed Scalloped Squash


Cut the top off the squash and remove seeds. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Stuff into squash and replace top. Fold the stuffing that won’t fit into the squash in a piece of foil. Place stuffed squash into a baking dish and bake at 375°F for 1 hour. Put the leftover stuffing in the oven for the last 20 minutes of baking.


  • 1 pan-shaped squash
  • 3/4 c fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 c sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 3 Tbsp marsala wine

Yogurt & Cream Cheese Fruit Dip


Mix cream cheese, yogurt, honey and almond extract at low speed until smooth. Pour into a small bowl. Arrange dip and fruit on a chilled platter to serve. Excellent with chocolate, pineapple and peaches too.


  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 4 c bite-size fruit; melon chunks, berries, grapes, kiwi slice, etc.

Veggie Stir Fry with Chicken


Heat oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Add chicken, garlic and oyster sauce, and stir-fry for 10 minutes. Add veggies and stir-fry for 6 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir into vegetables, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.


  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 cup napa cabbage (sliced)
  • 1 cup green bell and 1 cup red pepper (sliced)
  • 1 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (fresh)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Hardscape Essentials: It takes more than plants to make a landscape

What is it?
Hardscape is not a catchy term for overly difficult gardening sites. It simply means the hard, durable parts of the landscape…the non-plant elements. Hardscaping elements are often chosen for function and directly or indirectly add beauty as well. Hardscape can be used to: provide definition of different areas within a landscape, direct views and traffic, frame or screen views, provide shelter, ambience and ease of access, and create containment.

Continue reading Hardscape Essentials: It takes more than plants to make a landscape

Cucumber Honeydew Salad with Feta


In a large bowl pour lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, salt, pepper, poppy seed, if desired, and pepper. Add melon, cucumber, onion, and dill weed. Toss to combine. Cover; chill up to 8 hours. Let stand 20 minutes before serving. Just before serving, top with feta.


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon poppy seed (optional)
  • 1 medium honeydew melon (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.), seeded and cut in bite-size cubes (5
  • cups)
  • 1 cucumber (12 oz.), unpeeled, and cubed (2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, briefly rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

Zucckies (Zucchini Cookies)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon and salt; stir in raisins; add to egg mixture. Then stir in zucchini and oatmeal. (mixture will be stiff and difficult to stir, but cookies will be moist) drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.


  • 1 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c raisins
  • 2 c grated, peeled zucchini
  • 3 1/2 c oatmeal

Grill-baked Berry Bread Pudding


Whisk eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add bread cubes and; soak 30 minutes. Butter a sheet of nonstick foil and add the bread mixture; form a packet. Grill over indirect heat, turning a few times, 35 minutes.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups bread cubes
  • 1 cup berries
  • Butter
  • Large sheet of foil

Tips for Annual Selection & Care

Choose Well

To ensure attractive healthy annuals all season, choose full, well branched plants with good foliage color and – on flowering annuals – an abundance of buds. Don’t go for the biggest plants or most open blooms, these are more likely to be leggy and burned out too soon. If the latter is all you find, you can improve their appearance and longevity by pruning them back by about one third to encourage branching and fresh growth. Continue reading Tips for Annual Selection & Care

Plants to Celebrate Spring’s Return

Late winter into early spring is when we crave fresh growth, a bit of color…some sign that spring is really returning!! Swelling buds on Pussy Willow and dainty Snowdrop blooms – which might be overlooked or scoffed at if amongst the lushness of summer plant life – bring excitement, praise and hope! These are soon followed by bolder displays, as the likes of Forsythia, Tulips, Magnolias and more burst into bloom and cement our certainty of spring’s return!

If you’d like to indulge in some of this excitement, look around your neighborhood and local parks this spring to note which plants catch your eye. Snap their portraits with your smart phone or camera, then seek them out at your local nursery to plant in your own yard as personal mood boosters come next spring!

Here’s a short list to spark your imagination:

Perennial Flowers (can be planted spring through autumn)

  • Anemone/Windflower
  • Brunnera
  • Hellebore
  • Primrose

Flowering Bulbs (should be planted in autumn)

  • Hyacinth
  • Snowdrops
  • Tulips
  • Narcissus sp.
  • Crocus

Flowering Shrubs & Trees (can be planted spring through autumn)

  • Dogwood
  • Forsythia
  • Lilacs
  • Magnolias
  • Pussy Willow (the fuzzy catkins are flowers)
  • Flowering Quince
  • Redbud
  • Rhododendrons & Azaleas
  • Serviceberry/Juneberry
  • Witch Hazel
  • Winter Daphne