Saturday, September 1, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Totes #16

 If you are here for the first time, welcome to Mountain Breaths. Today I am joining a group of talented bloggers to bring you our quarterly Tales of the Traveling Tote. 
According to Wikipedia:  The "Tales of the Traveling Tote" is a group of 12 well-preserved, dynamic women that bring a MacKenzie-Childs tote bag on a trip and take pictures of it in front of famous (and infamous) landmarks. I just made this up but isn't it the the truth?......OK, I need to discuss this further with Wikipedia.
It's been three months since our last Traveling Totes post, and certainly the weather has progressed to a very hot and humid (but great) summer. On June 23, I attended a fundraiser at Sycamore Hill Farm garden in Marcellus, NY and have posted about these enjoyable garden events for several years now. My goal, when visiting Sycamore Hill Farm gardens is to gather ideas for our future garden. 
On June 27, I attended "Rose Day" at Thornden Park in Syracuse with two special friends. Mother Nature was not on our side but we created our own "funshine". My friends and family are such good sports with my interest in "checks". 

In July, we attended the Annual Barn Sale at MacKenzie-Childs.
What's the Barn Sale, you ask?
Well it's much more than a sale.
It's a four-day event with deep discounts where friendship and fun come together. The love and passion for MKC is evident, and we are all one happy family at the barn sale :-)

 We went to our beloved Maine for my birthday again this year, and hiked every day in Acadia National Park. 
"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mysteries, its melancholy and its charms."
-Teddy Roosevelt
 After hitting a few shops in Bar Harbor, this little bridge in Somesville, Maine is where I enjoyed some quiet time on August 14 for my birthday. Doesn't it look so refreshing and peaceful away from the crowds? Thank you for all the birthday wishes and for your continued friendship. 
One of the stops we enjoy in Acadia National Park is Jordan Pond.  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. 

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. You can make popovers that taste just like the ones at Jordan Pond using this recipe.  
Enjoying 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!!
  Seal Harbor (I did not run into Martha Stewart). I've read that she is always there the week of my birthday since her birthday is close to mine.
 Waking up in Southwest Harbor.

 We sailed on the Friendship Schooner and Miss Aurora got to go along. I also love the seabags that are handcrafted in Maine from recycled sails. Signs of hard sailing make each bag unique :-) 
$5 Lobsters from the pier, they provide the steamer with water from the ocean. 

Wonder how many lobstas would fit in that tote? 
Joe could not be happier to be retired! Although he has not stopped working since the day he retired in June. He built a deck for my sister, and the neighbors have been at our weekly with their lists. He will fare well with retirement. 
There is an ice cream shop in Bar Harbor that has chocolate ice cream with lobster pieces, but the line was extremely long and I was not about to wait. We stopped at the grocery store and bought a half gallon of my favorite black cherry ice cream for $2.99 (on sale) and made our own. Eat the lobster first, and then your dessert. Yum!!

Casino overnight for my extended birthday with family.
 That's all folks. I am all partied out for August. Oops one more party. 
"Sunflower" theme birthday party thrown for me by the Scoots. I have not even turned 60 yet and wow what a fabulous birthday month. I feel very blessed when I look at all these photos from August.

Now for the Tales of the Traveling Tote Giveaway!

 Linda at Life and Linda is hosting the giveaway for a chance to win a pair of MacKenzie-Childs Elizabethan guest towels. For a chance to win just leave a comment on Linda's blog post.  
Come along and travel with:

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths (you are here)
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Lia with Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda   -- don't forget to enter the giveaway :-)
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Ricki Jill with Countess de Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul

Ciao for now! Enjoy the rest of the summer, and I hope you'll come back on December 1 so I can take you along to Bellissima Northern Italy. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

One-Pan Pasta

Hard to believe how good this One-Pan-Pasta is. Chef recommended. We're back from a wonderful vacation in Maine, and I wanted something easy for our first dinner back home. I saw this in Martha Stewart Living magazine in 2013 and we really enjoyed it so I had to share again. Once I get the laundry done, mail opened, and vacation photos uploaded, I will share some vacation photos with you.  


12 ounces linguine

12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

4 1/2 cups water

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

2.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Que Sera Silk Salad

I almost hesitated to make this salad from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook from the late 80's, but I had a head of cabbage and red onions that I wanted to use from my CSA veggie box. I'm so glad I made this!  

This is the introduction to the recipe as listed in the cookbook. I knew we would like this just from the description.

"Salting cabbage brings out a silklike texture without cooking. Enriched with fresh ginger, mint and pink peppercorns, this is a beautiful and unusual salad".

Que Sera Silk Salad
1 large green cabbage, finely shredded (I used the food processor)
3 TB coarse (kosher) salt
1 red onion, cut into thin rings
2 TB finely minced fresh ginger root
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 TB pink peppercorns
Salt, to taste

1.  Sprinkle the cabbage with 2 TB of the coarse salt in a large bowl. Let stand for 4 hours. (I let it sit outdoors) Cover with ice water and let stand for 1 more hour. Rinse and drain the cabbage.

2.  When the cabbage has been standing for 3 hours, sprinkle the onion with the remaining 1 TB coarse salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Cover with ice water and let stand for 1 more hour. Rinse and drain.

3.  Combine the cabbage and onion in a large mixing bowl.

4.  Whisk the ginger, lemon juice and oil together. Pour over the cabbage and onion and toss.

5.  Stir in the mint and peppercorns. Taste and add salt if needed.

6.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Makes 10 to 12 portions

I am going to nickname this ALL DAY SALAD. But I was home multi-tasking so I didn't mind :-)
Mr. Mountain Breaths is not a fan of cole slaw or anything cabbage, and he  really enjoyed this.

Thank you for stopping by!


Saturday, August 4, 2018

What I've Been Up To

I recently had one of the best customer service experiences and will share it with you. In the photo above, I ordered the outfit pictured for our trip to Italy in September. I placed the order with Soft Surroundings in early July, and was told the pants would be delivered on September 12 which was too late for our trip. I really wanted the pants so I sent an email to the founder of Soft Surroundings asking if there was anything that could be done to expedite my pants. I probably picked the only item in the catalog that was on backorder until September. lol

Here's the response I received. Very impressive!
Subject: FW: Is there anything that be done 
Hello Ms. Cantales,

My name is Michele Dando, I’m the Technical Design Director here at Soft Surroundings.  I’ve been working with Robin and Christy McKey her Administrative Assistant on finding you the Super Stretch Lattice Capri in time for your trip to Italy.

I contacted our supplier and had a special pair made in size Small, color Black.  I’ll be sending them to you tomorrow.  Since this is a sample there are no labels or tags on the pant.  The care is as follows:  Machine Wash Cold, Separately, Gentle Cycle; Only Non-Chlorine Bleach when Needed.  Hang to Dry, Cool Iron if Needed or May be Dry Cleaned.

These pants are our gift to you to enjoy during your time in Italy!

I sincerely hope you love these pants.  Thank you so much for contacting us to let us know about the delay – these are perfect pants for travel so understand they are a must have for your trip! Buon Viaggio!

Michele Dando

Michele L. Dando | Technical Design Director1100 N. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis MO 63132 | T: (314) 812-6167
The entire month of July kept me hopping. Our summer has been sunshiney, and it finally rained and my lawn and garden are lush and green again. I make time each Tuesday evening while Joe is at yoga to set a pretty table. Martha Stewart, my grandmother and mom taught me the love of cooking and how to beautify my environment. My blogging friends do the same for me :-)

Xavier is getting too big, too fast! He is very lucky to have wonderful parents and grandparents :-) 

Family and musician friends made Joe's retirement party very special. 

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what is going on in my world :-)




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