Summer Day Adventures

I have been looking for some Zineas and found a beautiful bouquet of them yesterday. I just love them. There are some other flowers mixed in with them, but they just remind me of summers back in the day.

I went for a nice walk through garden paths and Greenhouses at one of my favorite farm-stands. So refreshing and fun.

You can see mountain views through some of the Greenhouses side windows. There are colorful hanging plants everywhere.

There are stone walls along some of the garden paths.

So many pretty plants. I would buy them all if I could.

Such a fun place to visit.

So many different plants. I just love that place and it always lifts my spirits to go there.

They have all kinds of veggies that you can buy and they have the above dried herb package with a dip recipe in it. You just add sour cream and manyonaise together with the dried herbs. It is really good.

I made some Dip from the dried herbs and put it in the fridge. So fun to have on hand, and I have some Late July multigrain Tortilla Chips that have Chia, Flax, Millet, Quinoa and Amaranth in them. They go good with the Herb Dip.

I also went to the Food Co-op and got some bulk organic walnuts and organic pumpkin seeds. I like my Pioneer Woman storage jars that fit good for storing bulk purchases from the Food Co-op and fit perfectly in my pantry.

I like “Taste of Home” recipes and pinned the recipes for August on my Pinterest boards.

Today was my sister Carolyn’s birthday and I made a really neat card from an Anna Griffin kit a few days ago and sent it. The kit comes in a beautiful designer box with all kinds of flowers, butterflies, sentiments and you can make all kinds of cards. I even found a butterfly postage stamp at the Post Office. I enjoyed making it and it came out really nice.

August Inspirations

Love the seasonal food that is available in abundance right now.

I also like the idea of having a snack tray in the fridge with healthy snacks. I found a new string cheese that is Wisconsin Cheddar with Parmesan notes. OMG, it tastes like Gruyere cheese to me. I just love it. I don’t like Peanut Butter, but have Almond Butter. And I like Greek yogurt that is plain without sugar. I have several recipes for humus and it is so easy to make. I like the beet humus and the pine nut humus.

I saw the above Farmers Market display idea. What a neat idea. 🙂

I love French recipes and the above Coq au Vin caught my eye. It has chicken thighs and drumsticks, smoked bacon, baby carrots, pearl onions, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, burgundy wine, broth and fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, tarragon and chervil. The French just have a flair for flavor. I pinned the recipe on my French Recipes board on my Pinterest.

I like the idea of the above wine and cheese spread. It just looks like fun.

I like Farmers Markets where they have colorful veggies and sunflowers.

And that’s my blog for today. Over and out.

Casseroles

Shepherds Pie is so delicious and an easy supper. I have the recipe for the above Shepherds Pie on my Pinterest Casseroles board. My Mom used to just brown some hamburg and put it in a Casserole dish and then put a can of creamed corn over it. On top of that she would put the mashed potato and dot it with butter that melted. It was really good.

My Mom used to also make Scallop Potatoes the old fashioned way like the above recipe. It was really good.

Taco Casserole sounds really good. I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest Casseroles board.

A Pizza Casserole sounds easy to make and really kind of good. That recipe had a 5 star rating and I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest Casserole Board.

I have a set of the Le Creuset mini coquettes like above. Creme Brulee is really good and blood oranges added to it sounds healthy and tasty.

You can also use those little pots for individual servings of almost any casserole. I got the 15 oz ones and they are quite small. I don’t know how small the 8 oz coquettes must be.

I also found a recipe for the French Cherry dessert above that they call Clafoutis. Perfect for those little Le Creuset pots.

The Pioneer Woman has some cute casserole dishes at the Walmart. I love the colors, the ruffled edges and the flower print.

There are all kinds of recipes for chicken, broccoli and rice casserole. Everyone has their favorite.

Chicken cordon bleu lasagna sounds kind of good.

Everyone has a favorite Mac N Cheese and I guess the Keto recipe uses cauliflower instead of pasta noodles.

And that’s a few ideas that I have come across.

This and that

Pretty dishes are so fun to collect. It’s old fashioned to have a China Cabinet, but I always wanted one to show off dish patterns. One of my Grandma’s was total British and the above type patterns were always my favorites.

I love open shelves, also. The Jadeite pattern is vintage and beautiful.

One of my Grandmothers was total Irish and whenever I see a dish pattern like above, I think of her. She was always cooking and baking.

Then I have a Grandpapa that was total French. I am attracted to French style dishes like the Pistoulet pattern.

I like tablescape ideas and the above tablescape is one of my favorites.

Tea ideas are always a favorite of mine. I have a board on Pinterest full of tea ideas with recipes.

Jadeite tablescapes are so old fashioned and I love that dish pattern.

Mason jars are neat to put flowers in for the table.

I also love Bistro type tables to dine outside in the summer.

Twinkling string lights in the kitchen over the kitchen sink is such a fun idea.

I collect Le Creuset and my color is Carabean blue. But I have a few Solei or the yellow sun color also.

I love cottage ideas with winding garden paths and picket fences.

Cute little bird houses here and there is so whimsicle.

Then a Koi Pond with Waterlillies. So artistic and colorful.

I like open beams and cathedral ceilings. Can you even imagine having a kitchen like the Barefoot Contessa has?

I love the above idea for a table setting on the porch. I love the blue accented with yellow. Then the candles. I saved that idea to my tablescape board on my Pinterest.

I love Snapdragons. They are so old fashioned and pretty.

I found the above bouquet of Snapdragons at my favorite farm-stand a few days ago. They were only $5.00 which is so worth it because they make me smile.

And that is my thoughts for this first Monday in August.

Salad Ideas

There are so many ideas for salads. The above salad was in Vermont Life Magazine. It has charred onions, seasoned Ricotta and poached eggs over micro greens.

A Cobb Salad is always good. I pinned the recipe for this salad and all the salads on my Salad recipe board on my Pinterest.

A Broccoli Salad is very healthy as are most all salads.

A Tropical Fruit Salad is so refreshing. I love how they use the Pineapple as a dish for the salad. And then the Coconut Dip. Yum!

One of my favorite salads is the Cheeseburger Salad with Mac Dressing.

Salads are just fun to put together with whatever you have on hand.

My favorite dressing for salads is the above Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing. I just make it in a small mason jar and shake it up.

Another favorite salad is the Greek Salad with feta cheese.

A Grilled Salmon Salad is a neat idea.

I love a Potato Salad. It’s always a classic and goes with everything.

A layered salad in a see-through bowl is always nice.

A Chicken Salad is always nice.

The above Antipasto Salad Kabobs are a neat idea.

The above is a Jamie Oliver idea for a portable salad. I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest salad board.

Green Goddess Salad sounds really good.

I like a Taco Salad.

There are so many ideas for salads. So I just thought of a few that are good for this time of year when you really don’t feel like heating the stove up too much.

Summertime…..

The covered bridge that is right in the middle of Woodstock is so picturesque. It’s so fun to go for walks or bike rides through that area.

This is the view inside the bridge looking at the Ottauquechee River that runs underneath the bridge. In the Spring time that river is high and swift rapids are what you see. My friend, who is a Swede grew up in Woodstock. When he was a kid, him and a bunch of his friends built rafts and sailed down that river in the Spring. Only one raft made it to their destination and that was his and his best friend who now lives in Virginia. They all got in trouble with their parents at such mischief.

My friend Sigurd, had a Morgan horse that he used to ride in the countryside when he was a kid. He also used to go skiing at Suicide 6 which is just outside of town.

I love to go for walks through Woodstock. There are outside tables where you can stop and people watch and have a coffee or a glass of wine.

I love to go to Walpole, NH and pick up French pastries from Burdick’s Chocolate. They have a Cafe that is just like a French Bistro. I bring the pastries home and use my favorite French mug and matching plate.

This is a view of Lake Champlain looking over toward the New York side mountains. So beautiful and the people that own this piece of land, built a beautiful Cedar log lake-house to enjoy this view. They stay there in the summer and then have a place in Key Largo Florida in the the winter. It must be nice.

The natural beauty of summer is all around.

Nothing like walking barefoot in the grass. It’s healthy for you besides.

Butterflies are so majestic and beautiful. They are all over the place in the summer.

Chickens just like to be free range. No matter what, they will find their way to where they want to wander.

At least once in the summer, I have to have my favorite New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream. Part of what makes summer.

I love the casseroles that you can make in the summer with the abundant zucchini and summer squash this time of year. If you leave your car unlocked in the summer while shopping, you are apt to have some of the over abundant harvest from people’s gardens perched on the seat of your car. It’s been known to happen. 🙂

Zucchini Bread is fun to make this time of year.

I liked Julia Child. She always cooked with abandon and just had fun with it.

I like to shop and also like a good deal. I like the above work out outfit and it costs a fraction of the same style elsewhere. It’s from Walmart.

Black-eyed Susans are everywhere this time of year growing wild. So pretty.

Summer has it’s pros and cons, but always a fun time of year. ❤

Instant Pot Ideas

Cheesecake is one of my favorite treats. Especially the New York style Cheesecake. I found several recipes that I am going to try and pinned them on my Pinterest board. I plan on trying out recipes that I find and the very best ones that I think come out the best, I plan on saving on my blog Instant Pot recipes. I found the special insert that is used for making cheesecakes in the Instant Pot on Amazon.

The best cheesecake recipe I found for the Instant Pot was the New York Cheesecake and you use graham cracker crumbs, butter melted, a little sugar and cinnamon for the crust and put in the freezer first. There is a little lemon zest and almond extract in the filling along with cream cheese at room temperature, heavy cream, cornstarch and vanilla with 3 large eggs.

Rotisserie Style Chicken is a recipe for the Instant Pot that sounds really good. I saw several recipes that I will try, but there is one in particular that sounds really good. I pinned all the recipes on my Pinterest Instant Pot board. They use a 4 lb chicken in all the recipes that I saw.

The Instant Pot has a saute button where you brown the chicken until golden brown and they have a rub recipe that is pepper, thyme, paprika, oregano, onion powder and garlic powder and they stuff the cavity with lemon. You use the metal trivet and add chicken stock and adjust the pressure to high for 28 minutes.

New York Times has a recipe using the Rotisserie Chicken in a salad with greens and herbs. They had baby arugala, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and a sliced avocado. They use a dressing using the juice of one lime, a pressed garlic clove and a few glugs of olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper.

Rotisserie chicken can be used in all kinds of recipes.

Another recipe that I found that sounded really good and I am going to try is Instant Pot Minestrone Soup. You use the saute button and add olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots and celery and stir until tender. Then stir in basil, oregano and fennel seed until fragrant, about 1 minute. You then stir in chicken stock, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, zucchini, Parmesan rind and bay leaf and set timer for 5 minutes. You do a quick release and then stir in kale until wilted about 2 minutes. Then you stir in red wine vinegar with salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

There are all kinds of recipes to make chicken stock in the Instant Pot. They say that once you make your own chicken stock that you will never go back. The above recipe has chicken wings, one large carrot peeled and halved, one large onion quartered, one head of garlic halved crosswise, 5 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns and a teaspoon of kosher salt. You just place the chicken wings with all the ingredients into a 6 quart Instant Pot and stir in water to the max fill line, about 10 cups. You select the manual setting, adjust pressure to high and set the timer for 45 minutes. You do a natural release with the pressure cooker which takes about 20-30 minutes. Then you just strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids. You skim any remaining fat from surface and discard and let cool completely. Then divide into airtight containers. You can place in refrigerator up to 3 days or freezer up to 3 months.

Normally chicken stock has to simmer on the stove for all day I think.

I found a recipe that I am going to try for Spaghetti and Meatballs in the Instant Pot. This recipe sounds good because it starts out with making your own meatballs using ground beef, Italian sausage, Panko crumbs, milk, one beaten egg, Italian seasoning, 2 cloves of garlic minced and kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. You just brown the meatballs using olive oil in batches using the saute button on the Instant Pot. Then return all meatballs to the instant pot. You stir in beef stock, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add 12 ounces of spaghetti, broken in half, stir in a 24 ounce jar of tomato basil pasta sauce until evenly coated. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high and set time for 8 minutes. When finished cooking do a quick release pressure. Gently stir mixture until spaghetti is completely separated, about 1 minute. Then let stand 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with basil and Parmesan if desired. Sounds good to me. I have the complete recipe on my Pinterest Instant Pot recipes board.

The Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto is the easiest risotto you will ever make without any stirring or fuss. You just set a 6-qt Instant Pot to the high saute setting. On my Instant Pot I just hit the saute button twice to get it to high saute. You melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 3 cloves of garlic minced and one onion diced and cook, stirring often until onions have become translucent, about 3 – 4 minutes. Then you add 8 ounces of mushrooms thinly sliced and cook stirring occasionally until tender and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then you stir in 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup Arborio rice, and 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme. Then select manual setting; adjust pressure to high and set time for 6 minutes. When finished cooking quick-release pressure. Then stir in 2 cups baby spinach and 2 tablespoons of butter until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Then stir in 3/4 cup of frozen peas, thawed, and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan until heated through, about 30 seconds to one minute. Serve immediately. Yum!

I found a ton of Instant Pot recipes that sound really fun to try and pinned them on my Pinterest Instant Pot board. I am sharing a few of the ones that I am going to try and perfect and have them in my arsenal of recipes.

The Instant Pot is a nice tool to have in the kitchen.