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Showing posts from June, 2012

Cool Off with Iced Mint Green Tea

When the temperature in southern New England hits the 90s you'll hear a lot of complaining.  The heat becomes the main topic of conversation throughout the town and finding ways to cool down becomes a focus.  One way to keep cool is with cold drinks and iced teas are a particular favorite. My Spearmint Plant I'm a fan of green tea.  I like it hot most of the year, but in the heat of summer iced green tea is a refreshing cool drink alternative.  I grow a spearmint plant on my deck each summer, mainly because it is an essential component of two favorite summer drinks, mojitos and iced tea.         Iced Mint Green Tea Makes 8 cups 2 quarts of cool water 10 green tea bags, your favorite 8 large spearmint leaves sweetener, optional Directions Pour 8 cups of cool water into a 3 quart saucepan.  Add 10 tea bags.  You are going to want your tea to be a bit stronger than if you were drinking it hot because it will be diluted by the ice.  Add 8 large fresh spearmint leav

Grilled Shrimp and Feta Bowtie Pasta

I was in no mood to cook this week as the temperature hit 90 degrees two days in a row.  What jumped to mind was a favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe, one that I have previously reserved for special occasions.  I was first introduced to Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp and Orzo recipe in 2000 when I hosted a catered holiday party for work associates.  Our caterer suggested this lovely shrimp dish for the menu because it is served either cold or at room temperature.  It was a big hit at the party and as a result I searched and searched for the recipe. At last, the recipe was mine when I found it in Barefoot Contessa at Home , my favorite of the Barefoot Contessa recipe books.  I keep the page for this recipe marked with a Post-It note, so I can get right to it.  The Barefoot Contessa at Home Every time I make this recipe, I make it a little differently though.  I encourage you to do the same.  The first time you make the recipe it is a good idea to follow the original exactly and fr

Books or Digital?

My town has been blessed to have a lovely library.  The doors to our local library opened on August 15, 1894, with five thousand volumes.  Today's library building is double the size of the original, housing one hundred seventy thousand items including books, magazines, CDs and videos. My Local Library I've spent a lot of time in this library and others over the years.  As a child, I was a voracious reader, what you would call a bookworm.  Reading was my favorite past time and I was easily lost in the world between of the covers of my books. One of My OLD Early Teen Books In college, I adored the library.  I loved the quiet corners where I could escape the craziness of campus days and nights.  The library was where I studied and learned.  I loved sitting in the stacks for hours at a time conducting research for term papers.  I was in awe of the knowledge contained within the four walls of the library building. As I think back over the past ten to twenty years I do

Something Smells Around Here

Have you smelled it? What IS that smell? Everywhere I went these past few days people were talking.  Yes, they were talking about the smell.  What is that smell? Is it the lovely spring blossoms? Spring Blossoms No, it's not the blossoms that have people talking.  Is the the sand and sea? The Shore No, no one is talking about the sand and sea here in our little seaside town.  That smell is acrid.  That smell makes us roll up our car windows.  That smell makes the sales assistants at the local coffee shop close their drive up windows with a snap.  What is that smell?  Towns folks have contacted the local police.  Hello, Officer, What's that Smell? They've called the town leaders.  Is there a problem with our waste water treatment plant? Hello, Mr.Town Manager, What's that Smell? The local newspaper calls this headline news.  It's the lead story in the local newspaper...above the fold.  This is a BIG story, here in our little New England

A June Morning at the Beach

This morning dawned like most mornings so far this June, foggy and dreary.  We've been caught in a cycle of cool, showery weather here in southeastern New England. Showers, Showers, Showers in New England Day after day of this kind of weather wears on my sunny disposition.  Do you have the same experience?  Well, it was time to do something about it.  When I sensed a break in the clouds I decided to head for the beach to shake the cob webs out of my head.  I haven't been spending as much time as I like at the beach lately, and so, the beach was calling me. I like to walk on the beach at low tide.  The sand at low tide forms a firmer base for walking.  Today it was not low tide, but I decided to forge on.  The beach was empty due to the weather, but it was peaceful and the sound of the waves was soothing.  Listen to the 15 second video below and you'll see what I mean. Along the way there were signs that beach artists had been there before me. Beach Creativit

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

How to Make a Yummy Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Yesterday I went out to take a look at my garden and was faced with the reality that my spinach crop was on its last legs.  It was time for me to pick the last of my beloved spinach and call it quits for the season.  The spinach was beginning to bolt, telling me it was time to say good-bye.  I decided to celebrate, not mourn, the end of this spinach growing season by making a favorite spinach salad.  Who doesn't love spinach salad with warm bacon dressing?  No one, I say, and you don't need to go to a restaurant to have this delicious salad.  You don't even need to have spinach growing in your backyard.  Grocery stores from coast to coast are stocking baby spinach in their produce departments and as long as you have the tender baby greens you are halfway there. Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Printer Friendly Recipe Serves 4 Spinach Salad with Warm

Farfalle Del Mondo

Whenever I ask my family the question, "What special dinner would you like me to prepare?" I already know the answer.  The answer will invariably be bow tie pasta.  What they are really saying when they give me that answer is, please, please, please make us Farfalle Del Mondo .   I believe the original recipe came from the Food Network many years ago and over time I have made adaptations to it. Farfalle Del Mondo You'll find this to be a very easy recipe to make and it is packed with lots and lots of wonderful flavor.  First, you'll want to be sure to have some southwest seasoning on hand.  I have a favorite southwest blend that I always keep on hand and I encourage you to do the same.  You'll also want to be sure you have 12 ounces of brie in your refrigerator.  Brie can be pricey, so watch for specials in your grocery store.  I like to buy my brie at my favorite wholesale big box store to save a few dollars.  While you are there check out the pine nut