Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Friday Brunches

Our daughters, both teachers, are enjoying their summers home with their small children.  Our oldest daughter was lamenting the days gone when we used to spend time together (before children), going out for lunch or going to museums and other such outings.  So she came up with a plan.

Every Friday morning this summer either she, her sister, or her father and I host a brunch for the four adults and three little ones.  I love it.  I don't know which I enjoy more, watching our daughters sharing the bond they have as sisters, or their children bonding as cousins.  Either way, Grandpa and I are just happy to be included.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Weekend Cooking

I realize the title of this post doesn't quite match up with the date of the post.  But here's to cooking on the weekends.

If you're in the mood for that wonderful yeasty taste of homemade bread, and you're grilling this weekend, I have the recipe for you.

Last Saturday I made grilled flat bread.  I followed this recipe from Food52.  If you haven't been on their website, and your're a foodie, I highly recommend you visit.  I get their email updates and follow their Facebook page.

This is the simplest yeast bread I've ever made.  I made it on the indoor grill so Paul didn't have to mess with it while he had a grill full of meat.  But really, it's so simple to do it wouldn't have mattered.  It's a great way to have fresh bread in the summer time.

Also, last weekend I noticed the stores had pickling cucumbers in the produce section so I was able to make both sweet and dill pickles, two of my favorite things about summer.

When I was younger I canned old fashioned hot water bath pickles.  Then one day it dawned on me that refrigerator pickles would be so much easier.  Not only are they easier, they're so much better. The pickles stay really crisp. The only problem, well two problems are waiting two days to eat them and keeping up with demand.  I can't wait for the farmers' markets to have the minis available.

You can find the sweet pickle recipe here.  I add sliced sweet mini red peppers and mustard seed to this recipe.

The dill pickle recipe is here.  My first jalapeno was ready so I picked and sliced it and added it to the jar.  I wish I would have had two ready to pick, one isn't quite hot enough.  Next batch I will add two.

Summer is such a great time for cooking and eating!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bulldog for Baby

I just finished knitting this little bulldog for our granddaughter, Amelia.

The pattern is in the book, Knit Your Own Dog.  I found a copy at the library.

The bulldog is a little bit of a challenge.  Those wrinkles and folds take some maneuvering.


Amelia lives in a house with two English bulldogs, Frank and Beans, roughly the same age she is.  
 She turned one yesterday. 

Now on to making her book.  I have one week till her party.  I'm always working up to the last minute on gifts.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekend Cooking

I enjoy cooking, when I'm trying out new recipes that is.  This past weekend I tried out a few.

Last week we picked, pitted and froze 24 and 3/4 quarts of sour cherries.  Yesterday morning I made cherry turnovers.  I used the recipe from The Vanilla Bean Blog.  Since I was pressed for time I used frozen puff pastry.  Delicious!! 

You can find the recipe here.

I also tried two other amazing recipes this weekend.

I made this awesome sauce for fish.  I think it's by far the best fish I've ever made, simple, fast and wonderful.  

I did substitute cod fillets for the tilapia.  The recipe is here.

And finally, I had some sirloins in the freezer so I thought I would fancy them up a little by adding some crab meat and an indulgent sauce. I made this Steak Jalisco.  I think next time I will omit adding the lime juice at the end.  

The recipe is here.

I usually try a new recipe at least once a week.  My husband is tolerant of this hobby.  When he doesn't like something he'll say, "So, what do you think?"  I know then I won't be making that dish again. 

These recipes got three thumbs up.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


One sunny day at the end of March I was doing my initial clearing out around my peony bushes, prepping them for blooms, when something small scurried from underneath.  Startled, at first I thought it might have been a mouse, but then I saw it was a tiny baby rabbit.  He was really tiny and seemed to be all on his own, no sign of a nest or siblings.  Since then, and until recently, I only caught a few glimpses of him

But lately we've been meeting each other regularly.  I have an herb garden planted right outside my door next to the house and deck steps.  I believe he's living here, or possibly the flower garden and lilac bush on the other side of the path.  He particularly likes the Italian parsley so I've left him one parsley plant uncaged to share. The area really is a perfect home for him, gardens backed by a hedge, deck and house 

The other evening when I opened the front door I saw his two little ears popping up over the ledge of the top step on the path.  He ducked back down giving me the needed seconds to retrieve my camera.  From then a game of hide and seek ensued with him popping up and then ducking again below the ledge of the top step.  I remained frozen.  He must have decided I was only a mild threat so he hopped the top step onto the path and allowed me a few seconds of photos.

Feeling a bit like Beatrix Potter, I've started calling him Pete, which I think could work for either sex: Peter or Petunia.  I look for him every morning and afternoon.  Each time I see him brings me a ridiculous amount of joy.

The night before last while I was dragging the hose out to water the potted deck plants, a black snake was making his way across the deck.  Paul removed the snake from the deck, leaving me to worry for Pete.  But yesterday there he was, relaxing by the parsley and the cilantro, safe and sound. What a relief! 

I'm hoping he'll stay for the summer, making my garden his home, and then I will get to watch him grow. (Which by the way, shouldn't he be bigger than this by now??)  And who knows, maybe I'll attempt a few Beatrix Potter like watercolors along the way.