Friday, March 26, 2010

summer love

the love of my life--luckly my husband loves pesto too.

missionary ridge picnic

we put together a little after work picnic and rode our motorcycles ten miles or so up missionary ridge to a sunny spot with an amazing valley view. parked the bikes and unloaded blankets and food. we had summer vegitable gratin (layers of grilled tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and eggplant with cheese and herbed bechamel sauce.
chelsea made a salad filled with the fruit of her spectacular garden. we had to indulge in my drink of the summer--cucumber lime mint spritzers. next time i am adding a little gin to mine for a kick.

we soaked in the sunset and just as we were getting chilly we loaded up the bikes and headed back home. it was a perfect way to soak up the hours between work and bed. a way to break the cycle we get into of work bed work bed. my next summer resolution is to do this more often, i'd say everyday but i would lose. we can make that happen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects

Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects: "

 Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects

Located on the Oregon Coast, in Bluff Bandon, where Coquille River meets the ocean, this contemporary wooden residence comes from Johnston Architects and is our idea of a stylish retreat. The architecture plan features an “L”-shaped building which is open to both the river and ocean. The amazing natural surroundings were not left out and large windows allow unobstructed views. Enormous cypress trees guard the area and were brilliantly integrated in the building’s design. A cool wooden deck is also part of the architecture. The interior features a modern design enriched with rustic elements and spacious rooms with a fresh feel. What do you say? Does this place match your escape dream home?

Johnston Architects

dream retreat

escape home

amazing residence

Lounge of Wood Home Decoration by Johnston Architects Bluff  Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects

Dinningroom of Wood Home Decoration by Johnston Architects B Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects

Bedroom of Wood Home Decoration by Johnston Architects Bluff Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects

Main bedroom of Wood Home Decoration by Johnston Architects  Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects

garden Decoration by Johnston Architects  Contemporary Wooden Retreat by Johnston Architects


Saturday, March 20, 2010

#78170 - Warm Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard Toasted Walnuts Feta and Blood Orange

#78170 - Warm Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard Toasted Walnuts Feta and Blood Orange: "153616

Warm Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Toasted Walnuts, Feta, Blood Orange, and Tarragon - a delicious one dish meal!

craving more? check out TasteSpotting


Thursday, November 5, 2009

bourbon pecan pie

My sister just requested my bourbon pecan pie recipe. It inspired me to update my blog and day dream about cooking great food. She wanted to add a little southern flare to a thanksgiving celebration this weekend. I will see if I can bribe her into taking a picture for the blog.

This is the bourbon pecan pie I made for christmas when my whole family was out here in 2007. If you want to make it super easy on yourself you can buy the pastry already put together--then assembling and baking is easy. But making pie pastry is really easy--just remember to have all of the ingredients cold. Having cold ingredients is the key to great pastry.

pie pastry:

1 c all purpose flour plus more for dusting

1/4 c finely ground pecans

1 T sugar

pinch salt

1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter cold and cut into small chunks

2 T ice water plus more as needed.


1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

3 large eggs

1 c sugar

3/4 c dark corn syrup or sugar cane syrup

1/2 t pure vanilla extract

3 T bourbon

1/4 t sale

1 1/2 c pecan halves

To make pastry: combine the flour, ground pecans, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. add the butter and mix with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (i sometimes use the food processor) Pour in the ice water and work it in to bind the dough until it just holds together without being too wet or sticky. squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly add a little more ice water 1 T at a time. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 min.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12" circle.(Try using two sheets of wax paper and roll the dough between. Peel the top layer and use the bottom layer to flip the dough into the pie plate) Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 9" pie pan. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly and trim the excess around the rim. Place the pie pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easy to move in and out of the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling: melt the butter and chocolate in a small sauce pan over medium low heat, remove from heat and let cool. beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy and then blend in the sugar. Stir in the syrup, vanilla, bourbon, salt and the melted butter mixture until well blended.

Arrange the pecans in the bottom of the pie crust and carefully pour the egg mixture over them. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed--about 45 min. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie. if it comes out fairly clean you are good to go. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely before cutting.

I always add another few tbs of bourbon once the pie is slightly cooled. The other alcohol cooked off and this gives the pie a little kick...otherwise you can also make bourbon whipped cream by adding bourbon to the whipping cream as you beat it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

mason jar candle lanterns

so i grew up on a blueberry and honey bee farm tucked in a sweet little hollow in the ozark hills. arkansas was and is HOT, but when you turn off the paved road onto the soft smooth dirt and coast down the hill past the ancient oaks the temperature drops ten degrees. as a child i only lived in cris hollow for my first 4 years. i returned as an adult living in the converted barn with my eventual husband for 5 years. the combination of vivid memories from my early childhood and those that i created as a young adult tie me deeply to that hollow. and though i have moved 900 miles away my roots are there...the tiny little white roots that you look at and wonder how they create life--tomatoes and basil. on my last visit to arkansas i had to visit the farm and just take in a deep breath--tickle my roots a little. evan and i crawled into one of the old crumbling barns in search of treasure. amongst layers of brown leaves and boxes were stacks and stacks of mason jars--once the stock for my fathers honey venture. i found a number of gallon sized jars and had to bring them back to colorado. as a child my mother kept all of her grains and dried beans in these large mason jars. i remember the colors and textures open on the shelves like specimen in a museum. and art museum for me. with a little reluctance from evan (he knows too well my collections and unfinished projects) we loaded the jars into our little car and headed west. in the spirit of proving myself wrong--i finished this project. suspending votive candles in the mason jars as simple lanterns. we had a good bye summer dinner outside and decorated the table with flickering light. everytime i look at these jar lanterns i think of my mother and that feeling of dropping into the valley and feeling the repressive heat of summer lift and the coolness of cris hollow take over.

summers end dinner

as the sun gets a little lower in the sky and we can feel fall creeping in i gathered a few of my favorite people and celebrated summers end with a feast. We had lemon and herb roasted chicken, pine nut studded rice, sweet potato biscuits, fried okra...topped off with cucumber mint spritzers and ended with watermelon granita. mmmmm. summer in a meal.