Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Magic Picnic

There is a place near my house that is my favorite spot for a picnic and true to its name it is really magical.  That spot is called Magic Meadow.

This is one my favorite times to go to this meadow because the Mountain Laurel is in bloom. Mountain Laurel is not something I ever see in nurseries, and they are a protected plan in New York.  I feel that if I get a chance to see them it is a privilege. 

The whole trip was amazing.  In truth picnics are my favorite pastime.  What could be better than nature, food and my hubby all together on a beautiful day, right?  I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves.
Jeff walking in with our basket.

You have to cross a little stream and climb a little hill.

When I was little this was just a couple of stones to step across.

The views are quite amazing.
I love this little picnic basket. 

A meal of cheese, baguette, and berries.

Jeff as my model again.

I had to get at least one of us both.
What a wonderful picnic. 

What kinds of picnics do you like?  Where do you go?  What food do you take with you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I Ate...in the past two weeks.

Every week I am very good .. at the beginning of the week or day.  By the end of the day I forget.  For that reason I have a million pictures of breakfast, fewer lunch shots and very seldom do I get dinner shots. 

In place of a traditional WIAW I just going to show you the stuff I managed to get photos of over the last two weeks.

I DO NOT wake up without my cut of tea.
I drink this every day.

Quinoa with coconut, soy milk and peanut-butter.
Egg on a roll (a good breakfast to go)
Shot of espresso.

Eggplant sandwich.

Tomato with goat cheese and rosemary.

Indian leftovers.
What was once black beans, rice and steamed veggies.
See what I mean about not many shots of dinner?

That's what I ate at some moments in the past two weeks.  
It is actually pretty good food I must say.  
Let me know if you want a recipe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I love muscles.  No, not body-builder muscles, the sea food! (Body builders have too many muscles.)  They are the reason I am no longer a vegan (I lasted about two months), and they have been consuming my thoughts for weeks now.

I remember the first time I ever had them.  I was in a small cafe in Paris.  My father ordered them and let me try one.  I was about twenty.  It was amazing.  It was moist and a little chewy and it melted in my mouth.  The muscles were cooked in a white wine sauce.  Ever since then, I like to have muscles every chance I get.  As my hubby knows very well if there are muscles or goat cheese on the menu I will order it. 

I finally got a night when I knew I was only cooking for one, me, so I made some muscles.  This is the first time I ever made them and they were amazing.

Another great perk about making muscles is that I have an open bottle of wine that needs to be finished at the end of this recipe (nice perk).

Muscles in White Wine Sauce*

Bottle of white wine
2 tablespoons butter
Two green onions,diced
Two cloves garlic, minced
One plum tomato, diced
One lb muscles, washed, debearded,
Mustard powder
Large piece of crusty bread (to sop-up all the juices)

Wash and de-beard your muscles.  Do this first, I didn't and it messed up the whole process, learn from my mistakes.  Wash the outside of the muscles with a vegetable scrubby brush.  Then grab the beard (you will see it and know) and pull hard.  This will make sense when you see them. 

Put all clean unopened muscles (if they open or are open throw them away) in some water with a teaspoon or so of the mustard powder.  This is a great trick I learned to make them "spit" the dirt out.  Although I do feel a bit bad for the poor tortured muscles (but not enough to NOT eat them, gees).  It really works, I only had one sandy muscle. 

In a separate pot, (I used a big belly pot) melt butter in a hot pan and add onion and garlic.  Cook until soft, about two minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook another minute or two.  Add muscles and wine.  Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 4-6 minutes or until muscles open.

Poor muscles and broth into a large bowl and serve with bread on the side.  Pour a glass of wine and enjoy your dinner for one (it could actually serve two if you don't have a giant appetite like me, or you do have more muscles).  Use the bread to get some of that great broth.  It has all the flavors of the muscles and garlic.  I go so far as to drink the broth with a spoon, I love it. 

I just loved this meal.  Don't fear the muscles they are amazing.  My husband said they "freaked" him out (his word not mine).  That is crazy to me they are so good, who cares if they look weird?

Do you like muscles?  Do shell fish scare you?  What do you think?

*I'm not a chief I just like to eat.  Hope this recipe works for you too.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bathroom Reveal

Alright it has only taken me six months but I finally love my bathroom.

Yes, that is my arm :p

This bathroom was very difficult to photograph, but the changes I made are really amazing.

Here is what the bathroom looked like when we moved in:

When we first renovated the house I was 21, and all I wanted was a pedestal sink, the problem was that my contractor picked out the mirror which did not go with the sink at all.  The result?

A top-heavy bathroom with a huge vanity and a tiny sink.  That didn't work.

Then Jeff and I found this great sink and drawers, I painted it and it came out great.

We added the new sink console, a big mirror to replace the old one, and a new light.  I love the result.  There is also a lot more storage, which is good because we lost storage when we lost the other mirror.

On the other side, I fixed up the window, added plants (I love plants in my bathroom, makes me feel closer to nature) and, of course, the new shower curtain I made.   

See the plants peeking out?
On the other side of the bathroom is a simple wall.  Jeff and I installed two towel racks (one for each), my painting, and a small self.

I like to paint toilet paper!
My ring bowl for when I wash my hair.
Then on your way out you have the linen closet (so you always have towels when you need them).

We will have a mirror for the door...soon.
My bathroom is finished.  There are still a couple of things I want to do (change the tiles on the floor!!!), but overall it is in good shape.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.  I really like all the white tile, it just looks clean (I also just scrubbed it from top to bottom).  I really like that. 

What do you think? 

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Roadkill Dresser

I picked up this baby by the side of the road.  It smelled like an old lady.  I could totally see that some old lady with lots of cats had this dresser.  She took good care of it, but when she died the children just put it out for anyone to take.  (Do you do that, develop a back story for your found furniture?  Maybe I'm just strange like that)

It really is not a very special piece.  The dresser is constructed out of particle board, and plastic.  I had no problem painting it at all.  In fact, it took the paint like a champ.  There was no fighting this one, and only two coats (after the primer), and then the poly. 

Alright, are you excited to see what I did with it? 

I gave this one a nice coat of white paint and it was done.  I really like it in the simple white.  I kept the hardware.  It has a bit of whimsy.  I might paint the handles at some point in the future.  

Here are some more shots:

One last time:

I really am amazed at how a coat of paint can transform a piece of furniture that looked cheep and reminded me of a dead old lady to something that looks clean, light, and beautiful.  I even cleaned out the drawers with lavender scented cleaner. 

Now that I did this project I am ready to paint my beloved antique (or close to antique, it is real wood at least).
She is all ready to get sanded the next day I'm home long enough to do it.

I'm sure you all want to know what color I will paint it.  Well the color found us.

We got this can of paint for $5!!!  I will probably lighten it up a little, but blue is it.

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