Friday, August 16, 2019

Memories in food form

 It’s been a little over a year since my dad passed and I’ve been thinking about this dish for weeks now. He didn’t cook very many things or very often but the things he made were so good and left the family with great memories. He called this Italian rice & beans, there was a pot of this on his stove every week growing up during the depression. It’s a very simple dish but tastes so good. It’s also great to make the day before grocery shopping because it’s mostly from the pantry.

Sauté a diced onion in olive oil, add a few cloves of chopped garlic, red pepper flake, salt & pepper. When it’s soft add a can of tomato paste and a small can of diced tomatoes. Stir in 2 cups of uncooked rice, 4 cups of broth or water and 2 cans drained cannelini beans. Cook covered for 20 minutes, add a big handful of fresh herbs, a few handfuls of grated pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil on top of your bowl.
This is pure comfort food ❤️
PS- as most Italian dishes, this feeds an army.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A blessing and a curse

through his eyes I am perfectly average
on occasion, beautiful
eyes closed, I can believe it

my existence is without reflection or candid photographs
with parameters set I am free to feel what my eyes can't see
a silhouette, a shadow, a softened image on a sun-struck window is tolerable, sometimes pleasant
I am whatever normal is
I am not what my eyes see

sight is a gift that fills my soul with more joy than I can bear
people, colors, living things, places
sight turns on me and viciously attacks when it meets a mirror

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Wine shop craftiness

Here at Wine 101, we have an endless supply of champagne cages and corks... mostly from our weekly wine classes and more than a few because we love our sparkling wines.
that's a whole lot of cages!
When I need a little craft time I pull out the needle nose pliers and build some furniture. It's pretty simple and as you can see, I prefer them to be a little wonky. You can google instructions if you need them, there are bunches to look at on the web.

I was trying to find a way to get some good photos and ended up making grown up dioramas. Man, I loved making dioramas as a kid.
did you notice that little cork birdhouse

That's enough fun for one day, cheers!

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Roasted gazpacho
Super easy, super delicious, super healthy, super summery.
You can adjust the vegetables and quantity depending on what you have, here's what I had:
5 plum tomatoes stemmed and halved lengthwise
3 poblano peppers stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 red pepper seeded stemmed and halved
1 English cucumber seeded and rough chopped
1 red onion rough chopped
2 garlic cloves rough chopped
3 scallions sliced
a big handful of cilantro, parsley and chives chopped
1 big can diced tomatoes with juice
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt, pepper, chili powder and a splash of red wine vinegar

Set oven rack close to the broiler and place tomato and peppers skin side up on your ugliest baking sheet
keep checking every few minutes to make sure everyone is getting charred
let them cool while you prep the rest of veggies
Pulse the onion, garlic and cucumber in a food processor until they are very fine, transfer to a large bowl. Add seasoning lime and vinegar and combine. The skin will peel right off of the roasted vegetables at this point, put them in the processor whole with the can of diced tomatoes. Pulse until they are just small, not as smooth as the others. I kept some of the poblano seeds because we like spicy. Mix all together, chill and top with a dollop of sour cream and some garlic toast...
I wish I had garlic toast.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Window dressing

inside looking out
This is the window of our sweet little wine shop
It is so hard to get a good picture of this Rosé all Day themed window. The glare is too much for my camera phone to handle. This is where I get to be a little crafty at work.

I was able to use regular craft paint outside because the window is set in where the rain can't get it. Last year I made giant paper flowers that looked similar to these (craft store) flowers but they faded in time and I am short on time these days.
 Speaking of short on time... look at these cork strings
This was a labor of love! It took hours and hours to drill through all of the corks and then stringing and knotting them but I am thrilled with how it came out.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Souvlaki Sliders

This is a simple, healthy summer dinner. I start with ground chicken, chopped fresh spinach, scallion, herbs and crumbled feta. Mix and form into slider size burgers. Grill or cook on the stovetop until thoroughly done. Make tzatziki sauce: plain Greek yogurt, chopped fresh dill and oregano, olive oil, grated garlic, a cucumber that has been seeded, grated and squeezed dry.
Prepare greens, onion and tomato, warm the pitas and assemble. Easy and delicious!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Rosé all day gift basket

In the years that I've been gone from this blog I have started a business with my best friend Chris. We are the hardworking, proud owners of a sweet little wine shop called Wine 101 which I will talk about more in the future. I am always happy when I can do crafty things at the shop. This was a custom Rosé basket for one of our regular customers. It's so simple but really pretty and let's be honest who wouldn't want to receive a basket of wine?
I love not using actual baskets, I scour the clearance aisles at Home Goods, Target, TJMAXX, etc. for unique containers that might work. This galvanized bucket was perfect as is but I dressed it up with some pink scrapbook paper to drive the Rosé theme home. The challenge is to keep reworking the items until they look balanced... this can take some time.
I had some pink tissue paper leftover from another project and crumpled it and twisted it into a rose-like shape, cut out some leaf shapes and filled all the empty spots. Again, I'm really wanting the Rosé theme to be over the top.
Shrink wrap and a tulle ribbon and it is done!