Friday, June 25, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday and Finding Beauty ~ Tiny Moth

Photo submission for this weeks
Favorite Photo Friday
was chosen solely for its uniqueness.
I noticed this ultra tiny moth on the outside sidelight by my front door.
(Photo was taken from inside)
Wanting to show relative size, I held up my fingers although it made steadying the camera with the other hand nearly impossible.
For sheer fun (and because Abbey was over my shoulder while editing) I went all the way with the lomo-ish effect in Picnik. The above photo is cropped from the photo below.

Tiny and intricate.
Photo Facts:
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT
No flash
exp: 1/200
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO 400
Normal Program
Photo Editor: Picnik for cropping and lomo-ish

Joining Claudia @Dipity Road for Finding Beauty!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Show and Tell ~ Spaghetti Poodle

Now here is a little treasure that doesn't exactly fit in with current decorating trends. This glamorous little pooch has been in my life for as long as I can remember so I'm kind of fond of her. Well, fond isn't exactly right either. Maybe just sentimental remembering all of the times, as a kid, I had to dust her. I don't remember what happened to her cute little pups. They probably ended up in with my Barbies.
Somehow I became the guardian of this ancient nicknack.
Do young woman today even know what nicknacks are?
Are they spelled nick-nacks or knickknacks...

Noun1.knickknack - a small inexpensive mass-produced article
2. nicknack - miscellaneous curios. bric-a-brac, knickknackery, whatnot, knicknack, curio, curiosity, oddment, peculiarity, rarity, oddity
- something unusual -- perhaps worthy of collecting (or perhaps, not)
This little lady's painted eyebrows and coiffed hair only adds to her flamboyant appearance.
She always seems to have a haughty air about her.
And a look that says, "You wouldn't dare send me to Good Will!"
No. Since I have this sentimental heart, I'll just dust her off once again and tuck her back into the cabinet from which she came.

Joining Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Panini

A trip to the produce store was the inspiration for a search for a grilled Veggie sandwich. I also brought home a beautiful rustic, chewy bread.
Amazing color and freshness.
The wonderful smell from the grill pan
Ready to assemble
basil from my garden... so summertime fresh

Served without grilling...
or toasted on the grill pan.

Grilled Vegetable Panini
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 small Japanese eggplants or 1 medium to large regular eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 baguettes (each about 2 feet long)
* 1/2 cup Basil Pesto, recipe follows
* 8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, sliced
* 2 tomatoes, sliced
* 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
* 8 large basil leaves, optional

Directions

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the oil over the eggplant, zucchini, and onion slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the eggplant, zucchini, and onions until they are tender and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Cool completely.

Cut each baguette into 6 pieces. Working with one baguette piece at a time, slice in half and spread both sides with the pesto. Working with the bottom slice of the baguette, stack 2 slices of eggplant, 2 slices zucchini, 1 slice onion, 1 slice tomato, 1 slice mozzarella, and 1 slice of roasted pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place top half of baguette on top and continue with remaining baguette. (The sandwiches can be made 4 hours ahead. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Basil Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (about) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In a blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. With the blender still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Yield: 1 cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday ~ Trumpet Vine and Hummers

Where are the Hummers?
We saw the first visitor to the feeder in mid-May but none lately.
Years ago we began planting every bush and plant that was known to attract humming birds to our yard. This trumpet vine has grown quite large and is a beacon to these fascinating birds.
The trumpets are blooming and the feeders are full but where are the hummers?


The following photos of our ruby throated hummingbirds were taken a couple of years ago.
My friends are not seeing hummers at their homes either.
Hopefully the activity of birds zooming back and forth from feeder to flower will soon fill me with delight and excitement!
Joining Susan @A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Celebrating Teens ~ I Heart Faces Photo Challenge

I Faces photo challenge this week is celebrating teens.
My youngest daughter and my oldest grandson
eighteen & thirteen
aunt & nephew
close as siblings
best friends

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dressy Chocolate Loafcake ~ TWD

This week's pick is from baker Amy of Amy Ruth Bakes and she picked a good one!
Dressy Chocolate Loafcake
A Fancy Schmancy, moist chocolaty cake, filled with raspberry preserves and a
w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l
decadent ganache frosting
Not at all complicated
Beautiful
and delicious!


Dressy Chocolate Loafcake
from Baking: from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the Cake:1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup red raspberry jam or Cherry jam
1 tsp water

For the Frosting:
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350degrees.  Butter a 9 1/2-x-5-inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess.  Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of one another.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together at medium for about 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minutes after each one goes in.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in 1 cup of the sour cream.  Still working on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix only until they disappear into the batter.  Give the batter a last stir with a sturdy rubber spatula and scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for 60-70minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.  If, after about 45 minutes, the cake looks as if it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent.  Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake cool for about 5 minutes before turning it out onto the rack.  Cool to room temperature upside down. 

To fill the cake:

Bring the jam and water to a boil over low heat or in a microwave oven.  Stir it smooth.
The top of the cake will become the bottom layer, so if it is uneven and your cake rocks a bit on the counter, turn it right side up and use a long serrated knife to level it.  Using the serrated knife, cut the cake into 3 even layers.  Put the first layer (originally the top of the cake) cut side up on a long serving platter and spread half the jam over it.  Cover with the middle layer and spread that layer with the remaining jam.  Lift the top layer into place, cut side down. 

To make the frosting:  Fit a heatproof bowl over a double boiler od gently simmering water; melt the chocolate.  Still working over the double boiler, stir in the sour cream.  Don’t be concerned if the cream tightens – just keep stirring gently and the frosting will become smooth and glossy.

Remove from the heat and cover the sides and top of the cake with the still-warm frosting.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~ Peach Rose


The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8


Joining Mary @Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!

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