Manitoba Sky Monday, January 30/17

Last week's sky had some amazing clouds!
I took these over the course of a few days...
starting on Wednesday.


January Journal

 The month of January has brought us everything from blizzard conditions with high winds and blowing snow, to frigid temperatures dipping down to - 47 with the windchill, to balmy spring time weather, bright blue skies, and then rain and fog. Only in Manitoba, eh?

Garden Arbour in the snow


Manitoba Sky Monday, January 23/17

The sky was as beautiful as the weather this week...





Hot Taco Dip Recipe

 This oven baked taco dip is a great dish to bring to any get together, or just for a treat at home! The recipe is flexible, so you can adjust it to your own taste.

Recipe and Instructions

1 pkg. cream cheese
2 cups (500 ml)cottage cheese
Heat and mix well
Spread in  9 x 13 baking dish.

Top with:
1/2 pkg of taco seasoning
chopped green pepper
chopped green onion
chopped tomato
chopped black olives
chopped jalapeno peppers

Top with:

salsa (1-2 cups as desired)
grated marble cheese
remaining taco seasoning

Heat in oven for 20 minutes at 350 F.

Stir and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!


Manitoba Wildlife

 This is Part 2 of a series of posts featuring the photography of Brent Sharp. Spending time in our beautiful Manitoba Parks, as well as some northern communities, have provided Brent with an opportunity to photograph some of our wildlife.


Manitoba Sky Monday, January 16/17

Another week of Manitoba skies...one sunrise among the sunsets.

Another January sunset

I love the pink skies in the morning, and the moon just made this one better.


Puzzle In a Minute

  If you had a choice between a 3,000 piece puzzle with a picture of animals in a jungle, and a 1,500 piece Cottage Garden puzzle, which would you choose?  Earlier this month, I asked readers on my FB page to help me decide which puzzle I should work on. Guess which one I chose?


Bean Soup Recipe

  Looking for a hearty and filling soup to warm you up on these cold winter days? I've heard that January is national soup month, so what better time to share this bean soup recipe? 

6 bean soup

 You can use any beans you like...I wouldn't normally have this many varieties of beans in my pantry, but my son worked for a bean co op, where farmers brought in truck loads of beans to ship. One of the perks of his job was cheap beans, so he brought me home several bags!

6 varieties of beans

Bean soup ingredients

  This is the recipe I used for bean soup gift jars, so I've made it simple, with a small spice pack included, and with ingredients most people will have on hand. Of course it can be adjusted to your own taste, by adding whatever spices you like, and fresh garlic could be used instead of garlic powder.

You can also prepare this soup with or without meat, but we prefer it with pork.

Bean soup Ingredients and directions
Soup Ingredients & Directions

1.Wash beans and soak overnight

2. Drain and rinse

3. Place beans in slow cooker
    6 cups water, 
    1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, 
    1/2 c chopped onions
    1/2 c chopped celery
    2 tbs onion soup mix
    1 tsp garlic powder
    *optional seasonings
    *Bacon/pork if desired

4. Cook 7-8 hrs on high

Enjoy a bowl of bean soup
And enjoy!


Manitoba Sky Monday, Jan.9/17

Again, I haven't managed to get many sky photos, 
But even in January, you can't beat a sunrise or sunset!

January sunrise

January Sunset

Sunset across frozen fields


Finding My Niche; What's In a Name?

   One of the first things bloggers are told to do is find their niche, and figure out who their audience is. Hmmmm....I have a blog called Manitoba Gardens that's a lot like Canadian Tire...we're so much more than our names convey! If you're not familiar with the Canadian Tire store, judging by their name, you would think they sell only tires. But no, they sell just about everything from hardware to sporting goods, and yes, tires! Manitoba Gardens has been around for so many years....although mainly as a tribute to Dad, and the garden he and Mom created together...so changing the name of my blog just didn't seem like a good idea. But at the same time, Manitoba Gardens doesn't really tell readers what we're about.... So, what is my niche? Who do I write for?  Who is my 'tribe'? And how do I figure this out?
 What's In a Name