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Summer Kitchen Refresh

The beginning of June seems like the appropriate time to do a summer kitchen refresh.  To lighten things up a bit, I added some faux citrus. 

The small PB lemon tree (Amazon version here) went into a cute white basket and on top of my pet feed cabinet and under my beautiful Buc-ees chicken.  BTW, I need a trip to Texas so I can get my Buc-ee’s fix.

It appears PB no longer sells citrus and their faux plants are unbeatable.  I’ll link Amazon’s plants in case you’re interested.

I replaced the faux olive branches in my kitchen table vase with lemon and orange branches.

Sorry for the poor picture quality, but the early morning light streaming in added to the cheery feeling and I wanted to share that.

Summer Winds Nursery

My patio pots got a summer refresh this week too.  A trip to Summer Winds Nursery was in order.  The plants they sell are raised in Arizona and not California, so they are used to our harsher weather and do better.

I read something catchy for potted plant design:  “Thriller + Filler + Spiller”  That describes what I like perfectly.

The pickings are slim for plants that can take full afternoon sun, but I managed to get:

  • Zinnias (filler and a bit of thriller)
  • Vinca (filler)
  • Portulaca (spiller)
  • Gopher Purge (thriller) – this plant is supposed to scare off gophers, but I liked it’s unusual shape
  • Lisianthus (thriller)

Sweet potato vines were planted about a month or so ago and are doing great.  I wanted a few more but the ones at the nursery were all large (and quite expensive).

And speaking of expensive.  Ah hem.  I don’t even want to tell you how much money this less-than-one-flat of plants cost.  Yikes.

A six-pack of sweet potato vines should do the trick to fill out my pots.  As soon as I find that and they look a little fuller, I’ll post a pic.

What I’m Reading

Besides getting my fingers dirty, I did some reading and read South Phoenix Rules by Jon Talton.  The mystery and characters were good, but the background narrative was repetitive.  Since it takes place in Phoenix, I liked hearing about places and streets that are familiar.

It’s a short read and if you’re a local I recommend it, but otherwise, move along.

I purchased this book for $1 at Rusty’s Resale Boutique.  Again, if you’re a local, GO TO THIS STORE.  It’s great.  Bonus:  the proceeds support their senior dog rescue.

I’m going to do a post featuring Rusty’s and show you my thrifting treasures.

What I’m Eating

This week I made a side dish I call Amish Vegetables because the first time I tried the combination was at an Amish restaurant in Indiana.

Of course you can use any veggies you have in the fridge.  I had an ear of corn that I don’t usually add to this basic recipe.  I broke it into pieces and let it steam with everything else.  Yummmmm.

Here is what I do:

Amish Vegetables

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


  • ½ diced onion I used a sweet and mild Vidalia
  • 1 stalk diced celery
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • ½ cup chopped fresh broccoli
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cauliflower
  • ½ cup chopped cabbage
  • shredded cheese to top optional
  • Any other fresh vegetable you have on hand and want to add


  • Spray large steaming pot with olive or avocado oil and heat on medium high. Sauté onion and celery until soft.
  • Add carrot and sauté for a minute or two.
  • Add a small amount of water to the pot in order to steam and not boil the vegetables.
  • Add all vegetables except cabbage. When the broccoli starts to turn bright green, add the cabbage and steam for another minute or two.
  • Add shredded cheese to individual servings.

Wrap Up

Our summer plans are undeveloped but I’m dying to hear what yours are.  I hope your weekend is good and filled with sweet early summer sunshine.

God bless.

2 Comment

  1. What a fun post, Corine! I love the faux mini lemon tree, and those veggies look delicious and so pretty! Miss you, friend <3.

  2. Your house always looks so beautiful, Corine! Saw lots of real lemon trees while in Italy. 🤗🇮🇹

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