Friday, May 28, 2010

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

It's Foodie Friday and I am joining Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum.

This Foodie Friday I am sharing a favorite Hummus recipe. I love a good hummus and have tried many recipes and this is a favorite of mine. A quick and easy appetizer to make for this Memorial Weekend festivities.

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed, reserve 1/3 cup of the liquid from the beans)
3 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onion (white and pale green parts only), sliced thin
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Check taste and add additional salt, pepper and horseradish, to taste. You may want to add more sun-dried tomatoes as well.

The pottery pieces, the platter and small bowl, holding the hummus is a potter here in the USA named Frances Palmer. I have also become very fond of some of her work and have been collecting a few pieces. They are handmade, white on white most often and very sturdy. It's a good thing to support home grown businesses. The stemware are reproduction Williamsburg glassware. With this hummus I like to serve with Carr's Cracked Pepper crackers.

I have also served this hummus as people gather for Brunch along with some of my kicked up Mimosa's. I always rim the stemware with Grand Marnier and superfine sugar. Let them sit overnight to harden. When I am ready to serve I fill the glasses 3/4 full with Orange Juice, fill the rest with a good champagne, and then give it a splash of Grand Marnier. You will never drink Mimosa's any other way after trying this.

I hope you will try the Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus. The horseradish gives it a little kick. Serving Mimosa's at your next brunch will always say, "It's a Party."

Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Holiday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Heart of any Home, The Kitchen

A year ago I did a complete Kitchen makeover. I enjoyed my old kitchen but I really LOVE the new one. The new Sub-zero refrigerator was tops on my list of "must haves". I researched lighting fixtures that I had seen in some of my decorating magazines and then searched on the internet. The bell jar lanterns were of particular interest to me and I think set the tone for the kitchen.

At the end of my island I had some shelves put in. Originally I had hoped it would be a great place for my most used cookbooks but instead it became the shelves that housed my collection of S&P's. Atop this end of the island I often have an orchid or some kind of plant and I seasonally change out my cookie jar which is another collection. Right now a McCoy Rooster cookie jar is watching over the daily activities.

I always have a candle burning in my kitchen. Since the kitchen is central to the house it fragrances my whole house and I always prefer fragrances that are subtle. This one happens to be Archipelago Botanicals, Bergamot Tobacco.

Whatever orchid from my collection of orchids is in bloom is most often sitting at the end of my island. If I don't have an orchid blooming then it is whatever potted plant is looking the best at the time.

This one is Miltoniopsis Hajime Ono. Don't you just love the pansy like look of this orchid?

I don't like too much clutter but sitting out on my counter tops are my most used things within arms reach. Of course, the coffee pot with the mug tree next to it, Vietri canaster set, food processor in the corner and on either side of the cooktop is my seasonings and oils that are kept handy. Looking out my kitchen window is a bed of old roses which is always a joy.

At the end of the island is a small sink and directly behind is the sub-zero refrigerator. That was put there to keep the smaller and big people out of my most used work space. If they need a drink the ice is handy and water is available. I keep a supply of cups nearby as well.

Also close by is my tilted pitcher which usually has tea or lemonade for anyone who drops by. The pitcher is sitting on a marble piece that belonged to my mother. It's probably fifty years old.

My cookbook stand is always sitting on my island with one of my favorite and most used cookbooks, any cookbook by Ina Garten.

My favorite is her Paris book. My, have I used that one.

The heart of my home is the kitchen and I have made it a more pleasant space to be for me. At the opposite end of the kitchen is an antique French Pastry Table which the entire kitchen was decorated around. Behind the French Pastry Table is lots and lots of additional cabinets. Above the Pastry Table is an antique light fixture. It used to be powered by gas that was made electric. The gas keys are still on the fixture. I like mixing old and new for an electic look.

I hope you have enjoyed me sharing my kitchen and what sits atop my island. I am joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for her Tabletop Tuesday party.

There are such creative and interesting posts for Tabletop Tuesday. Go by to visit and enjoy this glorious Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Evolving Garden

It's Outdoor Wednesday again hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer and I am joining this party to share my Evolving Garden. Here in North Florida all of our Spring bulbs have bloomed, the Azalea's have bloomed and all of our Spring flowering trees have as well.

I always look forward to the day when my roses begin putting on their show. Now I am a novice gardener and a novice photographer as you will see but I work at improving my gardening skills each and every day and the photography. I use to grow Hybrid Tea roses but now enjoy the Heirloom roses many of which I can recall the names of them but some I don't.

This is New Dawn that I have planted on a trellis as you walk off of my patio.

A closer look at this bloom.

New Dawn has such a sweet and delicate bloom. I love this little rose so much that I recently planted two more of this climbing variety on my fence.

The rose on the trellis makes a carpet with it's rose petals.

I have several other roses planted in this bed and mostly shades of pink.

Sometimes with a little pop of red. This is one of the Koster roses.

I am enjoying right now so many other plants in my garden and these irises are really showing a lot of bloom right now too.

This is my favorite spot to enjoy my morning coffee and the view from my patio.

This Staghorn Fern that gets morning sun I have had for many years. I recently had to repot it and it posed quite a challenege but I love what I did with it. Martha Stewart's most recent gardening issue was the inspiration for my repotting idea. Below the fern is spaghnum moss that was moistened when I repoted but before repotting I was told to place a banana peel between the moss and the fern and that was all the fertilizer I would need until I had to repot it again.

Taking the time to stop and smell the roses is a Good Thing.

Please check out other participants of Outdoor Wednesday and have a lovely day.