Just another Meatless Monday…

Uses up a good amount if your summer garden bounty. I started by blind baking a pie crust for about 10 minutes and then layered summer squash and zucchini slices in overlapping layers. Because the veggies will shrink up, better to have the slices tightly packed.


I whisked an egg and a couple of teaspoons each of cream and creme fraiche together and then pored it evenly under the veggies. 


I topped the tarte with a little shredded mozzarella and put the whole zucchini as it were back into a 425 oven for 30 minutes.


Let the tarte sit for ten minutes before you slice. Add a green salad and you have a simple summer supper and/or a meatless Monday option!

Yet again, no picture

But the recipe is delicious!


Hard to say if the star of this dish is the bacon or the cheese, but personally, I’m voting for the raclette cheese. A traditional melting cheese, it’s usually used on vegetables and/or potatoes and melted on a brazier. 


I browned some onions and steamed cauliflower till it was mashable. Gave it a whazz with the stick blender and added some butter.


Nest layer the mashed cauliflower with the slices of cheese. 


Top with crumbled, fresh bacon.


Bake at 425 degrees until bubbly and melts. Great low carb alternative for stuffed baked potatoes!

Crunchy summer salad

Sorry to say that I forgot you take a picture once everything in this crispy, crunchy cabbage dis that requires no cooking. It does require you to be patient as you slice the brussel sprouts either with a paring knife or on your mandolins. You could also use the slicing blade on your food processor. Simply slice them as thin as possible


Toss the sprouts with olive oil, lemon juice, shredded cheese, salt and pepper.


Lastly, a final toss with some walnut halves! Trust me, you’ll love it!

Currently Crushing…

Selecticism Rose Cider-headingBeen a while since I waxed poetic on new things I have either tried or procured and so I thought I’d share some of them with you…

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First up in the adult beverage category, I’m happy to introduce you to dry rose cider. Not as sweet as other alcoholic ciders with the taste of rose wine featured prominently! Comes in perfect personal size bottles, great for beaches or parties, and would look great in any clear door refrigerator! We searched locally for this and our local packie manager found the last 4 pack on the bottom shelf of the cider section of our favorite local. I’m hoping they get more in stock soon, I’ve been rationing the ones I have. I love the label, so McKenzie / Childs. The cider comes from Wolffer Vineyards on Long Island, and they also stock white and rose wine. Might have to do more research in person at the vineyard!

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I’m usually not one to purchase additional “gadgets” for the household unless it has a clearly demonstrated superiority of design or purpose. After seeing the larger version in action in the tiki bar at my brothers pool both last season and this season, I decided it might be a good addition to our own “bar” tools! I have used a blender in the past for mixing adult beverages but the key difference is the ice shaver that is built into the hopper of the machine. The Hubs and I have both used it for margaritas, Mexican mudslides ( rum not vodka) and for my personal favorite, Frose! If you aren’t using premixed alcohol, they give you a handy mixing cup that conveniently measures the ingredients and then opens into the carafe so you don’t have to pour them separately. Ingenious and comes in several sizes to correspond to the size of your tiki hut!

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I have so many emails everyday that I don’t even remember signing up for. Yes, I agreed to and use Skimm every morning and get my books occasionally on Book Bub but some of the other ones really had me scratching my head. Unrollme is so easy! You can get rid of only the emails you never want to see again, but keep some or get a daily roll up! Use the app on your phone or iPad and it will carry through. So easy. Next day, one roll up and about 10 emails. Fabulous!

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I’d been stalking this cute apron from the Etsy shop, The House She Loved. If you remember my post from earlier, you know I hunted one down at the French Country Market recently and met the maker. Fashioned like an old style school room pinafore, I love that the apron covers everything without restricting movement. It’s made of a sturdy linen with a retro barkcloth pocket that you can stuff a 5# bag of flour in! So soft and washes like a dream!

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Long time readers know that I love anything apricot and shampoo is no different! L’Oreal now has this apricot oil nourishing shampoo that works great on colored hair. I’m just finishing my first tube, a little goes a long way, and just got a second back up.

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Lastly, watching Project Runway, late one nite, I kept the channel tuned to the follow on show for start up beauty/fashion items and found “Swell Skin”. Let me tell you, it is SWELL! I bought both the soap and the oil and use both religiously now. Any dermatologist will tell you that a regimen of cleanser and moisturizer and sunscreen will help keep skin moist and looking ageless, along with proper hydration etc. I’m no MD but I can tell you that this has replaced Cetaphil for me. I use twice a day and with enough working, the lather turns almost creamy in your hands. Let it sit on your face for a bit as instructed and you will feel a coolness. I use the oil before bed and although the scent is a little organic and strong, it dissipates quickly and is not noticeable after 2 or 3 minutes at most. I don’t feel like I need moisturizer after I cleanse, and feel like my sunscreen and make up go on better. My face also feels great during the day. Soap seems to last forever, still on first bar and been using now over 3 months! To order go to www.swellskin.net.

 

 

 

 

Look, it’s gift wrapped cheese!

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In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I completely stole this recipe from one of those little commercials that run on Facebook. Looked easy and it was!

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Square off a zucchini so it’s an even surface on all sides and is less roundish. Use your mandoline to cut long slices like shown above.

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Use either bocconcini mozzarella or cut 1/2 thick slices into quarters so they are roughly the same diameter as a quarter

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Form a cross with 2 slices of zucchini and center the mozzarella piece.

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Wrap the mozzarella and keep overlapping the slices and direction. When completely wrapped in zucchini, stick a short toothpick through all layers to hold together.

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Mix some fresh parmesan and panko and set out along with 2 beaten eggs and about 1/2 cup of AP flour. This is a wet hand / dry hand operation!

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First dip the packages of cheese in the flour and coat well, then dip in egg wash and then roll in the panko cheese mix. Put in refrigerator for about an hour.

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Meanwhile heat canola or veggie oil in a deep, heatproof dutch oven. If you drop a drop of water in and it sizzles, it is ready. Gently lower the cheese and zucchini into the hot oil and cook until brown. DO NOT walk away from hot oil at any time. Safety first! When done, serve immediately on a bed of mixed greens tossed with olive oil and fresh pepper and lemon or on a bed of fresh marinara! Great summer appetizer!

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Nevertheless, She Persisted….

RUN, do not walk, to see Wonder Woman. OMG…I feel like a total geek norb for going to see this movie, but I have to tell you it is 2+ hours of feel good, check your brain at the door, estrogen powered FUN!

Gal Gadot (“leaning in” to the role) plays Diana Prince, daughter of Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons According to the legends of the gods, Zeus breathed life into a child formed from clay by Hippolyta, because you know, there’s a shortage of children on Paradise Island, because, well, no men.

We see Diana as a child, longing to be taught the fighting techniques of the warrior race of women. Robin Wright (yes, that Robin Wright, taking a break from being President Underwood in House of Cards) is Diana’s aunt, Antiope, the strongest and bravest of the women warriors. She recognizes her superior “god given” abilities and knows she will be the one to battle the return of the god of war. Connie Nielsen plays Diana’s mother who resists the call her daughter is hearing to save the world and in the end finally relents and gives her blessing when she leaves Paradise Island with Steve.

Great sequences include the plane crash that brings Steve Trevor to the island, the battle scenes on the beach ( the three arrow trick is awesome) the battle at No Man’s Land, the village in France and the scenes involving evil Dr. Poison ( also a female character balancing things out nicely) and General Ludendorff.  David Thewliss, of Harry Potter “Lupin” fame plays the god of war, Ares.

Clever spins are the opening scene delivery van from Wayne Enterprises, Diana’s final email to Bruce Wayne, the unveiling that she lives in Paris and operates from the Louvre and the funniest pun in the whole movie is when Diana, confronting a naked Steve Trevor in the bath, asks “what is that?”meaning his wristwatch, but Steve wrongly believes she is referring to a rather prominent part of this anatomy.

The directors touch of female empathy is everywhere. Diana is constantly getting sidelined by wanting to help women and children that she sees on the adventure. There is no invisible airplane, but the golden lariat, bracelets and most of all, the tiara and their powers are evident.

The movie clearly is the beginning of a franchise, and I’m not convinced that we have seen the last of the handsome Steve Trevor. I’d look for designers to be incorporating armor details in the spring shows for 2018 and I’d go see the movie again. I’d bring a bunch of little girls, if I knew any, because given the state of things today, a wonder woman could be just what we need in each of our lives. And the Hubs liked it so much, he brought home a poster for his locker….Wonder, Power, Grace indeed.

Mix and Match

You know salads are like sportswear…..
You can take your classics of tomato, cucumber and red onion and add classy accessories like chickpeas ( or legume of your choice..)

Then dress it up with jewelry of fresh herbs and lemon.

Just a thought …

Off the Shelf

The Hubs bought this actual book as opposed to an ebook which is how we both normally acquire books these days because he knew both of us would want to read it. 

I finished it last week after reading it in about 4 days and can highly recommend it for all informal students of history, both foreign and domestic as the oath states.

Chiefly a 20th century position, the book showcases the brilliance and stamina of the men who have held the position serving at the elbow of the leader of the free world. Kennedy and LBJ had collections of aides but the Nixon presidency clarified the position into one leader named Bob Haldeman. From the widening scope of Watergate and the aftermath through Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon and into Carter’s micromanagement of his staff, the author paints a kind of dishy but restrained picture of how hard that job is. 

Then Ronald Reagan took office and brought James Baker with him to the White House. Widely acknowledged by Republicans and Democrats alike as the elder dean of chiefs of staff, Whipple explains what set him apart from others and how he influenced his successors for 41 thru 44. Through six administrations there is also the Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld relationship and the rotating mentor/mentee nature of their relationship.

Fascinating reading.

A little bit country….

The Hubs indulged me a couple of Saturdays ago and drove me down to a farm in Glastonbury CT where a French Country Market was advertised.  It was a “pudding” of sorts as we like to call a new adventure. Maybe it was the weather …cold and rainy, or the date…Mothers Day weekend. Or maybe the crowds picked up later on, but we were a bit underwhelmed. We did however have a few moments of “oh, wow!”.


First I found and procured an apron I had been coveting for a while from this talented vendor. (more to follow on the apron)


Then we saw the hens, but alas…no eggs for sale.  


Then we got a chuckle out of this precious Victorian (or later) wicker potty chair…so dainty, but maybe not so hygienic by our contemporary standards!


And then we found the food truck selling Duck Fat potatoes…and that made everything worthwhile…