Jun 24, 2010

My Crystal Palace

I don't know why - but I love glass. 
Here's some of our cut-glass and crystal collection.              
I once heard it said that if you have three or more of anything; you can consider it a collection. If that's the case, then I'm a collect-a-holic.
But there's just 'something' about glass. I even hung an old hanging lamp outside, just because I love how the sun shines through it.
and ... I took another old lamp light and made it into a make-shift gazing ball. Okay, so maybe you can't gaze into it because its not transparent and it doesn't reflect anything but I still love how it dresses up my closed in area with the picket fencing in the front yard.

hmm ...
what to do with all those wine bottles ~
what to do ...

Jun 19, 2010

Homemade Soft Pretzels

As often as I've baked bread, I've never made 'Homemade Soft Pretzels' until today. I was planning to bake some bread and having just seen a recipe that Alton Brown had posted on the internet, I used it as my guide but then (you know me) I went about and changed the recipe.  The first alteration was that I used a sourdough bread recipe and then I decided to add garlic powder, onions and herbs. Oh yeah - very good choice! The recipe calls for boiling them first then baking ... and I must say they turned out GREAT!! 

Jun 16, 2010

Cream of Asparagus Soup

I'm flattered when people ask for a recipe but I very seldom use recipes myself. But God help the person who tries to take my cookbooks from me! I guess you could say I just 'preview' recipes using them as my guide - but then I do as I please and cook by trial and error. But with that said here's my  version of Cream of Asparagus Soup:
Flying by the Seat of my Pants Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 can chicken broth
1 bunch of asparagus
1 small onion
1 tblsp minced garlic

Cut asparagus to bite size, add to broth and cook until tender. Add chopped onion and minced garlic.  In another pan melt about 3 tablespoons of butter,  adding enough flour to make a rue. Add milk to the rue to make a thickening sauce. Pour the sauce into the broth/asparagus pan adding milk as desired. Season to taste.  Puree if desired to make it creamier. We prefer ours with the asparagus chunks. (note: canned asparagus can be substituted for fresh) 
 Bon Appetite!

Imagine if you will a chef with a little more hair, minus the mustache!
Sad to say, the chin stays!

Jun 15, 2010

SOUP's on!

I know that in the winter months I do more baking than in the summer months, and in the summmer months we eat a lot more fresh vegetables etc. etc. But I just came to the realization that when it rains I have a strong tendency to make  SOUP.  We've been eating a LOT of SOUP lately. This past month I've made homemade soups over and over again. Don't get me wrong - we love soup. And good thing because it's been raining and raining and then raining some more for the past several weeks. So without even realizing it I start another kettle of SOUP. Recently I made Cream of Asparagus Soup, Beef Vegetable Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, and Chili.  SOUP's on!!
I sure do wish the sun would come out and help the vegetables along in my garden, I feel like having salad... that's it - SALAD!!!

Jun 9, 2010

Color Play

I love how this fuchsia shows so beautifully against our white picket fence.
It's huge and just loaded with buds waiting to burst with new droplets!

The "old" flower bed is booming and blooming. I planted multiplier onions in there a couple of years ago; having no idea how well they would take off and take over.  But I love them just the same.
This little bench and angel statue have seen better days but she still seems content laying around keeping watch over whatever comes into her view.

Jun 7, 2010


First I must say this: When you get to the pictures click to enlarge them!!!
Yesterday as I was planting ferns, I nearly stepped on a HUGE Fox Snake.  I screamed for Thom to come and see how big it was, okay ~ and because it scared the bejeebers out of me!  It was nearly 50 inches long! Then today as I was tossing out some vegetable scraps, I looked over at my old beaten down trunk that I had just planted with herbs, checking to see if last nights frost warning did any damage (which it didn't) but WOW was I in for a shocker ... check out what came slithering out of the hole in the ground, IN the trunk that I had just planted. Being the trunk is so big we had filled the bottom of it with pieces of packing styrofoam  - you know, the hard formed stuff you find around t.v's., tables saws, etc. So there's only dirt on the top part of the box leaving plenty of room for a "snake pit!"  What I've read about these snakes is that they start out at a foot long and can get to just over 5 feet.  These two are the "small ones" but look at the size of them. They love ticks and rodents and are not poisionous. They will imitate rattle snakes by coiling themselves up and shaking their tales in the leaves, but all in all they're known as "good" snakes to have around. But they are too close for comfort if you ask me!!
Watch your step!!
I have a super video of them getting down and dirty, doing the lovey thing but it's too huge to post.  But man, can they flip and flop while tied in a knot!

Jun 5, 2010

Today was for the Birds

As we were finishing up the chore of planting garden we spotted a Cedar Waxwing. What a nice surprise! She was carrying some "stuff" so we watched to see where she was headed and sure enough she has a nest in one of the trees in our yard. As she went to her new abode, we also spotted her hubby keeping close gaurd.  
(photos from the net)
Our Bluebirds have a nest full of fletchlings. Pics of the babies to follow as soon as they leave the nest. But in the meantime, here's Daddy ~ just in time for Father's Day!

Jun 4, 2010

Hippy Chick & Graduate

We spent Memorial Day with our batch of Grand-loves. We had found the cutest little Gypsy type skirt for our Summer. She's such a free spirit I call her "my little hippy chick."  It made my heart smile when she came out strumming her pink guitar and wearing sandals with the "peace sign" on them.  And check out those toes, she definately has her Mom's feet - carbon copy!
On Wednesday we attended Taylor's Kindergarten Graduation. She's the 3rd in that family to pass that milestone. One more to go ~ but we'll have to wait a couple more years for that graduation! She's the little one in the picture background.