Thursday, October 11, 2012

Goodby Summer

This was the last hike we took before summer was officially over. I love summer but the one thing I never miss are the bugs! Now it's time to enjoy all the blazing colors Fall has to offer!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August Sunset

My daughter and I drove to Wethersfield Cove, a boat launch area in Wethersfield, Connecticut, for the specific purpose of watching an August sunset. My daughter skipped rocks while I sat near the water's edge with my dog and watched a duck peacefully drifting around in the water. I snapped off at least a dozen pictures as the sky changed from pale pastel colors to vibrant and intense shades of yellow, purple and orange. I wish I could take credit for this photo, but it was the one and only shot my daughter took with my camera. She came over and asked if she could take a picture, snapped off this one, handed the camera back to me and went off to skip more rocks. Her picture turned out the be better than any of the ones I had taken. So much for all those photography classes I took.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vacation Breakfast

I'm not much for breakfast but when vacationing in Vermont we have to have something with maple syrup at least once so we usually visit Anthony's Diner for pancakes, only this time my daughter chose to top hers with whipped cream rather than maple syrup.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Farm Stands

One of the great things about living in New England is the abundance of farm stands. We get to drive by farms, barns and orchards along Rt. 17 and have our choice of stopping at several different farm stands. I always look forward to buying, and cooking with, native produce straight from our local farms. Going out to shop at the farm stands always feels like being on a mini-vacation. Now many of the stands have bakeries and offer coffee so I buy myself a cup of joe and an apple cider doughnut to share with the dog and just load up on the fresh veggies!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Easy Beef Fried Rice

When I'm at the store I often find those packages of beef strips and chopped peppers and onions marked down and I stock my freezer with them. Everything is already prepped so it doesn't get any easier! So here is one thing I do with them...

I saute the beef and veggies in either sesame oil or olive oil (or butter in a pinch). I season it all with some ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, a little soy sauce and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and of course, salt and pepper. I cook it until the veggies are tender and the bottom of the pan is nice and brown. I throw in a dash of parsley and deglaze the pan with a cup of water. Stir it up until the water turns into a nice brown broth and then add in a cup of instant rice. Bring to a brief boil and then simmer until the rice is done. Sometimes I add in some mushrooms and corn. Broccoli is good too. If you have orange juice in the fridge you can deglaze the pan with with a 50/50 OJ and water mix. Add in whatever you have around that you like. It serves 2 to 3 people so if you need more use 2 cups of rice and water and some extra veggies.

It's quick and easy and won't turn your kitchen into an inferno...enjoy!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Easy Steak Fajitas

I love peppers. I love the colors, the flavors and the added bonus of them being good for you, too. I grow them in my own garden in the summer. At the grocery store I often find packages for stir-fry that have steak strips and already chopped red and green bell peppers. That makes life easy when it starts to heat up around here and staying in the kitchen doing all sorts of prep is not something I feel like doing. So for this supper I pull out one of those stir-fry packages from my freezer stockpile and make an easy supper.

Just heat a couple of tablespoons of butter and a tbsp of olive oil in your skillet and then toss in your steak strips and chopped peppers. I also added in some chopped vidalia onion. I love vidalia onions! We see those in our Northeast stores in the summer.  Put a little brown on your steak and a little caramelizing on your peppers and get a little brown on the bottom of your pan.

Now take out some instant rice and see how many servings you want and pour the proper amount of water into your steak and peppers, deglazing that nice brown stuff off the bottom of your pan. Add in a package of fajita seasoning (or less if that suits your taste) and about a half a cup of some kind of cheese ( your preference). I use whatever I have in the fridge. Sometimes a blend like cheddar and Colby. Stir it up and bring the water to a boil, stir again and then slap on a cover and simmer until the rice is cooked. Eat it as is or roll it into a tortilla with some chopped tomato and enjoy all the free time you'll have left.

Note: You can use beef stock instead of water and add other good things like mushrooms or corn. What I love about recipes is that they can be changed to suit each individual cook. And if you want to make this even faster? Buy one of those packages of Lipton fajita rice.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Victoria Earns The Game ball...Twice

Congratulations to my daughter Victoria for getting awarded the game ball two games in a row! Both times it was for stepping in to pitch when the other pitchers were having a bad day. The very first time Victoria was brought in this season she pitched a 1*2*3 inning. Good work in the circle!  (The photo was Victoria pitching her first season a few years ago)