Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fifty Shades of White

When we bought out home three years ago the paint was in fairly good condition and neutral enough to live with for the time being. The only room I painted was a bedroom, done in fluorescent lavender,  that evidently had belonged to a young girl. The master bedroom and bath paint was a beige tinged green that I never could learn to love. I began to notice all the bedrooms I really liked on Pinterest and in magazines were painted white.

White? I love color.
 When my painter arrived she was shocked at my paint choice.
She had been in my former home with the "honeysuckle" bath.
My son's friends referred to our last home as "Rainbow House".

Though the change seems subtle in the photographs above, the room is much lighter and brighter now.

The woodwork throughout the house is Water Chestnut.
I had to find a "white" that would work with the woodwork and ceilings.
I eliminated the whites with tones of pink, blue, grey, etc.
Finally, Benjamin Moore's Linen White was just what I was looking for.
It allowed the woodwork and ceiling to stand out. 

All the different shades of white working together.
The master bath is so much fresher now.
Love Benjamin Moore's Linen White!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Tomato Pie

Our tomato vines are finally producing ripe fruit.  This has not been our best year for tomato production. Now in the middle of August, they are ripening faster than we can eat them. What to do with all those tomatoes? I've been seeing recipes for tomato pie in magazines and on the Internet so I decided to make one. There are literally hundreds of recipes out there. Some peeled and seeded the tomatoes. Some precooked the crust. Some had onion and some didn't. The variations went on and on.
Hot out of the oven, ready to serve!
After reading ten to twelve recipes I decided to put together my on version of tomato pie.
I invited my mother for dinner and we agreed this recipe is a keeper!
What you will need:
9 inch pie crust
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Precook pie crust with pie weights.
While the pie crust precooks, thin slice the tomatoes (5-6 depending on size).
Place tomatoes on a couple of paper towels on a baking sheet and salt.
Allow the tomatoes to drain while the pie crust precooks.
Blot the top of the tomatoes prior to placing in the pie crust.

Slice about 10-12 very thin slices of onion with a mandolin.
Be careful not to add too much onion.
I cut the basil with kitchen shears.

Mix about 3/4 cup mayonnaise with about 1 cup cheese.
(I mixed mozzarella, Parmesan and cheddar with good results.)

Layer the tomatoes with the onion, fresh basil, mayo/cheese mixture ending with a layer of tomatoes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt/pepper to taste.
Top with a sprinkling of Panko bread crumbs.

Ready for a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
This simple rustic dish is delicious as a light lunch or dinner with fresh fruit.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Garden 2013

Here, in my neck of the woods, the gardening season is winding down. It is time for a bit of cleaning up and getting ready for fall. The cucumber vines have been removed and my yellow squash vines are almost gone.

This spring my friend Kathleen hosted a luncheon and flower seed packets were part of the table decoration.

We were invited to take home the seed packets.
I chose Zinnias and decided to plant them in our vegetable garden.

I enjoy the happy colors every time I work in the garden.

Thank you Kathleen for your thoughtful gift.

I always plant a cherry tomato plant.
I can count on ripe tomatoes for a salad.
They bear from late spring until frost.

Last year our peppers did not produce any peppers!
This year, though late getting started, we have more than we can use.

The containers continue to add a little interest to my back yard.

I love my neighbor's white crape myrtles on the other side of the fence. The begonias are still blooming. My Annie Sloan duck egg blue bird house is still vacant but adds a little color.

It was my intention to keep these mums cut back in hope of fall blooms. They started putting on buds so early I left them alone and they are still blooming!

The old mandevilla is putting on a show again this year.

I had to replace some of the plants in my wash pots.
I put them out while it was still too cool and wet.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cucumbers and Eggplant

With cooler temperatures and frequent rain this season our garden has taken on a life of its own. Yesterday I removed the cucumber vines. They were not producing very much and were drying up and really ugly.  I harvested the remaining cukes.

This morning I decided to try a refrigerator pickle recipe.

I don't can so I hope these will be good.
They are supposed to last in the refrigerator for three weeks.

The eggplant is just starting to produce.
Another new recipe - Eggplant Gratin.

I made it for lunch today.
I used the eggplants, ripe tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden.
Very nice dish, however, very labor intensive.
Speaking of tomatoes, here it is August and they are just starting to ripen. Spring was so wet and cool we had to replace most of our plants. Hopefully we will have our "bumper crop" this fall!