Saturday, June 13, 2015

Spanish Moss

I fell in love with Spanish Moss while vacationing in Florida.  It must be the eery-airy quality of it...  A soft hush as it dangles downward...  A decorative comparison to tinsel on a Christmas tree.  I don't really know, but I do think it's beautiful.  Years ago, it was used to stuff automobile upholstery and mattresses.  Can you imagine?  The plant is a bromeliad, getting it's nutrients from the air.  It's also related to the pineapple family.  Sometimes at night I imagine sleeping on a huge pile of the moss, as I drift off to sleep... Buenas noches!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Old-Fashioned Recipe For Deviled Eggs

When I'm in the mood for a simple and satisfying deviled egg...this is the recipe I make, hmmm... I want one now.  Any eggs in the house?


12 large eggs
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish juice
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (for garnish)
sweet paprika (for garnish)

Place eggs in single layer in a large saucepan.  Cover with water.  Cover pan and bring to full boil over med. high heat.  Turn off heat and let eggs stand, covered, for 10 min.  Drain and run under cold water until saucepan is cold.  Let eggs stand in cold water until cooled.

Peel eggs, halve them crosswise, remove yolks and transfer yolks to a food processor.  Arrange egg whites on a serving platter.  

Process yolks until smooth.  Add mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, salt and pepper to taste, and process again.  Transfer mixture to a small zipper lock bag.  If desired, refrigerate filling and eggs to chill.

Snip 1/4 inch off bottom corner of bag.  Pipe filling into each egg half.  Garnish with a tiny pinch of pickle relish and sprinkle of paprika and serve.

Spring Green-A Walk In Early May

My typical walk through the woods is gaining color...a glowing yellow-green of new growth.  There is an earthy freshness to the air and I believe spring has arrived!
 Mosses are everywhere and on everything.  Softly thriving.  I had a fascination with moss as a child.  A patch grew on the north side of our home.  I studied it, removed some to grow on my own, and captured bugs underneath.  Maybe it was the small industrious world of the moss, that held my imagination, (or maybe I was a very bored child!) green moss

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Every evening of our week on this beautiful paradise of an island, we took a short walk or bike ride to say goodnight to the sun...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Snapshots from the Island:

What a relaxing and gorgeous week on the island of Anna Maria in Florida!!  Perfect weather and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world made our stay memorable.  The area is very "old style Floridian" which just added to the charm.  I fell in love with the colorfully tropical and Mediterranean style architectures... a few examples:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Key Lime Pie- A Florida State Of Mind

Spring vacation, you can't arrive quickly enough!  To hasten things along and bring some Floridian sunshine to our dreary winter home, I've baked a key lime pie.  Topped with fresh whip close your eyes...almost as good as an afternoon on the beach...almost!!
For the recipe, click here:from wonderful Minnesota baker:Zoe Bakes

Monday, February 23, 2015


Be gentle with
yourself.  You are
a child of the
universe, no less
than the trees and
the stars.  In the
noisy confusion of
life, keep peace
in your soul.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FINNISH FISH STEW (with a nod to brother Shawn)

My brother Shawn, and his son, last summer traveled to Alaska for a fishing trip.  And being the awesome fishermen that they are, returned with fish!  They were extremely generous in sharing their bounty and I was given Wild Alaskan Halibut.  I put some into this Northern Minnesota stew, and it was light, satisfying and incredibly delicious!!


3 pounds fresh or frozen whitefish fillets, such as trout, walleye, or halibut
6 large potatoes, peeled, cut in large cubes
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons salt
3 whole allspice
6 cups water
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Thaw frozen fish.  Remove skin and bones, if necessary, set aside.  In a large pot , combine potatoes, onion, salt, allspice, and water.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low, simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.  Cut fish in 2- inch pieces.  Use a slotted spoon to add fish to stew.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer.  Do not boil.  Fish will remain in pieces.  Stir in whipping cream, butter, and dill.  Serve hot.
(makes 6 servings)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Signs of a Valentine

We're getting into the holiday spirit at our house...hearts are appearing...(also Larry-see him meandering in the background!)

And once I started baking, there was no are some scenes from the frenzy!

                   Yum, now that's sweet sweet love :))

Sweetheart Meringues (Marbled Chocolate Meringues)

Here's a treat to make for your valentine:


3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 275.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a saucepan, bring 1-2 inches water to a simmer.  Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl over (but not touching) simmering water and melt, stirring occasionally.  Set aside and let cool slightly.
In another heatproof bowl, combine egg whites and sugar over (but not touching) simmering water and whisk until mixture is hot, 4-5 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat.  Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture is lukewarm, 4-5 minutes.
Drizzle melted chocolate over egg white mixture, folding in with a rubber spatula until just marbled.
With a soup spoon, drop batter in large mounds, coaxing into a heart shape, spaced 1 1/2-2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake until crisp outside and still chewy inside, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer sheets to a wire rack and let cool completely before removing cookies from parchment.  Store in an airtight container.
(makes 20 cookies)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gray January

To say my eyes are craving color is an understatement.  On this last day of a very gray January,
I've searched through some of my home photos...

yellows and blues!  my painting titled "Beaver Creek"

A nice reminder to find warmth and joyful color within HOME

Thursday, January 29, 2015


How fortunate I felt to see this gorgeous masterpiece with my son at the Minneapolis Institute of Art!!  On loan from the city of Amsterdam, it is a painting by Johannes Vermeer,
painted 1662-1663.  Titled:"Woman Reading A Letter".

 He only completed between 35-50 paintings in his lifetime, which certainly makes this one more of a treasure.  The light coming in from the left, brightens the wall, the woman's face, hands, letter, and illuminates her vibrant blue gown.  Highlights jump off the canvas in the chair tacks and decorative rod of the wall map.  The effect is both subtle and filled with life.  I was transported for a few moments from my world to hers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Why is it we never tire of seeing a path leading to somewhere new?  Somewhere beautiful and peaceful...

 Perhaps a promise of renewal or adventure.  A change of course and discovery.
 Remember, only YOU are in charge of where you go next...YOU are the sole
 navigator of your destiny...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Stories Are Words With A Soul

It has been tremendously bone-chilling and frigid here all week in Minnesota.  So today, I truly needed to get out of the house for a change of scenery and fresh air.   I piled on layers of warm clothing, you know that point of where one can barely move, and went for a long hike.  There's a trail I take past this tree, which I've nick-named the "Scream".  (Like the famous Norwegian painting, "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.)  There is a comparison here!   Plus, the screaming tree represents how I've been feeling about the weather lately!

As I trudged,  wind picked up, (-13 wind chill), and snowflakes fell from the sky.  Flakes accumulated on my lashes and my mind started to wander on words from an excellent book I recently finished by  Anthony Doerr.   He talks about living in Rome and wanting to be in the Pantheon with the first snowflakes falling through an open hole in the domed roof (the oculus).  When I toured the Pantheon years ago I saw blue sky through the oculus  and watched sunlight illuminate the floor around me and can only imagine how gorgeous and magical snowflakes would be!!!

I highly recommend Doerr's wonderfully written book: "Four Seasons In Rome".  It will warm you and take you somewhere lovely.  It is a story with a SOUL.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


 Christmas arrived and departed in the blink of an eye...leaving faded images of fun had by all....

      New toys...

                                            Yummy food to share

      Raclette dinner, so delicious, it will be a new holiday family tradition.  Everything is cooked on a Swiss Raclette griddle while the Raclette cheese is melting in little individual drawers under the griddle top (sorry, no photo).  Each person picks what they want for their plate and pours molten cheese over the top...(what's not to like about that?)...and goes back for more!!  Cheesy Deliciousness!!


Recently I was introduced to : " the daily Skimm". ( )  A free daily on-line newspaper created for professional women who don't have time to read or listen to daily news in other traditional formats.
Alright, this does fill a niche.  I can imagine checking in on my cell while brushing my teeth in the morning...clicking on the little links while using the toilet.....more clicking on the little links while at my desk to get in depth information.  This information is selective and usually a day old....and does not include any local news.  Written in a "witty" way, advertised as in "talking with your best girlfriend".  Almost as in a late night talk show format, but without a monologue, guests, or band.
Plus, you get recommended conversation topics for certain social situations!...yeah...because you know how we all talk about politics, stock market, and world war while we're celebrating dinner out with friends,  having coffee with a significant other, or chatting with a MAN.   And heavens, we may run out of SMART conversation fodder! 

Normally, I get this info while watching local news while making my morning coffee...tuning into Public Radio during the morning drive...turning on my laptop...filling my gas at the pump (with the news program on its TV screen)...sitting at the doctor's office...working out at the club, staring at their screens, while on the treadmill.  I feel it's ever present and all around me.

Yet, the biggest part of "the daily Skimm" that is most difficult to accept is the logo:
the Skimm logo
A woman in heels, skirt, pearl necklace, hair in bun, no waist, holding a purse,
(while reading her ipad).
Stereotypical, old-fashioned, sexist, are just SOME of the adjectives that come to mind.

I have no time in my life for this self proclaimed daily woman's "time-saver".
Do You?