Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Recipes

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite recipes from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook.  I like to make this when the snow has melted and spring is on it's way.  It always gets me in the mood for Easter.  Maybe it's the asparagus?  Risotto does take a little extra time, but it's worth it.  Enjoy!

Spring Green Risotto

Spring Green Risotto


1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2
1 cup chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 pound thin asparagus
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1½ cups shelled fresh peas
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1½-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside off the heat for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese. 

Have a blessed day,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking for Spring

I decided to venture outside today and inspect the gardens for signs of spring.  I wasn't feeling very hopeful, one look at my climbing rose and fall Clemantis just about sent me back inside to the sewing machine.  I heard a whisper, "look closer to the ground."

Oh yes, through the dead leaves and decomposing garden waste lay the ever sturdy Day Lily.  I can always count on the Day Lily to reach out first.

And there is my friend, the Poppy.  One of the first plants to show foliage but one of the later ones to bloom in the spring.

I was so thrilled to see the magical Foxglove showing some color.  This flower comes up all over the garden and I just leave it where it lands.  Nothings says fairy garden, doll tea party and conversations with the rabbits like Foxglove.

But wait, what's this?  With closer inspection I realize it's not a plant, animal waste or THE missing sock.  No, it's a bone.  Buried during the winter, saved for later.  Max has walked by it several times and could care less.  Of course, he prefers socks...

Have you seen any signs of spring?


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Scripture

"Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God,
with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever."

Psalm 86:11-12


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

Last night I saw "Alice in Wonderland" and I can't stop thinking about it today.  Was it bizzare? Yes.  Did I follow most of it?  No.  The special effects were amazing and the costumes were incredible.  Honestly, it was really strange.  My daughter commented on the way out that she heard that Lewis Caroll was on drugs when he wrote the book.  I don't know if that's true, but I can understand how one could make a case for it.

Today, I plan on watching the Disney version.  Not only will it enchant me, but will also remind me of when my children were little, and things were much simpler (for so many reasons).

If I get super motivated I might reread the book, which is really the best way to try to understand the story in the first place.  No movie can quite capture the pictures your imagination dreams up while reading a good story.

The real Alice of "Alice in Wonderland"

Have a wonderful Saturday!

With joy,

Friday, March 12, 2010

What was I thinking?

The rain started yesterday.  I love the sound of rain.  I'm so glad that my yard is getting a good washing.  Snow is very pretty when it's white and fluffy but after snow plows and decomposing leaves it's more like dirty slush.  Today, I thought I would take a good hard look at the longest unfinished quilt project on my list.  I want so badly to make this quilt for my bed, but honestly, the process is SO boring (there, I said it).  Strip after strip after strip of fabric sewn together.  I have to make 17 of these beauties (I made 16, last summer) and then cut them into 201 strip sets, just to be sewn back together again into 9 large blocks and borders.  What was I thinking?

I can almost hear you say to me, "You did this to yourself.  You picked this project because you saw this pattern in the June 2009 American Patchwork & Quilting and started dreaming of sleeping underneath such a creation."  Yes, I did.  Isn't it pretty?  But then, my fickle heart starts looking at "the others".

Oh yes, the free block of the month, the free patterns from blogs and websites, and the cutest bag pattern ever that Beverly sent me.  You know I'm not showing you the large container of quilt kits that give me that look whenever I walk into my sewing room.  So what's a girl to do?  I have a feeling you will tell me to tackle "Checkerboard Charm" because I will love it in the end.  I know I will too, because I always love, the most, the quilts that drive me absolutely nuts in the process. (sigh)


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thrifty Finds

I've been meaning to show you my fun finds on my thrifting adventure last week with my friends Sally and Diane.  We always manage to get into retail trouble together.  I'm always finding little things so I fool myself into thinking that I'm really not spending that much money and usually I'm not.  Teacups are a weakness of mine as well as whimsical birds.  I just love the vintage wrapping paper.

I'm going to be making some tiered serving pieces and I thought this pretty plate would make a great base.  I'll post pictures of these pieces when I get them finished.

My fondness for children's items continues to grow stronger daily.  I debated over a basket of junk I had to buy in order to get this doll-sized napkin holder.  In the end, it came home with me (as well as the junk).  I get tickled every time I look at the tiny pitcher and glasses.  I'm always picking up embroidered tea towels, they make me smile!

I was thrilled to find a piece of blue crinoline china to add to my collection.  Pretty hankies and robin's egg blue covered buttons were a fun find.

Always on the lookout for inexpensive vintage tablecloths, this one whispered spring to me.  Have a great Thursday doing something you love!

With joy,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Decorations

It has stayed in the mid 50's today.  I keep going outside and taking deep breaths of air.  I've got little green shoots coming up all over and while there is still patches of snow, I have that wonderful sense that spring is on it's way. Out from storage came the Easter tree, now spring has to come!

The bunnies are coming out of hibernation.  Most of them have these wonderful ruffled collars.  They want to dress their best for the season too!

My collection of scripture plates looks so good with the bunnies.  A constant reminder of the true reason for our Easter celebrations.

This dapperly dressed bunny is all set for a special get-together.  A fun find on one of my thrifting excursions.

This pretty hat birdhouse hangs above a shelf in my entry way.  I love dressing this shelf for all the different holidays and seasons.  I enjoy it every time I pass by.

A lone little bird taking a break from singing his song.  I hope all of you are having a good Wednesday and enjoying the start of spring!

Be Blessed,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dreaming of Spring

Today the sun is shining and it's 50 degrees.  Here in Michigan that calls for an all out happy dance!  I'm pulling out the Easter decorations later today but thought I would get inspired first by these images from Pottery Barn.

I love the colors of spring.  They make me want to quilt, especially with Brenda Riddle's fabric.  I have been loving on the Celebration line for awhile now.  She has a new line coming out that I'm so excited to see.  Stop by her blog for some inspiration.

Spring makes me think of new beginnings, our Savior's resurrection, and all things pretty.

Of course I have to throw in a few cupcakes for good measure!  Have a joyful day!

Smiling all the way,

Monday, March 8, 2010


Photo by Rosehip

I would like to share with you a fun project that I'm working on.  Cassie at You Go Girl is hosting a crochet-a-long.  We are learning how to make these gorgeous pillow cases.  The ones above are from Rosehip.

Photo by You Go Girl

Now before you decide that since you don't crochet or picked it up once and can barely make the slipknot, Cassie is taking us through this process step-by-step.  She said that it can be done and she lists some very good sources for help if needed.  Last week we had to gather our supplies and this week we will be making the pillowcase.  Want to join me in the fun?  How hard can it be if we work on it together?  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Sunshine and laughter,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Scripture

Photo by Victoria Magazine

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear.  Is not life more important
than food, and the body more important than
clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not
sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet
your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not
much more valuable than they?  Who of you by
worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Matthew 6:25-27

Blessed be the Name of the Lord,

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I was talking to a friend about one of my favorite magazines and she had not heard of it.  I thought I would mention it to all of you incase you hadn't heard of it either.  Life:beautiful is relatively new on the market and is published quarterly.

It holds everything I love in a magazine.  It has home decorating, fashion, cooking, crafts, book reviews, great photography, etc.  Much like other magazines except for one difference...

Everything is infused with scripture.  It brings God's Word into all those things we love to look at in a magazine and for me it's the best part.  The spring 2010 issue just arrived in my mailbox.  It has an adorable bunny topiary on the cover in a lush shade of spring green.  Make a visit to Barnes and Noble today, you won't be disappointed.  Have a fun Saturday!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Amy & Emersonmade

I had the most fun yesterday.  I met my best buddie, college roomie, in Ann Arbor for a much overdue visit.  Seeing Amy was the filling up that my spirit needed.  After much glee, hugs and laughter, she handed me this box, "I have something for you..."  I saw the label and was speechless.  She had seen my blog about Emersonmade.  I opened it to find this...

Oh my goodness!  Besides planning a an outfit around this, I will now be planning an outfit around this absolutely scrumptious clutch!

If you have yet to visit Emersonmade, you are missing out.  The flowers that she creates are stunning.  The uses for the flowers are endless.  The pictures are a story in themselves.

A visit to her website makes you want to cover every outfit with a flower.  The sizes and colors come in a large variety.

These are the newest flowers on the site.  What a great way to dress up a shoe!  A party for your feet!

This wedding bouquet would never wilt and could be passed down to your daughter for her wedding.

This is one of my favorites.  It requires being worn with attitude!  Wishing you a great start to your weekend...

Be blessed,