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.  

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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.

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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.

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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
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.


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


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

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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!!

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