Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mark Your Calendars

Here are some upcoming events you won’t want to miss this summer…

7.1.10 Archbold Farmer’s Market 3-6

7.8.10 Johnny Rodriguez @ Shawn’s Irish Tavern in Waterville

7.10.10 Summer on the Farm at Sauder Village

7.17.10 Archbold Art in the Park

7.21.10 – 7.24.10 Ann Arbor Street Fair

7.22.10 Johnny Rodriguez @ Shawn’s Irish Tavern in Waterville

7.31.10 Joe and Shuey @ Stella Blue

ann arbor street fair
Poster from the Street Fair web page and was designed by featured artist, Mark Traughber.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Front Page of the Second News!

Yesterday, Kent, Emily, Sammy, Wil and I spent the afternoon at the Crosby Arts Festival.  Sammy spent the majority of his time playing the drums with Kewape and they both made The Blade today. drums
Wil even got in on the action for a little while.
The festival was hosted in a perfect setting, the Toledo Botanical Gardens.
The hydrangeas (my currents favs) were in full bloom.  We used white hydrangeas for centerpieces at my sister’s baby shower last year and I’ve been hooked ever since.  One stem per vase is my kind of flower arranging…megasimple.
 IMG_2162  One of my favorite vendors sold screen printed t-shirts.  You can view her store at www.ellembee.etsy.com.
ellembee1 ellembee2
We stopped at The Fresh Market in Toledo so I could pick up some things I needed for dinner tonight.  We definitely will be shopping there in the future.  The meats, produce, cheese and bread lived up to the market’s name and tasted as fresh as they all looked. It’s a modern grocery store with an atmosphere that conveys an old world European market. Their website describes it as…Inviting…comfortable…Convenient.  And it was.  You can enjoy samples and coffee as you shop and the customer service was wonderful.stores_produceshot  
I picked out a wine, like any good connoisseur would, by the label I liked. We had never tried Layer Cake wine and it didn’t disappoint. Check out the details of this wine here. Read more about Layer Cake Wines and the origin of the name/label here.  Do you pick a wine by it’s packaging? HUN_layercake_malbec [arg] 3b
Tonight, to celebrate Kent’s new job, we enjoyed the Layer Cake wine along with this sausage, tomato and basil pasta dish posted by stephmodo!  I paired it with a caprese salad and some ciabbatta bread.  It was megasimple and oh so good.  I love the combination of crushed tomatoes and heavy cream in the sauce. IMG_5835 
image by Stephanie Brubaker
Because it was a special occasion I even made dessert.  I experimented with a new take on strawberry shortcake that included basil and butter pound cake. 
Ingredients: Strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette, sugar, Sara Lee butter pound cake, basil, butter and whipped cream.

Recipe: Clean, stem and quarter 1 lb. of strawberries.  Add 1T. of balsamic vinegar and 2T. of sugar to the strawberries. Stir and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes while they release their juices.  Lightly butter and grill the pound cake.  Layer pound cake, strawberries and whipped cream then top with a basil chiffonade.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crosby Arts Festival

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Check out the Crosby Arts Festival at the Toledo Botanical Garden on Saturday or Sunday.  More details here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Etsy Aprons by 5 Sellers

One of my readers, Olivia, is going to be a preschool teacher next year.  She reminded me of the apron I posted about here.  Aprons with pockets come in handy for teachers.  I went on an Etsy hunt this evening and found some aprons, tool belts and craft/vendor aprons that would work well for a preschool teacher. I’m thinking I need to get out my sewing machine and give one of these a try. Click on each apron to be directed to each seller’s Etsy Shop.

 Vendor/Craft Aprons by: OriginalsbyLauren
amybutler  amybutler2

Fresh Poppies Lotsa Pockets Little Everyday Apron by: pigandcompanyfreshpoppies

  Elizabeth Hostess Aprons by: My Silly Monkey and Me
morning glory butlerlotusdaisychain

Tool Belts by: HeartC
tool belt toolbelt2

Hostess Aprons by: BellaBeeDesigns
bellabee1 bellabee2

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shrimp-Tomato-Basil Pasta

IMG_4259I made this up.  Well…I know I’m not the first to think of this combo, but I didn’t use a recipe.  It turned out really well for not using a recipe.  It was very light, pretty healthy and had lots of flavor.  So…since I didn’t use a recipe, I’ll do my best to blog this “recipe”. IMG_4219 
Ingredients:angel hair pasta, shrimp, butter, parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, white wine, salt and pepper.IMG_4221
Put shrimp on the grill and start boiling water for pasta.  I bought these garlic seasoned shrimp skewers at Anderson’s…megasimple. 
Toast your pine nuts until golden brown. (5-10 minutes) Ours weren’t golden, but that’s because I rushed the whole recipe.  We made this the same night of the strawberry basil salad.  By the time we got to this dish we were really hungry.  It takes about 2-3 times as long to cook when I’m planning to blog about it.  Lots of picture set up and picture taking slows the cooking process.  
Chop some onion.IMG_4232 
Sauté about 2 T. of onion with 1T. minced garlic in 2T of butter for 5-7 minutes. I also added about 7-10 turns of freshly ground salt and pepper.
Cut some cherry tomatoes in half.   IMG_4242  
Chiffonade some basil. I love this word.  It means layer the basil, roll it up tight and slice it thin.IMG_4245
Add about 2T. of white wine.  We used a pinot grigio. Let it cook down for about 5 minutes.
Add about 2-3 T. of olive oil.IMG_4248 
Add tomatoes and sauté in sauce for 2-3 minutes.
Add grilled shrimp.
Sauté everything together to heat for 2-3 minutes.IMG_4252
Add cooked angel hair pasta to sauce and toss to coat.
Separate in two bowls and add toasted pine nuts.
Add some fresh parmesan cheese.
Add the basil chiffonade and enjoy!  I could have worked on a better presentation, but we were really hungry by this point.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

IMG_4211Tonight I made homemade salad dressing for the first time and I really liked it.  It was light, mild, healthier than ranch and megasimple to make.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

1/8 c. of balsamic vinegar

3/8 c. of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic

Directions: Whisk it all together.  It’s that easy!

Salad Recipe:spring salad mix or romaine lettuce, red onion, strawberries, fresh grated parmesan, Stella Leona orange glazed pecans, basil chiffonade and dressing.

This salad is so megasimple that the pictures are pretty self explanatory and require no further directions.IMG_4172  IMG_4178  IMG_4181  IMG_4183 IMG_4184   IMG_4189 IMG_4194   IMG_4197   IMG_4200  IMG_4202  IMG_4207 IMG_4208   IMG_4212