15 October, 2013

Fall trees & The Plummer House

We live at the top of the hill in our subdivision.  You wind up nearly a mile of road before getting to our house.  If I could stand on our roof I could really get the best pictures ever, but that won't be happening in this lifetime. These are taken from atop the hill on the street next to ours.  The fall colors are just breathtaking-even with an overcast sky.  I'm so thankful that God gives us such amazing beauty to enjoy!

^^^The Plummer House from a distance

One of my favorite places to visit in Rochester is the Plummer House. Built in 1917, it's the former home of, Dr. Henry Plummer, a prominent internist and endocrinologist who, along with Drs.William Mayo, Charles Mayo, Stinchfield, E. Starr Judd, Christopher Graham, and Donald Balfour founded The Mayo Clinic. It's a tutor style home with acres of lush gardens all around it. The slate roof is amazing.  The Plummer house is a must see if you visit Rochester.
^^^^i want these^^^
I'd love to have these two orbs on my front porch.  I'm not sure if they were used for planters, but they're unique and perfect.  The rich patina is my favorite, I'm not sure if they're wrought iron, copper, etc ?.. but they definitely look heavy. They're also bolted down, i'd imagine in an effort to curb other orb enthusiasts (such as myself) from doing anything stupid.

               A few shots of the gardens...is this a cool tree (below) or yeah? 

 Stone paths lead all the way around the house...

Here's a link to some more info on Dr. Henry Plummer.  He was quite a remarkable guy:

14 October, 2013

The Loveliest Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is one of my favorite things. It's the most luxurious condiment in my opinion. It's wonderful on an english muffin for breakfast, or dolloped on a slice of cheesecake for dessert.  It's so very versatile, and the buttery lemon color shining through the glass of a smallish Mason jar makes for a beautiful little gift. I've tried a few curd recipes in my time, and this one is my favorite.  

The Loveliest Lemon Curd
3 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, softened
4 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Take a peeler, and peel the zest of 3 lemons, don't get any of the white pith under the peel (it's very bitter) Put the zest in a food processor with the steel blade and add the sugar. Pulse until the zest is very fine and combined into the sugar.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix well.

Pour into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low-med heat until thickened. It'll take about 8-10 minutes stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken when it's just below a simmer. Remove from the heat and cool.  This can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week.

08 July, 2013

My favorite body scrub...

I found this scrub a few years ago while getting a mani-pedi at a Nashville spa i used to frequent.   I picked it up on a whim because I had a gift card I needed to use up before it expired.  To be honest, I'd never been huge into body washes or scrubs.  I've got a very sensitive nose and I'm pretty picky about my scents.. Sensory Fusion Pomegranate Salt Glow Scrub changed that! This product is just luscious!  It exfoliates with just enough coarseness, smells aMaZing, and is super for priming your skin before self tanner. Pomegranate is the only scent I buy, but lemongrass or mango ginger sound really yummy too.  Here's where you can find this magical stuff. mAgiCaL sTuff

05 July, 2013

Fantastic Flank Steak

  This is a great recipe that has become one of my favorite (and simple) summer things to make. I made this late tonight for the whole family (when my college boy was home from Nashville) and he likened it to eating at Flemings steakhouse!  Our family loves Flemings, and their steaks are fabulous, so that was quite the compliment!  The secret to this steak is marinading it a good 6-8 hours, only grilling it 5-6 minutes on each side (medium rare) and then covering it awhile to sear in the juices before thinly cutting it across the grain.  I made the classic cheesy potato casserole and it was the perfect accompaniment. The only thing missing was a nice garden salad...  Here's what you need:::

1 1/2-2 lbs Flank Steak
8-10 garlic cloves, minced
sprigs of fresh thyme
crushed rosemary (fresh is best but dried is okay too)
olive oil
salt and pepper
a stick of butter
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Put your flank steak in a shallow dish and drizzle with olive oil, rub oil all over the steak.  Salt and pepper well on both sides.  MInce 4-5 of the garlic cloves and spread on the top and the bottom of the steak.  Do the same with the thyme and rosemary, placing on the top and bottom of the steak.  Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours.  Prepare your grill and grill meat on each side 5-6 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak and your preferred doneness. Take off the grill and cover tightly with foil for 10-15 minutes before cutting to keep the juices in. Now melt the stick of butter and your other 4-5 minced garlic cloves together in a little sauce pan and sprinkle some salt in there too. Chop up your Italian parsley.  After 10-15 minutes in the foil you'll want to cut the steak across the grain in thin slices.  Pour the butter and garlic over your steak and sprinkle the Italian parsley over the top. 
serve with some yummy cheesy potato casserole:

1 large pkg. of shredded hashbrowns
1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 onion, minced
8 oz. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste.  
Combine all ingredients in buttered baking dish and place in 375 degree oven, uncovered for 40 minutes.  

I know this casserole often calls for butter, but I find it to be just as good without it.

04 July, 2013

Red White and Blue Trifle

Happy Independence Day everyone!  We are suffering from serious Nashville withdraw today as this is our first Fourth in 14+ years not spent in music city.  In our old neighborhood by now there would be some serious popping off of fireworks in the air and on our street.  It's dead quiet on our street tonight. BOO!There are strict regulations on what fireworks you can light off here.  My usually, over-enthusiastic, pyromaniac-ish boys have had to stifle their love for shooting off the big-boy fireworks and settle for a few smoke bombs and sparklers. My boys love them some fireworks. Well, at least I didn't have to be stressed over my kids safety and keeping all their fingers and limbs like I usually am on the 4th--that's a big plus.  I am glad we are together as a family tho'--all 5 of us.
For dessert I made this delicious trifle.  I chose simple and just used a box cake mix.  It's super simple and really pretty.  

Red, White and Blue Trifle:
1 box of white cake mix (i like Duncan Hines)
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 c. strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half, dried
2 c. bluberries, washed and dried
1 c. raspberries, washed and dried

Make the cake according to box directions.  When cake is cooled cut into bite size pieces.  
Combine berries together in a large bowl.
In another bowl cream the cream cheese with the mixer and gradually add the 1/3 c. of sugar.  Blend well until the mixtures gets a bit airy.  Slowly add the heavy cream and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Put a layer of cake in the bottom of the trifle bowl.  Spread half of the whipped cream over the cake.  Place half the berries over the whipped cream.  Repeat the layers.  Chilling it for a couple hours makes it even better.

Have a wonderful 4th!

27 June, 2013

what's up 'round heres...

For my north facing front porch I found me two of these large garden urns a couple months ago.  In the middle I've got hostas, then a few impatients, and then fuschia are hanging down the sides. The fuschia are the most gorgeous and intricate little flowers I've ever seen.  Right now they're all in full bloom!

My favorite new nail color is Bobbi Brown's Navy from her latest Navy & Nude collection.  Maybe i'll get around to posting a pic o' my chubby hands all done up in navy or...maybe i won't.   You can get you some of the navy deliciousness  here at one of my favorite sites, bluemercury.  

This beautiful bench of sunshine is on my wish list right now.  It's from Crate and Barrel and it's the perfect, cheery spot to sit and slip on your shoes. I've been imagining it in my foyer for awhile now. Check it out: sunshine bench

well, i'm off to dreamland.  until next time, goodnight n sleep tight.

18 April, 2013

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

When I was a kid Red Lobster was one of my favorite places to eat.  I didn't get to go very often, so it was special when we did.  The Cheddar Bay biscuits were the best part of the meal. I think I could make a meal with just a basket of those.

These days, we don't frequent R.L. too often, but when we do my kids are the same way.  They are usually filled up on bread by the time their food gets to the table.

   I first made these several years ago.  I decided to make them again tonight after my kids had mentioned them.  I'd forgotten how good they are.  The perfect accompaniment to your main dish and salad.  Or, if the kids are gone, a meal all by themselves.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits at home...
4 c. baking mix (such as Bisquick of Jiffy)
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/3 c. water
1/2 melted butter
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. onion powder
1/8 t. parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F  Spray or grease your cookie sheet. .In a mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, cheese, and water. Mix until dough is firm. Drop spoonfuls of dough on the prepared pan.Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, salt, onion powder and parsley. Brush over baked biscuits immediately upon removing from oven.

14 April, 2013

H i


 I have taken a long break from blogging! It's been a crazy 9+ months since my last post and moving up north.. away from my beloved Tennessee to arctic cold (and kinda dark)  Minnesota. The hubs just happened to land a great job, so here we be.   Lets just say we're still adjusting.

Although I felt plucked from my balmy, green, full of happy people, and all that is southern and lovely-- NASHVILLE (yay!), I am certain that nothing in my life happens without a purpose.  So... I take comfort in knowing that God's got it all under control, and my job is to just trust and obey. 

 It's good to be back...to blogging that is.  Even if my mom's the only one who reads my posts I still enjoy doing it.  Oh Rochester, Minnesota...I know there must be some right brainers around here somewhere...