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動態 (42)
莹723
01月25日
莹723
These low-light varieties won't want anything to do with your already crowded windowsill. 1.Calathea Its patterned leaves (in colors like rose, white, and yellow) makes this plant a welcome addition to any room — and too much direct light might actually fade its lovely markings.
2.Dieffenbachia Filtered light is best for this plant. Try using a curtain as a barrier between it and the sun, especially during the the spring and summer when the plant is producing new, tender leaves.
3.Dragon Tree Spiky leaves that grow upwards and have a red outline makes the name of this plant absolutely perfect. But direct sunlight could damage them – so give this guy some sun and some shade.
4.Spider Plants This plant's adaptability makes it super easy to grow and therefore quite popular — it's also easy to propagate and share with others. It can stand up to a lot of neglect, and will thrive in indirect light.
5.Heart-Leaf Philodendron The sweetheart plant (a nickname given because of the shape of its glossy leaves) can stand dim rooms, but requires pinching to prevent it from growing in long, single stems.
6.Bromeliads Didn't expect to find a tropical plant on this list? This houseplant can actually survive on florescent light alone and thrives in humid conditions like bathrooms.
7.Peace Lily If you often forget to water your plants, pick up one of these low-maintenance ones: It actually needs to dry out between waterings, meaning you can wait longer.
8.Chinese Evergreen Since this plant is one of the most durable indoor plants (it does quite well in low light) and only needs to be fertilized once or twice a year, it's ideal for beginner gardeners.
9.Snake Plant While the name is fun, this succulent is pretty tame when it comes to maintenance. More light will help it grow, but it can tolerate darkness—just watch out for root rot caused by overwatering.
10.Cast-Iron Plant The leathery leaves on this houseplant are super tolerant not only to low light but also heat, cold, you name it. However, patience is required as it grows super slowly.
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莹723
01月20日
莹723
Poison Garden, the deadliest garden in the world. This is one garden where you won't want to pick any flowers—unless you have a death wish. Located at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England, this lush, green gated patch is home to over 95 plants, all of which can kill you.
"We obviously have to maintain the garden, so we have to tend to the plants, and when we do that we have to be very careful of the way we operate, so we have to cover some of our skin when we deal with particularly dangerous plants," head gardener Trevor Jones said. What's the story behind the Poison Garden, which opened in 2005? After visiting a similar one in Padua, Italy built by the Medici family, the Duchess of Northumberland decided that she wanted to start her own, since it was more interesting than your standard herb garden.
Here are some of the plants you would find in the Poison Garden, if you dared to enter: 1.GIANT HOGWEED This plant can grow up to 14 feet or more, and can cause severe skin irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and even blindness.
2.ACONTIUM Beautiful, right? But beware. These poisonous flowers were once used as poisonous arrows by the Aleuts of Alaska's Aleutian Islands for hunting whales. They also have a long history of killing enemies in battle by being used on spears and arrows.
3.ARUM MACULATUM These flowers have needle-shaped crystals which irritate the skin, mouth, tongue and throat. They have the ability to swell the throat, making it hard to breathe and causing burning pain and an upset stomach. This plant also acts as an insect trap, with its fecal odor (charming!) and warm temperatures.
4.DATURA FLOWERS These plants are known for causing delirious states and death. So, if you're planning to visit Alnwick Castle (fun fact: it served as the setting for Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films) you can enter the Poison Garden if you dare—just be sure not to touch, taste, or even smell the plants (yes, visitors have fainted from inhaling toxic fumes before). "People think we're being overdramatic when we talk about not smelling the plants, but I've seen the health and safety reports," the Duchess said.
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莹723
01月18日
莹723
Sowing seeds is a economical way to enjoy a supply of veg and flowers for many months of the year. Different seeds need sowing at different times of year, either inside or outside, and some can be sowed successionally over several months to avoid gluts and ensure continuous harvests.
Give your seeds the right amount of heat, light and moisture, and they will germinate successfully. But there are some important rules to remember, including include good hygiene, using fresh seed and compost and good soil preparation. Here’s our month-by-month guide to sowing seeds. 1.January January is a good time to order seeds for the year ahead. If your green fingers are itching and you have a polytunnel, greenhouse or a heated propagator, you could start sowing tender crops, such as chillies, that need a long growing season. You could also sow garlic outside. Also sow sweet peas, plus microgreens on a windowsill. Sow now Veg: Microgreens, chillies, aubergines and peppers plus tomatoes under cover; garlic outside Flowers: Sweet peas, under cover
2.February You can begin or continue to sow tender crops such as tomatoes, chillies, aubergines and peppers, plus some hardy crops and hardy annuals such as sweet peas. You could also get a head start on peas, sown under cover in guttering. If you’re super keen you could have a go at sowing perennials. A propagator is ideal if you have one, though a warm, bright windowsill is fine, too. You can also sow garlic. Sow now Veg: Spinach, peas and broad beans (under cover), plus chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines, under cover. Plus garlic outside. Flowers: sweet peas and perennials
3.March As the days lengthen and become warmer, you can begin sowing hardy annual flowers and crops outside. If the weather is still cold, warm the soil with polythene before sowing and protect seedlings with cloches or horticultural fleece. You can also start sowing half-hardy annuals and continue to sow tomatoes, chillies and aubergines under glass. Towards the end of the month you can plant out first early seed potatoes. Sow now Veg: Aubergines, chillies and tomatoes (under cover), broad beans, peas, beetroot, Swiss chard, radish, kale, spinach, spring onions, first early potatoes (outdoors), plus shallot and onion sets and salad leaves (protect under fleece or a cloche) Flowers: Cosmos, nicotiana, cleome, nasturtium, cornflowers, marigold (Calendula officinalis), clarkia, cerinthe, morning glory and more
4.April Seed sowing begins in earnest in April, now that the days are longer and warmer, and many crops can be sown outside. More tender crops such as runner beans or courgettes still need to be sown under glass, either in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill. You can also plant out second early potatoes in early to mid-April and maincrop seed potatoes in mid to late-April, onion and shallot sets and garlic and Jerusalem artichokes. Sow now Veg: including aubergines, chillies and tomatoes, plus courgettes, squashes, pumpkins, marrows and leeks under cover. Beetroot, carrot, celeriac, peas, radish, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, broad beans, spring onions, second early and maincrop seed potatoes. Flowers: Nicotiana, cosmos, morning glory and many more
5.May With the risk of frost gone, most seeds can now be directly sown outdoors, including more tender crops such as runner beans and courgettes towards the end of the month. You can also sow half hardy annuals, including sunflowers, plus make a start on sowing biennials for blooms next year. Sow now Veg: Beetroot, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peas, radish, carrots, spring onions outside; sweetcorn, cucumber, runner beans and courgettes (under cover at the beginning of the month, outside toward the end of the month) courgettes, squashes and pumpkins, under cover Flowers: Cornflower, sunflowers, outdoors; zinnias and more under cover; foxgloves, sweet rocket and wallflowers, outside or under cover
6.June Keep sowing quick growing crops such as beetroot, radishes and lettuce successionally, every week or so, for crops in a few weeks’ time. You can also sow carrots but be sure to protect sowings from carrot fly, using insect-proof mesh. Continue sowing biennials, and try sowing half-hardy annuals direct outside. You can also sow runner and French beans and courgettes direct outside for later crops. Sow now Veg: lettuce and radish every week or so, beetroot, peas, runner and French beans, spring onions, courgettes, lettuce, carrots, purple sprouting broccoli Flowers: Zinnias, foxgloves, wallflowers, cosmos, sweet rocket and more
7.July This is your last chance to sow biennials. It’s also time to make a start on sowing winter veg. It’s a good time to sow carrots to avoid carrot fly, as well as continuing with radishes, beetroot and lettuce. You can also sow runner or French beans for a late crop. If you fancy growing potatoes for Christmas, now is the time to plant some. Sow now Veg: Runner beans, Swiss chard (for crops the following spring), kale, winter cabbage, spinach, spring onions, potatoes for Christmas, radishes, beetroot, lettuce, radish Flowers: Foxgloves, wallflowers, sweet rocket
8.August You can still sow lots of crops in August, for harvests into autumn and beyond, and it’s a key month for sowing winter crops. Discover some winter veg crops to sow in August. Continue to sow fast-growing crops such as radish, between slower-growing crops. Sow now Veg: Lettuce (keep out of the glare of direct sun), rocket, spring onion, radish, plus winter salads, including mibuna, mizuna, mustard leaf and lamb’s lettuce.
9.September Now is the time to start sowing hardy annuals for early summer flowers next year. Some, such as Ammi majus, do better from an autumn sowing. You can sow leafy veg such as spinach, plus winter salads and quick-growing crops such as radish. Sow now Veg: Spinach, winter salads, radish Flowers: Ammi majus and other hardy annuals
10.October You can sow peas (protect from mice) and garlic outdoors. It’s also a great time to start sowing sweet peas for early flowers next summer. Still time to sow winter salads such as Japanese and Chinese salad leaves, corn salad, mustard and more. Sow now Veg: Winter salads, peas, garlic Flowers: Sweet peas
11.November You can sow broad beans now for an early crop next year. Garlic, onions and shallots can also be sown at this time of year. You can also sow sweet peas for early flowers next summer. Sow now Veg: Garlic, onions, shallots, broad beans Flowers: Sweet peas
12.December Seed sowing in unlikely to be on your mind at this time of year, but garlic is traditionally sown on the shortest day of the year. Microgreens can be sown and grown year round for an intense pop of flavour. You can also sow sweet peas. Sow now Veg: Garlic, microgreens Flowers: Sweet peas
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莹723
01月13日
莹723
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is one of the easiest hardy annual flowers to grow, producing masses of vividly coloured blooms through summer and autumn. They’re perfect for growing with children. Nasturtiums come in both bushy and climbing varieties, which makes them splendidly versatile. Some varieties have attractively marbled or mottled leaves. Nasturtiums not only look spectacular but the flowers, leaves and seeds are edible too. Bees love the colourful nasturtium blooms, and caterpillars of the large and small white butterflies feed on the leaves. Being annuals, nasturtiums complete their lifecycle in one growing season.
——How to grow nasturtiums Nasturtiums are ideal for lots of different sunny spots around the garden, including pots. Climbing varieties of nasturtium can be trained up vertical supports and are great to twine through other plants too. Nasturtiums that are climbers can also be used as trailers – to spread across gravel or cascade down a slope or bank. Free-draining soil is essential for nasturtiums and, unlike many other flowers, they thrive on poor soils.
——Where to grow nasturtiums Nasturtiums must have sun for at least half the day in order to grow well and do best in sites sheltered from winds. A free-draining soil is essential, and nasturtiums flower best in poor soils (that are low in fertility) as a fertile soil results in lots of leafy growth at the expense of flowers. Hence there’s no need to add fertilizer before sowing. Nasturtiums do well in gravelly or stony ground or growing on banks. In containers, mix two-thirds peat-free multi-purpose compost with one third fine gravel or grit, to reduce fertility and ensure good drainage.
——How to plant nasturtiums For best results, sow nasturtium directly where they are to flower, as they’re fast-growing and there’s no need to bother about transplanting. Sow the seed 1.5 cm deep into moist soil to speed germination, so water before planting if conditions are dry. The first seeds can be sown in mid-spring and you can carry on sowing until mid-summer to ensure flowers right up to the first frosts. Thin the seedlings to 30 cm apart. However, sowing in pot also works – simply sow one seed per pot and transplant outside when all risk of frost has passed.
——How to care for nasturtiums Nasturtiums are easy-care and need little maintenance. Plants growing in containers should be watered to keep the compost evenly moist, but not fed. Removing the dead flower heads of nasturtiums will encourage more blooms to be produced for a longer period. ——How to propagate nasturtiums Nasturtium seeds can be collected when ripe and saved to sow next year. In mild areas, nasturtiums are also likely to self-sow, so you may get seedlings springing up in future years. These can be easily pulled up if not wanted.
——How to harvest and use nasturtiums Nasturtium leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible. The flowers make a brightly coloured garnish to salads and other uncooked dishes. Nasturtium leaves have a peppery taste and should be picked when young to incorporate in salads. Nasturtium seeds can be used as a substitute for capers and should be picked when mature but still green, for pickling in vinegar.
——Growing nasturtiums: problem solving Nasturtiums are likely to attract large and small white butterflies (known as cabbage white butterflies) which lay their large greenish eggs on the leaf undersides, which hatch into caterpillars that eat the leaves. This can be useful to deter caterpillars from eating brassica crops but not desirable if you’re growing nasturtiums for flowers. The best method of control is to inspect plants regularly and squash the eggs or young caterpillars, or move them on to plants you don’t mind being eaten. Nasturtiums are also attractive to aphids, particularly blackfly. By planting nasturtiums alongside bean crops you can lure aphids away from your crop, but you may not appreciate aphids on nasturtiums you’re growing for leaves and flowers. Spray them off with a jet of water or let ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings remove them for you – all three lay their eggs on aphid colonies and their young quickly eat them up.
——Nasturtium varieties to grow Choose from mixed flower colours or opt for individually coloured varieties to create coordinated planted schemes. • Nasturtium ‘Alaska’ – flowers in yellow, orange and red are shown off against cream and green marbled leaves. Bushy, 30 cm high. • Nasturtium ‘Empress of India’ – crimson-red flowers and dark reddish leaves. 25 cm high. • Nasturtium ‘Milkmaid’ – Creamy-white flowers on climbing/trailing stems. 180 cm high. • Nasturtium ‘Paintbox Mixed’ – a mix of brightly coloured flowers that are more upward facing and hence visible than most. 30 cm high. • Nasturtium ‘Salmon Baby’. Bright salmon pink flowers. 30 cm high. • Nasturtium ‘Tip Top Velvet’. Dark red blooms that show off well against fresh green foliage. 30 cm high. • Nasturtium ‘Trailing Mixed’, ‘Tall Mixed’. Masses of orange, yellow and red blooms on long stems that can climb or trail. 180 cm high.
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莹723
01月11日
莹723
Christmas has passed, but you don't have to pack up all your holiday decorations for the season. There are still lots of DIY winter decorations that will add festive touches to your home right on until the warmer weather. Once you’ve decided what direction to take your winter decoration ideas, you'll probably end up adding some fun winter activities to your list.
1.Yarn-Wrapped Vases Wrap plain glass vases with strands of yarn, and thread with wood knitting needles. For more textured strands, braid lengths of yarn and tie around vases. Add ranunculuses, baby’s breath, snowberries, and twigs.
2.Winterberries and Greenery One easy way to spruce up any table: Arrange winterberries and evergreen branches in a galvanized bucket. Here, a simple garland also adds a wintery touch to a country hutch.
3.Wintery Wreath A simple wreath of pine cones, fresh greenery, and a few white flowers makes a versatile piece you can showcase above a fireplace all winter long.
4. Wintertime Porch Decor An evergreen tree, branches, and berries make for a merry welcome when styled in vintage galvanized buckets. You can even save a few bucks by using actual sleds instead of props.
5.Stoneware Crock Decoration This bundle of birch logs, berries, and Christmas tree clippings will look perfect in the foyer. Add a string of lights for extra sparkle.
6.Snowy Pinecone Candle Jars Snow texture paint, pinecones, Mason jars, and twine come together to create DIY winter luminaries.
7.Birch Candles Want to add some oomph to an empty space? Create a cluster of birch candlestick holders and place on a hutch or entryway table.
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莹723
01月06日
莹723
For some plants, including tropical crops like chillies and aubergines, an early start is the best way you’ll get them to produce a worthwhile crop. However, early seed sowing will require some patience. Low light levels and high temperatures indoors can produce weak seedlings, prone to ‘damping off’. Prevent issues by thoroughly cleaning everything that will come into contact with seeds or seedlings. Use good peat-free seed compost – it’s worth spending a bit more for a good brand.
Discover 10 seeds to sow in January, below. 1.Pelargoniums Flowers June to October/November. Sow thinly in small seed trays using seed compost + 10 per cent grit; barely bury the seeds. Temperature 24°C (75°F); germination takes 3-12 days.
2.Sweet peas Flowers May/June to August. Sow seeds 6cm deep in ‘tubes’ or 7cm pots using seed compost + 10 per cent grit. Temperature 12°C (55°F), unheated greenhouse or cold frame; germination 10-14 days.
3.Dahlias Flowers July to October/November. Sow 1-2 seeds in cells or small pots using seed compost + 10 per cent vermiculite. Temperature 18-21°C (65-70°F), germination takes approximately 5-20 days.
4.Delphinium Flowers June and July. Sow delphiniums thinly in trays of seed compost + 10 per cent vermiculite; barely cover with vermicul¬¬ite. Temperature Keep in fridge for three weeks, then 15-21°C (59-70°F); germination takes 7-28 days.
5.Basil Harvest May to October. Sow thinly on the surface of pots or trays of seed compost; cover with vermiculite. Temperature 15-25°C (59-77°F); germination takes 14-21 days depending on temperature.
6.Begonias, tuberous and bedding types Flowers July to October/November. Sow thinly on the surface in trays of seed compost with a thin layer of vermiculite. Temperature 19-24°C (66-77°F); germination slow, 15-60 days, light essential.
7.Chillies and aubergines Harvest July to October. Sow 2-3 seeds thinly per small individual pot using seed compost + 10 per cent silver sand. Cover to own depth with vermiculite. Temperature 21-27°C (70-80°F); germination 3-10 days.
8.Petunias Flowers late June to September. Sow thinly on the surface in small trays of seed compost + 10 per cent vermiculite and lightly dust with vermiculite to barely cover. Temperature 24-27°C (75-80°F); germination 14 days, light essential.
9.Iceland poppies Flowers June to October. Sow 2-3 seeds on the surface of each small individual pot of seed compost + 20 per cent fine grit. Temperature 12°C (55°F) in a cold frame; germination takes 14-21 days.
10.Coleus Foliage display June onwards. Sow thinly in pots or a tray using seed compost + 10 per cent vermiculite, covering to its own depth. Temperature 19-24°C (65-75°F); germination 10-20 days depending on temperature.
Early sowing dos and don’ts • Do clean everything that will come into contact with seeds or seedlings, including pots, dibbers and drip trays • Do use new compost. It needs to drain freely yet hold just enough moisture – peat-free seed compost is ideal • Do reserve a bright, warm windowsill for sowing, where the temperature stays fairly steady • Do sow seeds even more thinly than usual, so that seedlings will have space to grow – overcrowding will encourage damping off • Do give germinating seeds plenty of air by opening ventilators even if it seems a waste of heat • Do wipe away condensation in propagators once or twice daily • Do check seeds and seedlings daily, so that you can take remedial action before problems develop • Don’t use too much heat – results are a bit slower but there’s less risk of legginess and more damping off
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莹723
01月03日
莹723
Spring blossom is a celebration of winter’s end, and a reminder that summer is just around the corner. Pretty pink and white flowers burst into bloom, providing an early source of pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinators, before falling from their boughs like confetti. While there are many other spring-flowering shrubs and trees, it’s generally the flowers of fruiting trees belonging to the Rosaceae family including apples, cherries, peaches and pears, which are referred to as blossoms – the flowers which precede their fruit. Browse our gallery of 10 gorgeous blossoming fruit trees, below.
1.Malus ‘Royalty’ A striking upright ornamental crab apple with magenta flowers. Glossy foliage that turns deep red in autumn. The small red fruits make a fine crab apple jelly, or left alone provide a good food source for birds in winter.
2.Malus domestica ‘Arthur Turner’ One of the best flowering apples, Malus ‘Arthur Turner’ has outstanding pink flowers followed by golden apples that are excellent for cooking and baking. A large, upright tree that is suitable for training as a cordon or espalier. Three ways to train a fruit tree
3.Prunus ‘Pink Shell’ Prunus ‘Pink Shell’ is a small, spreading ornamental cherry with delicate, cup-shaped pink flowers and pale green leaves that turn orange in autumn. Excellent for early pollinators.
4.Prunus ‘Spire’ Prunus ‘Spire’ is a compact and upright ornamental cherry that produces an impressive show of pink flowers from late March. Its colourful foliage begins bronze, turning yellow and green in summer, followed by red in autumn.
5.Prunus ‘Tai-Haku’ An ancient cultivar, this great white cherry bears white blossoms much larger than most ornamental cherries, up to 6cm wide. Gorgeous bronze foliage turns green in summer. A large, wide tree that’ll need plenty of room.
6.Prunus avium ‘Regina’ An excellent variety of cherry, ‘Regina’ produces clouds of pure-white blossom in spring, followed by large, crimson cherries with superb flavour in summer. Great for a small garden.
7.Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ Reaching up to 2m, this compact ornamental cherry is ideal for a small garden. Showy white flowers blushed pink burst from attractive twisted branches. Excellent red and orange autumn colour.
8.Prunus persica ‘Avalon Pride’ The beautiful peach tree Prunus persica ‘Avalon Pride’ has showy pink flowers early in the spring season, followed by large, juicy peaches in summer. Resistant to peach leaf curl. Choose a sunny, sheltered spot for planting in autumn.
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莹723
2020年12月30日
莹723
You may love leaving your home all done up until New Year's Day or for as long as fresh greenery stays healthy. Or you may be in the camp of immediately taking your Christmas tree down on December 26. But there's actually some interesting history behind packing it up. To help you figure out when to say goodbye to your evergreen, we're breaking down everything there is to know about dismantling your Christmas tree right here.
——When do you take down your Christmas tree? Does it have to be by a certain day? Some people take their tree down the day after Christmas; others wait until the first or second week of January. There are Christmas fanatics who are willing to start decorating as soon as the plates are cleared from the Thanksgiving table (if not before then) and will do everything they can to keep their Christmas tree up for as long as possible. After all, according to experts, putting your holiday decorations up early could make you happier, so leaving them up could have the same effect.
——Is there history behind when to take down your Christmas tree? If you keep Christ in Christmas, this may inform your decision a bit. According to Catholic religion, you should hold off taking down your Christmas tree until January 7. While that might seem like a bit of a stretch, prepare to have your mind blown. Many people believe that the 12 days of Christmas are the days leading to December 25 (that’s thanks to popular songs and movies tending to misrepresent it). But in Catholicism, the 12 days actually start on December 25 and last through January 6, which is known as Epiphany (aka when the Three Wise Men came to visit Jesus). Once Epiphany is over, it’s time to toss the tree.
————When should you take down your Christmas tree to avoid a fire hazard? Here’s the kicker that’s imperative to keep in mind. If you opt for a real Christmas tree, you need to consider how long it will last before drying out. Most home and garden centers will tell you that five weeks is where it starts to become a fire hazard.
But if you want to keep your Christmas tree alive as long as you can and religiously water it every day, you can likely stretch it to a sixth week— just be sure to keep a close eye on the needles. If you notice they’re turning yellow or brown or feel crunchy to the touch, it’s time to take your Christmas tree out to the curb. If that thought shatters your heart, there’s always a solution: artificial Christmas trees or potted Christmas trees you can replant.
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莹723
2020年12月25日
莹723
The Christmas season means a lot of things: Shopping for Christmas presents, decorating the tree, watching all the Hallmark Channel movies, and spending time with family. This year, we may be spending less time with family than we'd like. But that doesn't mean that we don't still need to plan out a holiday meal.
If you're looking to make things just a little bit fancier, this is what you've been looking for. From the filet mignon main course to rich Christmas side dishes infused with tons of flavor, this menu will leave your family beyond satisfied. Appetizers:Three-Cheese Fondue INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp. olive oil 2 shallots, finely chopped 3/4 c. dry white wine 1 1/4 c. heavy cream 8 oz. cream cheese 8 oz. Gruyére, grated (about 2 cups) 6 oz. Emmenthaler, grated (about 1 1/2 cups) Pinch freshly grated nutmeg and black pepper Cable-Kint Breadsticks, for serving Roasted potatoes and Broccolini, blanched green beans, grapes, apples, and pears, for serving
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. 2. Add heavy cream, cream cheese, Gruyère, and Emmenthaler. Cook, whisking, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth (make sure not to let it stick and scorch). Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking, until steaming and pourable, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. 3. Transfer mixture to a fondue pot and serve with Cable-Knit Breadsticks, potatoes, Broccolini, green beans, grapes, apples, and pears alongside. Main Course:Filet Mignon with Shallot Butter
INGREDIENTS 2 tsp. vegetable oil 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 small shallot tsp. dried rosemary 1/4 tsp. dry red wine 2 tbsp. butter (no substitutions) 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves 2 beef tenderloin (filet mignon) steaks DIRECTIONS 1. In 10-inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium. Add shallot and rosemary; cook 2 minutes or until shallot is golden, stirring. Add wine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until most of wine has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. In small bowl, combine butter and shallot mixture. Stir in parsley. Refrigerate. 2. Wipe out skillet; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Heat on medium-high until very hot. Season steaks with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place steaks in skillet. Cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn over; cook 3 minutes or until desired doneness (145 degrees F for medium-rare). Transfer to plate; let stand 5 minutes. 3. To serve, top steaks with red wine–shallot butter. Side Dishes:Root Vegetable Gratin
INGREDIENTS 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 3 medium turnips, peeled and sliced 2 shallots, sliced 2 c. chicken stock 1 c. heavy cream 1/4 c. all-purpose flour Kosher salt black pepper 2/3 c. panko breadcrumbs 2 tbsp. olive oil 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled 1 c. chopped hazelnuts 2 tbsp. chopped rosemary DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 2. Layer sweet potato, turnips, and shallots in 8 (10-ounce) gratin dishes. Whisk together stock, cream, and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Pour cream mixture over vegetables. Bake, covered with foil, on a baking sheet, until vegetables are just tender, 40 to 45 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, combine breadcrumbs, oil, cheese, hazelnuts, and rosemary. Remove foil and top gratins with breacrumb mixture. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Dessert:Pine Tree Cake
INGREDIENTS 1 recipe Chocolate Chip Cake 1 recipe White Vanilla Frosting 1 1/2 c. white nonpareils 1 c. large flake coconut 1/2 c. each green, vibrant green, blue, and turquoise candy melts 12 (6") bamboo skewers Candy: white sprinkles, crushed white rock candy DIRECTIONS 1. Make Chocolate Chip Cake. Trim domed tops of two of the layers. Place one trimmed layer on a cake stand or serving platter and top with 2/3 cup frosting. Repeat, then place domed layer on top. Frost sides with 1 1/3 cups White Vanilla Frosting; leave top unfrosted. Chill 30 minutes. 2. Spread nonpareils on a small rimmed baking sheet. Carefully lift cake from the top and bottom and roll the sides in nonpareils to coat. Return to the cake stand or serving platter and frost the top with remaining frosting. Sprinkle coconut on top. 3. Melt candy melts in separate glass bowls in the microwave. Mix together some of the colors to make different shades of green and greenish blue. Spoon colors into separate small zip-top bags and snip a 1/8-inch hole in one corner of each bag. 4. Place bamboo skewers, 3 inches apart, on parchment- lined baking sheets. Working in a back and forth motion, drizzle melts over the skewers to create trees (be sure to leave 3 inches of the skewer uncovered). Repeat with all colors until you have 12 trees, all different sizes and colors. 5. Immediately decorate trees with candy. Chill until set, 25 to 30 minutes. 6. Gently lift trees from parchment and insert skewers into cake to create forest.
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