Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sunny Sheila and Grilling Favorites

Proven Sections by PW - Osteospermums / Sunny Shelia Photo by ME!

The photo above is a variety I have been putting in my front porch containers since 2004. Every year I try a different color of this species and every year I get the same results. The bloom is fabulous and eye catching in the greenhouse early May. That is usually when I decided to use it in my container designs. The flower coming from this majority of petals display rich tones of orange and pink. By late July it needs a 'cut back because it has grown to 18" or more. I am just noticing that it states in the Growing NOTES: Deadheading not necessary for continuous bloom. Plants will "bury their dead" (new flowers will quickly cover old flowers) so no deadheading necessary.
I use 20-20-20 fertilizer in this mostly sun container. Two weeks into August and the plant has yet to bloom again. The description from Proven Winners says 'fall' so maybe it will bloom again later in the season. I will keep fertilizing and pampering and we will see what happens.

I also wanted to mention an article I was reading in my May 2008 SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine early this morning. My husband and I have been talking about having a get together this weekend with friends. The weather is expected to be refreshing after the heat we were enduring earlier in the month. Even if we don't have a party I am looking forward to using the following recipes and would like to share them with you because they are a part of the summer garden entertaining.

Getting the party started with these fabulous Stuffed Pepper Appetizers because the peppers are abundant in the Veggie Patch these days. The recipe from the link above :

Grilled Stuff Peppers
2 pt. miniature sweet peppers
12 to 14 hickory-smoked bacon slices
1 (8-oz.) container garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese
8 (5- x 3-inch) disposable aluminum loaf pans

1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Cut 1/2 inch from stem end of each pepper. Remove and discard seeds and membranes.

2. Cut bacon slices in half crosswise. Microwave, in 2 batches, at HIGH 90 seconds or until bacon is partially cooked.

3. Spoon cheese into a 1-qt. zip-top plastic bag. (Do not seal.) Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe cheese into cavity of each pepper, filling almost full.

4. Place 1 bacon half over cut side of each pepper, securing with a wooden pick.

5. Carefully cut 3 (1-inch) holes in bottom of each loaf pan. Turn pans upside down; place peppers, cut sides up, in holes in pans.

6. Grill peppers, in pans, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 6 to 8 minutes or until bottoms of peppers are charred and bacon is crisp.

Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 4. Cover and chill peppers 4 hours. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Yield: Makes about 24

Another Yummy must add to the grilling experience is the Panzanella Salad. I have copied the recipe below for easy reference but feel free to visit the page for more details.

Panzanella Salad
1 (12- to 16-oz.) ciabatta or Italian bread loaf
12 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved and sliced
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh basil
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Cut bread loaf into 8 (1-inch-thick) slices; cut slices in half, if desired.

2. Drizzle tomatoes and onion with 2 Tbsp. oil, tossing to coat.

3. Grill tomatoes and onion, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until lightly charred.

4. Coarsely chop grilled tomatoes and onion, and place in a medium bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. oil, cucumber, and next 3 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Brush bread slices with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Grill, without grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and toasted.

6. Place grilled bread slices on individual serving plates; top with tomato mixture.

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Enjoy your day in th Garden!

1 comment:

joey said...

I have never had luck with Osteospermums perhaps because I usually use them in pots and I am gone so much in the summer, I often loose them to draught. Count me in for the 'Panzanella Salad' ... tomatoes are reaching their peek here and I plan to make this soon. Enjoy your weekend with friends. We are at the lake and entertaining also, grasping the remains of the waning summer. Enjoying your 'cool' music for 'hot' summer nights :)