Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Very Much Summer

Our summer came late. Rather than having it in July and August, it was rescheduled for the second half of September. The weather has been gorgeous, no rain in the forecast. The trees still have a lot of leaves, even though there is a pool of colored leaves at the end of our camp driveway. If I had guess, and this all depends on the weather of course, I would predict that peak foliage at our camp will be September 27. Since that is on a week day, we will go for our annual foliage drive this weekend. 

Over the weekend, I foraged for some colorful leaves and made leaf place settings. Just for fun. The colors will fade, but my original thought was to use them for Thanksgiving if they don't crumble on the table. 

Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pesto, Salmon, Beekmans and Cucumber Salad

We are having a stretch of nice weather so I've been harvesting the herbs in my garden. Over the years, I have collected a few Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks and their recipes are simple and tasty. I've been to the restaurant several times when I travelled to Ithaca, NY for my job. This pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays, and you can pop out a cube and add it to any pasta dish. I serve the pasta with fried chicken cutlets. It's also low-fat with no oil.

1 cup well-packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts *
1/2 teaspoon salt

*To toast pine nuts, spread them in a single layer on an unoiled baking sheet and bake in a conventional or toaster oven at 350° for about 3 to 5 minutes, until just slightly deepened in color.

Rinse and drain the basil leaves. In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and salt and puree until smooth. You may need to stop several times to scrape the sides of the blender or processor bowl with a rubber spatula.

I've been cooking my way through the "Summer" chapter of my new Beekman cookbook, and if you enjoy salmon as much as we do (once a week here), this recipe is a winner. 

I made the sauce without the green peppercorns since I didn't have them on hand. Instead of baking the salmon as the recipe suggested, we grilled it. It was restaurant quality and we loved it. 

I made the Cucumber-Dill salad as the side dish and it was also wonderful. Their recipes are so easy too.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tomato Pie - Have A Seat At The Table

Tomato Pie hot out of the oven! I pre-ordered a cookbook that I felt would be fun to cook through, A Seat at the Table. While most cookbook shoots occur in an NYC photo studio, Rose Marie, Megan, Brent & Josh cooked everything for the shoot themselves. And then shared all of the dishes with the community at the end of each day. Love that! I live 45 minutes from this community, and as much as I did not need another cookbook, this one is special and will be on my counter for a while. The first recipe I chose was the Tomato Pie which is truly a winner. Hope you give it a try. #haveaseat

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August You Were Wonderful

Happy September! In the month of August, I spent time with a group of bloggers on a private Facebook group. It was called August Break, 2017, and was a community project that had no real rules —  the idea was to simply take a photograph every day for the whole month of August. That’s it. Pause, look around and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there.We could share our photos (which I did) or just enjoy taking them without sharing. 

We were given a list of daily photo prompts so if we got stuck for something to photograph, we could just refer to the list. I challenged myself to use the list. It was a lot of fun, and we will do it again next August. The photos are listed with a description listed below. 

Here is the list of photo prompts I followed:

This little guy was resting on the clay pot. Can't imagine it was very comfortable.

This golden owl holds the keys. My fascination with owls started when I rescued an immature Great Horned Owl with a broken wing from the forest floor so he could have his wing repaired.

"Run for the Roses" pie that I made for a Kentucky Derby dinner we attended at our friend's home.

We spend our summer weekends at the camp my dad built 50 years ago. Okara Lakes, NY is in the Old Forge region of the Adirondack Mountains. Our backyard is designated "forever wild". Great visionaries such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thoreau have drawn inspiration from the Adirondack Mountains. I'm sure you've heard of the Adirondack Chair. There is a lot to love in the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Park is larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon combined.

Each February we visit Key West and use bikes or our feet as transportation. There are many unique bicycles parked in front of shops and restaurants. Very common in Key West to see cruiser bicycles and parrots as big as the local personalities. This bike with the "Keys" fascinated me. Personal rolling art.

DAY 6 – MY FAVORITE NOVEL - I forgot to do this one. Probably because I only read novels in school.

There’s just something about fairy gardens that makes one young again. My next door neighbor is a teacher and has summers off, and I know her garden has brought her much joy this summer. She's been adding glass, lights and fairies for all to enjoy.

 "Your heart is able to see things that your eyes aren't able to."
Kholoud Yasser

Some of my husband's favorite postcards from his collection.

Have a seat and relax in the field of lavender. The Finger Lakes Lavender Festival in Skaneateles, NY.


"We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.

We are vacationing in Bar Harbor, Maine and I wrote a letter to my sweet and kind husband and tucked it under his pillow here in Maine. After all these years, he still grabs for my hand when we take walks. I thank God every day for our wonderful marriage and my best friend.

DAY 13 -- I CRAVE Lobster!

DAY 14 - VINTAGE So I'm 58 today. I guess that qualifies as vintage? 😁

The Chinese tradition of lantern making – and lighting – began centuries ago. Lantern making is an art that passed through generations of Chinese families. The lantern displays at the Lantern Festival are made from artisans from Sichuan, China, and took months to assemble at the New York State fairgrounds. I went in April.

Black and White
It's Basic.
It's Elegant.
The monochrome beauty and stark contrast of black and white captures the eye just as a splash of vibrant colors can.

We have a sweet cottage in the Adirondack Mountains built by my dad 50 years ago. Love seeing the daisies.

This one really made me think today. I think we do wonder "what if" we made different choices in life. No regrets.
I am being silly in Maine at Stonewall Kitchen.

A metal garden stake in our garden always brings a smile when we dine alfresco. Our New York summers are short so we soak up the warm sun and eat most of our meals outdoors.

Owls! Ever since I rescued an immature Great Horned Owl with a broken wing 22 years ago. Photos taken at our annual side walk art show.

Day 21: Monochrome
This challenge challenged me to take a photo in my fairy garden.

DAY 22 -- SOUR
I love limes!

When we travel, even if it's in our area, I take a photo with my tote bag. I have a group of friends that have the same MacKenzie Childs tote bag and we share photos of places we've been. JUST FOR FUN.

My husband's interpretation of silver. I was discussing the month of August challenge when this "sewing needle" bug screamed "take a photo of me". His idea, not mine.

Weeds or wildflowers, I took my scissors out the back door of the building where I work and bent among the bees to cut some weeds. Recognizing the beauty of the overgrown field full of weeds and wildflowers this beautiful summer morning, and brightening my office today.

Our camp window with shutters made by my hubby. Have a great weekend everyone! Only 5 days left in the August challenge.

They started painting stones/rocks to spread joy, love and inspiration through the simple gesture of painting rocks and putting them throughout the community. Have you found one yet?

Climbing up Beehive in Acadia National Park is rewarding, and even despite the sheer cliffs, it was an awesome hike with great views.

DAY 29 – YES!
Yes! Watermelon radishes in my CSA box! I've been a member of a CSA for 10 years, and look forward to watermelon radishes. I am a foodie, and they make a stunning presentation.

The sunset is a symbol; it represents how good things happen every day.


Well, too short for me! It's my birth month, and I have truly been enjoying August weekends at the camp that my dad built at the lake and vacationing in Maine. As the days get shorter, I will look to autumnal hues to gently lead us into this most beautiful season ahead. Have a great September everyone, and I enjoyed spending August with you during this challenge.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Traveling Totes - Acadia National Park

The little bridge in Somesville, Maine is where I was for my birthday in August. Doesn't it look so refreshing and peaceful? Thanks for all the birthday wishes in August and for your friendship. 
We stayed in Southwest Harbor, Maine, and I should have worn sunglasses for this photo...LOL   Shhhh.....Miss Aurora is hiding from all the LL Bean totes. 
Maine is "LL Bean country", so there was not a checked tote anywhere! Miss Aurora thought.....oh boy, how will I ever fit in with all these Miss Beans! 
 Oh look, we FINALLY found some checks at the trolley stop! 

 OK, since the sign is on the side of the quiet side of the road near the woods, let's quickly take a picture. 
At last, I do have a purpose in Maine. I'll tote some Old Soaker Blueberry Soda that everyone is walking around Acadia National Park drinking. Tastes like grape to me! My son gave it A thumbs up. I think I may try a blueberry ice cream float with the soda if there is any left. 
Doesn't Miss Aurora look nice with the lobster rug in the condo?
While in York, Maine, Stonewall Kitchen is always a necessary stop and you can fit a ton of stuff in that tote. 
Wonder how many lobstas would fit in that tote? 

 In August, we visited Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park to enjoy the pristine environment of Mt. Desert Island and the rugged coast and pine forests. Colorful buoys, the smell of pine, summer flowers. That is Maine!!

We utilized the park's free-to-all Island Explorer buses to navigate the park. Acadia has 130 miles of hiking trails so there is a path perfect for every ability. 

One of the most scenic and popular is the one mile Shore Path that begins at the town pier and runs along the ocean at Frenchman Bay. 

We stayed in Southwest Harbor, and there is nothing like New England in the Summer. We rented a marina side condo from Dysart's on Airbnb, and this is where it's at if you like summer living! We spent our days leisurely watching the lobster boats come and go in a modern marina with some sensational summer yachts. We were a 5 minute walk to galleries, shops and restaurants and only a 5 minute drive to Acadia sites, Bass Harbor Head light, Somes Sound, Seawell and Echo Lake. No visit is complete without Jordan Pond's warm popovers with strawberry jam. We were advised not to eat our popovers outdoors at the lovely tables with green umbrellas overlooking the beautiful pond due to "bee season". The bees love the jam! You can make popovers that taste just like the ones at Jordan Pond using this recipe.  
Jordan Pond
We went on a horse-drawn carriage ride at Wildwood Stables in Acadia National Park on the southeastern side of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Tours follow the famous and scenic carriage roads that were originally constructed by John D. Rockefeller between 1913 and 1940. The horses were Shires named Moses and Mary, and they get their horses from the Amish once they are retired. The horse (and apparently my outfit) was required to match my tote bag. 

Hiking the Beehive Trail on Mount Desert Island in Maine. It should be your destination if you want to hike where the mountains meet the sea. 

Such a unique location in Maine, and we really hated to leave but we have wonderful memories. Loved being on the quiet side of town and in walking distance to everything in Southwest Harbor.  Favorite hikes were Cadillac Mountain, Beehive, Wonderland Trail, Echo Lake to see the nesting loon, and hiking (and eating popovers) around Jordan Pond. 

The garden photos are from Asticou Terraces, Thuya Lodge and Thuya Gardens. We had one rainy morning so decided to visit the gorgeous flower garden located on a granite hillside overlooking Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island Maine.

After five nights of fresh ocean breezes, delicious local seafood and Maine wild blueberry pie, it was time to head south (towards home) with a two night stop in Ogunquit to split up the long trip home. 
 Saying goodbye to our condo. We are on our way to Ogunquit. 
 This photo was taken from the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME. You can see it is not as quiet as Acadia National Park. Everyone flocks to the public beach in Ogunquit, and we go to our little private beach during low tide. 
I will, as long as I live, remember this wonderful blueberry pie that we devoured. I brought a couple plates from home....yes I know that is silly but I like to feel at home when I travel. LOL

Now we are back in New York at the Chinese Lantern Festival. This festival was colorful and amazing. Each display includes hundreds of parts, and thousands of LED lights. From a three-foot baby panda in Panda World to a three-story Chinese palace pagoda, 1,000 sculptural components have been created on-site by more than 30 artists from China. Welded metal frames covered in fabric will emerge as flowers, peacocks, cranes, butterflies, archways. The sculptures are LED-lit-from-within lanterns.

  To thank you for following along with our adventures, we are having a giveaway! To enter your name in the drawing, visit Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry.

To see what Miss Aurora's tote sistas have been up to, click on the participating blogs below. 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda with  Miss Lola @ Life and LindaLife and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ "Pandora's Box"
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul

Thanks for stopping by! We will have something very awesome to share with you in December. Can't wait!

Prayers for Texas. We are sending our fellow New Yorkers to assist.


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