Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm Moving!

I just wanted to announce that I moving to a new blog! yay!
I can be found blogging here: I hope you like it :)
This blog will remain available for you to browse through past articles :).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Green Onion, Green Pea and Chicken Salad

Green Onion, Green Pea and Chicken Salad

I made this salad for Sunday Dinner.
It was very good.

Combine in bowl:
1 bunch chopped celery
1 c. chopped green onions
3 roasted chicken breasts, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
2 lb. fresh green peas

For the dressing:
Combine in bowl of blender:
*1/3 c. lemon juice
*2/3 c. olive oil
*½ t. dried tarragon
*Salt and black pepper to taste

Pour dressing over chicken and vegetables and toss to serve.

Carrot+Grape+Apple+Celery Slaw

Carrot+Grape+Apple+Celery Slaw

I made this salad while my Grandparents were here to visit last month:

Combine in bowl:

6 grated carrots
1 bunch celery, chopped
4 c. red grapes
1 large apple, chopped
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1/8 t. ground cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Mother's Day Dinner

A portrait of a plate.
On the menu:
* Paprika rubbed-steak (it was really good, now I want to make another steak dinner)
* Caraway-Dill rice
* Caramelized onions
* Roasted Asparagus
* A-little-bit-of-everything fruit salad

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

Toss together on a large rimmed sheet pan:

2 lb. fresh asparagus
1 ½ T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper

Roast in a 450 oven for 20 minutes, or till tender.

Caraway-Dill Rice

This is one of the recipes that I made for Mother's day dinner:

Caraway Dill Rice

Combine in large pan:

* 2 c. brown rice
* 4 c. water
* 1 T. olive oil
* 1 ½ t. salt
* ½ t. ground cayenne pepper
* 2 T. dill weed
* 4 T. dill seed
* 4 T. caraway seed
Bring to a boil; cover, simmer for 35 to 45 minutes.

* 2 c. frozen green peas
Let sit for 10 min. before serving.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The little magnolia

We have a tiny magnolia tree way in the back of the yard.
It has bloomed this year. I can't remember if it has done so before or not.
These flowers have such pretty faces.

I wonder how many years it takes to become a large tree? I love it just the same. It's cute.

The Lilac Hedge in Bloom

Here are some pics of the lilac hedge out in the garden.
I've been cutting large bouquets of these to bring into the house.
They smell heavenly. Wouldn't it be nice to smell like lilacs?

It was windy once more and I had some difficulty getting a clear close-up.
I wish the flowers lasted longer than they do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Purple Flowers

Here are some asst. purple flowers from the garden and around the yard.
Bluebells? I love these flowers and I like this picture. It was windy (notice the leaves and other flowers/blurred) enough that I held the blooms for the picture.
One year whilst we were tilling up the soil to plant, we disturbed some grape hyacinth.
Well, a year later we had the happy surprise of having hyacinth volunteering up around the flower bed--in the lawn.
Woodland Phlox
Spicy, flowery, bee seducing living carpet.

The little Apple Tree

These pictures are of a dwarf apple tree in the middle of the garden.
This is the first year that it has bloomed.
I took these pics before it had bloomed completely, due to an impending forcast of rain.
I'm hoping for some apples... maybe. :)
I got a lot more local produce last year (vs. the grocery store) and there really is no substitute for fresh, local and above all, 'in season' produce. I'm hooked. I want to hit the farmers market this summer and see what I can find.
I wish that we had weekly markets as they do in France.

Yay! I was so pleased to see all of those pink buds. This tree has been a bit of a runt for a number of years and within the past year it has steadily begun to grow a lot.

The little Plum Tree

I believe this is the little plum tree.
It's so young that we haven't had any fruit from it just yet.
I'm hoping that it might make a few fruits this year.
The blooms have a very sweet, delicate and rose-like fragrance.
And I cannot look at them enough.
It seems as though the fruit trees blooms vanish overnight, I wish that they could last for a few months.

Pink, and so very pretty.

I love the flowers.

It was a windy night and I had a little difficulty getting perfectly clear pictures. These turned out better than I thought.

The Blooms of the Sand Cherries

We have 2 row of these cherries on two sides of the yard.
They've just bloomed fully and they smell heavenly.
In the summer they will produce lots of little tart cherries.
I'm looking forward to making cherry preserves and desserts, a tart or cheesecake would be really good. :)

They grow to be large bushes rather than trees.

So pretty.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Soup Luncheon

I've been cooking lately. No, really, I have.
I know. I've been a horrible blogger here. I know you want more pictures of the food that I make. And more formulas for my culinary experiments. I have been cooking a lot lately and haven't gotten anything written down.
I will try to get something interesting written down and posted, so that any of the people who read this blog and are getting bored will have something to look at/read. :)
This week my sisters, my cronies and I had a little luncheon.
I'm already plotting the next one, I need an excuse to make little party favors and new recipes.

On the menu for this weeks party:

*Roast Beef stew (I braised the beef before putting it in the slow cooker for 24 hours, and deglazed the pan when I was making the stock, this is a just a little more effort than I usually go to. Many times I'll just toss the beef in without doing anything to it. The resulting stew was worth every extra little detail, I will definately make it again. It also had portabella mushrooms and yellow onions, and some carmelized tomato paste: very, very good stuff)

*Split Pea and Ham Soup (this soup had almost miraculous self-thickening agents, talk of starch. I kept adding more liquid everytime I reheated the stuff and it never got any thinner. This soup was a lovely combination of 2 lb split peas, cooked according to package+2 c. diced ham+salt+black pepper+a little bit of cayenne pepper {it makes a difference, the soup isn't spicy, but it just add a little something more to the flavor}+a lot of dried marjoram {approx 1 T., I know that seems like a lot, but it's not overpowering in the least, it just brightens the flavor of the soup} and some chicken stock. I had the last of it for a midnight snack last night {why I was hungry then I don't really know, I'm not usually hungry. Period. I am the queen of whole grains and veggies and fruit, which makes for my feeling quite full after a meal})

*Roasted Garlic Bread (I made some fresh whole wheat bread {someone prod me and get me to click out and post my new and vastly improved all-whole-wheat bread recipe, which is so good} and tweaked the recipe just a little. I added some white vinegar to the mix, which is what my grandma adds to her rolls. It created a nice echo of sourdough in the final loaf. If I want a really deep, yeasty, tangy flavor, I'll have give it more time to do it's thing in the bowl. I then roasted some garlic with a little olive oil and salt. I then blended it up with a little more olive oil and spread it over the bread and toasted it in the oven. The resulting bread was a milder alter ego of garlicy garlic bread. It was very good, but next time I think that I was just a little more kick from the garlic)

*Orange Punch (one part frozen 100% orange juice concentrate to 3 parts club soda)

I served up some lovely strawberry ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in old-fashioned waffle cones for dessert. I'm kicking myself in because I forgot to take pictures of the dessert etc. Oh well. :)
The place setting.
Favor No. 1.
I will be posting the FREE TEMPLATE HERE:
Cardstock: Martha Stewart crafts/scrapbooking cardstock
striped bakers twine: in chocolate and white.
A color I passionately adore.
Tiffany blue.
This is even brighter than the pic shows.
This is one of my favorite ribbons of all time, it's a wide satin that I got in a close-out sale. I bought all the ribbon they had left in this shade and I'm rather hoarding it. I should find another source for this gorgeous stuff.
The top.
I don't really know what these are. They're little sticks of wood that I decided to use as tags.
I *adore* these little tubs of cotton candy. They have cute labels.
I try to keep a weather eye out for pretty or unusual candies+sweets.
All the little tubs in a row.
The lush stripey ribbon is also from
Be sure to stop by Monica's shop, it's my idea of a little bit of crafty paradise.
Little chocolate candies.
I wish that you had smell-o-vision right here for this pic, or perhaps scratch and sniff.
When I opened up the package of candy all of the heady essence of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter was so good.
The FREE TEMPLATE for this box will be posted next week on . I know you can't wait. :D

The final favor that I made for this party. I filled them with the little foil wrapped chocolates.