Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Spring Fling with the Darling Bakers!

Bluebonnets, wortham lake 011

My favorite time of year is Spring.   It’s a short season in Texas, and we spend as many evenings outside before the 90’s are upon us – that’s temperature and humidity, and voracious mosquitoes!   It’s time to admire the wildflowers, in particular the bluebonnets that line our highways and carpet the landscape.  The pictures above and below were taken by the lake in my neighborhood. 

Bluebonnets, wortham lake 051

I can’t resist the profusion of color and aromas that seem to appear overnight in our garden.  The grass is suddenly greener, the crepe myrtles leaf out quietly and the azalea bushes are a burst of color, alas, for only a couple of weeks.   Let’s see what’s blooming in my garden this Spring.

Here are blooms from our Formosa azalea:garden, march 09 002

The delicate flowers of the African Iris plant dangles upon long stems:garden, march 09 010

This Firecracker plant lives up to it’s name:garden, march 09 013

The Mexican flame vine attracts bees, butterflies and birds.  This makes Husbie very happy!   He plants native species in order to attract small, interesting critters around the yard.garden, march 09 024

A busy bee on the Meyer lemon blossoms.  It didn’t take long, did it?lemon blossoms and bee

A Monarch butterfly caterpillar chilling on the Plumeria:garden, march 09 047

A variety of vegetables and herbs, now planted in the garden.  This makes moi very happy!garden, march 09 019

 A fig lover’s delight!  Makes moi so happy I can hardly bear it! garden, march 09 027

Mexican (Key) lime blossoms – I know what you’re thinking!Lime blossoms 004

The elegant Calla Lily:garden, march 09 048

Cat’s whiskers!Back Yard Spring 08 005

And finally, a fabulous Knockout rosebush that blooms all year and never fails to impress:Flower

a darling baker

I am honored to belong to a group of lovely ladies called the ‘Darling Bakers’.   I’ve been getting to know them on another website, and boy are they a talented and interesting lot.  Our theme this month is ‘Spring Fling’.

One of the things I look forward to in the Spring is fresh, ripe, sweet strawberries.  For this occasion, I would like to share with you my recipe for Muesli, which includes a healthy portion of them.

Years ago, when I first moved to Houston, I enjoyed muesli at Marshall-Field’s department store in the Galleria.  A German woman who worked in the little cafe made it and she called it Birchmuesli.  I tried to coax the recipe out of her but all she offered were vague instructions on how to prepare it.  I immediately began experimenting, and my latest version is right on!  I’ve included variations for you to experiment with.


This recipe makes a healthy and delicious breakfast.  It combines raw oats with crushed pineapple, nuts and fresh fruit.  You can adjust the proportions to suit your taste.  Begin the night before you plan to eat it. 


Serves 2

1 cup raw oats (not minute or instant)

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in it’s own juice (you will use the pineapple and the juice)

2-4 tablespoons plump raisins, cranberries, dried blueberries, dried cherries, or a combination.

2-4 tablespoons cream, half and half, milk or yoghurt.  The cream will make it rich and creamy – go for it!

2 teaspoons brown sugar (or honey), optional

1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds, toasted

fresh fruit of your choice, cut into bite-sized pieces - strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, peaches, raspberries, blackberries

The night before you plan to eat the muesli, combine the oats, crushed pineapple and its juice, and dried berries in a bowl until well mixed.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.


The next morning add the cream, half and half, milk or yoghurt to loosen the mixture.  It should be easy to stir but not too thin.  Add the sugar (optional), chopped nuts and fresh fruit.  Enjoy!




  1. Love your garden photos, Dragana! I'll have to make sure I get out and get some shots of the bluebonnets this year here in Dallas. It's such a short season of beautiful blue blooms, isn't it?!

    Thank you for the muesli recipe. One question - what size can of crushed pineapple did you use when making the muesli? I'd love to make it myself!

    Thanks, Dragana. It's always a joy to visit your blog! :D

  2. Oh, The Darling Bakers... I thought it was misspelled (The Daring Bakers...:)
    Well, they seem an interesting lot worth of checking.:)
    Beautiful photos. I loved the caterpillar one and the fig made me smile.

  3. Lori, thanks for bringing my mistake to my attention! It's the small can (8 oz). Hope you find some good bluebonnet fields. We must meet sometime!

  4. cuisine by monsoon...one day I may accidently misspell one for the other baking group! Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  5. Hey, Drag! You have all that in your garden. Your nosy neighbor has never noticed, but I have no green thumb, so all I saw was lush green. Hhhhmmmm, I may have to go borrow some stuff. Also, can you toast the oats before you soak them overnight? I want to try this, but I want to try toasted oats if it will work. Did you put apples in yours? Also, I REALLY have to go get the kids pics taken with the Bluebonnets before they disappear! I guess today is out of the question with all the rain.

  6. Gabe's Girl,
    You to the lake NOW before the bbonnets are gone. They are fantastic and very dense - I've never seen it like that before.
    I'm sure you can toast the oats - it will add to the nutty flavor.
    I love apples and always put them in my muesli - I love the crunch!

  7. I love the Muesli recipe :)I've left you awards on my blog, check it out :)

  8. Your photos are fantastic, Dragana. I love the shot of the strawberry with it's little green seeds... and the flowers, sigh.

    Great looking muesli. That's the right way to start the day to be sure.

  9. Beautiful photos. So perfect. Thanks for the little lift.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous photos Dragana! I love bluebonnets ~ I wish we had them here, that color fills me with happiness. Beautiful flowers from your gardens, too.

    Your Muesli recipe is a must try (I wish I had a bowl of it right now, with some of those juicy, ruby strawberries.)

    Lovely, lovely post ~ as always. :) xo~m.

  11. Wow!! What a beautiful pictures, I like it.. and i also like the garden photo..
    Thank you for the muesli recipe.


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