Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #308 and Saturday Pet Blog Hop

Smudge and Coco

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it is almost impossible to get photos of my cats together.  This is the best I can do. Smudge feels the focus is just right.

I want to thank everyone for all your well wishes these past couple of days. I consider myself blessed to call you all friends.



This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Samantha, Clementine & Maverick.

This will be my entry for The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Counting my blessings Day Two.

I still have no internet or cable.

I am unable to visit your blogs, so I would appreciate it if you wouldn't post anything too wonderful. (I'm posting this with my current most prized possession, my Droid X ).

No school again today, which means I have 17 IEP meetings to reschedule. And they have to be rewritten because they are date driven and the date of the meeting occurs a zillion places on them.

Because I have no cable or internet, I have been unable to see any videos of the destruction, but yesterday on Facebook I posted a picture of a piece of paper that fell out of the sky during one of the storms. It was from a debris ball that had travelled over 113 miles to land at my house.

The only pieces of my life I have to put back together are a few meetings and waiting for my cable to be fixed. There are people who've lost pieces of their lives that they'll never find again.

Still counting my blessings.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Counting my blessings.

No recipe today.

After dealing with 12 hours of tornadoes yesterday (first warning at 9am - last warning ending at 10:30pm), I am tired.

I have to reschedule 11 parent special ed meetings, which will be a nightmare. But it is nothing compared to the loss of lives and property surrounding me.

So, I will spend my day counting my blessings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Was it Wednesday?


You’re looking at May 20, 2009.  Kale in a cookie sheet. 

Roasted until crispy. 

So, this really isn’t a traditional What Was it Wednesday, since there  is no doubt what this was.  But I don’t remember oven temp, or how long, or anything of the instead of being a WHAT?  it’s a HOW?

***What Was it Wednesday – my attempt to work my way through my backlog of cooking photos.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garden Tuesday

Fig Tree

Yay!  My fig tree survived it’s first winter at the Sidewalk Shoes garden.  Will I have figs?  I have no idea. 

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Belgium Brewing Company Braised Onions!

New Belgium Brewing Company 1554 Braised Onions

I have a confession.  See the logo on the side of this post?  The one that says I am a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher?  I have no idea what that means.  Really.  I don’t know how to post to Foodbuzz or even if I’m supposed to post to Foodbuzz.  I guess, it sort of does it automatically because I have some posts there, but instead of a food picture, it just has my teapot, so apparently I’m doing something majorly wrong.

New Belgium Brewing Company Beers

What I do know, is that every so often, I get the opportunity to try a product and review it, or write or recipe or do something with it.  When I saw the opportunity to use some beer from the New Belgium Brewing Company, I was all over it.  Beer.  Yes, please. 

New Belgium Brewing

So, the email said that I could make up a recipe using the beer, or I could do a pairing.  Being slightly overachieving, I decided to do both.  But also, being true to my if-it-ain’t-simple-I-ain’t-making-it vibe I have going on, my recipe has 5 ingredients and two of them are salt and pepper! And my pairing…beer and pizza…I know…a baby could have come up with that one.  Whatever.

New Belgium Sunshine Wheat

Beer Braised Onions

Heat the two tablespoons of butter in a skillet (a old cast iron one is perfect) over medium high heat, until just starting to brown.  Add onions and saute for about 10 minutes until softened.  Stir in one cup of dark beer (drink the rest, you deserve it after all this hard work).  Turn heat to a medium simmer.  Cook until most of the beer has evaporated, it was about 35 minutes for me.  Serve on top of burgers, with a 1554 alongside. 

Serves 2

Now, one of the things it said in the email was that if you had your recipe posted before April 28th, you might have a chance to have your recipe posted on the New Belgium Brewing Company’s Facebook page.  Not that I think my onions are worthy, or anything, but if someone could tell me how to actually post my recipe to Foodbuzz, I would be eternally grateful!

***Edited to add the disclaimer that that Foodbuzz provided money for the beer, and the pizza, and the onions!! But they didn't pay me to say it was good. That's my very own, personal opinion. (I really should copy their disclaimer, shouldn't I, it sounds a tad bit more professional).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!


I wish you lots of love and family time and a good, solid chocolate bunny!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #307 and Saturday Pet Blog Hop


Smudge.  He’s a little perturbed.  After being rolled upon, mauled, eaten, shredded and much loved, the catnip finally died last year.  Smudge is sitting in the herb bed, right where it is supposed to be popping up it’s bright green spring shoots.  I haven’t had a chance to plant a new batch yet.  I think I’d better get busy.



This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Jules and Vincent at Judi’s Mind Over Matter .

AND  for The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mellow Mushroom Sunday


Most of you know that I have a photo blog.  I like to take pictures.  Some of them are good and some of them are not so good.  Like many things in life, the joy is in the process not necessarily the end product, or at least that’s what I like to tell myself.

So, sometimes, we go on photo walks.  Sometimes, the photo walks occur during a meal time, and we are simply, just forced to stop somewhere and eat.  Forced, I tell you.  That’s what happened last weekend, when we found ourselves wandering around downtown Chattanooga at lunch time on a Sunday.  We happened to be walking right by Mellow Mushroom, and they had open tables outside, and it was a glorious spring day, and the rest is history.

My husband had the Tempeh hoagie pictured above.    I had a few bites of it, it had some sort of tapenade that really made it flavorful.


I got some sort of club, I don’t remember what it was called exactly, I didn’t read any further than bacon.  I have to say, even with bacon, it was disappointing.  It was all moistened with just a smidge of mayo on the hoagie.  So, basically it was undressed lettuce, tomatoes, lunchmeat and bacon on bread.  It would have benefitted from some sort of vinaigrette or something to give it some flavor.



This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Snacks for a hard job.

You know that hard job, that I have to do every Sunday afternoon at around 4:00pm? 

You know the one that involves me drinking some wine and taking some notes? 

Well, certainly you didn’t think I could do that without some sustenance.  A little something to keep the energy up while I worked. 


Food for a hard job:  some cheese, some sausage, a few olives and a couple of crackers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Was it Wednesday?


You’re looking at May 19, 2009.  Hmmm..??

I bet this helps!  Yep.  Some sort of enchiladas, I presume.

****What Was it Wednesday – my attempt to work my way through my backlog of cooking photos.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garden Tuesday–Wildflowers?

One year, my neighbor scattered a large envelope of wildflower seeds over a bed in his yard. 

It turns out, they like our yard better.  Or at least, this cute little purple flower does.  It likes it a lot.

Here it is behind the irises sent to me from the lovely Jain at Once In a Blue Moon!

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

HomeGoods my BFF

With one of my most prized possessions, my Droid X, clutched in my hand, I hovered by the front door.  Waiting.  Waiting for my husband to come home so I could show him my latest, greatest, most amazing, awesomeness. 

What could trigger such unbridled enthusiasm? 

This email:

HomeGoods (@HomeGoods) is now following your tweets (@sidewalkshoes) on Twitter.

HomeGoods followed you using HootSuite. HomeGoods@HomeGoods United States

Bio Follow us to hear about our newest finds, from cookie sheets to leopard print sheets, at prices you'll love! 8163275,923 tweets

You follow 2 users who follow @HomeGoods:

You and @HomeGoods have a follow in common:

That’s right.  HomeGoods is following me on Twitter!!!! 

And do you see that last line?  Homegoods is also following Martha Stewart.  HomeGoods is following me and Martha Stewart…and well ….. several hundred other people, but still….Homegoods is following me and Martha Stewart! 

So, if in the future you see me posting pics of some of my Homegoods finds, you know it’s just me sharing the love with my new BFF. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Wine Reviews #57

Pacific Rim Riesling

Pacific Rim, 2009 Riesling, Columbia Valley. $8.77.  They say:  portraying bright crispness, subtle sweetness, and aromas of jasmine, pear, and apple.  We say:  we agree with everything they said!!  Buy again:  definitely!!! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #306 Here!! Link Up!!







Patchouli, Coco, and Smudge want to say Happy Saturday!  and to join them in Weekend Cat Blogging here!! 



This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Me, Patchouli, Coco, and Smudge.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Cranberry Sorbet

Pomegranate Cranberry Sorbet

When the people at Pom Wonderful contacted me about trying their new Pomegranate Cranberry juice, I was more than a little happy.  I adore pomegranate juice AND I adore cranberry juice, so putting them together in one makes me very happy.

Pomegranate Cranberry Juice

I immediately knew I wanted to try a sorbet.  I knew this, because.. I was feeling really cruddy…anyone ever have a salivary gland infection?  Anyone?  Well, it’s not fun, half my face was looking like The Elephant Man, and if you don’t remember The Elephant Man, then you are probably, like the majority of the population, way younger than me.  (And,  my apologies to the Pom Wonderful people, I’m sure you didn’t expect a discussion on a salivary gland infection in your review). 

So, anyway, I have these cute little bottles of Pomegranate Cranberry Juice, which I pour in a blender.  Then I add one cup of orange juice.  Then, I grab the boozy cranberries (about a cup) stashed in the freezer, from my cranberry liqueur, so I toss them in there too.  Give it a quick whirl.  I don’t even bother making a simple syrup, and it’s all good and cold, so into the ice cream maker it goes.   Out comes this sweet, tart sorbet.  It’s more like a snow cone, or what is it called when you freeze it in a container and you rake your fork across it, leaving a pile of frozen granules?

Cranberry Pomegranate Sorbet

I also made it because my photography challenge for the week was “How do other’s see you?”  I had no idea where to go with this.  Then, I thought..hey about a pomegranate cranberry sorbet made with boozy cranberries– a little sweet, a little tart, a little cold, melts in  hot weather, and may have recently consumed alcohol…I think that sums me up, don’t you?   



This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

**disclaimer…I received this Pomegranate Cranberry Juice free to try.  I did not receive any compensation for this review, other then the lovely juice.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Chicken Pesto Pasta

I’d like to pause for a moment, during my busy week, and thank my freezer.  Thank you, freezer,  for allowing me to keep last summer alive.  For allowing me to have the the summer fresh taste of basil in April, before I’ve even gone to the garden center and purchased my first basil plants of the season.  Thank you.  Oh, and thank you for all the frozen yogurts, and sorbets, and ice creams that I will joyfully pull from your shelves.  Thank you.

Remember the basil pesto that I froze in jars labeled “Basil Pesto for 1 pound of Pasta”?  Well, I had one jar left; I also had the breast meat from a rotisserie chicken.   I spooned the basil into a large bowl, added the shredded chicken and topped it with drained, cooked pasta.  The pasta was still hot, and I just used that to warm up the basil and the chicken.  One pot, one bowl, one happy eater.


This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Sweet Artichoke .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Was it Wednesday?

Something good!

You’re looking at May 17, 2009.  Frozen.  Obviously.  Chocolate?  Coffee?  Whatever, it makes me realize that it’s about time to bring out the old ice cream maker. 

**What Was it Wednesday – my attempt to work my way through my backlog of cooking photos.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden Tuesday–Sedum


Do you need a relentless ground cover?  A ground cover that marches over huge sections of your yard, subduing everything in it’s path.


That can work it’s way between rocks and crevices, and even kitty cats if they sit still for too long.  Then go Google sedum.  All of this, the seemingly endless miles of it, came from a small handful I pilfered at an estate sale.  Best pilfering I have ever done.

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hot and Sour Chicken Noodle Soup

Hot and Sour Chicken Noodle Soup

I know it’s spring.  But just because it’s spring, that doesn’t mean I give up my cravings for soup.  Because really, is there anything more perfect than a lovely bowl of soup?  Everything you want, right there in a bowl. 

Cute Home Goods bowls

And if it’s in a lovely bowl, even better.  See these?  These are my pretty new bowls from HomeGoods.  HomeGoods.  My most favorite store on the planet.  And yes, the design is a little smudged on one of them, which is really funny.  Why is it funny?  Because I stood there at the shelf, with my husband’s help, picking and choosing and putting back the ones that weren’t perfect, and somehow I still brought home a smudged one.  We are pathetic. 

This recipe comes from my Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004 (my all time favorite Cooking Light Annual), but you can also find it online, Hot-and-Sour Chicken Noodle Soup.  I am giving you the instructions from the original recipe, however, I used 2 chicken carcasses and did mine in the slow cooker.

Hot-and-Sour Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1/4 pound wide rice stick noodles (bánh pho)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon green curry paste
  • 2 (15.75-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled straw mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 2 cups of water and the next 9 ingredients (water through bamboo shoots). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into soup. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken; cook 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Divide noodles and soup amongst 6 bowls (it only served 4 for us) and top with fresh minced cilantro.


This will be my entry for Souper Sundays (Soup, Salad, or Sammie) hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

D’Aquino Pinot Grigio for Weekend Wine Reviews #56

D'Aquino Garganega Pinot Grigio

Guess who bought a bottle of wine for the sole reason that it came in a huge blue bottle?

D’Aquino Garganega Pinot Grigio, 2009, Italy, $9.99.  They say:  full dry flavor and pleasingly bitter aftertaste.  We say:  not bad, considering it was bought for the bottle alone.  Buy again:  Yes, because I want two of these bottles, plus it’s a pleasant wine!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #305 and Saturday Pet Blog Hop!


Coco hopes you take time to smell the roses…or um…tulips.


This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Amar and Luna at CatSynth

AND for The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Honey and Soy Pork Cutlets with Asian Slaw

Honey and Soy Pork Cutlet with Asian Slaw

So, guess who basically was pretty lazy in planning their menu this week?  Yep, me.  This recipe comes from the same Donna Hay magazine I posted yesterday’s recipe from.  So, I’m not going to retype in all the links, if you didn’t read yesterday’s post (and my goodness if you didn’t go back now, because it was amazing) (not the post, the recipe) (I would never, ever say that my writing was amazing) (if there is one thing I am, it’s realistic) (by the way, is it legal to put this many parenthetical thoughts together?)

Anyway, here is my second Donna Hay for the week.  And, in case you think I am some Donna Hay robot, who can only say good things, I want you to know that I thought the pork chops were just okay.  It had too much soy sauce flavor for me, but the slaw was great and worthy of sharing.

Honey and Soy Pork Cutlets with Asian Slaw

  • 4 pork cutlets (I used chops)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 150g (about 5 oz) shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly shredded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 25g ginger, finely grated (which is .8 oz, I just used about a tablespoon)

Place the pork, honey and 1/2 cup of the soy sauce in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to marinate.  Mix the cabbage, carrot, green onion, and cilantro in a bowl and set aside.  Whisk the remaining soy, vinegar, sugar and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the pork, reserving the marinade, for 2 minutes each side until golden.  Add the marinade to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.  Add the dressing to cole slaw and toss.  Serve the pork with the cole slaw.

Serves 4. 



This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

**** edited because I forgot cabbage!!!!