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Showing posts from February, 2017

Color My World~Pink #PBColorMyWorld

The Project Beautiful bloggers chose the color PINK for this month's featured color.  Pink is a pale red which gets its name from the flower pink (dianthus.)  The color pink can be innocent, seductive or feminine, just depending on what colors are associated with it.  Pink was used mostly for flesh colors in painting but became popular in the 18th century for clothing.  One of my favorite paintings, Pinkie, hung in my daughter's bedroom when she was a girl (Sir Thomas Lawrence.) This month our post are mostly from the garden, and one from the sea!  You will love these beautiful pink posts.  Click on the links to read each more fully. 1.  From Lee at A Guide to Northeast Gardening wrote a gorgeous piece on Hellebores in the winter garden.  You will learn a lot about this gorgeous flower. 2.   Lynne from Sensible Gardening wrote about pink perennials (these are the flowers that come back every year.)  She has a lot of different options and I am in love with them all.
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A Note Yet Unsung #ourgoodlifebooklist

A review of the book A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander.  The book was provided to me  no charge,  but the opinions expressed are my own! I am a historical fiction nut and this book was full of wonderful details that we historical fiction people love.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Let's talk book, shall we? From the editor:   A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the new maestro at the Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed when the conductor--determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music--bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him. Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's youngest orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse an
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Jello with Pistachios and Chia Seeds #FoodnFlix

I love watching movies but I am pretty stuck in my favorite genres, and fantasy is not one of them. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself eagerly watching Pan's Labyrinth, a 2006 film that has been dubbed the best fantasy film of all time for our February Food and Flix film .  Katharina at  Pretty Cake Machine   chose this movie for us.   This film is set in 1944 in Spain, during the war. Captain Vidal, a soldier of Franco's, is sent to flush out the anti-Franco rebels hiding in the mountains.  Here is where we learn of Captain Vidal's completely sadistic mind, as he kills two farmer's who were hunting rabbit in cold blood.  Captain Vidal is married to Carmen, who is pregnant with his child but very ill. While the movie's disturbingly graphic on the horror's of war, it is juxaposed with the story of Olfelia, who is actually a princess from another time.  A faun comes to help her rejoin with her family from the past, by doing a few tasks.  Durin
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Roasted Chicken in a Paper Bag #CooktheBooks

Our February/March book selection for Cook the Books club was sensational.  Let me introduce you to Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent.   This month’s book selection was chosen by Claudia from  Honey From Rock .  You can read Claudia's invitation:  here . From the Publisher's summary:   "Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be." Even though the book was a memoir of the author and the strife she was going through when she met Edwa
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Missouri Botanical Gardens Orchid Show

The 2017 orchid show is in St. Louis and it is a beautiful one.  The Missouri Botanical Gardens has had orchids since 1876 when they were gifted to Henry Shaw.  Today there are over 6,000 orchid plants and some are over 100 years old.  The oldest orchid species still in the collection dates from the 1890s. This year the show featured 19 vanilla species and 4 cultivated vanilla varieties. None of the vanilla orchids were in bloom. Vanilla is used for flavoring and aroma and is found in ice cream, soda, syrup, chocolate and cereal.  You can even find vanilla in detergent, shaving cream, cleaners, soaps and lotions, shampoos and candles.  The natural vanilla scent comes from the fruit of vanilla orchids. The Vanilla plaifolia is the primary source for vanilla.  Thomas Jefferson helped introduce vanilla to the United States and developed a recipe for vanilla ice cream! Earlier, I made my own vanilla using vanilla pods from Mexico.  Most vanilla pods come from Madagascar and Indonesi
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Indian Style Carrot and Tomato Soup #SoupSwappers

Welcome to the second edition of #SoupSwappers!  This month we take on an International Feel as we explore soup from around the world.  A big thank you to our hostess, Wendy, from A Spoonful of Thyme. Recently I learned I needed to reduce the acidity of my stomach, and my doctor recommended that I use tomato powder instead of fresh tomatoes.  Here is a version of tomato soup using tomato powder. I love fresh tomatoes and while this soup was good, it would be best with fresh tomatoes.  Still, in a pinch, I would not hesitate to use the tomato powder! Indian Style Carrot and Tomato Soup by Terri Steffes/Our Good Life Prep Time:  20 minutes Cook Time:  10 minutes Ingredients  (2 servings) 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1/2 c tomato powder (or 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped) 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 1/2 t cumin 1/2 t black pepper 1 T butter 2 c water 1/2 c whole milk, half and half or heavy cream In
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Panfried Salmon

We love salmon at our house and try to eat it weekly for all the good benefits.  Our favorite way to eat it is panfried, which is simple and easy, and so delicious. People ask us about whether to buy wild caught or farm raised salmon.  We are big believers in wild caught salmon.  Typically wild caught salmon has less fat than farmed and therefore fewer calories.  Plus we like the idea of our fish having a happy, swimming life! This isn't a recipe as it is a process.  You will need a 5 oz filet per person.  You'll need a skillet, 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter, salt and pepper, and steak seasoning.   Bring your filets to room temperature.  Salt and pepper the fish on both sides.  Set aside.  Heat your skillet, then add the oil and butter.  Add filets, skin side up.  Cook for about 4 minutes.  Turn with a spatula.  Sprinkle the non skin side with steak seasoning.  Cook until the fish feels firm, another 3 minutes.  Remove with spatula and let rest a minute or two before
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Mexican Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies #FoodBloggerLove

I have the most fun thing to do right now, introduce you to a food blogger that I have just swooned over.  She is a gal after my own heart, Strawberry Blondie Love .  She likes to entertain and serve up a delicious cocktail or two for her friends.  I'm going to share with you some of my own favorites, but I want you to go see for yourselves.  You will not be disappointed.  How did I meet this blogger?  She is a participant, along with me, with a fun event called #FoodBloggerLove that pairs up food bloggers so we can network and meet up.  It's been a lot of fun! I am so sure you will fall in love with her that I am including her social media accounts right here, so you can follow her yummy goodness, too, like me! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest There.  Now you can always be in the know.  On to my favorites.  I went crazy for this beautiful cocktail, Grapefruit Ginger Vanilla Margarita. Wow.  It stirs up all kinds of wonderfulness in my head.  As described
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Lime Shrimp Cups #SundaySupper

One fun aspect of the winter season is all the events that we have that can take an elegant touch.  The Golden Globes, the Oscars, Valentine's Day... all lend themselves to using a little extra "wow" when entertaining.  I love these shrimp cups for this very reason.  They are "fancy" but you could take them to a tailgate, too! What is it about lime and shrimp that is so tantalizing?  It is truly one of my favorite combinations, from way back to my Columbia days when we were eating lime shrimp at Glenn's, one of my favorite restaurants. They served it up in a quesadilla style, with black beans and red rice and peppers. Delish. There are a lot of steps to this dish but they are all easy.  You do have to keep your eye on them as they can burn quickly.  I'll give you the step by step and tell you when you need to take some extra care! Lime Shrimp Cups by Our Good Life Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes 6080798 Ing
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Truman and Wilson January #ChewyInfluencer

                                                                                      Chewy.com gave us our treats, but the opinions expressed are our own! February is National Dental Month for our pets, too, and Truman and Wilson would like to make sure that you are taking card of your pets' teeth.  Truman and Wilson get dental exams every time they do a scheduled visit with their vet and both have had to have some dental work.  It is important to look after their teeth. In addition to daily brushing, you can help your dog's dental hygiene by giving them these treats. Merrick Brush Bones come in multiple sizes.  The shape and texture helps remove the stuff that causes bad breath, plus freshens breath and whitens teeth. Our two guys ate them up!  I like that it took a little longer for them to devour these treats, too.  They concentrated longer and were busy with the bones for a good long while!  As you can, it wore Truman out!  That's a good thing, though,
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A Valentine's Card for You

I made you a Valentine card.   I don't think there are sweeter words to be spoken on Valentine's Day!  My husband once made me a Valentine card and I responded very poorly, never to receive a handmade card ever again.  Don't make my mistake, if you are presented with a handmade card! This card had a little help from an app called Waterlogue and my daughter, although she doesn't know it yet.  I was checking out her Instagram feed and saw this picture of a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I snapped a quick picture of it with my phone, downloaded and cropped it with my picture app, then uploaded it to Waterlogue, which made a watercolor painting of it.  To get your printable copy of the card go to Valentine Card.   It will look like what you see below. With a little tech magic from a friend, we turned it into this lovely card, which, you can have for free. If you choose to use it, you will need to get a 4" by 6" envelope to put it in.  It is so simple
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Red Wine Chocolate Trifle #TasteCreations

Our February Taste Creations ingredient is chocolate!  We know our readers like chocolate for Valentine's Day so we did not want to fail you.  Last year, our Taste Creation ingredient was leeks and while I love them, this seems much more festive! The red wine/chocolate sensations that were hitting the internet last fall were the inspiration for this dessert.  Red wine brownies, red wine cupcakes and red wine hot chocolate are some of the hits that are making the rounds.  This trifle came about in one of those "mistakes spark a thousand ideas" kind of way. Originally I intended to make a bundt cake.  I made the cake, poured it into the bundt pan.  It baked beautifully but when I tried to take it out, the cake was too tender and literally fell apart.  So I removed what I could, spread it around to cool, then cut into bite sized pieces, and then assembled these mini trifles. I still think the bundt would be awesome and I plan to try again, but I did love these
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A Sentence A Day~ January

It is always wonderful to start a new year and think, I've lived to see another new year in!  As a cancer survivor you learn to take every day as a blessing.  I have loved doing these A Sentence A Day journals.  It is easy for me to summarize my day into one sentence now, and I hope for the future, some grandchild or niece or nephew might find the words interesting. For past editions of the A Sentence A Day journaling, check out these links:  May ,  June ,  July ,   August ,  September ,   October ,   November , and December .  January 1.  A beautiful day spent reminiscing of the past year, mostly centering on highlights and with some vacation planning for the future! January 2.  No school, so we went to a new friend's Open House and met some of her friends, which means our own circle of friendship got even wider! January 3.  We sold our silver trunk that has been used as our coffee table for the last two years, to make room for the new one coming on Saturda
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