Thursday, June 25, 2009

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto

Actually, I say Italian Tomato Tart! I made this for dinner last night and it was very good. This recipe was also from the April 2009 issue of "Cooking Light". My friend and neighbor "J" got me the subscription for my birthday last year and I' m really enjoying going through and picking out new recipes to try. I'm also going through my "Everyday Food" issues and choosing recipes from there as well. So far, so good!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Chip! Two Chip!

I took a break from my transcribing yesterday and made two different types of wonton chips: spiced and garlic/parmesan. I got the recipe for the spiced chips out of the April 2009 issue of "Cooking Light". The spiced chips call for Chinese five spice and the ones pictured above are a garlic/parmesan version I came up with - very simply, garlic powder with parsley and Trader Joe's Parmesan and Romano Grated Cheese. They are so easy: cut wonton wrappers into fours, lightly brush with dark sesame oil (or oil or your choice), sprinkle the wrappers with the mixture of your choice, and put into a preheated 450 degree oven for 3 minutes or until crisp. I must warn you though - it's very hard to stop at just a few!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To My Dad

Happy Father's Day also to my dear brother and to all the fathers out there in name and spirit. Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Good Day For...

...ducks, cleaning and making jewelry! It's a very drizzly day here; a complete turnaround from the very warm, clear day we had yesterday. I do like this weather though because I know that hot weather is right around the corner.

I took advantage of the drizzle to go outside and take some photos. I think the rose leaves look like they have been sprinkled with decorator's sugar, chunky glitter or those clear beads that you fuse onto fabric or objects.

This is a good day for me to do what I've been putting off - clean up the mess that is my workspace; it's very disorganized at the moment, with bits and pieces of the project I'm in the middle of scattered about. Then I can make a "clean start" and get some other ideas I've had in motion. I also need to get things ready for tomorrow, as my brother and his family are coming up for a Father's Day barbecue. I hope the weather will cooperate!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Say Hello To My Little Friend

I affectionately call him "Shashitska". I don't know where he lives or who he belongs to, but he always surprises me when I'm outside watering or doing yardwork. He starting showing-up a couple of months ago. This morning I was outside watering and he darted out from underneath the fig tree. He has startled me a couple of times like that! The only thing that I don't like about him (or any cat) is the bird-thing; I know it's their instict, but I feel so bad when I find feathers from a bird that has met its demise by this guy's paws. He is very sweet and disappears as fast as he appears! He stays for a little bit and then goes on his way.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend and Happy Father's Day to those of you who will be celebrating. My brother, SIL and nephews are coming up for a barbecue. It should be a fun day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lovely, Luscious Lavender - Part Deux

These are some of the other photos I took last Saturday at the Lavender Festival. The different shades of the various lavender plants was really beautiful and their wafting scent was absolutely heavenly.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lovely, Luscious Lavender!

Yesterday I went to the Lavender Festival at 123 Farms in Beaumont with my dearest friend Carol and her husband Jim. This is one of the largest organic lavender farms in the U.S. It was a little chilly and overcast, but we really enjoyed the day. Carol bought some lavender essential oil (which smelled heavenly) and some culinary lavender. I also purchased the culinary lavender and am excited to start cooking and baking with it. They were also selling lavender lemonade which was delicious, bouquets of lavender, lavender plants, a lavender cooking book... you get the idea!

Carol and I took a "class" where we made a lavender wand. The smell was heavenly as we wove the ribbon to make the wand. The ladies who were teaching the class came all the way from England. They were commenting on how our weather was like that back in England and that they were told California was always sunny and warm! I told them of our "June Gloom" and that I was actually enjoying the cooler weather, as I knew what was in store for us (hot weather and soon).

We caught the very end of a talk where a couple was demonstrating how lavender is distilled. I can't remember the the exact numbers, but it was an incredible amount of lavender that is required to make a fairly small amount of essential oil. "Lavender water" is also yielded from this process, which is used for room sprays, etc. (the water-based product of the distillation process). It was quite interesting.

I have some more pictures of the lavender fields that I will share this week. It was a really lovely day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"I Really Don't Know Clouds At All"

I noticed that there were such pretty and unusual-looking clouds in the sky late this morning while I was out doing errands and was wishing I had my camera with me. By the time I got back home most of them were gone, but these two looked interesting to me - the top one looks like a lyre and the bottom one looks like a reindeer (well, to my eye anyway!). It reminded me of that Joni Mitchell song "Clouds": "Rows and flows of angel hair, and ice cream castles in the air, and feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way...".