Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Food for thought...

OK...I have a new found respect for food stylists and photographers like Ryannan at
Just plain ole foodies like Jain from Once in a Blue Moon and Rachel from coconut and lime.
Recently I was asked to submit a recipe
and photos for a new
online magazine, magazine...check em' out! problem. I cook. Actually I love to cook.
That, apparently is one part of the problem.
I don't measure. So trying to recreate and guesstimate amounts for a real live recipe
was a bigger challenge, that I have no doubt I fumbled.
I mean, is it copacetic to say a bunch of that and a handful of this??
And pictures...are you kidding??
Do you know how hard it is to get pictures of little pieces of chicken breast cooking in a pan
to look appealing?? Hmmmmm? I was NOT born with that gene...yet people do it time and time again. And beautifully. I bow to them.
Like I said. I have major gold star respect for these peeps now.
Thankfully, they only used a couple of the pics in their article...
But because I love you...and because I believe in full disclosure...
I give you the whole shebang....with pics of cooking chicken breast, to boot.
...for your viewing pleasure.

Pasta Parma Rosa...
Or as my 13 year old calls it pink chicken...
So...Here I am trying to make the raw chicken fit in with the other cast of characters
She's just not as photogenic...raw or cooked.
but we still love her.
It is important that chicken that will be in a recipe have good self esteem.
notice the scallions and tomato picked right from our friends garden.
They grow real veggies...In abundance. We, apparently, grow squirrels who eat veggies.
and cream from said friends cow, Bessie.
naw...just kiddin about the's straight from a box marked heavy cream

OK...the cooking chicken part. Raw breast (or you can choose thighs)
sliced across the grain and sauteed in some olive oil (you could add a bit of butter to make it brown a bit more, too)

Chop an onion...or maybe 1/2. you could add some chopped garlic too...
and this ladies and gent is where I go off that slippery slope
of a little of this, or try some of that...and all the sudden we are making
chicken pot pies instead of parma rosa.

Remove the sauteed and beautifully cooked chicken to a separate plate,
and in the same oil add the onion...saute until it sweats and browns a bit.
Then add Ole Bessie's cream (about a pint...maybe less). Let it bubble and cook
(medium high heat) until it reduces to half of its amount and thickens.

sneak in some fresh ground pepper...some salt....
oh...and some vodka. A splash (maybe 2TBSP)'ll really bubble now.
let it work it's magic.

Now....add that can of diced tomatoes that was waiting patiently.
...I won't even mention that they could be fresh chopped, or sun dried or even some
jarred tomato sauce...

Throw in a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Then look at it, taste it
and add more...then some more vodka...then some more pepper...

Chop those fresh scallions
the tomato is just hanging out making sure they are chopped

cook some tortellini
my kids always called them tortellini bellybuttons...or maybe that was me.
I love to use the fresh kind...but in lieu of paying $6 bucks for a tiny
container of it I grabbed some dried tortellini. It was not half bad...for half price.
But, here I go, you could use any pasta you have around.
I personally like the squiggly ones that hold the sauce...just so.

I usually put the pasta on a big white tray...pour the chicken in it's lovely pink sauce
over top...then add a teensy bit more parm.
then scatter those fresh scallions all over.
Ta da.

Then, dig in, and that's where the pictures go downhill again...
and that is where I really appreciate those food stylists.

It is tasty, though.
Try it...I dare ya.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Paradise found....

Grab a good pair of sunglasses....a tiny bag
that just fits a bathing suit
and nothing more....
...Find lush foliage, tropical rains, turquoise waters....
Cliff top swimming pools of incredible blues, that play off
the changing colors of the pacific....

Wind down the palapa stairs, where we find ourselves on the Mexican Riviera...
Sensual, Humid, extravagant.

Along the Gulf of mexico, where mayan and
Olmec kingdoms once flourished....
At the enchanting House that sings...La Casa Que Canto

it has eight pools that cascade into each other, as the

resort is built into a cliff...Overlooking the bay of


Sing it....

The poured concrete rooms can be private and cavelike...

and at once open and airy...

what ever you may need!

Are ya with me?

Beautiful open air structures with palmetto thatched roofing...
Sky and sea and pool collide into every shade of blue
on the color wheel...
and then some

Fresh caught shrimp,tuna and swordfish...
Tequilla with lime and salt. of course...

Quiet inlets...warm breezes....hammock swaying.

works for me

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Watch dogs...

Ever feel like you are being watched....


Hard to get anything done around here without a
brown eye staring or a wet nose sniffin'.

Big Black Dogs.

Gotta love 'em.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sometimes love is a bit of sprinkled sugar...caramelized...

...An ode to Grandma B
Who makes THE.
Most. Amazing.
She, with little effort...and years of practice...
creates the flakiest, lightest...most delectable crust
Ice water is a secret. Shhhh.
Sprinkles of cane sugar carmelize on top

I do not have A child nor a lucky friend who doesn't crave a Grandma B pie...
Ambrosia...Nectar of the Gods.
We are lucky, for sure.

With lots of love.
Yes. I am sure that is the true secret...

Baking with love.

Find more delectable treats on Foodie Friday

at Designs by Gollum.

Find Love.


Cleaning up my picture files

I found these...


Photos: Tria Giovan

Did I say lovely??
Yes. I think I did
Any speak to you???

Sunday, February 15, 2009

wandering around the yard on a Sunday morning...when I should be weeding

....It's Sunday...what ever
...A Bird of Paradise. It is 30 feet tall now
Australian Tree fern...unfurling

Miscellaneous pot...we are a miscellaneous pot refuge.

um hm.
Natures paint brush at work...
well, Somebody needs to guard the blue wine bottles

Ok...this is a work in is a finial to our gate
I was trying my hand at chainsaw carving
*Trying* would be the operative word.

...and this would be the mess I need to get back to weeding...

Will be painting this area...courtyard by front door
And asking your opinions about colors soon...
Very soon
Old chair made out of Ox cart pieces....

...Back I go.


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