Friday, June 27, 2008

Tomato Time

Sweet. Tangy. Juicy. Meaty. It's tomato time in our garden.

I measure the success or failure of a vegetable garden by whether the tomato crop is good.

This is a successful year. Even if we've had to share more than we wanted with the rabbits and mockingbirds. The Pilot Guy's dad used to say that a summer where you could go to the garden with a salt shaker and enjoy the tomatoes was a good one.

One of my favorite summer lunches is Caprese Salad. Light and refreshing, this salad showcases fresh garden ingredients and is simple to make.
Caprese Salad
One or two fresh tomatoes. Homegrown or vine ripened from your local farmer's market are best.
Fresh mozzarella. We like good fresh mozzarella. We usually buy ours at Central Market, but I found good quality at Sam's Club last summer. You just have to buy a lot at Sam's. The amount of cheese you use depends on how many tomatoes you use. If your ball of mozzarella is smaller than a tennis ball, you'll use at least a third or half with your two tomatoes.
Basil leaves. Nothing goes better with tomatoes than fresh basil. Two or three inch long leaves snipped into strips should be enough. If you don't grow your own basil, you can find bunches at the grocery store. Try growing your own. It's easy. By the way, this is not the time to drag out the dried stuff from the pantry. Caprese Salad is all about fresh ingredients.
Red onion. A few thinly sliced pieces of red onion sprinkled in will add a needed kick.
Salt and Pepper.

Slice or chunk the tomatoes and cheese into hearty pieces. Snip the basil over the tomatoes. Add the thinly sliced onion. Stir if you have chunks. Leave it alone if you have pretty slices to arrange. Add salt and a few grinds of pepper.

We don't dress this any other way. I've tried olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoyed it. By far the best way to eat this is without anything. A hunk of rustic bread is nice for sopping up the juices in the bottom of the plate.

In my next post, I'll add a couple more of our favorite tomato recipes. Until then, I hope you can find a taste of summer tomatoes.

See you in the garden....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I know, I know. I'm not posting very regularly. I'm alive really. I have things to post. I just can't seem to find a quiet few minutes to think. Besides not being able to find time to post on my own blog, I haven't had free time to read all of my favorite blogs written by you. I hate that.

Sigh...I thought summer was supposed to be filled with long, **lazy** days. Tell that to my very busy Pilot Guy and the veggie garden.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

It's Wednesday already?

Around the yard this week....

N's Orange/Purple/Gold bed

Boston Ivy is happily eating the house
Fortunately, I have a knight in shining armor to control the monster
Red Volunteer Daylily

Have a happy summer day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I saw an interesting quote in a decorating article today.

“I’m pretty sensitive aesthetically, and it does something for me when I look at a pretty room,” Ms. C said. “Looking at what the room used to be was the visual equivalent of listening to Bach or Mozart. Now it’s the visual equivalent of listening to Barney.”

This explains to me why my house is driving me crazy. Maybe I'm having trouble writing because my writing areas are cluttered and un-inspiring. Like static on the radio, the vibe is interfering with my creativity.

With that in mind, I've plunged into a massive reorganization of our master bedroom. If all goes well there, I'll attack another area. Hopefully, by the end of the week there will be sweet visual peace in various sections of the house.

Pray a falling stack of 'stuff' doesn't fall on me. (wink,wink) If I'm victorious, I'll post photos.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Not So Wordless Wednesday ~ Nature Walk

Take a nature stroll with me on the wild canyon lands of the Texas Panhandle.

Bright sun, cool breeze

My life doesn't seem so stressful when I consider what this little yellow wildflower has to deal with. Rock can't be too easy to grow in, even crumbly rock.
Prickly Pear Cactus

Mourning Dove nest and eggs

Feeling all bent out of shape? Mesquite stump and cholla cactus

Busy Red Ants

A yellow coneflower, see how the wind is ruffling their skirts

Horned Frog or as most folks call them, horny toads--I used to catch these as a girl. Love 'em still. On the endangered list, but their numbers are increasing. This is a fat, handsome fella. He was sitting near an ant trail and feasting on passers-by.

Shade is so hard to come by on the prairie. Bull snake
Seek beauty and sweetness in life. Bumble bee in a hollyhock bloom.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Knit Together

Mystic Moonlight Daylily

All right, Creative Souls, listen up!

Need a good read? Like knitting? Got a dream--especially a secret, passionate, impossible dream?

Knit Together-Discover God's Pattern for Your Life by Debbie Macomber is a wonderful book I finished reading over the weekend.


If you have ever had a dream that you didn't think would come true, read this book. If you've ever had a dream that someone else stomped on, read this book. If you want to be inspired to dream big dreams, read this book.

Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite fiction authors. She appears regularly on the New York Time's Bestseller list. She's won RITA awards and was the first ever recipient of the Quill Award for romance fiction. That's all well and good because it shows I can pick fine authors when I find them. Ms Macomber's characters are sweet, funny, and real, like people you live next door to or work with--even the quirky ones. They have a moral and ethical fiber that I appreciate. (No, her characters do not sleep together before marriage. How cool is that in today's romance market?)

Now in her first foray into non-fiction, Ms. Macomber, an avid knitter, hits a homerun in revealing her struggles and successes in following the dreams God instilled in her heart. The pleasure she finds in creating with yarn, as well as words, also threads it's way through the book. The story of an editor telling a hopeful writer Macomber to throw her manuscript away made tears come to my eyes. Eventually that manuscript, Heartsong, would be published and featured on Good Morning, America. Which proves that editors, like baseball umpires, are not right all the time. I wonder if that editor still has a job in publishing?

If you are looking for a delightful read about finding the pattern God created for your life, whether you want to write or be the CEO of a major corporation or be the best mom you can be, please pick up this book. See my sidebar, I'm featuring it as my book of the month for June. You'll be blessed in reading it.

Personally, I'm thrilled that Debbie Macomber and God worked together to create a book I needed to read to get me back on track. It's like a personal letter to me. Isn't God wonderful to go to all that trouble?