Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Serenity


The bottom of 2nd Street,
East Norwalk CT
10/29/10
sooc

Exact same spot this photo was taken.

~~~

xoabb
surrounded by serenity

Friday, October 29, 2010

Path Home



~~~
xoabb
~mmm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cold (or Tired) Little Bumble Bee

Went by our community garden plot last weekend. I'm embarrassed about how long it's been since I've been there. It was a very disappointing garden year and I just sort of lost enthusiasm for it. Must say, I brought home more tomatoes than I have all year and the carrots are doing splendidly! Popped one out of the ground, brushed the dirt off of it and ate it - delicious! Much tastier than the store variety.

For the life of me, I can't remember what the name of this flower is...anyone know? The flowers were blooming in someone else's plot - and still beautiful tho it's late in the flower year. I thought little bee had passed on because he hadn't moved at all, but when I nudged him, he moved a bit.
I've been complaining about how this autumn isn't nearly as pretty color wise as last year. I may have to eat my words. While out and about yesterday, I came across a few trees that were just spectacular! It seems that last year all the trees and vines were spectacular all at the same time while this year they seem to be turning in waves.

I've prattled on about nothing long enough! It's a gorgeous day here - hope your day is to, though if you live in Indiana, gorgeous is not a word that would apply today!


~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Saved by the MPMama! That flower is none other than a ~cosmo~! Duh!
No more fill-in-the-blank for Miss Annie.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sunset

Sunset in East Norwalk 10/20/10


Orange sunset sky
Blazing rapture of color
Laced tree silhouettes

~Dorothy Alves Holmes

~

My Sunset

I close my eyes and I can vision my sunset
laid across the water with clouds gently placed on top.

The yellow is so bright that it consumes my thoughts
I fall deeper into the colors of the sun so that I could touch
the orange glow, what a soft feeling, my sunset.

My sunset takes me to another place and time
where there will be no problem to tall to overcome.
This vision is imbedded in my mind
it is like a river running free
a clear thought on a sunny day
and it ends with my sunset and me.

My sunset frees my thoughts from confusion;
it leads me to believe that I am on top of the world,
setting me free to score over the waters of my mind.

My sunset places me in a part of heaven
where the day comes to an end
with the beauty of my sunset.

~Kimbaline Navas

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sky Watch Friday - do join us!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Perusing the Recipe


Remy (with cell phone at the ready to call her grandmother in case anything goes awry)


My mom told me she had the great pleasure of meeting chef and author, Dorie Greenspan last spring on a cruise she and dad took. Ms. Greenspan was the guest chef/lecturer on the ship and mom found her to be an absolutely delightful, approachable lady. Because of this happy meeting, I am now the proud owner of Ms. Greenspan's new cookbook "Around My French Table". It's a beautiful book - full of gorgeous photos, stories, anecdotes and, of course, recipes that seem elegant and ~very French~, but as my daughter demonstrated tonight, are really quite straight-forward...and...dare I say...easy! The end result? A simply, superbly delicious dish!

Chicken, Apples & Cream a la Normande

After a few delicious bites.
Remy served this over egg noodles with a side of roasted asparagus - oh, and she doubled the sauce ingredients.

We Blystone's love our sauces!


From Ms. Greenspan's cookbook (you can also view the recipe here):

"'Apples and cream often signal that a dish is from Normandy', Dorie Greenspan says in her new cookbook, “Around My French Table”(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). The west-of-Paris region is known for its apples and for its dairy products, including butter, cream, Camembert and creme fraiche. Pork also works well in this recipe."

Chicken, Apples & Cream á la Normande

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

All-purpose flour, for dredging

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 Tbsp.olive oil

1 large apple (Rem used a macoun), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

8 mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, thinly sliced

1/3 C. chicken broth

2 Tbsp.++ calvados

2/3 C. heavy cream

parsley, fresh and chopped (this is our addition)


egg noodles, cooked according to package directions, tossed with a bit of butter

roasted asparagus (method emailed to you if you want)


In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with some salt and pepper. With a paper towel, pat dry the chicken breasts dry, then dredge them through the flour, coating both sides lightly and shaking off the excess flour.

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat the butter and oil. When the butter melts, add the chicken breasts, in batches if necessary. Cook for 3 minutes, or until browned on the bottom, then turn and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Add the apple, onion and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and stir lightly. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, until the chicken is nearly cooked through.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add the calvados, boiling until it is almost evaporated (about 1 minute). Add the cream and cook until the cream reduces by a quarter. Season with salt and pepper and add parsley. Stir to combine.

For plating: Spoon egg noodles onto plate. Place chicken breast on top and spoon sauce over all. Place asparagus spears on side of chicken & noodles. Serve and listen to the mmmmmm's....

(and do remember to double that sauce!)


~~~

xoabb

expect good eating at times!




Monday, October 11, 2010

Good Morning!



I've never really liked Nantucket Daisies much as the ones I've planted have grown haphazardly and looked sloppy, kind of flopping all over the place with no rhyme or reason. However, this year I've fallen in love with the Nantuckets that greet me each day as I walk into my school. The bush that's to the side of our walkway is HUGE and just beautiful! Though the flowers still flop over a bit, they give me my little bit of sunshine and good will just before I walk in the doors. I love seeing them each day!

Maybe I bought an inferior plant...

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

and how happy do you think I am that I get today off??!?!?!?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Serenity

The Swing



How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

~

~Robert Louis Stevenson

~~~

xoabb


Friday, October 08, 2010

Caught Up...

...in the trivialities of life. That's been me lately...well more than lately, actually for quite a while now. What have I been doing that I've not taken the time to blog/call friends/organize closets/whatEVER? I certainly don't know, do you? Guess I've just been caught up in the black hole of two steps forward and three steps back. Not pretty. Not pretty AT ALL!
However, I'm getting my groove back. I know this because 1. I've been having these unbelievably realistic dreams that could only be a pretense to what the future holds. (HA! That would really help a lot more if I believed in all that stuff!) And 2. I am cleaning out EVERYthing in my house. What I don't use is off to a new purpose, be it trashed/recycled/donated.

Well, that felt good! I have a long long way to go to get to my peaceful place, but perhaps I'm actually making progress for once.

~~~

xoabb

Photo: Saugatuck River 10-07-10, 7:35am

Thursday, October 07, 2010

That Would be a Fail...

Of the Billboard Variety

When I first saw this, my twisted mind took a turn for the worst.

Do you blame me?? All sorts of second guessings going on there.

I don't think I'll tell you what I first thought...

What about your first thought?

(Insert evil laughter! ;-)

~~~

xoabb

expect oddness at times!

Of course my first thought? Virgin mum? Um, a virgin mum just doesn't work!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Late Walk...



When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

~Robert Frost

~~~
xoabb


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Glorious Morning Glories!


I wish I could understand why morning glories do so well one year and then not so much the next. Last year, as you can see, the glories were just gorgeous...this year, nuthin'...


~~~

xoabb

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dee! Lish! Us!


Well, this should be Sky Watch Friday, but it happens to be

Shrimp Watch - Really Good Dinner - Friday

instead!


Ms LaLa told me about her shrimp recipe to-do thingy and I have to tell you that it is one of the very best dishes I've ever made/had! I really must share her dish with you as you'll LOVE it too.

Here's her formula:

1 - 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined;
Arrange those babies in a single layer in some sort of a shallow casserole type of pan.

For the sauce:
Shallots, at least 2, chopped well
Garlic, at least 3 cloves, chopped well
1 stick butter
a scattering of olive oil
a good 1/3 cup or more vermouth (or LaLa's white wine - vermouth is my innovation)
cayenne/red pepper flakes to taste
juice of at least one lemon, more if you're sour minded like me
oops! MPM just pointed out I forgot to include parsley (chopped) in the recipe! I did add it to the above, as you can see, just forgot to put it here

Preheat oven to 400º. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a casserole kind of dish. Melt the butter with all the other ingredients in the microwave (or in a pot on the stove if you're so inclined). When all is melted and incorporated, pour over the shrimp. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. If you like a more browned effect, just broil for a few minutes.

This is most excellent with a side of rice (brown, of course as we're so very health conscious) and a green salad. YUM if I don't say so myself!

~~~

xoabb
expecting to be invited somewhere for dinner SOON!