Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WITH THOUGHTS OF SPRING ~



"Living Nature, not dull Art 
Shall plan my ways and rule my Heart."

~ John Henry Cardinal Newman




Genus:  Hellebore (Helleborus)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

WELCOME APRIL! ('OODLES OF ZOODLES' ~ CURLY SWEET POTATO FRIES)


"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance." 
 
~ Japanese Proverb



'Oodles of Zoodles'



CURLY POTATO FRIES

For each large scrubbed sweet potato
2  Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4  tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2  tsp. garlic powder
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450º. Spiralize sweet potatoes (Paderno Spiralizer) or cut into slender wedges. 
  • Toss sweet potato with oil and seasonings.
  • Spread fries in a single layer on large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil - try not to overlap or they will steam instead of bake.
  • Bake on top rack of oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way in between baking.
Note: I have a 4-blade Paderno Spiralizer from Williams-Sonoma




Grilled Burgers on Pretzel Buns with Sweet Potato Curly Fries

Thursday, January 15, 2015

WINNER WINTER 'SIMPLE ONE-PLATE' DINNER ~ OVEN CEDAR PLANKED SALMON & STEAMED LEMON BRUSSELS SPROUTS

"What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

~  Author unknown





OVEN CEDAR PLANKED BOURBON SALMON & STEAMED LEMON BRUSSELS SPROUTS 

2  pound salmon fillet
2  Tbsp. vegetable oil
1  Tbsp. soy sauce
3  Tbsp. bourbon
1  tsp. ground ginger
1  Tbsp. brown sugar
Lemon slices

  • Combine oil, soy sauce, bourbon, ginger and brown sugar. Pour over salmon fillet an let sit 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, rub cooking oil on cooking surface of cedar plank. Heat plank in 350º oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Place salmon (reserve marinade and heat in saucepan until thickened glaze) on hot plank and cook 15-20 minutes depending on thickness. 
  • Pour thickened glaze on cooked salmon. 
  • Serve with steamed brussels sprouts, steamed red skins, or favorite vegetable.


STEAMED LEMON BRUSSELS SPROUTS
 
2  lbs. trimmed brussels sprouts
Lemon
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper


Fit a large pot with a steamer insert; fill with water to bottom of insert. Cover and bring to boil. Add Brussels sprouts and steam until bright green and just tender, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.





Thursday, January 01, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

THE DAY BEFORE ... NEW YEAR'S EVE


"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." 

~ Helen Keller



Holiday Bouquet 
(Alstroemeria and Greens)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WELCOME WINTER SOLSTICE!


"No winter lasts forever; 
no spring skips it's turn."

~ Hal Borland





Green Man ~ Hubbard Lake December Sunset
_________


“O, wind, if winter comes,
can spring be far behind?"

~ Percy Shelley

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX


"Lord it is time. 
The summer was very big. 
Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose.




Command the last fruits that they shall be full; 
give them another two more southerly days, 
press them on to fulfillment 
and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke



'HEAVENLY WINE' SUNSET
(Hubbard Lake, MI)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


"Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer." 

~ Geoffrey B. Charlesworth





'Kaleidoscope Trillium'

Monday, March 31, 2014

FAREWELL MARCH! ~ GRILLED ROSEMARY BALSAMIC PORK TENDERLOIN & ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

  ~ Charles Dickens, Great Expectations





Muscari 
(Grape Hyacinth)



 GRILLED ROSEMARY BALSAMIC PORK TENDERLOIN & ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

 ~ Moist and tender, perfect for a 'simple one plate spring supper'. 
(Slightly adapted from RecipeGirl.com )


2  lbs pork tenderloin (silver skin removed)
4  Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/2  cup extra-virgin olive oil
2  tsp. crushed garlic
3  Tbsp. chopped 'fresh' rosemary
3  Tbsp. chopped green onions
1/4  cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1  Tbsp. freshly ground cracked pepper
coarsely ground sea salt to taste
2-3  Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar


  1. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over prepared tenderloins. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, turning frequently. (Can also use a large ziplock bag). 
  2. Prepare grill. Let tenderloins sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. Remove from marinade and grill on high for 8-12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150º. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. 
  3. While tenderloins are cooking, heat marinade on high then turn down to reduce. Add white balsamic vinegar. 





4 scrubbed sweet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled)
extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt & freshly ground cracked pepper

Slice potatoes in thin wedges or chop in bite-size pieces. Place in ovenproof pan or iron skillet. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and coarse salt. Bake in 450º oven or 45 minutes or until roasted. (4 servings)





Thursday, March 20, 2014

VERNAL EQUINOX




For lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise my love, my fair one,
and come away. 

~ The Song of Solomon, 2:11-13

Saturday, December 21, 2013

WELCOME WINTER!

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."

~ John Boswell



'Old Man Winter'

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

NOVEMBER SONG ...


Hating to say goodbye,

heart shaped clumps of hosta cling ...



Monday, October 14, 2013

LIVIN'/LOVIN' SIMPLE MID-OCTOBER LIFE AT THE LAKE (SIMPLE GRILLED RIBEYES ~ SIMPLE KALE AND ROMAINE CAESAR SALAD)

 “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

~  Dr. Seuss



Mid-October Sunset
(Hubbard Lake, MI)


SIMPLE GRILLED RIBEYES

Ribeye Steaks
Extra-virgin olive oil
chopped fresh rosemary
fresh chopped garlic to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Slather steaks with olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, garlic, and black pepper. Allow to rest for 20 minutes or so before grilling.
  • Grill on high to desired donedoness. We enjoy steaks rare/med rare but all depends on temp outside and your grill. Allow steaks to rest a bit before eating.


SIMPLE KALE AND ROMAINE CAESAR SALAD

 6 oz. bunch of sliced Kale (center spine remove if large)
6  oz. bunch of sliced Romaine Lettuce

Lemon (squeezed juice plus zest)
2 cloves minced garlic
1  Tsp. anchovy paste
1  Tsp. Dijon Mustard
6  Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Combine lemon, garlic, anchovy paste, Dijon, olive oil, salt & pepper in blender until thick. Lightly toss with greens and top with grated Parmesan.



Mt Maria
(Hubbard Lake, MI)

Monday, September 30, 2013

FAREWELL SWEET SEPTEMBER! (LEMON SPINACH LENTIL SOUP)

"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons." 

~ Jim Bishop




LEMON SPINACH LENTIL SOUP

~ A fall favorite

4  Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 diced stalks of celery
3  diced carrots
2  medium diced sweet onions
4-6  minced garlic cloves
3  bay leaves 
1  Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (1 tsp. dried)
Freshly ground black pepper & coarse salt to taste
2  quarts organic chicken (or vegetable) broth
1  28 oz. can diced tomatoes
3  cups rinsed lentils (I like black, French green and red)

juice and zest from large lemon
1/2  lb. baby spinach 

  • In large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and lentils. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are soft. 
  • Add lemon zest, juice, and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts. Adjust seasonings. (Puree 1/2 of soup for creamier texture ~ add a bit of water if too thick).