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Saturday, January 12, 2013

June 2012 - Summer Arrives

Unlike Louisiana where summer arrives earlier in the year, summer comes to New England right on time....in the month of June. 

And with summer, the flowers finally start blooming.   I am accustomed to seeing these particular kinds of flowers bloom in Louisiana around Easter.   In New England, there is often snow on the ground at Easter.  Whatever time of year that they bloom, it's a welcome site.  Thankfully, the lady that lived here before me had a green thumb and planted beautiful plants for me to enjoy.

So this June, we enjoyed the flowers that she planted and planted a few of our own along with some herbs and strawberries.

And we grilled more pizza...

And since the weather was starting to turn warm, we kept the Crock Pot out and made some delicious spicy roast beef.

This was super simple.   I rubbed down a Rump Roast with Taco Bell taco seasoning (I don't use anything else.), smoky paprika, dried chipotle seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and whatever else I found in the cupboard to put on there and placed it in the Crock Pot.  I sliced onions and smashed garlic cloves and threw those on top and poured a nice cold Corona over the top.  After a few hours of slow cooking, this was fall apart tender and ready to shred up to put into sandwich rolls,  tortillas and on top of salads.  I like mine with a squirt of fresh lime juice.   Not only is it delicious and easy; but, it makes enough that I have easy lunches and dinners for the week.  We use the meat in a variety of ways  and thankfully, my husband doesn't mind leftovers.  You can use this same basic recipe with pork and chicken, as well as beef.

I love how the Internet expands your world to people and places that you wouldn't normally get a chance to connect with in your own little community.   Blogging has opened that up even further, I think.   There are so many bloggers out there that I admire and enjoy; but one of my favorites and the one that I would most want to cook for me is the fabulous Yasmeen of Wandering Spice.   She has opened my eyes to the exotic flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine.  Thanks to her recipes I was introduced to Za'atar and I was delighted to find some of it at my local Coop food store.

I used it for the first time to roast some cauliflower.   I broke the cauliflower into florets, sprayed them with olive oil.  I sprinkled them with za'atar and popped them into a hot oven for a little while to roast until tender.   This is an amazing side dish or a yummy snack eaten straight off of the baking sheet.  Yeah.  I'm guilty as charged.

My experimenting with Middle Eastern cuisine did not stop with the Za'atar this month.  We, also, tried Yasmeen's recipe for Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken that she shared here.  What an amazing recipe this is?!   We have made this twice with the chicken and once with lamb.  It was delicious every time.


  1. The best part of summer/spring is definitely the flowers and plants blooming!

  2. you are definitely on a roll with re-capping the year. Lovely photos and the flowering plants are awesome!


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