Home & Garden

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 from the garden to your table

 a nice little salad
 baby arugula

 spring onion blossoms
 valencia Orange slices
 Haas Avocado
 raw baby beet slices



balsamic vinegar and olive oil

 no matter where you live...
the gifts from the garden
are always within reach



 This is a very easy recipe for preserved lemons
 Preserved lemons are an essential ingredient in Moroccan and North African cuisine 
(neither of which I know anything about) 
but I find myself adding lemon juice to so many of the things I like to cook
 so I thought I would try a batch of Preserved Lemons
 and
 see how they taste 

 You will need about 6 lemons 
to fill a small 2 cup container 
I used Meyer lemons but any lemon will work
Slice 3 of the lemons vertically leaving a bit of the base intact

 In a small bowl pack about two tablespoons of kosher salt in to the lemon cavity
 repeat with the remaining two lemons
 Place the salted lemons in the jar 
and add an additional 2 tablespoons of salt
 Squeeze the juice from the remaining 3 lemons
 and add the juice to the jar
 The juice should cover the  lemons
 Refrigerate and shake the jar every day (or when ever you happen to think about it)
for the next few weeks
In about 4 to 6 weeks your lemons are ready

Guess what?
These are wonderful!

The finished flavor is 
 salty pickled  & lemony
Once these are pickled you can eat the whole thing, rind and all

So far I have added these to rice dishes, 
in a butter sauce over fish 
and 
in a chopped salad! 

I think I might try  pickled peppers next!






 This is an easy way to add some green
a bit of country charm 
and flowers to your home

all in about 10 minutes!!!

 Line your bucket with waterproof floral paper 
and use a staple gun to secure it to the bucket
because my bucket is tall and I don't wont tons of potting soil in this bucket
 I add some packing peanuts to the bottom

cover the peanuts loosely with a bit more floral paper

add potting soil and your flower of choice...
I'm in love with geraniums right now


a little green 
&
a little county
what could be better?
Have a wonderful weekend


 The June issue of Country Living arrived last week 
and I wanted to share a few of the photos from the article written
 about our home and garden
 in Ojai California

A huge thank you the crew:

Photographer:  Victoria Pearson
Stylist: Heather Bullard
Assistant:  Pam Garrison

All of these women are extremely talented,
incredibly nice and very passionate about what they do

please visit them to see more of their work

I really enjoyed working with the editorial staff too.  
They seem honestly interested in the back story 
and the evolution of a small little house, in a very small town

Now on to the slide show: 












Millie seemed to enjoy it all too

Have a wonderful week and I will share more about some of the
details we used to make this house our home





 The smell of fresh bread!

just one of the many things that I love about cooking...the smells
bacon...coffee...bread...cookies

but who has time to bake!?

not me or at least that is what I thought
 until I came across this recipe


  "no knead" bread 

boy was I skeptical...

I read about it
I heard about it

no can't be true


so I tried it
yes dear friends, it is awesome



In a bowl combine:

3 cups of bread flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

that's it

 I use plastic Cambro containers which have 
side measurements
so you can see how much you started with 
and how much the bread has risen
 I happen to love this weird mixing gadget from King Arthur flour 
It is designed just for things like this 
 Dump all of the ingredients in your plastic container
mix well
the dough will be messy and shaggy looking
but don't worry
cover and set aside for at least 6 hours or up to 12 depending on the temperature

You want the dough to double in size at the very least
it usually gets to the top of the container

I have been mixing this up first thing in the morning
 baking it just before dinner

when you are ready:

heat your oven to 450 degrees

lightly grease ( I use Pam) the interior of a cast iron or very heavy lidded pot
and place it in the oven while the temperature is rising

gently dump out the bread dough onto a  well floured surface

the dough will be  very sticky and you need to flour your hands too

form it into a round shape and cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap
and let the dough rest for 30 minutes

gently place the dough into your (now very hot) cast iron pot with the cover on
and bake for 25 to 30 minutes
 remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes 
 they bread will have a nice hollow sound when you tap on it 
and should register about 190-200 degrees internally

 this is how it looks....truly amazing

really crusty with a beautiful soft interior
 let the bread cool and then enjoy
this is so easy and it is seriously delicious!!!

I will try a sourdough version this weekend and see how it comes out

have fun in the kitchen!

bake and be happy





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