February 22, 2011

Inspiration

I've spent that last little while chatting with my DD on gmail chat - what a nice privilege! What a nice daughter! It gave me the inspiration to write a little today, which has been lacking. I know as soon as the garden gets rolling I'll be writing too much!

Speaking of inspiration - I've been watching Mad Hungry lately. Lucinda Scalla Quinn is the cook on this show and I just love her style. She's passionate about food, but even more passionate about her family. Good balance! Recently we tried out her corn fritters as a side dish with fish, and they were delicious. Watching her videos is helpful since there are recipe details she gives on the show that don't end up in her written recipes online. Might have something to do with the Martha Stewart Corporation filter that she has to go through - just postulating!


She has also inspired us - or I should say specifically my DH - to put our cast iron into use. He even grabbed one of our camping skillets and used her instructions to bring in back to life. The other cast iron grill pan is a recent gift and it came pre-seasoned. Now that he's learned the proper care, this should be easier to use than ever. Tonight we're making steaks, which will sear in the cast iron, and then go into the oven to finish cooking. Great stuff!



Hunger, plus increasing prices at the grocery store, inspire me to make bread each week! I've shared the video of making this perfect whole wheat bread in another post. In that post, you can click on the link for the food storage site that offers two great videos for the method they use with the bread.
The latest thing I've been doing is making homemade croutons from the crusts of the bread. I just chop them into medium sized pieces, let them dry out, and store them in a baggie. To make croutons, I toast them in a skillet with a little olive oil and whatever seasoning sounds good that day. After you toast them in the oil, it works well to let them sit on a paper towel and crisp up a little as they cool off.



The same goal of saving money led to my experiment in freezing sun-dried tomatoes. I like to save money by getting the huge jar at Costco, but how can two people ever get this thing used up before it goes wrong?!! I love these freezer jars and made sure to leave a little "head room" at the top. They're now solidly frozen and no bulges or cracks, so - success!



All the way back in November, we had the wonderful experience of a photo shoot with our friend Bonnie in Maine. At this lovely New England studio she took some truly amazing photos of our girl. We finally got our order in this week and now we're inspired to begin working on a family photo wall, between our living room and kitchen. Upon opening a couple of storage bins, this layout on the table attested to the fact that this project is long overdue!



Another project that is finally becoming a reality, is painting the outside of our house!
DH is going through the lovely process of getting bids, and we've both been looking online at color combinations, and getting inspired to do something brave - like a pumpkin colored door?? This faded yellow abode will hopefully be brightened up in the near future!



And finally, the February thaw has inspired us to get serious about seeds and starting seedlings -THIS WEEK! We got our leftover seeds and empty packets organized into this storage box first. Then we made notes about which ones we liked and which were a bust, plus which were empty and needed re-ordering. Oh, these seed catalogs are so captivating!

"And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so." Genesis 1:11

Everlasting inspiration...

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