Things I'm Researching

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Delights in Life

We are so very blessed, we love our precious family! This week has been a great time with our youngest son Nathan and family hanging out mostly doing ordinary things with a few extra special times thrown in.
It is so amazing to see through the eyes of a child...simple delights like picking apples from a tree in your yard then watching our grandson at age 1 1/2 enjoy the crisp yumminess of that apple.
It is incredible how little legs handle stairs when the steps are as high as thier little knee :) He never tires of the challenge of those stairs or finding a way up, over or through...such determination!

We spent an evening watching the sun set at the beach, moments snuggling my grandchildren, pretending, making brownies, walks and playground fun. There has been discussions about future life plans, dinners together and lively discussions peppered in here and there. 

What do I enjoy most? The simple moments...everyday moments...just having them with us and being with them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scraps of Life ~ Toward Inspiration and Creativity

I had a most fabulous day gathering inspiration and stirring creativity. The day was spent with my sister at South Towne Expo where the Scrapbook USA event was being held. Although we noticed that the event is not nearly the size it has been in the past that did not hinder us from spending all day and lots of dollars as we took in all the wonderful booths.

Many of our old favorite booths were there like Its Cheaper Than Therapy and they did not dissapoint us...the array of Sizzix dies and folders was truely amazing. 

Purple Cows had some astounding deals on their bundles...of course I had to get all the wonderful blades that wavy cut, perforate and fold.

Tessler Stamps & Stencils were there and demoing as they always do. They had a great little Make & Take project that even two very tired expo attendees could manage. I was delighted with my finished necklace and had a hard time picking out products from thier great assortment.
Are you a Cricut fan? My oh my the company Cri-Kits has some cool stuff you have to see! Embossing on metal, sparkly markers that fit any Cricut and more will get your mind going crazy with ideas.

Unity Stamp Company really knocked our socks off. The stamps they carry are beautifully detailed, fine art. The owners have a wonderful boothside manner and were so helpful at easing the transition of my money to thier till LOL. One of my new purchases... a bird stamp & word Life Is Beautiful.

I couldn't manage to pass The Eyelet Outlet without picking up a package of adorable ladybugs and Blue Moon beads lured me to pick up a few new strands of beads.

Are you still struggling to organize tangles of ribbon? Are your spools spilling out of drawers? You may just NEED one of these cool caddys from RicRac Rollers.
One booth that got me all excited though was Just Me! Music. I know, I know its not even a scrapart booth. Psssst! Let me share a secret, I have a Christmas gift and its only September!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pasta and Peaches- A Deliciously Fresh Meal

I love summer and I especially love the wonderful garden fresh foods that are available this time of year. My little garden has been producing basil, parsley, zucchini. I keep hoping the deer will leave my tomato plants alone but they strip the plants daily, sigh.

Thank goodness for Farmers Markets and local growers. Oh... I am so-ooo excited because our local orchard growers just put up the Fresh Peaches sign! It is always a very short season and I didn't want to miss all thier yumminess, I couldn't wait to grab a box of them!

In the past several days I've been whipping up some great recipes using my basil, zuchinni, and the peaches too so I just had to share.

Lots of fresh basil.
 Carol Loves Basil Pesto
2 cups     Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 cup     Fresh Parsley
1/2 cup     Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup     Roasted Pine Nuts (or Almonds, Walnuts etc.)
2 ea            Garlic Cloves
1/2 cup     Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp         Salt
1/2 tsp      Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Pesto is defined as any sauce made with herbs ground to a pulp with a mortar and pestle. We will be using the blender or food processor for our pesto...aahhh modern convenience!

Put the basil, parsley, parmesan cheese, pine nuts & garlic into your food processor (blender) blending ingredients until smooth. Next, add olive oil slowly while first ingredients are blending slow to medium speed. Add salt and pepper just before turning off processor.

After mixing up this fantastic basic pesto I went in search of something to use it on. I remembered I had just purchased some beautiful Tiger Prawns and also some plum tomatoes. Ok, next a quick peek in the pantry and I found some spiral pasta...fantastic!

1 lb. Tiger Prawns
1/2 lb. Pasta
1/2 cup fresh Pesto
2-3 Plum Tomatoes
Prepare pasta according to directions. When tender take off heat, save hot water, remove pasta & set aside. Toss rinsed Tiger Prawns in the hot water and allow to cook.The Tiger Prawns are ready when no longer translucent. Drain saving about 1 cup of the hot cooking water. Remove shells & tails from Tiger Prawns. Heat pesto in skillet, toss in chopped tomatoes, pasta and shrimp. Add 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Stir well coating pasta with pesto sauce. Serve in bowls with aome parsley or basil leaves to garnish. Serves 4.

I served this dish with a fresh salad of romaine, celery, red bell pepper and tomatoes. The dressing was a simple vinegarette. The pasta was absolutely out of this world! Now what could possibly top a fresh meal like that? Ummm how about a dessert of Fresh Peaches?

Fresh Peach Saute
6 peaches
1/4 cup brown sugar
Wash & drain peaches. Slice peaches in half. Heat skillet on medium, add peach halves cut side down and sprinkle brown sugar over peaches. Stir and flip peaches heating until brown sugar and juices begin to reduce down. Skins will loosen, push off peaches and continue to stir and flip peaches in the liquid. Allow peaches to cook until tender. Serve peaches & skins warm, topped with brown sugar glaze.

Fresh Peach Pie
10 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
Mix flour, sugar and butter into crumb stage.
Place one crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Line the shell with some sliced peaches. Sprinkle some of the butter mixture on top of the peaches, then put more peaches on top of the crumb mixture. Continue layering until both the peaches and crumbs are gone.
Top with lattice strips of pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. This recipe is really juicy! To combat possible runniness without modifying the recipe, turn the oven OFF when the baking time is complete and let it sit in the cooling oven while continuing to boil off liquid. It won't burn, and it sets the pie very nicely.  Allow pie to cool before slicing.

Did I mention I love summer and all the wonderful garden fresh harvest abundance? M-mmm!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Women and Strength Thoughts by Kelly Corrigan

I love it when we as women share with one another those thoughts that remind us of who we are and the might that is inside us. Emotional Yes...ok Tissues are forwarned...ENJOY!

...And a favorite quote of mine ;)

Thoughts on Life and Labor

Here in my little corner of the world we are celebrating Labor Day, a national holiday born out of the desire to honor the working man and woman. Ok theres a lot more to it but  you can learn about those details, better told here.

Looking back on where we each get our work ethic I can credit my mother and my dear great Aunt Louise probably have had the most influence on me personally. The reason I am writing this today though is because of my mother...It is her birthday today. She didn't live a long life but she definately packed alot of living in to a life.

Mom was born in 1932 during the Great Depression as our nation was in the most difficult of financial times. Her early family life was spent in the thros of World War 2. Moms frugal nature (OK sisters, don't yell CHEAP all at once LOL) made us crazy and it also helped us to know how to stretch our dollars. History and her family life shaped and defined her as it also has shaped me. So much of what I am today comes from the things my Mother and Great Aunt taught me...sometimes those things were examples in life I chose not to emulate but mostly a great joy and love of family, passion for kindness and desire to have something meaningful to "work" at. Nanas favorite phrases always started with "You go to work and...."

My mother always talked of retirement but her life was tied to work. I was never confident she would actually retire. Oddly even in the weeks preceeding her death her days were filled with her work BUT she loved to take time for parties and celebrations. Holidays were spent at the lake, at the beach, sometimes having a BBQ or Potluck. She taught us how to work AND how to play. If she were alive I am guessing she would have been having a pool party with her favorite friends, family and of course her beer. In honor of you MOM...Happy Birthday and for everyone else enjoy a happy and safe Labor Day.