Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Window!

My kitchen window, over my sink, is decorated seasonally.
Since, I spend a lot of time in this area, it is nice to have a pretty view.
Old crystal vases and in some instances old salt and pepper shakers
minus their salt eaten tops are a nice substitute for a vase. 
They are the perfect size and they're giving them away at
flea markets and tag sales!  The daily snipping of flowers from
my gardens not only replenishes these vases, keeps the
plants producing more but is so pleasant
to look at while standing at the sink.  An heirloom tomato
 and the San Marzano on the left are waiting for an upcoming salad. 
Perhaps with some Mozzarella cheese and fresh basil?
 What do you think?  I think I know the answer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summertime...and the cooking is easy!

Campanelle pasta...chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces, cooked
in olive oil and garlic.  Meanwhile, cut up 12 cherry or grape tomatoes
 put in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil.  Cover and let set
until juices meld together.  Cook pasta.  Place pasta in pan with chicken. 
Mix with drippings from pan.  Add pasta.  Next add
tomato mixture.  Toss.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and...

Two Sisters recipe for "Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad" on page 88  with a new Southwestern flare.
Instead of basil use cilantro.  Add a can of rinsed black beans and...
there you have it!  A new twist to one of my favorite summer recipes.

Marinated flank steak with grilled peppers.  You can purchase these
colorful peppers in a bag.  Toss in a little olive oil and some spices . 
You can put them on wooden skewers.  Just make sure you soak the
skewers in water first or they'll burn.

A delicious plate of Southwestern fare!  Yummy, colorful, pretty to look at
and so wonderful to taste!  This is a real crowd pleaser
And...don't forget the Sangria!!

Oh, here are the little peppers on skewers!  A fun and simple
idea for any meal anytime of year.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hallet's Since 1889 - Yarmouthport, MA on Cape Cod

Take a step back in time by visiting Hallet's.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of Hallet's!
They've been serving Cape Cod
and it's visitors for 125 years and counting!

As you're riding along Rte 6A in Yarmouthport,
you will come upon Hallet's. This quaint little store
will take you back to when you were little! 
On a recent visit, my sister ordered a BLT and...
it was delicious!!

Hallet's is looking forward to this anniversary year. 
They are trying to keep old traditions, old fashioned ice-cream soda's
frappes, fountain drinks that are bottled in traditional flavors,
 like raspberry lime rickey,
cream soda, black cherry and everybody's favorite root beer.

Breakfast on Weekends
Saturday 8 - 11 AM
Sunday 8 - 1 PM

Summer Hours from 11:00 to 9:00 PM.

Sandwiches and salads are served from 11:00 up until ?
Don't you just love the old soda fountain?

They have wonderful flavors of ice-cream such as
Black Raspberry, Mocha Chocolate Chip, Peppermint Stick
Rum Raisin, Coffee Heathbar, Pistachio, Oreo, Snickers,
Coconut Cluster and so many others! 

Yogurt and Sherbets are also served. 

139 Main Street, Yarmouthport, MA
Find them on Facebook!

Hallet's hats, tee shirts, books, mugs and the
Hallet Family of Cape Cod book, their best seller is also available. 
Oh, while you're at it...Why not pick up a four pack of Hallet soda and
Hallet Clam Chowder for your next cookout!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

For those of you with our cookbook, this recipe is on page 62
under "Salads".  Something different that will take you right on through the fall!

1/4 cup olive oil
2 T orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Whisk together oil, juice and cumin.  Set aside.
Potato Salad
4 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (2 - 3 large)
1/2 cup olive oil  - (1/4 cup will do)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup diced celery
1 bunch parsley, minced (1/4 cup)
Combine potatoes, oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a roasting pan.  Toss to coat
Roast potatoes at 400 degrees 45 minutes or until crusty and fork tender.
Cool.  Combine potatoes, cranberries, celery and parsley.  Pour dressing over potatoes
and toss to coat.  Serve at room temperatures. 
This is so good, you may want to double! 
Serves 6 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Strawberry Time

My first "Strawberry Rhubarb Pie" of the season! 
I've already made "Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler" many times!
But the is the BEST! 
Everyone loves this pie! 

A pretty painting of strawberries given to my husband and me
for an anniversary several years ago by my late Mother-in-law.

An old tray along with a vintage copy of "Yankee Magazine"
on display in the breakfast room!

A bookcase in the kitchen has the strawberry theme for the summer months.
Notice the "Wild Strawberry" wallpaper by Waverly in the background!
This wallpaper has been in this kitchen for about 36 years and...
it's still LOVED!!

Grandma's strawberry cookie jar, old paper coasters, wooden napkin
holder holding up a strawberry cookbook find themselves in
another cubby!

Mom's strawberry cup and saucer along with vintage towels are
keeping company with an old tole painted box (done by me many years ago)
are found on an old oak dry sink.

This little strawberry bowl is fun to use while washing and draining
strawberries.  This, a gift from my sister, is a favorite piece!
Ready, set, get your strawberry things out or start collecting!
The colors are bright, fun and delightfully help to make your house a home!

White Flower Farm
Litchfield, CT

White Flower Farm has a wonderful catalog! 
Give them a call or sign up for it online.
The catalog is amazing and quite enjoyable.
I have purchased hydrangeas while sitting in my comfy chair!
Recently, we took a drive to White Flower Farm and
here is my report! 

They have prize begonias and so many varieties of herbs, flowers, bushes and so much more!

Take a walk around the farm.  I would recommend getting one of
the free maps of the property.  This will help you navigate the
greenhouses and gardens with ease!

I have purchased many different types of hydrangeas...among them
Little Lime, Pistachio, Pinky Winky and most recently Pistachio!
Take a trip in your car or from your easy chair! 
You'll love what you'll find for your garden at White Flower Farm!

It's That Time of Year Again!

A large snapping turtle has once again found her way up the 250 feet
from the pond to the edge of a perennial bed.  She's looking for the
perfect soft spot to lay her eggs. 
Each year around the 14th of June, Flag Day, this
natural phenomenon occurs. 

In the pouring rain
on this Friday the 13th of June,
she works very hard digging, looking around all the while being
totally aware of her surroundings. 

At last she has found the perfect place to deposit her eggs. 
Please know, she will lay the eggs, cover them up and return to
the water never again to return to this place.
In 3 months, the little turtles will hatch knowing everything there is
to know about life itself.  These little babies will never know their
mother but will instead upon being hatched find their way down
the lawn to the pond.  Isn't nature wonderful?!!
Will we see the little turtles when the hatch?  We'll see!
Hopefully, we'll be able to  catch a photo or two!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Good Book..."A Fine Romance"

Lemon Butter Cookies from "A Fine Romance" by Susan Branch
1 cup butter, softened
2/3  cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
1-1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup cornstarch
sugar crystals

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and zest, until smooth; add dry ingredients; mix until just
incorporated.  Use waxed paper to shape and roll dough into two 8-inch logs, (about the width of a cookie.)
Wrap in "cling film: (plastic wrap) & refrigerate for an hour or so.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Slice cookies about 1/4 " thick; put on ungreased cookie sheets; sprinkle on sugar crystals
(or roll the logs in sugar before cutting).  Bake 15 min., until slightly golden.
Cool on waxed paper.  Makes about 40 cookies.  Can be rolled out and cut with cutters into
teapot or heart shapes. 

As Susan Branch says, "Just Yummy with a special cornmeal crunch!"

Blueberry Scones
 Don't tell anybody they are from a
mix from King Arthur Flour.  You can't make any better
than these.  Easy and so, so good!

A beautifully illustrated and hand-written book
by Susan Branch which chronicles her journey on the
Queen Mary II and visit to England is a delight to read.

I know two sisters who are from England.  One met her husband
during WWII.  These lovely ladies still have their wonderful accents.
I will be delivering these little "tea time packages" to each of them in just a bit!
It will be a nice surprise for two nice ladies!

As you can baking on this Saturday morning was inspired
by this book!

Monday, May 26, 2014

An Observation of a Neighbors Family Picnic!

There won't be a picture included in this posting.  You must use your imagination of kinder, gentler days gone by. 

My neighbors, who have 5 children, greatly fascinate me.  They are a real family unit.  This little family consists of a Mom and Dad along with 2 sons and 3 daughters.  The children all have the names of great grandparents and grandparents.  Each has a unique name.  You might say old fashioned.  Yes, that's what I'd call them. 

These children play outdoors from morning until dark the way I used to when I was a child.  They are exploring, making believe and discovering nature all the while being barefoot, footloose and fancy free.  We have a pond in our backyard and so their little voices echo and the sounds of games are magnified.  I can hear when they say, "I don't like this game." or "Let's pretend...!"  Computer games aren't in their daily diet of things to do.  Instead, they are being kids.  What a special childhood they are having.  Do they know it?  I don't think so but someday they will look back on days like this, the start of the summer, and smile. 

Parents and friends are sitting at a picnic table with a few umbrellas scattered around the yard.  Dogs are barking, hot dogs are cooking, friends and family members are sitting on lawn chairs listening to conversations, the voices of happy children and an occasional bird or two. 

I go outside to listen to the sounds of summer and a day that will be cherished in the memory of a child for years to come.  If only more families were like my neighbors, I believe the world would be a better place.