31 August 2013

Farmers' Market

I guess it should be no surprise that the local farmers' market gets better each week, until it slowly fades away until next May. CA asked for vegetables to grill--although we actually oven-roast most of the time.
The small round red tomatoes are (L to R) Black Krims, Bellas, Oxheart. The tiny blush yellow are Garden Peach. The reddish gourd-shaped little guy on the extreme right is a Turkish eggplant. I do so prefer the French word, Aubergine, to Eggplant.
Mix of early pear varieties. I usually bake pears in butter, sugar, and cream--using an early Martha Stewart recipe.

From one of my first Martha coobooks. An attractive idea for this (at the time) young working mom..
Since I'm starting the Whole 30, I'm planning on using this recipe.
The pears were purchased from this charming farmer. I've promised him a copy of Martha's pears in cream recipe.
I topped-off my market visit with lunch here. Repeated the cucumber and avocado soup I had a couple of weeks ago. Very refreshing. Especially love the dollop of coulis--basil, tomato, and maybe jalapeño.
Ladies who Lunch

Do You Make Your Bed Everyday?

I wish I did. I LOVE climbing into a crisply-made bed. But, sometimes I'm lazy, on-the-run. Distracted.
Both CA and I will make the bed if we've been home alone all day and have accomplished nothing tangible. Somehow wanting to give the other an opposite impression. When the bed is made, it just looks like you've been organized and industrious.
My side...
CA's less cluttered side...
Both night stands are thrift shop finds. CA's fancy grey, 2-drawer is actually one deep drawer, which I love. He has room to hide his stuff.
Mine was $5, and lovingly painted by CA. I like having the lower shelf, so I can separate the now from the later.

30 August 2013

Herb and Vegetable Shears

Found these originally at the market in Cannes. The guy did a hopped-up Vegi-Matic style demo. It was impressive. Think I paid €5, but it might have been €10 because I hesitated, and bought just the one pair. Later, I found 4-blade shears in a kitchen store in Antibes for less €€ and bought them for JE and MK.
The best part of this particular purchase is the nifty blade cleaner. I find it indispensable. But, that's just me. I've now seen similar shears at Sur la table.

29 August 2013

Dinner Tonight: Pizza Margherita

Stone Fire's Naan is an excellent and tasty base for our summer pizza obsession.
CA's decided he likes his Naan brushed with EVO, but I stick with low-fat mayo. Both help seal the crust and keep the grated quesadilla cheese in place.
I decide to use thinly-sliced tomatoes on my pizza, but CA chooses tomato chunks. We're lucky to still have Beefsteak tomatoes from PJ's neighbor in Bayview Gardens.
I bake the two Naans at 400 degrees, usually for 10 minutes, but with this pizza I assemble in layers and bake twice.

After 6 minutes, I add the fresh Mozzarella to both and return to the 400 degree oven for 5 more minutes. NOTE: The fresh Mozzarella exudes water, so next time I'm going to bake the chunks on foil first, drain, and then add semi-melted Mozzarella to pizza.
After the second baking, I top mine with the freshly-julienned Basil and salt the tomatoes. CA's gets fresh tomato chunks and Basil.
We both drizzle Balsamic reduction over our pizzas. Excellent!

28 August 2013

J. Peterman's

Hello! I think on some level I knew Seinfeld's (Elaine) J. Peterman's actually exists, but it was lost in the ethernet of my brain.
I love this site, and I won't be able to resist owning one or two of my recently researched clothing options. Reminds me of Banana Republic, when the Woodfield Mall store first opened. (Yes, I am old!)
There was an airplane hanging from the ceiling, and the safari-look predominated. Fantasy-land. Way before Abercrombie (or when Abercrombie and Fitch existed as a sporting goods store for real fly fisherman and outdoors persons).
This was a few years before Gap Inc. bought-out the original creators.
J. Peterman's is very cool... Comfortable and classic.

27 August 2013

Pizza Knives

Used these all over Southern France and Paris, but had never seen them in U.S. We scoured the kitchenware shops in Paris, finally buying the final four available in a shop near E. Dehillerin.
They came with the cork enpointe. (O.K., I know that's not the right word for this usage, but I can't resist.)
Great for safety in the kitchen drawer scramble
Found these online:
Or, this crazy contraption that looks not only worthless, but dangerous, too.

26 August 2013

Naples Grape Pie, Zow-owzer

Food Network: Naples Grape Pie
Full disclosure I did not use this crust recipe. Used our normal, Martha's Pâte Brisée.
And, I used PJ's Canandice seedless grapes, unskinned (Same grapes I used here.). As is. Did not cook. Just mixed dry ingredients together and tossed with cleaned grapes, added lemon juice, drizzled with honey-vanilla, and sprinkled tiny bits of the butter over the top.
Prep described above this photo.
My artwork...

24 August 2013

August Giveaway: My French Country Home

One of my favorite bloggers, whom we had the pleasure of visiting in June 2012, is hosting a beautiful giveaway on her blog this weekend--a portrait by the gifted artist, David Terry. Visit My French Country Home and book a week at My French Country Cottage.


21 August 2013

High Wine District

High wine

The product of the first Distillation in a batch or Pot Still process. The High wines are distilled for a second time in the spirit still, or Doubler.

Peoria has a rich history of distillers and brewers. This neighborhood is named for whiskey--the high wine of the spirits world.Thewhiskey barons (Hiram Walker and others) chose to build homes on and near West High Street and West Moss Avenue--the West Bluff of the Illinois River.
PJ gave me a grand tour today.

The two predominant urns are not completely identical.
The one on the left has a female visage.
The one on the right is male, and bears a goatee, I believe.
Side view.

Front view.

Back view.
Front view reveals garden setting. Designed and maintained by PJ's co-worker.
(Also, foilage and flowers above first Easton fountain photo.)