Friday, September 30, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

Always a crowd pleaser, you can serve it any time of the year. I love adding as many different colors and textures in a salad to make it interesting looking and tasting. Presentation is always an essential!

I like to marinate the chicken, if I have time.  I don't usually measure the ingredients in a dish like this,  but my marinade usually consists of:  olive oil, melted butter, lemon juice, worchestershire sauce, montreal steak seasoning, and garlic, minced.

I have made the chicken on the grill in summer or in a frying pan when its too cold to grill.  Both ways turn out great. I usually use chicken breasts (whole if they are thin enough or else I slice them in half once through sideways.)  Be careful not to overcook them.

As soon as they are done, I place them on a plate, cover them right away with saran wrap, or something like that, to keep the moisture in. Refrigerate until you are ready to make up the rest of the salad.

I usually use mixed greens and romaine lettuce with thin sliced red onions underneath. Slice each chicken breast individually, on a cutting board, into 1/4 - 1/2 in. slices and I try to keep them in the shape of the chicken breast and place them on top with the thin end of the chicken breasts aiming at the edges of the bowl. (Sort of making a star shape on top of the salad with the chicken breasts.)

Then slice your avacados and place them inbetween the chicken breasts. As you can see I have grape tomatoes around the edge, feta cheese in the center, and garnished with dried cranberries, salt and pepper.
Very tastey.  Use whatever kind of dressing you like or vegetables for that matter. .  Enjoy

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Harvest Card

This beautifully designed, one of a kind, handcrafted
card is one of my many in my fall collection.
It would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries,
any occasion.

My  ETSY site

Monday, September 26, 2011

Change of Season

'To everything there is a season,
 and a time for every
purpose under heaven."  
Ecclesiastes 3:1

You can always feel the seasons begin to change, the crisp
mornings, maple trees turn red, poplars to yellow, leaves 
blowing in the wind, fall jackets, gray skies, maybe fog and
then rain here in the northwest.

A visit to the pumpkin farm, making caramel apples with my
grandchildren and their friends, baking and painting cookies
and all the other fun traditions that the new season brings.

I try to decorate my house a little bit for each season.....
 The fall colors blend together so beautifully.

This ornate retro 50's vase, and the gold partridge,
surrounded by glass grape vines...

Crystal boboche's for candle stands give
a touch of elegance

This pretty little pitcher

They all fit onto this lovely antiqued shelf above my buffet...
And below,

is this cute little turkey basket, I don't even remember
where I got it, but the children really like it.

Oh, and don't forget the tiny, soft amber lights
on my buffet....gotta have those!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Sunrise

Near our home in Olympia, there is a place called Nisqually
Wildlife Refuge.  It is such a lovely place to take a walk on 
colorful autumn day. 

This painting was inspired by several pictures I took as we
strolled along the rustic wooden walkways...

Autumn Sunrise
The rich fall colors, light beams filtering through the trees and
falling onto the forest floor, the sight and sounds of a glistening
water fall, even the fallen trees, altogether they add so much to
the deliciously warm sunrise.
All we need now is to hear birds singing their praise, and
forest creatures scampering about on this new day...

A place to walk with your children and grandchildren and to
 lookat the wonderful wildlife.

John and David look at a Blue Heron with grandpa....

Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year, all the colors
blend together in the cool crisp air...

I have printed my painting onto feather-edged cards and they
are available at my etsy shop. I have made available single cards,
sets of five, or sets of ten. They would make a great gift for
someone or use them yourself.

Notice the glitter on the water just gives it that little
sparkling touch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scrumptious White Cake

This is the best white cake recipe that I have ever tried. It's a favorite in our family.    Enjoy!!!!!

The recipe is as follows: 

350 degrees  for 30 minutes
2-9 in. cake pans (greased and floured)
Cut out and place wax paper circles to fit 
the botttom only of each pan)
3/4  C. unsalted butter (room temp.)             
1 1/2 C. sugar (I use the ultra fine baking sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. cake flour
1 TBLS baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk (I use part half and half)
5 stiffly beaten egg whites (room temp.)

Beat butter and sugar for 10 minutes.  Scraping
bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy. I usually get the
pans readyand sift the dry ingredients while I'm waiting.
Add dry ingredientsto the butter/sugar mixture alternately
with the milk.  Mix well.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff,  fold them into
the cake mixture, pour into pans and bake for 30 minutes. 
Let the cakes cool before removing from the pans.
Remember to remove the wax paper.


1 1/2  cubes of butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. of almond (optional, but I think it adds a little
extra yumminess)
1/2 tsp. salt
4-5  C. confectioners sugar
milk (I use half and half) to consistency (approx. 1/4 cup)
food coloring, if desired (I used a peachy pink on this cake)
Wilton  Sparkling Rainbow Sugars for sprinkles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Watercolors are Fun!!

This past year I have
had so much fun
teaching watercolor
painting to a few
young ladies.

They painted a
variety of different
pictures, from
Mother's Day cards,
(painting with one color),

and below, Crystal shows an example of graded washes on her 'gourds and pitcher' painting.  This was an exercise out of a 'Watercolor Basics' book.  I love all the shadows and reflections.

But mostly, I must confess, I just enjoy being with the girls....

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's a Grandma Thing

I know it's a grandma thing, but I just can't help myself.

Over the years I have painted a little rock for each of my grandchildren and have placed them around the small pond in my backyard.

 Usually the girls' rocks are a floral design
and the boys rocks are an underwater scene,
complete with fish, seaweed, pebbles and maybe a crab.

The grandchildren love it, especially the younger ones.  They go out and look for their rock, show it to me, and perhaps carry it around for a while. It's enjoyable to watch.

These painted rocks are 

*made to order*

A great gift for the person who has everything.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Inspiration

I've always loved cities on the water.
There is something about the smell of the sea air and the sounds of the ropes hitting the metal masts of the boats, foghorns, and the sight of seagulls soaring. 

Houseboats have always intrigued me. 
I grew up in Chicago and remember as a child reading about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn rafting on the Mississippi River. One of my childhood dreams was to take a houseboat down the Mississippi, that is, until as an adult I actually saw the fast moving, mile wide, brown swirling, murky waters of the great river and, well, it wasn't quite what I had imagined. So much for that childhood dream. 

I have lived in Olympia for many years now, and I enjoy taking walks on the waterfront boardwalk with my dear husband and just looking at the different boats and enjoying the other marina sights here on Puget Sound. These dockside walks are where I got my inspiration for the above painting and my little seagull icon.