This is the one and only time I've ever had my own flowers in the backyard to cut. Okay, I've had tulips, and at the lake we always have those blasted daisies that have eaten the garden, but finally, I have my own hydrangeas! These had bloomed for so long and I was afraid to cut any because the ones I buy wilt and die in a matter of hours. And then I read on a Pinterest post that it's best to snip them when they are just starting to get crisp (or a little long in the tooth as they say). Put them in about an inch of water and let the water dry up. Voila! It's working!
Yesterday I was running errands and drove by a brand spanking new Deals store that I wasn't aware of. Yes! My car nearly steered itself into the parking lot. This was double the size of our usual one and it was so clean and well stocked. I found these little lanterns that were darling and just a buck a piece. I also stocked up on Halloween pencils, erasers, stickers and spider rings that I love to throw in the big candy bowl for the trick or treater's. I just loved walking up and down every aisle and seeing all the bargains. Usually I shop at Deals for my cleaning supplies but I didn't have a list. so this was just a little fun on a rainy morning and didn't cost more than $15.00.
I recently scored another bargain. I don't shop much at Anthropology but I love to have a peek at their clearance section on the website once in awhile. I spied these napkins for a little over $3.00 each and I had to stock up. The other night I was expecting Abby's boyfriend, Tom, to have dinner with us and though I wasn't pulling out all the stops, I used these napkins. Aren't they pretty?
I love making up recipes and I do it in part based on what I have available in the cabinets and fridge, and then partly to keep things interesting. We eat a lot of chicken in an effort to cut back on red meat. And although we like most fish, it's not exactly something we crave all the time. So there I was the other night with the usual boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I also had some English muffins that were going to start getting old so I decided on some sort of chicken sandwich. I wanted to marinate the breasts and fiddled with what I had. This turned into a marinade that was actually used in three different stages of making this meal. I think you'll really like the marinade/dressing for all sorts of things. I used:
1 c olive oil
3 T Balsamic vinegar
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 T of apricot preserves*
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T finely snipped chives
*I used the preserves to make the stickiness you need to coat the meat. You can actually use any type of jam or jelly, or even honey.
I cut two chicken breasts horizontally, from side to side so it's as if you are opening a book. Cut all the way through so you have four thin pieces. Put them in a zip lock bag with 3 tablespoons of the marinade, work it in and then refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Divide the remaining marinade into two small separate bowls. When you are ready to make the chicken, spray your grill pan and turn the heat up to high. Spread the chicken pieces out on a cutting board and use one of the bowls of marinade for brushing on the breasts. Grill each side on high about 3-4 minutes, basting with the marinade as it turns a nice golden color. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe down grill pan when cool. Lightly butter the bottoms of four English muffins. Place on grill and toast over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
To assemble the sandwiches, I made a small bowl of mixed baby lettuce and tossed it with the marinade I had reserved in the last bowl. Be sure this marinade has not come in contact with any of the uncooked chicken, this should have been set aside. Place a chicken breast on the bottom of the toasted English muffin, add a nice handful of the mixed lettuce and top with the other half of the muffin. We had these with chips but they would be great with soup as well.
This is really very simple, I just sort of walked you through it. The main point is you have a nice marinade to use three different ways. Next time I will double the recipe and store half of it in the fridge for another day. I'm sure it's good on all sorts of things. Hope you try it!
I also wanted to share this with all of you. Isn't this a cute little bag? For a tiny little bag it holds quite a bit and it can be a real life saver!
Hand sewn by Pamela of One Paisley Pig, it's chock full of every sort of necessity you may need when out and about. Kris from Junk Chic Cottage introduced us to Pamela last week, she had ordered a bunch of these cute bags for a group of ladies and even had a sweet giveaway. I just had to order one for each of my daughters. They can be tucked in your carry~on bag for a trip or you can have one in your desk drawer or glove compartment. There are 40 items alone in this cute little thing, from first aid items to post it notes, pens, tweezers and paper clips! These would make great Christmas gifts, too. Emily and Abby loved them! Check out Pamela's website if you get a chance.
As I write this I'm in a real pickle. Funny, I can just sit here tapping away while disaster is all around me. The Husband woke me up about 5:00 a.m. to tell me the toilet and bathtub was clogged. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll call the plumbers at a reasonable hour. Thank goodness we have another bathroom. All was well in my world. I got up, had my coffee and took my time. When ever I call those cute Irish plumbers, they are usually at the door in 15 minutes, so I thought I would get my day started first. I straightened up the house, started the dishwasher and threw a load of towels in the wash. As I stood in the bathroom doing my hair and make up, I heard gurgling noises and turned to see black water bubbling up in the toilet. The tub was making the same babbling brook sound as it, too, filled with the putrid stuff. Egad! I ran for towels, opened the windows and lit a brand new pumpkin candle I was saving. I called the cute Irish plumbers and left a message. I got everything cleaned up. luckily the toilet didn't overflow onto the tile. I finished getting ready and was heading back to the family room with my coffee to write this post when my bare feet made contact with a wet floor in the hall. I opened the bathroom door to see more black water spilling out of the toilet and this time I had to stop the flow with about 6 bath towels. Double Egad! Now I did an emergency call to the cute Irish plumbers. I think it was the washing machine usage that broke the camel's back. So I wait. And I'm finished here so just imagine me and my big bottle of Clorox having quality time in the bathroom as you read this.
If all goes well we will be on our way to Michigan in a short while. A big fire in the wood stove and some coffee with a shot of Bailey's will be in order, I'm sure.