Who Is Anastasia?

My photo
New Castle, Indiana Zone 5, United States
When I was 55, I decided to embrace the things I love and hold precious and dear - regardless of anyone else's thoughts and opinion. I am a folk artist who loves flowers - my own flowers, grown by me. I love good, hearty, exotic foods, and I love to prepare them myself. I love the secret garden situated in my backyard, regardless of how junky it gets. No longer able to afford a vacation, this will have to be it for the time being. In the winter months, I still enjoy it. Anyway, here I am sharing my art, favorite recipes, cocktails, gardening tips, and just my usual vents and bantering. After all, I'm old enough to say whatever the heck I want to now ... Oh, the two pictures below are NOT of my garden, although the one with the pink French doors looks very much like the backyard I grew up with. I am searching for pictures of that wonderful place and will post soon.

JEWELS OF MY SOUL

JEWELS OF MY SOUL
My Book Available on AMAZON

Stacey Torres ART Prints

Stacey Torres ART Prints
A very limited selection of reproductions from my paintings can be found here

August 23, 2009

Winter Sowing - My Secret Passion


Several years ago, I discovered a process called winter sowing, wherein you actually plant seeds (winter soltice is a popular day), outside in the snow, in little containers - anything from milk jugs, foil carry out containers, margarine tubs, etc., and you get the most incredible strong, sturdy and lush plants in the Spring. The thing is, like anything in nature, it is hit and miss; sometimes they work, often they do not. Most of my rugosa roses were sown this way, as were a lot of my perennials.

That darn Butter n' Eggs is still strangling everything in my old rose bed, and I'm ticked off about that ... sorry to vent

Anyway, click on the link above, and it tells how to do this. You can also do some vegetables this way.

The thing is, you save tons of money on plants - no need to pay for seedlings/plants; this helps relieve your mid-winter gardening itch; and in the Spring, you're ahead of the game.

Whatever you do, DO NOT BRING THESE CONTAINERS INSIDE, REGARDLESS HOW COLD, HOW MUCH SNOW, HOW MUCH ICE OR WIND YOU GET! The process is a hardening off thingee - my technical term - but, you will be amazed at the results. Rule of thumb; perennials true to your zone will work; annuals that reseed in your area will work. Annuals, are often not sown until the end of Feb. or early March.

The photo above is NOT mine, it belongs to Kasmira, of cinticapecod.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html Please check out her Cincinnati-Cape Cod Blog - It's delightful!

Fuzzy Navel Shotcakes

Went to a party last night for a small group of friends, about 375 of us, and made little 'shotcakes' ... Once again, I forgot to take pictures!!!

Fuzzy Navel Shotcakes

1 Box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
3 Jumbo Eggs
1/4 C Oil
Substitute Tampico Peach Punch for Water (per measurements on box)
1/4 C Peach Tree Schnapps
1 Pkg. Orange Jello (any cheap-azz brand will do)
1 Tub Blended Peach Yogurt

Combine all ingredients and pour into paper lined muffin tins (mini size for shots). Bake at 350 degrees for - here's the crazy part - about 10-12 minutes for shot size - you'll have to check it, and because there's so much stuff in here, the toothpick test may deceive you. Trial and Error here - sorry.

While still hot out of the oven, pierce the tops of each cake with a sharp knife. Top with Glaze (make the glaze while they are baking).

Glaze = 1 Jar Orange Marmalade & 1/4 C Peach Tree Schnapps

Then let the cupcakes cool on a rack. Once they are cool you add the icing. Icing? Yes, icing - I omitted the icing yesterday because of the dampness and humidity; didn't think they'd hold up well outdoors, so I just left stopped with the glaze.

Icing:

1/2 lb Butter
10 level Tablespoon Crisco
1 can Eagle Brand Milk*
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Peach Tree Schnapps

Butter should be room temp.
Beat Butter and Crisco together until creamy (Do NOT use butter flavored Crisco)
Add the Eagle Brand Milk, beat on high till creamy.
Add Powdered Sugar and Schnapps, beat 3 more minutes

Dump into a strong ziplock back and cut a tiny corner off one end. Squeeze to pipe a circular pattern on cupcake, leaving a tiny bit of glaze peeking in the center.

*Just a note, if any recipe calls for Eagle Brand Milk, it's not an advertisement; there's a reason, and I don't know what it is, but some recipes, i.e., NY Cheesecake, etc., will not come out right unless you use Eagle Brand - go figure.

(Keep in mind; I tweak all my recipes, and rarely do them the same way twice) Depending on your oven, you may have to experiment with cooking times because the tiny cupcakes do NOT bake the same way as the standard size; which, I believe would serve this particular cupcake better. The concentration of sugar from the cake and the liqueur may be a bit much for everyone's tastes. Enjoy Y'all ...

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot
A simple garden meal in the shade. No, it's not my backyard, but it looks identical to the one I grew up with at our home in Queens. Looking for an original pic of it to post soon!

Old Fashioned Tips