July 31, 2013

Hi Fish!

Here are two fun snaps I took off of our deck a few weeks ago.
And yes, those are real fish.
No photoshop tricks here folks; wanna come for a swim!?

Taken with my iPhone 4s with filters
July 2013

July 30, 2013


1, 2, 3...

Taken with my iPhone 4S + filtered
July, 2013

July 29, 2013

The Local Palette

I am a magazine horder.
Here is one of my new favorites; 
'The Local Palate'

The images, articles and recipes are high class, but make you feel like you are home. 
It makes me want to move to Charleston...or at least spend a long week eating, drinking and exploring the sights.

Check it out!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and if you are going away this week for your summer beach vacation, these make great lounge chair companions.

I love summer!

July 26, 2013

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope you all have a great weekend. 
I am pretty sure we will as the forecast calls for THUNNNNNDERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!


July 23, 2013

We All Scream

My son and I went on an ice cream date this past weekend, and instead of going to the regular road side stand, we ventured to an ice cream parlor that rarely has a crowd.
Truth be told, this is why I went there. 
I didn't want to add another kid to the crazed mix you often get at the regular stands. 
I just wanted to get the kid an ice cream and get out unscathed.
So, this could have easily been a miss, but it was spot-on.
This seriously may be the best ice cream I have ever eaten. 
It was a step to the left of homemade whipped cream, and a step to the right of the season's freshest ingredients. 
With flavors like Raspberry, Blueberry Cheesecake, Maple Bacon, and Salty Caramel, how can you go wrong?
Also, the family behind the counter was friendly, helpful and their children were working as hard as the adults...a feature that is always nice to see these days.
We left with full bellies and two half gallons to share.
If you are ever up in the Lake Wallenpaupack area, give these guys a drop in;
 You won't regret it one bit. 

My son, who is normally a strict chocolate fan, has declared that Salty Caramel is his new favorite.

July 22, 2013

The Sketchbook Project

Here it goes!
My sketchbook came in the mail and I have officially chosen my theme:
'Say Words Out Loud'

Now...the dreaded first page....

The World's Smallest Sketchbook: 5x7.....
I really wish it was bigger...drawing small is hard. Wa.

Check out their website below for those of you who are just tuning in!

A few of the other fun themes I entertained:
'Dudes and Latitudes'
'First Aid Kit'
'This is not about me'
'32 Days'

My book is due in January and will tour the Northeast. 
There are still 900 places left if you want to join me!?

Stay tuned for updates and images!

July 19, 2013

Happy Friday!

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!
It is going to be another hot one, so make sure you stay hydrated and relaxed; 
See Exhibit 'A' Below

Here are some fun-in-the-sun shots from my birthday this week...begging the question if I'm too old to be taking selfies....
Another year wiser!?!

Exhibit 'A'


July 18, 2013

Beet This

In learning this whole gardening thing, I thought I over-planted my beets; however, once they were cleaned, roasted and pickled, it didn't seem so over the top.
I adapted this pickling recipe from one that I used last year for my green beans; 
I thought that the heat from the peppers would balance the sweetness from the beets, and I believe it was a success. 
Plus, the acid from the lemons added dimension and balanced out the sweetness as well.
I made one batch and it was enough pickling liquid for three jars of roasted beets and one jar of green beans.
Now, we can eat our garden at leisure!
Do you have any good pickling recipes you want to share!? 
Send them our way!

Roasted Beets, Peeled, Cleaned and Ready to Rock
A Season of Snacks
The Magical Fruit

This recipe is for pickling the roasted beets. If you want to adapt it for pickled green beans, simply trim, clean and blanch the green beans and add a 1/4 cup of sugar to the recipe. Also, these should be stored in the refrigerator until they are eaten; if you wish to can them, follow the link provided below.

4 jars with lids
8 cups of beets, cleaned, roasted and peeled; larger beets cut into smaller sections 
Dried Chile Peppers (Such as arbol or thai; 1 per jar)
1 lemon, sliced thin
2 cups apple-cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon of multi-colored peppercorns
2 tablespoons of kosher salt

1. Clean four jars well; put cleaned, roasted beets in the jars with lemon slices. Try to put the same amount of lemons in each jar.
2. Bring water, vinegar, sugar (for green beans), salt, chiles, and peppercorns to a boil. As soon as the liquid boils, pour over the beets into the jars, making sure each jar gets a chile pepper, and equal amounts of peppercorns.
3. Seal jars and refrigerate at least overnight and up to a few weeks to let the flavors develop.
4. Enjoy on tiny party forks.

Here is the link if you wish to can:

Tell us, what is your favorite food to pickle!?

July 17, 2013

Amish Love

Butta Makes Everything Betta!
Especially when it comes in log-form, straight from Lancaster. 
This butter, for my local friends, can be found at Gary's Meat Market, or at most large farmer's markets down toward Bethlehem; I would be willing to bet that for my Philly friends, Reading Terminal would be the place to find these giant logs of love.
It is creamy, sweet and, well...buttery! 
It has a lovely taste that makes noodles sing, and 
lobsters and clams...well, they don't stand a chance.
Peace out, Land o' Lakes!

Happy Clam-Bakin-+-Lobster-Crackin!

July 12, 2013

July 10, 2013

Let It Grow!

This weather has been brutally hot; so when the sun went behind a cloud yesterday, I scurried out of hiding to check on my much neglected garden.
I was afraid of what I would find, but things were doing better than I expected.

However, I really must learn moderation.
Seriously, what am I going to do with all of these beets? 

Roasted beets, pickled beets, beet juice, sauteed beet greens....The next time you see me I will be a lovely shade of red.

Keep Growing Little Garden!

Beefsteak, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Cherry and Heirloom...Flowers Flowering!
Handy Wagon 
A Lesson in Moderation
Happy Full Collander...
Symmetry in Nature
Trimmed and Ready To Roast
First Picked
First Batch...
Pumpkin Patch from Last Year's Pumpkin Compost. 
What a Nice Surprise!

I feel so green!
I am going to totally devour my cookbooks tonight in search of new garden inspired recipes (especially pickling and preserving:) 
Watch out Alice Waters. 
There is a new girl in town.

July 9, 2013

Sketchbook Project!

I may be a little late jumping on the bus, but I love this concept! 
As described, it is a taco truck meets a sketchbook library = awesomeness.
I could spend days upon days at one of these libraries, and might have to take a road trip to indulge my inner sketcher.
Now, the question; who is with me!?

Fellow art teachers, you can also enter your classes in this project! 
What a cool incentive or field trip;
And if you need a chaperone, you know who to call.

July 7, 2013

La Colombe Love Affair

After a long weekend of holiday festivities, these magic beans are going to make my percolator sing!

I hope you all had a great 4th of July!
Now, back to reality.....

July 3, 2013

Flourless Espresso Chocolate Cakelettes

Holy Gluten Free Heavennnnnnn!

Imagine the richest brownie you have ever eaten meets the silkiest fudge you have ever eaten...
this is their love child.

(Plus, the mixture of strawberries, blueberries + fresh whipped cream and powdered sugar makes this a perfect patriotic dessert for the summer holidays:)

3, 10 oz. packs of frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed (I didn't follow this step in this image, but I highly recommend it)

12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
1 cup cold pressed coffee, espresso or 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder in 1 cup of water
1 cup, packed golden brown sugar
8 large eggs, beaten

Additional to serve:
fresh raspberries +/or strawberries
fresh whipped cream
powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Puree raspberries and syrup in batches. Strain. Chill.
3. Line bottom of 9 inch x 2 inch cake pan with parchment. Or set up cup cake pans with liners
4. Set up all of your ingredients; chop chocolate, dice butter and keep chilled, beat eggs, pack brown sugar etc.
5. Bring butter, espresso, and brown sugar to boil in a medium saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar.
6. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth
7. Cool slightly, and whisk in the eggs
8. Pour batter into cake or cupcake pans
9. Set up a water bath and bake cake/cupcakes until they can be pierced with a knife and the knife comes out clean; 45 minutes to one hour.
10. Chill overnight.
11. Serve with raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries/strawberries, fresh whipped cream and powdered sugar.
12. You are welcome!
** I recommend making these in cupcake holders using wrappers; the cakes are super sticky/will stick to your cake pan and serving platter. If you use a cake pan, make sure you use parchment paper and transfer directly after you remove it from the oven. Once it cools, it is like glue.

Happy Fourth of July Everyone! 

July 2, 2013

Spicy Corn and Cheddar Chowder

I just bought Martha Stewart's cookbook "Meatless," and there is a reason she has built an entertaining empire. 
I dogeared almost every page... 
Here, I made her 'White - Cheddar Corn Chowder,' but made a few personal adjustments. 
I can't help but tinker.
It is a beautiful, low fat, vegetarian, gluten-free recipe. 
Only 233 calories per serving!
Give it a go, and really try to use fresh sweet corn; I think it made all of the difference.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 tsp = more heat)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc. Use what you drink)
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I only used two potatoes and cut them into tiny 1/4 inch pieces)
2 cups vegetable stock; preferably homemade
1 cup skim milk
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 3/4 cup)

1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add coriander, cumin and cayenne. Raise heat to medium-high, and add wine. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
2. Add potatoes, stock and milk, and bring to a boil (skim any foam from the surface). Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Add corn and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender (I did 1/2 of the batch). Let cool slightly, then puree until smooth. Stir back into into the pan and reheat if needed. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, divide among 6 bowls, top each with cheese, and sprinkle with pepper.
(Chowder can be cooled completely, then refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; reheat over low)

Here is the link to 'Meatless':

Enjoy Everyone!

(ps. Dear Carnivorous Friends, I think the next time I make this recipe, I will top with fresh crabmeat! Doesn't that sound good!? ;)

July 1, 2013

Whiskey Rocks

Monday mornings always call for coffee.
 And in this hot weather, iced coffee.
The only bummer about iced coffee is that it gets watered down when the temperatures rise.
So, I stole my husbands whiskey rocks, and they worked like a charm!
These little chunks of love are made to keep whiskey cold without seasoning, or watering down his whiskey, scotch or manhattans (etc.), so why not use them in other drinks!?
Works for me!

Happy Monday Everyone!