Posted in About me, Art and Crafts, Creativity, Entertainment, Environment and Ecology, Pets, Travel, Uncategorized, tagged animals, art, art installations, Asha Tyson quote, birds, blog, cats, chain link fence and iridescent tiles, combination lock game, computer games, Creativity, dogs, entertainment, games, hot weather tips for pets, inspirational quote, keeping cats cool, keeping dogs cool, keeping your pets cool, life inspiration, nature, outdoors, pet care, Pets, Photography, quote about journey, quotes, random thoughts, Rice University art installation, Soo Sunny Park, travel, travel hacks, travel tips, Unwoven Light on June 28, 2013|
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The lyrics “Splish, Splash, I was taking a bath . . . ” played in my head as I watched a Mourning Dove and a Lesser Goldfinch shake and shimmy while bathing in the cool waters of my backyard fountain. With triple-digit temperatures predicted for the next couple of days, I have no doubt that the fountain will be a HOT spot for my backyard friends!
#1 – Hot Weather Tips
Hot days create dangerous conditions for pets. If you have a pet, refresh your hot weather knowledge by reading these articles:
ASPCA’s Hot Weather Tips
Keep Your Pet Cool During Dog Days of Summer
How to Cool Your Cat Down in the Summer
#2 – Travel Smart
Use straws to bring small amounts of liquid with you
Whether traveling near or far, you are sure to find at least one travel tip you’ll want to try from the article 14 Clever Travel Hacks To Make Your Trip Awesome.
#3 – Can You Unlock the Lock?
If you’ve ever imagined yourself being as clever as Sherlock Holmes, you’ll want to try playing CombinationLock. With a timer ticking away, you’re given clues to determine the lock’s 3-digit combination. Additional clues can be requested to make the game easier and an additional reel of digits can be added to make it more challenging.
#4 – Unwoven Light
Artists push boundaries to find ways to express themselves and to interpret the world around them. American artist Soo Sunny Park used chain link fencing and iridescent Plexiglas tiles to create an ethereal fantasy of light. She says of her artwork Unwoven Light, installed at Rice University in Houston, Texas, “Like a net, the sculpture is a filter that is meant to capture the light that is already there and force it to reveal itself.”
#5 – Your Journey
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.”
― Asha Tyson
Have a great weekend!
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Posted in About me, Gardening, Recipes, Uncategorized, tagged blog, cookbooks, food blog, Heart of the Home cookbook, Recipes, soup, summer recipes, summer soup, summer squash soup recipe, Susan Branch, Susan Branch cookbook, tried and true recipes, zucchini, zucchini recipes, zucchini soup on June 18, 2013|
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While waiting for a clerk at a used book store to sort through my bags of audio books, I casually walked up and down the aisles. A magnetic force, of some kind, pulled me to a bookcase in the far corner. That’s where my husband found me — sitting on the floor with a pile of cookbooks. He looked at me and said nothing. I could tell he was thinking, “Great, that’s all she needs is another cookbook.” I looked back at him and quickly said, “Don’t worry, I’m not buying all of these! I’m going to narrow it down to just one.” And I did. Susan Branch’s cookbook, with its tried and true recipes, lovely watercolor illustrations, handwritten pages, and a terrific price tag of $2.99, proved to be “the one” for me. It was serendipitous, as freshly harvested zucchini sat on my kitchen counter, waiting to be the stars in a delicately-flavored zucchini soup recipe from my new cookbook.
From Heart of the Home by Susan Branch
4 cups sliced zucchini
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup water
1 10 ounce can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
1. Sauté onion in butter several minutes.
2. Add zucchini and water. Simmer 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
4. Blend in blender at high speed until puréed.
5. Return to saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat to simmering. Serve.
1. Because the zucchini from my garden were large and because I didn’t want to waste half a zucchini, I ended up using 5 cups. The next time I make this soup, I will use five cups of zucchini again.
2. I used fat-free half & half with perfect results.
3. Because condensed soup contains a fair amount of sodium, I added very little additional salt.
4. Since zucchini and basil are both summer produce, I will try adding fresh basil to the soup the next time I make it. The equivalent of dried herbs to fresh herbs is usually 1 teaspoon dried = 1 tablespoon fresh.
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Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized, tagged blog, cannellini bean salad, cavatappi, cellentani, Cooking Light, food, healthy salads, meatless main dish, meatless main salad, pasta salad, Recipes, salad recipes, salads, spinach salad, spiral shaped pasta, spirali, tortiglione, vegetarian on June 11, 2013|
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Part green salad and part pasta salad, but all parts delicious and fresh! Pair this Italian-influenced salad with rustic artisan bread for a quick and healthy meatless supper or throw it together for easy entertaining. With only nine simple ingredients, this salad is big on taste and big on convenience.
Cavatappi With Spinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese
The Best of Cooking Light
8 cups coarsely chopped spinach
4 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 6 ounces uncooked spiral-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.
1. Cavatappi is also known as cellentani, spirali or tortiglione.
2. Maybe I packed too much chopped spinach into each cup while measuring it out, but this made much more than 4 servings.
3. I thinly shaved the Asiago instead of shredding it.
4. In a side note, the recipe states, “The warm cavatappi slightly wilts the spinach and softens the cheese during tossing.”
Update (6/24/13): I made this salad again, but with some substitutions and additions. I used cavatelli instead of cavatappi and replaced the regular olive oil with Meyer lemon infused olive oil. Cherry tomatoes, fresh off the vine, were sliced in half and added to the salad along with some toasted pine nuts. Very nice!
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