Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Tomatoes

I love the sweet abundance of luscious Summer fruits and vegetables. What could be better than than biting into juicy summer love?! Asked to choose a favorite? Impossible! So I will share a delicious recipe that my friend Chrissy recently prepared. I made my own version and it's so simple. Make it to your own taste and use what ingredients you have on hand.
home grown tomatoes
salad dressing (one or 2 of your choice)
balsamic vinegar (optional)
fresh sweet basil (so easy to grow in a pot outside in a sunny/semi sunny spot)
freshly grated parmesan cheese (or parmesan/reggiano)
grated mozzarella cheese (my friend used this, but I didn't have any on hand)
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drizzle salad dressing of your choice (about 1-2 T for a 9 x 13 pan) into a baking dish.
Cut tomatoes in half. (If they're really large, you may need to cut them into thirds.)
Place tomatoes cut side up into dish.
Drop about 1/8 -1/4 t balsamic vinegar onto the tops of the tomatoes.
Drizzle more salad dressing (This can be a second variety if you wish.) onto the tops of the tomatoes.
Slightly chop or tear basil leaves and place desired amount on top of each tomato.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now sprinkle on the parmesan cheese (and mozzarella).
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Here are some links to recipes that I have posted in the past:
Mango Salsa
Artichoke, Tomato, and Pine Nut Tapenade
Raspberry Rubarb Cobbler
Cranberry, Orange, and Pecan Scones with Sweet Chevre Spread

What is YOUR favorite recipe? Is such a thing even possible?! What do you love to eat in the Summertime?
This is for the etsy bloggers' street team carnival which will be published after August 28 by Stormy Designs. Her shop is here.
photo by me © 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

more Asheville...hike part 2

some closeup views from our hike along Graveyards Fields Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina...

blueberries (above)
water striders (above) found in a pool of water below the waterfall

rhododendron (above) were blooming everywhere.
A gnatcatcher (above) entertained us during lunch.
photos by me © 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

more Asheville...hike part 1

We hiked to both falls. As you can see the day is somewhat overcast.

Here my daughter, the professional photographer, is capturing a bee with
pollen baskets.
We feasted on the picnic lunch we brought.

"America's favorite drive," winds 469 miles through mountain meadows and amazing vistas. Building of the Parkway was authorized in the 1930s as a Depression-era public works project. Difficult in the extreme, building through the mountainous terrain took over 50 years. It was the nation's first, and ultimately longest, rural parkway, connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
more about
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway map near Asheville
Blue Ridge Parkway guide, Asheville area with photos, a video, mile by mile guide, and more
a photo of the mountains in the Spring (first photo)
Graveyard Fields Trail photos with gorgeous Fall colors, emphasize gorgeous!
photos by me © 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009


stroll with me down the streets of Asheville, North Carolina, USA , and get a few small glimpses of what makes this town unique...
In July, my son and I visited my daughter who lives in Asheville.

The Corner Kitchen in the Biltmore Village

a garden shop in an alleyway

on Lexington Street

Early Girl Eatery (see first photo) (NOTE: interesting window display, but restaurant not recommended)

lovely blooming crepe myrtle trees line the streets

a secret respite

mime: There are always street performers displaying their talent

tile on a storefront

old architecture

heavenly truffles from The Chocolate Lounge

few random suggestions from my daughter: RESTAURANTS: Rezaz-can reserve a spot at the chef's table in the kitchen while he cooks a special meal just for you; Enotecca-Italian wine bar & more, great desserts. GROVE PARK INN-has a world renowned spa, can get a day pass. GALLERIES: Blue Spiral, Front, Satellite (downtown), Flood (river arts district where there are many studios that artists will let you walk through if they are there). DRIVE on the Blue Ridge Parkway
PS I was planning on doing a post on Asheville at some point, but hearing that Athena Workman will be visiting for her wedding anniversary in October spurred me on to get it done. I will be doing another post of our hike in the mountains.
photos by me © 2009 except Corner Kitchen which is also ©

Saturday, August 15, 2009

something I made

a journal for a friend who is outreach and education director on a working organic farm

some inside pages

I covered chipboard with paper outside and in to make the covers.
For the inside pages, I copied parts of pages from books, hand stamped, and hand drew pictures. All designed pages are acid free. I added about 10 pages in the back that are not archival and therefore can be used for notes and ripped out.
Once everything was created, I lined up the pages, stacked them inside the covers and held all in place with clothespins. Next, I drilled 3 holes through which I fed strips of leather to tie the journal together.

from the front (left)

the back (right)

This was a fun project. I am enamored of making journals, have made some in the past. It's safe to say this was a learning experience. But all in all, although not perfect, I think this journal turned out rather well.
See my post about the farm (and the cutest little piggy snouts) here.
PS: For the cover I used patterned paper which I embellished by stamping and hand drawing designs.
Go check out this post from AlpHa Buttonpusher. It's a tutorial!
photos by me ©2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summertime enterprise

What did I do this Summer? Let me tell you!
above photo: Asheville, NC

above photo: Melt Restaurant, Cincinnati, Ohio

left photo: Bonbonerie, Cincinnati, OH See previous post here.

photo on right: L'Escargot Restaurant, Sint Maarten, NA

dinner on our friends' new deck.
I posted a flower from their garden here.

photo below: visited several Farmers' Markets

and attended dear friends' son's wedding (3 more to come this year)!What did I do this Summer? See first photo!

How about you? What did you do this Summer? This one is for the etsy bloggers' street team carnival hosted by Storybeader!

photos by me © 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

mystery plant

This plant was found growing out of my compost pile. It remains a mystery.
See the very huge, dark green leaves?
And here is the start of a fruit.
Anyone know what this is???!
photos by me © 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

a treasury of etsy bloggers

This treasury was created by Patti of Peacox Creations. All the shops featured here are participating in the etsy bloggers' street team MEGA GIVEAWAY going on right now (till Friday)! Travel here--to the team blog for all the information. 27 items to be given away; over $300 total value!
AND, be sure to check out Patti's blog!
PS My earrings are in the middle column on the bottom. (20% off this pair only, if you mention you saw them on this blog.)
photos © by the individuals above 2008-2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Memories for Life

Edi is the creative and talented owner of Memories for Life Scrapbooks. Just look at the scrapbooks she makes in her workshop! Custom word albums are her specialty.

She even makes scrapbooks out of flip flops!
"I owe my start in crafting to the 4-H Club. My aunt was our leader and she always had a different project for us each month. The month we learned how to make handmade greeting cards with stamps...I was hooked! Then shortly after we had a month learning how to scrapbook...and it was love at first sight :) I've been paper crafting for over 12 years now!"
See how she gives back here.

Be sure to read Edi's wonderful blog where she warmly shares her life and interests. Here she is cutting letters and numbers with her scroll saw. See her latest toy here.I could go on, but go discover her for yourself.... Edi is the etsy bloggers' team's blogger of the month! This is so deserved because she participates and supports our team so well.
photos © Memories for Life SB

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I've been featured!

by Audrey's Country Crafts!
Scroll down and see my shop, Splendid Little Stars, on the left side of her blog!

Right now she is hosting a give away for Heavenly Soaps.

On Audrey's give away blog, she is featuring a give away of a zippered pouch by J Pat Purses.

Audrey shares some wonderful recipes on this blog. Find Rubarb Crisp here. Or how about a scrumptious Oven Apple Pancake?! YUM!

Be sure to check out her etsy shop! (photo of blue raggedy bag.)
photos & button © by Audrey

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

chocolate cherry mouse

My friend Rachel brought a whole tray of chocolate covered sweet cherry mice to the celebration of my mother's life this past weekend. This was so thoughtful and apropos because my mother's name is Cherry.

Cherries are dipped in tempered chocolate, given sliced almond ears, chocolate chip noses, and red candy eyes.
So cute! And yummy, too!

See past posts about my mother here:
family photo of long ago beach time
Cherry Pie #2
Cherry Pie #1
photos by me © 2009