Foliage Friday

Not much longer until the foliage here starts looking much more colorful.  These may be the last of the ALL green leaf pictures this year!  I just had to include this praying mantis I found on our back porch swing.  How cool is he??



Ramekin Meatless Monday

This week we experimented with ramekins.  I just happened to have acquired a large amount of ramekins somehow and I have never really tried any recipes for them.  They both turned out great!  Here are the recipes we used:

B&B Baked Eggs

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Bed and Breakfast Inns California Egg Commission

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons white wine
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
4 California Fresh Eggs
3 sprigs fresh basil — finely chopped

Salt and pepper as desired

Preheat oven to 325º. Grease 4 ramekins. Slice tomato and place on paper towel to absorb moisture. Beat whipping cream until it thickens slightly. Add white wine and beat again. Place a tablespoon of cream mixture in each ramekin. Add a sprinkling of Swiss cheese and then divide the tomato slices between the ramekins. Carefully crack one egg in each ramekin. Add another tablespoon of cream and the remaining cheese. Top with fresh basil. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!!  Bake 12-18 minutes, uncovered until eggs are set.

“California Egg Commission”
S(Internet address):
http://www.eggcom.com ”
T(Baking Time):

I just made this not too long ago. With my eggplants growing and growing decided to try a smaller scale recipe that I normally make in a small bowl.Eggplant Timbale
There is no set recipe here. I just put everything together and bake.First I oil the Ramekins{6-8oz size}
Then I coat them with breadcrumbs.Peel the eggplant, and slice in long thin slices. Saute lightly in olive oil. You just want to cook the slices long enough to place in the Ramekins, This will act as the crust for the filling. When done start placing the eggplant into the Ramekins but, allow half to drape over the outside. Make sure all space is covered.Sprinkle the inside with parm cheese.

Prepare pasta. I usually use angel hair. Toss with a little olive oil or sauce very light on the sauce, add some black olives and some finely chopped sausage (vegan) to the pasta.
Pack well into the center of mold. Press down firmly and bring over the eggplant to fully enclose the filling
Press firmly and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before un-molding, This is important as it will not keep it’s shape if un-molded while hot.Give it a little more sauce if desired and a sprinkle of parm cheese. You can really play with this recipe so have fun. This is really good for portion control and can be made well ahead of time.

This week we were brave and tried something new:  making our very own Sushi.  And you know what?  I can’t wait to make it again.  Not only was it fun and doable, but it was delicious!  We got a sushi kit from the store with a bamboo paddle and sushi roller.  We looked up a list of what food ingredients we need to make Sushi, and the rest we looked up YouTube for instructional videos.  Now I really want a fancy paper fan and a large wooden bowl though…

Our friends came over and brought everything from Miso soup to coconut fortune cookies to fried vegetable tempura!

The past couple weeks I have come across two really neat websites concerning unique tree sculptures:

Pooktre Tree Shapers is a website someone posted on Facebook this past week.  It is absolutely amazing to see what these people did with trees!

And recently I went to Wegerzyn garden and saw a sculpture there that I immediately recognized.  My friend (who lives halfway across the United States) posted a blog post about a sculpture surrounding a tree a while back that stuck with me.  The same sculptor came to our state and created a serpent shaped maze and I immediately recognized the artist.  His name is Patrick Dougherty and I find his sculptures so whimsical and fun!

Are there any tree or nature sculptures that you have seen that have stuck with you?

This Meatless Monday was also my birthday.  My friends went all out and made me one of my favorite meals:  Enchiladas!  One friend made two different kinds of Enchiladas with homemade guacamole and another made a completely homemade fudge cheesecake with icing.  I was almost unable to move after this meal, I ate so much!  It was SO.GOOD.  I don’t have recipes because I didn’t make them, but I can tell you they were absolutely delicious.  Check it out!

My husband and I visited Blenheim Palace on our honeymoon and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  Sometimes, when the kids are screaming, I come here in my mind.  It’s my happy place.

I wait all year for this week.  July 31st is SHARK WEEK on the discovery channel!  Pretty much the most amazing week EVER.  Check out this cool article I found on getting your kids to be as excited about shark week as you are… because I’m sure if you’re like me, you’re not sure if this week is shark week or CHRISTMAS.

Ways You and the Kids Can Celebrate Shark Week

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