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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

French Butter and Dinner On The Porch

We love our back porch and have dinner there whenever we can. Last night, after a cook day yesterday and my husband working all day, I was able to throw together a great meal that my husband loves: caprese salad. We had some great tomatoes that Lindsay had picked up at the farmer's market and fresh basil from my herb garden. I had the mozzarella on hand so we were good to go! The salad was delicious and it's always great to sit down and actually have dinner together.

I have also made a new find: French Butter. I found it at Lee's Bakery on Buford Highway and of course had to have it! We had it with a loaf of French bread and it was heavenly!

After the meal, I got this shot of Haven. Sometimes when she sits down, her rear just looks like this. Of course, now I am more conscious about eating so much French butter. Oh well, at least we had salad for dinner. Sorry Haven.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Times Square Bagel

This is the first post of probably many about my weekend trip to New York with a group of girls to celebrate a birthday milestone of one of my friends.

On Sunday morning around 8:00, I got a text that just said "bagels"? I replied, "oui", and was soon throwing on clothes, wiping the sleep from my eyes and heading downstairs to get breakfast. We found a deli and I had to have a bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato and onion. How could I not? I was in New York, after all.

It was delicious! But it was so big I could only eat half. I really wish I had the other half right now.

The night before in Times Square, there were about a million people on the streets. However, at 8:00 on Sunday morning, there were about 10, besides the four friends who had gotten up bleary eyed and decided to have an early breakfast.

Here's my bagel in Times Square. What a fun weekend we all had. But I must admit I had to have a nap yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Busy Week Completed!

I have had a very busy seven days. Last Friday I got an email from someone who desperately needed food. Her husband had spent several days in the hospital, they were suddenly home and had no food in the house. I met with her Friday, cooked two meals on Saturday and returned Thursday to cook three additional meals.

Since last weekend was Mother's Day, after cooking on Saturday morning, I returned home to gather things together and head to my mother's house. There my sisters, mother and I cooked several things on the grill, including lots of fresh vegetables. On Sunday, I got up early to cook several things on the Big Green Egg; then my husband and I headed to Lawrenceville to visit with his mother.

Monday was a regular cook date with a great client. Tuesday I cooked for the first time for a new client.

And now, I leave the house Friday morning at 6:30 for a girl's weekend in New York City! I am really ready for someone to cook my meals for me and am really looking forward to a great weekend with great friends!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Strawberry Jam

I spent yesterday afternoon making strawberry jam from the berries I picked yesterday morning. I again used the Xagave necter instead of sugar. When I looked up several recipes for strawberry jam, they all said to use about 6 cups of berries and 5 cups of sugar. There was no way I was going to do that! (maybe some day I'll try it just to see what it taste like)

I had picked three gallons of strawberries and used about 2 gallons to make jam. I used strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and the Xagave sweetener, about 1 1/2 cups to make 8 1/2 pints and 6 four-ounce jars. I calculate that the 1/2 pint jars have about 125 calories per jar.

If you haven't tried the Xagave nectar, I highly recommend it. You can buy it at any of the Cooks Warehouse locations.

I washed and sliced the berries, added the remaining ingredients, cooked it down till it was thick and voila! strawberry jam!
I was busy heating my jars and lids and didn't take any pictures of that. But basically, once the jam was thick, I added it to the hot jars, sealed them and soon started hearing that lovely "pop" sound, meaning the jars were sealing successfully. Yay!

Here are my completed jars of jam. I had some on a piece of pumpernickel toast this morning and it was really delicious.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Picking Strawberries

This morning I went with my sister-in-law and picked fresh strawberries at a strawberry farm in Loganville. It's called Washington Farms, www.washingtonfarms.net.

They charge $10 per gallon and I picked three gallons. It took about 45 minutes and was really fun and relaxing. There were several different very large strawberry patches and we picked all our strawberries off one row.

They are planted in raised beds and are very clean. The plants are really beautiful and healthy.
I filled my three buckets before reaching the end of one row.

This farm also has blueberry and blackberry patches and I hope to be able to go there in Athens next month to pick those.

Now I better get busy making strawberry jam!