I'm sitting here with a big old cup of warm coffee, slippers on and a nice fire burning. Actually, it's not really that frigid today, 23 degrees, but I won't be thinking about that later when I have to pull the trash can down to the curb. And it snowed overnight, I didn't know that until I heard The Husband let the hounds out at 7:00 a.m. and Layla hopped back in my warm bed with me after, wet as a dishrag. So it's just been a slow day, the snowflakes gently falling and no sign of spring whatsoever.
I don't think my friend, Melanie, believes me when I say I love celery. I really do and it's not just because of this Bugs Bunny diet I'm on. I find it very refreshing; watery, crisp and it doesn't get in the way of whatever you scoop up with it. In this case, THE most wonderful dip in the world. And no, I didn't make it but I'm going to bring it to my lab and dissect it under my Food Microscope so I can develop my own recipe. It's from my grocery store (with their name on it), but it's "supplied" by another place where they add all sort of bad things to it to poison you. It's called The Ultimate French Onion Dip, and I'm sorry to say, I'm addicted to it. I limit myself to snacking on it only once per day, two stalks of celery only and I measure two tablespoons (no, I'm not on Weight Watchers) of this gooey stuff, Can you see the chunks of onion? Besides the weird stuff, this has sour cream, mayo, toasted onion, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and some secret spices. No fear, I will get to the bottom of this (literally and figuratively). :)
Monday morning Emily and I hit the ground running to do a little shopping. Actually, I just had to return something but you know how that works out. My gosh...everything is on sale!! Emily was on the hunt for something special to wear to work, she was going to be in a meeting with regards to a promotion. I'm not a big mall person but we got our workout that day! I found this gauzy white top on clearance...
...and this, which I had actually wanted in black but they didn't have my size. Now, Emily is every bit a fashionista as she is an interior designer. I have never seen her buy clothing without matching it up with jewelry, so she grabbed this necklace and matching earrings for me. I hadn't even realized the buttons were gold. She has a collection of "statement jewelry" that everyone comes to her to borrow when they are getting ready for a big night out.
And look at these puppies. Considering I have been wearing snow boots since November, I never thought I would look twice at fashion boots, but these were marked down 50%, and then another 30%. I paid a whopping $15.00 for them! I just love them. I want a horse.
There is a Marshall's right next to the mall, and you know when you see a Marshall's you just have to go in because even if you don't need anything you will find something you can't live without. And there was this beauty. Do you remember a long, long time ago, last summer, that The Husband found an antique trestle table to use for a desk at the lakehouse? I believe this was in August. Well he didn't have a chair so I kept finding really basic chairs on websites that would also look pretty, as his little office nook is in our bedroom. He would never take the bait. So here it is, a Louis XVI. And I paid $99.00 for it! The fabric is beautiful and the chair is very solid and sturdy. The wood is sort of a white wash which matches our headboard and dresser perfectly. The Husband was really happy with it.
Emily texted this picture to me yesterday morning with, "Wish me good luck!" She has on her new outfit, a black chiffon~like blouse with a silky knit cardigan over (and of course, note the necklace). And she was dressed for success because she is now the Associate Design Manager at her store. Yay!!
A quick recipe from Blondie's Cafe. I hope you are enjoying these recipes because once it gets warm out, The Husband will be doing all the grilling outdoors and I'm just going to be sitting in a lawn chair sipping Pina Colada's.
I was thinking how I wanted a nice creamy casserole, yet everything seemed to have milk, flour, pasta or rice in it and I can't have any of these things on the low carb diet. Somehow, I'm able to have cream, so I was able to come up with this, avoiding flour, milk and fattening cheese, and still getting a nice, thick sauce. So, in a nutshell (or a large pot):
Trim and slice 1 1/2 lbs. trimmed chicken thighs into medium bite size pieces. Saute them in 2 T. of butter until lightly golden on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces, and cook over medium heat until tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Add these to the plate with the chicken. Add 2 T. vegetable oil to the pot and saute 1 small chopped onion, red and green pepper and a half lb. sliced mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup white wine (don't skimp, break out the good stuff), and 1 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil scraping up all the little bits off the bottom of the pot. Mix together 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1 T.cornstarch and add to the pot. Stir until thickened. If too thick, add more cream, if not thick enough, add another T. cornstarch to 1/2 c. cream. You might have to play with this. Return the chicken and asparagus back to the pot, add some salt and pepper to taste, and let everything heat up together nicely. Serve!
This got like 10 thumbs up from The Husband, And I was so happy that I was getting a nice rich meal. And did you notice, there are no spices other than the S & P? Amazing...you can really taste the smoothness of the sauce and subtle flavors of the vegetables.. I hope you try it. Penny from The Comforts Of Home has a new link party called Tasty Tuesdays. I'm linking to that and I encourage all of you to join or stop by. Penny is a wonderful cook, she likes to use whatever fresh foods she can find and has posted some really great recipes in the past. Stop by!
And speaking of Penny...she lives in beautiful Asheville, N.C., and if you've followed me for awhile, you know The Husband and I have gone on vacation there twice. I love the beautiful mountains and the lively downtown area. The Husband had fly fishing lessons both times and he never enjoyed himself more. I was so incredibly lucky to meet Penny, as well as Mary from A Breath Of Fresh Air, and Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.
Okay, to make a long story short, The Husband and I had been looking and looking for a piece of property or real estate to invest in for his retirement. Call it serendipity, but the units at the hotel/inn that we stayed at both times in Asheville, are owned independently. So, similar to buying a condo, we now have a one bedroom unit at this "Premier Hotel", as they call it, that conveniently comes with a concierge and maid service! We have actually never seen our place yet...it's amazing what you can do over the internet. We are hoping to get there next month when the weather warms up. We are in a great area, just 5 minutes from the Biltmore mansion and very close to downtown. Tourism is increasing quite well in Asheville and our unit has been booked pretty consistently by vacationers. I am really excited about our first trip to our home away from home!
My plans for the living room redo are coming along great and I will clue you in the next time I post. I want to leave you with this:
The spring came suddenly,
bursting upon the world as
a child bursts into a room,
with a laugh and a shout and
hands full of flowers.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow