Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pasta Primavera, My Way

A couple of weeks ago, I won a beautiful maple cutting board, handmade by Nate Kutsko of Kutsko Kitchen, from Angela at Spinach Tiger.  Angela's food blog is filled with scrumptious recipes, and she highlights restaurants in her hometown in Tennessee.




This is the large Rhombus and is suited for left and right handed folks.  I think it is beautiful to use as a serving tray as well.



It makes me want to chop!  




Veggies, that is.  I decided to make a quicky pasta primavera (springtime pasta).



Asparagus, mushrooms, red onion.  Fresh spring peas would have been great.  Add whatever veggies you like, such as zucchini, carrot.




This cute dish is a garlic grater.  My friend Diane got this for me at Pier I.  Works great (no pun).



Saute til caramelized, salt, pepper, two cloves of garlic.



Love this pasta, cook til al dente. Use a little pasta water in the pan if too dry







I really need to plate some of this.......................!

Sharing with Tutorials, Tips, Tidbits, What's It Wednesday, Full Plate ThursdayFoodie Friday, Sunny Simple Sundays, Seasonal Sundays.

xo



Monday, April 29, 2013

At Home With Marie

Marie and I became friends while both of us were working at Citi.  We also became "neighbors" when I moved to my current neighborhood here on Staten Island.  But soon after, Marie and her husband sold their home and moved to a beautiful 55+ community in Monroe Township, New Jersey.  


I can spend an entire afternoon relaxing there and never have to go out any place!  But we always manage to get some retail therapy in.  I tell Marie I am in 'zen mode' whenever I visit.

Flowering cherry tree, St. Francis bird feeder






This photo directly above, I wanted to catch Marie's reflection in the glass pane while she was talking to Carolee.  Middle row, last pane on right.  I always tell Marie we need to do a tablescape.





Admiring a lovely painting by Russian artist Liudmila Kondakova.  There is a flowering cherry tree identical to the one in Marie's yard.













The Dalmatian is a signed edition made by Goebel





This orchid was the most beautiful shade of green.  The florist put food color into the dirt when it was planted!  














I always hate to leave!



Hope you liked this 'spur-of-the-moment' tour, thanks to Marie for putting up with me.  This was not a planned photo shoot.  

Joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal SundaysElaine for Sunny Simple Sundays, You're Gonna Love It at Kathe With an E, Make It Pretty Monday, and Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays.

xo


"Beauty...lies in the love thet goes into each detail, no matter how small or insignificant. In my art, the essence and beauty has always rested in the details." — Liudmila Kondakova






No compensation received for featuring Ms. Kondakova


Saturday, April 27, 2013

A peek into the yard

I haven't done any real garden work yet, temps go up and then tumble down.  I never plant before Mother's Day here, anyway.  But some things are poking their way through the soil.















This belongs to my neighbor, but is thisclosetomyflowerbed 



Hyacinth plant was an Easter treat I bought myself, it is in the yard but no more  flowers, just leaves.  Hope it comes up next year.  This purple one was a gift for a friend.  Also was trying something out with the camera.  




Time to get some pansies in a pot.  Weeds are already growing in leaps and bounds, cold doesn't bother them at all.  

Out in the back, things are waking up too.  





Lila the lilac bush

I have three mini lilac bushes, they bloomed so profusely the first two years, I used it as my avi, but dwindled and now I get nothing but leaves.  Maybe I'll get a bloom or two this year.


Helen the haggard hydrangea

Poor hydrangea, took a beating from a dastardly beetle two summers ago but it tries to come back.  I even got a blossom last year.  Don't have the heart to pull her out.  I'll see what happens this year.



My entwined fig tree, Francesca, and my scrawny rose bush, Rowena.  Starting to grow.  I got a few figs that were edible last year, I want to be able to make cookies and jams and give some to people.  That hasn't happened since 2008 when it was first planted!  




Here is my first double daffodil!  It is so top heavy it can't hold itself up!  I had to add this photo as it opened a day after the photo above of the bud was taken.   I need to get a stick to support it.




One thing about the spring, besides all the extra work, is the feeling of Hope!  

Joining Seasonal Sunday, Sunny Simple Sunday, You're Gonna Love It.


xo



The Amen of nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day Tripper

Yes, I love my day trips.  They allow me to relax, unwind, have fun, and not spend too much money!  It works for me as I have those two little birdies at home, and getting bird sitters can be costly.  I am also a neurotic birdy mama, and only insist on a vet tech.  




Just a quick hop over a bridge, and  30-45 minute ride on the turnpike or parkway and I am in another place...... a calmer, greener, happier place.  Fortunately I have friends who left the city and are now living in New Jersey.  One of my favorite things to do when visiting is to go to farm markets.  New Jersey is not called "The Garden State" for nothing!


Peach blossom time, apple to start soon, not sure if these are peach or apple!! Oy, city girl
Battleview Orchards is in Freehold, New Jersey, the pick-your-own orchard is right across the street.  Soon, sour cherries, peaches and plums will be able to get picked.  Early September starts apple picking time, and then ,of course, the pumpkins.  This farm has been owned by the Applegate family 
since 1908.  The name relates to the Battle of Monmouth during the Civil War.  There are re-enactments of it during the year.  




They sell the best apple cider doughnuts all year long, but on the weekend, you can purchase them hot out of the fryer.  Lines are a little bit crazy.  




My friend and former co-worker, Carolee


My friend and former co-worker, Marie
Their pies are very popular, with a line of sugar free that are just as good as regular.








All types of syrup, many are also sugar free.  The produce lasts a lot longer than when I purchase it in a supermarket, as theirs is super fresh!  I did not buy any goodies that day,  as my bins at home were recently filled and this was a surprise drive by!

All I know is, a day trip is so much more fun when shared with a friend or two.  

I am joining Alma, The Tablescaper, for her new weekly linky party, Oh, The Places I've Been.  I hope to share some past vacations, if Google + will just mind its business and let me upload photos the old way!  But please stop by and do some arm chair travel.  It's free and it's safe!  

Also joining Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, and Sunny Simple Sunday at Sunny Simple Life.  Thank you to all the hostesses.  

xo


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