Oct 29, 2014

What's the Haps Wednesday {The Louisiana Arboretum}

Last weekend, we visited one of my favorite places.

It's part of Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, LA.
There are several hiking trails ranging from a paved 500 ft trail to an unpaved 1.5 mile trail.

Some of the trails overlap in the wetland area.

Many of the trails offer diverse landscapes such as flat, prairie-like land, hills, pine forests, river bottom land, and swampy wetlands.

That's probably what I like most.  A broad spectrum of landscapes and plants can be found in one area.

We chose the shorter wetland trail this time around, but still had to climb hilly sections and cross through piney woods.

Lots of mature trees can be seen here, like this Sycamore with it's shaggy bark.

The Arboretum sits on land that was once the path of the Red River over 100,000 years ago.  The route the river carved can still be seen on some of the trails.

But if you aren't into grand and elaborate, how about small and delicate?

Of course, the wetland area is always my favorite.  It is seasonally wet.  This time around there was very little water.  But we had fun trying to identify critters by their tracks.

We saw deer tracks, wild hog tracks, racoon tracks...

Oh, and this guy.
A Cottonmouth just waiting.
We seem to end up here in the Fall.

I've always wanted to visit the Arboretum in the Spring when the irises (my favorite flower) are blooming in the wetlands.

This time of year, I'll settle for another one of my favorites: American Beautyberry (Calicarpa americana).

More pictures from the Louisiana Arboretum

Oct 26, 2014

See Ya in the Gumbo # 156 {potluck}

Sunday means Gumbo!
My great grandpa said See ya in the gumbo! 
instead of "good-bye."
It means see ya out there in the mix.

Gumbo is a mix of various ingredients.  
And no two people make it the same way.
To "make a gumbo" means much more than cooking.  When someone says "I'm making a gumbo," it means family and friends are invited.

I invite you to join this POTLUCK PARTY every Sunday night.
Bring whatever mix of ingredients you'd like.

Ms. enPlace

Top Five Features
(based on your clicks)

   Jalapeno Bacon Popper Dip   
from The Rebel Chick
Jalapeno Bacon Popper Dip Recipe   

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes  
from Bizzy Bakes
Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes   from Bizzy Bakes

from My Sister's Pantry
Picadillo  from My Sister's Pantry    

Pumpkin Pie with Grain Free Crust
from Gluten Free A-Z
gluten free pumpkin pie  

Chicken Carbonara Tortellini Soup
from Soup Spice Everything Nice
Chicken Carbonara Tortellini Soup from Soup Spice Everything Nice

My picks...
The Southern Doctor Cocktail  
from Love Bakes Good Cakes
The Southern Doctor Cocktail is perfect for tailgating! By using Dr Pepper TEN, you have all of the flavors of this favorite drink, with less guilt and fewer calories! #drinkTEN #CollectiveBias #shop

Apple Cobbler
from Upstate Ramblings
Apple Cobbler with Biscuit Topping and Ice Cream

Greek Style Chicken Cutlet Bake
from Living the Gourmet
Living the Gourmet: Greek Style Chicken Cutlet Bake 

The Boy's picks...
Rocky Road Fudge 
from So Easy Being Green
Rocky Road Fudge

Caramel Popcorn Balls 
from Yesterfood 
Caramel Popcorn Balls  from Yesterfood  

Ghoulish Meatballs & Slime Spaghetti
from Memories by the Mile
Ghoulish Meatballs & Slime Spaghetti

* Please link your post, not your homepage*
* Link back or add my button if you'd like*
* Try to visit 2 or more participants*
* Food-related posts only, please*

If you are featured
1. Your post will be linked along with a picture on this site 
2. Your post and a picture will be pinned to the See Ya In the Gumbo Potluck--Featured Recipes board 
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Oct 21, 2014

Vegetable Fried Rice

When you live in rice-growing country, you're bound to have a lot of leftover rice hanging out in the fridge.

One of my favorite things to do with leftover rice: fried rice.

I'm no fried rice expert.  What I do isn't authentic.
I use frozen mixed vegetables after all.

Vegetable Fried Rice | Ms. enPlace

But I am certain that the best kind of rice to use for fried rice is the leftover kind.
Save those little bits of leftovers in the freezer until they pile up and fall on your toes when you open the door.

Vegetable Fried Rice | Ms. enPlace

Vegetable Fried Rice is good for making big batches to take to work for lunches.  It's also good for meatless night.

Sometimes I make Vegetable Fried Rice along with Crab Rangoon for an Asian night.
(Doubly insulting to Asian food purists, I'm sure.)

My version is pretty easy since it uses frozen mixed vegetables and leftover rice.

My "secret ingredient" is fish sauce.  It is so powerfully, horribly stinky.  But it adds something you can't put your finger on.  (Your nose, yes.  But not your finger.)  However if you don't have it or can't find it, it isn't the end of the world.

Print It!

Vegetable Fried Rice

4-5 cups cooked rice (leftover, cold rice is best)
3 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (mix of corn, carrots, green beans, peas)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Whisk together the eggs, green onion, and garlic in a bowl.  Heat the butter in a large skillet until foamy.  Scramble the egg mixture, breaking the egg up into small pieces.  Remove from skillet.

Add the vegetable oil to the skillet set on medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add the rice and "fry" for about 10 minutes.  Make sure to stir the rice to coat with oil.

Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, vegetables, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until vegetables are heated through.

 More with leftover rice...
Dirty Rice | Ms. enPlace
Shrimp Creole Calas | Ms. enPlace
Calas | Ms. enPlace

Linking with:

My Pinterventures The YUCK Stops Here
Feeding Big The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Lou Lou Girls I party and get pinned at Tasty Tuesdays on Anyonita Nibbles Full Time Mama
Two Little Cavaliers Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
My Turn for us
Weekend Bites