Friday, June 29, 2012

Greek Mussels

This evening I made the most amazing Greek mussels!  We went to the fish market in Portland, ME and picked up 3 lbs. of Nova Scotia mussels.  We had 1 guest for dinner, our neighbor Mike.  Mike needed a bit of cheering up, his precious Border Collie Declan went missing!

My little tablescape has a lot going on here.  The table cloth is vintage 1950's and belonged to my late mother-in-law, I just love it.  Seriously, I didn't notice the wrinkles until after I took the photo!

The dishes, what you can see of them, my husband purchased when we were dating (you wonder why me, a dish-a-holic married him).  They are made by Buffalo China restaurant wear, and the pattern is Blue Willow, a favorite of ours.  

The napkin holder is a gift from an old friend, it looks like a slice of watermelon.  The beach roses (I have a love/hate relationship with them) are from my front yard, the container is from a second hand store, and the crystal glasses are from the Christmas Tree shop!  

Here's a close-up of dinner

Beach roses in milk glass hob-nail vase

The Recipe
1lb of mussels per person
1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon of garlic (I know, I like my garlic)
3 chopped tomatoes (1 per person)
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
1 tablespoon of chopped Greek oregano
1/3 cup of Greek feta per person

soak and rinse the mussels (several times)

saute sweet onion & garlic
add 1/3 cup of white wine
add the mussels
add the chopped tomatoes
add the chopped chives
add the chopped parsley
add the chopped Greek oregano

Cook on the stove top covered about 10 - 13 minutes until mussels are opened.  Do not eat mussels that have not opened

Serve over spaghetti
Sprinkle with Greek feta

Eat, enjoy & smile!

However, the best news ~ immediately after we finished dinner, Mike received a phone call from someone who found Declan!  Mike and my husband left and picked up the pooch!  He seems to be OK, we think he may have been hit by a car, he's limping and has a gash on his paw.  He's going to the vet in the morning!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Nephew's Art

My youngest nephew graduated from high school last week and is headed to a very prestigious art school in NYC.  We're very proud of him!  Below is some of his art work that is currently hanging in his parents home!

This piece is very special, he was painting it for my mom, his nana for her 
Christmas gift, unfortunately mom passed away in September and she didn't 
see the finished painting.  The painting is very large and very beautiful.

This painting has been dubbed the "Harry Potter House" 
 I don't think the artist likes the nickname too much!  

When his parents painted the family room, his mom wanted a floral painting, the artist didn't want to paint flowers, it was a battle, but in the end mom won, (don't they always win, LOL) she and everyone else loves it! As recently as the graduation party he was trying to replace it! It's really stunning in person. It's a large piece, just so you know how large, I believe that couch is 6 feet long!

This piece has an industrial feeling as well as a lot of movement, 
it's not my favorite, but his parents love it.  

I think you can see how talented my nephew is by his different paintings. This is just a
small sample, and I hope you enjoy his artwork as much as we do!

My nephew received two art honor awards, high honors, and a state honor, he's not only
talented, he is intelligent, kind, handsome and an all around good kid!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Best Dill Pickles Ever!!!

  • I lost this recipe and I thought "no big deal," I'll simply use another recipe . . . wrong!  It was a HUGE deal! I used another recipe last summer and I really didn't care for it, which surprised me, because it was from a very well respected canning book . . . 

  • Then one day I found the recipe, phoned my friend Susan at From Beyond My Kitchen Window to tell her my good news! I should tell you that Susan gave me the recipe, and we both misplaced it!!! So you can imagine how delighted we were when I found it!

  • Last night we were chatting about what we were going to can/preserve this season and the subject of pickles came up . . . well I went into a panic about the recipe . . . where did I put it? Susan reminded me that I bookmarked it . . . phew, what a relief, I had!  Thank goodness for friends!

  • I have decided to post the recipe so I NEVER loose it again!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Susan and I do!  Enjoy!

  • Ingredients

    8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 12 cups water
  • 2/3 cup pickling salt
  • 16 cloves of garlic peeled and halved
  • 8 sprigs of fresh dill weed
  • 8 heads of fresh dill weed


  1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink (I use a large plastic dishpan!) with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
  3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
  4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
  5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Duke & His Lobster

Even Duke wanted in on National Lobster Day yesterday!  Of course the only way I could get him to pose like that was to dangle a apple cheddar cheese dog treat from the farmers market in front of him!  He's not too spoiled is he? xo

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's National Lobster Day!

Guess what, school ended yesterday @ 3:35 and I'm in Maine! I don't have anything for dinner and in case you haven't heard, it's National Lobster Day! Guess what I'm having for dinner?  Yup, that's right, we're heading out to one of our local fish shops to bring home a delicious crustacean for me!  I decided on a lobster roll - toasted naturally!  My husband decided on homemade clam chowdah!  It was delicious!

No fancy china for this dinner - paper plates, paper napkins, and a smile on my face!  The next time you're in Maine, please join me for dinner.

It's time to pop the blueberry pie in the oven, that's for tomorrow night!

In case you were wondering if lobsters were healthy . . . here's a little nutritional comparison chart!  Lobsters are an incredibly healthy, low cholesterol food, which has fewer calories and saturated fats than both chicken and turkey.

Maine Lobster 72 mg 98 0.1 g
Skinless Chicken 85 mg 173 1.3 g
Skinless Turkey 86 mg 140 0.4 g

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bees Knees Birthday!

My husband and I went out to celebrate my birthday the other night and I ordered this cocktail, it was amazing!  Frankly, I was very surprised that no one asked to see my I.D.!!  LOL!!!  

I'm not one to usually order "fancy" drinks, but I have to tell you, this cocktail was delicious.  If you don't like alcohol, you could omit the vodka, the drink was that flavorful!  

 The waitress was kind enough to give me the recipe!

1 teaspoon of clover honey
1 1/5 ounces of Stoli's honey Or "stikie" vodka
1/4 cup of lemonade
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
Slice of lemon with "honey bee" decoration

Combine all ingredients and shake well over ice
Pour into your favorite martini glass
Relax & Enjoy!