Saturday, May 30, 2020

Socially Distant Happy Hour on the Patio

We all need friends and many of us have missed entertaining and visiting the last few months.

FaceTime, Zoom, GoogleDuo, House Party, etc. can only fulfill the need of socialization for so long!

So, a Socially Distant Happy Hour was needed!

I pulled out the 'summer dishes' and prepped a cocktail and little nibbles for each of us....

and my "Guadeloupe napkins";

Each guest had their own tray...

...and favorite cocktail:

It is always fun to chat with friends, even if we were sitting 6' apart!

I have also been enjoying some solitude out on the front porch:

I am so happy the nice weather is here, and we can enjoy our porch and patio!  It's a perfect shady spot to enjoy breakfast, take a little nap or read after dinner!

Need an idea for a drink?  Today is National MINT JULEP Day:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Jalapeno Jam....

This jam is very simple to make and is delicious on a pork chop!

To make this, all you need is 5 ingredients:

Jalapeno Jam
4 T unsalted butter
2/3 c finely chopped onion
1 c light brown sugar
1/3 c finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2T dijon mustard
Melt butter in saucepan and add onion, sauté til tender. 
Stir in brown sugar, peppers and mustard and simmer until thick, about 30 min.
  Drizzle over grilled pork chops. Store leftover in fridge for a week.

If you refrigerate it, just pop it in the microwave to make it spreadable!

It's delish and can be used on burgers, sausage patties and salmon!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Spring has Sprung - finally.....

The weather has finally improved in Central NY and my herbs are growing well!

The chives are thinned out each year and once they flower, they will be cut right down to the ground as the first batch is always woody.  I have used the flowers to make chive vinegar in the past!

The oregano has turned into a bush.  I try not to let it flower because once an herb flowers, it stops producing leaves!

The mint is doing well and will be used in mojitos!

Underneath this flat parsley plant is a curly leaf parsley plant that came back from last year!  I use this a lot in the summer and I freeze it to use in the winter.

The basil was just planted.  I use this all summer in salads and especially with tomatoes.  The aroma is wonderful, too!
In the fall I always freeze a bunch and I also make some Pesto 

I still need to plant a few more herbs as soon as I can get to the garden store!  But this is a good start!

Some past posts:

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Japanese Green Whiskey....

I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Japan in 2006 on a Fulbright and I love going through my old photos and reminiscing about my immersion into their culture.

One thing I enjoyed was visiting the elementary schools and having conversations with the inquisitive children.

I never dreamed we would be wearing masks in the US, quite like they wore while serving lunch for me and their whole class!

The side trips were amazing:

Hiking Mt Fuji is a day I will never forget!

The food was a challenge for me - I lived on salad and fruit and offered the rest to whomever was lucky enough to sit beside me!

I am not fond of fish nor rice, so when pickled radishes and orange slices showed up as garnishes I was always excited!

My point to all this is to share a cocktail with you.

 I have to say this was refreshing:

It is a strong drink, but I liked it more than Sake!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Ten on the 10th - Recycling/Upcycling.....

It's time for 10 on the 10th again and this month's theme is Recycling/Upcycling.  

The two terms are different: Recycling is the process of turning waste into a reusable material or product. ... Upcycling, on the other hand, is a very specific form of recycling that turns waste into a material or product that is of a higher quality. So I believe this project falls into the category of recycling and certainly cost less than $10!

The 2 months of self isolation was a perfect time to clean out lots of stuff that we don't need, don't want and don't use.  

While doing this I kept wondering if anything I was getting rid of could be recycled.  In my scrap fabric box (I know, who keeps scraps of fabric?) I found a pair of children's jeans with 2 pieces cut off from each leg:

I turned the fabric inside out and stitched the upper part closed and trimmed it below the fraying knee:

I laid the new seam flat and using a soup can to measure the width, I drew to lines to box the seam:

This will allow the can to fit inside and for the bottom of the jean bag to sit flat:

The points need to be trimmed off to reduce bulk and allow the bag to sit properly:

This is what the bottom of the bag will look like when turned right side out:

I cuffed the bag to the height of the can:

I found some scraps of trim (I know, who keeps little bags of scrap trim?) .....

....and using my glue gun, I attached it to the cuff:

or you can leave it plain: 

So, what can these be used for?

A vase for fresh or artificial flowers:

A pen or utensil holder:

Make a few and use for a silverware holder - cute for a barbecue!

Scrunch it down and place a plant inside:

Fill it with candy treats....

...and tie it with a bow for a quick little gift:

These took only minutes to create and at the same time, the leftover jeans are now "cut-offs" and will be tossed in the donation bag!

I had everything needed for this project on hand, so it was a free project!

Hop on over to see what creative ideas my clever friends are sharing!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

¡Buenos días! How to make a Pink Senorita....

¡Buenos días!

Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held in parts of Mexico and the US on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.

The sun is shining and it is a crisp spring day in CNY.

We look for any reason to celebrate, especially during the self-isolation Covid-19 Pandemic.

We decided to finish up the canned SALSA I made last year from tomatoes, cilantro and peppers I grew.  I don't have much of a green thumb, so I was very pleased with my little crop last year and I look forward to growing a little garden again this year!

I served the salsa in a cute, hand painted turtle bowl from Mexico:

Our drinks today are PINK SENORITAS:

Our Phlox are beginning to bloom and we can finally enjoy our patio!

If you are celebrating Cinqo de Mayo today, and are not fond of Margaritas, try a Pink Senorita:

Tenga un buen dia!