Once we got back to Ontario last week, it was clear that Spring had finally arrived. Even though it snowed last week, it's finally stayed warm enough for me to plant my herbs and tomatoes.

 John brought me some lilac from a neighbor's tree while walking home yesterday, and I found lily of the valley growing along our driveway. They make the kitchen smell so nice! My mom always picked lily of the valley from our backyard when I was growing up and she would put them in a water glass in the kitchen. That flower always makes me feel nostalgic.

This year I tried to let my rosemary and thyme come back on their own, with only partial success. I trimmed the rosemary too much and I think I ended up killing it, so I ripped it out and put in a new plant (shown here on the left). The thyme, however, survived. It just started turning green one day, so I didn't have to replace it (center). This year we decided on sweet (regular) basil, rather than lemon basil, since we want to have it in the greatest quantity (far right). 

I also sprouted some basil from a package of it I bought at the grocery store to cook with. I let it sprout in a water glass for close to a month before planting it so that it would grow a lot of roots. I have a glass with mint growing in the kitchen now that I will plant beside it once it has enough roots. In the mean time, I've gotten to use both plants when I need a bit of either herb. 

And on the inside of our house, we've been busy making Mexican food.

For Christmas, my mom got me Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. We've been kind of intimated by the recipes and put off trying it, but last weekend we went for it and I'm so glad. I should mention that a lot of the recipes in the book are vegetarian. But a lot of them are fairly involved, so we've been saving them for the summer when our schedules are more flexible for cooking dinner.

First of all, the Topolo margarita was the best margarita I've ever made and one of the smoothest, best I've ever had. You start by making a limeade and letting that sit in the fridge for a few hours. After that, it's just the usual ingredients. Now I'm excited to try the other margarita recipes in the book. 

We made a simple enchilada recipe from the book that was more like pancakes than enchiladas. It involves making a smokey, rich tomato sauce and then dipping tortillas with it. Then you top them with onions, cheese (feta, here, but it called for a Mexican queso), cilantro, and more of the sauce. Simple, right? But so flavorful. We had lots of sauce leftover, too. 

So we put the sauce on more tacos: roasted chickpea and broccoli tacos, with avocado, cilantro, and more of the sauce above. This recipe is from Thug Kitchen, a hilarious (and very profane!) vegan blog that I recommend for the laughs alone.

All this warm weather makes me want to go to Lake Huron, so I hope we get to do that soon. I hope the weather is nice where you are!

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