Wednesday, March 5, 2014


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). :) 

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? 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'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 



20 North Ora said...

How exciting about your new "home away from home". That's a beautiful part of the country.


Desire Empire said...

Congrats to your daughter. That's great news. Sorry that the weather is still cool. I hope Spring comes around real soon.
Carolyn Desire Empire

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your new get away sounds wonderful, Jane! You'll have to take some pictures of it when you go. Your fireplace looks so warm and inviting. I love your grate! No snow for us this week. It is supposed to warm up as the days go on. I can't believe it is this weekend that we do the clocks!

Debby said...

Now you will have two homes away from home. That will be fun.
I love both your tops. I think I saw the first one at TJ's. I actually went in to buy one. They didn't have my size so I got another one similar. I love those kind of tops. Love the blue one.
Emily is adorable. She looked cute in her dress for success. She needs some Origami Owl bling.
That's because I sell it, hah.
Love your recipes.
Will the snow ever go away. You have had more than we have.
Love the chair.
Have a good week-end.

Balisha said...

A new place exciting. We want pictures.
That recipe looks delicious. Thought I saw noodles...but went back and looked again...I was wrong
The blue top is really pretty. Love that shade of blue. I'm already looking for Joe's class reunion. Love shopping online.

Unknown said...

Congratulations to Emily! She looked beautiful in her new outfit. Love your new things too. Those boots are adorable!

That recipe sounds delish!

I know you will enjoy your place in Asheville!

Take care!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Congratulations on your daughters promotion. AND congratulation on your home away from home. I am sure you will enjoy the weather there after all the snow in Chicago.
Looks like you found some great buys on your shopping trip - love the boots.
Have a great weekend.

Susie said...

Good for Emily. You will look great in the aqua color with your blond hair. I really like celery too. I love the way it smells. We should be getting some better weather come this weekend. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Low Tide High Style said...

Your posts are always chock full of great stuff! Love the new chair, new clothes, new boots, and the recipe! And congratulations to your daughter on her promotion, and to you guys on your new exciting!

xo Kat

Betsy Brock said...

I love celery, too...but mostly the white stalks. ha.

Yay for your daughter...the outfit is adorable, too!

And how fun to get a little vacation spot of your own. Sounds like it's in a wonderful location, too!


Such a fun and newsy post. I feel like we just shared the cup of coffee.

Here's to ... SPRING.


Beth said...

A great post Jane! So nice that you are going to have a new home away from home!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Congrats to Emily, don't you just love it when they succeed in what the want and work for?
I love the getaway and you will be there before you know it!
The chair is wonderful and yes, there is always something at Marshall's!
Have a great weekend coming up!

Heaven's Walk said...

Ok, I'm totally crushing on those boots you found and that pretty white lace top, Jane! Gorgeous!! I'm so happy for Emily! What a fun job to have! :)

I have to thank you again for letting me know about my feature in Country Style Gardening magazine, sweetie! I was so surprised!

xoox laurie

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I can't believe you got those gorgeous boots for only $15!! Wow!
Love your new chair! I have two that are a similar style (also from Marshall's)and I love mine.
Congrats to your daughter on her promotion! That is awesome!
And congrats to you as well on your new vacation place! How fun and exciting!
I started my low carb diet wish me luck! I will be enjoying your recipes!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Love the chair, love the clothes, love the fact that you are happy about your condo. I am personally sad you didn't come to Florida, but this sounds ideal! So I am happy for you, my sweet Janie!

I went to Asheville for the first time when I was 16, and we stayed at some famous hotel there. my father also bought me he most gorgeous antique ring for my birthday. i cherish it.

i guess i should know more about NC than i do. My ancestors were some of the earliest settlers there. But it was the coastal region and also Raleigh which they founded. Nothing like boring other people with your genealogy! ;-)



Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Congrats to Emily! And thank you so much for the shout out on my new Tasty Tuesday Link party!

I am looking forward to getting together when you come to Asheville!

Lynn said...

Lots of fun things here Jane! Congrats to Emily, that's great! Your dinner sounds very creamy and satisfying and how very exciting about your new place in NC! No doubt you'll have a blast there-enjoy:@)
Oh and PS-Lovin' the spring poem-bring in on!

farmhouse-story said...

congrats to emily, jane:) how fun to be able to vacation near biltmore--it's a beautiful area! love your new boots, too! have a great day:)

Kathleen Grace said...

It makes me laugh how after a long bitter winter we think 23 degrees "isn't really that frigid", lol!
Congratulations to Emily on her promotion, she looks so happy. I love the clothes you got, I haven't been out shopping in weeks, it's so cold I keep putting it off. Time to hit the sales while I can still find some. Love those boots Can I askwhere you found them?

Sonia said...

Wow exciting news about your daughter and your new place! I love your two new blouses and the jewelry is perfect! I'm counting the days till Spring!
Stay warm!
Miss Bloomers

Gina said...

Shopping is the best medicine for this never ending winter! I love the chair!

Congrats to your daughter & on finding a new home away from home!

Primitive Stars said...

Oh Girlfriend, love the boots, fantastic buy, I am a boot freak.....I also love celery, yummy......Happy for you and your Daughter, always great to have a home away from home.....Blessings Francine.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Congrats to Emily and as to those boots...can't you find a 50% horse ? :)

NanaDiana said...

What a great post, Jane- from the shopping for clothes and jewelry to buying a condo!

Good for you for sticking on your food program. I am working on my own, too. It feels good to BE good, doesn't it?

Your chair is great, too. Glad hubby liked it.

Congrats to your sweet daughter. She is obviously very good at what she does- I am glad that management recognized that! xo Diana

Susan Freeman said...

I am glad they did not have that blouse in black because I think the aqua will look smashing with your blonde hair! Stay warm and cozy.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Congratulations on your new home away from home! Your boots are awesome! I love both of the blouses you purchased and Emily's outfit looks great on her too. Congrats to her on her new position! Her talents have been recognized and rewarded. :)
Have a wonderful weekend, Jane.
Hugs, Beth

Rita C at Panoply said...

You're just full of great news this time, aren't you?! Congrats to Emily on her job promotion! Love all your bargains and, coincidentally, Penny is featured over at Marty's this morning.
Loving the idea of a getaway place and glad you found one that's already got a good track record - that's always justification!

SImple and Serene Living said...

Congratulations to Emily and on your new home away from home. I love Asheville. It is warming up her for the next week. I am so excited to see this snow melting. xo Laura

Melanie said...

Love that gauzy white top, the boots (what a deal you got on those!) and the pretty chair. Congrats to Emily on her promotion! I've heard lots of good things about Asheville - you will have a lot of fun. Will you meet up with Penny again? Brian and I need a vacation baaad, but they ain't gonna be happening for a long time!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Congrats on your home away from home! And congrats to your daughter too! Love the new shirts and boots you picked up! That was a real steal on those boots!

Stacey said...

How cool to have a vacation home there! I've never been to Biltmore but it's on my list. You are a busy girl. :)

Theresa said...

Congratulations on your purchase at a place you love to visit:) Good for Emily, "Moving on up"! I know you are proud of her!

Enjoy your last days of cold weather, I KNOW SPRING is just around the corner:)


jp@A Green Ridge said...

I adore what you've posted, Blondie and LOVE those boots and that gauze would be perfect for vacation!...:)JP

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
Just getting caught up here. I read both of your last 2 posts. So glad to hear your tests came out well, I've been thinking about you a lot.
Congrats to your daughter Emily and her new job! Sounds like you two had a great shopping trip too. Jane those boots are amazing, and what a deal!
Love all your recipes too, you will have to clue me in on your diet.
I actually felt almost normal today with temps in the 30's. This winter has been brutal.
Take care and I will be posting soon, I miss it!
Hugs friend,

An Oasis in the Desert said...

Those are gorgeous blouses you scored, and the boots are darling!

Julie Marie said...

Hi Janie... oh my gosh, so much news!... first off, love love love your new blouses and jewelry, and those boots... yikes!... I want a pair for $15.00!... Emily looks gorgeous... congrats to her on her promotion!... I too love celery and onion dip, or ranch dressing dip... yum!... that chair for Al's desk is fabulous!... I hope he loves it as much as you do... or he will have go just give up his desk to you!... and how fun having a new condo to go to!... hope I didn't forget to comment on anything... also hope you are enjoying nice weather... it is so Springlike here!... xoxo Julie Marie

Debbie said...

Love the blouses you found while shopping, and the boots are just the best!!
I have two chairs, and two bar chairs just like the one you found for your hubby. We found ours at TJMaxx. They are great!!
Congrats to Emily! She must be thrilled about her new position.
How neat you have a condo, Jane!! I think that's wonderful!!
Enjoy your weekend.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I loved the entire post...and especially that white blouse!! Exactly what I like to wear in summer. I liked the blue one too..but I don't look good in! :) I'm not so sure I look good in big chunky jewelry. I love to look at it though. Great recipe's. :) I haven't been to a Mall in...years. I have been in the back door of JC Penny's though. the front door of Nordstrom's.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

OH wait! The boot's..I nearly fell off my chair at "I want a horse!" LOL

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Hi Jane...congrats, how fun!

Longfellow is my favorite poet...I grew up in Poet's Corner Longfellow Road!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh you have been busy! Its such a joy to visit you, I have missed you! Its me laurie from I love a cloudy day, when my vision became worse I thought blogging was over but a new program for the visually impaired has allowed me to come back, a new blog but almost the same, its so good to be back, you make my day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! Congratulations to your sweet daughter and her promotion. She looks darling. I love your tops and boots you found, oh, and the pretty little chair too. I just feel like we've sat down and had a nice talk when I visit as you tell us about the happenings in your life. I wish you the best on your new investment. That is such a pretty part of the country. Stay warm.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

My Little Home and Garden said...

I think the turquoise shirt you picked up is a luscious colour! Enjoy wearing it.


{oc cottage} said...

LOVING your boots!!!! adorable!! {and i thought i was the only one who has a thing for celery! ha! ;}

hope spring finds you soon!!!!!

m ^..^

Lori said...

You always have so much going on and love your shopping scores! Have not been able to comment for a bit and wanted to say that I was so glad to hear of your good test results. I am so over winter and cannot wait til spring ~ hope you are enjoying your weekend Jane. xo

Kit said...

Oh your new place sounds lovely. We have one of those too, in Oregon. We have been going for 10 years and it is so wonderful to have. I can't wait to see pics and hear your stories. :) Kit

Anonymous said...

Thanks for popping in to see my little cow creamers, Janie! Hope you've had a nice weekend.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Revi said...

Hey, Blondie...your blog caught my eye a while back! Thank you for your sweet comment at Must Love Junk. :)

Maggie said...

Hi Jane,
Love the boots, the chair & the recipe. Celery is one of my favourite foods, love it filled with just plain old cottage cheese. Emily looked so gorgeous on the morning of her interview it's no wonder she got the job! Yay!
Thanks for coming over to Normandy, I'm so happy to see my friends still come calling despite my long absences.

ayaz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Jane you are making me hungry girlfriend! That chicken dish sounds like the perfect comfort food. You and your daughter both have great taste. Love the blouse and bargain chic boots. I have that same chair from Marshall's by the way-guest room corner. Love it!!
You are styling and hopefully staying warm.

Wanda said...

Jane, love your new wardrobe. I adore guaze and that top is darling.

You're daughter is so a cute and how styling that outfit.

So glad to be back and taking a little time to visit friends.

xinex said...

Congrats to Emily, you must be all so proud of her. She looks really good in the outfit she selected to wear. Congrats also on your new unit in Asheville. How exciting! I am leaving for FL soon and I will just have to wait till I get there to shop. The tops and boots you bought looks great....Christine

Our Neck of the Woods said...

It's too bad you are still getting winter weather! Ugh! I hope you guys get some signs of spring soon. I love all your shopping finds. Looks like it was a successful trip :) And that dip w/the celery does look delicious!

The Charm of Home said...

Your boots are amazing! The price was great! It is so fun you get to go shopping with Emily.

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

You have a lovely blog, food, clothes, and furniture - lovely.

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon

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