Sunday, October 19, 2014

Not A Bad Way to Start the Month of October

There have been some pretty exciting things going on (for me at least) these days.  This is a good thing because it helps me keep my mind off the fact that it's getting cooler/colder outside. 

Let's get this party started with prop shopping.  I am always looking for new props to use in my food shoots.  This crop of props is courtesy of my sister-in-law and niece. While visiting them in North Carolina, the men went to a car show and the ladies took me to the most wonderful antique store.  The place was grand; something wonderful around every corner.  And from where I sit I made quite a haul.

And, not wanting to leave any good things out.  Here are a few dishes that my son brought for me to use. 
Next on the list of greats is that I was accepted into the SAAG National Juried Art Show.  I have 2 pieces in the show this year.  The dates for the show are October 18th to November 15.  Come on out and visit Blue Ridge, GA; enjoy the mountains, the wonderful town,  and the SAAG Art Show.
Now, let me introduce you to Olaf.  This is a first for me - creating something out of paper mache and paper mache clay. 
Every year Alpharetta, GA has a Harvest Festival.  And every year schools and businesses sign-up to create scarecrows to decorate the street corners and sidewalks.  This year, with the help of the Art Club, I made an Olaf to represent for the place where I work, 'Out of the Box Art Studio'. There were only a few difficulties, his head fell off - Twice.  But, he recovered and let's say that I am very thankful for the tree in which he is tied .





And, lastly (is that a word?), it's not fall until you go to the 
mountains for apples, pumpkins, and boiled peanuts.
 




Oh, and I almost forgot - you simply cannot go to the mountains without stopping by Poole's BBQ for lunch.  One more thing, and I promise this is it.  I would like to share my Halloween wreath with you.  This little beauty was made with all Dollar Store treasures (except the grapevine wreath - that was from 'Michael's').

 Enjoy your week!
Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Happy Fall, Ya'll

  


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Today's blog is very different.  I am entering a photo contest on iheartfaces.com

My "I Heart Faces":  Beautiful Eyes Contest Entry


To view more 'beautiful eyes' entries go to iheartfaces.com

Thanks for stopping by


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lettuce, Tons of Lettuce

     That old saying (although I don't know who said it) - "When life gives you lemons; you make lemonade."  Well, I am going to tweek it a little to:
             
  "When life gives you tons of lettuce, you make salad, 
                      lots of salad."



I am not complaining, but that is what took place in my garden the months of April, May, and June.  I had an abundance of different types of lettuce and I came up with new ways to enjoy it.

Salads are fun and can be mixed with fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, creamy dressings, and vinegarettes.  When creating my salads I used a homemade raspberry vinegar, preserved lemon (I had made a few weeks ago), raspberries, toasted almonds.  The list goes on.  Rather that give a bunch of recipes I am going to post photos of my salads and their ingredients.  My hope is that it will inspire you to make your own creations.

Vidalia Onion Blossoms

Variety of Herbs
 
Fruits
Dressings & Vinegarette
preserved lemon & Vidalia Onion Blossoms



Tomato, Basil, & Balsamic 
Variety of lettuce, raspberries, toasted almonds, & raspberry vinegar drizzle

 Create your own beautiful salad.

Have a Wonderful Day and Thanks for Stopping By


Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's Time To Get Back

It's time for me to get back to work, to play - just get back to life.  I have been out of touch/out of action for more than 2 months.  The reason is my father died on May 3rd.  There are no words to describe the emptiness I feel in my life and in my aching heart.  Part of my soul is missing.   And, if I am feeling this way I can't even begin to know how my Mother is feeling - after losing your friend and love of 63 years (it would have been 64 yesterday).

So, today's post has no recipe and no photo's of food.  But, 2 photographs of my Father - one when he was young and another when he was older.  The words are his favorite Bible passage. 


Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the 
paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley 
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy
staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence of my enemies, thou anointest head
with oil; my cup runneth over.  

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life
and I will dwell int he house of 
the Lord forever.

Have an Amazing Week! 

 
 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let's Try Something New, Shall We

Well, new to me at least.  I love making new things in the way of food and knowing how to make my own ________ (fill in the blank); and, even better, knowing exactly what the ingredients are. 

For instance, grinding my own grain to make bread (courtesy of Bread Beckers. They have a great web site: breadbeckers.com ),




making my own yogurt (from raw milk), or growing micro-greens.



While in this mind-set I stumbled across two beautiful cookbooks.  


Thumbing through their pages, enjoying the photography; reading the stories about gardening, and preparing spring and summer vegetables I discovered two things I had never tried -  "Preserving Lemons" and making "Raspberry Vinegar".  I immediately thought of all the possibilities with the end product - dressings for salads, marinades for meats and fish, and the sauces.

You need to know the when preparing them the results are not immediate they both must sit for about two weeks.  On the up-side the preparation is simple.

Preserved Lemons
ingredients:
2 1 qt. mason jars
12 lemons (approximately)
2 containers of sea salt (I think they are about 1lb)
boiling water

1. wash your lemons
2. Squeeze enough lemons to make 1 1/4 cups juice
3. Split the remaining lemons (and you made need a few extra to fill the jars depending on how big your lemons are) into quarters, leaving enough at the bottom intact to hold the quarters together.
4. Fill the insides of the cut lemons with salt
5. Divide the lemons and the lemon juice between the 2 jars
6. Then sprinkle generous amounts of sea salt into the jars and fill the jars the rest of the way with boiling water
7.  Put the lids on tightly and let the jars sit in a dark place for about 3 weeks.
8.  In the course of the 3 weeks - shake them once in a while

 
  Raspberry Vinegar

ingredients:
1 1/2 cups raspberries
2 cups white wine vinegar
1/3 cup superfine sugar (this comes later)
(yield: 2 cups)

1. Pour raspberries in jar
2. Pour in the vinegar
3. Cover tightly with lid and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks.
4.  Once in a while press the raspberries against the side of the jar with a spoon to release the juice.  

After 2 weeks:
1. Place a sieve over a saucepan and pour the raspberries and vinegar into the pan.  Use a spoon to gently press down the raspberries to drain all the juice from them (do not press down too hard or the vinegar will be cloudy.

2. Next add the sugar to the vinegar.  
3. Slowly bring the mixture to a near boiling.  Stirring to dissolve the sugar.
4. Pour the vinegar into clean glass bottles (there are pretty ones at the Container Store) and seal them with a cork or a lid.
5. These keep in the pantry for about 6 months.

Mine are still in the waiting stage.  When they are ready I will bring you recipes on different uses.  I am very excited and can hardly wait til they are ready!!!!

Thanks For Reading,
&

Happy Spring!


 


 



Monday, February 10, 2014


It is 6:00 am on a Saturday and I am wide awake.  No matter how hard I try I can't sleep.  Rather than fight it downstairs I go.  I find that sleeplessness has it's advantages; deciding to catch up on the many blogs I follow (50+).  I love reading other peoples blogs because it inspires me to be more creative; to work harder at the things I love to do; and when you feel creatively dead - they help to get those creative juices flowing again.

Oh, and one more thing about other blogs - you find out you are not alone in this crazy world.  There are people that love the same things; struggle with the same things; are just as crunched with time and struggling to keep it together -
Just Like Me.

There are times as a blogger that you feel you have failed.  You struggle to get out that next post and guilt settles in; feel you are neglecting your work and apologizing for not being more faithful.  This is something a blogger must overcome and move on.  

I am doing just that - there have been many things going on in my life since my last post.  It is all apart of life.  So I am moving on past the guilt of not writing, photographing, and trying recipes.  This is my first post in a very long time; my first post of the new year. 
Luckily it is a sweet post -
Literally

 Caramel Almond Toffee Crunch Brownie
(hopefully you will want to make this decadent dessert for you sweetheart) 
Brownie recipe:
3/4 cup butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Prepare a 8-inch square pan with vegetable spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl (I just use a wooden spoon for this, but you can use an electric mixer.)  Add eggs; beat well with a spoon. 
3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually add this to the egg mixture until well blended.
4. Spread into the prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from pan.  
5. Cool; cut into squares.
6. To serve - place a brownie square on a dessert plate.  Drizzle warm caramel sauce (recipe follows) over the brownie.  Take a piece of Almond Toffee Crunch (recipe follows) and crush it into pieces.  Sprinkle over top of the caramel sauce and brownie.  Serve with a piece of Almond Toffee Crunch candy.

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1. In a 2-quart saucepan heat corn syrup, brown sugar and butter to boiling over low heat.  Stirring constantly.  Boil 5 minutes; stirring occasionally.
2.  Stir in heavy cream and heat to boiling.  Cool about 30 minutes.  (This can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 months.)

Almond Toffee Crunch
4 sticks or 1 lb. of butter
2 cups sugar
4 oz. Hershey Bar - crushed (put in freezer let the bar get hard; then place in a zip-loc bag and crush.  Freezing it makes it easier to crush)
4 oz. almonds, chopped

1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. (rub baking sheet with a little butter; then place parchment paper on top.  Butter helps hold parchment in place.)
2. Mix together the crushed Hershey bar and the chopped almonds. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate/nut mixture on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Cook butter and sugar in a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat; stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 280 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Spread evenly (this must be done immediately) on to the baking sheet.
4.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate/nut mixture on the top of the caramel.
 5. Let it cool completely.  Crack into small candy pieces.
 
Happy Valentine's Day