Hello! It's been pretty uneventful around here and that's a good thing, right? I'm getting caught up on reading, cooking up a storm, cleaning up the garden beds and well, just enjoying a little of quiet bliss. Oh, and watching a bit more TV now that I have this cozy and comfy den that I shared in my last post. In the past few days I've watched Just Go With It, a comedy with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Everything that comes out of Sandler's mouth is too funny. I love a movie that makes me feel lighthearted so I re-watched Love Actually, Something's Got To Give, Falling In Love and Best In Show. I made an attempt to go with some more 'recent' movies, one was The Silver Lining Playbook but it was making me not only as depressed as the characters, but a little bored. I couldn't finish it. Can anyone recommend a few good movies that I can rent on Xfinity?
So a repeat from Instagram. This is a picture of my island. God forbid I need to roll out dough or make cookies...it will take me twenty minutes to clear it all off. I just love to see the things that make me smile. The rustic wood and marble top make for some fantastic vignettes. Some of you might remember how I begged and cajoled The Husband into agreeing to buying this. And as practical and perfect it is for my kitchen, I still play 'dress up' with it. This little arrangement is sort of cool...a bit organic. I have bananas ripening, plum tomatoes filling in for my slow growing babies outside in the pot, a bouquet of spray roses from the grocery (just $5 for these...wow!). and some ivy I'm trying re-root. It makes me feel good to look at it and that's nice. :)
I hope those of you who follow me on Instagram don't find my pictures to be too repetitive. I do think that I give more of a story behind them on my blog than Instagram allows. If you'd like to follow me, just click the icon on my sidebar.
And speaking of tomatoes, I've only made Caprese salads. I have a lot of green tomatoes on the plant and with our current heat wave I hope they ripen up soon so I can make a red sauce or something!!! I'm using up the basil in my garden quite well, too. Tomatoes and basil go together like peanut butter and jelly...or something along those lines.
On the garden front I still have phlox blooming (must add more), hydrangeas looking good (adding coffee grounds around them, heard this was good. Yes? No?). And finally my morning glories that grow rampant up my back porch railing and trellis around this time of year. I have to trim the vines quite as bit as I've had them wrap around my herbs and strangle the life out of them. Trimming the long winding vine parts also helps to direct the energy to the flower buds. Around November when everything has dried up, I pinch off the seed pods and crumble them into the same garden bed beside the porch. I pull off the old vines and come spring, once I water they start to pop up like crazy. End of story.
Son Kevin and Mary Clare stopped by with little Elsie on Sunday. Oh, we just want to eat her up. I wish I could hold her longer but my arm just wants to give out. Still, we get such a kick out of her. She's sitting up pretty unassisted for long periods of times which you can see here. And she's cutting teeth. Kevin says she is always happy and never cries unless she is hungry or tired That's really great for a 'first baby". Emily was very difficult from day one, I think she cried and howled for the first six weeks. Not a great way to start motherhood,
Yep, she's a happy, gentle, good natured little girl. And that's very much the way Kevin and MC are. Good genes. She smiles and giggles nonstop. :)
One last pic...remember the cute photo of her at son Jeff's wedding two weeks ago? This is another shot. She almost looks like a baby doll. Oh my gosh, she's just so pretty, I love her to pieces, we all do.
A simple but delicious recipe with little prep, a tiny bit of stovetop action and then finished off in the oven while you get on with something else. Emily gave me the recipe after telling me she was making it for dinner. We were simultaneously making it last night. It was just so good, I hope you Pin it and try it.
Baked Chicken & Chorizo
2 T olive oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
12 oz. soft chorizo sausage, crumbled
2 cups medium diced yellow baby potatoes
One red onion, roughly chopped
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. salt and pepper each,
Zest of one large orange.
In a medium size ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven heat 1 T. of the olive oil over medium heat. Lightly brown chicken thighs about 3 minutes each side. Turn heat off. Add crumbled chorizo sausage, then top with diced potatoes. Layer red onion over, then oregano and S&P. Grate orange zest over the top and then drizzle the remaining T of olive oil. It will look like the above photo.
Remove from stovetop to oven pre-heated to 425 degrees. Bake 30 minutes covered, then 30 minutes uncovered. Serves 4.
This dish was above and beyond delicious. Very flavorful, filling and a bit spicy but not overpowering. I served it with a simple handful of baby greens and cucumber along with a basic vinaigrette and the juice of a lime. This was a cool balance.of all the flavors. I plan to have a big family dinner and serve this. It won't be hard to double or even triple the recipe and much of it can be made ahead of time. I hope you try it.
I've really had a relaxing few days and it seems it will continue..hopefully. Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are having the second heat wave of the summer, in the 90's tomorrow. I have the feeling the dogs and I will be getting little if any outdoor time. And...The Husband very casually announced to me that he hasn't taken any vacation time this year. To be honest, with all we've been doing, especially with Jeff and Deirdre's wedding, I never really noticed. We've always taken a 2 week stretch at the lake in August and a few three day weekends here and there, but obviously this couldn't happen with the lakehouse in such disarray. He's looking at his schedule and good naturedly told me the itinerary is mine. Hmmmm..two weeks to fiddle and plan, within bounds of course. A visit to our place in Asheville for sure and maybe a few jaunts south? The East Coast possibly for a little time oceanfront? Oh my gosh---this is really exciting and no, I don't take it for granted. The Husband runs the ship at work and he's always the last one to abandon, so to speak.. Anyway, we can be taking off at any time depending on his schedule. You'd think I would roll with this but no, I'll be a mess as usual overthinking and micromanaging everything. I'll keep you posted.
Hope all of you are off to a fabulous week!