I have a confession to make – I don’t do yard work.
I do not have a green thumb and I don’t like manual labor. There I’ve said it – I feel much better.
My husband is the only one who works in the yard – year round. I often tell him that if he married me to do yard work, he married the wrong chick!
During Spring Break, Steve was constantly working in the pool yard. Trimming trees and shrubs, and even cutting down a few that were out of control was a daily event. I can’t count how many truckloads of limbs he hauled away. Then there was the poison ivy issue. I have never had poison ivy, but it looks extremely painful. Refer to first paragraph as to why I have never suffered from poison ivy.
I do enjoy preparing my outdoor pots with blooming plants getting ready for spring and summer. I even water them first thing every morning. Of course by the end of August I am praying for them to just go ahead and die to relieve me of my watering duty. School has started by then and our lifestyle changes drastically.
When I was a little girl, my Mamaw had pots of petunias on her front porch. We would water them together in the afternoons. She would pull the dead blooms off every day and she called it “washing their faces”. Petunias are one of my favorite choices to plant and I seem to have pretty good luck with them. I always think of her when I water my plants.
Another reason I don’t do yard work is due to the fact that Steve really doesn’t want me to work in the yard. After we had moved into our first home, I decided one day in a moment of weakness – and love for my husband, that I needed to help him with mowing the yard. He was farming at the time and was constantly working with irrigation during a very dry summer. The fact that the yard needed mowing was driving him crazy and I thought I would surprise him when he arrived home that night with a freshly mowed lawn.
I remember thinking that it couldn’t be that hard to do and any idiot can jump on a riding lawn mower and mow a yard. Well, I was wrong. After meticulously mowing and watching to cut just the way he did, I was almost through after 2 hours of work. As he pulled in the driveway, he was laughing and motioning for me to stop. He told me that if I would put the blade down it would cut a lot better! After thanking me for my thoughtful gesture, he asked me to please never, ever try to mow his yard again and under no circumstances was I to ever touch the weed-eater.
As springtime arrives, my thoughts turn to salads. Hope you enjoy today’s variations of layered salads. They look beautiful in a clear glass bowl or a trifle dish for a different look. Thanks for reading.
3 (6 oz.) pkg. cornbread mix
5 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 (1 oz.) pkg. ranch dressing mix
¼ cup buttermilk
4 tsp. fresh lime juice, divided
2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 (15 oz.) cans whole corn, drained
1 (24 oz.) pkg. thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 (16 oz.) sour cream
1 (1.25 oz.) pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Prepare cornbread according to package directions for 2 (8 inch) pans. Let cool completely and cut into ½ inch cubes.
In a medium bowl, combine avocados, ranch mix, buttermilk and 2 tsp. of the lime juice; mash with a potato masher until almost smooth.
In a large serving bowl, place cornbread cubes. Top with avocado mixture, beans, and the next 3 ingredients.
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, taco seasoning mix, and remaining lime juice; spread over bacon. Top with tomatoes and green onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
LAYERED TACO SALAD
1 (9 ¼ oz.) bag corn chips
1 head Iceberg lettuce, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 (15 oz.) can chili beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
In a large serving bowl, layer corn chips, lettuces, beans, corn, cheese, tomato, and green onion. Serve with Sweet and Tangy Dressing.
Sweet and Tangy Dressing
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Store, covered, in refrigerator.
*This is very much like bottled Catalina dressing. You can easily substitute that for Sweet and Tangy Dressing.
SEVEN LAYER SALAD
5 cups chopped green leaf lettuce
2 cups, seeded, chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped yellow bell pepper
1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups chopped radishes
2 cups diced, seedless cucumber
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Crumbled cooked bacon
Seven Layer Salad Dressing
In a large glass bowl, layer, lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, peas, radishes, and cucumber. Top with salad dressing, spreading to edges to seal. Garnish with shredded cheese and bacon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Seven Layer Salad Dressing
2 cups mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients and mix well.