Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mussel Chowder

I love to cook. I am married to a man who loves to eat. It works. He doesn't like it if I change the way I make something. He doesn't know that so often I just make it up as I go along and I can't always remember what I put in the dish or how much of it! I am a firm believer in olive oil/garlic/white wine which can also be changed to butter/shallots/beer and so on.
We often have mussels for dinner. I saute shallots in a mixture of olive oil and butter, add the mussels and a healthy "splash" of white wine. Meanwhile I have cooked pasta and tossed that with pesto. When the mussels have opened I dump them on the pasta and then drizzle some of the broth on top of the dish. I usually serve this dish with grated parm and crusty bread.
However, there are always leftover mussels and broth. We saved it. I had grilled corn (removed from the ear), pancetta, and a small potato. A chowder of sorts was born. I cooked the pancetta and added the diced potato and some of the leftover broth.

When the potatoes were tender, I added the corn (about a cup), and about a cup of cooked pasta. I also added fresh thyme. Some dry sherry perked it up a bit. Just before serving, I added some heavy cream and the mussels.

Some crusty bread for dipping. Yum.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The First Pink Saturday Post and a GIVEAWAY

This post is number 300 and the last chance to enter my giveaway. I have been writing names on little slips of paper and putting them in a teapot. One day next week the lucky winners will be drawn - so stay tuned.

I thought it fitting to show one of my first Pink Saturday posts which was a mosaic. The photographs were taken at Deb's Flowerbed Farm in Bridgton, ME. Jack and I stop there frequently and always find something to bring home with us! Deb gifted me this pretty little vase and I have it in Florida.

Today's pink will also be a mosaic of pinks from the garden.

I hope you will stop by and see all the other lovely pink creations. Beverly of How Sweet the Sound is the gracious hostess for this fun weekly event.

AND remember the giveaway. You will have until Monday at noon to post a comment to be entered in the drawing. One entry if you leave a comment and two if you are a follower!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dr. Seuss at the lake and a GIVEAWAY

  "How did it get so late so soon?" Dr. Seuss
The above quote sums up my feelings of late. Another birthday, another season at the camp and memories of my former life are all contributing to this sense of time going by.

This quilt is for my grandson. I made one for my granddaughter earlier in the spring. Hopefully they will be here next weekend and I can give the quilts to them then.
I fell in love with the fabric. I used to read these classic books to my children.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
Is this not the truth?

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." Dr. Seuss

 Theodor Seuss Geisel was the author of many books for children. His quotes are wonderful. You can read about him here.

My GIVEAWAY is coming up soon. There will be 3 drawings - one for each 100 blogs! 1 entry for each comment and 2 entries if you are a follower!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coneflowers and Lace and a GIVEAWAY....

The summer seems to be just flying. It is time for Pink Saturday again hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. This event is one that I participated in almost since day one of my blog. My blog topics jump all over the place from food to quilting to knitting to dishes. However, pink is a constant particularly in the summer with the flowers. 

It has been quite "warm" in Maine this week so we tried to do our food shopping early. I have been looking for Queen Anne's Lace to photograph. There is a butterfly garden near the Chamber of Commerce so we stopped there and I took pictures. No butterflies but lots of bees!

A little milkweed tucked here and there.

And some lace for the Queen....

Don't forget my giveaway to celebrate 300 posts. I entry for every comment. Followers get 2.
Be sure to stop in and say hi to the other pinks and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All over the place and a GIVEAWAY

 As I am getting used to this new format in Blogger I realized that I have written 297 posts! So there will be a giveaway to celebrate 300! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and the next 2 and I will enter you in the drawing. If you are a follower, you will get 2 entries for each comment. Only one comment per post! I have not completely decided on the item but I am almost there...
 I have just been taking it easy these past few days. Without reliable Internet my blogging has been sporadic at best. I can write the blog with the iPad (giving new meaning to one finger typing). However, I am not enthusiastic about the process. So I have been knitting, reading and taking some pictures.The new modem has arrived! And it works! I spent way too much time on the phone with tech support. The modem was faulty.

I love the yarn from Three Irish Girls. My favorite yarn shop in Sarasota carries this gorgeous yarn and many others. If you are in the area be sure to stop at A Good Yarn and be prepared to visit a while. Their website is

I took a vacation from knitting a few years back but  now love to make scarves and shawls and SOCKS! Now having said that I have only recently had success with socks. I have knit three socks. Not a pair - just three different ones. 2 don't fit and I don't have enough yarn to finish the third. However, I am not discouraged because I have no fear of turning the heel anymore and I am making slipper type socks which fit. I am determined though to have a pair of socks that fit by the end of the summer - maybe even two. As for the single socks that are done and waaay to tight, I'm not sure if I can deal with knitting the matching one right away....

I started an exercise class today. Thought it was time. Stretching and strength training....And I signed up for Kim Klassen's Skinny Mini e-course for Photoshop. And I signed up for a Quilt a long. Both buttons are on my sidebar. I am going to my version of this quilt below.

The quilt is called Candied Hexagons and was created by Kerry Dear. I saw it here at Quiltsalott. The photo is by Liz at Broderie. The fabric is on the way as are the templates. I empty the plate and then I fill it right back up again!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Playing with pictures

 When I made the transition from a PC to a Mac, I missed some of the programs I had for my photographs. Slowly but surely I am finding new ones that can change my photos into paintings. However, the USB modem for Internet at the cabin was not very cooperative to say the least!!!! Luckily I had my iPad. Blogger doesn't allow me blog on it but I found 2 programs that are quite user friendly. I can save an online draft with BlogPress and do some photo manipulation with Photogene. Both these programs can be found at the app store.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! The new modem has arrived and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Peachy Pinks

I think my favorite color is sort of a peachy, salmony pink - or at least it was today when I saw the whiskey barrels planted with these lantanas in North Conway. We ran errands today and while Jack went to get the car, I raced to snap pictures of the flowers.

They are just the softest color. I love the yellow with them.

We came back and put away groceries and I took my little stroll around my little garden - very little stroll as garden is very little...
This pansy was peeking around a  geranium.

The geraniums are the same lovely color.

I am joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for another Pink Saturday. Please stop by and see all the other participants.

Happy Pink Saturday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I love asparagus. Pure and simple is good for me but we wanted soup. I did lots of research and combined and created and made it. It was good. You can print the recipe here.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

A blend of online recipes

2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I was generous)
5 cups chicken broth (I make with Better than Bouillon)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped (I used more)
Good glug of dry vermouth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
a squeeze or two of lemon

Cut the tips from some of the asparagus and set aside. These will cooked briefly in lightly salted water and used as a garnish.

Snap asparagus to remove tough ends and then cut the stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. In a large heavy pot, cook the onion in butter over low heat until softened. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add broth and thyme and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes until asparagus is very tender. Cook asparagus tips separately until tender - about 3-4 minutes.

Puree soup in small batches. I used my Cuisinart. You could use an immersion blender or a blender as well. Return to pot and add cream. Stir in vermouth and a squeeze or two of lemon. Garnish with tips and serve.


I added the cream after I was done with this step but forgot to take a picture. I have days like that!
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When enough is enough....

Moi? I find myself wondering if I am going too far with some of the photography. As we made our bean soup last week, I kept saying to Jack, "Wait a minute while I take a picture!". Then I have to put my glasses on and see if it turned out. When we go to a restaurant I make everyone wait while I take pictures of all the orders. If I came to your house, I would probably take pictures of your table. I would also take pictures of your kitchen and all the prep work going on. Do you do this too?

I have a friend in Maine who has commented on some of my tablescapes saying that he would like to see some food on the plates. I laughed and said I either set the table or I cook.

Notice I took a bite out of this breakfast. I forgot about pictures.

Have a great week.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tomatoes, flowers and socks

The tomatoes are ready at Sherman Farms. We go twice a week and buy lots. Soon I will get a bag of green tomatoes to make green tomato relish. But tonight we will have Insalata Caprese. First a nice thick slice of tomato. Then a nice slice of Buffalo Mozzarella which is topped with another slice of tomato. I drizzle the stack with good olive oil and gently tear some basil leaves. Sometimes a sprinkle them on top and other times I garnish as I did for tonight.

A snapdragon and some opal basil complete the plate. I used my Fiesta plates for tonight. We have had a lot of company so I thought I would fuss just for the two of us. We can go back to paper plates tomorrow.

Yes, the countertops are linoleum! I love them.

The zinnias are blooming in my little garden. 

The bee balm is just starting to burst open.

And I finished a sock and started another one AND it fits. I will do another sad post about my fat sausage feet sock first unsuccessful effort another day.

Have a great week! I am still having issues with my modem.


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