Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I remember every year during the first week of school one of the assignments was to write about what we did during the summer. Now that my hiatus is officially over, here is my assignment.
Not much has changed with the kitties. They spent their summer, sleeping, sunbathing, and eating. They were able to have a couple of supervised outdoor adventures. Since we live near a very busy highway the outdoor activities consist of hanging on the deck.
The husband and I decide to make the garden bigger this year, two times bigger! And yes, twice the work. Even though the work was doubled I was glad we did, it was a big success. This was the third year we've had a vegetable garden and it is still a learning process. So I spent a lot of time reading as much I could on gardening. My biggest issue has been starting my plants from seed. With all my new knowledge I'm hoping next spring I'll have a better attempt.
Tomato blight was a huge problem on the east coast this summer and many people's tomatoes were hit hard. This also included Martha, which she blogged about in August. I however was fortunate enough not to be effected by the disease. I really had tomatoes coming out my eyes!
I added another job title to my belt this summer, "nanny". I know, what! If everyone remembers my BFF is a photographer and has been very very busy.(click on "BFF" and check out her blog) She needed a sitter for a couple days a week and I had some free time. My "nanny" days were spent outside playing, going to petting zoos, taking the kids to farmers markets and being able to be a kid a couple times a week during the summer.
This is "the first day of school" picture Jen took of the crew. I spent most of the summer trying to get them to call me nanny Bridgette, but no luck!
Since I had such a productive garden I was in the kitchen a lot. Here are a few things I made that I really liked.
This is a corn salad I decided to make while I was freezing corn. I used green peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley and black beans. The dressing included lime juice, vegetable oil, cumin(a lot of cumin), salt and pepper. It was very refreshing.
With all of those tomatoes of course I canned. These are the plum tomatoes. I like these the best since the plum or Roma tomato is not as watery as others. They will make great pizza and pasta sauce.
A favorite during the summer was simple sliced tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a really good EVOO(ugh... I can't believe I just ripped off Rachel Ray).
Zucchini was a real bumper crop as well. There was a lot of muffins and breads made. But just slicing it lengthwise, brush it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, plus use some garlic powder. Then trough it on the grill. I used a few squirts of lemon juice to finish it off.
Another great recipe I used for zucchini is one the BFF found on Allrecipes for zucchini patties. I did change up the recipe a little. It calls for 1/2 cup of flour, I used bread crumbs instead and still included only 2T of flour. Plus I cooked them in olive oil rather than vegetable oil. I think the olive oil gave it a better flavor. I served it with sauteed cremini mushrooms and marinara sauce. So good!!
Trying to figure out what to do with all the vegetables in the garden was a challenge all summer. I did discover a frittata was a great thing to make and fill it with a ton of veggies and herbs! This was a good "go to" dinner when time was not my friend.
Ever since I was little someone in my family has always made Blueberry Buckle during the summer. One day mid-July I went and picked blueberries at Ontelaunee Orchards which is only 10 minutes from the house. Ontelaunee is a Native American word for "little maiden".
It was a hot day, not sunny but hot. Which was a change since our area was unseasonably cool and wet this year. I started picking around 9 am. I don't even remember what time it was when I was through, but I ended up with 15lbs. I was so hot I'm surprised I did have a heat stroke. And if I know I wouldn't have been arrested I would have picked blueberries in my bra and underwear!
The biggest thing this summer which I wrote about in an earlier post was my ditsy OMG moment of leaving the sink in the guest bath filling for 2 1/2 hours, thanks to Michael Jackson's funeral. It was the worst thing ever. The water went from my second floor ALL the way down to the basement. This happened in beginning of July and the cleanup and repair just ended last week.
We had to replace the entire ceiling, tray ceiling, and two sections of the walls in the dining room. The entire downstairs was painted since our floor plan is open. All the carpet was replace in the entire house. That was a pain. I felt like we moved out and then moved back in. The funny thing is, I can say that now, we were going to paint the downstairs this summer and we just talked about replacing the carpet before we put the house up for sale. I may have done it subconsciously.
The finished product is great. They installed the carpet better then the contractors that built our house. I would have loved to put in hardwood floors but I couldn't see spending the money when we plan to sell in a couple of years.
The last couple weeks of the summer were great. We spent it in Cape May, NJ for our annual vacation with family. Cape May is the oldest resort town in the US. And while we were there the town celebrated it's 400Th anniversary. Days are spent at the beach. The evenings we stroll down to Sunset Beach(click here to read about the neat attractions which includes a concrete ship, Cape May Diamonds, and the Flags Ceremony) or going to Washington Square Mall.
Everyone in my family loves to cook so we make very elaborate meals all week. The restaurants and shopping are great. It's one of my favorite places to go.
I hope everyone enjoyed my summer recap. I've decided to spend more time taking pictures and blogging. So come back again! Always leave a comment. I love to hear what on your mind!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Oh boy, has it been a busy 2 weeks. I decided until the end of summer I will only be updating the blog ever 2 weeks.
For the holiday I had to make pies. So I made blueberry and 2 crumb top apple. I always use Martha's Pate Brisee. This is such a great pie crust! As always everything needs to be cold cold cold! I think the easiest thing to do is have a mise en place and put it into the the freezer to chill everything. I do freezed my butter completely before cutting it up, then it goes back into the freezer with the other ingredients.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a picture of the baked pies, they were gone by the time I got around to it.
This is across the street from my Grandmother's. Every year since I can remember there has been a fair during the week of the 4th. And on the last night they put off the fireworks.
It's great, we have a front row seat for the fireworks. Plus if you didn't get enough food from the picnic you can run across the street to get a funnel cake!
I took over a 100 pictures of the fireworks. These are just a few.
No we didn't get dogs *sigh*. I just thought I would add the kitties' doggie cousins to the kitty collage!
So here is the awful news. The other day I was doing laundry and was filling the sink, yes I forgot it was on and it flooded every were!!! So this was day one of the process. I'm sick!!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Summer has officail started and I have no time to blog! I can't believe it's been 2 weeks the last time I posted!
So I put together a few collages of what I've been up to.
Of course I had to do a kitty collage!
The vegetable garden is doing well. Only exception is I lost a few things to the bunnies!
We've been having so much rain the last few weeks and I so glad my flowers have survived!
Just canned and froze strawberries this weekend. Since the weather has been so rainy I wasn't able to go out and pick my own this year. I went to an Amish stand and bought a big flat. I get so excited about making jam, then I look at a the stems!!
Here is the recipe for the strawberry jam
7 cups of crushed strawberries
5 cups of sugar(more suger can be used)
1 package of pectin
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Mix all ingredients and bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Test the gelling on the back of a spoon.
Pour into prepared jars and seal. Boil in canner for 10 minutes.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
So I'm less then a year away from turning forty. I am now noticing the years walking over my face. One area I've notice a change has been under my eyes. I've been trying different lotions and potions to halt the march, but haven't found anything that really works. A few week ago the BFF turned me on to this eye cream. I have to say just using it for a little over a week I have notice a difference. This is the first product that has worked and worked that quick.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Since the holiday was on Monday I didn't do my usual "Kitty Collage". So I decided to have a "Two for One".
This is a series of photos documenting Starbuck's afternoon ritual of napping and sunbathing. It's the same every sunny afternoon. Snooze, snooze, roll around, roll around, STRETCH.
Every weekend, either a Friday night or a Saturday night I make homemade pizza. It's better and heathier than getting take out. I use Martha's recipe that I found on her website.(I'll blog my pizza making later.) I normally use the Muir Glen pizza sauce which is really tasty. The other day I decided I wanted to make my own sauce. It came out really good. As usual when I make up my own recipe or through things together I do it by taste the first time before actually writing up a recipe. Here are the basic ingrediants;
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
I confess, I'm a hugh trekkie! I absolutly love "Star Trek". I've seen every episode of the original series and the "Next Generation" a 1,000 times. I own all the movies and have watched them more times then I can count! So when I heard a couple years ago there was going to be a new "Star Trek" I was a little apprehensive and a little excited. So I crossed my finger and hope for a good story and lots of action.
When I found out the J.J. Abrams( he created a great show and another favorite "Lost") was doing the new movie the excitment level went up a few notions. As time went on there were rumors the story line would be about the orignal crew when they first enter the Star Fleet Academy, again the excitement level was growing. But when I found out Zachary Quinto (he plays Sylar on "Heros") was going to play Spock , oh boy! What a great choice!
So on May 7th we got ticket to a prescreening at the IMAX theater in downtown Reading. I was so excited I couldn't stand myself!
It didn't disappoint! The movie was excellant. It had the feeling of the old "Star Trek" but wrapped in a really cool new bow.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I planted the garden yesterday. The hubby and I enlarged it at the end of the season last year from 6'x12' to 12'x13" and added two more 3'x3' squares for herbs.
So the next step is to plant some flowers around the boarder and I'll be done!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
I consider myself pretty organized, except for my purse. No matter how hard I try, it just can not stay organized. Then I came across the butler bag!!
I don't know about anyone else but I leave the house with everything and it feels the kitchen sink! My intentions are always good, taking things out only to have them make their way back into my bag. Were do you begin, what's not important!?!
This style they call the "hybrid". I think it has that everyday feel. It does cost $165.00. well worth the money!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I get so excited when I have some old bananas. This recipe is fantastic! I use it for muffins and bread. And this is a staple for my Christmas baking. It also freezes great.
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 to 4 very ripe bananas mashed
1/2 to 1 cup of chopped nuts(optional)
Perheat oven to 325
Grease and flour pans, set aside
Leaving the mixer on the entire time. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add dry ingredients and blend well. Add mashed bananas and most of the nuts, save rest for the top of the muffins or bread.
Pour into prepared pans.
Muffins 30-35 mins, makes 18 muffins or loaves 55 mins, makes 2 8 inch loaf pans.
The top of muffins or bread should be browned.