I'm a big fan of lists. They make me feel organized, allow me to move through a thought process quickly, and make for an easy read for you. This morning, I was thinking of light....landscape lights. I am BLOWN away by the Luxor system FXLuminaire has brought to the market. Yes, initial investment will be a bit more than the average joe landscape lights, but let me tell you ten reasons why you need them:
2. Outdoor Living
3. Accent your landscaping
4. Accent your home
6. Dimming Capabilities
7. Zone Controls
8. LED Cost Savings
9. Eliminate the Black Mirror after sunset
10. Wireless Control
Did you see you can play with the lighting app right there on the website?! How cool is that?!
Here's a new one for you!
I'm sharing a great recipe I discovered not too long ago when trying to decide what to make for dinner. I had 13 fresh morels, a big handful of asparagus from my garden, some parsley & thyme that had overwintered just fine in the garden, an open container of stock that neede to be used up, and some left over sushi rice to finish off (uncooked).
Funny how you can throw a bunch of words together in a Google search box and come up with something amazing to eat!
Here's my take on Wild Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto:
*Go out into the woods and spend the day hunting mushrooms. Be sure to use a good guide book if you are unfamilar with the edible types in your area (and check out this website for more info- Michigan Morels).
*Grab a few ramps or wild leeks while you're at it, in case you don't have shallots at home (Wild Edible), but beware, they are strong!
*Check on your asparagus patch and see what's come up. You can also stop at the local farm stand or, if you're really brave, go stalk some wild asparagus! You'll need a really big handful.
*Poke around in your herb garden and collect any thyme or parsley that made it through the winter. You won't need much, just a few springs of each.
Bring it all back home and wash it up well. Chill a bottle of local wine (I suggest Tabor Hill Demi-Sec, but I may be a bit obsessed...)
Now, I know you may be tired out from the long day foraging, but don't be tempted to put this off. The fresher the ingredients, the better!
In a medium sauce pan, add one cup short to medium grained rice and two cups stock (chicken or beef are fine, you'll need one more cup later in the recipe). Let it come to a boil, put a lid on it and turn the heat to simmer. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add two cloves crushed garlic and ~1/4 cup shallots diced. Stir well and let soften slightly. Add a lot of mushrooms- I like to get a package of sliced portobellos or white caps, and a package of the restaurant blend from the produce aisle. You can use more or less depending on taste. Stir frequently, allowing the mushrooms to release their juice and then reabsorb it. Watch your heat, you don't want to burn them!
Add one teaspoon dried thyme (fresh will do, adjust accordingly- about two teaspoons) and stir until the fragrance is released. Add chopped asparagus (about one ince pieces- one bundle or whatever you have from the garden) and one cup stock. Your rice should be getting close to done now, so just stir the mushroom-asparagus mixture a few more times to keep it from sticking.
When the rice is done, dump the whole panful of it into the saute pan and stir. Add one half cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated, and stir it all together. Salt and pepper to taste, serve while warm as a main dish or hearty side. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsely and more Parmesan if desired. Uncork that bottle of wine and share, if you must, with someone you love.
I'd share a photo- but I forget to take it until after I've literally licked the pan clean. It is THAT yummy!
If you're a recipe follower, you may find the original recipe linked here: Asparagus-Wild Mushroom Risotto with
Parmesan by Robin Miller, Food Network
Anna and her husband Todd own Arcadia Gardens, LLC a Stevensville, MI based landscape design and build company. Her degree in Horticulture with a focus on landscape management from Michigan State University allows Anna to select plants specific to on-site conditions and with maintenance requirements that suit the client's needs. She is comfortable designing across a range of styles- from contemporary to classic- and makes a point to include the client's input throughout the design process. She is an active member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and is serving as 2014 President of the APLD-Michigan Chapter. Anna has recently contributed to media such as "The Designer" and Gardendesign.com and is qualified to speak on a variety of topics from landscape design and maintenance to addressing local garden clubs and organizations.
PO Box 88
Stevensville, MI 49127