Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Watermelon Salad

I have to tell you, I was surprisingly shocked at how good this was!  We had a huge family party for 3 of my nieces this past weekend.  Two of them are leaving the country, one for medical school, one to teach, and the third niece received her masters degree.  I will also tell you that there was only a one cup serving left!  This recipe is from Food & Wine.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Tabasco (I forgot to add this)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (10 cups), chilled
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
1 1/4 cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 small sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, Tabasco and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the mint and serve.

In the top photo; the front row middle and far right girls are leaving the country and in the back row, in red, received her masters degree.

Those same girls are from left to right the 2nd, 3rd & 4th young ladies. xo

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Old Orchard Beach Evening

There's something mysterious about Old Orchard Beach (OOB) in the evening, she takes on a whole different persona.  I love a good mystery.  Don't you?

She was THE vacation resort in the 1800's.  It's where President Kennedy's parents, Rose and Joe fell in love in 1907.

There are 7 miles of gorgeous sandy beach and I thought I'd share it with you!

This view is a 7 minute walk from our cottage.

 When we walk down Old Orchard Street, this is what we see.

I love all the "party" lights in this photo!

We can hear all the screams of excitement in the evening as they waft up the hill.

Swimsuit styles have changed too!  LOL!!!

More on OOB to come!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Magical Monday ~ Garden Renovation

Don't you think Monday's should be magical?  I do, so I thought I'd show you a few photos from our seaside garden renovation.  This area was rife with bamboo & weeds.

What we did.  We had a cedar fence installed - the chain link just wasn't doing it!  We bought some granite curbing and dug trenches and sunk it, some of that stuff is down pretty deep and very heavy to move!

Along the back we planted a white Rose of Sharon in the middle and then planted Little Lamb Hydrangea's on each side of it.  In front of the Rose of Sharon are white peony's.  I love my white garden.

Our lots are tiny, only 40 feet wide by 100 feet deep!  Here you can see the little granite bird baths flanking the back garden wall, and the solar lighting, which is awesome!

Then we planted the side garden with some herbs, and perennials.  The white fence to the right is my brothers yard.  He has a small stone wall and patio, give me grass any day!  It's cooler!  The only advantage is it doesn't have to be cut!

We added a granite bird bath, a lighthouse bird house and a little cedar trellis.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Cape Porpoise, Maine

Wishing a very Happy 4th of July to each of you!  

We are so blessed to live in this amazing country, to be free, and to be who we want to be! For the last few years I have enjoyed reading the Declaration of Independence - where else are we guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?

"When in the Course of human events . . . all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights . . . for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

To read the entire Declaration of Independence, click here.  

If you are in hurricane Arthur's path keep safe. We are expected to feel the brunt of the storm in Maine tomorrow.  The BBQ & fireworks have been postponed until July 5th!  We can roll with it!  

Be happy & safe!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Do you Shuck or Shell . . .

. . . Peas?

one down . . . 

It's a simple question.  So I thought I'd ask.  I've used both terms, but truthfully I've never really sat down and shucked/shelled peas - until I bought a bagful the other day.  Which by the way ended up only being 3 cups!!!  3 cups!!!  Did you hear me?  I sat for what seemed for like hours!!!

Truthfully, I really enjoyed it!  I think it was because I had lots of company and the time really did fly by!  But, I was thinking that if I hadn't had all the visits from family and friends, it could have been a very tedious job!  I hope to get some more and package them and put them in my freezer.  I love having local produce in my freezer - especially in January!

What I've learned - I will never complain about the price of peas.  Like clams, I never complain about the price of clams, have you ever watched people digging for clams in the mud flats?  Nope, there are some things you just don't complain about paying for!

What are your favorite pea recipes?  How do you like to use them?

I bought these beauties at a farm stand in New Hampshire with my friend Susan at From Beyond My Kitchen Window.  From there we went to a farm in Dracut, MA, and bought some veggies that they grew in their greenhouse, and then to Carlisle, MA in the hopes of purchasing farm fresh eggs - sadly they were on vacation, but it was a beautiful day for a drive!  Susan and I always have fun when we are out and about!

Thank you for your friendship, I truly appreciate your comments and your visits.  Have a wonderful week ~ and for my U.S.A. friends a very Happy 4th of July!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chive Vinegar

After 1 week

So very simple, and so very delicious!

First, I have to thank my good friend Susan at From Beyond My Kitchen Window for this recipe.  I have made many batches of this vinegar.  I happen to have a lot of friends who like vinegar - who knew!

Just made

White distilled vinegar
12 -20 chive blossoms, snipped right beneath the head
Rinse the flower-heads

For a quart jar I add 20 chive blossoms
For a pint jar I add 12 chive blossom

Pour the vinegar over the blossoms leaving a little head room.  Secure the lid, and let it sit on your sunny window sill for two weeks.

After two weeks or one if you can't wait, your can remove the blossoms (they will loose color) 
pour the vinegar through a cheesecloth and then re-pour into a lovely decanter or add it back to your canning jar.

You'll notice a color change within a few hours!  

Potato salad
Macaroni salad
Bean salad - this is how I used it (or how ever you like to use vinegar)!

See the color difference
This make a great hostess gift, shower favor or a just because gift.  Enjoy!

P.S. I had to enable word verification, I've been getting LOTS of SPAM for some reason!!!  Hopefully it won't be on long, because I don't like it!  Thank your for you understanding.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Gratitude Pie

So, are you wondering what a "Gratitude Pie" is?  My pie is a mix of blueberry, blackberry and raspberry, and it's a pie that you bake and give away to your coworkers because they have so generously bought raffle tickets week after week since November for a good cause.  The good cause - was to raise funds for our 8th grade end of year activities.  Thanks to their generous support, we raised $1,014.00 for our students!

November - Election day bake sale, no school, but I dropped a pie off!

It started innocently enough - bake two pies and bring them in for a Thanksgiving raffle.  Who wouldn't be happy to have a home-made pie for Thanksgiving?

Then it was 3 more pies until Christmas (one a week) - gee, this money is starting to pile up!  Maybe I should bake one a month for special occassions.

January - Martin Luther King's Birthday
February - Super Bowl Sunday Apple Pie
February - President's Day & Valentine's Day - Cherry pie with white chocolate hearts
March - St. Patrick's Grasshopper pie
March - MCAS Pie (to cheer everyone up after the high stakes testing)
March - Family game night
April - Kentucky Derby
April -Easter Chocolate Cream pie with cocoanut crust
May - Mother's Day Apple Pie
May - Apple Pie for major school fundraiser
June - Gratitude Pie

Who knows, there may be one more in store, school's in session until the 18th!

Now, my question to you is this; do you think I should continue this for next year?  Or will people get bored buying raffle tickets for home made pies?