Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I have LOTS of tomatoes and basil these days!

Moving my garden close to the back door -
In pots to keep the chipmunks OUT was a great decision!
Y'all know how I LOVE tomatoes!
And combined with basil - oh my!
 So I decided to make a tomato pie - another FAVORITE summer recipe of mine --
My quick recipe was given to me from a sweet co-worker 
who lives even further south than I do - 
 And it's super easy...
 Just spread a little mayo in the bottom of a pie crust, top with basil leaves 
[She lays her out in a pretty pattern - 
but I roll mine and clip into small shreds with my kitchen shears...] 
Then slice tomatoes on top of the basil
 [I did push most of the seeds out in hopes 
that it wouldn't be as drippy in the end...]
 And add shaved parmesan cheese -  
all over the top.
Bake about 30 minutes on 375* - 400* - 
I covered it with foil so the crust wouldn't burn...
[Note - I am NOT a food stylist -
 and I gave up 'perfection' about 27 years ago - ha.
But I DID garnish it with some fresh basil leaves 
and tomato 'chips' that I'd dehydrated a week or so ago - ]
While that was baking I whipped up some pesto 
[I have an abundance of basil at the moment -]
I use bottled garlic, walnuts, basil, and olive oil... 
Here's what it REALLY looks like before I turn on my little processor:
 I stuff it as FULL as possible with basil - 
then pulse it several times, until it looks something like this:
I add in a little olive oil between pulses, 
and also a bit of parmesan cheese...
Of course I use a little salt and pepper - 
and olive oil again until it's the consistency I want it to be --
 Again, a summer favorite of mine - I can eat it with pasta, 
or just on toasted Italian bread...
or just straight up by itself...
[I know I'm not typical.]
So that was done... and the tomato pie was still baking -
and I had pie crust left over --
Time for a quick apple tart -
I pulled out my favorite iron baking dish 
[I'm sure I've shared with y'all that it is hand-forged and belonged to my gr-gr-gr-grandmother - 
I love it 
 - and remember taking it to school in 2nd grade as a show and tell...] 
and got to work -
I pressed the dough into a flat circle and crinkling the edges just a bit - then I added sliced apples that had been brushed with a little lemon juice - 
and topped it with brown sugar and a bit of butter.
I put it in the oven with the tomato pie and baked until the apples were cooked through 
and the crust was nice and brown.
Again, delicious.
And none of this was much trouble at all.
The pesto freezes well if you don't want to eat it right away... 
And the pies...
well, I doubt there'll be any left to freeze.
I'd love to see what's cooking in your kitchen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Love you sweetie! 
So glad I have you as my partner 
and best friend to go through life with!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Due to some out of town work

I missed going to the Farmer’s Market for a couple of weeks -

[although I did visit the one in Montgomery and got some gorgeous zinnias!]

So it was fun to walk down to our local market this week and pick up a few things –

We ended up with striped zucchini, bell pepper, new potatoes, okra, tomatoes…

And some rosemary bread we picked up at The Chattanooga Market over the weekend.
After our long walk [2.5 miles - ha]… 
in the heat… 
we decided to just have 
bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner that night.

And, let me tell you – the rosemary bread made a delicious addition to the flavor.

 But the next night we re-purposed some rotisserie chicken

[added a little garlic, butter, and brown sugar and warmed it slowly]

and enjoyed it with roasted new potatoes

[in the crockpot all day with just a bit of water,]

vegetable strata,

[layer thin slices of squash, onion, and tomatoes –

cook in the microwave then add grated cheese on top – so good!]

and fried okra

[just toss in some cornmeal before frying on the stove.]

We were STUFFED.

But I still had veggies to use…

So Saturday morning I whipped up a

nice hearty vegetable frittata

for my Artsy Bible Study Group –

I sautéed the [chopped] bell pepper, 
squash and cubed new potatoes with onion and a tomato

[from the plant right outside my kitchen door!]
 Then I poured over some beaten eggs and cooked until set.

Added a little cheese on top.

Again, a favorite of ours.

– I can remember stirring up this little dish on evenings when we’d come in late from a camping trip [or other travel] and need something quick to eat that was made from the stuff we had on hand

[I often use frozen potato cubes in it.]

I think the gals in our group liked it - 
I know I did ... 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Obviously I'm not keeping up

with the same blog-posting schedule that I did before my mama passed on...
But I'm still trying to share things from time to time ---
Here's a little water color piece that's in one of my art journals
[inspired by Junelle Jacobson] 
After I  painted it the words to the song just kept pouring through my mind...
Get out a pencil and paper and sketch a bit today, won't you?
[I often sketch / create in a different notebook - 
and move the ones that have meaning to my art journals -- ]

Monday, August 4, 2014

We had a fun time celebrating

[straight out of the camera]
one of our favorite little girl's birthday this weekend!
At the last minute we decided to do a very quick family photo session --
no pre-planning at all...
These were taken with my phone
[trying to make use of the things I'm learning in
The Phone Photography Project 2
class that I'm taking on line...
I took THE ONE photo where SHE is in focus
and played a bit with picmonkey --
First just enhancing the exposure and color saturation...
adding a little dark to the outside edges....
... then with 'yesteryear'
In retrospect, I should've put it on 'sport' mode --
I might have captured the movement a bit better...
Lots of fun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Y'all know I've been taking some art classes

on-line these past couple of years and 
creating big pieces and canvas pieces...
[I'm working on something with wood that I think you'll all enjoy!]
But I love my art journals 
- a place where can I play with techniques and styles 
and colors, 
and markers, water colors, acrylics... 
A place to have fun - 
Here's one I did a few weeks ago -- 
and while I might appear to be 'on the fence' about a lot of things,
I hope those that know me well, know that 
I'm a Bible-Believing-People-Loving person 
who believes we all have the choice to follow God and His directives
or not...
And we all fall short at some point or another, don't we?
"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard."
Romans 3:23 - NLT

Monday, July 28, 2014

So we had a busy weekend

moving the youngest from Auburn to Chattanooga 
where he will begin his first {{real}} job in a couple of weeks! 
Kind of sad - but oh, so exciting too!
We went to Auburn Friday - packed things up - 
drove up through Atlanta on Saturday 
[sitting on I-75 for a bit - wheee] 
 And then we drove home and back to Chattanooga 
with some more stuff on Sunday - 
So glad it's less than two hours away ---  
 We unloaded at the 300 Building 
[LOVE IT. - He has covered parking {included} across the street, 
a Y {great discount} next to that; and a FUN artist studio space right next door!] 
He's just a few blocks from his new office space!
[So fun that Craig and I ate lunch just a block from here 
when we were visiting for The Running of the Chihuahuas 
- not having any idea that Matt would end up here!]
It's also within walking distance of the river front area - 
lots of restaurants, and fun stores
[and yes, some great tourist places too!] 
I think it will be a good fit for him!

Friday, July 25, 2014

...continuing the sketch-a-day

It's okay to laugh a little  --
 But I'm commited to it - lol

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We're still enjoying visiting our local farmer's market

This week we picked up  some fresh lettuce [it smelled like it came right out of the field,] a cantaloupe, a couple of tomatoes, some onions, 
and a basket of little zucchini and yellow squash. 
Craig had put some [boneless] chicken in the fridge to marinate [with Italian dressing] so I cut up the veggies and tossed them with some olive oil [and mushrooms] and he cooked them all on the grill while I got the [jasmine]rice ready.
And, Oh. My. Goodness.
I'd forgotten how much I loved all of these flavors together!!
 I was STUFFED - but I still wanted just 'one more bite' lol.
I'll be eating the leftovers for lunch later this week - Yum.
Unfortunately, the cantaloupe wasn't a good one...
I love cantaloupe almost as much as Craig loves watermelon...
I'm sure I'll some good ones before the season is finished.
Meanwhile, let me know what you're eating that's fresh and local - remember...
on instagram.


Monday, July 21, 2014

These past few weeks

I've not traveled so much for work [yay!] 
and I've enjoyed having time to
 just be -
 You know what I mean ---
with no real agenda or time frame...
except for going to the office, of course....

 It makes me think retirement will be a really fun thing...
But y'all know ---- I'm no where NEAR retirement - ha.
I took my sweetie to the airport in Nashville a couple of weeks ago 
[for a fun fishing trip to Lake Erie]
and I spent the rest of the day just visiting with my sister - we did some 'find-the-label' shopping at Goodwill - we think it's a little weird that we can automatically pull out a label just by the look of the fabric [and I'm not talking design or color --]
And we found some sweet deals - but we only came home with some picture frames - lol -
I've had time to work on some art [and catch-up with my weekly art challenges -- 
but to be clear I'm not stressing over doing every-single-one 
because there's just some that don't appeal to me at all -]
Had a great time at the BIG BIRTHDAY BASH -  
See? My cupcakes DID look cute before the buttercream melted...
Then I went back to Nashville [sitting in traffic for an hour] to get my sweetheart and we enjoyed a nice relaxing evening at Maggiano's - we LOVE that place -- 
I ordered this personalized cuff from Christy Tomlinson [isn't it great?!?!]
And I've discovered the Amazon [super] store [where you can buy just about anything your little heart desires -] and finally found my favorite red lipstick [revlon 626 - cha cha cherry] that should be here any day -- 
and I've joined Margie's new on-line class, 
complete with kit that should also be arriving soon... 
--- Been spending that travel check from June - ha.
I said a final goodbye to an old-time Mexican favorite...
No, they aren't closing... but the quality has gone so low that  I'll not be back...
Kinda sad, really.
But we've sure been enjoying 
eating local - eating fresh...
We saw some friends at the farmer's market the other day and they said something about being inspired by how HEALTHY we were eating - and....
 I'm not sure it's HEALTHY - 
because an awful lot of it is fried - 
but IT IS local and fresh - [no preservatives.]
And the grilled cake with berries and yogurt WAS delicious!
And, oh-so-easy with my grill pan that I got for Christmas!
I also had  Discovering Joy in Creativity Group meeting 
at our house again this week - 
I'm sooo enjoying this group of gals who get together each month 
to study The Word and do a little art too -- 
It's such a pleasure to see the things they are working 
outside of class!
I've thought about it - 
but am just enjoying myself too much to remember to do it!

In other news...
My heart has been heavy for one of my sweet aunts and her family...
[Photo June - 2014 - credit - Jess Everhart]
She's been in the hospital this past week with a very serious heart attack... 
but is  home and resting now... please keep her in your prayers.
She's a sweetheart -- 
and taught me how to snap my fingers...
-- Tried incessantly to teach me how to whistle...
[but I still can't - lol]