Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Great New York State Fair....

Before I retired from teaching The NYS Fair was always an event that signified the end of summer.  The Fair ends on Labor Day and teachers report to school the following day.  I always had mixed emotions during this time!  BUT, now I look at the Fair differently - there is still at least another month of summer!


Mom and I took advantage of a few photo ops, the Marshall Tucker band played in Chevy Court and the Wine Slushies were delish as always!


A few "MUST DOs" at the Fair :  

Check out the Butter sculpture....


...and the sand sculpture...


...and eat some fried dough!





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Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Saturday in the Kitchen...

This morning was chilly and I could tell the fall is not far away.  This is my favorite time to can or freeze some foods for the winter.

 I stopped at the Farm Stand and bought some fresh veggies... 


...the tomatoes looked so ripe and juicy that I bought a basketful to make some sauce...


...I parboiled them to remove the skins...


...and threw them all in a pot with some onions, green peppers, sugar, lots of garlic, asiago and parmesan cheeses, and Italian herbs...


...I let it simmer for a few hours and then blended it to make it nice and smooth.


I made enough to can 4 jars with enough leftover for dinner tomorrow night!


My house smells so good!


I also made a few jars of raspberry/tomato jam (recipe here)...if you have never tried this, you would never guess it is made with tomatoes!!



...and pineapple-zucchini breads! (recipe here)




A very productive day!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

37 years....

Today we celebrated 37 years of marriage...

...always with white roses and always on the water...


...we have spent our anniversaries on the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, St Lawrence Seaway, Niagara Falls, Cross Lake, Lake Ontario, and many others....and this year we went to Skaneateles Lake.  This is a tradition we began the first year and have continued it yearly.  It was also a day of "selfies" - photos at Blue Water Grill, the Gazebo on the Lake, The Sherwood Inn, Anyela's Winery, The Patisserie and in the car!


It was a fun day - and we are getting better at taking "selfies"!



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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dining al fresco....

My new tray is perfect for toting dishes out to the patio....


...I just stack everything in it and make one trip...


...the paper placemats are disposable and perfect for outdoors...


...and we are ready to eat...


...our summer days are getting shorter and flying by quickly...


...so we have to take advantage of dining al fresco as much as we can!


So, what did I prepare for dinner?

My own concoction of pasta, using what I had on hand...


I cut up a small zucchini, a bunch of garlic, 1/2 green pepper,  1/2 onion and a Roma tomato...


...as well as some turkey kielbasa.


I sautéed it in a mixture of plenty of EVOO, garlic olive oil and a tablespoon of Hot Tomato Oil (a local specialty from Pastabilities Restaurant in Syracuse), salt and pepper, 1 t fajita seasoning and 1 t Italian seasoning...


...adding tomatoes at the very last minute...


...and I dropped al dente angel hair pasta in the pan and tossed it all around...


...and it was ready to serve with hot bread sticks!


AND, then I realized that the meal had the same color as my dishes and did not show up well for this photo!!


But it sure was delicious!!

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The following are photos of table settings that were taken in Crate and Barrel and West Elm while I was in Columbus, Ohio last week:


I love the placemats and flatware...



...and in this setting I love the balloon wine glasses and the candle globe centerpiece!  




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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Soup in the summer....

I love fresh fruit!

AND 
I especially like cold fruit soups!


This morning I chopped up some watermelon, honeydew and strawberries to make a cold soup...


...I heated it up a bit to soften up the fruit and added a a few mint leaves for more flavor...


...I pulled out my trusty emulsifier and gave it a few whirls...


...and chilled it for lunch...



This cold Peach Soup is also delish....



Peach Soup
1 cups ripe cantaloupe chunks (about 1 in.) 
1/2 ripe peach (6 oz.), peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup canned peach nectar
1/4 cup white Zinfandel (or 1/2 cup additional peach nectar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

 In a blender or food processor, whirl cantaloupe, peach, peach nectar, white Zinfandel, and lemon juice until smooth. Taste and add sugar if desired.  Pour soup into a container, cover, and chill until cold, at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day.  Pour the soup into shallow bowls.  Makes 2 cups


Gazpacho is so good in the summer...


...I heat up some mixed fresh veggies...


....and add some Italian seasonings...


...blend and chill...


...and add a little fresh basil...so good!


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And as fall approaches...

...there is nothing better than a good ol' vegetable soup...



I throw every vegetable I have on hand in with some chicken stock and a can of tomato soup:


And Squash Soup....YUM...



YUM!

1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with salt, and pepper. Serve.


AND 
I live with a guy who doesn't care for soup - go figure!


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