Monday, May 30, 2011

In Loving Memory

In memory of all who have fought and died for our freedom, and in gratitude for all who serve now.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lilac Time

The rain has finally stopped, the sun is shining in the most beautiful way, and oh my goodness, the lilacs are in full bloom!
 I don't believe I have ever in my life lived in a home without several lilac bushes on the property.
I have 4 big bushes here at the cottage.
Victoria just grabbed a basket and the clippers and harvested some for me:>)
You can't even tell she took any from the bush.
♥I wish you could smell these.♥
Do you have lilacs?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cute Shoes Make the World Go 'Round

Well ok, not really, but I really like them. These were my Mothers Day gift from Victoria. The girl knows what I ♥:>)
Looks like it's time to paint the front porch again.
And why did I paint it white last time? It gets too dirty.
Do you suppose the neighbors who were driving by on their way to work wondered why on earth I was taking pictures of my feet on the front porch? lol
Or maybe they're used to me.
Ah well, I've gotta be me:>)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cold and rainy today, and that always inspires us to head for the kitchen.
Stir fried veggies and toasted multi grain baguette slices with smoked Cajun salmon dip. Another one of the recipes we tried at the awesome fish place last weekend.  Earl put together equal parts low fat sour cream and low fat mayo, some chopped thyme, red pepper, scallions, chives, dill and shallots to taste with the 1/2 lb. of Cajun smoked salmon we bought at the restaurant.
 On the toasted baguettes it was heavenly:>)
 Then it was time to try the caramel macchiato cupcake recipe I found online, here.
My daughters did the honors and baked these delightful cupcakes with home made caramel drizzled on top of the coffee flavored whipped cream. Did I mention they have mad skills like their father? They do.
Salad for dinner. I've had my allotment of comfort food for the day:>) Maybe for the week.
Oh my.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Love Mail

And who wouldn't when they get this kind of cute in the mailbox?  A dear friend sent me this gorgeous runner for my upcoming birthday.  In all my favorite colors and it looks sooo cute in my dining room:>)
 Here's a close up, and see, she hand quilted this beauty and added Jumbo red ric rac. ♥
Thank you Trish, I adore my runner, and it means so much to me that you did this just for me!
 And just a peek at springtime so far in Michigan.  Finally we have warm weather and sunshine and everything is bursting into bloom.  I cut my first vase full of lilacs for the house to go on my pretty runner.
The little speckled violets below are called "Freckles" and were given to me by my dear husband years ago, just because he knows how much I love violets.
The white blossoms are the old pear tree, the pink blossoms are the peach tree and I'm sure you all recognize forsythia. It doesn't grow in my yard, but the neighbors have some planted right up next to the lot line so I can enjoy them too.  It's a rainy, easy Saturday here today, and apparently for the next week. Rain forecast almost every day. I'm ok with that. Time to hunker down and get some sewing done. I've been looking forward to getting back to the machine and letting mundane things like laundry and mowing the lawn and just generally messing around get in the way. No more, I'll have some fun things for you soon, and I think its just about time for a giveaway. I want to make it a good one, so it's off to the machine to whip up something fun:>)
What do you have planned this week?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Best Restaurant Ever... and a Recipe

I promised to tell you about the restaurant we found on our weekend away.  A little restaurant overlooking the beautiful Saint Clair River called The Marine City Fish Company owned by a young couple named  Jeremy and Melissa.  You know how sometimes you go out to eat and end the meal feeling you could have really done better cooking at home? Not here. Earl and I know our way around the kitchen but I found myself wondering how much we could get for our home and what blogging would be like from this little town.
 There are only about twelve tables but they are expanding this summer. A cute little place with kitschy fishing art on the walls, Dean Martin and other real oldies playing in the background, and dark wood tables. It was cozy and warm. We sat at a table where we could look across the street at the view of the river. Pretty.
 We decided to have a "light" lunch of appetizers. They smoke their own fish so Earl had the smoked salmon and cheese appetizer.
 I had the herb grilled feta bread with blackened tenderloin tips, but we shared, so we got a little of each dish . 
These things were huge, and we loved every bite.  We had the same waitress for lunch at 11:00 and dinner at 7 p.m. and she was as sweet and cheerful after working hard all day as she was when they opened.  She informed us that everything on the menu, right down to the pasta and potato chips, is home made!
We loved the herb grilled feta bread so much that we decided to try to make our own at home!  I used my Whole Wheat Honey French Bread recipe, but I used all white flour. I let it rise once and then rolled it into thin, 10" rounds brushed olive oil on one side, and threw it on the grill oil side down.  It grills very fast about 2-3 minutes per side.  I liked it hot off the grill with a little butter. Chewy and warm and the smokey flavor brought out the sweetness of the bread.
 I thawed some of our frozen pesto and added olive oil. My pesto recipe doesn't have oil in it to begin with, so it is thicker than regular pesto.  The oil helped me spread it on the crust.
 Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and fresh thyme, or whatever herb you like. I was winging it without a recipe and this is what we had.
 Add Feta cheese,
 Add fresh sliced tomatoes (I can't wait for real garden tomatoes for this!)
 Some thinly sliced onion.  The restaurant used red onions, but I had some vidalias so I used them!
 And slice and eat! I looked at the photo I took of my restaurant appetizer and it looks like they added more herb/basil oil on top of the toppings. I would do that next time for the extra flavor:>)
Not exactly like the restaurant dish, but I'll keep tweaking it, and I still love it!
If you are ever on the East side of Michigan I highly recommend a visit to this restaurant. It is worth the drive:>)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Marine City

Earl and I have a Saturday morning ritual that we look forward to all week. We reserve Saturday for coffee out at our favorite coffee shop (Panera!) and we don't rush.  It's our time together to plan for the upcoming week and reconnect.  After a long and stressful winter cooped up in the house, I wanted to surprise my sweetheart with a weekend away.  So, Friday while he was out of the house I packed our bags and stashed them in a separate room.  I couldn't put them in the car because we were headed out later that day to celebrate Lauren's birthday.  I had to wait until he was asleep Friday night to sneak the bags out to the car:>) Then I laughed myself to sleep.
The next morning after coffee I told him I had planned a little adventure and that we were headed to Marine City, about an hour away. He was dubious. He had work planned. I could tell he needed to get his head around it. To his credit he did.
Marine City is on the East side of Michigan. It is on the St. Clair River and you can see across the water to Canada. The East side of the state doesn't get as much press as Traverse City and the west side, but it has some beautiful places to visit and is so much less crowded. It's also close to us so it was perfect for a quick trip.  I had searched for a B&B for the night and found one called the Heather House that was right across the street from the river.  It was beautiful and the hostess, Barbara, was one of the most accommodating and enthusiastic hostesses I have ever met. The house was amazing. Owned and decorated by Barbara's retired parents, and if you are looking for your own B&B, it's for sale! 
Loaded with stained glass and beautiful details, it was a dream to stay here!  Every room has a private balcony, ours overlooked the river and we spent Sunday morning before breakfast on the balcony watching the sun rise and the ships pass with a carafe of coffee. Did I mention the weather was perfect this past weekend? It was. *sigh* everything I hoped it would be. Sunny and warm.  Who would think one day away could be so relaxing? We spent Saturday perusing the antique shops in town and took in a movie.  We also found our favorite restaurant ever.
I'll tell you about that tomorrow because it deserves it's own post.  In the meantime, I hope everyone had a wonderful Mothers day!  I know I did. I got upcoming shopping trips with my girls for Mothers Day, who wouldn't love that?
And how was your weekend?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Lauren!

How did you go from this dear little girl
 To this dear, beautiful young woman, so fast? 
Refinishing a cedar chest for your new apartment down in the dungeon basement, all glam in your rhinestone earrings.
Looking forward to curling up with a movie and some of your dads triple chocolate brownie and ganache torte tonight with you after work:>)  You'll always be our little girl.