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Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

Well, autumn is officially here and almost gone.

I never tire of the beautiful colors that our neighborhood affords us.  God’s beauty simply cannot be outdone.

Autumn in Minnesota

The colors are so vibrant and, even though this signifies the trees are dying, it brings a sense of joy with its beauty.

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

Anyone ready for a walk?

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

But then, of course, there’s always a downside to so much beauty … raking leaves.  (hehe)

It’s fun the first couple of times, but when you have to leaf blow the driveway every day or every other day, this middle aged body gets sore.

Driveway Leaves, Autumn in Minnesota

I hope you’re enjoying your autumn wherever you are.

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Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

 

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

I purchase frozen tilapia filets at Costco to have them ready for a quick dinner.

The tilapias usually take 8 hours to thaw in the refrigerator although I’ve found that I can take them out frozen and thaw them in cold water.  I simply fill a large bowl with cold water and place the tilapias in them, wait 15 minutes, empty out the cold water and replace with new water and start the process over again until they are thawed.  This takes maybe 45 minutes to an hour but in a pinch it works better than having to wait 8 hours (unless you’re super organized and remember to take them out in the morning).

This recipe is fairly quick if just a bit messy but it’s a recipe that’s worth making.

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

I’ve heard it said that tilapia has less Omega 3 levels than salmon but hey, that’s okay.  It’s not like one eats it every day, right?

So ~ without further ado, here’s the recipe for you try.  Enjoy!

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

Category: Entree

Cuisine: Seafood

2

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (at room temperature)
  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. steam-in-bag fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs to the garlic then cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic/breadcrumb mixture and put it in a wide based shallow bowl.
  6. Place the flour and egg in separate shallow bowls also.
  7. Salt and pepper the tilapia.
  8. Coat the tilapia in flour then dip it in the egg and lastly coat it in the breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, oil, broccoli, and carrots on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray.
  10. Add the tilapia to pan.
  11. Bake everything together at 400°F for approximately 15 minutes or until the tilapia is cooked through.
  12. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2017/10/24/baked-tilapia-with-roasted-vegetables/

Did you know? Tilapia is the fourth most consumed fish in the United States dating back to 2002.

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A Late Autumn Getaway

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Traveling through southern Minnesota, we finally made it to our destination where we had rented a cottage through Airb&b called the Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska.  This is the second time I’ve used Airb&b and it has worked out great.  (Have you ever used them before?)

Our cottage had a view of a bay off of the Mississippi River.  It looked beautiful to me but my husband said there was “scum” in the water.  Well, if scum can be beautiful then this was it.  Kind’ve an olive green, no?

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Here’s another view.

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

We sat on the bench and watched the sun go down one day.  It was magnificent!

Sunset, Onalaska, Wisconsin

The cottage had a view of the water from the deck and one of the bedrooms.

LaCrosse, Wisconsin Cottage

The inside of the cottage was quaint and comfortable.  I like when the wifi works with no glitches.

I was really impressed with the mother/daughter team that rents this cottage out.  They were proactive in getting in touch with me and checking to see if we needed anything.  The cottage was quaint and clean.

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

The restaurants nearby had really good food.  I was especially surprised at how good the food was at the Red Pines Bar and Grill in Lacrosse, Wisconsin which was nearby.  They even knew how to make sweet potato fries that weren’t greasy!  Yum!

Across the street from the cottage we were able to take a trail through the National Wildlife Refuge.  And for the first time in my life, I can say that I walked through a trail of grasshoppers.  I don’t know why there were so many out but as we walked the grasshoppers on our path hopped out of our way.  Very very odd.

National Wildlife Refuge, Onalaska, Wisconsin

National Wildlife Refuge, Onalaska, Wisconsin

This is definitely an area that I would like to visit again.

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Autumn in Seattle

Autumn Begonias, Washington

Almost every year I visit friends in Seattle.  It’s always nice to keep in touch with people you can count on at any time.  I once heard that you can count your friends on one hand.  I’ve been fortunate that I can count them on two.  And you?

The weather was perfect while I was there.  The Richmond Beach area (right outside of Seattle) is such a peaceful and beautiful place to visit and my friends backyard was still in autumn mode.

I can sit here all day ~ so peaceful.

Autumn Backyard, Shoreline WA

The begonias were still in full bloom in mid-October.  Quite impressive!

Autumn Begonias, Washington

A quick drive to see the Olympic Mountains, even if there wasn’t much snow on them yet, was perfect to end the day.

Olympic Mountains, WA

Have you visited the Olympic Mountains before?  In winter, on a clear day, they are majestically beautiful.

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A Late Summer Walk – William O’Brien State Park

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

The William O’Brien State Park is one of my favorite places to go for a walk.

Choices … choices.  A stroll next to the St. Croix River or through the woods. This time, the walk through the woods won out and with very few people out walking, it made the walk even more peaceful.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect.  Sunny with occasional restful clouds floating by.

Sometimes I look at nature and it looks messy to me – grasses growing amidst weeds and flowers with an occasional bug flitting in and out of the mess.

Yet it reminds me that this is how life is also.  No day is exactly the same and sometimes the stress of illness, work or family drama all blends together.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

And then … it’s as if someone pulls a blessing out of the sky and plants it right in your path. The heart goes back to breathing regularly, the drooped shoulders relax and the furrowed brows line disappear.

These are the small moments of blessing that I look for every day.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

Sometimes ~ just around the bend ~ a large blessing stares me in the face.  Unexpected and breathtaking, it brings such joy to my heart.  Today, it was a pair of swans sitting on a beaver dam. Although the dam looks messy, the beavers spent much time putting those sticks in an orderly fashion.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota, Swans

And suddenly, my cares wash away as a field of grass lies before me.

William O’Brien State Park, Minnesota

And it’s enough. Enough to overcome any stresses for the day.

“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth.”  Psalm 104:14

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Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry

Sweet Potato and Red Curry

Yeah so, this recipe is very un-paleo.  We’ve been cheating on the paleo diet quite a bit and my desire to have an Indian recipe led me to this very delicious recipe that I found in a Cooking Light magazine.

I did make a few changes to the original recipe so have re-written it below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  The original recipe calls for it to be served over rice but we served it with slices of french bread.  Quite delicious!

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry

Category: Dinner

Cuisine: Indian

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry

Sweet Potato and Red Curry

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups dried red lentils, washed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons Indian spicy grilling paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker that's coated with cooking spray, add all the ingredients except for the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar and slow cook for approximately 8 hours.
  2. Add the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar then stir everything together.
  3. Allow the curry to sit for about 5 minutes then serve over rice, a sweet potato or with warm bread.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2017/09/13/sweet-potato-and-red-lentil-curry/

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An Early Minnesota Autumn

11 days from September and the leaves are starting to change color on both the trees and the hostas. They have called summer over. Now if only the weather would catch up — 84 today with a “feels like” temperature of 94 with oppressive humidity.

Yet an early autumn we will have as nature is always right.

Trees Changing Color

Summer Hostas Changing Color

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Of Deer, Repellant and Plants

Hosta Walkway, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

A couple or so weeks back, we went out of town for a few days. We had fairly nice weather at our Chicago destination but back “home” in Lake Elmo, it rained and rained.  And, rain in our area is not necessarily a good thing.

This year we decided to plant one tomato plant and surround it with marigolds as deer don’t like the smell of marigolds.  It should have been a good deterrent, right?  Wrong.

The deer hopped over our 3 foot mesh fence and ate the one ripe tomato from our plant in spite of the smell of the marigolds surrounding it.  It’s as if they reached right over the marigolds to get their fill of our tomato.  Sigh …

Deer Eaten Tomato Plant

So ~ I’ve given up.  No tomato plants next year. The sage and thyme plants weren’t touched as deer supposedly don’t like the smell of those herbs.

Deer Eaten Tomato Plant

Part of the problem is when it rains, you have to head outside and spray the outer area to keep the deer away.  Whether it’s hosta flowers (ugh) or tomatoes, the deer will chomp on things they find tasty especially if they don’t have repellent on them.

Deer Eaten Hosta Plant

And because we travel sometimes, we aren’t always home to spray the repellent on the hostas and surrounding area.

Deer Eaten Hosta Plant

So ~ no beautiful hosta flowers this year. No tomatoes.  The deer have won.  My garden will never look like this:

Hosta Walkway, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Next year, the hostas will grow where they are planted, we’ll spray when we’re home, then we’ll just let nature, er, deer, take their course.

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