13 August 2022

Savoury Cucumber Hors d'oeuvres

Hors d'oeuvres 

Hors d'oeuvres anyone?

What is a hors d'oeuvre you may well ask.

It is a small amount of food served before the main meal.

The word is French.

In English, it is known as an appetiser.

Other words used are:

finger foods

party snacks










It's now common for plates of hors d'oeuvres to be served as the primary food presented, at gatherings, parties, exhibition openings, training and work events. 

They can be elaborately fancy created from pastry with a creamy sauce filling or as simple as a cube of toast with a topping.

But as many of us are now gluten intolerant, we see more fruit and vegetables being used as the base.

A request for a recent gathering I attended was, 'Please bring a plate of finger food'.

So I created these delightful savoury cucumber hors d'oeuvres with a smoked salmon twist.

Super easy to whip up, gluten-free, keto friendly, crisp, creamy, and delicious.

Hors d'oeuvres

Cut your cucumber into rounds about 1cm in depth.

Hors d'oeuvres

Pat both sides gently with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Hors d'oeuvres

Using a pre-mixed flavoured cream cheese with garlic and chives, spread the top of each cucumber slice with a generous amount of the cheese.

Now if you cannot find a pre-made garlic and chives cream cheese spread, just whip up your own.

Hors d'oeuvres

(recipe at end of blog post)

Hors d'oeuvres

Hors d'oeuvres

Add a chunk of smoked salmon.

Hors d'oeuvres

Then a dot of aioli dressing.

Hors d'oeuvres

Onto the aioli crisis cross two small pieces of chives for a garnish. 


Cover with glad wrap plastic film, and place in refrigerator until serving.


Garlic and Chive Cream Cheese

150-gram pot of cream cheese at room temperature. 

(Philadelphia brand cheese is great).

1 clove of crushed garlic

1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh chives

Mix all ingredients together until creamy.

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


Printable recipe HERE


#cucumber #creamcheese # salmon  # Hors d'oeuvres

25 July 2022

Fragility Quote

It's been a while since I've created any photographic quotes.

This leaf embedded in the creases of the pavement stopped me in my tracks.
In its compromised state I see both beauty and fragility.


13 July 2022




Love 'em or hate 'em.

Sometimes it is a plain good ole fashion compromise when your other half loves yuccas and you simply don't.

Well, this is my situation with yuccas.

I officially sold 'Mia Bella Gardens and Homestead' to a brand new family...and now I live beside a beautiful lake.

The property here is just as beautiful as my previous home, just more of a blank canvas.

A lot has been done here since my arrival here a year and a half ago.

We have removed enormous old and dangerous trees.

The wood has been milled to be put back into the new house which will be built in the next year.

We have tidied and cleared a lot of clutter as well as created gardens and seating spaces that blend nicely with the existing cobbled courtyard (off our creative and artists workshop), brick garden retaining walls and pizza oven.

The sun during winter is lost by 3pm, and we all gravitate to the 'Top Garden' for the last of the day's sun.

This is why the mini courtyard was put here.

Now back to the yucca situation.

I am not a fan. 

I know what they do once they get their roots established if planted in the garden.

They sucker.

They grow enormous.

And eventually takeover!

If you cut them down they regrow!

So this is why the compromise happened

- not to plant them in the garden, but to make a feature of them in pots.

At least in a pot, they can be controlled a little easier.

Garden Pots
Wine barrel look-alikes.

Not wood but high density resin from recycled material that is also lightweight and UV resistant.

The brand is Northcote Pottery.

We already had a smaller set of these, so got the large size for the Yuccas.

Already in a reasonably large bucket pot, they were removed, and quite harshly root pruned by a little more than half.
This yucca is the Spanish Bayonet variety which if planted in the ground will grow 15ft (4.5 metres) and clumps that require attention to stop it from becoming too invasive.
It's interesting that the Bayonet was once used to make clothing, footwear, and baskets. 
The white bell shaped flowers were a culinary treat eaten fried or raw.
A summer flower spike can be up to 2ft (60cm).
This variety is now grown as more often as a security plant because the leaf blades have a sharp point.
They were then potted into the new barrels
using a good quality potting mix that contains a slow-release fertiliser.

Cobblestone Courtyard

Watered and placed into their new position.

They make such a nice addition to this courtyard.

Cobblestone Courtyard


The eye is drawn to the beautiful cobble detail (a bit wet from rain).

But then lifts to the bare fence behind the courtyard.

Yuccas in pots


The potted yuccas make quite a statement in their resin replica wine barrel pots.

They now soften the view to the fence.

I think I am 'almost' converted into a yucca fan!


Other Yucca Facts:

They can be grown as an indoor pot plant.

Native of South Western and Eastern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America.

They can withstand temperatures minus 12 degrees Celcius.

The leaf tips are extremely sharp!

Even when removed from the garden it will regrow from any remaining roots left in the ground.

The flowers are beautifully creamy white and need full sun to bloom in summer.

There are many different types of yucca. 

Some varieties -  have edible flowers and fruit, and can be used for shampoo, soap making, or as a herbal remedy for arthritis. 

It is easily grown from a new spike offcut.

#yucca #plantfacts #pottedplants

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