Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
When I worked as a gardener on a nearby estate, I became friendly with the chefs. The first was a woman who authored at least two cookbooks. She once told me, "When you purchase your second cookbook, you have started a collection". The second chef was a bit eccentric and rarely used a recipe. I thought him to be a master at his homeland Moroccan cuisine. Back to the first-the lady author. She gave me a signed copy of one of her cookbooks, making that my second... and that, was the beginning of my cookbook collection.
~There are two copies of The Joy of Cooking. One is pretty old and tattered, and the newer one is the updated edition.
~The complete works of Ina Garten~The Barefoot Contessa. These are my 'go-to' books. I love the way this woman entertains and if I could have dinner with but one cookbook author it would be this lady.
~The New York Times Cookbook-this is my husband's favorite and is his 'go-to' book of choice.
~I am a soup maker and lover so there are several good soup cookbooks. Most of those were gifts from my wonderful son and daughter-in-law~Jonathan and Amanda.
~Two great Maine cookbooks are the Marjorie Standish-Cooking Downeast and Keep Cooking the Maine Way.
~I love Classic French Cooking by Elizabeth Luard for the fantastic recipes and its whimsical illustrations.
~The New Basics and The Silver Palate by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins are great sources as is, Great Good Food by Julee Rosso.
~I love Dean & Deluca The Food and Wine cookbook-pairing dishes with complimentary wines.
~From Maine-The Arrow's Cookbook by Clark Fraier and Mark Gaier. My husband and I have had the pleasure of dining at Arrow's in Ogunquit-it was memorable.
~There are a couple of cupcake books for those times that our Granddaughter Erin visits and we feel like baking.
~I treasure my Mother's old copy of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook.
~I don't eat meat, so there are few good vegetarian books.
~I was raised by my a strong Italian Mother and my Dad who loved my Mom's ancestral dishes, so there are some good Italian cookbooks.
~I have folders of clipped recipes and favorites from family and friends. I enjoy two wonderful cooking groups where we choose a theme and contribute to a splendid evening of sharing.
I would love to hear about your favorite recipes and some of your 'go-to' cookbooks.
p.s. I love everyday recipes from Cooking Light magazine- Oh yes... cooking magazines~ that's a whole other post...
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Passed away as the result of a tragic skiing accident.
I have long been a big fan of Natasha Richardson~ born into a family rich in film, she was the daughter of the late Tony Richardson and actress Vanessa Redgrave. Ms. Richardson is survived by her husband, film star Liam Neeson and two sons, Michael and Daniel.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
During a recent visit our young Granddaughter Erin went to her art cupboard that we keep stocked for her. She brought out little snippets of this and that. There was colorful paper, a paper punch, glue, stickers, tiny wooden sticks, crayons and colored pencils. She focused on this piece for at least a couple of hours- gluing, removing things when they didn't quite suit her and repositioning until it was just as she wanted it.
It is displayed in a place of honor. This is more precious than riches to her Mimi and Pop-Pop. Don't you love the texture, the use of color? We encourage her with plenty of supplies and we set aside special, creative playtime when she visits. During one extended visit, while Mom and Dad were on vacation, we took her to a local museum. She was quite taken with the colorful displays and the interactive areas especially for young children. We think Erin to be somewhat gifted in the arts and to us- this piece is priceless.
"Every child is an artist, The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up". Pablo Picasso
"I could do art all day". Cameron~ Age 5
"I love art because I can impress myself". Fourth Grader
Do you have a young person close to you that enjoys the creative process? Do you know of books appropriate for very young children that may inspire~ I would love to hear from you.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The four leaf clover is said to be a symbol of good luck. They say that finding a four leaf clover is rare. I knew a woman several years ago that had infinitely 'good luck' finding four leaf clovers. During breaks from work, she would find a spot under a tree to have her lunch. Almost every day she would return to work and hand a four leaf clover to one of her co-workers.
It is believed that the four leaflets symbolize~
~ HOPE~ FAITH~ LOVE~LUCK
Saint Patrick's Day, Shamrocks and four leaf clovers are all symbols of Good Luck. So, it would seem to me, that if one were lucky enough to be born on this day, Good Luck would follow them.
Today is Patricia's birthday. She needs no introduction- she is well known in our blog world. We instantly recognize Patricia's illustrations that frequently accompany her daily posts. We know the selfless assistance that Patricia has offered to many and her giving nature.
I want to take this day to thank Patricia for her kind support and encouragement. I hope this day holds many gifts for you~ not just the ones that can be unwrapped~ but the kind that offer HOPE, that there is always FAITH in your daily life, the LOVE surrounds you always, and LUCK in all that you pursue.
Enjoy this day and all that it holds, for it is yours~
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This cactus has given us the most beautiful flowers- the first blooms arriving during the holidays. They made such a nice addition to our other holiday decorations. I kept it on the dry side and really didn't pay too much attention to it. This plant was a gift from a very dear friend and each time I tell her that we have flowers, we go back and forth on which cactus it is. Is it an Easter,Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Now, mind you I was a gardener for several years and after that I worked at a gorgeous destination garden center for 14 years...I should know what cactus this is.
I'm looking for help from you, all of my very faithful visitors. Do you know what cactus this is?
I hope I have captured the leaves and flowers so you get a good idea of just what this little beauty looks like. She is lovely isn't she?
Do you have a plant that someone special gave you- a constant reminder of friendship, of things shared, gifts that have been passed on? I would love to hear her story.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Why not come clean and show your purse and it's contents... now, where are my keys?
P.S.- That day timer can hold a lot of clutter...
Vertallee Letterpress, Austin, Texas
I have long been an admirer of the art of letterpress. I love the texture of the stock, the indentation where the ink lays and the old art of the process. Lovely, well crafted, raised letters and patterns pressed into thick paper.
In the February~March issue of Victoria magazine there is an article about The Austin Press in San Francisco. The owner, Kimberly explains the process, gives us a short tour of the press room and there are many examples of her exquisite work.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Lookie here what Mr. Postman delivered right to my door today! Joyce at A Perfect Beginning had a celebratory birthday give-away and I was one of the lucky winners. This sassy, little lime valise filled with iced sugar cookies was my winning gift. It was Joyce's birthday and she handed out candy and treats all week and finished the festivities with a give-away... This is a woman that knows how to celebrate a birthday- but then every day is a golden day when you have a Perfect Beginning.
Thank you Joyce~
One of the advantages of working from home is that you are able to listen to your creative forces at any time, day or night. There have many nights that I have crawled into bed after a busy day, looking forward to a full night's sleep~ only to wake up at two a.m. and have a burst of creativity.
Lately I have been working on a series of miniature illustrations for Rachel at Two Dog Pond. This is one talented lady. If you haven't visited Rachel's blog - you'll want to. We are working on a project together and will announce it as we finalize the details.
There is no rhyme or reason to when creative energy might take hold. I might be at the gym and notice someone doing a series of stretches, or at the local market watching a woman choosing a bunch of asparagus in the produce section.
Inspiration is different for all of us- what one may see as insignificant, another may notice an innocence or it might conjure up a memory from the past. One does not need to sketch or paint to be inspired by something meaningful or particularly lovely. Picking out a greeting card for a friend may inspire you to write a note about an experience that you once shared. Shopping for fabric can bring back all sorts of memories - perhaps that of an apron worn by your grandmother, or the scent of a candle may instantly bring you back to the weekend several years ago when you were without power due to a storm.
I am inspired to sketch by the things all around me, every day. A bunch of fresh asparagus can instantly take me back to the smooth, thick soup that my Mother made in the early spring. What inspires you to paint, sketch, write in your journal, bake, or maybe bring out your sewing machine? Do you find yourself awake at the wee hours ready to start a new project, waiting for daylight so you can begin ~ anxious to see what the new day will bring?
Monday, March 2, 2009
At first I thought it was just a snowmobile riding down the side road next to our home. Imagine my surprise when I looked out and saw a gentleman tightly wrapped in winter garb taking a leisurely ride on his motorcycle. With another eight inches of fresh snow ~ he must have been thinking...if you can't beat 'em...join 'em!!! Around here, people sometimes push the seasons a little, especially with as much snow as we've had this winter. I've seen men swinging a golf club on the frozen lake, ladies with hair pulled back riding around in an open convertible, my neighbor leaves for work each morning in shorts, and I admit to dreaming of when I may be able to trade in my Uggs for sandals.
But this brave soul... do they make chains for motorcycle tires?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The gorgeous Millie of The Laurel Hedge has challenged me to take you on a little tour of my kitchen~ and to tell you what I love ... and may not love about it.
~I would love to hear about your kitchen and what makes it the heart of your home.~
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