8.29.2010

Soups To Make This Fall

Cheddar Ale Soup

Curried Pumpkin Soup - I think I'm actually going to make this week because I have pumpkin and I really like having some sort of soup in the freezer at all times.

Southwestern Tortilla Soup

Wild Rice Soup

I'm so excited for Fall soups! I mean, I like summer and all, but I just need a change in diet. Especially since I went to the State Fair yesterday and ate:

2 Pronto Pups
Cheese Curds
Lemonade
Beer
Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk
Buffalo Bites
Onion Rings

Yep, I really did eat all those things. But I shared with Bimmer Man. He's pretty good at sharing and so am I. Especially since I'm sure the caloric content equals a week's worth of food! I get to go back tomorrow and pick up a painting that we bought too. Super excited! It's going in the living room! Oh, and I'll get to have fajitas since I forgot to eat those yesterday!

8.24.2010

Garden Observations

1. Plant tomatoes in front yard so Rusty doesn't eat them next year.
2. Get a ladder to clean out gutters
3. Plant more herbs
4. It's sunny under trees in the spring. Buy more "sun" perennials
5. Impatiens do well in the backyard next to the fence
6. Voles are gross
7. Plant more veggies. In the front yard
8. Get tall grass to cover up the composter
9. Plant morning glories early so they bloom
10. See if my mom will give me more bee balm!!

Birds of a Feather

Round Owl Magnets, $11.95

Blue Bird Earrings $28

Owl Salt & Pepper Shakers $5

Little Blue Bird Notes $11.95

Vintage Bird Duvet and Shams, starting at $109

It's almost that time of year where birds fly south. I was hesitant to get a bird feeder this year, but now after seeing gorgeous butterflies and bumble bees, I think I'll get one for next year. I'll have to figure out how to keep the squirrels away though! Birds are inspiring and freeing and beautiful, even though sometimes they might shit on your purse.

I remember quite a few years ago, I was with my mom and my nephew in Catalina (or maybe Mexico, at this point I can't remember) and we were waiting for a train to come when all of a sudden a bird pooped on my mom's purse. It was hilarious. And I never stood underneath power lines ever again.

Puppy Cuteness

To add to your Tuesday...
Oh and Penelope was adopted on Sunday. I hope she's doing well!!

P.S. I'm fairly certain Rusty misses her because he's been trying to eat my tomatoes a bit more often.

Berry Crisp. Sort of.

When the little 3 cup mixer isn't enough, I've got to bring out the big boy.

YUM. I didn't take a picture of the final crisp. We were off and running to a BMW Club picnic event thingy. There were only a few bites left, unfortunately it was hot out and this was still warm from the oven so I don't think people wanted something hot. But it was really good.

I followed Pioneer Woman's Raspberry Crisp recipe but I didn't have any cornstarch so I used 4 teaspoons of tapioca instead. I also should've started the oven at 400 degrees but I didn't. With the temp low, it took FOREVER to get the topping crisp, so I turned up the oven about half way through.

Ingredients

  • 2-½ cups Raspberries
  • 1 Tablespoon (Heaping) Corn Starch
  • ⅔ cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar
  • ⅓ cups Oats
  • ¼ cups Pecans, Chopped
  • Dash Of Salt
  • ¾ sticks Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
  • Whipped Cream Or Vanilla Ice Cream, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine (rinsed) raspberries, corn starch, 2/3 cups sugar, and vanilla. Stir and set aside.
In a separate bowl (or food processor) combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, oats, pecans, dash of salt, and butter pieces. Cut together with a pastry cutter (or pulse in food processor) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add berry mixture to a small baking dish or pie pan. Sprinkle topping mixture all over the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Allow to sit for ten minutes before serving. Scoop out with a spoon and top with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

8.23.2010

I Have Competition

I caught Rusty picking tomatoes. Roma tomatoes.

They must look like tennis balls and taste even better.

Luckily he hasn't found my teeny tiny bell peppers yet.

Those I will protect. I'd like to eat at least one!

This morning there were several ripe and ready cherry tomatoes.

This afternoon, well, let's just say they went to the dog.

8.20.2010

August Reading

Well, sort of. I mean it's already the end of August and I'm still not done reading Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mysteries) by Victoria Thompson however, I still have lots and lots of books on my to-read list.

And then I usually ooh and aahh over the Barnes & Noble Book Review emails because I just keep adding on to that to-read list. It's embarrassing really. Because I'm a dork. I happily admit it. I'd much rather spend Friday night on my couch with a book and a beer. Or maybe two beers. And my dog.

So I have to share this link to the Barnes & Noble review article that I just read. And now I just want to be home and reading. But I can't. I volunteered myself way too much this summer and I have lots and lots of catching up to do. Go figure. And cleaning. Once again, go figure.

So here's more books to add to my list. Ack. I need to commit to a reading goal and do it. Like reading 50 books in a year. Can you do it? Ugh. I don't know. I think I'd get overwhelmed.

The Cookbook Collector: A Novel

The Man Who Never Returned: A Novel

The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

And of course, thanks to my mother I have this one sitting on my night table ready to read:

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum)

I Want To Live In A Castle

And I want the dining room to look like this. From Horchow.

8.17.2010

I think this is needed at our house:

Doormat, $34 from Wisteria.com

Yep. I'm fairly certain we need to warn visitors. There's voles (not moles, which Rusty caught one), chipmunks, butterflies, caterpillars, a dog and some squirrels.

8.13.2010

Failure at a 1930's Wife




-12
As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Huh, go figure. I didn't think I was all that modern, though I guess it's probably the fact that I wear pajamas instead of a nightgown or I don't want to get up to make breakfast or maybe it's because I don't play an instrument.

Loving Reclaimed Wood Right Now

Yeah, for $2725 from Restoration Hardware, I better love it, right? But now going green, reusing and recycling are sort of in right now. I could definitely go for some recycled green glasses for drinking right now... but for a better price. I'll have to try out the Goodwill by my house this weekend.

8.12.2010

Confession

I'm 27 years old and I'm fairly certain that I have my first wrinkle. CRAP. I scrunch my forehead too much.

8.11.2010

I Love Pie Dishes

Williams Sonoma $44

This makes me want to make a pie. Homemade. And take ALL AFTERNOON baking, however, that will not happen with Penelope the Puppy to watch. She would probably pee all over the house.

And for sure I NEED this dish from Pier 1 - $30

And this baking dish from Pier 1 for $24.95

Or maybe I NEED these super cute pie dishes from Crate & Barrell. Yep, they are on sale too.

BAH. I just need to make a pie, I think. Maybe there's berries on sale at the grocery store. Oh, oh, I could make a berry crisp too. And then share it with the neighbors so I don't feel bad eating half of it. Right?

8.09.2010

It's Monday & I Want This:

Rustic Two Drawer Console Table from Wisteria $149

I think it would be nice in the dining room. But I say that about a lot of furniture. Go figure.

Wisteria is also having a 55% off sale for furniture.

Lemon Garlic Potatoes & Green Beans

I picked up some fantastic green beans at the grocery store. We don't have enough sun in the backyard for me to grow them. Oh, well, maybe a neighbor's tree will fall down.
So I was inspired by the recipe below, except that I didn't have everything to make it. Oops. I had to leave out the corn and cheese and then I added in garlic because I have at least two heads that I need to use up. And I chopped the onions fairly finely because Bimmer Man doesn't like onions all that much. I can't wait for leftovers for lunch today!

I served with chicken and homemade garlic bread.

Potatoes, Beans, and Corn in Lemon Brown Butter Sauce
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
1 pound waxy red potatoes, cleaned and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 pound green beans, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 ears sweet corn
1 onion, frenched into thin slices
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1-2 tablespoons juice from 1/2 lemon
4 ounces feta or goat cheese, optional
salt and pepper

Put the potatoes in a medium-sized pot with one tablespoon of salt and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Scoop the potatoes out with a slotted spoon and into a serving bowl.

Bring the water back to a boil (adding more water if necessary) and blanch the beans for 3-5 minutes, until they are bright green and softened but still have some bite to them. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the potatoes.

Cook the corn following your preferred method. We like using the microwave method for this recipe because then we can multi-task!

While the potatoes and beans are cooking, heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onions until they are soft and beginning to caramelize. If you have the time and patience, continue slowly cooking the onions until they are fully caramelized - this is fantastic! Transfer the cooked onions into the bowl with the potatoes and beans.

With the skillet back over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook it, swirling the butter occasionally in the pan, until the butter darkens and begins to smell nutty. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. The lemon juice will make the butter sizzle up and sputter before cooling down.

Drizzle the lemon-brown butter sauce over the vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and add salt and pepper to taste. This side dish can be served warm, room temperature, or cold from the fridge. It will keep for one week refrigerated.

Major Puppy Cuteness




Meet Penelope (Penny) from Pet Project Rescue! OMG. She's super cute, pretty cuddly and is so adorable! I'm pretty sure that Bimmer Man and I are in love! She's with us for a minimum of two weeks before she can be adopted.

8.08.2010

Easy Pulled Pork

1 can of diced tomatoes
Pork, any cut, just make sure it can stand up to a slow cooker
3/4 - 1 cup BBQ sauce of any kind

Mix everything in the crockpot. Let sit on high 4 hours. When tender, pull apart and add back into the crockpot to mix with all the juices. Serve on a toasty bun with extra BBQ sauce and pickles.


8.07.2010

Patio Furniture... The Saga

Ignore the messy table. Ok, I know, I can't either but I just took the picture when I was letting out the MONSTER.

Now, picture tile floors with a jute rug and some really nice low end tables... with picture perfect books on them... you know, picture something that's not my house with this furniture!
See that Christmas Cactus on the table? What do you do with it in the summer? I think I'm going to try putting it in the basement and shocking it into dormancy and then bringing it back upstairs in the Fall. Do you think that will work?
And now the story.

I bought it online at Sears. There were only 4 in stock in the area. Went there to make sure it was still there. It was. Then I checked my email. The order was canceled. Then I got a phone call, my furniture had disappeared. Someone sold it.

So a few phone calls were made and I ended up going to a Sear's north of the cities and buying the furniture and taking ALL THE CUSHIONS to ensure that no one could buy the furniture. And then we had to borrow a big truck.

So in a nutshell, this set was an absolute PAIN IN THE ASS to get. It better last a really dang long time.

8.06.2010

Homemade Pesto

Green is a favorite color of mine. Oh, yum. This spread on slices of a baguette topped with mozzarella cheese and then toasted for 10 minutes... It's a serious slice of heaven!

CLASSIC PESTO

Ingredients

  • 2  tablespoons  coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2  garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4  cups  basil leaves (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

Drop nuts and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add oil; pulse 3 times. Add basil, cheese, and salt; process until finely minced, scraping sides of bowl once.

Jean Kressy, Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2002

And freezing is VERY easy. Put into an ice cube tray, top each square with a thin film of olive oil and you're good to go!
AHHHH... Pizza with pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce (for individual pizzas, I use pita bread)... Oh, pesto, it's so dang good and it's so easy to use and come up with ideas of what to eat. Not to mention healthy!

FOUND: Caterpillar

I got a little scare when I was picking basil for Panzanella and Pesto yesterday. This little guy.
He's towards the bottom of the container, on the right side by the second parsley plant that's hanging over the edge. I sort of used up a ton of basil yesterday. I think about 4 cups total. So yeah, I got 4 cups of basil from this one container. Pretty cool, right? Semi-free herbs!
He sort of scared me but then I realized that he's little and cute and will eventually be a butterfly. I'll have to look for him more in my container tomorrow to see if he's still there.

On another note, Rusty chased after a mole and caught it.

Luckily he didn't know what to do with it, except keep it trapped under his paw and sniff it. So when I thought it was a frog and it scurried away, I screamed like a little girl.

Oops. I guess that's what happens when you have a yard.

There's creatures.

First Tomato of the Season

Bimmer Man wanted cherry tomatoes. This one came out more like a mini squash.

8.04.2010

Been Away For Awhile

I was camping. It was hot, sticky and buggy. The dog came home covered in slime from the lake. 'Nough said.