I am so happy that you have landed in my little corner of cyberspace. If you join me here, you will, hopefully, get to know a little about me. You will read my thoughts, my hopes and dreams, and see some of my favorite things. I hope you will visit often. I will try to update it regularly and hopefully you will see an improvement in the blog along the way. Thank you for stopping in to see me as I travel on this journey called "life"!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A view of my world...


Welcome to my "nest"....

today, I've been reading some blogs in my reader......catching up on emails.....listening to Pandora.....smelling the fresh air.....enjoying the sunshine...pinning things that I love in Pinterest and taking a few photos like these...

And this little guy who was rustling the branches of the tree next to the deck...

loving the zoom lens so that I didn't have to move 
from my chair and scare him away...

It's been a nice day.

My latest obsession....


is anyone out there feeling the same thing?

if you are not pinning, you could should be...

here's a link.

it's so much better than tearing pages out of magazines.

Wanna connect?

leave me a comment or email me if you would prefer.


there are so many creative people out there.
there are so many beautiful, happy things to share.

why not?

let's do this...

i hope to see you around.

have a great weekend
happy pinning!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Salad

I have been craving a salad made with fresh pears. While outside on the deck repotting plants this morning, my plan to have salad for lunch was born.  I have some of the cutest baby mesclun lettuce growing out there and in my fridge I had some organic baby spinach, romaine lettuce and pea shoots. My landlord gave me a few fresh parsnips so I cut those up and roasted those in the oven with olive oil and sea salt before I went out to work with my plants. I originally thought that they would make a nice snack since it was just a few of them. While dreaming up my salad, I thought....why not add the parsnips to the salad too?!

I knew that I had a fresh red pear.....some dried cranberries.....some walnuts that I could toast.....some of that wonderfully yummy NH herbed goat cheese that I've managed to develop an addiction for.  My lunch plans were assured.

After finishing my plants, it was time to search for a salad dressing recipe.  I was thinking something with that yummy Ben's NH Maple Syrup so I popped into Google "maple syrup salad dressing pears".  They were going to be the star of this show.....or so I thought.  I found a wonderful recipe at culinarycory.com and I'm all set.

So I tossed the greens together....

Baby Spinach
Mesclun Mix
Romaine Lettuce
Pea Shoots

And I mixed up the dressing, as follows....

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
Adapted from culinarycory.com 
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
pepper to taste

In a small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients until well emulsified.  The dressing should be a light yellow color. Keep vinaigrette chilled in the refrigerator until ready to toss with the greens. 

Note:  This makes a good bit of dressing....enough for a large salad to serve 4 to 6.  I just spooned some out for my greens and I'm saving the rest in the fridge for a later salad.

I dressed the greens with some of the dressing and refrigerated the rest for later.  On top of the greens, I added the roasted parsnips, dried cranberries, a chopped red pear, a small handful of walnuts that I toasted in a dry skillet and that yummy goat cheese. 


You might note, as culinarycory did on his website, that you will probably want to treat your pears with fresh lemon juice until all of the cut sides are coated so that they don't turn brown.  I didn't do that, as I only made enough salad for one and I ate it right up.  No time to turn brown on my salad!

Thanks so much for stopping by to see me today.  It's a beautiful day in New Hampshire so I'm off, once again, to enjoy it.

Have a great day!

This post is being linked up to Let's do Brunch, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays 
and Full Plate Thursday.


Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


We saw this scene while driving up the road to our new home.  I'm so glad we had our camera ready.  Meet our neighbors.  They still aren't as weird as the people in Louisiana.  Remember them?  If not, you can read about them here.

Truly....you can't make this stuff up.

 This post is being linked up to ABC Wednesday  and  Wordless Wednesday.

Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

New Hampshire Seacoast...

When you are driving down the seacoast on a cold, rainy Saturday and you are starting to get hungry and you see this place....with a parking lot full of cars.....you have to stop, right?

Check out Petey's online here!

The best clam chowdah evah on a cold, rainy Saturday!
If I had been smarter, I would have charged the camera battery Friday night so that I would have been able to get more than one photo inside the restaurant.  Thankfully, we had the other camera with the zoom lens in the car all ready for other shots so we weren't completely without a camera for the rest of the day.

The character of Petey's is perfect.  It was clean and tastefully decorated.  There were lots of interesting items on the wall to look at while we waited.  It was not "touristy", by any means although tourists were clearly welcome. The food was amazing.  The service was impeccable. Thanks, Phil! The atmosphere was warm and inviting.  It was a wonderful visit. 

We shared the cup of clam chowder in the photo above as an appetizer.  That won't happen again.  It was clear that we each needed our own gallon cup of this wonderful stuff.    I have no words for how wonderful this chowder was.  It was creamy and buttery like a good chowder should be but not thick like a cream of anything soup.  It was full of yummy fresh clams, chunks of potato and with the addition of the oyster crackers, it was absolute perfection.  In addition to the chowder, we ordered the lobster pie and a lobster roll to share.  Again, I cannot begin to even describe how wonderful this food was.  It tasted so fresh and delicious.  We ♥ Petey's and will definitely be going back....and will definitely be taking our vacationing guests when the come to visit....and will most probably be taking off for the seacoast and Petey's when we are craving clam chowder.   


The waves were pretty strong along the coast on Saturday.  The wind was blowing the rain sideways and it was seriously cold.  We did chance getting out of the car a few times for photos and then we saw these people out enjoying the day.....or trying to, at least.  We parked and watched for awhile.

We did manage to see one of them catch a small wave and ride it to shore.  I'm sorry we didn't get it photographed.  For the most part, while we were watching, they were struggling just to get out in the water at all.  It seemed a little futile to me but they were obviously having fun.  I cannot even imagine how cold that water was.

If money were no object, I would call this home...

The rocky coastline lived up to my expectations even though the weather did not.  We don't have a lot of coastline; but, what we do have, is beautiful.  I can't wait to visit again this summer.  It is so nice to live someplace where I can travel in virtually any direction and find something scenic.  The mountains and the ocean are close by.

I'm loving my new life.

It is, also, interesting to note how different the culture is in other parts of the country than I am accustomed to seeing in Louisiana.  One of the places that we found along the way and DID NOT visit was this....

Some things are much better not shared.....
like my nekkid body. ☺

Like my stepdad said...
It gives a whole new meaning to "hanging out".

Thanks so much for stopping by to see me. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your friends and family.   Make it a great week!

 This post is being linked up with


Smiling Sally

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Sometimes I get busy during the day.....doing stuff around the house.....or outside of the house....or just sitting here reading your wonderful blogs in my Reader and dinner time sneaks up on me.   At times like that, I cave into David's request to just order "Village Pizza" or I go into the kitchen and throw something together like this which I didn't bother to write down the recipe for or take any pictures as I created it....which is too bad really....because it was delicious.

Rotini Pasta with jalapeno, red pepper, chicken sausage, slow roasted tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, roasted broccoli, NH goat cheese, a squeeze of lemon and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese

 And when you are someone like me, you can't force yourself to eat pasta two nights in a row no matter how yummy it was the first time you had it.....so you gladly let your husband have the leftovers all to himself and you scrounge around the bare kitchen looking for something for dinner for yourself that doesn't require  a lot of preparation.....and because you need to go to the grocery store, you come up with something like this.......which may or may not have been better than the pasta....

Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce and Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese
And when you mother-in-law stops with a treat like this bright and early in the morning.....before you have had your wholesome almond butter on whole grain toast... you may or may not have it for breakfast instead...
And then rationalize that it's lemons....which are a fruit.....and eggs....which are full of protein....and made with real sugar and not any of that processed chemical-y stuff so why not, right? 


Just keeping it real....

Have a great weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by.

This post is being linked up with Follow Friday - 40 & Over.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lemon Chicken & Bulgur

**If you are looking for my Blue Monday, Shutter Love
or Sweet Shot Tuesday photo, go here. **

This recipe has caught my eye since I picked up the March/April 2010 of Clean Eating Magazine last year.  Every time I would pick up the magazine this past year, this recipe just looked so yummy that I wanted to make it and then I would get sidetracked and forget. 

Last week, my sister-in-law and I went to the Coop and on the way out of the door, I grabbed this magazine to look at on the way up.  Again, this salad jumped out at me so I added the ingredients to my shopping list and turned down the page in the magazine so that I could find it easily when I got home.

Before I started the dinner preparation, I decided to do a little search online to see what I could find about this recipe.  I always like to read reviews and then take the general consensus of what people liked or didn't like about the food and then do my own thing. 

I love searching for things on Google and adding the word "blog" to the search field.  In my opinion, blogs are the best source of information.  Bloggers will tell you exactly what they think of recipes and if the recipe was less than stellar, they will tell you what they would do differently next time.  

This time I found a wonderful "new to me" blog written by Kate called Clean Eating Machines who had made this recipe last month.  You can find her wonderful blog here.  May I suggest to you that if eating clean, yummy foods is something you are interested in, you should hop on over there and say hello to her.  You will be glad you did.  I am definitely going to be following along with her.

In her blog review, she said that the chicken needed to marinate longer than the 30 minutes called for in the recipe and that it most definitely needed a shot of lemon at the end to brighten it up.  She, also, mentioned that the crushed red pepper was not spicy in there and that she considered it "kid friendly".  To me, that was a cue that it wouldn't be flavorful enough for this girl from Louisiana and her man. We like things spicy around here and to make something that doesn't include garlic and some kind of heat is almost unheard of in our house.  We don't have any little children around so we are able to kick things up as much as we like when it's just the two of us and we're not expecting company.  In light of that, I grabbed some Weber's Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning and added that to the marinade.

I had forgotten, for some reason, that this seasoning mix has some heat to it too.  I added a couple of teaspoons and with the heat of the crushed red pepper, it was plenty spicy for us. I'm glad we had the bulgur to even things out or the chicken itself might have been too spicy...at least for me.

The next time that I make this.....and there will be a next time, I'm sure.....I will add fresh garlic and probably chopped shallots to the marinade instead of the Weber seasoning.  I don't think it needs more heat as much as it just needed more flavor.  The garlic and shallot would take care of that without adding extra heat.

This was the first time that I had ever tasted bulgur.   I've seen it used in recipes; but, I had never experienced it for myself.  I found it very interesting and very tasty.  The addition of the sliced almonds was a great touch.  I loved the crunch that they provided.

My husband thought it tasted like...in his words...."kicked up cream of wheat".   I guess he wasn't too far off.  Cream of Wheat isn't something that I've eaten a lot of in my lifetime.  I'm a southern girl.  We eat grits.  He did tell me over and over again how much he enjoyed it and that I could most definitely make it again.  He doesn't say that unless he means it.  I will definitely be making it again. 

Instead of adding the chicken to the bulgur and eating it as a salad, we ate the bulgur as a side dish along with some yummy fresh sugar snap peas and a lemon wedge for an extra shot of brightness.  It was yummy!

The recipe with my changes/additions in italics....

Lemon-Grilled Chicken & Bulgur Salad
Page 25, Volume 3, Issue 2
 March/April 2010

2- 4oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slightly pounded flat
** I used Chicken Tenderloins
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin, ground
2 tbls lemon juice
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup fine-grain bulgur wheat
1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
 Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
**2 tsp. Weber Grill Creations Garlic and Herb Seasoning

In a plastic bag, add chicken, oil, red pepper flakes, cumin and lemon juice.  I put the chicken in a bag and mixed the marinade ingredients in a separate bowl with the addition of the Garlic and Herb Seasoning.  I, then, added the marinade to the bag of chicken and massaged it  to coat each piece.  I carefully rolled the bag up to dispel any air inside and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.  Close, toss to coat and let marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. My husband cooked the chicken for me.  He decided that the grill was too much trouble so he cooked them in a non-stick skillet and they worked just fine. 

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Remove from heat, add bulgur and lemon zest, cover and let sit for 5-7 minutes, until bulgur has absorbed all of the broth.  Transfer to a serving boil, mix in almonds and mint and season with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from the marinade, place on grill pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until a poke reveals clear juice.  Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into 1-inch cubes.  Toss with bulgur salad and serve warm or cold.   As I mentioned, we didn't eat the chicken combined all together with the bulgur.  We ate it on the side and we ate the bulgur warm.  I believe that it would be delicious mixed in together and eaten cold.  I will probably try that next time.

Nutrients per serving: (4 oz. chicken and 1 cup bulgur mixture) Calories: 280, Total Fat: 10 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 32 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 18 g, Sodium: 170 mg, Cholesteral: 30 mg.

On a side note:  When I toast nuts, I usually will toast them in a dry nonstick skillet until they become fragrant and start to turn slightly golden in color.  Since I'm having to use the hot plate, I only have two burners to use.  I didn't plan ahead for this meal so I had to toast the almonds in the toaster oven.  If you literally "toast" them on the "toast" setting and forget them, you might end up with something that looks like this...

Yes, this kind of thing happens far too often around here, I'm sad to say.  Thankfully, I had bought a bunch of these at the Coop so I had enough to start over. 

I've almost learned to be prepared.  This time it paid off.

This post is being linked up to Delectable Tuesday, Hearth and Soup Hop,

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great day!


Hearth and Soul Hop at Premeditated Leftovers

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays