Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shallot and Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette

My oldest son, Fred, and his friend, Chelsea, came here last Friday and had Friday night pizza with us before heading out to see the of Montreal movie with his sister, Sarah. She just graduated from high school, and turned eighteen,and she is my youngest. Her graduation was especially nice for me because both her siblings came. It isn't very often that we are all together.




Yesterday, Fred asked me about the salad dressing I made for the large salad we had with our pizza on both occasions. I found the dressing  here.

Shallot and Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette

6 T olive oil
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 garlic clove minced
3 T finely chopped shallot
1 t dried oregano, crumbled
pinch sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together well in a bowl or jar.

The important thing here is the olive oil and apple cider vinegar used. The olive oil needs to be something that actually tastes good on it's own. I used to buy a fairly expensive organic olive oil, until I actually drank a small taste, on it's own, and discovered it tasted bad!!! A good olive oil has a pressing date on the label. I like California Olive Ranch. You can get it at Food Lion, Lowe's Foods, Earth Fare, etc. It is really good. It is more expensive than some of the other grocery store brands, but you don't have to use a lot.
The apple cider vinegar should be raw, unfiltered, and include the "mother". Of course, Bragg's is classic, but you can also buy ACV in the bulk section of Earth Fare. Earth Fare also has bulk herbs, including oregano, that are organic, non irradiated, and very inexpensive. Just buy a very small amount so you always have really fresh dried herbs.
If you can't find, or don't want to use a shallot you could use a bit of red onion. Also, if your shallot is a little more or less than 3 tablespoons, use what you have.
Enjoy!!

Peace and Love,
Stephanie

Monday, June 23, 2014

Breath

All the while...
     the universe,
        Breaths through me...

My mind makes up,
   'elaborate stories'
to fool me into believing,
   I am in control!!

All the while...
     the universe,
        Breaths through me.


Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dreams

Should I dream of Hawaii...

   gentle breezes rustling
             
             the palm fronds.

   clear blue sky,

             fluffy white clouds.

   endless Sunrise and Sunset,

   endless waves...

   like a heartbeat,

             as old as the earth.

My soul connects,

   and returns.

in one heartbeat, one dream.


Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 2013

This year the autumn is gentle and subdued. The leaves have been changing colors at a slow and steady rate and are now falling, falling, falling. The woods are emptying of their leaf cover and beginning to show their bones. Now, I plant my feet into the earth and draw into the steady force of gravity. I ask for grounding, grounding, grounding. Everything, including myself, moving down, to the ground. It's a cycle, and here we are, at this place. Grateful to be.




Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grape Vine Wreaths

Hello,

We have lived in our current home for the past six years. The property includes about three acres of woods, along with about one acre of yard and garden space. The previous owners had some of the larger trees cut from the woods, leaving space for sunlight to reach the ground. Because of this, there is quite a bit of blackberry growing and also lots of grape vine. So, I figured if life gives you grape vines...make wreaths!!

Grape vine wreaths are best made during the growing season. The vines are supple then and can easily be cut and fashioned into wreaths which then dry. I wanted to make some wreaths last December though, so I went into the woods and cut some vines. 




The next step was to soak them in a bucket of water so they would soften up enough to allow me to shape them into wreaths.



After soaking for a couple of days, I was able to create a couple of wreaths.

I'm very happy with the results, however, from now on I'll be making them during the summer. The process is just so much easier.

Here's one I made for my mother in law's December birthday...





And here's the one that is on our door now...









I'm really looking forward to making more wreaths this summer!!

Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent; December 2011

Today, we opened the first window on our Advent Calendar.















Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Purple Pesto Calzone




My middle child is leaving for college this weekend, so I harvested all the purple basil I could to make one of his favorites...pesto calzone. 






Pesto

3 cups packed basil (leaves only, no stems)
3-4 large cloves of garlic
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil

Puree‛ everything together in a food processor, until smooth.








                                                                                                                                                                    
Calzone Dough


2 cups lukewarm water
1 T. sugar
1 T. salt
1 T. instant yeast
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 - 6 cups unbleached flour 

Mix everything together in electric mixing bowl. Knead using dough hook, until smooth and elastic. (5 - 10 minutes)
Turn out into oiled bowl, cover loosely, and let rise until doubled. (1 - 2 hours) 

Mix 1 cup pesto with 2 cups ricotta cheese.

Gently deflate dough and divide into 6 -8 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle. Place a portion of filling on one side if the dough and fold the other side over. Seal the edges and prick with a fork or knive to create steam vents. Brush with olive oil.





Bake in a well preheated 425˚ oven for about 20 minutes until lightly browned. I use parchment paper on a pizza stone.




Enjoy!!

Peace and Love,

Stephanie