Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The sky tonight was quite a sight! Full of beautiful reds and pinks.
I remember when I was a little girl, I was with my favorite Aunt and she told me that the Angels would bring out their paints and sometimes paint the sky beautiful colors for us.

I also remember, my mom saying "Red skies at nights is a sailors delight". As a kid, I had no idea what that meant and she told me, that if the sky was red at night it meant that the next day was going to clear and warm out and perfect for sailors that were out out sailing.

I had a hard time getting these pictures because I was in awe of what beauty I was witnessing.

The evening skies during Spring and Summer can be breathtaking! The sad thing is, it lasts for such a short time. About a minute after I took all these photos, the sun had set and gone to bed for the night.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


While I was at Rogers Gardens for the cooking class in my last post, I decided to take a look around and see what fun things they had for Easter. I think this tablescape is cute for Easter. I really love the little box. It would be perfect to put a cute little favor in for all the guest to take home.
I also thought these cute bunnies were cute. They were actually flat cut outs but the little gate in front of them make them appear to be 3D.

I adore all the cute little glittery chicks and bunnies. They are so vintage looking.

Wouldn't it we super to get an Easter basket like this. I love Hydrangeas and having this basket covered in them would make anything that was put inside just the "icing on the cake".

Oh, if I was having hard boiled eggs for breakfast on Easter I would get these. I think they would be super place card holders too. I can see making colored eggs with every one's name on them and putting them in here. To cute!

I love the little Glitter house that so many people have at Christmas time. Now you can have the same little Glitter Villages at Easter. Even the trees have eggs in them.

Look at the bottle brush Easter wreath. Don't you love it!

These sweet bunnies look almost home made. I think any little one would be thrilled to get one of these.

I fell in love with this little tiny bunny. There is something about him that caught my eye.

Oh look! Pretty eggs. What would your Easter Decorating be without colored eggs?

A big bunny that is a cross between a glitter bunny and one that has a white chocolate look to it.

I like the EASTER sign with the pastel eggs that decorate it.

More cute chicks and bunnies.

I think it's so clever to display the bunnies like this.

I think this was my favorite bunny I saw. It looks like a chocolate bunny and let me tell you it really looks real! So much so that I ended up with a craving for chocolate after seeing this.

So, have you started your shopping for Easter yet?


Today, I went to another fantastic class at Rogers Gardens.

This time it was a cooking class. Zov Karamardian showed us some wonderful recipes from her newest cookbook called Simply Zov.

This cookbook has some super recipes. Zov explained to us that while some of the recipes seem to have a long list of ingredients we should not let that put us off. If you look through the list of items needed, several are items you have in your kitchen already and several items are just items like salt and pepper.

One of the best things about this class was, not only did we get to meet Zov and have her show us how to cook some yummy dishes, but, we also got to sample each dish she prepared.

I can personally tell you that each and everyone of these recipes are wonderful! So full of flavor and all appeared to be pretty easy to make too.

Zov is a great chef. She proved to us that you don't need all the fancy equipment to cook her recipes either.

In fact, she cooked everything she made today on this little portable, butane burner.

She explained that all the chopping for her dishes can be done ahead of time and how using only the best fresh ingredients will ensure you the best tasting meals.

The first item she cooked for us was Zucchini Fritters.

If you would like the recipe for this or any of the other dishes she cooked for us, please let me know and I will email them to you. Or you could always purchase the cookbook.
After grating the zucchini it is very important to squeeze all the extra liquid out of them. Otherwise, they will not brown in the hot oil. The liquid will mix with the oil and just make a foam. The zucchini will soak up a lot of the oil and they will not taste good.

You just add eggs, parsley, green onions, mint, chives, dill and garlic to the bowl and mix well.

To that, add the lemon zest. One of Zov's favorite kitchen items is her zester. She is showing the one she uses all the time in this photo.

Add some salt and pepper and stir until all the ingredients are combined.

Add one cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and mix well. Let stand for one minute and if the mixture is too wet, add more panko, 1 Tablespoon at a time.

Add about 1/4 cup of mixture for each pattie to the hot oil. Make sure you leave space between the fritters so they cook right. Cook until golden brown but be careful you don't burn them.

To serve them, place them on a plate and top with some salmon.

Then place a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle with dill sprigs.

Serve warm. Enjoy!

Our next dish was soooo good! It was Barley Salad with Summer Vegetables and Fete Cheese.

This makes a great side dish when served with grilled chicken or steak or you can can serve this as a vegetarian main course.

Basically you just toss all the ingredients into a dish. Make sure you cut up all the items about the same size. You don't want one or two items to over power the other items.
After you mix all the items together you top it with the dressing. Zov doesn't even mix up the dressing in a different bowl. She just adds the ingredients all to the salad and mixes at once.

How easy is that? Plus, it's less dishes to wash up.

Top with cheese and walnuts and you get this great salad. I will for sure be making this dish several times this summer. I loved it.

Our last dish she cooked us was my favorite. It was Tortilla Soup.

Her hint here was to puree the onions with the tomatoes so it is nice and blended together. You don't want big bites of tomato in your soup.

Again, this is an easy recipe. You just cut up all the items ahead of time, then add them to either chicken broth or vegetable broth and simmer.

Stir and let the items cook well, until the tomatoes are tender.

I never knew that tortilla soup had actual tortillas in it. I thought it was just soup with crunchy tortillas garnishing the soup when it's served.

That is not true. This soup has actual corn tortillas broken up and put in the soup as it simmers. They break down and thicken up the soup.

You can add chicken to this soup about 10 mins before it is ready to serve. However, I like it how she serves it, no chicken in it.

She just garnished it with some diced avocados, cilantro, sour cream and fried tortilla strips.

This is such a great tasting soup and very healthy for you too.

I am so happy I decided to get up early this morning and go to this class. I learned some great new dishes and had a lot of fun.

If you ever get a chance to go to one of Zov's restaurants, I would highly recommend you go. If you are not close to one, then by all means, get her cook book. You will be happy you did!
By the way, Zov has her own blog that you must check out. You can find it by clicking here.


Thursday, March 24, 2011


I have a friend who owns a cupcake shop. They are looking for some new recipes and asked me to bake several kinds of cupcakes over the next few days for all the owners to try out.

So today, I started with making a "24 Carrot" cupcake.

It's a yummy carrot cake with creamcheese icing. It is baked in a gold liner and is topped with gold flecks on top. That is why it's called the "24 Carrot" cupcake.

The next one I made was a Red Velvet with Cream Cheese icing. I thought I would try a flavor that many people enjoy.

This cupcake is very moist and has a stronger chocolate flavor then most Red Velvets do.

The last one I made was a Strawberry and Cream Cupcake. The cake is a vanilla cake with fresh strawberries in it and then it's topped with a whipped cream topping.

I forgot to top it with a fresh strawberry before I took this photo.

I hope they like them. It is fun getting to try out different recipes and get paid to do so at the same time.

I have so many flavors I want to try out. I'm searching for a great Peach Cobbler cupcake recipe so if you have one, please let me know.