A rite of summer…..

There are several things that tell me that summer is here and one of those is making Pesto!!! For some reason, basil LOVES our herb bed and we always put at least 5 plants into the ground.

Today was the day to harvest the Basil and turn it into creamy Pesto. Michael compared it to hog-killing day on the farm!!!

So, here is the day in photos…..






We had fun working together to make these delights and will sure enjoy them in the middle of winter!!! It will be a sweet reminder of the warmth of summer!!

Summer 2020….week 1 review

Well, the first official week of my summer has passed and I am happy to look back and see all that was accomplished!!

On Tuesday, Michael and I visited a local Art Gallery (Lyndon House) and enjoyed seeing their 45th Annual Juried Show. We enjoyed many of the pieces and I particularly enjoyed seeing works by some of my friends.

from local quilt artist…..Elizabeth Barton
“Girl in Yellow Hat” by guild member, Terri J. (One of my favorites ever!!)
“Razzle Dazzle Maze” by guild member, Diane K.
“Circular Intersections” by guild member, Charles N.

After touring the gallery, we headed to our favorite restaurant and enjoyed seafood on the deck…..

This week I also switched over to my summer decorations……

These pretties were purchased in Australia!!

I had two friends over for lunch one day and Michael and I had another couple over for dinner on Saturday.

BUT….the most enjoyable thing of the week was my cooking segment!! I was looking thru recipes trying to find something new to make and came across a German Chocolate Cake recipe. It looked interesting so I decided to give it a go! It was complicated and dirtied almost every bowl and pot in the house, but the batter was beautiful….

….the icing was fun to make…..

….and the resulting cake was both beautiful AND oh so tasty……

I also spent some time in the studio and will post about that in the next day or so.

On Thursday night we had a gorgeous moon and I will leave you with that…..

On to week two……

Berry Picking……

It has been so nice this Summer to have time to do things that I have wanted to do but just couldn’t get around to.   One of those things is picking berries at some of the local farms.

On Friday, I traveled to Washington Farms to see what was still available.   The farm is a favorite place for many people, .

with Strawberries in April, Blueberries and Blackberries in the Summer, Pumpkins in the Fall, and a Corn Maze as well.

When I arrived just after they opened, I was one of three cars.  I asked about which berries were available and they told me to go to the Blackberries first as they would only bear a few pickings.

I had a wonderful time walking down the rows of beautiful plants and picking the plump, juicy berries…..


I loved the colors of the new berries that were just starting to form.  It didn’t take long to have a full gallon…..


….although I did eat a few along the way.

Next, I moved to the Blueberry bushes…..


Picking was a bit slower here but I once again enjoyed the colors of the ripening fruit…..


The results were wonderful……


The morning was perfect, with clouds overhead and a cool breeze blowing.   I will definitely find time to do this again!!!!

Indian night at the Arnold house…..

Michael and I have found a renewed interest in Indian food for two reasons….. firstly I have a friend in the quilt guild named Nupur (who has a wonderful blog) and we have had her family over for dinner a couple of times and have enjoyed sitting at her table as well!!!    Secondly, we have had it confirmed that we will be visiting India for 5 to 6 weeks in 2015…..four weeks in Bangalore (while Michael works)  and 10-14 days traveling around the Northern parts.

Anyway…..Nupur had given us the name of an Indian market in Atlanta and we decided to drive over for a visit on Monday.   The “Patel Market” was a large store and I have just discovered that it is part of a chain of stores.

We enjoyed just walking thru the market, ogling at all of the food that we didn’t know anything about.   Then we decided to start buying stuff, starting with a series of bottled sauces for main courses and rice.  We also found a bag containing 4 HUGE newly cooked pieces of Naan bread…..


Finally, we found a funky vegetable called “Dudhi”……


The name is what caught our eye first and Michael googled it and found out that it was a gourd similar to a Zucchini squash so we decided to buy one and try it.

Tonight was the night to try the first meal…..

We started with chicken and “Patak’s Simmer Sauce” in a Vindaloo flavor….DSC02448

Michael cooked the chicken and added the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes…..


I spent some time looking up how to cook the Dudhi and found that it is mostly used as a filler in meatless “meat balls” so I wasn’t sure exactly how to cook it as a side.  We finally decided to  slice it, slather it with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper and put it into a hot oven to roast for about 15 minutes……


The final step was to heat the Naan in a cast iron skillet…..


It was a wonderful meal…..


The Dudhi had a rind on it so we ended up cutting out the centers to eat.   They were very tasty and were an excellent accompaniment to the spicy Vindaloo sauce.

A GREAT first Indian adventure!!!!   And best yet….there are leftovers!!!!

A little cooking time…..

On Monday I decided to use a couple of Butternut Squash that we had received in our weekly vegetable box.

I started out by sautéing some chopped onion, potato and carrot in a few tablespoons of butter…..


I read about cooking the squash in the microwave and found it super easy to do.  I placed the cut squash in about 1/2 inch of water and microwaved them for about 12 minutes…..


The squash was hot but the flesh was SO easy to remove from the hard shell….


I added the Squash to the vegetable pot, covered with it Chicken Stock and seasoned with Cayenne Pepper, Salt and Black Pepper, and Simmered for about 40 minutes…..


After blending, the soup was dipped into a bowl and served with a dollop of sour cream……


SOOOO yummy!!!!   We REALLY need to make more soups!!!!

It’s Veggie Box time…..


Last week we re-started our weekly vegetable box service.  The first box contained gorgeous, soft lettuces, beautiful tomatoes, ripe red Strawberries, sweet carrots, huge leeks and Broccoli Rabe.

Our first veggie meal was steamed carrots and Broccoli Rabe stir-fried with thin sliced, caramelized leeks……



The meat was a left-over Chicken Scaloppine that Michael had cooked the day before.


The making of a Curry….

When my husband, Michael, was working in Glasgow in December he found a night to attend a cooking class.  Since Indian Curry is a specialty in the UK, he expected to come back with great ideas for cooking Curry…..he was not disappointed.

Last weekend he ran to a local specialty market and came home with all of the ingredients, including Cardamom seeds, Cumin seeds, Star Anise, Garam Masala, Ginger, peppers, Stick Cinnamon and lots of goodies…..



First step was to grind all of the spices using the Granite Mortar and Pestle that we brought back from Australia……DSC07932

Aren’t these beautiful…..and aromatic…..


The vegetables were chopped……DSC07943

Spices added……


…..and blended into a wonderful curry paste…..


The curry was heated, chicken added and then cooked….DSC07953

After cooking, the garnish made of Coconut milk, tomatoes and onions was added…


The finished curry was magnificent…..


The Basmati Rice was cooked with Cardamom pods, Star Anise and Stick Cinnamon…..


The resulting meal was terrific……DSC07961

….so, are you hungry yet?????

The joys of “H-Mart”

On Friday, we drove to Atlanta to take my son (Brian) and his wife (Amber) out to dinner.  Much to our delight, they picked the food court at “Super H-Mart”

DSC00539 DSC00541 

With their encouragement, we ordered from the Korean diner and enjoyed a spicy soup that was filled with strips of beef, leeks and wonderful mushrooms…..SAM_1885

Brian was determined to not let a single bite go to waste…..SAM_1886 ….and ended up making “a happy bowl”  (at least that is what we called it when the kids were little)…..


Afterwards, we walked thru the store which specializes in Asian food….mostly Korean.   It reminded us so much of our shopping trips to Carrefour in Kunming, except that there was a LOT more English!!!

There was the typical aisle of rice…..

DSC00545 …..HUGE bags of red pepper…….

DSC00546 ….and who knew that they made SPAM “Lite”!!!! DSC00548

We bought several items that we don’t normally find at home, including a bag of “Sweet Rice” which is used to make one of the desserts that we loved in Thailand.

I did some “googling” and came up with a recipe for “Sticky Rice With Mango” and we had a fun time preparing the rice and the coconut milk based sauce.  It was great with Mango…..

DSC00551 ….and even better the next day served with sliced bananas!!!

A fun weekend revolving around food!!!!

Oh, there was a bit of sewing going on as well, but I cant share that yet!!

More Produce Boxes

We have been enjoying our produce boxes for the last couple of weeks.  This one was a doozie……

DSC00258It included eggplant, lettuce, micro greens, potatoes, tomatoes, figs, sweet peppers and Edamame.

I spent the first night looking up recipes for some of these items.  We started out with potatoes, onions and red pepper  cooked in foil packets.  The “meat” for the night were fried eggplant slices that had been dipped in egg and bread crumbs, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.


Dessert was made by dipping sliced figs in sugar and then sautéing them until they had caramelized.   It was excellent served with ice cream!!!!


Planning for the second night meant that I had to find out exactly what Edamame was!!!   A quick Google search taught me that it was Soy Beans!!!

I started trying to shell them and found that it was incredibly hard.  So, back to Google, and found out that you should cover them with boiling water for 3 minutes, dunk them in cold water, and the beans pop right out!!!!  Hurray for Google!!!!


We used these the next day to make fried rice using onions, carrots, soy beans and rice.  We seasoned it with soy sauce and red pepper.  We fried more eggplants and enjoyed some of the yellow tomatoes as well.



OK….so much for our dinner menus!!! 

Hopefully I will someday again write a post about quilting!!!   I am doing a bit, but dont have anything to write about just yet!!!

Thanks for hanging in there with me……