Friday, May 29, 2009

fondue night

Fondue night is a favorite of mine. We used to have it monthly now we are working on annually. We need to step it up. Last time we had fondue night the cheese separated from the oil making the following cheese mixture that I affectionately call the cheese disaster of 2007.

I am being given a chance tonight to redeem myself so I have scoured the internet (or just food network) for cheese fondue recipes. Which sounds the best?
Traditional Swiss Fondue
Gouda Fondue
Italian Cheese Fondue
Blue Cheese Fondue
Hopefully this year the fondue will look more like the first picture than the second!

first picture found via flickr

My garden

I am very excited about snapdragons this year. I don't know that I ever noticed them before this year, but I am really liking them in my garden.

My vegetable garden is coming along great! Well, some of the plants. My cucumber plant has been eaten by some animal, the basil died and the cilantro has yet to reseed - looks like I need to read up on that some more. However, my other plants are doing great. Here are my peas growing up the fence. This is my tomato plant - flowers are blooming!! Tomatoes are on their way. I planted early girl tomatoes this year because I wanted them to bloom early.

This is a picture of my zucchini plant - lots of flowers. I think we are going to be eating a lot of zucchini this summer.

And this is a picture of my small vegetable garden. First zucchini, then squash, a large space where cucumbers were supposed to grow, dead basil, thriving rosemary, overgrown cilantro, tomato plant and at the very end a green pepper plant. I am very excited about the vegetables. I need to go and buy another basil plant though. What is summer without fresh basil?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

madsen bike

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
When I back home this weekend people were telling me all about the MADSEN Cargo Bikes. Then I saw a post about it somewhere in blog land (apparently not where I thought I had seen it). I am sold. It looks awesome.

the cliffhanger

I just read a book with a cliffhanger ending and it got me to thinking about other books with cliffhangers. Here are two books both with cliffhanger endings one with a sequel, one without. Tell me what you think of cliffhangers? I kind of like them as long as there is a sequel!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Woman in White

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

yellow purse

I would love to own/buy a yellow purse right now. The color makes me feel happy inside. I could also love this, this or this purse... Here's to dreaming!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Travel Tuesday: Mackinac Island

Memorial Weekend came up quickly so the Midwest and East coast vacation spots are now summer trips. If you are looking for a getaway in the midwest look no further than Mackinac Island, Michigan. There is some confusion over the spelling, but the city is Mackinaw city and the island is Mackinac (both pronounced Mack - in - ahh).

Traveling to Makinaw Island will take you back in time as travel is limited to walking, biking and horsedrawn buggies. Rent a bike and ride on the road that takes you around the whole island - you will see beautiful water scenery, cute cottages and no cars. Visit the Grand Hotel - a Victorian hotel built in the 1880's and brought to fame by the movie Somewhere in Time. Make sure you try some of the famous fudge - delicious.

And since you are already up at the top of Michigan you should definitely go over the Mackinac Bridge and visit the Upper Penninsula (or the U P as local Michiganders call it). So I am told everywhere up in the Upper Penninsula is beautiful - but the Tahquamenon Falls are a definite highlight.

Hope someone takes this fun summer (or fall) trip up the Michigan - it is definitely worth the drive!

photos found via flickr - Thanks Stephen!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

proscuitto pizza

This is one of my favorite recipes for homemade pizza. And the best part is that it is easy.

Pizza Dough
1/4 ounce package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl proof the yeast with the sugar in 1/3 cup lukewarm water for 10 minutes, or until it is foamy. Stir in an additional 1/3 cup lukewarm water, oil, 2 cups flour, and salt and blend mixture until it forms a dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface, incorporating as much of the remaining 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
Alternatively, the dough may be made in a food processor. Proof the yeast as described above and in a food processor combine it with the remaining ingredients. Process the mixture until it forms a ball, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if it is too dry, or more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if it is too wet, and knead the dough by processing it for 15 seconds.
Put the dough, prepared by either method, in an oiled bowl and turn it to coat it with the oil. Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it is double in bulk, and punch it down. The dough is now ready to be formed into pizzas.
found via foodnetwork

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On a floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Put rolled out pizza dough on pizza stone or greased baking sheet and spread pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese on pizza. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust has a slight golden look to it.
Prosciutto topping
2 cups of arugula (can use spinach)
6 slices of prosciutto torn into small pieces
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
approximately 1/4 cup of sliced Parmesan cheese (only do this if you have the real stuff, you can slice it with a vegetable peeler)
1/4 tsp. of salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and put on cooked cheese pizza.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

travel tuesday: jackson, wyoming

This week the Travel Tuesday segment is all about quick Memorial Day getaways. This will be a three part segment for the West, Mid-West and Eastern United States. First up, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a favorite vacation spot of mine.

Jackson Hole has great shopping around the Town Square and Billy's Burgers is a must as far as "fine" dining goes, they make a mean burger.

Hike around Jenny Lake and up to Hidden Falls in the Teton Mountains

The Jackson Hole Playhouse is one of my favorite places to see plays and I just liked the sign of the Teton Theatre

Whitewater River rafting down the Snake and taking the Alpine Slide down the mountain are both fun attractions the Wild West offers.

Make sure to visit Yellowstone to see all the wildlife- wolves, buffalo and elk to name a few and some other sites to see are Old Faithful and Upper Falls

Monday, May 18, 2009

weekly menu

This week is a small menu due to the fact that vacation starts Thursday! Hometown, here we come! Plus, we are going out to eat at the train station restaurant in town tomorrow to celebrate the fact that the big test my husband is taking will be over and done with! With no further ado I present the menu for the week.

Lemony Tortellini with Prosciutto and Peas

Skirt Steak with Soy Garlic Marinade (found in the Martha Stewart Magazine)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 olive oil
1/4 lemon juice (can you tell I am trying to finish off my lemons?)
4 cloves of garlic minced
Whisk together and in a non-reactive bowl ( I have no idea what this means, anything but metal perhaps) pour marinade over steak. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Grill.

family room styles

I was browsing House Beautiful today and I came across a slide show of Family Room Designs

I really liked the fireplace in this room but I almost feel like there is too much white. Personally I would like a happy medium between these two rooms, is that even possible?

This room reminds me of the Bennett's house in the new Pride and Prejudice movie. I like the eclectic feel of this room.

Hello Mr. Darcy

I do like the pictures/frames on the shelf in this first room. I like the second room but I am not sure about the beams. To me beams say cabin.

With books in the shelves and brightly colored something (maybe the fireplace?) I could love this first room.

I am getting more and more confused about what kind of style I like by the minute.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

new at paperwhite

Santa Fe- a three strand turquoise necklace

Eleganza- A three strand turquoise colored seed bead necklace with a pearl pendant

Morning Glory- the response from the first one was so positive that I decided to make a second...

Friday, May 15, 2009

feature friday: harold and jane

Feature Friday is back and with a very lovely shop. Harold and Jane is one of my new favorite Etsy shops. The jewelry in this shop is so striking and colorful.

What do you sell, how did you get started?
I sell handmade jewelry, most of which contains bits and pieces of vintage jewelry. I have been beading with my mom since I was in high school. When I discovered Etsy, it felt like a perfect opportunity to create to my hearts content and not have to worry “What am I going to do with all of this jewelry?”

How did you come up with your shop name?
Harold and Jane are my parent’s middle names. Since they have been so influential in my life, both everyday and artistically, it seemed fitting to honor them in this way.

What is your favorite thing/piece you have made?
Strawberry Fields Forever

What would you say are the five must see places in your city/area?
1. Gasworks Park
2. Pike Place Market
3. Greenlake
4. Discovery Park
5. Cupcake Royal in Ballard for delicious coffee and even more delicious cupcakes.

One thing you must have with you at all times?
Burt’s Bees chapstick

What is your favorite accessory to wear?
My one-of-a-kind Moonstone ring made by Christine Mighion. Check out her Etsy site, Bloom Studios, she makes gorgeous jewelry.

Favorite flower?

One place you dream of visiting?
The Australian coast.

If you had $200 to spend where would it go?
It would go toward a Lolita dress by RubyPearl.

One person who inspires you?
My husband Elias.

A favorite blog/website to look at?
In addition to beading, I love to cook! My sister introduced me to this blog and we have discovered you can never go wrong with one of Molly Wizenberg’s recipes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

blue bath

I love the dark blue walls contrasting with the white bead board in this bathroom I saw on decorology.

outdoor ambiance

This is similar (on a much smaller scale) to what I did on my patio. I love the feel of it and it gives off more light.

This is still one of my favorite ideas and it would be perfect for a table.

I like the idea of hanging lanterns outside.

Strung votives are a fun idea and you can use different colors for birthdays or holidays.
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