Sunday, January 18, 2009

Here we go with another food entry - I've got to learn more about taking pictures to truly capture the beauty of the meal - the pictures included below are poor. I thought another blog entry would happen before Sunday but that was not the case. Ross and I are both trying to cook at one new thing a week, usually on a Sunday. Ross wanted to make a Seafood Paella for dinner so I chose a breakfast item - a breakfast tart. I found the recipe in a recent version of the NapaStyle catalog. The finished product tasted better than it looks - and it was indeed yummy!

Ross' Seafood Paella was also tasty - the recipe was taken from the "Cooking with all things Trader Joe's" Unofficial Cookbook. We are both big fans of Trader Joe's and shop there at least once a week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My First Chicken Roast

OK, silly thing here . . . I roasted my first chicken tonight (my husband just called me a roasting chicken virgin). As I said in an earlier post, getting more comfortable with cooking is one of my goals for 2009. My aim is to go though Martha Stewart's Cooking School cookbook yet tonights meal comes from NapaStyle. I had to try out our new Cocorico Pan with a roasted chicken. Whole nine yards - stuffed the cavity with lemons and rosemary and roasted yummy veggies including portobello mushrooms, potatoes, onions, carrots. We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of 2006 Greg Norman Pinto Noir. Yummy - maybe this cooking thing isn't so hard after all!

At my age does it seem unreal that this is the first chicken I've ever roasted?
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

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Knitted Wonders

My newest hand-knitted gem from my mother arrived in the mail today – fingerless elbow gloves! My mom has made me a couple of other fingerless gloves to help ward off the chill both at work and in my home office. I recently asked her if she could make me some long ones and this is what she came up with – aren’t they great?

She has made me a lot of sweaters, hats and gloves over the years. Below are some other recent treasures . . .
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One of my mom's sweater creations - picture is taken at the Sea Ranch Chapel
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Socks actually are a turn-on for my husband (who knew?), especially hand-knitted ones!
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Hats, hats, hats . . .
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My favorite hat
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Life as a Collage

I seem to be drawn towards things that appear as a collage, be it art or the way I live my life. Thinking on my little office and craft studio, it is such a mixture of so many different interests and items. I am drawn towards mosaics and colorful quilts with lots of different colors and patterns. I’m thinking that this new blog will turn out to be something of a collage, a collage of the different areas in my life, a journaling of sorts as I proceed through the New Year.

I’m still surprised that I’ve even begun a blog – it’s certainly not something I’ve contemplated for any amount of time. And I don’t envision myself as much of a writer and can’t imagine others being that interested in reading my words. My goal is to do this for myself. For many years I used to keep journals yet I haven’t written much in the last couple of years. Maybe if I type up journal type entries then I’ll keep up on it. I’m willing to give it a try. I doubt I’ll even tell anyone that I know that I’m writing a blog – I’m drawn towards the anonymity.

This whole blog thing started after I came across the publication “Artful Blogging – Visually Inspiring Online Journals” put out by Somerset Studio. What a beautiful and inspiring publication. One of my hopes with this blog is to tap into my inner artist – I think she’s in there somewhere aching to come out. I’ve never taken a formal art class and exhibited no real potential in childhood art endeavors. Yet I am drawn to colors and textiles and again, things that are a Collage. Some of my friends actually think I’m an artistic person yet I think it is due to how I live my life and the things that I surround myself with. Yet to actually create art – that’s where I’m being drawn.

My hope for this blog is to explore and document many different areas of life and to incorporate some of what I’m hoping the New Year will be about. I plan to share some of the beautiful and simple things that come to mind as well as concretely develop some thoughts and words on the following topics:

Develop more clearly my vision and maybe even a business plan for my dream of one day opening my “First Fruits Flower Farm” (thus the origins of the name of this blog).
Talk about my newest endeavor – putting together quilts. Not your grandmother type quilts but colorful and fun quilts with fabrics from designers such as Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, and Valori Wells.
Try to keep myself accountable to fitness goals, to try to become a more active person. I’ve never been much of “a sporty type of girl” yet my husband is an athlete and he is ever trying to get me to be more physically active.
Another accountability area – staying on track with my plan to work my way through Martha Stewarts “Cooking School” via an independent study through her new cookbook. I love to buy cookbooks, we have run out of room for them all, yet cooking intimidates me. It’s funny because friends and co-workers may think I’m a good cook yet I rarely cook - I find it stressful and exhausting. I’m the type that reads the recipe over and over again as I cook because I feel insecure about the whole thing. My goal is to become more confident and make at least one new dish a week. My husband does most of the cooking (one of his best qualities) yet he enjoys it when he can have a night off as well.

Anyway, enough of all that. I think what I’m trying to say is that I want this blog to be a Collage of the many different areas in my life. Awhile back a co-worker friend house-sat for me at my little cottage. This was before I was married and I had lots of “Karen” things all over the tiny place. She wrote this poem at the conclusion of her stay:

Collocated Collages

She offered me shelter
Within her home
Within her art
And everywhere I looked
There was color
And everywhere I saw
There were flowers
And everywhere I went
There was heart

There were beaded wonders
Amid fine threads of lace
Collocated collages of love
And voluptuous Victorian nymphs
A constricted Japanese parasol, brown and dour
A blue-gowned curlylocks
Shocked by her own audacity
Cavorted beneath the armoire
She kissed him at the train depot
While he kissed her in front of the café

Dahlias dallied with the roses
That nestled near the nasturtium
That nested under the gardenias
None of them talked to the cacti
Far away on the front porch

But time fled
I left
The color
The art
The flowers

But not the heart
For it resides within.

Sue Armstrong

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year, A New Adventure

Starting a blog, are you kidding? What on earth would I say? What would I share? Would it be an avenue to explore dreams and attempt to define them, to grow them? Would it be something to challenge me to see the beauty in the simple things and to share what I find beautiful with others? Will it be a way to journal some of the happenings in the life that I'm living? A new year, a new adventure . . . I wonder how it will all turn out.