Friday, July 13, 2012

Something to make you smile, hopefully.....a recipe and a few birds

I bought this as a greeting card last year, stuck it in a box and have just found it again.  I laughed when I read it and yet found it ever so slightly uncomfortable.  What do you think?  You will have to enlarge it to view it more clearly and to see what the writing says.  It doesn't really show up very well here.

The weather has been a little cooler in northern Virginia, in that it has been in the low 80s and not 100 degrees plus.  On those incredibly hot days I felt as if I was stepping into a solid wall of heat, so I will take the 80s and not moan about it like I usually do.  Gregg said what is a perfect temperature for you.  I said 65 degrees, yes I'm joking - a little - I would rather have 65 degrees than a hundred.  I'd say between 72 and 78 would be a perfect temperature for me, without the ruddy humidity.  

I found another salad recipe but forgot to take a photo.  However, you can see it here at a blog called Fuss Free Cooking.  It certainly was fuss free, so simple, and yet delicious, that is if you like tomatoes.  Home-grown ones would be fantastic, or even the farmer's market but as my supermarket is only five minutes away from home and I need the convenience because I am running tight on time, I go there, if they're organic all the better.  If you like to look at food blogs for ideas as I do, there are other lovely dishes to find at Fuss Free Cooking.  

Now, here's the recipe content for the salad and apologies for no photos.

Hasselback Caprese Salad

10 small Roma tomatoes (quantity depends on the size of the tomatoes - I used two medium to large ones for Gregg and me)

A ball of mozzarella, around 8.8 ozs. (250g)

A handful of basil leaves

A good quality Olive oil (I drizzled a teaspoon over each finished tomato)

Thinly slice the top of the tomato then slice the base horizontally so that the tomato will not roll.  Make multiple slices vertically but not all the way through the tomato.  In each section put a thin slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf.  To serve drizzle the tomato with olive oil, and freshly ground pepper.


Neither of us felt like a cooked meal so we each had a ham sandwich also.  It made for a lovely light supper and it all looked so pretty on the plate.


I had a fruit smoothie for breakfast this morning.  Nothing fancy, strawberries, blueberries, a small banana and a cup of 2 percent milk, low fat and healthy.  I enjoy them blended as is and I don't add anything else.  I don't like things too sweet and the fruit makes it sweet enough for me.  

Yesterday Gregg worked at home.  He got up at 4.45 a.m. so that he could finish early and in the afternoon said how about going out for a cup of coffee.  I also needed to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond to replace some bed linens on the spare bed.  We are having a couple of house guests from England in September and I didn't want to leave it all until the last minute.  I wasn't in the Girl Guides six weeks for nothing!  Always be prepared!  Yes, you read that right, I was a Girl Guide dropout (Girl Scouts to those of us living in the States).  I was all for the creative side of making little round mats out of straw, but the first sign of a camping trip I was out of there.  Back then I was scared to death of bugs and snakes, now I like to photograph them and I wouldn't mind a camping trip in the wilderness either, though I think my bones would object.  Go figure!

Son and Daughter-in-law are enjoying themselves in San Diego.  They are at Comic-Con 2012 for the weekend.  They see a lot of interesting people there, movie stars and the like.  I told them how I would love to do that.  After the show they will be heading to the beach and seeing the city.  They told me I should come along with them next year as they are intending to go back.  Not only do they enjoy the show but they also love San Diego, as I do of course having lived there for many years back in the 80s.  

We need some help getting the garden sorted out so we spoke to a very nice gentleman who is going to be here every week to mow and tidy up generally, trim bushes that are a bit out of control and finally get rid of the poison ivy that mysteriously started appearing last year.  He really knows his stuff.  We have also asked him to do some landscaping for us.  He did an excellent job on our next door neighbors, that's how we found out about him as we were so impressed.  He advised us to wait until it gets a bit cooler to start putting new plants in.  I told him I would like to plant a butterfly garden and he gave me all sorts of ideas, and wanted to make sure that I knew with butterflies came bees.  I told him no problem.  I've been reading how bees are in trouble, that I would actually enjoy them, that without bees we would have no flowers.  He gave me a big smile and nodded, saying that bees weren't very popular with a lot of people and I can understand because Gregg's mom was allergic to them.  Both Gregg and I came out of the conversation with a very good feeling about this gentleman.  

I had a lovely bouquet of flowers from my in-law's which was for my birthday.  They are gorgeous!  I will be taking photos but want to wait for a bit of sunshine and it seems a bit grey out there at the moment.  Rain maybe?  I'll have to check the weather forecast.

Gregg also gave me a bouquet of red roses.  They are gorgeous too.  I feel I am surrounded by flowers at the moment and it gives me a lot of pleasure.  They are like aromatherapy to me, just to look at them makes me feel happy.

I have been having some bird friends visit this morning, Mr. and Mrs. Titmouse, a Crow and a Blue Jay.  I scatter peanuts in their shells every morning and toss them onto the deck.  Yes it gets a bit of a mess but that's what brooms are for.  I also fill up the water dish and it is fun to see who arrives first. 

Today it was Mr. and Mrs. Titmouse.

Come in he's saying....

the water's fine!

Then came Mr. Crow.  I like crows, they remind me of Canada Geese, feisty and a little bit cheeky.

He took his peanuts over to the water dish and dropped them in, swirled them around a bit as though he was softening the shell.

Mr. Blue Jay's turn.....

and now it's gone all quiet.  Time to get out there and sweep the deck, clean and fill up the water bowl and oh joy, do a bit of housework so that it's nice and tidy for the weekend.  Have a great one!


  1. love your birds. the crows are always entertaining. i did laugh at that card. :)

  2. That greeting card is something else. Fortunately, that hasn't happened to us ... yet! Lol. I have never been to San Diego, so it's on our bucket list. I love flowers, too, and must have a pot of mums on our coffee table at all times. Enjoy the weekend, Denise.

  3. I LOVE Caprese salad. I've never made it but I am really tempted to do so now that you've written it all out for me. Thank you, thank you!

    I'm really glad the weather is cooling off a little for you. I hope it keeps cooling off.

    Adorable photos, Denise!

  4. I love crows, they are so amazingly intelligent...and good looking too.
    Jane x

  5. I wish you could send some sunshine here and we could send you some rain!
    I love the bird photos, they are so good, love the bird having a bath!

  6. Bird pics - gorgeous!! I LOL at the card!! Oh I don't like the humidity of some hot places, a dry heat for me if I must have any! :)

  7. I am so sad I am having trouble uploading a lot of your photos! I always enjoy your posts so much! I LOVE caprese salad! It's the perfect summer dish! I also love San Diego. When we went last year I felt like I could just move there if it wasn't for worrying about the San Andreas Fault! The crow is a fun addition. Glad you have a little cooler weather! Take care!

  8. That was a very funny cartoon. The dreaded Crows, they make such a noise around here.

    Understand what your hot weather feels like from my frequent visits but would love just a little here having the wettest and coolest Summer I have ever known. Lights on during the day in July!!!!