My New Hanging Basket

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My hanging basket of fuschia is now convalescing in the shade of the crabapple tree in our front yard. I didn’t realize its modest sunlight quota, and I almost burnt it out on the shepherd’s hook in the full sun bed in my back yard. I went and selected a replacement basket full of red calibrachoa. It thrives in this sunny spot.

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The Pond at Kendrick Woods

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Here’s another shot of the wildflowers nestled into the pond at Kendrick Woods. I wish I was savvy with video so I could convey more of the peacefulness of this place. I took a super short video of the pond with my phone that includes some of the birdsong I heard this morning:

Beautiful Day

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I had a peaceful morning stroll through part of Kendrick Woods located in Allen County, Ohio. There was a pond that had an island with wildflowers.

Cheeseburger Shepherd’s Pie

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Here’s a comfort food recipe that is ideal for summer. The entire recipe may be cooked on the stove top, but I usually finish it in a glass casserole dish in the microwave. It has the bright flavor of this season’s savory fare, but the potato topping mellows the recipe just enough to give it staying power over the appetite.

Sometimes I make this recipe in the cold of winter to remind me that everything will thaw and rebound again.

Cheeseburger Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • dash seasoned salt
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 yellow mustard
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 T ketchup
  • Dash hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 15.25 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups warm mashed potatoes, can be leftovers or the store-ready kind
  • 1/4 cup diced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles, for topping

Brown and crumble ground beef with chopped onion and seasoned salt over medium heat in a 10″ or 12″ skillet. Drain fat. Pour in beef broth and bring to a simmer. Mix in mustard, tomato paste, ketchup, hot sauce, garlic powder, thyme, and black pepper. When all is well combined and bubbling, stir in the corn. Next add 1/2 cup cheese and stir until melted.

To finish on stove top:

Turn down heat to medium low. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the green onions. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until all is heated through and cheese is melted.

To finish in microwave:

Empty ground beef mixture into 2 quart microwave-safe casserole dish. Spread mashed potatoes over mixture and sprinkle with the remaining half cup cheese and the green onions. Heat in microwave for 5-7 minutes or until heated through.

Both versions are good served with pickles. I’ve made this dish with a bit of crumbled, cooked bacon on top, too. Just about any cheeseburger topping is a festive addition to this recipe at the dinner table.
 

This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and GardensCheeseburger Shepherd’s Pie. I tried that recipe three years ago, and I’ve simplified it a bit more every time I make it. In this house, it has evolved into the version I offer here.

Another Lucid Dream

Today I am reblogging a past post about a dream I cherish. My recent dreams have been more elusive than usual to my waking mind. I wish I could recall them all, at least the pleasant ones.

Intensity Without Mastery

Just some quick thoughts on last night’s lucid dream. In it my daughter and I were walking through a forest that’s close to our neighborhood. We live on an odd brink of wilderness that’s interrupted by more suburban developments that end in miles of farmland with just enough small forests between to break the wind. Back to the dream, we found a grassy clearing in the woods where lots of people were walking through. It was a forest traffic roundabout, but the circular path was low like a small valley.

My daughter spotted her best friend and went ahead of me with her. I lingered in the grassy roundabout, curious about how this valley was formed with no real hills around it. Then I was caught in a reverie considering if it was time to abandon the apartment where my daughter and I lived before I married her step dad…

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