The center of the home is where our heart lies, so they say. And in our home the kitchen is truly where all the action is. Since we spend so much time there, I always make sure it is dressed festively for the season because it lifts our spirits. Here are my creative twists on… Continue reading Decking the halls and the walls and the tiniest of places. PART FOUR: The center of the home.
I started making English-style chutneys years ago because they are such a versatile condiment. Both savory and sweet, both tangy and complex, to my palette they are a great touch of umami to be used with any dish. My daughter and I worked out this Holiday version when she was just 11 years old. We… Continue reading Cranberry Orange Chutney
It’s that time of year when I gather in the last of the herbs from my garden. The plants are nearly spent with autumn on its way. The first spring harvest of culinary herbs before they blossomed has long ago been dried and put away bearing their early tender flavor. Now is the time for… Continue reading End of summer tinctures; rose geranium
It’s been a nice morning here at my home and studio. Everything seems to know that summer is almost here. New babies emerged from their nests… …and their cocoons. And the peas are pea-ing…. …the beans are beaning… …and the rhubarb is standing tall with its hands towards the sun. It was time for me… Continue reading Morning musings
I routinely ask myself why I even bother to make artwork that hangs on a wall simply to make our rooms look nice. Really. When some folks have barely enough coins to feed themselves and others with no walls at all to hang things on, I question my motives. But the reality is that, like… Continue reading Why make art and coconut cake.
The Autumn chill is really late in coming this year here in my tree surrounded property and much of my summer garden is still perky. So I have had a creative impulse to see if I could keep it that way until my Open Studio this year utilizing some frost gardening tricks gleaned from my… Continue reading Fooling mother nature: Autumn color study
I got to Canterbury Farmers Market late last week, but in time enough to grab the last small basket of local sweet cherries: half to eat, and half to pickle. The season is fleeting—and our own Sour Cherry tree was loaded—so I got busy with all things cherry. Here is one unusual way I came… Continue reading FOR THE LOVE OF PRODUCE: pickled cherries
The last of the spring asparagus, the largest wintered-over beets: I just had to grab my final taste before they disappeared at my Canterbury Farmers Market. As part of my self-imposed summer challenge* of preparing fruits and vegetables in a way I have never done before, I came up with this recipe. Grilled beets—sugars caramelized,… Continue reading FOR THE LOVE OF PRODUCE: grilled beets with asparagus salad.
Although here in New England it is technically spring—a time when we think about body cleansing rituals—there is still a chill in the air that beckons warmth and comfort. So while all my west coast & southern friends are chugging their chilled green smoothies, we northeasterners can feel more comfortable downing soups for the same… Continue reading Creamy cream-less broccoli “cheddar” soup
The last of the dishes are washed, my guests are gone and I am still reveling in the scent of green. Today I held a Cooking with Herbs class celebrating the multi-cultural traditions of eating the first herbs of spring and it was s o m u c h f u n! When living from… Continue reading A day in the herb garden and kitchen
The week before last was a week of good-byes for me, so a feast was called for. My daughter went back home after a nice long stay, my husband & I enjoyed our last stay at our Portsmouth Pied-a-terre, winter had melted away in our yard AND it was the final episode of Downton Abbey… Continue reading A farewell feast; vegetarian recipes
When was the last time you had a really good peanut butter cookie? Really nutty, totally satisfying, not the bland-fake-beige-too sweet version? It took some creativity but my daughter came up with this very unusual version of peanut butter cookies that have a healthy twist. I am never going back. Happy baking...day one of two… Continue reading Snow-day baking; Peanut Butter Twist cookies
In case ANYONE is checking their emails today, Merry Christmas from my place to yours! Here is a last-minute recipe for amazingly delicious cheese spread made from left over bits in just a couple of minutes. Enjoy! LAST MINUTE CHEESE SPREAD Soften all cheeses to room temperature or microwave until soft. Blend all ingredients together… Continue reading Merry Christmas last minute cheese spread!
Its fall and the gardens are winding down here at my country home and studio. This time of year is always settling to me as though the plants and I have run a long, hot race through summer and now we can rest on our laurels. Artistic inspiration always comes. Here is what I am thinking...… Continue reading Change of season creative inspirations
Amsterdam, Viet Nam, Italy and Greece... all on a day off. Just for fun, David and I recently took the Downeaster Amtrack train out of Durham, New Hampshire to Brunswick, Maine and what a pleasant surprise to have our senses tickled with artistic influences from all those continental destinations. First stop upon arrival; Vietnamese food at the restaurant… Continue reading Around the world on a day off
Inspired by my recent culinary excursion on a perfect day off, I worked out the recipe for these unbelievably delicious cauliflower cakes. For you Winifred... 🙂 Steam until tender, about 15 minutes: 1 1/2 pounds (2 lbs with stem and leaves) cauliflower broken into florets In a food processor, puree the cauliflower then blend in:… Continue reading Perfect day-off cauliflower cakes
David requested cupcakes for his 50th birthday party. I used the request as an excuse for another creative endeavor, to tweak some of my existing recipes and formulate some new ones. They were a hit and many of the party guests wanted the recipes for all three varieties so here they are. Feel free to share… Continue reading 50th birthday party cupcakes
David and I attended the Slow Food 25-mile Thanksgiving Dinner celebration again this year joining a larger group of like-minded individuals who enjoy the process of preparing and celebrating food through community. It was years ago that I became intrigued with the “Slow Food” movement. A non-profit member supported association, it was started in Italy in 1989… Continue reading Slow Food Thanksgiving Salad
"Clementine"...what a gorgeous gal and winner of this year's 30th annual Balshaw family pumpkin carving contest! Carved by Joanna Keeley of Cape Cod, her creation featured a cabbage-patch style, stitched and stretched fabric-overlay on the carved out pumpkin. VERY clever! This was the first year of our annual contest that we had no children in attendance! This… Continue reading The Pumpkin Harvest Carving Contest
I made a salad Sunday with the gorgeous vegetables I had just acquired from the farmers market. Just thrown together, David and I were both startled by the beauty; what a great play on a complimentary color scheme! When I looked around our home, I was delighted to see the color scheme repeated over and… Continue reading Color study; Sunday salad