Saturday, September 26, 2009

My hero

Uncle Dick and me, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Everybody needs a hero and my Uncle Dick is mine. He has been more like a father to me than an uncle and I appreciate him more than he understands. When I was a little girl he would toss me up into the air and always catch me on the way down. He still is always there to catch me when I am close to falling. Tonight he and his wife Irmgard came for dinner and to watch the USC football game. It was a little Saturday night dinner party and we all had a good time. And our Trojans won!!! Besides being a great guy Uncle Dick was a member of the Navy's UDT (underwater demolition referred to as the Navy Seals) and served in the Korean War. After that war he went to dental school at USC and became one of the finest dentists I have known. He was my first employer and he took me under his wing and trained me to be a fine professional like himself. He has been my employer, my mentor, my uncle and my friend and always he has been my hero. He is the finest man I know on this earth and I have been lucky to have him in my life.
Well one of Uncle Dick's favorite meals is meatloaf. So that took center stage for tonight's menu:
avocado grapefruit salad
meatloaf with a tomato relish
roasted purple potatoes and carrots
caramelized shallots
Matanzas Creek Chardonnay
Peach cobbler with French Vanilla ice cream

The dinner was yummy (meatloaf doesn't photograph well and you know what it looks like) Try the meatloaf recipe. I used pork, turkey and veal but you can use any ground meat. Irmgard thought it might be better than her own recipe. No doubt hers is good too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quilting and Salsa!!!!!!

corn and black bean salad, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

OK these two ideas don't really go together except at my house today. I "fired" my real estate agent and his broker so I knew I would have no "buyers" coming to my house today so out came the fabric and cutting supplies. I have baby quilts to make for my new "great" niece and my new grandaughter so I got started today. Lots of orange, pink and green! In the meantime I also wanted to make my weekly amount of salad. Here are all of my salsas I made today photographed with some of the fabrics for my upcoming quilts.

Corn and black bean salsa salad
1/2 red onion, "cooked" in
2 Tbs red wine vinegar ( I use William-Sonoma's Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ears fresh corn, microwave cooked and cut off cob ( any form of corn is I had fresh)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-2 Heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large ripe avocado, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp hot sauce
cilantro, chopped
I make a batch of this fresh salad every week. It is great fresh or added to lettuces. All of my friends and family have been forced to eat this at least once.

Mango salsa

mango salsa, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

One of my favorite toppings for grilled fish (Halibut tonight). It has a kick with the jalepeno pepper.
1 ripe mango, chopped
3Tbs chopped shallot or red onion "cooked" in the juice of
2 limes
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 jalepeno pepper, chopped fine, no seeds please

1-2 Tbs fresh grated ginger

Get the grill going!


guacamole, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I asked Kate one day if she wanted avocado or guacamole. She said "guacamole". The difference? Chips! Here's my recipe for the green stuff you dip your chips into.
2-3 ripe avocados
1 tomato
1 small red onion "cooked" in the juice of
1 lime
1 garlic clove
a little chopped jalepeno pepper
salt, pepper

lime sorbet

lime sorbet, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

...and for dessert. lime sorbet!
simple syrup made from 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water brought to a boil to dissolve sugar
1 1/4 lime juice
lime zest
place in ice cream freezer...I have a Krups
Serve in a Margarita glass

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Playing with sea glass

silver wrapped sea glass, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This afternoon my friend, Ally, and I got together to make jewelry out of sea glass. Most all of our sea glass came from my friends (Marjorie and Harvey) beach in downeast Maine. Some of the pieces are exquisite! We started with this wrapping technique so as not to damage the glass. We twisted a lot of different wires and laughed at ourselves along the way but at the end of the evening we had these pieces ready for the next step. The pendant is Ally's. The other pieces will be a bracelet. Two small lavender pieces ended up a pair of earrings. We had so much fun! Did I say that Ally is a fabulous cook? We worked up quite an appetite and suddenly out came this beautiful chilled soup. Her avocado citrus soup is a version of the soup from the Elephant Walk restaurant in Cambridge Mass. What a delightful afternoon

lavender earrings

lavender earrings, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

lavender sea glass

elephant walk soup

elephant walk soup, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

chilled avocado citrus soup from the Elephant Walk restaurant in Cambridge, MA

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September garden spider

garden spider, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

September brings out all these lovely little (actually BIG) spiders. They catch us in their webs as we go out for our morning walk. #@$!* But they also catch the pesky ants so they get credit for that. Is this one Charlotte?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

string of pearls, blue, 2

string of pearls, blue, 2, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I wore this necklace to my Uncle Dick's wedding a couple of years ago. It was a Hawaiian theme wedding and this was my Hawaiian part. I made it from a string of fresh water pearls, silver spacers and this mother of pearl shell. I am trying to learn to paint "white". My first attempt was on a plain paper background. Today I tried to wash in the background to give a bit more contrast. White and watercolor? I have to keep trying. One of my favorite blogs: Paris Breakfast is managed by a fabulous watercolorist. She does "white" well.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tomatoes for dinner on shrimp enchiladas

shrimp enchiladas, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This morning on the way to the Farmers' Market to buy these lovely heirloom tomatoes I was listening to a segment by chef Jaime Gwen. She created this recipe for some sort of seafood celebration and highly recommended to give it a try. So I did. It reminded me of a fabulous lobster thermidor only with a chipotle kick wrapped in a tortilla and topped with guacamole and fresh Brandywine tomatoes. Brandywines are an heirloom tomato very dark red with a bit of black streaked through. OMG these were good. Her recipe will be posted only for a week. If you want it past then, I can e-mail it.

Tomatoes for lunch!

green zebra, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

The heirloom tomatoes are in the Farmers' Markets everywhere this time of year. Hurry and get some before the weather turns cold. These are green Zebra when fully ripe. For lunch: add fresh mozzarella cheese, freshly picked basil and high flavor olive oil and balsamic vinegar. What a lovely Sunday meal

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Whitney

Whitney's cupcake, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Today is Whitney's birthday! This year she spends it in Denver! Whitney's favorite color is blue so she gets a cupcake with aqua blue frosting. Instead of a candle....a big red heart. I love you, Whitney!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Grand Jete!

leap, 2, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a lecture demonstration on how to start a painting. I have until this time sketched before getting out my watercolor and brushes but Hyatt Moore encouraged me to "not think about it too much and just put the paint on the canvas." Of course he paints with acrylic and oils....much easier to paint over his mistakes. But I jumped out of my comfort zone and just did it. This is my first attempt at painting without a sketch. The finished piece is too large for my scanner so it is only partially displayed. In true Denise form I had just roasted some beets earlier and the beet juice just had to be the base wash of the earth. (There was a time when I could leap like this (well not exactly, but a pretty good attempt.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Reina and Amber

Wish, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Monday was little Reina's #2 birthday. We celebrated with a breakfast party with friends and family. The night before, after Amber and I made the cupcakes, we decided to have a dress rehearsal for Reina with her cake and candle blowing. It was a success! On cue, when her cupcake was brought to her the following morning Reina started singing "Happy Birthday" to herself and then the rest of us joined in. Friday is Amber's birthday. Besides her birthday she gets to celebrate the receipt of her license to practice psychology in Washington. I am so happy and proud that she is my daughter-in-law, that she is my son's wife and the mother to Reina and her "in womb" sister. I feel so blessed that she chose to join our family. Happy Birthday Girls!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reina's cupcakes

Cupcakes, originally uploaded by B West.

Reina had a Strawberry Shortcake themed birthday party so what better than strawberry cupcakes. Amber and I made these cupcakes and they were as good as they look. Thanks, Brad, for the photo