Sunday, June 30, 2013

Halcyon Skies

After endless rain and gloom,
halcyon skies graced the weekend at Rattlebridge Farm.

This post is tremendously photo heavy . . .
. . .and I know everyone is busy with July 4th preparations;
so I'm keeping the commentary to a minimum.
You can scroll down for the recipes if you wish.


Grilled Kielbasa Dogs


An edible vase. . . two ways. 

Easy, Semi-Low Calorie Berry Tumble
Pre-made shortcake rounds
sugar free pound cake
star cookie cutters
sugar free pudding
sugar free Cool Whip
Flatten each shortcake round and place in bottom of a serving dish.
Add pudding, fruit, and Cool Whip.
Using a star cookie cutter, cut shapes from 1" slices of sugar free pound cake

Sugar Free Itty Bitty Trifles
Sugar free pound cake
Sugar Free vanilla pudding
Assemble ingredients. Chill and serve.
Guilt free!

May your July 4th be blessed with halcyon skies.

Contributing to:  Metamorphosis Monday,
Let's Dish
Inspire Me Tuesday
Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits
Tablescape Thursday

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Against the Wind: A Farm Picnic

Summer seems to pick up speed after July 4th,
almost as if the days are skidding down a rain-damp hillside.
Today, we slowed down.


It was a breezy day,
one of those afternoons when I took time to watch the world.
When I was a small child, I loved watching my mama pin damp sheets
to the clothes line. She would bite down on wooden pins, as if she were preparing to wage war against the wind.  With each gust, the towels snapped and snapped.
And a clean, fresh smell filled the air.
Finally, calmness.

I'll use the tablecloth weights for another picnic,
when I'm not wind-watching.


The wind roared over the farm as I was cleaning up.
With my arms loaded, I fell down and dropped those pretty polka dotted bowls.
Smashed them to pieces.
My mother would say, "Better to use your dishes and risk breakage than to keep them on a shelf."

Tomorrow please join us for a Halcyon Sky Cook-out

A Metamorphosis Monday contribution.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Foodie Friday: The Novel Bakers Present The Circle of Kindness

 Between the bluest ocean and over the green hills,
along the winding road that passes the murmuring sheep
and the skylark that sings in the giant oak tree,
through a small crooked gate
and down the narrow path lies a small pink cottage
overlooking the sea."

So begins The Circle of Kindness: An Irish Journey of the Heart, the heartfelt third book in a series by Jana Kolpen and Mary Tiegreen.

This trilogy chronicles the life-altering adventures
of Mademoiselle J. and focuses on the healing force
of food and friendship--and recipes are included.

In Circle of Kindness, we follow Mademoiselle J. to Ireland.
Along the way, the evocative, beautifully written story 
reveals the circular, unending nature of kindness.

"It was to this enchanted spot that Mademoiselle J. had
been invited to spend a time of quiet repose."



"She arrived on a beautiful afternoon
and was greeted at the crooked gate by a committee of fat hens
 and a sweet-faced cow with the kindest eyes in the world."



"The ancient forest opened onto a lush green meadow dotted
with cows that were a curious shade of blue.
Beyond this meadow was an elegant Irish country house set far back from the road."


Mademoiselle J. was in the company of wise cooks who understood the circularity of kindness.


"It's a wonderful thing, a circle...a very ancient symbol
with great power."

"The circle has no beginning and no end.
In our lives we may travel far from home,
 but we will someday come back to where we began."

We can put anything into a circle.
Happiness, anger, humor, envy, joy, kindness.
And it goes around and around.

"My grandmother always told us that a little bit of kindness
can change the world."

"There was a warmth and wonder
that filled the simple kitchen."

"The simple gift of time spent together
is a kindness so deep that it cannot be measured."

It's easy to get caught up in the quid pro quo of friendship and social exchange.
We dole out kindness a pinch at a time
when we should open our hearts and minds,
giving as freely as possible, and without expecting anything in return.

"Sharing the joy of living with those in need of wonder
is a kindness to be treasured."

The "Pie of the Wandering Shepherd"
is hearty and magical.


These Shepherd's "hand pies" were inspired by a fellow Novel Baker. I went wild over a quiet life's "Triple Berry Threat" pies
(see photo below or click HERE for the fruit-version recipe).




 A Toast:
"May you always have warm words
on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
A soft breeze when summer surrounds you,
A chorus of laughter to lighten the heart,
And the kind of smile of a true friend
to welcome you home."


"Green be the grass you walk on,
Blue be the skies above you,
Pure be the joys that surround you,
And true be the hearts that love you."

The book offers a "Kindness Journal."
"The smallest kindness can make a big difference.
It begins with compassion and listening with your heart.
These pages are a place to record your thoughts and acts of kindness. Watch the circle
expand as you share your love."
                             --Mademoiselle J.

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."

The two companion posts are The Secrets of Pistoulet 
and The Legend of the Villa della Luna.

The Novel Bakers are a small group of friends
who are joined by a love of all things culinary.
Jain Moon, author of the gorgeous food blog, a quiet life,
founded our circle of kindness. Our first assignment
was to explore the books of authors Kolpen and Tiegreen. 
 (c) Jain Moon

I met Jain in early 2009, and I joined her cooking group
"The Darling Bakers,"
which set off wonderful, aromatic changes in my kitchen
and the way I look at the world around me.

Here's a peek at Jain's world.
(c) Jain Moon
(c) Jain Moon

 (c) Jain Moon

 (c) Jain Moon

(c) Jain Moon

 (c) Jain Moon

(c) Jain Moon
Jain's Triple Threat Berry Pies are little gems.
(c) Jain Moon
(c) Jain Moon

(c) Jain Moon
(c) Jain Moon

(c) Jain Moon
(c) Jain Moon
(c) Jain Moon

You can see Jain's breathtaking, beautiful views of Pistoulet 

Our beloved, amazing Novel Baker, Mary,
of Home Is Where the Boat Is, was the first to create a fantastical  post about  Villa della Luna. Her work inspires and lifts my heart.
(c) Home Is  Where the Boat Is
(c) Home Is Where the Boat Is

(c) Home is Where the Boat Is
(c) Home is Where the Boat Is
(c) Home is Where the Boat Is
(c) Home is Where the Boat Is
You can see Mary's astonishingly gorgeous views of Pistoulet 
and Dancing With the Moon (Villa della Luna)

Mari of Once Upon a Plate is a one
 of the original Darling Bakers,
and she brings her style, unparalleled photography, and
culinary genius to the table.
(c) Once Upon a Plate
(c) Once Upon a Plate
(c) Once Upon a Plate
(c) Once Upon a Plate

(c) Once Upon a Plate

 (c) Once Upon a Plate
Treat yourself to a tour of Pistoulet and  Villa della Luna 
with our talented Mari.

(Photographs used with permission.
Please do not pin from this blog. Thanks.)
I hope you enjoy our different views of Pistoulet,
Villa della Luna, and the Circle of Kindness. You are welcome
to visit the Novel Bakers' "Jana Kolpen Week" page at Pinterest.

 The trilogy was written and illustrated by Jana Kolpen,
and the books were designed by Mary Tiegreen.


The Novel Bakers will return on Monday, July 22nd,
kicking off  "Lavender Week."

Seven days of recipes and fun: July 22 - July 28.

Thanks to all of the great cooks who participate each week at Foodie Friday. It is always a treat to see what you've been cooking. You are cordially invited to add photographs of your recipes to the "Consuming Passions" group board at Pinterest, which can be found HERE.

It is a small, sociable group; Foodie Friday folks are always welcome to "pin" with us and chat about food. Just leave a comment on one of my recent"pins," so I'll be sure to see it, and I will send you an invitation. Or you can email me.
To participate in Foodie Friday, locate the blue Inlinkz icon and follow the directions. The red "x"
will allow you to delete your link if you made an error; the "x" is visible to you only.

For a complete guide to this linky party, click HERE. If you have still have questions, click HERE
for a detailed Foodie Friday tutorial.

** By adding your link to Foodie Friday, you are granting us permission to include a photo of your FF recipe (and a link to your blog post) in the "Picks of the Week" feature or on our Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest pages.

I would like to ask pretty please if Pinners will "pin" photos of the "Picks" and all FF contributions from the source blogs, not from Foodie Friday. The (c) copyright belongs to the photographers and all links should originate from their blogs. Thanks.
Thanks so much for visiting  today. I am always inspired by your recipes--and by you. Food blogging is more difficult than any kind because of the sheer work that goes on behind the scenes--planning, shopping, prep work, cooking, taking photographs, culling those photos, and cleaning.  I am amazed by your ideas and creativity.
Before you leave, please check out last week's most popular recipes at Foodie Friday.
Have a great, food-filled weekend.
Mlee and Bandwidth