pasta salad

i made my very own roasted red peppers! you just roast them, then put them in an air tight container for 10 minutes, and the skins peel off very easily!

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons country-style grainy mustard
  • 1 pound cooked ditalini pasta
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups small mozzarella balls
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, oil and mustard. Add cooked pasta, red peppers and basil and toss to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Fold in mozzarella cheese.

i ended up making twice as much of the balsamic mixture, because the pasta just soaks it up. it would be best to put it on right before your ready to serve the salad.

all in a days play

my summer adventure trying my hand at canning continues. this week... dilly beans. or pickled green beans if you will. my mother-in-law makes them and they are delicious. pretty easy, you just snip off the ends, pack the beans, cook the brine, add the dill, garlic, mustard and pepper, fill jars up, and cook.

this is a local church down town from us. i've seen it most of my life. i've been wanting to photograph it probably fro the last 5 years. so yesterday, on our way back from the book store, in the dusky night, i got out my camera and scurried across the busy street to take some pictures. who doesn't love some neon lights proclaiming "jesus saves" to the town. i do and i hope you do too.

i sat down at my desk last evening to organize it a bit. i had started a journal a couple weeks ago, but put it down when it didn't turn out like expected. i got a few ideas just staring at it, and soon it had a cover, a button to fasten and some string.


one hot day.

the local library holds a used book sale about twice a month. when i can, i try to head over to take a quick peek and see what they got. or if i have more time, take about and hour or more and scour over the shelves and shelves of books. yesterday my long looking paid off in some most fabulous finds! childhood favorites, books i've been wanting to read, and some fun finds.
it was so hot yesterday, we actually turned the air conditioning on in our whole apartment. we try to avoid this as much as possible, and with this summer the weather has been most pleasant, but yesterday felt so steamy all day. i had time to make summery meal, which consisted of farm store corn ( so delicious) . heirloom tomato gratin and pan fried chicken.
the tastes of summer are here, and we are relishing in them!



we went camping this past weekend. it rained a lot! on the way there on the way back and a little in between. oh and since we got back.


blueberries part II : smoothies and cobbler

last summer we vacationed in maine. blueberries are very popular there. one evening we stopped at a little ice cream shop in bar harbor, for a treat. one of the flavors we tried was a blueberry mint sorbet. not the most likely combination, i thought, but it was delicious. so there was the inspiration for this blueberry mint smoothie i made one day recently. blueberries and mint both being so plentiful right now. it was amazing.

1/2 c. blueberries
1- 6oz. cup vanilla yogurt
5-6 mint leaves
dash of milk
2 ice cubes

first cobbler of the year! i made this for a dinner party we had last week. it was a hit!

blueberries part I : jam

i went blueberry picking again last week at our friends house. i already froze a bunch of blueberries, so this time i thought i might make some blueberry jam. how hard can it be, really?
as it turns out not too bad. i found a great recipe here. it just uses blueberries, sugar and lemon. simple, pure and delicious ( i had some on toast this morning)

this was my first canning experience. luckily my mom has all the stuff to can, she just rarely does it these days. i followed all the instructions carefully, and my jars appeared to seal properly.
and now this winter i will have blueberry jam to enjoy, if it makes it that long. yum.


CSA's and breadmaking

look at all this beauty! tiffany from my church belongs to blooming glenn CSA and too me along for her share pick up yesterday. i was very impressed. i was interested in doing this back in the spring. the cost of it is what stopped me. if you can split it between two people, then i think it would totally be worth it. they get a hearty abundance of the weeks seasonal vegetables, plus pick your own, which happened to be green beans this week. in addition you also get to pick your own flowers and herbs. they also have free classes on the farm to educate you. how amazing is that!
i've been wanting to make my own bread again. its been so long. this italian loaf turned out great, and went great with the stuffed peppers and corn on the cob we had for dinner.
tiff was so sweet. she let me have a bunch of stuff, because she was going on vacation. i wound up with a lot of flowers, basil, lavender, swiss chard, tomatoes, garlic scapes, summer squash, garlic and grean beans. and that was probably about half of what she got.
check out those purple striped beans. they are so oddly pretty. i'm wondering if they taste the same as the green ones.


bits and pieces of the last week

one of the friday cakes i did this week. this one was to cheer up a very pregnant lady for her birthday.
sunday for lunch i often make breakfast, because we don't always have time to make something fancy at breakfast time. i was just going to make pancakes, but as i starred at the recipe, the recipe next to it caught my eye... oven puffed pancake! why not. sounds good.
so i quick whipped up a little banana nut sauce to go over top.
oven puffed pancake was a hit. a little more eggy than a typical pancake, but still just as delicious

this is simply a unique house, in which i opportunely had a camera to capture their amazing garden. it takes up the better half of their front yard!! talk about show case garden!


so excited!

for this movie to come out!!!!! it looks so fun and inspiring. i saw the book this weekend at the book store and can't wait to pick it up.


crafty crafters and stitching

i heart cupcakes! lately i've been opening myself up to a world of crafting i'm not so familiar with and one is cross stitch. so this is my first real attempt at it. i'm pleased. i am going to make other baking/ cooking ones to adorn my kitchen with one day!

these yummy looking treats are from yummy pancake. so cute. my sister, nieces and i went to this awesome flea market, shupps grove. they have local artists come out for crafty by nature the first of every month. yeah for sisters who find the best things ever!


flowers are better late than never

i'll admit, i thought i wasn't going to plant any flowers this year. we were looking at houses, and i thought, whats the point of making my existing home temporarily pretty if we move in a couple of months. well, we haven't found anything, so i'm pretty sure we'll be here through the summer. hence my itching to brighten up our living space.
my own version of a hanging basket. more flowers were planted out front!
a peek through the fence into the garden and the beautiful summer day.


blueberry. morning. messy. muffins.

today was lovely! i awoke early on my day off, as i can rarely sleep in. as my tummy started to rumble i decided to make some blueberry muffins as fast as i could. fast for me means messy. baking for me usually means messy. but the faster i go the messier i become. luckily there aren't to many steps to muffins.
they turned out great. and the lack of 12th muffin meant i had one great towering muffin!

i am shamefully loving the bullet my grandfather gave me. he bought it and doesn't use it anymore, so we inherited it. its great for drinks, smoothies, etc. smaller than my blender, it just feels like less to get out and less mess to deal with. yes, i am the proud owner to a tv infomercial product! ( at least i didn't actually purchase it) and of course i needed to give it some style

great day. i got much cleaned, organized and planted. more pictures tomorrow of all that.
to end it all, an evening of warmth lazing in the grass reading and being with my love!
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