Arts & Crafts, Coffee, Food, Gardens, High Desert Living, People, Places

Posts by Angie

April is National Poetry Month

April 2016 is the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month! High Desert Blogging will be hosting a poetry contest later this month. If you’re a poet or interested in poetry, you are invited to participate in our contest. So stay tuned this month as we publish poems, articles about poetry, and features on poets and writers.

Looking for a writers group to learn how to write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction? There is a writers group, the High Desert branch of California Writers Club (HDCWC) that meets from 10:00 am until noon on the second Saturday of every month. Currently, they meet at the Community Church @ Jess Ranch, 11537 Apple Valley Road, Apple Valley, CA.

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Daily, in April, Poem in Your Pocket Day is celebrated by selecting a poem and sharing it various places you frequent like bookstores, coffee shops, writers clubs, blogs, and Twitter, etc. READ MORE »

High Desert Outdoors in the Spring

Planning Spring Activities Outdoors

What do you think of when you hear the word Spring in the High Desert? I think of several things, including:

  • gardening
  • pulling weeds
  • organic herbs and vegetables
  • outdoors
  • picnics
  • grilling
  • bugs
  • snakes

Gardening

Growing a flower garden or herb and vegetable garden is good for nutritious eating but creates a reason to get exercise. Pulling weeds is one of those necessary outside chores that is impossible to escape. Either you have to pull them or hire someone to do it for you. The next time it rains, watch those weeds pop up all over the yard. Pulling them yourself will ensure that you get healthy exericise.

Herbs and Vegetables

Plant several tomato plants, and you’ll have fresh tomatoes, tomatoes for salsa, and tomatoes to give away. They grow well in the high desert, but the neon hornworms love the tomato plants and before you know it, they’ll eat all the leaves. Take a flashlight out at night to see them light up. Then can’t hide so well then.

Peppers, green onions, carrots, and squash are a few vegetables that will grow in the high desert. Add herbs to your garden. Add flavor to your meals with fresh herbs from your garden. There’s nothing like eating organic herbs and vegetables from your own garden. It makes you want to eat more vegetables and cook healthier.

Natural Vitamin D

Gardening is a great reason to get some sun, the natural Vitamin D. Just spending fifteen to thirty minutes outside does wonders for you. The benefits of Vitamin D and serotonin is worth studying. You don’t have to know all the scientific effects to know that it makes you feel good just being out in the sun a bit.

Picnics and Grilling

It’s spring and a great time to get out the picnic baskets and grilling equipment. Do you have picnics in your backyard, or do you go to the park? Picnics are fun and usually include some type of activity. When I was a little girl, croquet was a game my family enjoyed playing in our yard. It’s not such a popular sport anymore, but it’s still fun to play. Be on the look out at vintage shops for croquet sets. Some people use the vintage croquet games equipment for various upcycled decor items.

Bugs and Snakes

There is one thing for sure. A high desert organic garden will attract bugs. Not only does the garden attract them. High desert bugs love to come inside the house. Bug spray should be kept in every room in the house. If not, by the time you run to another room to grab the spray, the bug is nowhere in sight.

A serviceman from Terminix told me that the worst thing you can do that attracts pests and snakes is to have a flower bed next to the house. I asked would it make a difference if you landscaped with rocks instead of a flower bed. He said snakes like rocks, too.

My mother loved flowers, and she always warned me to watch out for snakes in the springtime around the flower beds. I love the outdoors and flowers, but I do not like bugs or snakes. Bugs are tolerable in that they are small enough to squish. Snakes are a different story altogether. About a year ago in Texas, my cousin, Stephanie, and her children had just come home. As she was about to unlock her door, a poisonous snake slivered between her and her front door on its journey to wherever. Stephanie screamed and jumped. Her purse and keys flew. That is not a scenario I want to experience.

You can contact pest control for bugs and snakes. Like the Terminix serviceman informed me, there are things you can do to get rid of them. Pestkill.org offers excellent ways to eliminate snakes from your house, yard, and garden.

Farmers Market Fresh Vegetables

Shopping at the Farmers Market

farmers markets

High Desert Farmers Market

Fresh Berries

The best place to go shopping for produce, fresh from farmers’ gardens, in the Victor Valley of the High Desert is at High Desert Farmer’s Market. The market is open every Thursday from 8 am until 12 noon. Beautiful blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are already available, and spring hasn’t even arrived yet. You wouldn’t know it by the gorgeous weather last Thursday at this Certified Farmers Market. It was sunny, and there were fruits and vegetables galore.

farmers markets

Fresh Berries

Fresh Raw Veggies

The tables set up at Angelo’s Farm High Desert Produce especially attracted my eyes to it. There were leafy greens with yellow and orange stems. I walked over to see what these beauties were, picked up the green-leaf vegetable with the colorful stems, and admired them. While I was trying to figure out what they were, a lady came up and asked, “What are those?”

farmers markets

Leafy and Colorful Veggies

“I don’t know. That’s what I was wondering,” I said when a younger lady answered, “That’s Swiss chard.”

The first lady, Marian, laughed because she said the younger woman, who knew what the vegetable was, was her daughter.

I’m sure that I’ve eaten Swiss chard before, probably at a Chinese restaurant with mixed veggies or a meat entree. But I don’t recall ever cooking it at home. I bought the pretty vegetable and have cooked it already, stir-fried with other vegetables – and I like it.

Marian’s daughter, Heather, tries different recipes every week. That got my attention because I am a food blogger and come up with various recipes to share on my blog. I asked her to submit an article about her recipes for High Desert Blogging. So, Heather, if you’re reading this, I can’t wait to hear from you and see what new recipes you’ve tried this week.

Heather pointed me in the direction of another vendor who was selling different colors of cauliflower. I’ve seen BroccoliFlower before but not orange cauliflower. One of my favorite cauliflower recipes is Mac & Cheese Cauliflower.

cauliflower

Cauliflower Colors

It’s exciting to go to the farmers market and see so much fresh produce. Meeting other like-minded individuals like Heather and Marian that love trying out new vegetables and creating recipes is so much fun.

Pets at the Farmers Market

Pets and animals show up at farmers markets, too. I noticed an area that appeared to be either an animal-petting section or where you could pay to ride one around a small sectioned-off place. Though I didn’t walk over to observe closer, I think I noticed a camel ready to give someone a ride. Next time I go, I’ll pay closer attention and tell you more the next time I see the animals. I met this little dog, Kisses, and owner, Anthony, and Anthony’s Aunt Linda. The adorable Kisses is believed to be a terrier and teacup chihuahua mix.

On my way out of the Farmers Market, I met Anthony, who was carrying his pet dog, and Anthony’s Aunt Linda. Anthony introduced me to his little adorable pet, Kisses, who is believed to be a terrier and teacup chihuahua mix.

terrier and teacup chihuahua mix

Anthony and Kisses

I left the market smiling. Who could not smile at getting to meet a friendly little terrier-teacup chihuahua, a mother and daughter who love to create fresh veggie recipes like me, and bags filled with fresh raw vegetables and fruits to boot?

Thank You For Visiting High Desert Blogging!

Blueberry Gardening in the High Desert

Grow a Blueberry Bush in Your Backyard

Blueberry Gardening

Blueberry Bush

Did you know that you can grow blueberries in the high desert? They need acidic soil to be successful, and it helps if they are planted in pots.

Planting Tips

Helpful hints from these three websites will help you get started: READ MORE »

March Flowers to Plant in High Desert Gardens

Spring Garden Planting

Pansies

Spring Pansies

The high desert has seen gorgeous spring days already in February and the first few days of March. Like we always read on many packets of flower seeds, “Sow…after danger of heavy frost.” Victor Valley’s weather report indicates that by tomorrow, temperatures are going to dip down into the low 30’s – heavy frost kind of weather to consider (although frost can happen in April, too) when planting flower seeds.

Pansies may be the answer to your March flower garden. You can find them at nurseries and even WalMart right now. But you have to decide if you want to plant pansies now or wait a little longer to plant spring and summer flowers that can endure the desert heat. Pansies do best with temperatures between 40 degrees at night and 60 degrees during the day. Hesperia only had about five days last month that didn’t go over 60 degrees during the day and fifteen days that were in the 70’s. If you do plant pansies, they can add vivid color to your garden through the spring.

Bulbs and Flowers to Plant in March

Plant flowering bulbs such as dahlias and gladiolas.

summer flower bulbs

Gladiolas (photo from morguefile.com)

Choose from drought-tolerant marigolds and zinnias when beginning your spring gardening. Both are colorful, although zinnias provide a wider variety of colors than marigolds including pink and white.

marigolds

Marigolds (photo from morguefile.com)

Marigolds are believed to have pest-controlling benefits for vegetable gardens. That could be true if you plant them in abundance, but they may not keep out the neon-green tomato hornworm.

Learn how to use the right amount of irrigation to encourage a deeper root system, and you’ll enhance the beauty of zinnias. Zinnias can grow up to 3 feet tall or more and attract birds and butterflies.

zinnias

Zinnias Attract Butterflies (photo from morguefile.com)

Children’s Craft Mother’s Day Card

A Mother’s Day Gift

flowers in a vase

Mother’s Day Vase of Flowers

School teachers, Sunday School teachers, and daycare teachers have something in common. They plan crafts ahead of time. Teachers have the opportunity to make a huge difference in children’s lives. READ MORE »

High Desert Bloggers Traffic-Generating Experiment Continued

Traffic-Generating Experiment

Last month bloggers from Pattycakespantry.com and KitchenHospitality.com joined in a traffic-generating experiment to see if they could increase their traffic. They agreed to a contest to see which blog would have the most traffic and which would increase the most in traffic.  You can see the comparison between the two food blogs below.

PattyCakesPantry.com:

  • December – 422 views
  • January – 584 views
  • February – 483 views

KitchenHospitality.com:

  • December – 142 views
  • January – 287 views
  • February – 251 views

You can see how the blogs had more traffic in February than they did in December yet had less in February than in January. The bloggers have decided to continue the traffic-generating experiment for the month of March, but the rules of the contest will change. Blog posts will be written on the most popular topics according to the blogs’ analytics.

Follow Patty Cakes Pantry and Kitchen Hospitality, two food blogs that include recipes that the bloggers create such as the salsa recipes below:

Sweet & Spicy SalsaSweet & Spicy Salsa at KitchenHospitality.com

The southern food bloggers of Patty Cakes Pantry and Kitchen Hospitality welcome your comments and will appreciate the traffic.

Thank You for Visiting High Desert Blogging!

Food Cravings and Food Blogs

FOOD BLOGGING

Chocolate and Yogurt

Yogurt Granola Chocolate Sweet Snack

Bloggers on High Desert Blogging write articles about the High Desert, the Southwest, blogging, gardening in the high desert, food, and Victor Valley. Food writing on the blog varies from historical to new recipes, Route 66 eateries, and recommended restaurants. But have you heard of or visited the High Desert Farmers Market? The Farmers Market is held on Thursday mornings from 8:00 am until 12:00 pm. Go to highdesertfarmersmarket.com blog to find their recipes.

SALSA CRAVINGS

What kind of food cravings do you get? One of mine is salsa. The latest one I made, Sweet & Spicy Salsa, has a southwestern flavor and includes corn. So delicious. It is made from the kitchen garden mostly (except the corn and a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies). The corn gave the salsa a sweet flavor. And, of course, it’s spicy with a very hot jalapeno. Sometimes, the jalapenos aren’t as hot. You never know how hot the garden jalapenos will be until you add it to the salsa. I’ve had some turn out very hot, and others seem quite mild.

SWEET CRAVINGS

Top food interests found on Pinterest and in blogs are:

  • desserts
  • recipes
  • healthy snacks
  • healthy recipes
  • nutrition
  • gluten free

When you try to combine dessert, healthy, nutrition, and gluten free, it can be quite a challenge. What do you do when you crave sweets but need gluten free ingredients and want to eat nutritious food? How do you satisfy the sweet or chocolate cravings?

Lately, I’ve had some sweet cravings – some for chocolate and some for lemon. Try this recipe that I came up with to satisfy the chocolate and sweet craving.

Yogurt Chocolate Granola Mix

5 minutes

1 Serving

Approximately 1 Cup

360 calories

15 fat

6.25 sat fat

51.5 carbs

10.5 protein

5.75 fiber

38.5 sugar

149.7 sodium

Yogurt Chocolate Granola Mix

Yogurt Granola Chocolate Sweet Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Quaker Summer Berry Real Medleys
  • 4 Guittard Milk Chocolate Baking Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Sun-Maid Chopped Dates

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Ready to eat.

Notes

Nutrition amounts are approximate.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://highdesertblogging.com/2016/02/24/food-cravings-and-food-blogs/

Chocolate Meringue Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie are my two favorite family pie recipes. I’ve had the two desserts on my mind, so when I saw a box of two lemon meringue pies in the frozen section at WalMart, I took it out and read the nutrition values. Not too bad. The only thing that jumped out at me was the 41 carbohydrates. However, my yogurt-chocolate medley’s carbs are higher. The lemon pies were justified. After all, I did pull a mountain of weeds in the yard. Well, maybe not today but yesterday. Uh-huh. They went into the grocery cart, made it all the way up to the register, and only one got to go inside my freezer. Lemon meringue. Mmmm.

High Desert Food Blog Contest

Now you know why I also have a food blog, Kitchen Hospitality. Maybe you’ve been keeping up with the Traffic Generating Experiment between Patty Cakes Pantry j(try her Taco Salad in a Jar) and Kitchen Hospitality. It’s going on for the month of February. Both blogs are fairly new, so Patty Cakes and I decided to challenge each other and also try out strategies on the blogs. We were both raised with southern-style cooking and enjoy sharing our recipes and cooking tips on the blogs. We will report the contest results on March 1st if you are interested in food blogs or want to start one of your own.

Chocolate and Yogurt

Yogurt Granola Chocolate Sweet Snack

Thank You for Visiting High Desert Blogging!

 

Blog Linking Parties:

Inspiration Thursday

Natural and Drought-Tolerant Plants Good for High Desert Gardens

Natural and Drought-Tolerant Plants

It’s time to plan your spring planting. Lavender and rosemary are two evergreens that can grow well in the high desert. See the eHow article, Rosemary Plant in the High Desert, for more information on planting rosemary in your garden.

evergreens

Rosemary photo from http://www.morguefile.com/archive/#/?q=rosemary&sort=pop&photo_lib=morgueFile

There are several websites with helpful information on organic and/or drought-tolerant plants for high desert gardens. I’ve listed four below to get you started:

  1. Going Organic Magazine – In the article, Winter Organic Gardening in The Desert, Maureen Gilmer gives insight on how to plant with drought-tolerant landscaping. If you are wondering which vegetable crops can be sown or planted in February, this article will be helpful.
  2. Moana Nursery – This website offers Local High Desert Tips on things you can do between February 16 through February 29 for your spring garden.
  3. Garden Solutions for the High Desert – Read Blogger Marnie Brennan’s blog post on Seed Starting for Spring Planting 2016 for help on seed planting.
  4. Mohave Desert Nursery – Learn about natural and drought-tolerant plants that grow well in the high desert.

Organic Salsa Garden

Plant an organic salsa garden – tomatoes, green onions, carrots, and peppers. Green onions and carrots grew in my garden through the winter months. Both go great in a homemade salsa recipe. The last green onions I pulled up out of the garden were so long I had to double them to store them in the frig.

Green onions and tiny carrot

What recipes do you put green onions in? Share your recipe in the comment section for this blog post.

Rain visited Victor Valley’s high desert this week, the best natural watering for a garden. It’s time to dig up the garden weeds and prepare for spring planting.

Gardening takes work, but it’s a good way to exercise and to enjoy natural Vitamin D.

Got gardening tips to share? Let us hear your spring planting plans.

Thank You for Visiting High Desert Blogging

High Desert Food Bloggers’ Traffic Generating Experiment

Traffic Generating Experiment

KitchenHospitality.com VS PattyCakesPantry.com

Community blogging comes alive when fellow bloggers connect to promote interests and events in the area in which they reside – and, yes, when they promote their blogs. What are the benefits of promoting a blog? Drive traffic to your blog, convert that traffic into leads, and make money blogging, to name a few benefits. Two High Desert bloggers joined efforts to promote their food blogs, KitchenHospitality.com and PattyCakesPantry.com.

Cookie Cutter Breakfasts

Egg Valentine Blog Post by KitchenHospitality.com

Fudge Hearts

Fudge Hearts Valentine Blog Post by PattyCakesPantry.com

Both blogs are fairly new, and the bloggers decided to participate in a month-long experiment by scheduling regular quality content. You can learn more
about the experiment READ MORE »

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