Getting Back My Blogging Mojo and Spring in My Step

I spent the morning wandering around Pier One, Pottery Barn, and Crate and Barrel. I figured that if anything could perk up my dormant writing mojo, it would be Easter bunnies and pastel dishes.

Click into photo for source.

Click into photo for source.

Maybe I have some sort of seasonal affective disorder. Or maybe I’m just sick of Chicago’s whiplash weather. One minute it is 60 degrees and my tulips are coming up and the next minute there’s seven inches of heavy snow to be shoveled. Welcome to winters in the Midwest, I hear you saying. Get over it. Continue reading

Favorites of the Week

Sometimes I have things to share that are short and don’t really need a full blog post. My niece Jessie does a Saturday wrap-up post that I always enjoy, so I decided to try it myself. I hope you like my random thoughts. 🙂

Favorite photos

I joined a photography challenge called the 365 Project and have been posting photos daily. The point is to actually take photos every day and get some feedback to improve your photography. I have to admit that I’m not always perfect about posting that day’s photo. Sometimes I get nothing and resort to “filler” shots from previous days, but it’s my project and I can make my own rules. Right? Here’s a couple of my favorites from the last few weeks.

I have taken many photos of this little girl (with her parents’ permission, of course), and she’s always wary of the crazy camera lady. I thought this shot captured her wariness perfectly.

Click into photo to link to my 365 Project.

Click into photo to link to my 365 Project.

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It’s Time for a Holiday Photo Op!

We’ve been really busy around here with holiday decorating, entertaining, and house guests. All that exciting activity meant that I didn’t have a whole lot of time for blogging, but I have a few photos to share as we go careening into 2015.

Got My Reservations -- Christmas Pudding

We enjoyed a traditional British Christmas pudding.

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Roasted Chicken – the Awesome Budget Stretching Food

Every time I roast a chicken, I am reminded that there’s a reason chickens are awesome.

I had seven people over for dinner last Friday, and chose two plump roasters at my butcher shop. Out the door, less than ten dollars.

Click into photo for recipe and source

Click into photo for recipe and source

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Fresh Corn Soup

Are you a Facebook recipe collector? I feel sometimes that all those recipes are like shiny bits of glitter and of course, the gorgeous photos are designed to attract my attention. This one for Fresh Corn Soup really caught my eye!

GotMyReservations Fresh Corn Soup

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Pesto Presto

How does your basil grow this summer? Mine’s pretty much gone to seed and I’m not very good about watering it. Although I like to garden and I love the flowers and fresh produce, I don’t have much patience for the constant caretaking. I know, I’m a bad gardener.

plantkiller

Earlier this summer when it was raining every day, I took advantage of my basil bumper crop and whipped up a bunch of fresh basil pesto. Fast forward a month or so and it’s almost gone, but I had some kale that needed to be used. (Isn’t there always kale left over in the fridge?) I added more olive oil, four more cloves of garlic, some lime juice and the limpish kale and threw it all into the food processor. Voila! A new pesto was born. Continue reading

Roasted Beets with Lemon and Garlic

We had a half-naked lemon, left over from the bread-making frenzy on Friday night. She’s hiding her zesty side.

GotMyReservations Lemon and Depression Glass Juicer

We had some aging beets from the Farmers’ Market. Upon peeling, some of them turned out to have a little surprise of their own. Continue reading

French Peasant Beets Recipe

Fresh beets from a friend’s garden. Organically grown. Just picked. Priceless.

GotMyReservations French Peasant Beets 2

We love fresh beets here at GMR, and I spent a little time looking for a recipe that included both the beets and some greens — we had a big bunch of kale that needed to be cooked. I found a recipe for French Peasant Beets and just a quick browse through the Food 52 site gives me a lot more food for thought. 🙂 Continue reading

Table for Two: Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

GotMyReservations Table for Two RecipesLeftover veggies and chicken in your fridge? Try Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup for a healthy and satisfying dinner. When combined with a piece of bread and some fresh fruit, you’ve got an easy meal!

This recipe is a version of avgolemono, which in Greek means a soup or sauce made with chicken stock, egg yolks, and lemon juice. There are many different versions of this recipe online, but this soup must start with the three main ingredients, and rice and chunks of chicken are usually added.

The recipe I used made sixteen servings, so I cut it down to four servings for the empty nest using the built-in calculator on the allrecipes web site. Then I doubled the amount of veggies called for in the original recipe amount. By blending the vegetables and stock into a thick base before adding the meat and rice, you get a hearty soup chock full of veggies without sacrificing the original flavor concept of the soup. Continue reading

Spiral Baked Veggies with a Twist

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GotMyReservations Spiral Baked Veggies with a Twist

When I got a Paderno spiral slicer for Christmas, I knew exactly who was going to love this new gadget. My brother, the engineer who never met a machine he didn’t like.

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