Wednesday, April 8, 2015

grandchildren sweetness

tiny sparks of hope [easter in the mountains]

waiting for spring

{ezra and cedar ~ british columbia ~ photos by amanda}

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

blue cheese bites

Blue Cheese Bites
Makes 40 bites

1 (12 ounce) can buttermilk biscuits 
4-5 ounces (about ½ cup) blue cheese crumbles
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Evenly sprinkle the blue cheese crumbles over the bottom of 
a 10" round  or  7" X 11"  casserole/serving dish. 
Melt the butter and pour it evenly over the blue cheese.

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.
Using light pressure, roll each biscuit piece into a ball. 
Arrange the biscuit pieces on top of the blue cheese crumbles. 

Try to keep the biscuit pieces from touching.

Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 
20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

peet's coffee

My Shop Smart Magazine recommends Peet’s Coffee K-cups 
so I thought I would give them a try. 

Turns out they are pretty good.

My go to coffee lately has been Jamaican Me Crazy 
{flavored coffee, infused with rich coconut flavor and an island twist} 
but it has been fun trying these new blends.

Do you have a favorite K-cup?

House Blend Coffee
Dark Roast
This best-of-house blend was crafted by Mr. Peet himself at our first café in Berkeley, CA. Selecting the finest beans, he hand roasted in small batches for rich, distinctive flavor. Four decades later, Peetniks everywhere are at home with House.

Major Dickason's Blend Coffee
Dark Roast
1969. Our first store on Vine Street. Loyal customer Key Dickason approaches Alfred Peet with his own blend. Mr. Peet tinkers. Before you know it, our all-time bestseller is born. Rich, complex, multi-layered; like a relationship with an old friend

Brazil Minas Naturais Coffee
Medium Roast
We select Brazil’s finest beans from the region of Minas Gerais, preferring those known as ‘naturals.’ By this method, our favorite fazendas (farms) dry whole coffee cherries in the warm Brazilian sun, imbuing the beans with a sumptuous sweetness.

Cafe Domingo Coffee
Medium Roast
There’s nothing like great coffee to bring friends and neighbors together. This Latin American medium roast pays tribute to an old pastime: lingering in one of our cafés, sipping an expertly brewed cup.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

first farewell gathering

When I was teaching I always thought that the minute I began writing on
the June calender time raced and the end of the school year came faster.

Now in retirement I find that as soon as the first of our friends head north
time races and before you know it winter in Florida comes to an end.

First to leave Tome and Sharon {this week}

Then Kathy and Jim {next week}

Later Cindy and Tom {end of April}

Last in this group - us {first of May}

Safe travel friends

not yet pictured -  many other friends we have 
made at CCE and will miss over the summer

Monday, March 9, 2015

vegetable chopped salad

While looking for a dish to take to a pot-luck supper 
I came across a chopped salad recipe.
This is my slightly adapted version and I have made it several times.

Vegetable Chopped Salad
12 servings (3/4 cup each)

3 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli
3 cups finely chopped cauliflower
3 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups frozen peas thawed
1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2.8 oz pkg real bacon pieces
1 cup salted peanuts

1. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables.
2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, cheese, vinegar and salt until blended.
3. Add to salad and toss to coat.
4. Stir in bacon pieces.
5. Just before serving, stir in peanuts.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


With spring around the corner we are expecting several sets of visitors.

A blog I enjoy summed it up well . . .

What I learned is that when family needs a place to stay they aren't looking for a luxury hotel, just a bed with clean sheets and a smiling face handing them a hot cup of coffee in the morning. When friends come to visit they don't expect a gourmet meal and a pinterest ready atmosphere, they just want a safe place to talk about the ups and downs of life. {Lemon Lane Cottage}

Sunday, February 8, 2015

chicken & slaw stir-fry

Chicken and Slaw Stir-Fry
serves 2 {9 weight watchers points+}

1 Tbps olive oil
8 oz boneless chicken breast cut into small pieces
3 cups packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
4 medium scallions sliced
4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 cup cooked brown rice

Stir-fry chicken in olive oil for 3-4 minutes in a large skillet
Add slaw, scallions and teriyaki sauce; toss and heat through.
Serve over rice.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

the rent collector

My book club is now reading
The Rent Collector 

Though the book is a work of fiction, 
it was inspired by real people living at Stung Meanchey.

I loved this book.
When I finished it I sat frozen for quite awhile processing it all.

It had extra meaning to me as we have spent
several months in Cambodia in the past 4 years.

Here are a few of my photos that the book brought to mind . . .

{view from Amanda's 4th floor balcony - Phnom Penh}

{Amanda and Ezra - Prey Veng}

{recycling - Phnom Penh}

{traveling by moto - Phnom Penh}

{the blessing of having a foreign doctor - Phnom Penh}

{another blessing - dear friend Ming Kohm}

The Rent Collector is the story of a young mother, Sang Ly, struggling to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty

Monday, January 26, 2015


We don't stop playing because we grow old, 
we grow old because we stop playing. 
{G. B. Shaw} 

{photo taken May 2014}

So, taking advantage of the Florida Resident discount pass we bought last year . . . .
we are off to the "happiest place on earth" for a few days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

salad fixins

My sister-in-law, Tracy, gave us a package of Salad Fixins from Sam's Club. 
Our salads have never been the same . . . 

It contained: 
Sesame Sticks, Raw Sunflower Seeds, 
Slivered Almonds, Cranberries, and Pepitas.

We have begun making our own and never serve a salad without it.

Ours contains: 
Whole Wheat Sesame Sticks, Sunflower Seeds, Sliced Almonds, 
Dried Cranberries, Pepitas, and Dried Edamame Beans.

Mixed and ready to go.

You could make your own by combining any of your favorite healthy snacks. 

I guarantee it will make every ordinary salad into a gourmet feast.