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Showing posts from August, 2011

After Hurricane Irene

As you might expect, the beach is an action packed place during a hurricane.   If you are a regular reader of Just One Donna you know that I love the beach.   It is where I go to relax and de-stress no matter what season.   Late August and early September usually bring some of the loveliest days to enjoy the beach.   Typically Labor Day marks the last hurrah for beach goers and families turn their attention to school and fall sports.   It appears Hurricane Irene may have cut the beach season short.  The Beach is Closed At 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 28, the day of the hurricane sightseers began their trek to the shore.   Sightseers The wind was still blowing and the ocean was churning. The Ocean After Hurricane Irene Access to most of the shoreline was restricted either by barriers... Barriers Block Access …or flooding.  Some Roads were Flooded On Monday morning, August 29, I was able to walk through the beach area.   The heavy equipment was

What I Learned from Hurricane Irene

Source: Hurricane Irene has come and gone.  Thankfully I can report that the Just One Donna household emerged from the storm unscathed.  We had scurried around in the days prior to the hurricane to get prepared.  August had already brought us more rain than we needed.  That rain had caused water in our basement and a leaking skylight.  Last week work was done to repair the leaking skylight and prepare our gutters to deflect more rain.   What we thought was going to be a minor repair to our three season porch turned into a much bigger repair.  Luckily our very able contractor successfully secured the room well in advance of the storm's approach. Repaired and Secured   So, friends, one thing I know is that it pays to be prepared when a large storm is brewing .  Without the storm preparations I'm certain there would be much more to clean up today than a few leaves and branches. Hurricane Irene's Debris  I learned a few other things d

Hurricane Preparations

Have you heard that a hurricane is bearing down on the eastern coast of the United States?   Source: As I write this Hurricane Irene is a category 2 hurricane as measured by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale: Source:   Developed in the early 1970s by Herbert Saffir, a consulting engineer in Coral Gables, Florida, and Dr. Robert Simpson, then director of the National Hurricane Center, t he scale is based primarily on wind speeds.   Each of the five categories also includes estimates of barometric pressure and storm surge.   The scale is a guide to the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Our area of the East Coast is currently under a hurricane watch and predictions are that we will experience a category 2 hurricane on Sunday. Source: There are two types of weather events that spur New Englanders to swift action, blizzards and hurricanes.  By action I

In the Pantry-Baking Essentials

Last week I started a series about keeping a well-stocked pantry .  Did that post get you thinking about your pantry space and how it can be organized?  One thing I know for sure is that one person's organization strategy does not work for everyone.  Keep that in mind as you read this series.  These pantry posts should provide inspiration rather than a road map for your basic pantry.  Your pantry must work for you to make your life easier and that means it must be customized to your needs. The Baking Essentials in a Well-Stocked Pantry Today I want to start to share with the items that are baking staples in my pantry.  By staples I mean these are my go-to items.  We're not talking gourmet items here.  These are the products I don't want to be without.  When my pantry is stocked with my staples I find I am ready to cook a meal or bake a dessert without having to run to the store for ingredients.  Today's focus is on the baking essentials in my pantry.  You ca

Green Beans, Feta Cheese, Onions and Roasted Red Pepper with Herb Vinaigrette

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables.  We eat them all year round, but this summer I'm especially in love with green beans because I've grown my own in my garden.  One of the ways to really highlight beautiful, tender green beans is to serve them as a cold side dish, blanched and tossed with a tasty vinaigrette. I wanted to make a colorful, bold flavored dish and this one fits the bill.  The garlic, oregano and basil in the dressing are enhanced by the red onion and roasted red pepper.  The feta adds a salty creaminess that goes nicely with the crunch of the crisp, green beans. This is a quick, easy to assemble side dish.  You'll want to make it early in the day, or a day before you serve it to give the flavors time to develop. Green Bean Salad Ingredients Green Beans with Feta, Onions and Roasted Red Pepper Serves 4 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 1/4 red onion, slices very thinly 1/4 of a roasted red pepper, cut into thin 1" strips 1 1/2

How to Make Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa When your garden overflows with tomatoes one of the things you can make is salsa.  Yes, it is easy to make fresh salsa with your garden tomatoes.  Did you grow onions, cilantro and jalapenos?  Even better.  That means you have most of what you need on hand and you are ready to go. I had about eight pounds of tomatoes I had picked from my garden and there is no way we would be able to eat eight pounds of tomatoes in the next few days unless I got creative.  The first step is to blanch and skin the tomatoes.  That sounds like a lot of work doesn't it?  Well, it really isn't all that much work.  If you have helpers it can be fun.  Yes, you'll be getting your hands in a little bit of a mess, but it goes quickly and is worth the effort. To blanch the tomatoes fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.  I used about 12 medium tomatoes, approximately 6 pounds.  That gave me 8 cups of salsa.  Use your judgement