Thursday, April 22, 2021

VIDEO: Blue Without You + Recipe

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Life is slowly returning to my yard, and I'm astonished at the resilience of the plants that survived our horrific winter storm. The advice our local gardening expert gave to wait until May was so valuable, because plants I thought were DEAD for two months after the storm are sprouting. It's amazing to watch. 

I went from a death toll I thought included: 
  • my orange tree 
  • four HUGE ornamental gingers - one was two feet taller than our fence!
  • five blue plumbagos 
  • a butterfly bush 
  • mint 
  • catnip 
  • sage 
  • Gregg's mistflower
  • a MASSIVE selloum that has been in my yard since before we bought this house
  • wandering jew
  • my purple flowering ground cover that I don't know the name of
  • two lantanas
  • 10 monkey grass plants
  • two rosebushes
  • a newish datura
  • three blue plumbagos
  • a shrimp plant 
  • a mexican seedum
I talk about this in today's video - patience is as important as water and sunshine in your garden for sure. It hurts me to think of all the viable plants that were probably thrown out by disappointed gardeners here. Our yards have looked horrible, but to be rewarded with beautiful flowers and little green sprouts was worth that little bit of heartache. Some plants seem to have needed a freeze - like my roses and other roses on my street. 

I've been taking careful notes - I find it super interesting that this long row of trees in my neighbor's yard all died just over the fence from us, AND that a pex pipe on that wall froze and burst, nearly destroying her house and touching off a horrible series of contracting scams and insurance nightmares. So that clearly is a very cold, vulnerable space just feet from the side of our house, which is so puzzling. But it's good to note things like that, because it certainly won't be the last winter storm we have. 

I even have tomatoes already! So the storm PTSD isn't gone, but it's fading a bit. 

Literally, the second the snow melted, the first thing we saw were scads of our beloved bluebonnets, so that's the subject of today's video!

I did a loose watercolor underpainting, with detailed wet on dry painting on top of that. There are tiny bees flitting in and out of this beautiful stamp image. This set does have a coordinating die, but I didn't use it for this card because I knew I'd be painting outside the edges of the image for this project, but I did buy it. They also have a clearance sale going here, if you're over there picking bluebonnets! 

So here is today's video - come back for a delicious vegan recipe!

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Pandemic shopping is not much different for me - actually it's not different at all. I've been a passionate Instacart customer for 7 years - that's how long it's been since I've been in a grocery store. I have not only saved thousands of HOURS - which, as a self-employed person is huge - but thousands of dollars. I was so afraid I'd spend more, and I have to say I'm SHOCKED to pay about 60% of what I used to pay for groceries. Impulse buys are real, y'all. 

But pandemic availability is different. With a lot more people cooking instead of eating out, now everyone is like me - eating 100% of their meals at home, so that means I have less to choose from. Produce has seemed particularly spotty, although it's so much better than it was last year! So I've started using veggies in different ways. For example, our new salad green is cabbage! Why have I eaten lettuce for so long? Cabbage makes such a crunchy and delicious salad. So last week I had some napa cabbage and green cabbage for salads, and I decided to try some okonomiyaki, which I searched for after watching an episode of Maron's Kitchen - BTW - she looks so much like my niece!

Cabbage pancakes (okonomiyaki)  - adapted from this recipe


  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup water 

  • 1.5 Tbsp Coconut Secret Coconut aminos, more for sauce

  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

  • A few cups shredded green cabbage - I just eyeballed this. 

  • 1 carrot, grated with a microplane

  • 3 green onions, sliced

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil for frying 

  • Seasoned rice vinegar & coconut aminos for dipping sauce

Dipping sauce - 2 parts seasoned rice vinegar: 1 part coconut secret coconut aminos. Recipe called for sriracha mayo, which I don’t like and seems too heavy for this delicately flavored pancake, but you do you.


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, aminos, and sesame oil until smooth. Begin whisking in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter. 

  2. Using your finest micro plane, shred your carrot. This turns them into a fine carrot dust that just blends in and adds so much flavor.

  3. Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter and stir until the vegetables are mixed and everything is battered. This is where I just added the cabbage a bit at a time until it looked right

  4. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, the vegetable and batter mixture for the size pancake you want, flattening a bit.. The first pancake seemed to brown faster than the subsequent ones, so watch that one. Put a cover on the skillet to hold in the steam, which will help the cabbage soften as it cooks. Cook the pancake until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side. Two spatulas is a tremendous help. You might need to add oil as you fry.

  5. The pancakes are basically unseasoned, but the dipping sauce makes them perfect. If you don’t plan to use this or another dipping sauce I recommend salting your batter before adding veggies. 

Serving suggestion - I did cold peanut noodles with this peanut sauce.

These are so delicious and I've been eating them left over this week - just heat uncovered on a cookie sheet until hot. 

And I could eat cold peanut noodles daily for eternity. Have you seen these low carb noodles? I cannot tell the difference between these and regular pasta. Really awesome.

Happy Earth Day!


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  1. I love this! You make it look like maybe I can watercolor! I'm so happy that you didn't lose too many of your precious plants!

  2. What a fabulous video Lydia! Thanks for showcasing our Prickley Pear CLR222 Blue Without You Bluebonnet stamps set. ~ Sharon

  3. Your purple ground cover may be "Purple Heart". Does it bloom with little pink flowers? I love Purple Heart. I brought some back from my father-in-law's house in Florida, probably 20 years ago. Freezes back, and comes sprouts every year here in Tennessee. You can break off a piece below the joint, place in dirt, have more plants, or share with a friend.
    Diane Lee


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