Archive for August, 2014

Flip Update…

Flip Update…

Things have been pretty busy around here the last few weeks.  

Lots of decisions on the “Flip” house, in addition to …well, just regular livin’.

As you who follow me regularly know,…I showed you in a previous post the Flip house we bought.

We gutted the complete interior and just basically started from the outside walls in….

Below is the link to that post if you missed it or care to see it.

Flippin’ Fun?


So many things are happening quickly and yet other things are going slowly …like a snail sometimes! 🙂


The marble finally came in for the Master spa/tub…so even though the plastic is still on it…I am glad it is finally in place.


This is a picture of the “before” exterior color of the house…it was a pale yellow with a darker cream trim color.


This is the “after” exterior color of the house…I picked out Sherwin-Williams Colors, Totally Tan base and Biscuit trim! 

Do you think it was an improvement?? 😉 Of course it is a little late to change it, but the yellow was in need of repainting anyway….:)

The house exterior color turned out to be a small communication error between me, the contractor and the painters. 


When I got over to the site…the painters had left for the day and I noticed they had just painted the 3 garage doors the Biscuit color! (the same as the trim was to be painted)…

I had previously sent an email to the contractor with little “markers” explaining in detail just what I preferred!

Alas, I still had to go back and refer to the email….it appears that the contractor quit reading my long-ish email…could it be that I write a book?  

Nah…not me! 🙂


Now that is what I’m talkin’ about! 😉

It only took two or three visits with the painters to get the colors on the right surface….but hey! now all is good and I am so impressed with the quality of work of the painters!

Hmmm…I always think I am perfectly clear….perhaps there are those who will disagree! Captain, oh my Captain…maybe?


The digging of the pool was an exciting time….now it is a hurry up and wait process.  The Captain and I were both on site for this one. 


The framework of the pool


The gravel going into the bottom of the pool…


The rebar going around and in the bottom of the pool….also plumbing, electrical etc.


This pic is of the deep end of the pool!

Now to the interior and I have a favor to ask.

So now, my dear readers…today I am off to look at faucet fixtures for all the baths, showers and tubs and I am asking for your input.

I am debating between brushed nickel or bronze….thoughts on your preferences? (Luckily, I don’t have to make a decision for a few days).

Of course this would also be for towel racks etc….AND door knobs. (which should be for all the doors throughout the house)

Right now, there is a mish-mash of knob colors until we get the final knobs in place. 🙁

Plus a decision has to be made on whether to add “panels” to the flat side panels of the kitchen cabinets or to add a trim down the sides of the end panels….

I would like to give the cabinets a little “pizzazz” !  So a meeting with the cabinet maker is also on the agenda.

Decisions! Decisions!

I have to keep reminding myself that this is a “flip” house and that I won’t be living in it….so cost is always an issue, but I still want it to be good for whoever we sell it to. 😉

But the Captain has to write out all the checks, soooooooo

Have a great day and please tell me your thoughts on faucets! 🙂





Stuffed Peppers with a Twist…

Stuffed Peppers with a Twist…
Yep! The twist is using a mixture of meats rather than all ground beef.
The twist continues with the use of Arborio rice and chili sauce and cheese over the top.
I would say that is a twist and a half!
I assembled my ingredients…really more than I needed as I was experimenting with the tomato part of the recipe.
Some people like diced tomatoes and some prefer tomato sauce,  I decided to use tomato paste as it is a bit richer in flavor.
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There are several steps to making stuffed peppers, but none are difficult.
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The first step would be to cut the tops off of the bell peppers, chopping the tops into a fine dice.
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Par-boil the peppers for only 5 minutes to keep the color fresh….I don’t like the mushy olive green when the peppers are over cooked. ;( 
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Drain on paper towels….notice the color is still vibrant? I think it makes the peppers more appetizing to have the peppers blanched. But that is just me!
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Chop the onion and celery and add to the already chopped bell peppers.
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Saute the onion, celery and bell peppers in olive oil and butter in a medium sized skillet…
Now aren’t they pretty?
And I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma of what is known in Cajun country as  “The Trinity”, onion, celery, and bell peppers!
This combination of veggies, is the base of most savory Cajun dishes, more often than not.
Let me digress for just a minute please……you knew I would, didn’t you? 😉 
These particular veggies are added to a roux as the beginning of stew, soup, sauce, jambalaya, sauce piquant or almost any other Cajun main dish. 
Yes, the trinity is used in many recipes not attributed to Louisiana, but are probably used in Cajun cooking or low country cooking more than any other type of cooking.
I have many cookbooks and four special cookbooks by the late Justin Wilson, a Cajun humorist and cook of Cajun specialties.
Mr. Wilson comments about the use of the trinity in reference to onion, celery and bell peppers.
“The importance of these three vegetables is indicated by the reference to the “holy trinity.” The mostly Catholic French Cajuns’ mean this allusion as a sign of the respect due to the place of onion, celery, and bell pepper in Cajun cookery. You can never have too much onion…but go easy on the celery and bell peppers, because they are taste killers in a roux. sometimes garlic is added to the trinity”.
Ok, now that we have established the origin of onion, celery and bell peppers…let’s move on to the cooking of the rice for the stuffing inside the bell peppers. ;0
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Sooooo, meanwhile cook the rice!
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Add the spices to the skillet of onion, celery and bell peppers.
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Add the tomato paste and the water to the skillet
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Mix the meats, egg and Worcestershire sauce
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Drain the rice and add to the meat mixture
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Fill the peppers with the meat mixture and add 1 teaspoon of chilli sauce to the tops
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Pour the remainder of the tomato mixture around the peppers…it is ok if some goes on top of the stuffed peppers. 😉
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Bake in oven for 60 minutes, topping with cheese in the last 3 minutes, if desired. 
Now what could be easier? 
And the flavor is sooooo good!
If you haven’t made stuffed peppers in a while….try this recipe and see if you like the “twists” I have added.
The handy dandy printable is below. 😉
Have a Blessed day!
Stuffed Peppers with a Twist...
Yields 6
This stuffed pepper starts with a meat loaf mixture consisting of ground veal, pork and beef! Add a little Arborio Rice, a few veggies and all you need is a salad to complete this meal.
Write a review
  1. 6 Bell Peppers...I chose 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 green
  2. 1 tablespoons butter
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. Diced tops of bell peppers (about 1/2 cup)
  5. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  6. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  7. 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  8. 1 clove garlic, minced
  9. 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  10. 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  11. 2 teaspoons salt, (1 teaspoon for veggies and 1 teaspoon for meats)
  12. 1/2 cup of water
  13. 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon for veggies and 1 teaspoon for meats)
  14. 1 egg, slightly beaten
  15. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  16. 1/2 pound lean ground beef (or chuck)
  17. 1/2 pound of ground veal
  18. 1/2 pound of ground pork
  19. 1 cup cooked Arborio rice
  20. Chili Sauce (optional) I use Heinz
  21. shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 cup optional
  1. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and clean the inside membranes out. Place the peppers in salted boiling water; reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Drain and set aside. Chop the edible tops of the peppers into a small dice.
  2. In a skillet, melt the butter along with olive oil. Add celery, onion, diced bell peppers and saute for about 5 minutes. Add oregano, garlic, basil, water, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Put the meats in a medium size bowl, add the egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, rice and half the tomato mixture from the skillet. Mix with your hands, trying not to over-mix, or the meat will become tough.
  4. Fill the bell peppers with the meat mixture and place in a 3 quart baking dish. Add 1 teaspoon of chili sauce to the top of each pepper. Add the other half of the tomato mixture from the skillet and pour around the peppers in the bottom of the dish. This assists in "steaming" the peppers from the bottom gives a nice sauce to use on the side for serving.
  5. Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees... until the tops of the peppers start to caramelize.
  6. If using grated cheese, add 3 minutes before the peppers are done.
  1. If you prefer to use ground beef rather than the three meats...please do so.
  2. You may also use white rice in place of the Arborio, I just happen to have Arborio on hand and it is a "creamy" rice when added to the meats.
  3. The number of peppers really depends on the size of them...larger peppers would of course require fewer peppers.
  4. You may also cut your peppers in half and fill as pepper boats, as some may not prefer so much bell pepper ! 😉
Me and My Captain

Pork Chop Tropicale’

Pork Chop Tropicale’ is a great way to serve one of my favorite meats!

You know pork is the other white meat….we have been hearing that for years!

Also years ago, we were told to cook the heck out of pork…to assure food safety.

The result was a dry, tough pork chop ….which resembled shoe leather, both in looks and taste.

However, in May of 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined a new guideline for cooking pork chops, pork roasts and  pork steaks.

The USDA did explain that the change does not apply to ground meats, including beef, veal, lamb and pork…which should be cooked to 160 degrees.

Please note that the safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including chicken and turkey remains at 165 degrees.

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The USDA goes on to say that there should always be a “rest time” after cooking…and for pork chops, the rest time should be at least 3 minutes.

To quote the  USDA, :

“A “rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has determined that it is just as safe to cook cuts of pork to 145 °F with a three minute rest time as it is to cook them to 160 °F, the previously recommended temperature, with no rest time. The new cooking suggestions reflect the same standards that the agency uses for cooked meat products produced in federally inspected meat establishments, which rely on the rest time of three minutes to achieve safe pathogen reduction.” 

 Gosh! it takes me 3 minutes to get the rest of the meal served up in dishes! 😉

The USDA’s… FSIS goes on to discuss the appearance of cooked pork……

“The new cooking recommendations clarify long-held perceptions about cooking pork. Historically, consumers have viewed the color pink in pork to be a sign of undercooked meat. If raw pork is cooked to 145 °F and allowed to rest for three minutes, it may still be pink but is safe to eat. The pink color can be due to the cooking method, added ingredients, or other factors. As always, cured pork (e.g., cured ham and cured pork chops) will remain pink after cooking. Appearance in meat is not a reliable indicator of safety or risk. Only by using a food thermometer can consumers determine if meat has reached a sufficient temperature to destroy pathogens of public health concern. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.” 

I suggest using a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop …or any pork roast or pork steak.

Any further questions or issues with cooking pork can be found in a Q&A at the below link. 

Pork Chop Tropical4

Simple ingredients you most likely have in your pantry.

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So simple to mix together in a large plastic bag….just “mush” with your fingers…through the bag of course! ): 

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Refrigerate overnight or at least for 8 hours…..use a large bowl or baking dish just in case of “leaks”…and toss on the grill! 

I like to go into the fridge and “mush” up the marinade every so often, although it is not necessary.

Hey, it makes me feel that I worked extra hard on these chops! 😉

Meanwhile….Enjoy these pork chops!

The glazing caramelizes on the chops… not only tastes good, it looks good too!

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They will soon become your “go to” recipe for chops!

I promise! 😉

Oh, and if you want to add a few extra pineapple slices to the grill….please do! I love pineapple almost as much as I love pork chops! 😉

Below is the handy-dandy printable recipe. 






Pork Chop Tropicale'
Yields 4
A delicious way to serve pork chops and you let the grill do the cooking. Do not overcook the chops...145 degrees is a perfect temperature for pork chops, steak or roasts!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
8 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
8 hr
  1. 4 pork chops
  2. 1 small can pineapple rings, (8 ounce) drained, reserving the juice
  3. 1 small can crushed pineapple (8 ounce)
  4. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce
  6. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1/2 inch of fresh)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (optional)
  1. For the marinade, add pineapple juice and crushed pineapple, brown sugar,Teriyaki sauce, ginger, black pepper and garlic powder in a large zip lock bag. I like to put the plastic bag in a bowl to insure no spills...but that is just me...I tend to spill a lot 🙂 AND it also allows for mixing the marinade either with a spoon or zipping the bag and shaking to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the pork chops into the marinade, squeezing out any air in the bag as you seal. Refrigerate overnight. (I also like to keep my sealed bag in a bowl in the fridge for the same reason I pour ingredients into a "bowled bag" (I think I just made up that term...;0 )
  3. Place the pineapple rings in another baggie and put in the fridge.
  4. Preheat your grill for a medium heat, lightly oiling the grates.
  5. Remove the pork chops from the marinade, shaking off excess, and grill about 5-7 minutes per side.
  6. Brush the pork chops a few times with your pineapple juice marinade, which will allow the juices to penetrate the chops and give a lovely grilled appearance.
  7. Discard excess marinade.
  8. As the meat is grilling, place 4 pineapple rings onto the grill, and allow to brown slightly and the slices show grill marks.
  9. Top each pork chop with a grilled pineapple ring and let "rest" for at least 3 minutes before serving.
  1. When brushing the pork chops...I don't mind if some of the crushed pineapple remains on the just makes the glaze adhere...if that makes sense! 🙂
  2. I have used the ground ginger and the fresh ginger and they still taste great!
  3. Serve the Pork Chop Tropicale' with a light tomato-couscous salad, or baked potato or your favorite side.
  4. Did you know that you can keep a "claw" of fresh ginger in the freezer and just break off what you need? Great tip!
Me and My Captain

Italian Market…Con’t!

Italian Market…Con’t!

Yesterday, I showed you pictures of one of the Italian Markets here in Cape Coral. Click on the link below, if you missed it! 🙂

Andiamo al Mercato…! Come To the Italian Market

I also said I would show you more pics today… and so, if you would like to see more…here they are!

As I said earlier, I love shopping in specialty markets! 

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Of course, I love shopping for food anytime and anyplace. I also like to visit all the local supermarkets of one chain.

You never know what little surprises that one store will stock, while another of the same chain does not. 😉

OK…I am weird…but you already knew that didn’t you?

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Love the produce…

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I like the baskets… is all in the presentation isn’t it?

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It just makes shopping an experience….

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I really like the sign beside the eggs…..

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Lots of fresh fennel….

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And of course…potatoes and more potatoes….in baskets!

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Isn’t this quaint?

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And cheese…..

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Oh, yesssssss and more fresh cheese….hmmmm?  is there such a thing as fresh cheese?  Think about it. 🙂

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Any kind of cheese you might want!

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Huge cans of Pasta Sauce al dente!  :):):)

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and the rest of the meat counters!

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Mouth watering super thick cuts!

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And large packaged meats for large families….

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Isn’t this a typical small market with all the signs?  Love it!

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Lots of  bread baked daily…salads too! They have just about everything our large Super Markets have!

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These are spices….

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Up close and personal! 😉

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I love visiting with the shoppers.

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One little Italian lady gave me her recipe for bizcotti…she just started talking and I was using the microphone on my IPhone…..what fun!

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My purchases included a ball of “Homemade fresh mozzarella cheese ball”….oh so good with my Summer Caprese recipe! Click on the link below for the recipe! 🙂

Summer Caprese

Store bought mozzarella just can’t compare with homemade, can it?

I hope you enjoyed shopping with me at our local Italian Market!

Have a great Tuesday!





Andiamo al Mercato…! Come To the Italian Market


Andiamo al Mercato!  Come to the Italian Market.

No, I do not speak Italian….but I can say “Besame Mucho”…I just love that Italian song…. 😉

And I do love Italian food!

I do love shopping for specialty items and we have a wonderful Italian Market right here in Cape Coral.

It is run (and owned) by a family of Italians and they stock the best food stuffs…many things are imported from Italy.

So come along with me and I will show you a few of the items in this fantastic market.:)


The aisles are brimming with fresh produce, meats and specialty items.


Of course there has to be tomatoes….fresh and canned…these are all tomatoes.




Wait til I show you the homemade dessert counter!


Wines…of course there are!


You name it….they stock it!


Yummy hot Italian sausages….


Gluten free pasta…..


Of course Olive oil…


Home made sauces….just in case you don’t want to make your own.


Cute little carts loaded with nuts and you name it….:)


Oh yes…pasta!


What kind do you prefer? 😉

Ita10You know I couldn’t leave this wonderful Italian Market without this wonderful Italian man holding a Stromboli for me…… so I could take a picture.;0

This picture is for my “dancing friend across the pond” who will be visiting me next month…

And since she is Italian, we will definitely make a trip to Paesano’s for her! 🙂

I have so many more pictures…that I will share with you, tomorrow…

and then we will visit this wonderful little Italian restaurant serving some of the best Italian food around.


Enjoy your day….and have fun doing whatever you want to do. 🙂






Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies…Recipe!

Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies…Recipe!

Yesterday, (see link below) I said I would provide this plain cookie recipe from my Grandmother on my Mother’s side….Grandma Alice.

It is a quick recipe that does not require putting the dough in the fridge….you take it right from the mixing bowl to a floured surface.

    Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies!


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Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies!

Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies!


Do you remember me telling you about my Grandma Alice? 

I posted about her … a couple months ago. You may click on the link below if you would like to see the post.

Cane Pole Fishing with Grandma!

Anyway…I have been wanting this particular recipe for a long time and the other day I was visiting with my cousin (she lives in Kansas and her name is Charly)…another family member with a special name.    🙂

So I asked Charly if she by chance had Grandma Alice’s sugar cookie recipe.

Charly said she was sure she had Grandma’s Plain Cookie Recipe in her recipe box.

And in fact she did, hand written in Grandma’s writing… and with “Charly”‘s name on the top!

I think my error was assuming the cookie was a sugar cookie….but like my wonderful Grandma, this cookie is not pretentious.  

It is a simple plain cookie…and it is so delicious!

Never frosted….just a plain cookie!


Grandma made these cookies every chance she got….and she had a pink depression glass cookie jar that sat in an old white sideboard with upper cabinets with glass inserts.

Very similar to the picture of the blue sideboard (from E-Bay) below….Grandma’s cookie jar sat right where the plate is sitting in the photo.  🙂

pink lace1

Grandma’s cookie jar did not have a lid…or if it was there, it was not on the jar which made for easy pilfering of the cookies. 😉

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She also had a small pink bowl with a “shower cap” type cover that protected her home made maple syrup that sat to the left of the cookie jar.  But that is another post. 😉


This is the closest I could get to a picture (from E-Bay) that looked like Grandma’s old white sideboard.

The upper right door of her sideboard remained open all the time, perhaps she knew that her grand-kids would have easier access to the cookie jar. 😉

Plus, living so close to the school, Grandma gave all the kids who passed by her house… a cookie. (in those days, one could do that) 🙁 


Grandma’s kerosene stove was similar to this one (also on E-Bay)

Grandma baked her cookies in the oven of a kerosene stove which sat at a right angle next to her other sideboard.

Used for Canning her vegetables and heating wash water for the washing machine.

Used for Canning her vegetables and heating wash water for the washing machine.

Grandpa always kept the kerosene jugs filled for both her stoves…the one for cooking and the one that sat out on the screened in back porch that she used for canning and heating Monday wash water. 

Grandma had her flour and "stuff" in an old sideboard like this one.

Grandma had her flour and “stuff” in an old sideboard like this one.

You know, I don’t ever remember a time when the Pink Lace depression glass cookie jar was ever empty. 🙂

If you are not familiar with Depression Glass or if you missed my post discussing it with my posted pictures….the link is below!

Depression Glass

I just love Depression Glass….but I digress.

Don’t I always? 😉

 Yesterday, I made these cookies…and Wow! did it bring back memories..


I don’t have the Pink Lace depression glass, but I do have the Green Cameo….so I put the Plain Cookies in the cookie jar and poured myself a cup of tea.


I took the cookies out to my Secret Garden where I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts of Grandma!

Perhaps it is just my age that causes me to drift back in time to …not necessarily a better time, but a good time.  A pleasant time!

My younger years were so busy with daily living…one doesn’t seem to have time or take the time for nostalgia.

On this journey I am on….retirement, I am still busy. 🙂

However, I do try to find the time to sit quietly in my Secret Garden, and let the tropical breezes whisper to the pink hibiscus… to gently move their large, green leaves.

I also hear the twitter of the  mockingbirds as they dart in and out among the Areca Palms.

And I get to watch the most beautiful blue butterflies hovering over the pink pentas!  

And I remember …. I let my thoughts drift.  It is so peaceful.

Do you, my dear readers, … have special memories of your grandmother or a special loved one?

Have a blessed and wonderful Thursday!

Tomorrow, I will share my Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookie Recipe. 😉





Pine Trees in Florida!

Pine Trees in Florida!

I guess I never really gave it much thought….there are Native Pine Trees in almost every state….including tropical Florida!


Tall, Tall pines….just around the corner from me

I say almost, because apparently, the Hawaiian archipelago lacks native pine trees…and that makes sense to me.

Tropics!  Palms!

Cold Weather! Pines! 🙂


Royal Palms

I guess I thought tropical states such as Hawaii and Florida would have palm trees …and they do…plenty of them.


When we first moved to Florida almost 4 years ago….I focused mainly on the beautiful tropical palm trees.  Not Pine trees!


Bismark Palms

I did notice however, that there was/is a main thoroughfare sporting the name “Pine Island Road”, which runs through our little city of Cape Coral.


Pineapple Palm

Still,… my itty, bitty, little brain did not comprehend that it was so named because of the Pine Trees. 🙂


Foxtail Palm centered between two cypress trees

I just thought they called it “Pine Island Road” because it led to….well, to Pine of the barrier islands very close to our home. 



Christmas Tree Palms….so named because of the bright red clusters of seed pods that sprout often…most people pull them down before they can turn red.

Anyway, I thought or surmised that the pine trees I would see interspersed among the stately palm trees…. were planted by Northerners (now Southerners) …wanting reminders of their pine trees up North.


Washingtonian Palm

Kind of like I would love to be able to plant Lilacs and Peonies….from my Midwest upbringing….but alas, they will not grow down here. I am too far South. 🙁

Our Pygmy Date Palm near my front door

Our Pygmy Date Palm near our front door

There are not a lot of pine trees in Kansas, where I was born and raised…and some say that Kansas has no native pine trees.

Lots of native cedar trees, but no pine trees.

However, according to the source below….some of the central Great Plains states, like North Dakota and Kansas, have very low pine diversity, but none-the-less they do have a few native pines.

Many of the introduced species become disease prone and eventually turn brown and die.  

Perhaps that is why I don’t remember that many! 🙂


native pine

 I have since learned (after living here awhile) that there are seven species of native pine trees in Florida!


Native Pine

And three other commonly planted non-native species that grow very well in this environment.


Native pine

Pine trees are not necessarily for mountains and cold, cold temperatures!

They can flourish in sub-tropical climates too!

Do you have native pine trees near you?  

Or were they planted?

Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂

Have a great day!





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The Giver

The Giver….A movie review!

The movie stars Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep… with Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift (a very brief part) among others.

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The Captain and I went to see this movie and I have to admit….there is a bit of irony here.

Perhaps you have read the book, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, published in 1993.  

the giver

I understand the book was a required reading for many in their high school years, though that was long after I left school. 🙂 

The book and movie is all about a government who controls every aspect of one’s life….there are NO choices.

This includes who to marry, what to eat, where to work, how to speak (example: please and thank you’s…which is a good thing :))…and what children to raise. (Not so good)

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Everything is literally black and white….the film has no color until the young boy, Jonas, starts to see what life used to be like for their group of communities. 

Jonas sees parties, feels happiness…love, sees sunsets, good things, bad things…but most importantly he sees “choices”. 

In this sort of Utopia, there are no choices made by each individual. Choices are made for them by their governing powers.

the giver.1jpg

Jonas (who has been chosen to be the “receiver” )… is able to see the past through the teachings of  the “Giver”….played by Jeff Bridges.

“The Giver”… reminds me of the old medicine man in a tribe…or the older matriarch or patriarch of a family who holds all the memories of days past.

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Below are a few quotes from the book, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.

“Well…,” Jonas had to stop and think it through. “If everything’s the same, then there are no choices! I want to wake up in the morning and DECIDE things! A blue tunic, or a red one?” 

― Lois LowryThe Giver

“Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” 
― Lois LowryThe Giver

“…how could you describe a hill and snow to someone who had never felt height or wind or that feathery, magical cold?” 
― Lois LowryThe Giver

The author, Lois Lowry sums the movie (and life) up perfectly…forgive my pun! 😉

“Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of ‘The Giver’: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.” 
― Lois LowryThe Giver

I have to admit that in the beginning, …..when God gave all of us a “free choice”…..He certainly made and knew us well. 🙂

Have you seen the movie “The Giver”?

What are your thoughts?

Have a great Monday!





Smoked Salmon From Pike’s Market

Smoked Salmon from Pike’s Market…Seattle!

I have always liked salmon.  

My Mother made salmon patties almost every Friday night for years and we were not Catholic! 😉

Years later, …I discovered smoked salmon and I really do love it!

I can eat smoked salmon and salad crackers and make it a meal. 🙂

I made a fresh Smoked Salmon Dip yesterday…which is adapted from a recipe I found in Seattle years ago.

And you can’t get fresher smoked salmon than from Pike Place Fish Company in downtown Seattle, altho I used the salmon from my local fish monger!

I really do miss Seattle’s Public Market Center!  

Pikes Place fish market

Pike Place Fish Co

When we lived in Seattle….the Captain and I would go down town on many a Saturday morning.

We would stop off and have fresh blueberry bagels and coffee at one of our favorite little outdoor restaurants.

And then….we would walk the market enjoying all the fresh produce and fish.

Of course we enjoyed the fish tossing!

Someone once said…”why do they toss the fish?”

It is really simple….the fish monger would stroll around in front of his fish..trying to entice a customer to buy a fish.


When the customer chose a fish…the fish monger would toss that same fish to another fish monger behind the counter…who would then wrap it up for the customer.


Of course, the monger could have carried the fish to the back of the glass cabinets…..but they really enjoyed putting on a show!  


There was always beautiful produce….and I filled my wicker basket full each time we went.


I loved the fresh flowers at the market….so many to choose from …



especially the tulips, when they were “in season”. 

The tulips were usually from Skagit County which is a little North of Seattle.

 There were fields and fields of tulips in Skagit county and they were just beautiful.


Skagit County Tulip Festival

Loved the tulip festivals held there each year……so many tulips…so many colors! 🙂


Flower Market at Pike’s Market 

While living in Seattle…our families always knew that their Christmas presents would be fish from Pike’s Place Fish Market.  


We would order the fish/shrimp/lobster at the counter (or on-line) and it would be sent, boxed with dry ice…directly to their doors in the Midwest! 

But I digress…..(what else is new?) 🙂 I want to talk smoked salmon dip.

I am attaching the smoked salmon dip recipe which I adapted from a recipe I found in Seattle years ago…at one of the supermarkets.  

I believe it was Safeway…believe it or not!

The original recipe called for mayonnaise, but I use Miracle Whip…it gives a little bit of sweetness. 

I think you will love this quick and easy dip.

I serve this dip (or a variation of) at our Christmas Open House each year and I am always asked for the recipe.

Sometimes, the thought of capers will cause some to want to think twice…I believe they add to the flavor, but you can certainly omit them if  desired.

Try this simple dip at your next Fish Fry…or any fish dinner…

And you don’t have to go to Seattle’s Pike’s Market to get your smoked salmon…or you don’t have to wait until Christmas to have it. 🙂

You can find smoked salmon anywhere these days…add this dip to your recipe box!







Smoked Salmon Dip
This dip is so versatile, many substitutions can be made. Crab meat for salmon...parsley for dill. This dip is always at my Christmas Open House, but can be enjoyed anytime.
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
  2. 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  3. 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  4. 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
  5. 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  7. 2 ounces plus 2 more ounces thinly sliced and coarsely chopped smoked salmon
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  1. Using your food processor, combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, capers, red onion, lemon juice, horseradish.
  2. Add 2 ounces of the smoked salmon and process until smooth which will take about 20 seconds.
  3. Remove the dip mixture to a small bowl and add in the remainder of the fresh salmon, gently blending
  4. You can either leave the dip in the mixing bowl or transfer it to a pretty dipping bowl and top with the fresh dill.
  1. Fresh parsley can be substituted for the fresh dill, altho I really like the dill flavor paired with the salmon.
  2. You could also substitute the crab for the salmon.
  3. Serve with Pita Chips or Pretzel Chips for a really good appetizer.
Me and My Captain

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