Faux Bois…

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Found these cute little, almost real looking, faux boxwood spheres at my local Christmas Tree Shop and decided they would be good filler on the patio till the annual fill in a little bit. Secured them to a wire stake, plunge the stake into some river rocks for stabilizing influence and voila, instant greenery!

It’s a bouncing baby bunny…

File this one under next Easter….

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It’s really just an excuse to drink sparkling pink wine….Add ice to a lovely large glass, add 4 oz of sparkling pink wine, a few gumdrops and about 4 oz of sparkling water. Top with a pink bunny marshmallow “PEEP” and let the bunny hop begin…

Just another Meatless Monday

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Ah, on the surface it looks just like your average ordinary quiche, but lurking beneath the eggs, and the spinach and the feta and onions is no ordinary crust! It’s super crust! Made with sweet potatoes, because as our dietician friends remind us every day, carbs will kill ya…

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Take your trusty knife and slice your sweet potato thinny, thin, thin. I could have used my mandoline, but sometimes you just want to make sure you have all your fingertips intact for the holiday… layer the slices in an outward spiral and make sure you spiral all the way out and up the edge of the pan. Bigger slices work best. Make sure to overlap, they will shrink as they cook.

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Lightly saute up some spinach

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Beat some eggs and whip in some cream, maybe about a 1/4 cup. Salt ( lightly) and pepper…to taste

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Layer the cooked spinach with sliced spring onions and crumbled feta cheese. Pour in the beaten eggs.

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Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes and then check every 5 minutes to make sure the quiche is cooked all the way through. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing!

 

Thumping Good Read

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As you may or may not know “Thumping Good Read” is a moniker that I assign to books that I couldn’t put down.  This book was even better than a TGR because I learned some history in the story.  File this under the category of : ” I had no idea…”

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Lilac Girls tells the true story of a New York socialite and sometime actress Caroline Ferriday. It’s also the story of women on both sides of the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck, built especially for women. The tortures and demons visited upon those women because of their religion, race, or nationality cannot even be imagined by those of us who live in our lives of first world problems. Many of the women, if they survived the first sorting, also were subjects of horrific medical experiments.

Lilac Girls tells the story of the “Rabbits” of Ravensbruck and one of the doctors who found herself committing the most heinous medical experiments. The women were called rabbits because of the “hopping” many of them had to use instead of walking after the experiments on their legs were complete.

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Caroline hears their story and befriends many in the group, getting them access to medical and dental care, nutrition and much more.  Along with Caroline, working from the French Consulate in NYC and her family’s farm in Connecticut, we meet her mother who works just as tirelessly to aid the French and others during the Third Reich through whatever means possible…including hocking the silver. We meet the sisters, Kasia and Zuzanna, both Rabbits and camp survivors with different outlooks and experiences, and Herta, the surgeon, caught not he wrong side of medicine.

If it all sounds a little melodramatic, I can tell you that some parts are, particularly around Pierre, the ne’er do well boyfriend who comes right in the end. However, although I have rudimentary knowledge of the Holocaust , this book does a good job portraying the desolation and terror that comes with knowing your life is worth nothing to a madman….

It’s mothers and daughters, women and children, good against evil. Good wins this round.

Mocking the real thing

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Not many things are as boring to photograph as cauliflower, however, not many things are as good for you. And as many of you know, we here at Chez Miller have been known to substitute “choufleur” for evil carbs like rice and potatoes as often as possible. I manage to make a substitution about once a week with moderate to enthusiastic praise from the Hubs.

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Imagine my surprise however, when he enthusiastically approved the latest substitution of potatoes with cauliflower in his all time favorite summer dish….potato salad. Except, I guess, it’s really mock potato salad.

I cut the cauliflower up into small florets and cooked in boiling salted water till they were just going soft. If you cook too much, then you will get mush. So watch carefully.

Then, add whatever you add for your own potato salad recipe. Here at Chez Miller we add hard boiled eggs , diced up, with a little hot sauce, Cains mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dried dill, some chopped up gherkins and a little dijon mustard. On occasion, I have been known to add bacon, because, well…bacon.

Currently Crushing…

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I feel like I’ve been kept away from the world’s greatest non alcoholic beverage club..HolyBubbles, Batman…this stuff is good! Notice the wide array of traditional and some not so traditional flavors. The usual seltzer flavors like lime, lemon etc. But how about that Apricot? And coconut! The Hubs reports that the coconut is excellent mixed with dark rum. Wow..Locally, I can find them at Target, but Amazon Pantry also stocks at a much higher price point I might add…Summer’s coming….

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My bestie, L, gave me these two paring knives for Christmas…she warned me that it would be the knife I reached for all the time. She was right, my 6″ French knife that fits my hand like it was designed for it, is feeling a little left out these days. It’s been on the “bench” aka the knife rack, since I’ve taken to using these beauties all the time for everything except butchering a hog or breaking up a squash ( haven’t done either of those things recently, but they seemed like a good comparison…) Some styles available on Amazon, but the main website is.here

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A pocket, a sprocket! I bought my HP Sprocket after seeing it on QVC. I tried to get it at the holidays, but it was sold out and I kinda wanted the EasyPay option. It’s a nifty little printer, no bigger than your phone, that prints gorgeous business card size photos that can then be a sticker! (That little bunny above is a sample print that I just ran!)

How fun! Oh, and did I mention, no ink to spill? A refill pack of 20 cards is $10. Fun for the whole family. Available on QVC and Amazon and probably bunches of other places like Best Buy etc!