Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 16, 2016

July 2016

The "lazy days of summer" haven't visited me yet.  Like most years summers come and go too quickly.  Mid-summer is when Hindinger Farm starts to sell their own produce and I try to get there at least once a week.  They have the most beautiful reasonably priced flowers and they last about two weeks if you change the water and add a copper penny.  


*  *  *  *

Recently I visited the Springwood Estate in Hyde Park, New York.  It was the home of Franklin Roosevelt.  It's now a national historic site.  


In 1932 FDR became our 32nd President.  One of the things he's most remembered for is introducing The New Deal.  I found that time in history so interesting because a lot of the same things are happening now that happened then.  After the depression the economy and moral were low. The New Deal consisted of various programs designed to reinvigorate the economy. He also was the first President to create a Presidential Library and he remains the only President to have used his Presidential Library while still in office.
  

Springwood is beautiful.  It reminded me of the Plantations in Charleston.



A tour of FDR's estate and a meal at the Culinary Institute of America also in Hyde Park equals a fantastic memorable day-trip from the New Haven area.



*  *  *  *

Also right in our own backyard, The British Art Center re-opened after a long renovation.  My family surprised me with a visit there over my birthday weekend.  This article about the current exhibit of  tiny Shakespeare books appeared in the New Haven Register on July 3rd the same day we went.  It's fascinating and if you have a creative bone in your body you're going to get the urge to make one!  I'll keep you posted.  That's another item on my huge bucket list.


*  *  *  *

Summer wouldn't be summer unless we're eating so here's two amazing summer salads that are delicious and easy to make...

I was thinking of making a good pasta salad to go with our grill menu for Luke's graduation party.  Whenever I need a recipe for a crowd I always ask my 20+ year friend and co-worker Kim.  She has a huge family and an even bigger recipe collection.  All you have to do is give her a couple of words and she'll rattle off at least six amazing ideas.  Here's her suggestion for a special unique salad that everyone loves:

Tortellini Salad

Baby swiss cheese - cubed
sweet baked ham - cubed
frozen peas
scallions
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

It was to die for!!  This was 3 lbs.  We ate it all week.  Don't make that much.  Tortellini is very deceiving.  They look like little round pasta in the package but when you cook them they get four times the size.  It's OK though not one tortellini went to waste!


Recently I had a lot of beautiful fresh strawberries and blueberries and went on Pinterest and found this amazing recipe.  This is a summer salad to rival anything.  One tip - after you candy the pecans put them in the freezer.  They get crispy and crunchy.

Lunch:

from Shugary Sweets

Delicious Summer Strawberry Pecan Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing recipe. Copycat Panera salad, so easy, so good.
For the Salad:

1 15 oz. can Mandarin oranges, drained


1/4 cup red onion, sliced

1 12 oz package Romaine lettuce

8 oz. strawberries, fresh

4 oz. blueberries, fresh

2 oz. goat cheese

Dressing:

3/4 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup = less sweet)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2/3 cup olive oil

1 tbsp poppyseeds


1 cup pecans, halved and candied


*  *  *  *

I'd like to share some of the creative presents I got for my birthday.  This is an adorable little pincushion with a pocket in the back made by Sue.


Julie used painted lemons to make this work of art.


Di, my buddy in Australia sent me these goodies which I adore!  The potholder and dish towel are made out of corduroy and it's a good quality fabric only the Aussie's seem to have.  Our best time to chat are very early in the a.m. or very late at night because that's when we're both up.  She's complaining about the cold and I'm complaining about the heat.  We have so much in common!!


And then there's Kristen.  I have to beg and plead for some piece of art from her and this time she delivered big time.  This gorgeous painting is huge.  I'm going to refinish an easel and display it.  Stay tuned.  It should be interesting.


And the best is yet to come.  I can enjoy all of these wonderful pieces of art while sipping a cocktail from my very own bartender thanks to Susan and Luke!  I'll be sending out the call BARS OPEN when I figure out how to install the APP AND make the drinks!



Until then, I hope you have a cool, refreshing rest of July and see you in August! 

 Thanks for visiting!!














July 16, 2016

July 2016

The "lazy days of summer" haven't visited me yet.  Like most years summers come and go too quickly.  Mid-summer is when Hindinger Farm starts to sell their own produce and I try to get there at least once a week.  They have the most beautiful reasonably priced flowers and they last about two weeks if you change the water and add a copper penny.  


*  *  *  *

Recently I visited the Springwood Estate in Hyde Park, New York.  It was the home of Franklin Roosevelt.  It's now a national historic site.  


In 1932 FDR became our 32nd President.  One of the things he's most remembered for is introducing The New Deal.  I found that time in history so interesting because a lot of the same things are happening now that happened then.  After the depression the economy and moral were low. The New Deal consisted of various programs designed to reinvigorate the economy. He also was the first President to create a Presidential Library and he remains the only President to have used his Presidential Library while still in office.
  

Springwood is beautiful.  It reminded me of the Plantations in Charleston.



A tour of FDR's estate and a meal at the Culinary Institute of America also in Hyde Park equals a fantastic memorable day-trip from the New Haven area.



*  *  *  *

Also right in our own backyard, The British Art Center re-opened after a long renovation.  My family surprised me with a visit there over my birthday weekend.  This article about the current exhibit of  tiny Shakespeare books appeared in the New Haven Register on July 3rd the same day we went.  It's fascinating and if you have a creative bone in your body you're going to get the urge to make one!  I'll keep you posted.  That's another item on my huge bucket list.


*  *  *  *

Summer wouldn't be summer unless we're eating so here's two amazing summer salads that are delicious and easy to make...

I was thinking of making a good pasta salad to go with our grill menu for Luke's graduation party.  Whenever I need a recipe for a crowd I always ask my 20+ year friend and co-worker Kim.  She has a huge family and an even bigger recipe collection.  All you have to do is give her a couple of words and she'll rattle off at least six amazing ideas.  Here's her suggestion for a special unique salad that everyone loves:

Tortellini Salad

Baby swiss cheese - cubed
sweet baked ham - cubed
frozen peas
scallions
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

It was to die for!!  This was 3 lbs.  We ate it all week.  Don't make that much.  Tortellini is very deceiving.  They look like little round pasta in the package but when you cook them they get four times the size.  It's OK though not one tortellini went to waste!


Recently I had a lot of beautiful fresh strawberries and blueberries and went on Pinterest and found this amazing recipe.  This is a summer salad to rival anything.  One tip - after you candy the pecans put them in the freezer.  They get crispy and crunchy.

Lunch:

from Shugary Sweets

Delicious Summer Strawberry Pecan Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing recipe. Copycat Panera salad, so easy, so good.
For the Salad:

1 15 oz. can Mandarin oranges, drained


1/4 cup red onion, sliced

1 12 oz package Romaine lettuce

8 oz. strawberries, fresh

4 oz. blueberries, fresh

2 oz. goat cheese

Dressing:

3/4 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup = less sweet)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2/3 cup olive oil

1 tbsp poppyseeds

2/3 cup olive oil

1 cup pecans, halved and candied


*  *  *  *

I'd like to share some of the creative presents I got for my birthday.  This is an adorable little pincushion with a pocket in the back made by Sue.


Julie used painted lemons to make this work of art.


Di, my buddy in Australia sent me these goodies which I adore!  The potholder and dish towel are made out of corduroy and it's a good quality fabric only the Aussie's seem to have.  Our best time to chat are very early in the a.m. or very late at night because that's when we're both up.  She's complaining about the cold and I'm complaining about the heat.  We have so much in common!!


And then there's Kristen.  I have to beg and plead for some piece of art from her and this time she delivered big time.  This gorgeous painting is huge.  I'm going to refinish an easel and display it.  Stay tuned.  It should be interesting.


And the best is yet to come.  I can enjoy all of these wonderful pieces of art while sipping a cocktail from my very own bartender thanks to Susan and Luke!  I'll be sending out the call BARS OPEN when I figure out how to install the APP AND make the drinks!



Until then, I hope you have a cool, refreshing rest of July and see you in August! 

 Thanks for visiting!!














Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 2016

So far this Spring/Summer has been busy.  Every year I look forward to going to the NYC Art Expo.  This year was a little different from previous years in that there were less painters and more digital and 3-D artists showing their work.  Here are a few photos of some of the beautiful artwork we saw.


The variety and size and shapes of the collages were amazing...


I love anything with cards...


This artist was from Australia.  The colors in her work are happy and vibrant.  


*  *  *  *
Just when we thought we've seen everything there is to see in the State of MA we were pleasantly surprised when we decided on one of our long weekends in MA to visit Marblehead.  I didn't realize it's right next to Salem.  This is a wonderful day trip and there's enough there to make it two days.

Right in the heart of town there's a little museum and historical society which has a lot of really interesting documents and letters written by George Washington, Paul Revere, and other famous men.  This is a very famous painting called "The Spirit of '76".  It's located in Abbot Hall just a few feet away from the museum.  It was impossible to get a good photo without the glare because there's a light is shining right over it. 



You can easily park and then walk through town.  There are several interesting historical places to visit like the Jeremiah Lee Mansion which is across the street from the museum, the King Hopper Mansion and The Civil War & G.A.R. Museum at the Old Town House.  There are other sights we didn't have time to see.  I'm hoping to get back here.  On the way out of town we did stop to look at Castle Rock on Ocean Ave.  It's breathtaking.

This is a photo of Washington Street.  It's filled with great little shops that carry unique, different things you won't find anywhere else.  


I was in heaven when I found this little boutique called "Good for M".  Most of the items for sale were outside.  These handmade baskets are from Morocco.  There were some amazing quilt tops scattered around too.  I asked the owner how much that quilt top was and she said $500.  She was nice enough to tell me the name of the line of fabric she used and the pattern.  It's called Hunter's Star.  It's on my bucket list of quilts to make.


The shop owner owns 4 hairless cats.  The two black male cats were sound asleep on a chair.  The two female cats were all over the place.  She said that's a typical day for them.  They girls were so adorable!  This one wanted to climb all over us.  The owner said it's because she lets her sit on her shoulder all the time.



When we decided to go to Marblehead I Messaged Jesse in New Zealand and asked her where we should go for lunch.  She lives very near Marblehead and always tells us about the great restaurants near her so she's the expert when it comes to a good lobster roll!

And she didn't let us down.  This is The Landing.  It's fantastic.  It was such a fabulous day we were a little disappointed we couldn't eat outside on the porch overlooking the water but it was too busy and the wait was too long.

 

Our server told us the clam chowder was award winning.  And yes, it was delicious.  Go and find out what the secret is to this fantastic chowder!  It's in the cup and you'll know as soon as you taste it!  I think it's the best chowder we've ever had!


As you can see the lobster roll was to die for!!  Our server said if I wanted a refreshing drink their locally brewed Bent Water beer was just the thing.  With a squirt of lemon I was in heaven!  It was light and refreshing and hit the spot!  I have to go back to Marblehead just to have this lunch again!!  Thanks Jesse!!  Hopefully next time you'll be with us!!!


This is the view from the dock next to the restaurant.


So while we were taking pictures dad snuck off and found the spot where all the dads go - to sit under the shade and catch a little nap after lunch!  Unfortunately he didn't get much time.


Marblehead is a beautiful little town.  Every house we saw had more character than the next.


And the view of the ocean is panoramic.  If I win the lottery you can find me living here!


*  *  *  *

We celebrated a special birthday in June.  Kristen turned 21.  She has wanted a vintage typewriter for years.  They're tough to find.  I was very foolish when we moved into our house so many years ago.  I threw out my dad's Underwood Typewriter.  I'll never get over that.  It was collecting dust and I never ever thought anyone would ever have any use for it anymore.  If I had the hindsight I have now I would have known not to throw the good stuff away.

This typewriter appeared just in time for Kristen's birthday.  


While we were waiting for it to be restored I searched the internet for typewriter fabric.  Fabrics.com is my go-to for everything.  They had just the thing.  I couldn't get too carried away with the pattern because I had to finish this project ON TIME.  So I chose to make something simple and thankfully finished it! 


This is the label I sewed on the back.  It says it all!

 

I couldn't resist making her a mug rug to go with her mini quilt.


*  *  *  *
I had so many recipes and things planned to share with you this month but instead I wanted to end my blog this way.  Last week at quilt group Sue invited Jane, the co-coordinator of the Quilts of Valor Foundation.  This Foundation is made up solely of volunteers who make quilts for Vets.  Jane goes all over CT presenting quilts to Vets.  There's a little ceremony and then they're wrapped in their quilts.  There wasn't a dry eye in the room it was such a moving experience.


Two vets were honored.  As soon as I can spare a little time I would like to volunteer to do something with this Foundation.  Anne, from our group and a few other ladies are very involved.  Anne helped present the quilt she worked on to a Vet at one of the ceremonies. The Foundation supplies all of the fabric.  All they need are volunteers who sew.  Jane is an amazing lady.  She long-arms the quilts.  And if someone likes to bind she'll drop a quilt off just to bind.  She travels all over CT to talk about QOV and present Vets with quilts.  Here's her email address and phone number if you'd like to get in touch with her Jane.Dougherty@QOVF.org  203-315-0232. 


Her parting words to the Vets were to use their quilts.  They are to go on their favorite chair.  Their pets can share them. They've been washed so they can get messed up and washed in the washing machine.  And if these Vets ever have a bad day they need to remember their very own quilt is waiting at home and will wrap them in warmth and love.  


Have the best start of summer and see you next month!!