Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Eats and Other Assorted Things

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It seems like that's about all we did this weekend: eat! The weather on Saturday was sleety/rainy/windy/not nice. I am ready for spring! The snow we have left on the ground is now the consistency of snowcones and very slippery. Ugh. We kept a fire going in the wood stove all day to take the damp chill off. It's hard to imagine that last year we had crocus coming up two weeks from now and we were driving around in Mia with the top down. I don't think that's going to happen this year. Even harder to imagine is swimming in the pool. Right now it's covered with a layer of slushy ice. 

While we were housebound on Saturday, Rick baked bread (above) and we made Coq au Vin. Well, it was really Poulet au Vin if you want to get technically correct. Good food for a still-winter day. Here is the chicken as it came out of its marinade of red wine before cooking, making it look like it has freckles.


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We caught up on our TiVo'd shows and went through our closets. We now have bags and bags of clothes going to Goodwill. I went through my bookcase by the computer and took out all the manuals on outdated computer programs--they are scheduled for the recycle bin on Wednesday. It feels good to get rid of things that are just useless clutter. 

Sunday was a nicer day temperature-wise and we even managed a walk down the road with the dogs. Lunch was one of my all-time favorites: Salad Lyonnaise. We used to eat these all the time when we lived in France. The Lyonnaise part of its name comes from the city of Lyon which was close to where we lived. Rick has mastered the perfect poaching of the eggs. Delicious. (We used the homemade bread for the croutons.)

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My first amaryllis to bloom is now on its second stalk of blooms. This one only has two huge flowers just like the last one. I am pleased to report that the second amaryllis, which is only two years old, has a hefty flower stalk and is also about to bloom as well (I suspect more than two flowers inside), and even more surprising, the oldest one has a bud poking up from the bulb. This will mark its sixth consecutive year of blooming. Wow, I am thrilled!

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Alex, our oldest dog had minor surgery today to remove a nasty little tumor on his butt that looked like a hemorrhoid which was causing problems. According to the vet, this kind of tumor is widespread in older intact male dogs and most of them are benign. We decided to do a biopsy just for peace of mind but we are not expecting it to be anything other than what it appears to be. Poor dog is going to have a little trouble with sitting for a while. But we are glad to have it off since it was smelly and trying to keep him clean back there would cause the darned thing to bleed. I'm sure he's glad to be rid of it too. Be gone you nasty thing! He's resting comfortably at the vet's right now and I can pick him up just before dinner. Rick recently did a blog post with a video of Alex being silly and playing with his toys. You can check it out here. He's pretty cute if I must say so myself.

Well, that's all I have for you today. I hope your weekend was a good one!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The weekend in food

It was kind of a strange weekend weather-wise. Saturday dawned murky and humid. The sky was a washed-out gray. We took Mia down to Wayne to the farm stand to buy the ingredients for our veggie-loaded menu. They have the best sweet corn and Jersey tomatoes. It was so humid and hazy that as we drove, drops of moisture collected on the windshield and it was not raining. The air was that dense.

We came home and took advantage of the pool for a little while, just sitting out there reading while Robby the Robot cleaned the pool. I looked at the radar and saw that a storm was headed our way, so we got the robot out of the pool and came inside. And just in time too. The heavens parted and rain poured down from the sky. And it just kept coming. We got over an inch of rain in very little time. It rained on and off for the rest of the day and was still drizzling when we went to bed.

Dinner was delicious! We tried a new recipe: Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes.

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The tomatoes were slow roasted in the oven for about an hour and half, melting them down to intensely flavored rounds. The fritters were light and fluffy. The recipe called for topping it with a slice of prosciutto, but we thought it was basically not necessary. In fact, next time we’d probably leave it off and also make a different aioli to dress it with.

Prosciutto is pretty though, isn’t it?

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We had fritters leftover, so breakfast also featured fritters under our over-easy eggs. I can’t tell you how good this was!

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Sunday morning kind of looked the same way that Saturday morning looked: hazy and gray. It didn’t stop us from taking Mia again, this time up to Warwick for the farmer’s market. We had originally thought to buy ingredients for a simple salad, but we realized that we had bought a watermelon at the farm stand that we needed to use up.

I had seen a recipe for a Watermelon Gazpacho but couldn’t remember exactly what went into it. Thank goodness for technology as Rick looked it up on his iPhone right then and there at the market. We bought bread, (not in the gazpacho recipe!) a gorgeous cucumber, a jalapeño pepper, flat leaf parsley and shallots. No red peppers were available at the market so we had to stop at the grocery to pick one up.

It was so refreshing! Delicious!

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Half of the ingredients were pureed in the food processor, but some were kept out to stir in for texture.

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We ate out by the pool and it was lovely. I cut a couple of hydrangea blossoms to put on the table and stuck them in one of my favorite little vases.

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Just as we finished up our lunch it started to rain. At first it was just a light rain and we were under the umbrella so it didn’t bother us. Then it started to rain hard and the dogs didn’t all fit under the protection of the umbrella and they were getting soaked, so we packed up and came inside not trusting it to stop anytime soon.

It rained for a bit, then the sun came out. We went back to the pool and in the pool. Another round of clouds came by. We got out of the pool. The sun came out. We got back in the pool.

By that time it was time to start on guess what? More food! It does seem like all we do is eat!

I was mostly in charge of the risotto.

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Rick was completely in charge of the chicken done on the grill with indirect heat. Chickens cook faster when they are spatchcocked. (I know it sounds a bit nasty but all it means is it’s split down the middle of the back and flattened.)

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The weather cooperated and it was a nice evening complete with a swim. The cicadas started in as we completed our swim and nearly sang us to sleep as we sat and watched night fall more deeply around us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Catching up

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Sunflowers at the Warwick Farmer’s Market on Sunday.

My sister left on Saturday. We had a good visit and I think we did everything she was hoping to do. Time went by so quickly that her visit was over before we knew it!

Cirque in the city was wonderful! Such skilled performers. Death-defying acts! Lightning fast set changes! Non-stop entertainment! If you’ve never seen Cirque perform I highly recommend them to anyone. This is the third one I have seen. On Las Vegas trips I’ve seen Mystere and LOVE (the Beatle one). All of them well worth the price of a seat.

On Saturday after dropping my sister at the train station we took the dogs for a walk before it got too hot. Poor things have been inside with no exercise because of the heat. We did a little grocery shopping, then took Mia for a short drive around Greenwood Lake. We ate lunch at the Emerald Point restaurant (which I always refer to as the biker place because all the motorcycle folks hang out here). We sat outside in the shade with a view of the lake and had a cool beer and a sandwich. It was nice.

When we got home we pooled it for a few hours. And then again after dinner. I did about 30 laps or so of the side-stroke and it felt good to get the exercise.

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Outside house lights reflecting in the pool.

We are having a marvelous pool year this year with very consistent temperatures in the low 80’s and clear sparkling water. Sheer heaven with all the hot weather and humidity we’ve been having.

The cicadas are slowly starting up. I hope they reach symphonic heights this year as I love to hear them singing away. We have a few fireflies left but I think they are a different species than the ones earlier in the summer. These fly high amongst the tree tops with a different light pattern. The other day there was a bug inside on the sliding glass door. I grabbed it, opened the door and tossed it outside and as it flew off it lit up! It didn’t look like a firefly to me, jut another beetle. And we’ve had some strange beetles around this year.

The bee balm is nearly spent. The hummingbirds enjoy it now (must be the concentration of nectar?) but it’s not as pretty.

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I got a surprise when I looked closer at the garden. The bee balm that I got when I traded with Maggie was blooming! Last year it did not come up, but this year even with the lack of rain it’s making a strong showing. I LOVE the color!! Maggie, did mine bloom in your garden??

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On Sunday we made a new recipe: Tomatillo Gazpacho. It was perfect on a hot and humid day.
Tomatillos, cucumbers, green pepper, jalapeños, and avocado all blended, then topped with a cucumber/avocado/shrimp/green olive salsa. It was delicious!

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Hopefully I am back into the swing of blogging again instead of the hit (and mostly miss) of the past week!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Happy day after the 4th of July

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What a strange 4th of July! Coming mid-week without a weekend attached was very strange. Almost like a non-holiday. Rick managed to take the day before off so he had two days off in a row. But that just managed to make it feel like a weekend, and now it feels like Monday!

The weather cooperated quite nicely with sunny skies and not-too-hot temperatures with not-too-cloying humidity. We were hoping for the predicted thunderstorms but they never materialized. Too bad. We could really use the rain!

We took a drive in Mia to the town of Newton. I had been here for the first time back in January when I was Oscar Dress shopping and fell in love with the quaint little downtown area.

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I love the architecture!

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Too bad you can never get away from utility lines in New Jersey! I guess it adds to the charm.

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Betty Boop posing in a restaurant window.

We were back by noon and the rest of the day was spent in or around the pool. Our little backyard oasis!

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I had to finish this book! It was driving me crazy!

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Such a lazy afternoon. But who could resist the perfect pool temperature of 83 degrees!? It did get hotter and more humid as the day wore on but once in a while a nice breeze would kick in so it wasn’t quite as stuffy.

For dinner we grilled fajitas and ate on the deck. All in all, a nice way to spend a mid-week holiday! Now we can look forward to the “real” weekend—my sister arrives!




Monday, May 14, 2012

An almost equally glorious Sunday

It would be hard to beat Saturday for gloriousity, it really would. Sunday tried its hardest.

We started the day by walking the dogs to Green Turtle Pond. They love being off leash. The trees are fully leafed out and lush. Instead of walking from our house we drove to the access road and parked. Two reason for this: it’s a long walk and it was pretty warm; we usually take the wooded path through the woods to get to the access road rather than walking the dogs along the busy roadside but right now the ticks are really bad.

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Bella the water dog! There’s nothing she loves better than wading. We can’t get her to swim though.

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We had company on the pond in the form of two Canadian geese who were not bothered by us at all. In fact, they glided up pretty close to inspect us.

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Alex was wondering if he could somehow get closer to them.

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Everyone finally just decided it was okay to share the pond. Standing at the edge and looking at that serene water made me want to go home and get the canoe. When we return from our cabin trip we will for sure be putting the canoe on the water again … soon.

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After showering and making sure we had not picked up any ticks ourselves, we took Mia to Warwick for the opening day of the farmer’s market.

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They still don’t have much at this time of year but we bought some beef jerky from a new vendor, some maple sugar (for sprinkling on popcorn), and some kale for making kale chips (which didn’t come out quite right).

Wild asparagus.
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Exotic mushrooms.
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Tomatoes. Really? This early?
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Another new vendor was selling this:

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They were also selling huge ostrich bones for dogs. I’m not sure how this will go over in Warwick, NY!


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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