I first tried this recipe several years ago and the family unanimously titled it "a keeper". So, with a different mix of family at this gathering, I decided it was time for an encore.
Friday, December 31, 2021
Friday, December 24, 2021
I recently gifted myself a dutch oven. After seeing so many awesome recipes that can be made in one, I decided it was time. I had my husband do all the research on the various brands, their reviews, the price points, etc., etc., and then I made the purchase. I knew exactly what my first recipe was going to be.....French Onion Soup. I had saved the recipe from America's Test Kitchen and couldn't wait to give it a try!
Man, oh Man! It did not disappoint. I had some family over and everyone loved it. I think I was making groaning noises as I was eating it. It was that good.
There are several steps, but the majority of the work is done in the oven, so it really wasn't all that bad.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
I'm so pleased that I finally landed on an approach to veggies that is super easy, as well as yummy. I literally roast a big batch of veggies once a week and then work on the leftovers at least one other day. I'm going to share my approach, but I don't have any measurements on this one. You can start with my preferences and then modify until you learn what you like best.
- Potatoes or carrots need a total of 60 minutes, so I put them in 40 minutes ahead of other veggies.
- Most other veggies take about 20 minutes. I'll use the same freezer bag to oil and season them.
- Using these timeframes, there will be a bit of char on everything....which I love! You can always learn your preferences on the spice level and cooking times after a couple of attempts.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
As a Christmas present for my daughter and her fiance', I created a "spa sign". They had recently purchased a hot tub and wanted a place indoors to hang their towels. She wanted a sign that would hang above the hooks themselves. So, I took the idea and ran with it.
I did share some of my "design concept" with them to ensure I was on the right track, but after I got that approval, the color scheme and additional artwork were a surprise. I ran several fonts by them, as well as several "names". They chose the Martin Resort & Spa.
Thursday, November 11, 2021
While I've seen a number of really cool projects using gold leaf, I've never actually used it myself. However, since I'm lending my creative hand to some upcoming family wedding projects, gold foil was now in my line of sight! Yay! I love trying/learning new things.
This is a very intimate family wedding coming up early next year, with a beautiful meal to follow, so place cards were definitely on the project list.
The first part of the project was working in my Silhouette program. I played around with card sizes, and fonts until I landed on something I thought might work. Then I sent them to my printer. Obviously, the beauty of the machine is it will do the cutting for me; including the perforation line. Sweet!
Name cards (or escort cards) are generally about the size of a business card, but I chose to make mine a little bigger.....I just thought they were too pretty to be that little.I realize now, that I probably should have taken a few more pictures along the way, but it truly was hard to stop to do that once I got started. I did a lot of reading on what medium to use to adhere the foil and there were lots of opinions, but bottom line since you just need something that is going to dry clear, I chose what I always have on hand and that's ModPodge. It worked like a charm!
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
I'm choosing to share my recent Mother/Daughter trip to the Outer Banks, in the event that my experiences and recommendations may be able to help someone who may be considering this for a vacation.
First, as with most of us who had to re-schedule our 2020 vacation plans, this was not the first, and actually not the second choice.....but given the ongoing issues due to the pandemic, the original Europe trip just didn't seem very feasible.
When I looked at destinations in the U.S., North Carolina was on my list, actually both Carolinas were. But, once I started to put together an 8 day trip, it was just too much to try to take them both in. Then, as I continued to do further research on North Carolina, I realized it's huge and has lots to offer all across the state.....so, I decided to focus on just one area. The OBX weather in October would still be in the 60's/70's and there was history, plenty to see and some outdoor activities too.
Some "must do's" in my opinion is a four wheel drive tour in Corolla to see the wild horses. It was so much fun driving on the beach and we were able to see about 20 of the horses. Another one, is a kayak trip.....there are lots, so just pick one that sounds interesting. You've got to take in a sunset or two....they're absolutely free and spectactular. One of our favorite spots for viewing was Jockey's Ridge. Manteo has a ton of history. The lost colony, among other things, so check it out! The Wright Brothers Museum in Kitty Hawk has to be a stop. It's very well done and loaded with a great series of displays both inside and outside.
Monday, September 6, 2021
I've been thinking about this patio project for several years now. I finally decided to tackle it this year. I had finished another landscaping project earlier in the summer and it just seemed like the right timing. After all, if I finished the patio then I could sit outside and admire the view of all that landscaping work I had done!
We're slowly getting the furniture back into place after a good cleaning and in some cases a fresh layer of spray paint. Everything is coming together nicely. As it turns out, that seafoam green is one of the colors in my chair cushions at the table, so the colors are actually coming together nicely.
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Monday, July 19, 2021
It had been quite some time since I'd made a quiche, so I opted for my ham and swiss option, but also threw in some spinach for good measure. It turned out super yummy, and really fluffy since I used the remaining half and half that I had in the fridge.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
I've come across a number of sheet pan recipes, and finally decided to try one. I looked at a number that involved shrimp and chicken sausage and took bits and pieces from several recipes to create my own version.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
I love pasta recipes, but I try not to eat them a lot, since they seem to love my butt and thighs (if you know what I mean). But alas, it had been awhile, so I went with a Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta.
I'll be absolutely honest, I didn't grill the chicken. I just didn't feel like firing up the grill for this....but I'll plan better next time and grill a bunch of chicken and freeze some for later. It was super yummy with just lightly browned chicken on the stovetop, so I can only imagine how much tastier it would be with grilled chicken!
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
This particular wedding dress is as unique as the couples' love story. The story spans 15 years. and culminates in a wedding in France, which is where they met as younger versions of themselves. Spring forward a decade and a half and they found each other after life/partners had come and gone from their lives. They got married in a quiet ceremony in the Mayor's office, followed by an intimate al fresco dinner with family. With that setting, you can imagine that my bride was looking for a non-traditional dress for the big day. In fact, she had a tea length dress in mind.
And of course, with some Covid restrictions still in place in the EU in early June, I made a matching mask for her to use before and after the ceremony. Congratulations to Rachel and Youri....Best Wishes to the both of you as you continue to write more chapters to your sweet love story!
Friday, June 18, 2021
One of my all time favorite meals from our Mother/Daughter trip to Ireland was a bowl of seafood chowder and Irish brown bread, or Irish wheaten bread. It was such a simple meal, but it was so tasty! Below is a picture of that wonderful meal.
My third attempt was to use the same recipe, but I purchased a smaller loaf pan. I did get the same hearty flavor and a little better lift. So, I feel like I'm on the right track. I'm going to continue to work with the size of the loaf pans and I may try to increase the volume of the recipe by another 1/2, which should help fill the pans a bit better (there definitely is room for more batter). In the meantime, I'm going to continue to enjoy what I've made. I chose to slice the loaves and then freeze them so I can just grab a slice (or two) and re-heat them in the microwave as I please. Don't forget to add some butter, and a little bit of golden syrup on top.
Below is the recipe from Chef Adrian that I recommend. I did not make any high altitude adjustments, since I believe the height of the loaf comes down to the pans. The bread is otherwise hearty and moist as is.