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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Summer Tomato Sauce and Penne "Farm to Table"



                 Happy Saturday! Can you believe this week is almost gone?
      This week we decided to search for a farmstand. We know there is a farmer's market not too far away. But it is only there on Monday and Thursday. For what ever reason we never seem to be able to make it on those days. The area in which we live is mostly farm country. In fact that is just what attracted me to this town...Acres and acres of farmland. I am in love with the beauty of the many miles of corn fields. I think There is no doubt this is what sealed the deal for us to move here.
I also think the farmland reminds me of what Long Island was like when I moved there many years ago. All of the farms are now gone from where we lived on the Island. The land became so valuable most farmers sold their land. The farms are now replaced by shopping malls, shopping centers, home developments and condominiums. I know this is progress but I missed them. I loved them!
When I get homesick what makes me feel better is to ride past the miles and miles of farms... the corn fields, the vegetable farms the peach orchards, the strawberry fields, the fields of wild flowers and the rows and rows of greenhouses For those few moments the memories of back home fill my heart. I am in awe of the beauty here. Little by little I am falling in love with this little corner of my world.
        I wanted to buy local produce. There are so many farms we knew there had to be a farm stand. We came across this stand in the middle of nowhere. It looked like it had been there forever. What fantastic vegetables! There is something very appealing about standing in the middle of the farm where you can see the vegetables growing.Smelling the air and the earth and being able to purchase what was in the ground just a short time ago. Buying what is in season and locally grown is not only healthier, but also tastier.
Corn field


       Tomatoes, garlic and basil to make a summer sauce with penne pasta for dinner. The cantaloupe smelled so good we couldn't resist... they were only $1.00.


                                                 Summer Tomato Sauce with Penne

            1 lb. ripe cherry tomatoes (vine ripened are best) rinsed, dried, and cut in half
            1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling over finished pasta
            1 teaspoon sea salt
            pinch of crushed hot pepper
            4 cloves garlic peeled
            10 fresh basil shredded
            1/2 lb. bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella) cut in half
            1 lb.penne
         
Toss the tomatoes, oil, sea salt, and crushed red pepper together in a large bowl. Whack garlic with side of knife and toss into bowl. Let marinate at room temperature, tossing once or twice for at least 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are marinating, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8 quart pot over high heat.
Stir the penne into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi covered 10 to 12 minutes,
Remove the garlic from the marinated tomatoes and toss in basil. Drain the pasta, and add it to the bowl, and toss well to mix. Check the seasoning. adding salt and more crushed red pepper if necessary. Gently stir in bocconcini and serve.
Serve with freshly grated cheese (Grana Padano)


                                  Enjoy!!                  
                                     
                                        Sue




Thursday, July 20, 2017

A French Chateau in the Pocono Mountains


         Since we moved to Pennsylvania two years ago we spend a lot of time traveling to new towns. It began as a way to learn our way around, but now it has become an adventure. We both love historic towns where main street is full of small shops and great restaurants. Some of the towns we have traveled to have been a big disappointment. But last week we traveled to a town called Milford, Pa.
A neighbor's father heard we liked historic towns and he told us we had to go to Milford. He assured us that it was exactly what we were looking for.
         Milford is about one and a half hours northeast of us. I don't think either one of us was setting our expectations too high. All we could think of were the many times we drove for hours only to find a town that was called historic, but was a run down town with abandoned buildings and a few mom and pop stores.
          Much to our surprise it was Beautiful!! Milford was everything that was promised and then some. A town filled with such beauty and history. The streets were lined with antique shops, gift shops, a cupcake shop, an old fashioned candy and ice cream shop. I was in my glory!!!!  And oh, the beautiful Inns, Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels. I was most impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the shopkeepers. They seemed to want you to enjoy all their town had to offer. That's how we found out about the Historic Site Grey Towers.
           Grey Towers was built in 1886 by James Pinchot. Architect Richard Hunt designed the summer home to utilize local materials and to reflect the French heritage of the Pinchot family.
       
                                                                           Grey Towers
                                              

                                     View of Pocono Mts. from front porch of Grey Towers

                                                              Antique shop in town
One of the Inns in town
  
   We missed the last tour of the house and  garden. So we will return!!!! I can't wait!!!! I also didn't get a chance to check out all the antique shops. So I have to go back, right???

Have a great weekend!!
                              xoxo,
                           Sue

Friday, July 7, 2017

Blue and White Con't......Teapots



      I can't believe it's Friday already! The time seems to just fly by, Do you believe it's July already?
We have a very busy July. Friends coming from New York for a few days. Also, our grandson,Ryan is coming to spend a few days. I just can't contain my excitement!!!! We're so glad they are all getting old enough to spend time with us. I can't wait to spoil them all!!!!
Antique Children's Teapot Willow pattern
      Todays post is a continuation of the post from last week. After finishing last weeks post I realized just how much more blue and white pieces I have. Today I would like to focus on blue and white transferware teapots. There is something very special about these teapots. They are so pretty!! I can't seem to get enough of them even though I'm not a tea drinker......
Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles
Wedgwood  Romantic England
Teapot For One


                      xo
                   Sue










Friday, June 30, 2017

Blue and White Love!


      I was shopping for groceries yesterday and spotted these beautiful lilies in the garden section. This supermarket usually doesn't have nice flowers. These lilies seemed to stand out ! They were not the usual ordinary half dead flowers I usually find.They were so pretty! I just couldn't resist!!
I decided to put these magnificent flowers on the dining room table in the blue and white ginger jar I always use for large flowers. The beauty of this simplistic arrangement inspired this post...you just never know where the idea of a post will come from.
      Blue and white Chinese porcelain has been a part of decorating for a long time. It began as vessels used by the Chinese to store spices and herbs. Their vivid cobalt blue and white patterns and  unique shapes brought them into homes as decorations. They have never lost their popularity because of the beauty they add to any room. Blue and white Chinese porcelains come in many different patterns, shapes and sizes.
I have found that no matter what your color scheme, using the blue and white porcelains as an accent brings a bit of elegance and style to any room. The cobalt blue seems to make all the other colors in the room "pop". I have used this blue with red, apple green, and yellow. It's amazing how beautiful it looks with almost any color. Just yesterday I saw a display of blue and white plates against an orange wall on nancysdailydish.blogspot.com. Just Stunning!!!
                              You can never have enough blue and white....

Blue and White Centerpiece
Foyer
Large Ginger Jar and Happiness Jar on Table
                                                       
Blue and White Planter
This is the piece that started it all for me. I found this planter in Chinatown in San Francisco many years ago. I fell in love! In fact I carried it on the plane and it sat on my all the way back to New York.

Blue and White Planter


Blue and White Garden Stool in Bedroom


Happy 4th of July! Have a Great weekend!


Sue


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making The Most of a Small Yard



         So glad the summer has finally arrived! We have had a week or so of beautiful summer weather.
The plants in the garden are flourishing. I guess they needed the sunshine, just as we all did. Did you ever notice how much better your mood is on a sunny day?
         Townhouse living doesn't give you a lot of garden space. I have tried to make the most of the little space I have. There isn't too much space for a lot of gardens, but I tried to use ever inch of space I could find.

Annuals in planters on the deck railings

Small Deck Garden


                         Using large pots throughout the garden makes up for limited space.


The Deck

            Decorating is always a challenge. It doesn't matter if it's inside or out. We have to learn to make the most of what we have. Well,what fun would it be if everything was easy?
                                              Have a great weekend!!!


                                     xo
                                         Sue            





Saturday, June 17, 2017

Changing the Style of the Living Room


              We can finally say the outside is finished for this season. Hopefully it's time to sit and enjoy!!
So now my mind is turning to the inside projects that have been put on hold. I want to change the dining room and living room. When I say change, what I would like to do is change to a more neutral color scheme. I would like to try and create rooms that are warm and inviting. More of an "Old World" look rather then the formal look I have now.
               Wow!! I'm feeling overwhelmed already! Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed I do nothing.
Through the years I have learned a few tricks that can help as you take on any remodeling project big or small.
                      1.  Take pictures of the rooms to be re-modeled
                              A picture doesn't lie. It shows you exactly what your working with.

                      2.  Set a budget

                      3.  Make a list of what isn't working in the room
                              It is very hard for me to let go of things that aren't working. The more sentimental an item is the harder it is to move it or get rid of it all together.

                      4. Create a Pinterest Board
                               
                      5.  Begin to change one thing at a time

                  
Magazines and decorating books help in the planning

Design from your heart not your head! Then your home will be a reflection of what's inside you.

xoxo
           Sue







                          

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Blue and White Transferware


           The thing I love best about the summer is eating outside. It reminds me of our trip to Italy when we ate every meal outside. The Italians know how to slow down and enjoy their food. Every meal was leisurely and enjoyable. When I move our meals to our deck in the summer I am brought right back to Northern Italy. The world seems to slow down. The air smells cleaner and the sun warms your soul. Sharing a meal becomes more than eating it becomes a special time. A sharing of ourselves, a scared time. It is truly a time we break bread with one another.
              Today I decided to set the mood for a special breakfast on the deck by setting the table with
Blue and White English Transferware. The  pattern is Old Britain Castle by Johnson Brothers. I just love this china!





                                                                        Sue