Sunday, November 29, 2009

A THANKSGIVING IN THE WOODS

I just returned home from a wonderful four days with all my Family. We celebrated Thanksgiving in a cabin way way up on a mountain top in North Carolina. I thought I would have lots of time to blog, but of course no Internet! So now I will be back pedaling and telling you all about Thanksgiving at Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore and high on a mountain top in Weaverville NC. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving...I am looking forward to sharing our adventure with you all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sage : A Thanksgiving Tradition( after the fact)




















I have been cooking for our Thanksgiving Excursion and every recipe I find has sage in it! I love that all my sages are still going strong in the garden. I really enjoy all the contrasts of the different varieties of the sages. The larger oval leaves of the Berggarten Sage accent the hues of the Purple Sage, while the Tri-color Sage reflects the autumn sun with it's hints of gold and yellow. Wow would it not be wonderful if I still had sage for Christmas Cooking!

I tried this great new bread. I first saw the recipe in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Since I am writing this after the fact, I will tell you all my family loved this bread. I made it in one loaf pan, it was dense but very moist and tasty. Definitely worth a try!


Pumpkin Sage and Browned Butter Quick Bread

6 ounces( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more
for the pans
1/4 cup fresh sage, cut into thin strips, plus more
for garnish
1 2/3 cups all -purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 cup solid pumpkin( from 1-15 ounce can)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your pans.( The original recipe uses 8 mini pans, I used one loaf pan) melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium- low heat. Add the Sage strips, and cook until the butter turns golden brown. 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon,nutmeg, cloves,and salt. Whisk together pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and browned butter with sage. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until incorporated. Put mixture into pans. Smooth tops with spatula.

Bake until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Invert pan to remove bread, transfer to a wire rack, top side up, and let cool completely( bread can be stored, wrapped, at room temp overnight or refrigerated for up to 5 days) Garnish with whole sage leaves before serving.












Sunday, November 22, 2009

November or May????



Is it really November 22nd?? I have never had Flower Boxes still in bloom in November.

I hope this does not mean we will have fall weather in June. In the meantime, it has been a great week to get the Christmas Lights out!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sanibel Island Shell Island USA



Sanibel Island truly is the Island of my dreams... We have spent the last four days enjoying the natural beauty. It is hard to believe the amount of shells on the beach, the birds are everywhere and no fast food!!! You all must come.......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If you are ever on Captiva Island...



If you are ever on Captiva/Sanibel...
This could go on and on and on and on. It truly is the island of my dreams! I have had the luxury of staying at my sister's island retreat, Amarelo Sol for the past few days. It is here that my 90+ Mom and two of my sisters and I have hung out here and had a grand time!!

Captiva is like no other place in Florida, it is more Caribbean than Floridian. We have been coming here at least three times a year for the past 30 years. This is where I hope to hang my hat during my golden years!

So one thing you must do if you come here is go to the Green Flash Restaurant for lunch. You must sit out on the veranda- the view across the bay is amazing, the birds are great entertainment, and the waitress is super!!!

Have the Sanibel Salad, it has smoked salmon, artichokes,asparagus,olives, great greens and much more. But the kicker is the homemade Herb Dressing, it is wonderful!

All this week I will continue with Sanibel/Captiva.

Someday, I will get back to the Greece Trip Pic's!!!!

These are pictures from the Veranda at the Green Flash. Soak in the sunshine and enjoy the Snowy Egret, a.k.a. our waitress. She made a "heck of a waitress"- tips were cheap just a little left over salmon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ginkgo ---WOW FACTOR THIS FALL





The Ginkgo Trees were just unbelievable this year, their leaves were golden rays of sunshine. In fact maybe just maybe I can forgive all my female Ginkgo's for the "Poopy Stinky" fruits that litter my front side walk. So if you come to visit me this fall, please remove your shoes before entering the front door.

I found an amazing article about the History, Lore and Facts of Ginkgo Trees in a recent edition of "Martha Stewart Living" It gave me a new appreciation for the beautiful golden trees that grace my front yard.

The limbs are full of the fruit, I hope this is not a sign that this winter is going to be long and cold!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gathering Walnuts...GREAT RECIPE

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Walnuts and Feta Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat fusilli or other spiral shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, rinse it under cold water, and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

In a dry saute pan toast the walnuts over a medium-high flame until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set the walnuts aside to cool then chop them coarsely.

In a large bowl, toss together the chilled pasta, walnuts, feta cheese, onion, and spinach. In a small bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.




Last weekend we had our annual "Gathering of the Walnuts Day." It was a crisp clear Fall day, we loaded up buckets in the Rhino and with 3 dogs in tow we headed out to the old barn.

Every year we have done this fun task, but I do not think we have ever used a one!! That is very sad, if anyone has suggestions please let me know.

Last year we collected buckets full, Randy put them in the barn and the squirrels promptly stole them all!!

My husband believes that we need to put the on the driveway and run over them, breaking the outer shell and then we can harvest the meat.

Would you eat walnut meat that had been run over and over by cars and trucks????

I WELCOME ANY SUGGESTIONS!!


Anyway, above is one of my favorite
walnut recipes.

THANKS
Recipe from Ellie Krieger 2006
Foodnetwork.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Friendship

I spent last weekend surrounded by my wonderful friends, where we would we be without our dear friends?

It was a hard time as one of our group experienced a great loss, a truly unreal event. We all agreed to have faith and carry on. We love you Greg, may you rest in peace...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Color






What a colorful Fall we are having.

Magnificent color has been painted on plants that have never lit up before. It has been breath taking!
Thank you Mother Nature.

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