Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Custom Canvas Banner or Sign

This is the second table banner for Carole Axium Designs & I'm so pleased with the way that it turned out. She has a beautiful jewelry shop! Used at craft shows, these are a great way to have your logo & name displayed. Each are hand painted (by me) on canvas & come with a canvas carrying bag that I make to store & transport. Below are 2 pieces for Tuscan Sun, a wellness center in Decatur, GA. A table banner that is used at health fairs & a large canvas mounted on board that now hangs in the studio. Contact me with any requests to have a custom banner for your shop!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day & Beyond

Everybody had great ideas for earthday today but I didn't see this anywhere. This is my all-time-favorite-couldn't-live-without tool...
I purchased this tool from a vendor at the Southeastern Flower Show in Atlanta, GA about 8 years ago. This sweet lady is still selling these and I'm told that they also come in a longer handled version (I know what I want for my birthday this year!!!). Sun Garden is in North Carolina. As you can see, mine is well worn! The handle was painted by me to make it easier to see when I set it down in the garden. The Homie Hand Plow, this Korean tool does it all!!! Last time I checked she was not selling on-line but does have a toll-free number 1 (800) 579-1722. Similiar items can be found in a search of
"korean garden hoe" and you may find a similiar tool at an Asian market in your area.
It's a handtool that is great for digging, weeding, hoeing of course!

Viburnum is in full bloom right now while the cherry tree has done it's thing. This cardinal coesn't seem to mind.

More pics from my garden.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Margarita Pie

Tonight's menu was another Southwestern inspired with Margarita Pie for dessert. A pretzel crust and creamy lime filling with bit of tequilla is simple & a make-ahead ending for easy entertaining. More of the menu & recipes here. The Sesame-Ginger Chicken with Watermelon Salsa was the main course. I used a Rachel Ray recipe tonight for the Curry Couscous & Mango Salsa. "Yumm-O!"
Celebration? You bet!!! Date & plans are coming together for my daughter Sara's wedding! Son, Peter & his new bride were here as well. It's all good!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Homemade Granola

Full of dried fruits, nuts, sweetened with honey,
this granola is perfect for breakfast.
I like mine with yogurt! Also makes a great snack.
Homemade Granola
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups nuts
(sliced almonds, walnuts, pecan pieces)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup good honey
4 1/2 cups of dried fruit combonation
(small diced dried apricots*, figs, dried cherries, craisins, banana chips,
trail mix blend also works well)
1 cup roasted lightly salted cashews (add at the end)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Toss the oats, coconut, and nuts (except for the cashews) together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan.
Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.
Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the dried fruit combo and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.
* This is my variation of a recipe I found. It called for dried apricots which I LOVE but the preservative used is a sulfate that many of us find as an asthma trigger so read your label and use other fruit if it may be a problem for anyone you may be serving. The original recipe called for 2 cups sliced almonds. I used a combination of almonds, pecans & walnuts to make the 2 cups.

Friday, April 11, 2008

House Beautiful!

Working in a beautiful kitchen this past week, glazing cabinets & trim in the fabulous home. This is the breakfast area, picture is taken from the edge of a very large wrap around island. It's where the sink is along with set of bar stools---perfect spot for after-school or late-night snack, homework, etc.
This chandelier was off-white with the leaves a light green...until I took some paints & glazes to this piece. A closer view is below. With 50+ cabinet doors & drawers, PLUS the crown molding, baseboards, etc., it took the hands of 5 of us over about 5 days to complete. Many hands make light work...OK, not exactly light work!
Stove, hood and island receive a different treatment; painted black & distressed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Grand Old House

Our dinner at the restaurant on Grand Cayman Island was phenomenal!
This is me on the veranda where we dined,
overlooking the Caribbean Sea under the intimate gazebos.
Grand Old House Celebrates its 100th Anniversary
Built in 1908 by the Lambert family from Boston, Massachusetts, Grand Old House was originally called 'Petra' after an old biblical name meaning 'place of refuge'. Later the house became known as 'Petra Plantation' because of the abundance of coconut and banana trees.
Thirty years ago it was converted into a fine dining restaurant.

Dinner Menu

Medley of organic mixed green salad
Roma tomatoes, cucumber, palm hearts,
bell peppers and alfalfa sprouts, topped with slivers
of Scottish smoked salmon, Sherry vinaigrette

Caribbean "Voodoo" Soup
Curried red bean, peanut and red chili

Duo of herb marinated flamed grilled
Angus beef tenderloin, & citrus marinated
Wahoo with Jumbo shrimp skewer
presented on sweet potato mash,
topped with mango and papaya salsa
Tequila-lemongrass sauce
Grand Old House Dessert Buffet
See previous post with more about our trip!