Sunday, February 28, 2010

...a prelude to spring.

What a beautiful day! The sun was shining, a few billowy white clouds graced the sky, and birds were singing a sigh of relief to have a much needed break from the rain. This is the best kind of day to be out in the garden. The air is sweet with the promise of spring and the ground, soft from days of rain, makes the usual chore of pulling weeds almost a pleasure! Once cleared away, long forgotten shoots of soon to be spring flowers, reached for the sun, thankful for the chance to breath. I took a break just long enough to take a look around the yard and capture a few glances of the season to come. The rain is returning this week and the garden gloves will have to return to bin they live in, but today was a wonderful prelude to what is blooming just around the corner.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

..the No Guilt (Cook) book club does "The Fig".

Hard to believe a month has gone by since we sat down and indulged with Miss Julie Child, but here we are sitting down to another afternoon of "please pass the cream and butter". This month was my pick, and I choose Sondra Bernsteins' labor of love...The Girl and the Fig. I was asked why this particular cookbook? The answer was simple... ever since a dear friend introduced me to Sondra's Sonoma restaurant of the same name, I was hooked. I had first tried her Pearl Couscous and French Olives at the Annual Sonoma Olive Festival, and as I do with all dishes that I love, I tried to figure out how to recreate it at home. On a whim I sent off an email asking if she would divulge her recipe(pre-cookbook). Never expecting to hear back, what a surprise it was the next day to find it in my inbox. What graciousness! I have since, over the years, spent many a special occasion in this gem of a wine country bistro, have never been disappointed, and have re-created at home some of my favorites from the pages of her cookbook with a gastronomic passion.
It is with that passion that we all sat down to:

Cauliflower & Gruyere Soup

Endive Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Grilled Salmon with Lavender Beurre Rouge

Apple-Yam Gratin (I'm eating the leftovers as I type this)
Vanilla Ice Cream with Wildflower Honey and Biscotti

We managed, once again to create an amazing afternoon feast with little consultation. It really is a wonderful way to try new dishes and compare notes. We left the table filled with butter, cream, and wine, promising in the spring to break bread at the actual the girl and the Fig restaurant.
I love field trips!
Next month we will be stirring our way through the pages of the Barefoot I see a trip to the Hamptons in store?

Monday, February 15, 2010

... the OWOH winner.

First a huge thank you to all who stopped by and left such lovely comments. The response was overwhelming and I tried to visit all of you and journey through your blogs. It is truly amazing the talent and inspiration alive in "Blogland".
The winner of my Thank You note card set is...
Chris from Maple Ridge Vintage.
Congratulations, Chris!
Once I receive your address your cards will be on their way.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

...raindrops on roses.

Today is a rain day. A day to be at home, drink tea, be creative, stay in your PJ's and wistfully wish for spring. The sun peeks out every so often, but not enough to motivate me to get out into the rush of the weekend. I am trying to immerse myself in the concept of cleaning. The phrase "get organized" keeps popping up in some far off corner of my brain, but I continue to ignore it, and instead I'm traveling through past photos and waiting for the creative juices to flow.
I share with you these images of rain on petals, as a reminder of what glorious color is just around the corner as a result of a few simple rain days.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

...Lexie's Birthday.

Today is Miss Lexie's birthday! She is 6 years old and has been with me since she was 3. I'm sure she woke up this morning with no idea that this was her special day. For her it's just another day in the cycle of "feed me... play with me... feed me some more... throw the ball... can I have another biscuit... love me... play with me, and feed me some more!! Her day will be filled, as usual, with all that she loves and enjoys, for our pets live in the moment (or so they say), which is probably something we should all try and practice in our own lives. For me, this day marks another wonderful year with her by my side. In the scheme of life, it is cruelly unfair that our pets live such short lives. Having lost my first dog, Tyler and the early age of 9, it reinforces to me how precious each day is with our furry friends. There is a poem on my bulletin board that says it all:

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Anonymous

So whether or not today is your pets special day, take the time to give them an extra kiss, hug, pat, biscuit or that special place on the sofa. You will be rewarded for that love ten times over.


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