Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asparagus: What's In the Garden

Been waiting and watching the garden everyday for the asparagus to pop and today was the day.  I was able to pick just enough for dinner.  This is a purple variety which turns green when cooked and are delicious.  I planted a bed (about 6 plants) of asparagus a few years ago and have it for dinner once a week through June.      

Also in full bloom in the garden is the Basket of Gold (Yellow Alyssum) perennial I planted last year.  This plant is perfect for a border and is very easy to grow.  It's iridescent yellow takes your breath away.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Greek Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki

By now you know I'm a lover of lamb, and I know not everyone is and I can accept that.  But if you are craving a juicy lamb burger with a quick tzatziki sauce on a crunchy panini roll, this post is for you.

Greek Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki - Serves 2

2 panini rolls, split and toasted in toaster.  
1/2 lb ground lamb
1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/8 tsp of hot crushed pepper, or more if you like it spicy
1 tsp of chopped chives
Salt and Pepper 

Lay ground lamb on a board and season with all ingredients.  Mix until combined.  Form into two patties, pressing a thumb print in the center of burgers to create even cooking.  Heat a cast iron pan with 1/2 tsp of olive oil.  Cook the burgers over medium heat flipping after 4 minutes, continued to cook until desired doneness.  I like mine a little rare.  Serve on a toasted panini roll with yogurt sauce and sliced cucumbers for crunch. 

Tzatziki Sauce

6 ozs. of Greek Yogurt (I use Fage Total 0%)
1 tbsp of finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp of lemon zest
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/2 cucumber - grated and squeeze dry in a paper towel to remove water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix until combined. 

Tazatziki Sauce

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Since hyacinth is in bloom in the garden, there is no need to buy flowers this week.  While I was getting ready for work today, I passed the vase of flowers on the table and couldn't resist grabbing my camera to capture them in the morning light.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blue Hydrangea in Copper Pot

This 9X12 oil painting was painted in class.  Painting copper is interesting and I will definitely add it to my favorites.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Since I'm a salmon lover and eat it at least once a week, I wanted to add something exciting as a topping like this mango salsa.   Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits.  I must admit though they are quite the pain to peel and cut, but are definitely worth the effort.  This salsa definitely has a bright flavor that pops and is quite refreshing with the salmon.   It would also make a great topping for fish tacos.  Mmmmm.

Mango Salsa with Salmon

2 - six oz. pieces of salmon

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced

1/4 cup of red onion, finely chopped

4 slices of pickled jalapeƱo peppers, finely chopped

1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced

salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.   Salt and pepper the salmon.  Place baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked through.  Cooking at a high heat forms a nice crust on the salmon and keeps the inside moist.

In a mixing bowl combine mangoes, cucumbers, red onion, peppers and parsley.  Squeeze lemon over salsa and add salt and pepper to taste.  Salsa can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cherry Blossoms

I was tired of waiting for Spring so we got in the car and heading south to find it.  North Carolina was just warming up and we enjoyed 80 degree temperatures.  Big difference from the morning we left New Jersey at low 30s.  On our way home we stopped in Washington D.C. for a few days and found summer.  It was 90 degrees and the cherry blossoms were at their peak.  We felt very fortunate to see this spectacular show.  Heard heavy thunderstorms on Friday finished the display.  Happy to be home and ready to dig in the garden. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ellgreave Teapot

This antique ironstone teapot was given to me by my dear friend Juliet.  It's an Ellgreave teapot from England.  I love it's petit size and simple design.  Very sweet. This 6x6 Oil painting on Gessobord is available in my Esty Shop.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I found the most beautiful tulips at Trader Joe's today.  With this morning's temperature of 30 degrees, I'm trying very hard to think Spring.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tiny Peppers in bowl

This 6X6 oil still life was painted in class.  Love the white and blue bowl with the brightly colored peppers.  This oil painting on Gessobord is available in my Esty Shop.