Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Daughter

Pamela Greer Photography

No food, no books, no wine, no garden today.  For the last day of May, I’m offering you a picture of my daughter.  Not just one but three!

Some of you may follow my business blog Pamela Greer Photography the Blog if so, you have already seen these photos.  But I know that there are a lot of you that don’t, and I thought you might like to see my sweetie.

She came home for the weekend for a wedding, and I had just add to get some pics of her and her boyfriend.  Don’t they make the cutest couple?? 

The is middle daughter.  I am so proud of her.  She is a nurse and is working on her Master’s. 

Tomorrow.  Back to food.  I promise.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Was it Wednesday?

Sidewalk Shoes

You’re looking at June 12, 2010.  I’m thinking some sort of Vietnamese or Thai salad.  Chicken, cabbage, carrots, and it looks like mint.  What do you think?

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Garden Tuesday ~The Berry Edition~

Sidewalk Shoes Blackberries

Sidewalk Shoes Blueberries

Sidewalk Shoes Blackberries

After filling my yard with flowers and an herb bed, I don’t really have room for a veggie garden.  Well, I do, but my husband for some odd reason, wants to keep some grass to mow!  But I did manage to squeeze in a few berry bushes in my flower beds.  Why not?  They flower.  They add some height, plus they give us food!  It’s a win/win.

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Sidewalk Shoes Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

I am a huge fan of roasting.  If I could, I would roast everything.  What is easier than tossing something in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, popping it in the oven and pulling it out later, meal complete?  As a matter of fact, my husband spent last week with his father (thank you all for the prayers), and he left with a smattering of recipes that I had bookmarked for him on the laptop.  All of them were roasting.  He had roasted salmon, roasted asparagus, roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted green beans.  So easy.  I showed him how to roast the chicken for so long, scoot it over and add the veggies for last 10 to 20 minutes of roasting.  One pan. 

So, yes, I adore roasting.  One thing I hadn’t roasted though was broccoli.  For some reason, it sounded odd to me.  I should have known better.  Roasted cauliflower sounded odd too, but now that is the only way I fix it.  So, in Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple IngredientsI found parmesan-roasted broccoli.

It was so good.  The broccoli was crisp tender and the lemony pine nut dressing added just the right amount of contrast to the strong broccoli flavor.  It was perfect.  I ate it cold the next day like a salad. 

If you don’t have the book (though believe me, you should), you can find it online:  Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli.

What is your favorite thing to roast?

This will be my entry for Cookbook Sundays

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Wine Reviews #109 Juice Banger

Sidewalk Shoes Juice Banger

Juice Banger, 2009, Tempranillo Garanacha, Spain, $7.99, Total Wine.  They say:  intense cherry and plum fruit, with a hint of savory spices.  We say:  light and fruity, a very nice summer red.  Buy again:  yes!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend Cat Blogging #363

Sidewalk Shoes Smudge

Where you’ll find Smudge in the summer.  On the screened in porch, relaxing on his wicker settee.

 

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Bengal Business.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bulgur and Chickpea Salad with Parsley Dressing

Sidewalk Shoes Bulgur and Chickpea Salad

I love things that serve multi-purposes.  The wine bottle that becomes a vase, the pair of curtains that becomes a skirt, the side dish that gives you your grains and your veggies and your legumes.

Seriously, this side dish is a huge multi tasker.  Want to eat more grains – got it.  Want to eat more beans – got it.  Love fresh veggies – got it.  I served this with some simple roasted chicken and fresh bread and it was perfect.  I even had it alone the next day for lunch, even more perfect.

I found this in Whole Grains Every Day, Every Waywhich has become my go to book for all things grainy.

Bulgur and Chickpea Salad with Parsley Dressing

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley leave
  • 2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt (I used full fat)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon harissa or a pinch of cayenne (optional)

Salad

  • 1 can (19 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked coarse bulgur
  • 1 1/2 cups diced, seeded cucumber
  • 1 cup diced radishes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

In a food processor or blender, blend the dressing ingredients.

In a large serving bowl combine the salad ingredients, toss with the dressing.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

This will be my entry for Legume Love Affair #47 - Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes is currently guest hosting MLLA #47.

And for

 

 

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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cooking with an iPad

Sidewalk Shoes iPad

See this?  This is how you’ll find me cooking a lot of the time now.  When I got my iPad, I didn’t even think about using it for cooking.  But then I saw that I can get a subscription to Donna Hay magazine on my iPad for a fraction of the cost to have it shipped here to the US. 

Then I realized that I didn’t have to print off recipes any more, I could just prop up my iPad on my counter and work with it right there on the screen.

You can’t tell from the photo, but Pandora is also running in the background, and I am “Walkin After Midnight” with Patsy Cline while I cook dinner.

Love it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Was it Wednesday?

Sidewalk Shoes What Was it Wednesday

You’re looking at May 23, 2010.  How cool is that…exactly 2 years ago.  What do you think?  I have no clue, other than I had some seriously nice looking caramelization going on there.

What do you think?

 

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Garden Tuesday ~Iris~

Sidewalk Shoes Iris

Aren’t irises beautiful?  Such lovely, old fashioned flowers.  They remind me of grandmothers and aunts and summer vacation. 

Sidewalk Shoes Iris

Speaking of summer vacation…mine starts today!!!!!  I promise to visit all your blogs regularly again, you have been all so sadly neglected with my teaching and my photography business, Pamela Greer Photography

Long time readers know that I usually declare something each summer.  There was The Summer of my Organizing, The Summer of My Herbs, The Summer of My Pickles, and The Summer of Cleaning Out My Garage.

So, what to do this year?  The garage still needs cleaning out.  I still have pickles to make.  Herbs to use.  And now, I have photography to learn, business to grow, marketing to plan.  How about “The Summer Where I Attempt to do Everything and Still Have Fun”?

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Everyday Salmon Salad

Sidewalk Shoes Salmon Salad

I call this my Everyday Salmon Salad.  Why?  Because it’s so easy you could make it everyday and it’s so good you could eat it everyday!

I mentioned before that I recently rediscovered my broiler after going from a gas oven to an electric oven.  I hated my gas broiler.  The only thing that broiled was anything in the center of the pan.  So while the center burned, the food on the outside of the pan didn’t cook enough.  Hated it.  But now, I totally love my electric broiler.  It’s fast, every thing broils evenly.

My favorite thing to broil?  Salmon.  Hands down.  I spray it with a little olive oil (love the Pampered Chef oil mister thingy), salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet and broil for 6 minutes.  Done.  Gorgeous and tasty. 

So, for this salad, while the salmon was broiling I grabbed some baby greens from the fridge, found some carrots and radishes, which I gave a quick whirl with the shredding disk on my food processor and put it in a bowl.  When the salmon was done, I flaked it into the bowl, tossed with a homemade vinaigrette, a little more salt and pepper, some fresh bread and that was dinner.  Dinner in less than 15 minutes. 

 

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

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Wine Reviews #108 Venetian Moon

Venetian Moon Pinot Grigio

Venetian Moon, Pinot Grigio, 2009, California, $6.99, Trader Joes.  They say:  medium bodied, well balanced.  Enticing aromas of fresh citrus, fruit and flowers with flavors of juicy grapefruit and spices.  We say:  citrus, hint of honey, light, refreshing.  Buy again:  yes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend Cat Blogging #362 HERE!!!

Cat

Smudge is back, almost fully recuperated from his latest tussle with some mean cat.  He is still walking with a limp, but he is on the mend.

He wants to welcome everyone to Weekend Cat Blogging here!!! 

 

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by US!!!

Link up below!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Honeydew and Prosciutto with Greens and Mint Vinaigrette

Honeydew and Prosciutto with Greens and Mint Vinaigrette

Last week, my sweet daughter took me out to dinner for my birthday and Mother’s day all kind of combined.  We went to our favorite Italian restaurant and I chose what I always choose, Chicken Florentine.  Chicken Florentine, light on the chicken and the Florentine, and heavy on the butter and cheese, just like I like it.  However after having half of it for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day, my body was screaming for something a little less.  A little less cheese.  A little less butter. 

So, I went searching for lightest salad I could find. 

Honeydew and prosciutto with greens and mint vinaigrette

I found Honeydew and Prosciutto with Greens and Mint Vinaigrette in The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Freshin the first course section.  Yes, it was supposed to be a first course, but it was just what I wanted.  I served this with a glass of wine and slice of fresh baked bread.  Heaven. 

Now, if you don’t have the book, (but you should SERIOUSLY), you can find the recipe online:  Honeydew and Prosciutto with Greens and Mint Vinaigrette

Make this.  Really.

 

 

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

AND

This will be my entry for Cookbook Sundays

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

I have to begin this review by admitting that I do not read “young adult” books very often.  As a matter of fact, I avoid them.  I watch 14 year olds and their drama every single day, I do not want to come home and read about more teenage angst.  But one evening, when I was desperately searching for a new book for my Kindle (yes, I panic when I don’t have a next book lined up), The Fault in Our Starsby John Green popped up.  I seriously hesitated, but it had such good reviews, I decided to wave my doubts.

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I loved this book from the very first page.  I don’t know what makes it “Young Adult” other than the fact that it is about teenagers.  The writing is outstanding.  The storyline sad, but presented with humor. 

The main character is Hazel.  Hazel is 16 and has terminal cancer.  While at a cancer support group, she meets Agustus Waters.  They fall in love.  Simple enough plot line, but made oh-so-incredible by the beauty of the writing.  I had to keep myself from highlighting practically every section.  The writing is stark, beautiful, humorous, sad. 

About the support group:

“This Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness.  Why did the cast rotate?  A side effect of dying.”

“So here’s how it went:  The six or seven or ten of us walked/wheeled in, grazed at a decrepit selection of cookies and lemonade, sat down in the Circle of Trust, and listened to Patrick recount for the thousandth time his depressingly miserable life story --- how he had cancer in his balls and they thought he was going to die but he didn’t die and how here he is, a full-grown adult in a church basement in the 137th nicest city in America, divorced, addicted to video games, mostly friendless, eking out a meager living by exploiting his cancertastic past, slowly working his way toward a master’s degree that will not improve his career prospects, waiting, as we all do, for the sword of Damocles to give him the relief that he escaped lo those many years ago when cancer took both of his nuts but spared what only the most generous soul would call his life.”

When they meet an author of book that Hazel loves:

“Given the entertainment bacchanalia at the disposal of young me and women of your generation, I am grateful to anyone anywhere who sets aside the hours necessary to read my little book.”

You can see, that in no way is the writing “dumbed down” for teenagers, on the contrary, these teenagers have a vocabulary I envy.  They are the teenagers we want to know:  bright, witty, charming, honest.

Wonderful. 

5/5

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Was it Wednesday?

You’re looking at May 22, 2010.  Looks like some sort of pilaf.  Pine nuts?  Dried Apricots?  Golden raisins?  Served with some delicious looking something in a naan bread.

 

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Tuesday ~ Missouri Primrose

Missouri Primrose

These delicate pink flowers bring back such memories for me.  When my girls were little, they were visiting a family a few houses up the street from us.  And by visiting, I mean they were playing on the street, and probably the mom offered them food.  They would visit anyone for food! 

But after a visit, they all came back with a handful of flowers clutched in their tiny, sweating hands.  They looked like they had been pulled up like weeds, roots dangling, flowers wilted.  They were so pleased, though, so I planted them, and figured that was then end of that.

Not so.  These things have taken over and flourished.  If my husband would let me get rid of the lawn, I would have a field of these.

So, enjoy the lovely pink flowers, and guess what????  It’s my birthday!!!  So have an extra good day just for me, okay!

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mediterranean Salmon Salad

Mediterranean Salmon Salad

I don’t know about you, but this warmer weather has me turning to salads.  Of course, part of this could be that last week was Teacher Appreciation Week.  We all know that the best way to make teachers feel appreciated is to feed them.  So, last Friday I had donuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch followed up with a coke ice cream float.  Yeah.  So, salads it is for the next few days…or weeks!

I have made this salad, Mediterranean Salmon Salad from Cooking Light before.  It’s a great one to have in your bag of tricks because it goes together ridiculously easy.  It’s light and good and the pasta gives it a little more substance than just a regular salad. 

My only change is that I broiled the salmon for 6 minutes not 10, and it might not have even needed all 6, it depends on the thickness of your salmon.  I also want to add that I am again reminded of the beauty of broiled fish.  After having a crappy broiler for years, I am totally loving my broiler.  I made another salad last night by tossing some baby spring greens with some carrots and radishes that I shredded in the food processor, a quick broiled salmon flaked on top, and a homemade vinaigrette.  Quick and tasty!

 

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

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Wine Reviews #107 House Wine

House Wiine

(You can tell the wines that I chose, can’t you?  Since my selection is purely by label alone).  House Wine, 2008, Magnificent Wine Company.  $8.99, Whole Foods.  They say:  a dry white made from Chardonnay.  We say:  fruity up front, a little vanilla, full mouthfeel.  Very  nice!  Buy again:  Yes!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mother’s out there!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekend Cat Blogging #361 and Saturday Pet Blog Hop

Coco

Yes, Coco has been hogging the cat blogging spotlight lately.  Smudge got in a cat fight and has been recovering slowly.  He is learning that 11 year old kitty cats don’t bounce back like they did when they are younger.  So, he is forced to spend his days on the screened in porch, a bit depressed.

And see all the stuff on the grass?  I don’t know what tree that comes from, but I am sooooo tired of it.  Apparently it was a banner year for producing this crap, because there is tons of it.  The cats come in with hanging off of them.  It’s everywhere.

 

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Mind of Mog.  Next week is here!!!

 

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

Friday, May 11, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

Is there anything more celebratory than the first grill of the season?  The promises of sun-drenched days, the rhythmic sound of the sprinklers running, the not-so-rhythmic sound of children playing. 

One of my very favorite grill recipe “formulas” is a grilled meat (or chicken or fish), served with a fresh salsa on top of rice.  It seems to work every time in all of it’s possible variations.

This version, Grilled Chicken with Mango-Pineapple Salsa comes from Cooking Light.  It was the perfect introduction to the grilling season.  Since you can find it easily by following the link above, I won’t bother retyping it here.  But really go check it out, if nothing else make the salsa. 

 

 

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lunchbots

Lunchbots

Do you watch the news?  Have you seen on Fox news that teachers are rich?  Millionaires actually.  And we only work seven hour days.  And according to some, kindergarten teachers need to get a real job. 

I’m not going to address all those issues.  Because what’s the point?  I am going to address one tiny point.  One tiny point that matters to me…lunch.

Lunchbots

Would you like to know how much time I get for lunch?  25 minutes.  And since part of that 25 minutes includes walking the students to the cafeteria and then picking them up when they are finished, it turns out that the students get 25 minutes, the teachers…more like 20.  So, yes, I take my lunch every day.  There is no going out to lunch, no walking outside in the fresh air for a break.  There is a 20 minute lunch in the teacher’s lounge.  And by lounge, I mean a windowless room filled with the constant sound of a copy machine running and bathrooms about 10 feet away from where you are eating. 

Lunchbots

To brighten up my 20 minutes and to keep from creating mounds of plastic wrap and baggies, I bought these cute stainless steel containers, called LunchBots   I know they are kind of pricey, but they will last forever.  Also, they aren’t good for things that get heated up in microwave, but what they are good for is things that normally go in a baggie – sandwiches, chips, fruit. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Was it Wednesday?

You’re looking at May 16, 2010.  Panzanella?  With spinach?  Maybe chicken or tuna? 

 

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Garden Tuesday ~ The Money Plant

Money Plant

This is called the money plant because those seed pods, when dried, resemble coins.  It spreads like make and we it in white and purple.  Mr. Sidewalkshoes pulls it up like it’s a weed.  But after reading some feng shui books, I have questioned this.  I mean it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that perhaps you should not be pulling up money plants and discarding them.

ALSO, happy birthday to Mr. Sidewalkshoes!!!  He is 4 years older than me, but for one short week in May, he is 5 years older than me.  I love this week.

Please join me for Garden Tuesday.