Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Not really! It just feels like it. Oh, my goodness, after the winter that felt like perpetual spring, the last days of winter and the first days of spring have felt like full-on summer. Things are blooming that probably shouldn't be yet!

I'm fine with the daffodils and the hyacinths and the forsythia blooming.
But this is my apple tree:
No no no! It shouldn't look like that for another month at least!

I don't know what to do with myself. The weather makes me feel like I should be ordering mulch and planting my garden, but my calendar says slow down, girl!

I am forcing myself to focus on indoor projects for a while yet. I am crocheting some washcloths:
The pattern is the South Beach Washcloth from Lion Brand yarns, available free on their website.

I am also working on four pieces of Blackwork for my living room walls. This is my fourth and final piece.
I am modifying the Blackwork pattern from Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion to make the four pieces, which I'll show off in a future post.

Dinner tonight was a simple affair. I don't think I've shared this recipe before, so here it is. It's great for busy nights when you need dinner in a hurry, or when you don't feel like cooking.
White Beans with Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan

1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cooked white beans (navy or great northern or white kidney beans--I always use great northern, two 15 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
1 large tomato, chopped--about 1.5 cups (I use more because I like it saucy. If I am using canned tomatoes, I use two 15 oz cans of diced)
1/4 cup fresh minced basil (when I don't have fresh, I use about one T of dried)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 T lemon juice

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly cooked and fragrant. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and basil. Cover and cook 7 minutes, or until heated through and the tomato has released its juices. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and cheese.

You can serve this hot or cold, as is or over pasta. I always serve it over pasta for my hungry family.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi(e) Day Pie

It turned out great! And the weather was perfect, too! Hope your March 14 was also delicious and lovely.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pie Day Preparation

March 14 is Pi Day in these parts. My family celebrates it as Pie Day, because mmmm, pie. The past few years we've gone out to a bakery for pie, but this year, I am going to make one at home. I let the children choose the recipe from my recipe collection, and they selected one I have never tried: Lemon Blender Pie. Here is the recipe, in case you want to celebrate Pie Day at your house, too.

Lemon Blender Pie

1 medium lemon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
10 T butter, melted
1 (9-inch) deep dish pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Wash the lemon, leaving the peel on; cut into small pieces. Remove and discard the seeds. Place the lemon pieces in a blender, add eggs, sugar, and butter. Process well on high speed. Pour into unbaked pie shell and place on baking sheet.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until set. Remove and cool on rack. No meringue is needed because in baking, it forms its own light crust on top.

We shall see how that turns out!

We had our first truly spring-like day yesterday, with clear skies, sunshine, warm temperatures, and no wind. I like to use that first beautiful day in March to go outside and cut back the ornamental grass, the lavender, and the Russian Sage. I did yard work for two hours yesterday, and when I was done, I felt sweaty and dirty and tired. Lovely! As of now, Wednesday (Pie Day) is forecast to be clear and in the low 70s. If that is indeed the weather we get, it shall be a beautiful day for Lemon Pie!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ginger Lemon Tea

This is one of those oh-so-simple home recipes that you all probably already know about it, but it's new to me, so I'm sharing!

I saw a video recently on using ginger. One suggestion was to make tea. I was intrigued, so I hunted around and found a few recipes, most of which were just slight variations on a theme. Here is what I came up that works for me:

1/3 cup peeled and thinly sliced ginger
6 cups water

Put the ginger in the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the water into a mug. Add a spoonful of honey and one lemon slice.

That's it! Simple and delicious. The 6 cups of water will make about 3-4 mugs full, so you can save the rest of the ginger water in the fridge and reheat it as you need it, adding the honey and lemon when it's hot.

This version of a homemade ginger tea, which includes cinnamon and cloves, also sounds yummy, but I'm not sure how lemon would go with that, so I'm holding off on trying that recipe until I am out of lemon!