home sweet home

 
peaceful pond
peaceful pond

I have been away too long. We have been searching for a new home and the journey to find this place has taken our time and energy, but boy is it worth it…because now I believe this place will give that energy back ten fold. It feels like it will be a very peaceful place to be and call our home.

We are still in the middle of things, wish us luck that everything falls into place, this little peace of land has already got a hold of our heart strings. We will be busy packing, cleaning, sorting for the next month and if all goes well, we will be in our new home the first part of July.

I have been sewing a little on the side to help myself feel calm during these transitions. Here is an example. This little bag was a Mother’s day gift to my mom.

mom's gift

 

I hope that you are well, and your homes are giving you joy and peace.

Laney

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science fiction thriller

 the leaves are bigger than my head……this one really was trying to take over the world!

Okay, I admit it, I am not always as observant as I need to be…who knows how long I might have gone without noticing the HUGE plant taking over the back half of my backyard….?

I used to have a compost pile, before my husband turned it into a brush pile……the pile of twigs and small tree limbs is almost as tall as I….so it’s been a while since I actually put anything out there to actually compost….. I had some cool squash (Turban and acorn…and maybe pumpkin) that I’d used for decoration and then but them out to enrich the soil. They decided to do what was natural and grow.

Holy cow!, I had no idea a squash leaf could be THAT large. I have a plant growing over the brush pile, onto the chain link fence that is probably 5 feet wide and ten feet long, All watered from the rain. I was so impressed by the resilience of nature….the keep on keepin’ on of Mother Nature. 

Hope you all are well!

friday night tacos

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This is Antonio Jr.  a.k.a.  “The Taco King”

Therly has had family visiting from Brooklyn. Therly loves to cook. Her dad and younger brother both do too. They all have magic culinary skills. Antonio made his famous chicken tacos for dinner last night and I got to help in the kitchen and learn how they are made. He even taught me how to make the chile sauce. It was all so good. While the kids played and the guys kicked the soccer ball around, Antonio and I made lots of tacos. We were worried we wouldn’t have quite enough, Antonio Sr. has lots of friends and a cousin that love tacos too. It was a little like the fishes and loaves….there was plenty.

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First, we started with the sauce.

We got the chicken boiling too. Antonio says that you can use any meat you want, shrimp or beef, whatever you like. I have to say the chicken is very good.

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The creama,  Antonio mixed together sour cream and heavy whipping cream to make a lighter sour cream sauce.

After the chicken was done, we started the tacos. There is a knack to rolling them, Antonio was much better at it than me.

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It’s helpful to warm up the corn tortillas before rolling the tacos, so that they do not crumble. You roll them up and then press them firmly so that they stayed compressed long enough to put them in the hot oil to fry. I know, fried!!! But they were so good, and it was Friday, after all (translate, you can eat fried on special occassions…)

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Here is the final product.

Tacos…oh they were so delicious. 

  

Dream home on the hill

I promised cheery….so here it is….

One of my best friends, has recently designed, built and moved into her dream home. She and her husband had previously lived in a beautiful Tudor style home that had been built in the 1920’s. They loved the home, they spent lots of time and effort adding onto it, making sure to have the add ons match the style of the original structure. Beautiful gardens, extra living space, a bedroom and bath, patio and sheltered parking were all added on. The delimma…….. was, that this beautiful home, was in the middle of a busy and crowded neighborhood. What to do?

My friend and her husband started dreaming and planning, because although they are both artistically minded they are also feet firmly planted on the ground. So plan they did……..

They both are inspired by Japanese style. They found an Architect/Builder who liked their ideas and thought he could pull them off…..so they did a little more planning, a little more drawing…lots of saving…..and lots of patience…..and came up with this…….

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and here is the inside…

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and yes it’s always that neat. I wish by association my house could always look so good….isn’t it beautiful?

Wow, and as if that isn’t enough I have more from my good friend Darcy…a recipe..Yeah!

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I have attached a picture of my starter, I found the recipe with my grandmother’s stuff.  Here it is:

1/2 package active dry yeast(1 1/4 tsp.)

2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups warm water

    Combine ingredients in a stone crock or bowl (never use metal). Beat well. Cover with cheese cloth or towel, let stand 2 days in warm place.

Refrigerate loosely covered.

    There are many variations for starters but this one worked well for me. Mine was ready sooner than two days probably because of the hot weather. You will know it is ready when the mixture is nice and bubbly and has a lovely yeast smell. Then it can be reiterated. In the fridge it will loose its froth and a brown liquid or hooch will form on the top, just stir it together before use the starter in a recipe.

The starter will need to be replenished or fed once a week or so. If you have not used any starter in a recipe just remove a cup and share it with a friend or discard. Mix together equal amounts of water and flour(1 c. water, 1c. flour) combine with remaining starter and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours until bubbly, then refrigerate. Here is the recipe for

Sourdough Pancakes:

Make the basic batter the night before. Put one cup of sourdough starter in a large glass mixing bowl(NEVER use metal bowls or utensils with sourdough) Add 2 cups of warm water and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Mix thoroughly and cover with a plate or plastic wrap. Keep bowl in a warm place overnight. The mixture should be quite active with fermentation(bubbly) by morning, remove 1 cup of the batter and put it back into your original starter. This will replenish or feed your starter and keep it active.

Add to the batter left in the bowl:

1 egg

2 TBS oil

1/4 cup four

Beat thoroughly and add:

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 TBS sugar

Blend together and allow to rest for a few minutes. Then pour onto a hot griddle, keeping the pancakes small will improve the texture and taste.

This is all new to me so I hope it makes sense. I think I will try sourdough biscuits next weekend.

Enjoy!

Darcy

Aren’t you glad I know Darcy and she is my friend? I am… and glad that she is  generous enough to share with us her dream home and good food. Thank you Darcy!!!

cheesy blueberry cakey goodness

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 Thank you Tracy……the cake is REALLY good. We used blueberry jam instead and no almonds….sigh…I had to concede to the no-nut vote.

It’s still really good though…Next time…I will have almonds. For this fabulous recipe please visit Tracy at http://pinkpurl.typepad.com/

Good Eats and good friends

Spent the day swimming, playing and eating. My friend Therly can COOK.  She made steak, with sweet rice and fried plantains.001.jpg We garnished with salsa and guacamole. Yummy! Therly hails from Brooklyn, with a funny Brooklyn accent. I really like listening to her talk. It’s like a trip to Brooklyn in my very own kitchen. Her parents are from Honduras and she has LOTS of stories. LOL, we were looking through an old Architectual Digest. She found some awesome homes in the estates for sale..I never even look in that section. It was an eye opener. There are some HUGE bathtubs in the world.

002.jpg Therly in her kitchen, ready to make the rice. I promised to teach her how to make Mexican rice and she taught me how to make sweet rice with corn…sorry no pictures, we were in a rush to eat everything! I realized as I post this, we hadn’t taken pictures of the finished meal.

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Playing on the swing after dinner, watching Lightning bugs…no fair that only the males get to fly and light up! We had a fun day. Thank you Therly for an awesome dinner and your friendship.