Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In the kitchen

Tomato Tart with Bacon and Gruyere

I found a new recipe on Dianna's blog, (which she found on this blog). I love summer tomatoes, and I'm always looking for recipes where they can shine. This one is kind of like tomato pie, but a little different.

It's made with puff pastry and gruyere cheese. It calls for fresh thyme, but we prefer basil, so that's what I used. Also, for the cooked bacon, the stuff that you buy in the boxed pre-cooked seems to work fine.

It's a perfect, light summer supper, served with a glass of chilled white wine or a glass of iced tea.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rainy Monday

It feels like summer has come to a screeching halt. Looking out the window, the skies are heavy and gray, and drizzling rain makes the world look like April and not August. It's a cool 62 degrees, and I doubt we'll hit 70 today.

Dan took the day off today, so it doesn't even feel like a Monday. I'm glad he did, as we had a very busy weekend watching the grandkids, which is so much fun, but leaves little time for our own stuff. Not just the fun stuff, but the necessary weekend stuff. So, he's off today, and I'm so glad for him.

I'm torn between staying home all day and finding something in the freezer to whip up for a nice, hot supper -- and going to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a fall recipe I've been wanting to try. And I'm thinking about the cucumbers that are out in the garden, the ones I saw yesterday and made a mental note to go out and pick today before they get any bigger, so I can make another jar of refrigerator pickles. We've been scarfing those things down like crazy. They're so good!

I have a couple of rose bush clippings that I got from my brother's backyard on Saturday. One is from a rosebush that originally grew in my grandparents' backyard in New Jersey!, and the other is a climbing rose that is so lush and heavenly scented. My dad planted it in the backyard at our family home, so I want to see if I can get both of those growing in my yard. Right now they are sitting in a vase, soaking up some water. But with this rain expected all week, it would be a good time to put them in some dirt pots outside and let them take root.

I know of a couple of things on my agenda today -- besides laundry and sorting out the pantry (I open the cupboard to an avalanche of boxes of spaghetti and cereal and snack bars, it's at that stage.)  It's a good day for a cup of coffee and a phone call with Pamela, and also a good day to curl up with a book.  I'm in the middle of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. It's the choice for our town's One Book series this year. The library carries about a hundred copies so there are lots of copies for residents to check out. Then in November there is an author event along with discussion groups.  Our book club decided to read the book for our August meeting.  It's not something I would choose on my own, but I'm so glad we're reading it. It's a page turner!

How is Monday looking in your neck of the woods?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's been a week. One with more than a couple rough spots, making it more necessary than ever to hold fast to ordinary graces.  Here are a few:

1.  We had the grandbabies over for another sleepover, when Mom and Dad were both working late shifts. Brooklynn awoke in the morning with a soft, sleepy smile. We snuggled in bed and looked at books for a little while, and I remembered the days when my kids were that age, and life as a mom was simple and  new.

2.  On Monday, I had lunch with my BFF Kathy.  We realized that we both have new grandnieces, born on the same day, just last Friday!

3.  The weather has cooled just a tad, and mornings on the porch with a cup of coffee have been so pleasant.  The way the shadows and light stretch across the deck, along with the early morning chirping of the birds, lends to a sweet start to my day.

4.  Dan and I had a mid-week date, and went out for Mexican food. A margarita for me, Mexican beer for him.  This Grandma and PopPop have earned it:)  We are feeling pretty good about how easily we've fallen back into tag-teaming with the little ones. It's like riding a bicycle:)

5.  I found a great book at the library book sale -- an unexpected, fabulous read for only a dollar -- The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel.  It takes place during World War II and is the story of a city girl whose circumstances take her to a rural part of Colorado. I'm enjoying the setting, as it takes me through many places I'm familiar with, and the writing is just so lovely.

How was your week?

Linking up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

Crammed full

Every day for the past week and a half, I've thought, "this is the day I'll get a post on my blog." I even started writing one up one day. Hopefully, I'll make it through this one.

Here's what I've been up to while I haven't been blogging:

Sam's parents, Michelle and Shawn, visited from their home in Texarkana, and we had a blast with them.  Joe really lucked out with these fabulous in-laws, and so did we!

We went to a Rockies game

Had a sleepover with Brooklynn and Bentley.  We use the term "sleep" loosely for Bentley.

Michelle coloring with B & B.

Had way too much fun with the selfie-stick.

Visited a new microbrewery.

And an old favorite microbrewery.

Went for a hike.

Shopped at this amazing imported cheese store, which contributed to the many calories consumed throughout the week, including an amazing barbecue with Cajun meats complements of Michelle and Shawn.

And. . .

I finally got Lilly to the groomer, got myself back to water aerobics class, and rescheduled a hair cut appointment twice. I'm going this week.

Made pickles with cucumbers from the garden.

Hosted book club at my house and we discussed The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick.

Bought some new chairs and a porch swing for the patio.

Took a morning bike ride with Dan and ended up at Starbucks:)

Wow, I crammed a lot into the past two weeks, just like I just crammed a lot into this post.  Good-bye, July! Welcome August!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In the kitchen

Layered Greek Dip

I made this for my book club this week, and I think it will be a go-to recipe for the rest of the summer. It's gluten-free, and lighter than the layered Mexican dips, which I love!, but nice to have a change, too.

I've seen lots of versions of this dip on Pinterest and on different cooking blogs.  This is a blend of several of those recipes.

8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup, peeled and chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup slice green onions

Pita chips for serving.

1.  Beat together, with electric mixer, cream cheese, lemon, juice, Italian seasonings and garlic.
2.  Spread into a serving dish. I used a deep dish pie plate.
3.  Spread the hummus on top of the cream cheese mixture, then top with the remaining ingredients.
4.  Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight.  Serve with pita chips.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Girls Love Mail

Doesn't everyone love mail?

If you're someone who enjoys writing letters, here's something you might be interested in doing.

About a year ago, I learned about a group called Girls Love Mail. They collect handwritten letters, and send them via hospitals and clinics to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. It's such a simple but powerful way to let someone know that you're thinking about them, and offer encouragement during a difficult time.

The website includes all the information you need to know, as well as suggestions for how to get started on your letter.

This is a great activity for a group to do together, too. Or, if you're like me, and have a love for stationery and enjoy writing letters, it's a great way to share a bit of your time and give the gift of a letter to someone who would appreciate some words of cheer.