Brown Paper Packages

Have you ever MET someone who connects with your heart and you want to WATCH over them like a guardian angel?

Have you ever wondered if certain people were SENT into your life at just the right moment to reinforce all the things you’ve known inside your SOUL all along?

          I HAVE….and I’m so thankful.

 

 

*Written for M.B. 5/17/12

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Caution: Falling Coconuts

WE RARELY see falling coconut signs like this in Seattle

      ….. okay, we NEVER see signs like this here.

 I suppose our warning signs might say, “Be CAREFUL people…your Starbucks is flippin’ hot“.

Regardless of warnings, I would JOYFULLY enjoy a cup of joe with any of these coconut concoctions.

 

COCONUT CREAM PIE

This recipe, from the Dough Puncher, is a winner because of the fresh ingredients used.

For those who need to bake at light speed, The Dough Puncher includes a ‘quick’ version at the end of the recipe. This DESSERT is made in a casserole dish rather than a pie plate….more servings!

 Coconut Love! 

 

 

 

Tequila Lime Coconut Bars

Now, there’s not much I  don’t like about tequila and lime. Add a little triple sec and rim salt..and I’m happy to reside in my own little  Margaritaville. 

Jimmy Buffett would love this fab dessert from The Creative Mama It does NOT disappoint. Check out that blog for the recipe as well as other great CULINARY delights. 

 

 

COCONUT CAKE

For someone who as spent most of her life turning down coconut delights (no thank you Almond Joy), my newfound COCONUT love is ALLURING and exciting.

Flashback to the 1920’s when the ladies gathered at meetings and DELIGHTFUL delicacies were served to women wearing gloves. This  recipe, available at Delish, was often made with  marshmallow FROSTING but this one calls for 7-Minute Frosting…one my mother used to make when I was a child. You’ll find the classic 7-Minute Frosting recipe at Real Food Has Curves.

 
Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies
 
Shortbread? Nuf said. BUTTER upon butter upon heavenly butter. What’s life without a little butter? Add the lime shavings and fresh coconut in this recipe from Gimme Some Oven and a masterpiece is born. 
 
 
There’s something TROPICAL that comes over us when the SUN comes out in Seattle….we drive top down in 45 degree weather, wear SHORTS & tank tops, JUMP into the frigid salt WATER and dream of coconuts and drinks with little umbrellas in them.
 
 
 

Ever Think About This?

Thought For Today (5/21/12)

Sometimes a person can just relate.

I’ll get started again next week….

 

 

 

Thought For Today (5/18/12)

What’s Up With The… HATE THE 1% ?

 I know of a man who started life poor, never went to college, worked odd jobs and then worked for a (gasp) 1%-er. He saved his money, lived frugally and began his own small business while still working for Mr. 1%. Within 2 years he was able to sustain his new small business and left his full time job.

Over a 10 year period he hired 20 employees while he and his young family rented a small home. By year 15 his business grew to 30 employees and his bank account also grew. He provided health and dental care insurance for his employees.

By year 20 his taxes were 35% of his income and the government regulations on his business had become so strangling, he had to let 2 employees go. He has reached the (gasp again) 1% of Americans that politicians are telling us to envy and punish. Last year he had saved enough to retire, but he is 60 years old, still filled with energy and loves his work. Though he could retire and travel, he realized that his retirement would cause the closing of his business (or selling of it) and 45 people would lose their jobs, …thus 45 potential American families might struggle. So THAT evil 1%-er decided to cross his fingers, hope the government does not regulate him out of business….keep on running the business. 

Small businesses employ nearly 1/2 the private sector employees. My contention is that they aren’t evil and they aren’t trying to take anything from any of us. Are politicians using the latest bad/evil news about banks and wall street to get us to lump all 1%-ers together?

People in their 20’s and 30’s are not likely to be in the 1% unless they inherited the wealth or a business that a family member spent years building. It takes time, sacrifice, long work days, and willingness to risk to grow something into a thriving business. We should be inspired by people who are willing to do that rather than angry at their success. Sorry, I’m just not a 1% hater. MOST of them are small business owners who have helped many of us by providing jobs.   I’m not willing to lump them in with the greedy bankers whose stories make T.V. headlines.

Book: The Millionaire Next Door: Researcher collected stats of the typical millionaire in America. The surprise: he/she typically owns a small business (like a janatorial business), lives in a middle income neigborhood (not a McMansion), drinks Budweiser beer (not fancy upper end cocktails), drives an American car that is not new (and owes nothing on it)………very interesting book.

(Category of this post: Today’s News. To follow this blog, check right sidebar) 

 

Thought For Today (5/16/12)

In an effort to scrounge for something SWEET to snack on last night I found an OLD abandoned Weight Watchers ice cream bar hiding in the FREEZER…smashed and misshapen. I knew it would likely taste freezer burned, but I peeled open the wrapper with images  of Ben and Jerry’s dancing through my head. Why do I set my self up for SUCH a let down? Yes…I ate every blechy freezer tasting bite.

 Category: Today’s News

 

(5/15/12) 

Yes, the Honey Badger Youtube nature clips are NOT meant for kids, but I don’t have kids in earshot anymore

…and narrator, Randall, can make me laugh with his exclamation,

“Honey Badger Don’t Care!”

Sometimes that line just fits perfectly into a  ‘life’ situation. Who knew there were Honey Badger beer tags. Go figure…

 

 

 

 

Money For Nothing And Your Chicks For Free

 

 That classic Dire Straits rock tune, Money For Nothing (and your chicks for free) popped into my head while  GATHERING these recipes.

 Whether you raise your own chickens, and produce your own CHICKS and EGGS, or  choose to shop for organics… these dishes are delicious… though they may not be eggzactly FREE.

Recipe: Easy Spring Frittata…

Summary: Clean burning protein & spring veggies!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek stalk (light part only), sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched
  • Bunch Swiss chard chopped
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, stems removed, torn into small pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces Feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until soft, then add the swiss chard and peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon water.
  3. Add the eggs and half the mint to the pan, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, lifting the edges with a spatula to allow the uncooked eggs to flow to the bottom. When the frittata is partly cooked (7 to 10 minutes), sprinkle on the ricotta and transfer the pan to the oven.
  4. Bake until puffed, golden, and set, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Garnish with the remaining mint to taste and serve.
  6. Stella’s Tip: A frittata is one of the most versatile dishes you can make. Experiment with all vegetables! 

 and more recipes…

                Mexican Fritatta Recipe                                            Greek Scramble Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler’s Deep-Dish Ham Quiche and Asparagus Salad: 

Deep-Dish Ham Quiche with Herb and Asparagus Salad-by Tyler Florence

Ingredients
Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
.
Filling:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin-olive oil
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced
3/4 pound smoked ham, cubed
8 large eggs
1 quart heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad:
2 bunches asparagus (about 1 pound each), stems trimmed
4 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a peeler
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, hand-torn
1 handful fresh mint, hand-torn
1 handful fresh dill, hand-torn
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Directions
 
To make the pastry:
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg yolk and ice water in a small bowl to blend, add it to the pastry. Work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the counter and a rolling-pin lightly with flour. Roll the dough out into a 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin (this may take a little practice) and lay it inside a 9-inch springform pan. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides so it fits tightly; trim the excess dough around the rim. Place the pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easier to move in and out of the oven, this quiche is pretty heavy.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the filling:
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, coat the pan with oil, and add the onions. Slowly cook the onions, stirring, until they caramelize and release their natural sugars. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the onions break down, if needed. Toss in the ham, cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes to get some color on it. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy, pour in the cream; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the caramelized onions and ham over the bottom of the crust and carefully pour in the cream and egg mixture; the filling should be about 1-inch from the top of the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until the quiche is set, puffy, and jiggles slightly. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. In the meantime make the asparagus salad.
To make the asparagus salad:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus for 4 minutes, or until they are just crisp-tender. Drain the asparagus, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and drain well. Slice the asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces and put them in a mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan and herbs, drizzle the herb and asparagus salad with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
Loosen the quiche from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Carefully unmold the ring, and transfer the quiche (with the bottom base) to a serving plate. Cut it into wedges, drizzle with a little olive oil, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
Garnish with the asparagus salad on top.
.

still can’t get that SONG out of my head

Ambience To Our Present

 

            

       The PAST is woven into our fabric,

          an ambience to our present.

 

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 LIKE  hummingbirds sipping nectar from FLOWERs, we seek the sweetness in the day.

 

  

     Creating CELEBRATIONS

from simplicity…

 

 

 

 

 

..and experiencing SHY presences surrounding us in the garden,

 we pen the AUTOBIOGRAPHY of our hearts,

                                                and emit the  LIGHT from our souls.                                             

                                                                                                                    (Marsha 5/14/12)

 

The MOTHER Of All Days

STAY in bed mom. This is the MOTHER of all days! “

I first heard those words from my daughters about 16 years ago and haven’t  really gotten that quote out of my head.  On Mother’s Day morning my two daughters, ages 8 and 6, rushed into my bedroom handing me magazines to read  and instructions to stay in bed because they and their dad were going to cook a special breakfast for me  and deliver it to my lap. They left the room and subsequently returned in waitress mode, donning aprons and carrying pencils and notepads to take my order. Like singer Tim McGraw says….you just don’t forget somethin’ like that.

Mother’s Day Denver Scramble (recipe below)

Clanging, chopping, be-careful-with-that-KNIFE instructions, daddy-how-do-I questions, backyard flower snipping, and excited she’s-gonna-be-surprised conversations could be heard from my upstairs perch as the chefs went to work.

Delivery included two big smiles and two little girls sitting next to me on the bed reminding me to smell my flowers on the nightstand between bites. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted better cooking than those mother’s day breakfasts through the years. To this day I absolutely love it when my daughter cooks for me.

She is now now 24 years old, engaged to be married…and coming over on Mother’s Day with our future son-in-law and BOTH WILL COOK breakfast for me. Nothing could be better.

Oh…and I’m pretty sure the ‘mother of all days’ quote

came directly from their dad.

 

Denver Scramble (origin)
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 small brown onion, diced
1 small green capsicum, deseeded and cubed
1 small red capsicum, deseeded and cubed
185g ham, cubed
8 eggs, beated
salt & groung white pepper
60g tasty cheese, grated
shallots, chooped for garnish- Melt butter in trying pan over medium heat. Add onion, capsicums and saute. Add ham and saute further.
– Add eggs to pan, season to taste over medium-low heat. Stirring until eggs form soft, moist curds. Stir in cheese.
– When done garnish with shallots.
 

Sentimental Momentos

The day we moved our belongings to a new home I remember my mother directing my dad’s friends where to put the boxes they hauled  in from the rented moving truck. Each box was marked by room. When one of the men read the label on his box he asked, “What room do the Sentimental Momentos go?” The men got a big laugh out of it, especially when they discovered how many boxes were marked that way. Somehow mom’s endearing box label stuck with me.

Certain pieces of jewelry fit into my ‘sentimental momento’ category.

Sterling Silver Love You To The Moon And Back Necklace ….available at Etsy.

Sterling Silver I Carry Your In My Heart Necklace…words from E.E. Cummings

The Golden Love Personalized Necklace…from the Golden Pearl

The Sterling Silver Charm Necklace made by…Wonderfully Handmade

Hand stamped Personalized Gold & Silver Charm Necklace…available Etsy

On MOVING day a box of these sentimental momentos…would be easy to carry

and EASY to put away……no joke.

 

-Marsha 5/5/12