Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Favorites from Foodess, Bon Apetit, Luxe Adventure Travel, The Chunky Chef and More

Good morning! I hope that you had a great week. I did but I am worn out and ready for some downtime. The only things I want to go this weekend are eat and read.

Image from The Foodess

This beautiful and incredibly easy White Chocolate Mousse from the on my list of things to make. It cannot get any easier than a two ingredients mousse topped with berries in a graham cracker crust.  I would love to have a piece of this right now. 

Image The Chunky Chef

Mexican food is a family favorite in our house and when I saw this picture on Pinterest yesterday I knew I would be making this soon.  As in today, this  Smothered Beef Barbaco Chimichanga is in my crockpot as you read this and we will be having it for dinner tonight. I can't wait. 

Image Bon Apetit

I love fruity, slushy, drinks and this Frose from Bon Appetit looks fabulous. I mean what is there not too love about rose wine, strawberry infused simple syrup and fresh squeezed lemon juice combined in a slushy drink?

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

I discovered a new blog this week called Luxe Adventure Travel. Although I have not had time to era all of there posts the ones I have read so far have me ready for an adventure. 

Did you ever read Moby Dick or watch the recent movie In the Heart of the Sea which is supposed to be about it? I read Moby Dick eons ago and just watched the movie so I have whales on the brain. For those of you who are interested, this week New Bedford Whaling Museum released its digitized list of 127,000 sailors who set sail on whaling ships from 1809-1927. Just in case you always wondered if your ancestor was a deck hand or the captain of a vessel.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. If you have read a good book or made a new recipe please share!

Stay cool if you are in the areas covered by the heat index warnings. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Just Curious...How Do Your Preserve Your Memories?

Good morning! Are you surviving the heat? I would like not to be a whiny complainer but I'm hot and tired of being hot tired and sticky. Ok, enough of that and on to better things. Later this month I will be attending my family reunion on my mother's side and it has had me thinking and reminiscing with my siblings about out relatives. 

For those of you that don't know my mother has 9 brothers and sisters and my grandmother had 13 brothers and sisters. It goes without saying that I have a lot of relatives. There are doctors, nurses, musicians, artists, veterans, soldiers, designers, a Notre Dame nun, a vet that specializes in pigs, a geologist, writers, advocates for the elderly, politicians, inventors, investors, philanthropists,water-park designers, bureaucrats, small business-owners, adventurers and more. These are just the ones still here, the ones that are gone led very colorful lives, there was a boxer and a race car driver to just name a few. 

Our stories and our histories are vast and I think interesting.  I have been pondering how best to preserve our family history. In the old days people made photo albums but I am actually looking for something a little different. Perhaps something like Story Corps where we record and preserve our stories? I was thinking it might be for each of us to record our favorite memories and stories and then share them with the rest. Maybe for those who don't want to record perhaps they write them down and we bind them in a book.

My dad wrote a book for my sister one year and its funny because some of the stories felt like we are reading about a stranger. There were so many things that I did not remember or even know. I love his stories about playing baseball on the sandlots of Chicago and his adventures in the Coast Guard.  

My father in law wrote a 10 page piece this past year about what it was like growing up during the depression and the dust bowl and what he learned from his grandfather who was a baker who came over from Germany and then became a farmer. He told how their life revolved around the farms and there was no running water or electricity. How hard it was to get into college and pay his own way and then when he graduated to make $3000.00 a year! 

As I write this there are a thousand stories swimming in my mind, traveling with my parents, baking with my grandmother, and the small everyday moments that make me, ME. 

So I ask you, how have you preserved your memories and those of your family? What are your stories, how did you get here, was your family in the war, did they climb Mt. Everest, what is yours or your family's favorite tradition? Are you interested in learning more about your family or yourself and how would you go about doing it?

I welcome any and all suggestions!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tomato, Basil and Feta over Spaghetti Squash

 Happy Monday Morning! I cannot believe that it is almost August can you? It seems like it was just Winter. I am going to have to savor the sunny days at the beach, although to be honest I wish it would cool off just a little. 

I don't really like to cook in the summer unless it is easy. Today I thought I would share one of my favorite "go to" meals that I eat about 4 or 5 times a week for lunch. Typically it is served over pasta but I like to eat it over spaghetti squash because I cannot be trusted around pasta. The best part about this dish is that other than the noodles or the squash you do not need to cook anything! I

Tomato, Basil, and Feta over Spaghetti Squash
Serves 2-3 people 

3 ripe tomatoes chopped 
1/2 cup-3/4  feta cheese crumbled
3 Tablespoons frech basil diced 
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
pasta of your choice

In a small bowl add tomatoes, oil and salt. Lightly mix, then add the feta cheese and the basil. Set aside and let the flavors melt for 10 minutes. 

Serve over spaghetti squash or pasta. 

NOTE: These measurements are approximates, if you like more basil then add it, or if you like more feta or you don't want so many tomatoes than add less.

I cannot get any easier than this and it taste delicious! Do you have any easy meals that you eat in the summer that you would like to share? We wold love to hear about them!

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Friday Favorites from The Simple Luxurious Life, Oh Joy, Two Peas and Their Pod, Carolyn Roehm, and More

Good morning! How is your week? Mine has been busy and HOT! It is a heatwave here, what about in your neck of the woods? Do you have any ways to beat the heat besides sweet tea and ice cream?

Although I have been trying to catch up on things at home I did find a few things to share with you this week. 

Spicy Chicken Salad from Oh Joy

I love easy, quick meals and this Spicy Chicken Pasta Salad from Oh Joy looks delicious!

Greek Tortellini Salad from Two Peas and a Pod

As does this scrumptious Greek Tortellini Salad from Two Peas and Their Pod  which I will be making today for lunch. 

Image from Christina's Cucina

I have always wanted to make a Roulade or rolled cake but have never had the confidence to do it, until now. I discovered this decadent, but easy Summer Berry Meringue Roulade from Christinas Cucina and I cannot wait to make it. I will let you know how it turns out! 

With all of the unrest in the US and abroad it is easy to get depressed,  here are 11 Ways to Be Happy Right Now from The Simple Luxurious Life that will hopefully lift your spirits. 

Image Carolyne Rohm

Speaking of lifting your spirits have you visited Carolyn Roehm's blog lately? If not check out her beautiful dahlias and her tables cape using them for the 4th. Simple, beautiful, perfection.

I hope that you have a happy and safe weekend.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just Curious...How Does One Blog When the World is Going to Hell in a Hand-basket?

Good morning or is it? I frankly am having a hard time lately with the constant bad news both here in the US and abroad. Between the horrific attacks in Germany, France, and Turkey just to name a few and the shootings here in the States I am wondering if a recipe, a compilation of Friday favorites or an anecdote of my recent travels seems trivial or even relevant. 

How do we get up each day and "carry on" like the world is not going crazy? I am weary from all this violence, turmoil and unrest and feel sometimes as if it is never going to end. 

I find it overwhelming to see countless stories about all of this violence. Today alone I read about the attack on the train in Germany, a knife attack on a mother and her two daughters in France and a story about the supposed torture of some of the people at the Bataclan theater in Paris and a police officer shot in Milwaukee. 

I am also agitated that so many important things are going on in the world and yet the Kardashian/Swift feud seems to be front page news and if not that story then some other insipid  stories about the day to day activities of these people. Really? Since when is gossip news?

I am just curious do you find yourself reading blogs during all of this turmoil to "escape" for a bit or when you read them do you find them trivial? 

I have lots of drafts in my folder but whenever I get ready to publish a post I find myself second guessing if I should or not. I guess the reason that I keep posting and reading is because it is cathartic for me. A little respite from the evils and ills of the world. 

Do you find yourself reading or posting more or less with all of the crazy things happening in the world? I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Have a good day. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mixed Berry Coffeecake

Good morning! I am back. Over the past three weeks I have been traveling to celebrate my mother-in-laws 89 birthday, to see the grandkids who are visiting from Buenos Aries, the my mom an my niece came to visit and we have spent every sunny day at the ocean frolicking in the waves and relaxing on the beach. Today everyone left and I am just getting back into the swing of my routine. I have to admit I am a little tired, I may need a vacation from my vacations. 

I made this Mixed Berry Coffeecake while at my mother-in-laws and thought I would share it with you are summer berries are everywhere! You could make it with just raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or mix them altogether like I did. Either version is scrumptious. 

Mixed Berry Coffeecake with Crumble Topping
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups sour cream
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda 
1 Teaspoon salt

2 cups mixed summer berries, plus more if you want to garnish

Crumb Topping:
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8" spring form pan with cooking spray, or butter and flour. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. 

To make the crumb topping, combine the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and mix until it resembles small crumbs. 

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together using  a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Then beat in the eggs on at a time. Add the almond extract and sour cream and continue mixing until just combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. set aside. Stir the flour mixture into the wet batter and mix.  
 Place the cranberries to a small bowl and add a tablespoon of the flour mixture.  Toss the berries in the flour to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. 
 Add the mixed berries to the bowl and stir just until combined.

Place the crumb topping evenly over the batter and bake  for approximately 50 - 60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.  Dust the top with powdered sugar and sugared berries if you like. 

Have a great day!

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