Transitioning My Wardrobe Into Spring…

Live life in full bloom…

Hello, sweet friend…

I’ve always enjoyed wearing fashionable clothing…



and with Spring just around the corner…

I’m sooooo excited to start thinking about it!

Today I thought I would share with you how I am transitioning

into a new season…

Living on the Oregon coast dressing is all about layering.

That being said I’ve put a few outfits together using white as a basic…Anastasia is doing her usual catwalk

freshening things up a bit by adding pretty spring colors.

👩‍🍳
What’s Cooking?

I had been looking forward to using the shamrock cookie cutter I recently purchased. Originally thinking I would bake up St. Paddy’s Day cookies still might…however this week I decided to whip up these puff pastry appetizers instead. They are soooo0 easy and great by themselves…served with humus or any other favorite dip you choose.

🍀Shamrock Crisp🍀

Ingredients:

1 store-bought pie dough or puff pastry, thawed

egg white or milk

1/3 -1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Unroll pie dough or puff pastry.

Cut 12 shamrocks using a cookie cutter.

Brush the tops of each shamrock with egg white.

Combine Parmesan cheese with parsley.

Sprinkle over the shamrocks.


Marcia
Posted in A Quarantined Life, Cooking, My Style | 2 Comments

A Stroll Around Our Garden…

Hurt not the Earth, neither the Sea, nor the Trees.
-Revelations 7:3

Hello, sweet friend…

March will often test a gardener’s patience…


A few warmer, brighter days certainly tempted me out into my garden…

However I know that it will take several weeks of warm bright days for the soil to be dried out sufficiently…

So on this overcast day I thought I’d take you on a little pre-spring garden tour…

sharing a peek of hope as things get ready to bloom…

Before you begin the tour perhaps you should whip up a batch of these decadent rolls first…


CINNAMON ROLLS



CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH

4 1/2 – 5 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup  granulated sugar

2 packets Rapid rise yeast about 4 1/2 tsp)

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups  water

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 large egg

FILLING

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tbsp cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE ICING

4 oz cream cheese, room temp

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1 cup  powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.

In a heat-safe bowl, combine the water and butter (cut into tablespoons). Heat in the microwave for 30 sec – 45 sec, until warm to the touch but not hot. The butter will not melt completely. 

Pour into the dry ingredients with the egg and mix with a wooden spoon. 

Add in 2 more cups of flour and mix. It should turn pretty thick and sticky at this point.

Add in 1/2 cup of flour and mix again. It should now turn shaggy and become difficult to stir. Once it reaches that point, set the spoon to the side and use your hands to mix and knead the dough.

It will be sticky, so add another 1/4 cup of flour and continue to mix and knead by hand. It should turn into a smooth mass that’s soft and tacky.

With a clean finger, press it into the dough. If your finger is sticking, add another 1/4 cup of flour and knead. If it’s not, then shape it into a ball and let it rest uncovered for 10 minutes. 

When the 10 minutes is up, the dough should have puffed up quite a bit but not quite doubled in size.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rough rectangle shape. Roll it into a 10×15 inch rectangle using a rolling pin. 

Spread the room temperature butter into a thin and even layer, leaving about 1/2 inch border all around the outside of the dough. 

Sprinkle with the brown sugar and spread it even with your hand. Then top it with the cinnamon.

Working from the 15 inch end of the dough, roll it up into a log. Place your hands at each end of the log and give it a gentle squeeze in to compact the log of dough. It may have stretched out a bit during the rolling process so this brings it back together. 

For best results, use unflavored dental floss to cut the rolls. If you don’t have floss, you could also use really thin sewing thread. If using a sharp knife, gently saw back and forth and try not to press straight down into the rolls. This will squish them into an odd shape. 

Using the floss, slide it under the roll and toss both ends of the floss over top. Pull them through to create a cut. Cut off the two ends of the log and then cut the remainder into 12 pieces.

Cut the entire log in half, then cut those two halves in half to create 4 segments. Cut each of those 4 segments into 3 rolls to get a total of 12.

Place the rolls in a buttered or greased 9×13 dish (you could also use two 9″ round pans, placing 6 rolls in each). It’s OK if all of the rolls are touching. 

Place in a warm spot and cover with a towel to rise for 1 hour. If you live in a colder climate, preheat the oven to the lowest temperature. Once it’s ready, turn the oven off and place the rolls inside. This creates a warm environment for the rolls to proof. 

Preheat the oven to 350F (first remove the rolls if you proofed them inside) and check on the rolls. They should have doubled in size and now take up the entire dish. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are a light golden brown. While they cool, make the icing. 

CREAM CHEESE ICING

Place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and use a fork to mash the two together. Make sure they’re both softened to room temperature, otherwise the icing will be lumpy.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mash again with the fork. Once the mixture starts to loosen, switch to a whisk and mix until smooth. 

Spread onto the warm rolls…

and now let’s head on out for my pre-spring garden walk!

Marcia
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Happy Shenanigans!☘️

“Learn from the past, live in the now and be optimistic about the future.”

-Anonymous

Hello, sweet friends…



This past week…


I packed away all things February…

and brought out the shenanigans…

Years ago feels like a lifetime

I had a “seasonal” tree…

I remember enjoying it so much…


during the pandemic I started one again…


decorating our home allows me the opportunity to approach the ordinary and create something lovely. uplifting, meaningful and valued

in many ways it helps me adapt to things at different points along the way…


this process teaches me there are many ways we discover our own truth in life…

mine seems to blossom in the home.

What’s Cooking?

This dessert was recently made for Mardi Gras. It’s a favorite of Joe’s…and of course there are many versions of this epicurean delight…

MILLIONAIRE PIE

Ingredients

1 prepared graham cracker crust

 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 can 15.25oz crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup maraschino cherries drained & chopped

 ½ cup pecans chopped

 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz

 5 tablespoons lemon juice

 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

 1 ½ cups whipped topping plus extra for garnish if desired

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine coconut, crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries, pecans, (Eagle Brand) Sweetened Condensed Milk, lemon juice and maraschino cherry juice.

Gently fold in whipped topping. Pour into crust.

Top with additional whipped topping and cherries if desired.

Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Recipe Notes

Do not skip or substitute the lemon juice or this pie will not set properly.


Enjoy more March shenanigans…

Marcia
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mardi Gras…Lent…& Jambalaya

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping youself, the other for helping others.”

-Audrey Hepburn

Hello, sweet friend…

How are you today?

In the midst of a pandemic going from Valentine’s Day to Lent with a Mardi Gras thrown in the middle…Love…Pleasure…Penance… all within a few days…has really given me a lot to think about and is quite the “catch up adventure“

That being said today I thought I would focus on love and pleasure… putting off the penance…since I’ll have plenty of time for pondering that…well…at least the next 40 days.🌟


Here’s a delightful recipe that I enjoyed preparing and Joe loved eating!

JAMBALAYA

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small onions, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2-3 serrano peppers, chopped (optional)

2-3 jalapeno peppers, chopped (optional)

2 stalks celery, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped ( I substituted a plant-based chicken)

½ pound andouille sausage chopped –(I substituted a plant based hot sausage… if you want to get REALLY meaty, add a whole pound!)

3-4 tomatoes chopped – about a pound

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces tomato sauce

1 cup chicken stock (vegetable stock is good, too)

1 cup white rice 

½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 teaspoons spicy Cajun seasoning (or more, as desired)

1 teaspoon olive oil

Chopped parsley for garnish

Your favorite hot sauce for serving

DIRECTIONS

First, heat a large pan or Dutch oven to medium high heat. Add oil with onions, peppers and celery. Cook them down about 6-7 minutes, until they soften up.

Add garlic, chicken and andouille sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is no longer pink and the sausage starts to cook through.

Add tomatoes and stir to break apart. Crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes are good here, too. Cook for 3 minutes. Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper, tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir.

Stir in the white rice. Long grain white rice is good. Bring to a quick boil then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and tender, to your preference. It could take 25 minutes to 30 minutes. Cooking time can vary, so keep an eye on it and test.

Heat a small pan to medium heat and add oil. For the shrimp, season with salt, black pepper and Cajun seasoning and saute a couple minutes each side, until cooked through. Stir them into the Jambalaya pot and remove from heat.

Serve your amazing Jambalaya into bowls and garnish with parsley or chopped green onions. Add in extra hot sauce if you’d like. Enjoy!

Marcia
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Valentine’s Day Prep…Keto Blueberry/Lemon Scones…& A Garden Tea Cart

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hello, sweet friends…

Happy almost Valentine’s Day!

I’ve always loved Valentines Day…

all the pinks…reds…hearts…chocolate…

just an adorable day…

This year I’m planning on preparing a sweet little tea just for Joe & I. Here’s the scone recipe…it’s truly delightful!

Keto Blueberry/Lemon Scones

INGREDIENTS

For the Scones

2 cups almond flour

⅔ cup fresh blueberries

⅓ cup Swerve Confectioners

½ teaspoon Baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup unsalted butter melted

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

For the Glaze

¼ cup Swerve confectioners

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons heavy cream or as needed

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with Parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, Swerve, baking powder, and sea salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, lemon zest, vanilla, and egg.

Stir the wet mixture into the almond flour mixture, pressing with a spoon or spatula, until a uniform dough forms.

The dough should be pliable and dense, but not crumbly add a little more butter, a teaspoon at a time, if it’s very dry.

Stir and press the blueberries into the dough.

Place the dough onto the lined baking sheet and form a disc shape, about 1 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter.

Cut into 8 wedges, like a pie or pizza. Move the pieces about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until golden. Cool completely on the pan to firm up. Scones will fall apart if you move them before cooling. (of course if you eat them…no worries)

Mix the ¼ cup of Swerve, lemon juice and start with 1 teaspoon of the heavy cream, adding more as needed to get the right consistency for the glaze.

Drizzle over the tops and serve.

and now let me show you what I did for a bit of fun this week…

Marcia
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments