Monday, June 28, 2010

A Present to Myself...

A Present to Myself
Arrived Today...

and I couldn't be more delighted!!!

It's a personalized art print from Fifi Flowers.

You can find her listed as one of my favorite blogs. Be sure to visit her. Her posts are always delightful and fun.

I first became aware of Fifi's work when I discovered the blog titled "My Notting Hill" (another of my favorites). This was the first blog I really ever followed with any regularity. Some of Fifi's work was featured there.

Of course I checked it out and discovered Fifi's work was available on Etsy ( I then discovered her blog and have enjoyed it almost daily since.

Recently she offered the above print personalized with choices of name and colors. I was a goner at that point. I have a small powder room here at Buttermilk Cottage decorated with pictures of Paris storefronts. How perfect to have Buttermilk Cottage as a Parisian cafe!
I can't wait to have it framed and hung--I already have the spot picked. I'll be sure to share when it's up!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear Dawn and Aggie

Dear Dawn and Aggie,

I don't have a recipe for fava beans...

but how about garbanzo beans?

This entry is in response to the last two posts from Dawn and Aggie's blog,

(It's listed as one of my favorite blogs. Have you visited it yet? It IS "the cutest blog on the block.")

Dawn's past two posts have been about BEANS and it put me in mind of a recipe given to me by my brother Rick, who is developing his culinary skills. Here it is:

Rick's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
One clove of garlic (I usually use more)

1T. extra virgin olive oil

1T. cilantro, fresh
2 roasted red peppers (I use the jar variety, rather than fresh)

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2T. jalapenos (again, I use the jar variety)

Put everything into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. How easy is that???

Not there yet. A little more processing....

This was tonight's supper on the porch. I got these lovely little cucumbers at the farmer's market this morning, already had some cold chicken in the frig, grilled a couple of pieces of Greek bread, and sliced some cheese. I usually serve Havarti with this, but all I had tonight was provolone, which was good with it too.

We opened a cold bottle of Pinot Grigio (sorry, Mr. Hopkins, I didn't have any Chianti on hand), and had such an excellent summer supper, we've vowed to have many more like it this summer. (Thank you, Rick!)

I particularly like this recipe because I usually have everything except the fresh cilantro already in the pantry and it's really quite healthy.

I hope you had a lovely Saturday. I spent the afternoon on the porch knitting, so mine was nice. Now, go have yourself a great Sunday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How About a Spa Treatment!

How about a Spa Treatment?

Or the next best thing?

I've just added a new item to my Etsy Shop. It's an all-natural, 100% cotton bath mitt.

Be nice to deserve it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome to Summer!

Welcome to Summer!

It's the first day of summer. Before the time runs away from me and I'm anticipating fall, I want to take a minute and really APPRECIATE summer. In that spirit, here are ...

My Twenty Favorite Things about Summer

(in no particular order)

1. Peaches (There are hundreds of wonderful things you can do with a real, perfectly ripe peach, but is there anything better than eating one over the kitchen sink?)

2. Summer flowers

3. Vacations

4. Tomatoes (real, vine ripened, locally grown ones)

5. Not having to wear a winter coat, especially when I'm taking my little dog Daisy out for her calls of nature

6. Grilling out

7. Fourth of July

8. My neighborhood's annual yard sale

9. Watermelon

10. Morning walks when it's still cool and everything is fresh

11. Fireflies

12. Long(er) days

13. Root beer floats

14. Getting to wear flip flops and sandals

15. Cold lemonade and iced tea

16. BLTs

17. The smell of honeysuckle

18. The Farmer's Market

19. Sitting on my front porch swing

20. Air conditioning

Take a few minutes today and think about some of your favorites.

Happy Summer to us all!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Couple of Crazy Weeks at Buttermilk Cottage

It's been a crazy couple of weeks at Buttermilk Cottage...

My daughter Kate has spent the last two weeks packing for her big move to New York City! After graduating at the end of May and before leaving for vacation, she moved out of her apartment at school. That means all her belongings came to Buttermilk Cottage. Since returning from vacation two weeks ago, she's been sorting and packing. What to take, what not to take, what to keep and what to get rid of? Too many decisions to make in a couple of weeks' time. She finally got it narrowed down to a couple of huge suitcases and one carry on bag to take. I'll be shipping some boxes later this week. The rest is overflowing in my basement. We are anticipating a huge yard sale later this summer.

The big day arrived yesterday when my sister Nancy and I put her on the plane and sent her on her way! Intellectually, I know you raise your kid with the intent of making them independent. When you see them go, however, it's a whole different ball game. My emotions have been on a roller coaster this week. She's ready to go, but I'm having a hard time letting go... I'll get over it.

To Kate, it's your big dream. Make it happen. I have no doubt you will. I'll admit I've felt the need to share every ounce of advise that crossed my conscience this week and you've felt a bit of overload from it, but just let me pass on three more tidbits...

Work hard, but remember to enjoy this adventure.

Always strive to do the right thing (you'll know what it is in your heart).

Never forget where home is.

Love you lots!

After getting Kate on her way, we met a couple of our dear and longtime friends, Wynona and Patricia (sisters too!) and had a great lunch together catching up with each other. Friends can always help ease you over the rough spots can't they? Love and thanks to you two, too!

Finally, we had a quick visit to TJ Maxx (another longtime and good friend) and look at this darling plate I found! Actually I got three--all they had. As a knitter I absolutely could not walk away from them, not to mention they were only $2.00 each!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Scarf is Finished!

My Scarf is finished!!!

Remember the small knitting project I started a couple of weeks ago? I took it with me to Greece and it was handy to work on during the two long flights and a several ferry rides.

I blocked it yesterday and here you see the finished result. I choose this skein of yarn because of the colors. I liked the idea of knitting with a yarn with lots of blue and turquoise because those of colors I think of when I think of Greece.

I'm happy with the finished result and have listed it in my ButtermilkCottage Etsy shop.

Something else I took to Greece with me is the MIMI Bag from my Etsy shop. This bag is new this year and up to this point had not been tried and tested. I used this shoulder tote as my "carry-on" all during the twelve day trip. I can now affirm it's a great travel bag.

I filled it with a hardback book, camera, cosmetics, travel documents, my knitting, three pairs of glasses, snacks, a smaller purse to pull out as needed, and other accumulated stuff. It fit beautifully under the seat in front of me on the plane and ferry. (Don't you just hate having to put bags in those overhead bins?)

It was also lightweight enough to carry on my shoulder when I needed to pull my larger piece of luggage from place to place. So keep this bag in mind if you need a travel bag this summer. I love mine!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home Again, Home Again!

"...Home again, home again, jiggity jig..."
I returned home yesterday from a wonderful vacation in Greece. The trip was my daughter's choice, her college graduation gift from me. Actually, I probably would not have chosen Greece, but after experiencing it, I'm SO glad she did. It's a beautiful country, the people are warm and friendly, and the food is incredible. We spent a couple of nights in Athens and did most of the tourist requirements: the Parthenon, the Acropolis, Hadrian's Arch, a traditional Greek dinner with traditional Greek dancers.

Here we are at the Parthenon.

But the real highlights of the trip were our visits to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini, both wonderful, but very different. Mykonos is a white washed island of "sugar cube" buildings trimmed mostly with blue, although you do see some other colors occasionally. We spent a couple of days on the beach, thoroughly relaxing. When that got too tiring, we explored the shops.

After three days on Mykonos, we were off to Santorini.

Santorini is located in the southern Aegean Sea and is what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion. The towns are nestled along the sides of incredibly steep cliffs that look out into the sea. The sights and views are breathtaking and some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

An added bonus to our trip was that I celebrated my birthday while away. Let me just say it was a momentous one in more ways than just being in Greece... My beautiful daughter Kate treated us to a wonderful dinner at a "Caldera View Restaurant" in the town of Oia called "Ellis." It was an outstanding gourmet meal with an incredible view. You can take a look at it at

Wonderful as vacations are, I have to say Buttermilk Cottage was calling to me by the end of ours and it is nice to be back home again. Time now to settle back into a routine and get some work done AND enjoy the summer. By the way, I knitted and finished the scarf from my previous post and hope to have some pictures of it next time.

I also finally got around to reading THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE by David Wroblewski while away. I enjoyed reading it, but now that I've had some time to digest it, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guess I wanted a more upbeat, coming-of-age story than it turned out to be. I do recommend it though. See what you think...

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