Saturday, May 31, 2014


One of my favorite flowers is the Peony.  There is something about them that reminds me of a summer wedding.  When and if my girls ever get married, I am going to ask them to carry Peonies in their bouquets.  I picked these peonies from my garden that is in full bloom, I planted a whole row of them last year and they are beauties!  They are varied in color and have full big heads on them, I picked the right spot to plant them, they love the soil. When they started to bloom I ran a string across the front of them and staked it on either end to hold them up, the heads get very heavy because the flower is so dense with petals.  They don't really smell good, but you don't smell them unless you stick your nose inside the center.

Fuchsia and pink are two of the colors I have.  I also have a very pale pink, a white, and a striped peony too!
 This is my favorite one, it's like getting a surprise when it opens, big pink petals on the outside and white small petals on the inside.
 So pretty!

Friday, May 30, 2014

I am Painting, Again!

OMG I hate to paint!  It's so time consuming, tiring and then I ache all over when I am done.  But it has to be done, so I have to suck it up and march on.  The smaller rooms in my house I paint myself, the larger rooms I hire my local friend and painter to do them.  With some 18 foot ceilings downstairs, I am not about to get on a ladder and paint, all the other rooms upstairs have 9 foot ceilings so it's not too bad.  The prep work makes me crazy, patching, sanding, smoothing out surfaces, but it always does look very nice when all of it is done and the room is put back together.

I am painting my youngest son's room, I patched all the holes and sanded them.
Then I started the ceiling, I had just about a whole gallon of paint, so I thought that would be enough, it wasn't.  So off to Home Depot I went with the name and number of the paint.  When I got there, I realized I forgot to take a picture of the can so I knew what Behr paint and what finish it was.  So I called my son and asked him what the can looked like.   
 He sent me the wrong information (from another can), and this is what happens when you don't do things yourself......The paint I had leftover was Behr Premium Plus Ceiling paint and the color is Popped Corn.  My paint can had  #5558 as the color.  The can at the store was #558, but it was Behr Premium Plus Ultra Ceiling paint.  Totally different finish as you can see by the picture of the ceiling.   Of course you don't see this as you are painting, only after it dries and everything is washed!  So back to Home Depot I went to get the right can of paint.  I only needed a quart, and with my luck they only sell it in gallon size!  So after all the mistakes and money, about $40 buying both cans of paint and two trips to the store, I am finally getting the room done after a whole day wasted.

The trim done and the first coat on.  The color is Sandstone Cove, very pretty, light color, there is a splatter of it on the bottom left of the lid.  I have to do two coats of paint, although this paint has primer in it!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Place for Everything And Everything In It's Place

Back to reality, cleaning all the mess up after painting the kitchen.  My sister helped me hang new curtain rods and the shelf above the kitchen sink.  I started putting things back together, a place for everything and everything in it's place, but still have a lot to do.  With everything freshly painted, I want to be sure where I want all my new things hung, before putting new holes in the walls.  I don't want a million holes that have to be patched up again!

The kitchen sink cleaned and waiting for curtains to be hung.
Decorated the shelf above the sink.  
The new spot for the coffee bar.
New pictures and the old clock, hung these next to the coffee bar.
Patina metal pitcher full of flowers, black and gold metal Southern Living tray, patchwork rooster and wood family sign on the table, and the counter all cleaned off.  I don't like alot of things on the counters, they are so pretty and I don't like to hide them.
New rod over the windows waiting for curtains to be hung.  This is my cookbook cabinet, although I have outgrown it, I am a sucker for a cookbook!  I have three black framed pictures to be hung over this cabinet.
Cleaned the glass doors and all the pieces inside the cabinets.
 And I redecorated the mantel today too - candlesticks, bunch of branches tied with burlap, antique mirror, large letter C, family photo, small picture, sphere, books, metal urn full of pussy willows and feathers, large decorative finial, and on the hearth, tall hand carved wood candlesticks with conical bushes, previously on the dining room table.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pizza On The Grill

This is something new I tried this year on the grill, pizza!  It was alot easier than I thought is was going to be.  With a few store bought items, I didn't want to go through the process of making my own dough and sauce if it didn't work out as I had planned.  But to my surprise, they were great, enjoyed by all and will be on the menu again soon with homemade dough and sauce.  This is how I made them.

I cut my whole wheat dough into four equal pieces.  Then rolled them out on a floured board and got them on the grill. I didn't oil the grill, and they didn't stick, lucky me!  After you get them all on, top with your sauce.
Start layering on  your toppings.  My son the pescetarian, wanted baby kale, red pepper and Vidalia onion.  I caramelized the peppers and onions in olive oil and then added the kale in the last few minutes of cooking.
 His pizza is topped....
 And so were ours, the rest of us had Margherita pizzas, with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil from the garden.  I used all the burners on my grill turned on low heat, and closed the lid.  I let the pizzas cook for about thirty minutes, depending on your grill.  Check on them frequently so they do not burn.
 My only tip - put the basil on the pizza at the very end so it doesn't dry out.  Very good pizza, and it was really easy to do.  The crust was crispy, not tough, and tasted like pizza you get from a pizza oven.  Try it, you'll like it!

The Margherita Pizza
 The Veggie Pizza

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Purple Babies

Well I am back!  I was cleaning the whole house after my new paint job in the kitchen, redecorating, and moving furniture around.  That is how I spent my Memorial Day weekend.  The downstairs is finally done, and now I will be working on the upstairs.  My son's room is getting painted today, and when my daughter goes overseas for the year for school, her bedroom and bath will be painted.  It will probably take me that long to get it done, I am not as young as I use to be. 

So now I am back to my old ways, cooking dinner every night.  It's summertime, all meals will be cooked outside, weather permitting.  I made these savory potato packets the other night for the grill.  And who ever thought we would be able to buy purple potatoes at the market?  The texture of these "purple babies" as I call them, is so smooth and flavorful.  

I used the steamable in the bag purple potatoes.  Tear off squares of foil, I made four packets. Cut the potatoes in quarters (I only used 1/2 the bag), divide potatoes onto each piece of foil.  Peel a Vidalia onion and cut in half, then slice thickly and divide on top of the potato packets.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp of minced garlic (the jar kind is fine) drizzle with olive oil, top with a few springs of fresh thyme.  You could also use rosemary if you like.
 Fold them up tightly, onto the grill for 25 minutes and you have yourself some fantastic tasting "purple babies"!  Turn the potatoes as they are grilling.  Be careful opening the potatoes, they will be hot and steamy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lobster Tails On The Grill

I hit a great sale at my favorite grocery store over the weekend.  Four, 5 ounce each, lobster tails for $35, what a great price! Could not wait to eat those babies.  But how would I cook them?  There are so many ways, steam them, broil them, grill them.  I chose to grill them., the sun was shining, so what a better way to spend outside than grilling. It was easy, barely any prep time at all, and they were fabulous!  This is how I made them.

My lobster tails.
 Flip the lobster tails on their backs, use a large sharp knife, center it down the middle, with a little pressure applied on the knife it will crack the top of the shell.  It does not have to cut through the belly, unless you want them cut in half.  Be careful the knife does not slip.  Turn the tails right side up, loosen the meat a little with your fingers but don't pull it out, clean out any dirty veins and discard them, rinse off the tails and pat them dry.
 I used metal skewers, ran them right up the middle of the tail, threading the meat through so they stayed flat while cooking on the grill.  I brushed them with basting oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  My kids love that rice-a-roni in the back, I don't know why but they do.  I used one stick of butter to make clarified butter in a saucepan for dipping. Keep it on simmer so it doesn't burn. When melted, skim the white foam off the top.
 Onto the grill.  Heat the grill on high, place top side down, cook for about 15 minutes on one side then 15 minutes on the belly, or until meat is white and not transparent, this depends on the size of your tails.  It should be 145 degrees inside the thickest part of the tail on a meat thermometer.
 Wow look at these!  Beautiful and tender, can't wait to dip them in that butter.
 See how easy that was, a summer dinner good enough for guests and very little work involved.
 The color is fantastic.  Yummy!  They were so good.