april miscellany

Friday, April 29, 2016

everything right now it seems is green, growing and beautiful.  readying the yard and house after hibernating all winter, is truly what april has been about--and missing him, lots of that too.  more days apart than together, dinners for one, and major dog cuddling, but we survived.  eager for adventures and porch sitting and enjoying late spring life as us again.

a few april favorites:
+ a not long enough visit to Texas, for boots and tex mex and family-- nurturing relationships and wishing they weren't a plane ride away
+ the chopped salad of my dreams and an easy homemade dressing that is so good on everything
+ herbs and flowers in pots and therapeutic digging/weeding with the warm sun on my back, also corgi grass rolling is high on my list of ultimate favorite spring things
+ a new blender for all those smoothie recipes I dream about
+ white cut offs and brown strappy sandals
+ the new dinner menu and drinks at our favorite brunch spot-- making it our new favorite place for dinner
+ a glorious visit from mom, having her here in my home; to shop and share salads and stories over coffee and tea-- a mom who is also a best friend is the greatest blessing, truly.
+ sunday champagne on the patio and the most delicious Greek party hummus plate for two



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

we were together, and I forgot the rest.

two short days at home and then he was gone again, but those days were like gold to us.  Spring in full force so time in the yard and work in the herb garden.  afternoon naps and then a cocktail on the water and trying the new dinner menu at our favorite brunch spot.  finishing up chores{taxes!} and planting flowers on sunday, ending with champagne under our umbrella to celebrate.  the biggest and best hummus platter for dinner, greek food oh how we love thee. we can feel the fun of the season like sun on our skin, or more appropriately the pollen on porch swings.  days filled with outdoor chores, adventures, and plans -- its best when enjoyed together, don't you think?

at times I worry about the quality of my photos -- not always perfect but not sharing  because it lacks perfection is something I'm working on.  balancing between becoming a better photographer and less of a perfectionist all while continuing to share what inspires this heart of mine is hard work sometimes.  thank you thank you for understanding.

around the block

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

our neighborhood is just singing with color -- I can't help but grab my camera, sweater, and my eager corgi girl and take a walk to see what we can see.

these are the days, I'm sure of it.

on my table.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

how silly is it that I would rather eat leftovers for the third day in a row but purchase fresh flowers for the table?  oh priorities.

on a different note, my husband comes home today-- hip hip! after a few weeks apart I cannot wait to hug him tight and dance in the kitchen, always with a little sip of champagne.  his work travel is bittersweet, I dance between missing him terribly and enjoying my little bit of independence.

these flowers were a gift to myself on a day I was whole heartedly in the 'missing him terribly' stage.  which just goes to show, flowers for the table -- always always always.

happy saturday friends

so here's to --

Thursday, April 14, 2016

yellow dusted window panes and birdsong flowing in. brown strappy sandals. digging in the soil and watching things grow. neon t-shirts and cut off shorts, with a sweater at the ready. iced coffee breaks. curly hair for days. mornings to run. lovely fat rain drops that give way to pots of tea and magazine flipping.  fresh asparagus on the grill.  tulips in mason jars. spinach salads with gorgonzola. fresh cut herbs from the backyard garden. weekend mornings tending to grass cutting and weekend evenings out for a cocktail.  afternoon boat rides.  plump ripe strawberries from a farm down the road.  neighborhood dog walks to spot flowering azaleas. bare feet in fresh cut grass and a cold beer in hand. umbrella sitting. saturday drives to the outer banks. crisp rose' and kitchen dancing. spring.

(in)famous lemon coconut cake

Saturday, April 9, 2016

I excitedly planed to bake a lemon coconut cake for Easter this year, trading in my traditional best ever carrot cake for something a little different.  Many lessons were learned while baking this cake, one being --Don't stray from tradition.

Baking something new for the first time is always a bit daunting, but I felt confident I could take on this 3 layer frosted and lemon curd infused challenge with ease.  False.

It all went smoothly until it was time to assemble and decorate. I blatantly ignored the recipes direction to slice the tops off the cakes --to make an even layer-- I didn't really see the point and didn't want to toss away fresh cake. In addition to that, I don't think I let the cake layers cool long enough.  Thus warm, uneven cake with cold frosting and room tempeture lemon curd made for a big gooey lopsided mess! It would have been the perfect cake to take to the Mad Hatter's tea party.

As I was layering and frosting, the cakes just kept slipping and sliding.  The cold frosting melted and oozed down the sides, as I hurriedly and reluctantly attempted to salvage the mess.

At this point I was crying, over a cake.  I knew it was silly, but I was so excited/confident to bake this cake and present it to my family.  It just goes to show when things don't turn out as planned, I act like a toddler.  I would love to have been a fly on the wall in my kitchen during this frosting scene, how funny to watch a girl cry over a cake.  Through tears and sticky frosting hands I was truly seconds away from throwing the whole cake in the trash, but alas I decided to be an adult and make the most out of a disappointing situation.

I frosted what I could, covered the whole darn cake in shredded coconut and tossed it in the fridge; praying the refrigerator would work its magic and keep the cake together, at least until it was time for cutting.  And I must report, as lop sided and partially frosted as it was -- I brought home an empty cake stand.  It truly was a delicious cake after all.  Funnily enough I toted this cake to two different Easter lunches and sent the rest home with my brother in college, breakfast he called it!

A huge applause to my family, for not only enduring my overly dramatic worry over a silly cake but also for being brave enough to eat cake that may or may not have fallen on the counter.

the take away: --most importantly follow directions!! -- allow to cool for at least six hours or so -- don't overwork the batter! -- room temperature everything, except maybe the lemon curd -- and if all else fails cover, garnish, and refrigerate!!

also, don't be so hard on yourself or so dramatic -- its just life/or a cake