Friday, December 30, 2011

Hang in there with me!

I know it's been quite a while since I've posted something yummy. It has busy through these holidays.
I've tried some new recipes and look forward to sharing them with you!
Just have to get through this busy weekend!
Happy and safe New Year to you!     Maggie

Sunday, December 4, 2011

another de-lish dish!

I know, I know, it is hard to tell exactly what this is! I've talked about my "photography" before. It is not nearly as good as my cooking. Phew! Thank goodness right?
This delicious dinner is roasted pork with a fig sauce (the sauce recipe is from Todd English Fig Cookbook). So yummy. Meat and dried fruit is always a perfect combination! I then cut brussels sprouts in half, tossed them with olive oil, S&P, and roasted them. To make a pretty dish, I simply roasted sweet potatoes. Easy, simple, and cozy!
As always if you would like the recipe for the fig sauce, just let me know!

Monday, November 7, 2011


As usual I was short on time. Yup , my turn to do dinner, which I love, because it's playtime for me.
Even though there was not that much time to prepare, it had to be healthy and quick. So here is what I did. I sauteed lots of fresh garlic, added chickpeas, then added fresh kale and let it saute until the kale was tender. I then cooked the pasta, drained it , drizzled really nice olive oil over it, tossed the kale and chickpeas over it , and sprinkled fresh parmesean over all. For a little heat, I added crushed red peppers to it .
Granted it was a no frills dinner, but it was quick, healthy and yummy!

No, this is not Paris!

O.K. As I told you about the Vita-Mix, we are having so much fun with it!
With just a few minutes before I head off to an appointment, I decided I would make a carrot, orange, ginger drink. It was so goooood!
Yet, one of my dearest friends, Jackie, let me know, that she is in Paris, eating french macaroons. Damn. It made my healthy quick lunch, seem oh so healthy and boring.
You better believe if I was in Paris, I would be eating the most buttery croissants that I could find! I would not be so rude to ask for a carrot juice infused with a bit of kale! How American would that be of me.... So here we are in lovely Asheville N.C. enjoying our very lovely new toy, the vita-mix!
Jackie, bring back some macaroons please!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A whole new love!

I've heard about the Vita-mix, but didn't quite "buy" it , no pun intended, until I saw it action! I am so very excited about it! You think a blender does the work, it is nothing compared to the vita-mix!
Our family went to see for the 3rd time a demonstration at whole foods market, because the guy showing us all the things you can so easily make in this machine is beyond amazing!
My husband made a shake today with grapes, pineapples, apples, kale (yes kale) and dates, add some ice and you have the most decedent drink! You don't even taste the kale. All raw, all organic, not to mention delicious!
I hate to admit this, but I am not a breakfast person, but a healthy shake , after my coffee of course, is sooooo de-lish.
It's worth checking it out. We are having fun playing with different recipes!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

lamb tagine with chickpeas & apricots

This lamb dish was divine! A very cozy dish on a cold night. I will say, that this is just a bit more time intensive, but not so much so that one would avoid making it. One of the many things I loved about this dish was the dried apricots along with the moroccan spice blend made these beautiful flavors together simply melt in your mouth!
This recipe is from the Oct 2011 Bon Appetit magazine.
I just love comfort food, tis the time of year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

short on time?

I feel like it's o.k. to make a dish more than once, even more than twice! Short on time, busy schedules sometimes just makes it easier  to make your "go to" dishes. What I find easy is to do are lots of vegetables especially seasonal veggies. Along with those of course, a protein or whatever you like!
Here I have made Heidi Swansons wild rice casserole, baked butternut squash, and swiss chard. Simple!
 This wild rice casserole recipe can be found in her cookbook Super Natural Everyday. It's a lovely cookbook! Check her out!
This autumn weather is a time for food that warms your soul! Not to mention the scent of yummy homecooked food when you walk in the door , well for me , there is not a better scent!

Another reason for quick healthy food allows more time to do fun things for you!  Like fencing!!! Yes, I have taken up fencing! Time to do those things on my bucket list!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yippee, another birthday!

Yes, it's my birthday! I LOVE birthdays! My sweet husband has me on a treasure hunt! Can't wait to get home for what I think is the final gift!

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal!     
                                                                Pamela Vault Starr

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I love the fall! The yummy food that starts coming in! Like figs! They are so beautiful not to mention delicious!
Instead of big dinner, how about a light noshy night? These are the kind of things that you can put together for a girls night, always a hit!
Monchego cheese with quince paste on top. Easy and tasty! Try it! Make sure you have a lovely bottle of wine and the best company ever! What fun! We ate the figs exactly as you see them. I also cut the figs in half , but not completely through, add a small dollop of goat cheese , skewered with fresh rosemary and warmed in the oven. The aroma! The taste! A must , a perfect litte appetizer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The simple things!

There is nothing like a great pair of shoes when your're playing chess
What does this have to do with food? Absolutely nothing!!
Everything if it makes you smile!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fall is coming!

O.K. I know this is not about food, though with the cool weather coming in I start thinking about all the cozy meals I'll be making!
I just had to share this pretty fabric which will be used in my study  for covering fluffy down pillows. With this yummy paprika fabric this will be covering my window seat tucked away in this little nook!  Just as cozy as autumn food. It is going to be beautiful when it's finished!
I will be sure to take pictures of the finished product! Not to mention all of the talented hands that made it all come together!  One of whom is Heather from Life By Design Carolinas, just go to her blog,  as you can see at the beginning of my blog, just click on life by design and it'll take you right to it! She is A-mazing. Her talents are never ending!
Oh..... those beautiful leaves on the fabric are hand- embroidered, gorgeous!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just a thought...

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion .  
                                                                                                Dalai Lama

Sunday, September 4, 2011

She ate every bite!

It's hard to tell what is under all that cheese! But she did eat every bit of what was on her plate! With the anticipation of lemon sorbet, (and I mean the freshest lemon sorbet, thanks to Ultimate ice cream) topped with fresh raspberries, who wouldn't gobble up , o.k, slowly eat this lovely dinner!
Again , I am so grateful to my newest cookbook Super Natural Everyday. This cookbook is only one of many Heidi Swanson's books! I cannot wait to take a look at all her others!

keeps getting better!

 Healthy food = Healthy children!

 On top of that beautiful quinoa patty,
is roughly mashed avacado!
Again Heidi Swanson's suggestion as
an addition to the patty!
I also made her white bean and cabbage dish which went nicely with the rest of the meal.
Do you ever get the feeling I adore food , eating it as much as cooking it!

more yummies!

I guess I've been on a Heidi Swanson kick this week! Her cookbook, Super Natural Everyday is wonderful! These quinoa patties were de-lish!
I served them with sauteed swiss chard, and mashed sweet potatoes!
Healthy and light!
Be sure to check out her cookbook, it is a keeper!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

cucumber cooler!

 For those of us living where it is still HOT, this drink is so refreshing, I cannot wait to make another batch to bring to work tomorrow
It is so simple to make. 1 english cucumber,  1/3 C of  honey 1/2 C water, 3 C ice, juice from one lime, a pinch of salt.
Whirl in a blender or food processor until smooth, yet it'll be "icy."  This is beyond fresh tasting, so light and clean!
This recipe is from Heidi Swanson's cookbook. Super natural everyday. DIVINE..... Let me know what you think!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yum Yum!

What to do with all of those tomatoes? Simply, add avocados, cantaloupe, fresh basil, drizzle lemon olive oil and some white balsamic vinegar, just a touch of salt. That's it!
Actually any olive oil is fine, just be sure it is a extra virgin olive oil!
I love summer food! So fresh and light!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

wild rice casserole....

OMG! This is as easy as it sounds and looks, this recipe is from Heide Swanson's Super natural every day cookbook.
This recipe was so easy and so very lovely. For me, I always add more
garlic, and more herbs than a recipe calls for. I also used fresh tarragon
as opposed to thyme.
I sauteed greens with fresh garlic and chickpeas.  You know beans and
rice make a complete protein! Not to mention pretty on the plate! Before
the meal I served a squash soup, I cannot take credit for this one, our friend
Kristi, surprised us with beautiful soup!
So, picture this. squash soup, greens and chickpeas, with wild rice casserole.
Need a recipe , just let me know!  xx Maggie

something to think about...

                it does not mean to be in a place where there is no
               noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the
               midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

ohhh, summer veggies!

Finished! Sauteed veggies over pasta or brown rice , or anything you love...
It IS that easy!


I find summer time rather easy cooking. To us, whatever is available at the tail-
gate market is what we eat. Tonight we sauteed zucchini, summer squash, teeny eggplants in lots of garlic and olive oil. When the veggies are done add
lots of tomatoes, and fresh basil, turn off heat and stir. At the end, before
adding on to fresh pasta , I drizzled the veggies with a lemon olive oil. YUM!

fresh beets !

More farm to table. Yum, fresh beets, just as a yummy side, who can resist? Esp. when you tell your children it'll make them pee red! I know it sounds kind of ick, but think
of how cool it is to a child ! O.K, for those of you who do not have children
it's still eh-hem , sort of cool????
Maybe not, but oh my gosh, are they ever delicious!!

sunday mornings

Sunday mornings. Sitting on the front porch. Sipping wonderful french press coffee. The Sunday New York Times. Fresh flowers from our garden.
Listenening to the birds. Simply being.
For me that is what sunday mornings are all about!
Tell me about your Sunday mornings!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I thought you might enjoy this picture taken by our daughter, who is only 8. Hmmm..... you know my photograpy, well, let's just say it needs some work! Her photos are fun and interesting, if I do say so myself!
What I love about this photo, is that from ceiling to floor, are all my cookbooks! Isn't that a pretty sight! Ohhhhh, but the wine at the bottom of the shelves is looking scarce, better take care of that ! Food and wine, perfect combo!


What is it about summer
dinner? So many vegetables at our fingertips, thanks to all our hard working farmers! The first dish, you might remember it,it is a vegetable gratin, I make it often, as it is soooo easy , chalk full of vitamins, and you get to chose what you want to put together ! Slice the vegetables any way you prefer, layering with a few different veggies. Then salt, pepper, fresh garlic, lots of fresh basil and parmsean cheese, drizzle olive oil all over, then do another layer the same exact way, topped with chopped or sliced tomatoes, again a generous of olive oil drizzled on top then add a good amount of parmesean cheese and place in the oven! I bake it at 375degrees for about 45-60 minutes. I love this served over brown rice! It's whatever you like! That's the fun of this dish, pretty and easy!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Imagine this view every morning! That's exactly what we woke up to. Sipping mugs of Italian roast coffee, taking it the most exquisite view one could ever dream of.
This beautiful little island has 30 houses on 90 acres of land! No cars. We could not have had a better vacation.
Great thanks to our dear friends Cindy & Glen, who own this beautiful place.
We ate the best fried clams, EVER! I could not get enough of them!
Although we ate most all our dinners on the island, we ate beautiful food, just like we cook at home. All I can say is, it was divine!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


OK! Here I am! I guess before we head out on holiday, I should give you a heads up..... Hmmmm.... guess where my mind was!
We were on the most exquisite island in Maine, where there were no cars, no worries, lots of fabulous food, wine, coffee, and the best company ever!
Give me just a bit and I will have some goodies to share!!  Maggie

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thanks Dad!

No, this is not about food, though it is about taking care of oneself ! A quote I recieved from my siste-in-law, who is truly a sister.....
"There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it.
You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good.
So love the people who treat you well, pray for the
ones who don't.
Life is too short to be anything but happy.
Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living...."

I adore these lovely words, I thank my Dad, who's passing brought for me a new beginning!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Heather who has her business, has amazing ideas,whether it be window treatments, rugs, especially for such an odd shaped room! I didn't know that they could cut a piece of specified carpet without it looking like wall to wall, while still showing some of the 
hardwood floors, of course Heather knew! She made it all seem so simple and easy. She researches things (I actually don't think she ever stops researching) to find exactly what you need. So you don't even have to spend  all that time researching, she'll do it !  One of my many favorite things about her is that she gets ME excited about this project , no need to ever feel overwhelmed. That's a small price!
 Heather is amazing! So do check out her blog.
She will  have before and after photos of this project and so will I so that I can share the incredible work of Brian Jerrnigan, gorgeous built-ins, shelves etc. I will be sure that you have the contacts for Brian and his wife Rachel, and all the loving hands gone into making this a warm, inviting room!
Of course, Sophia is happy to let you know just how to be prepared esp. when it comes down to what to wear while painting!
What does this have to do with food? Everything! I get more time to play in the kitchen!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


something else for the table!

just a tease!

beautiful squash blossoms, my mind drifts in all directions on just the perfect way to prepare these little gems. feel free to share what you've done with squash blossoms.
The farmers that grow and bring us all these magnificent goodies are amazing, not to mention humble. I wonder if they realize how breath-takin, just visually, it is to walk into an open market that is filled with tables all wrapped in beautiful bundles of the prettiest foods I have ever seen! Never mind, the meals that come from such food!
For me, this is my kind of shopping! Don't make me shop for clothes, (eh hem, unless I'm in Italy ) but send me out to find fabulous food anytime!

tailgate market!

homemade popsicle~gone! this week's choice was raspberry-lime. sooooo good! almost reason enough to go to the tailgate market!
what a fun time in the neighborhood!

Monday, July 4, 2011


This beautiful flower is from our garden , which is really our front yard! Our "english cottage garden" is so lush and rich.
On a very busy day, we are enjoying the quiet. Lovely!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


This beautiful bread can be found at the tailgate markets here in downtown Asheville. I bought this bread from the market in Montford! So far the seeded bread is my favorite! The heirloom grit, is lovely for making sandwiches.
For now we will be making lots of tomatoe sandwiches with fresh basil , topped with mozzarella , drizzled with olive oil. Yummy.....

Friday, July 1, 2011

farm to table ....

Yummy.... Oh summer vegetables, don't you just love them?

Monday, June 27, 2011


Though, Sophia may not be sure of this dinner , we were. All that we ask of her is to enjoy and if there is something she doesn't care for, quietly put it aside. There were some quiet moments!

beet and buttermilk soup

Yup, another absolute must! Again, from my darling friend, Barb!
So, again, easy, smeasy, I promise, if you don't believe me you know I WILL come to your home to show you just how easy it is, that's my job ( giant smile) after all!

4 C chopped cooked beets
1C unsweetened apple juice
2 C buttermilk
1 Tbls fresh dill (I use more)
1/4 C minced scallions or chives, I loved chives, just a bit more subtle.
salt to taste
finely chopped cucumber ( I love the english cukes)

In a blender or food processor, combine the beets, apple juice, and buttermilk and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in dill and chives. Refriderate for at least 2 hours. Add salt to taste and serve topped with finely chopped cucumber. I used a small dollop of creme fraiche or greek yogurt. Sooooo good! Clean and fresh. The color is spectacular!

~ Two 15 ounce cans of whole beets, drained and coarsely chopped , are fine in this recipe. If you are using fresh beets, 4 or 5 medium beets ( about 1 1/2 lbs) is the right amount. Trim the leaf stems to about an inch and simmer the beets in water to cover for about 40 min, until easily pierced with a knife. Drain the beets and rinse them with cold water. When cooled, squeeze them with your hands and skins will slide of easily. Cut stem off and chop.

Those of you that know me, know I am a food snob and proud of it, but when push comes to shove, opening a can of beets is fine by me!!!!! Enjoy

honey-lime salmon with confetti corn salad

O.K. My foodie friends, this is an absolute must! It tastes as beautiful as it looks!
It screams summer to me! Oh the fresh lime juice and lime zest in it is divine.
This recipe is so easy, not to mention cooking the salmon. I chose to broil the salmon , instead of putting it on the grill, keeping the flavors more simple and clean! What I've done in the past is to leave it to you to let me know if you would like the recipe, but I can't help to spill it all out for you now!
My dearest friend, Barbara gave me this recipe, and made it for me, all I could do or undo was a  button to allow more room! It was that comfortable full. You know what I mean??

1 tsp grated lime zest (I used more)
1/4 FRESH lime juice (I used more)
1 tbl canola (I used olive oil)
1 clove garlic, I used 3 (do you see a pattern?!!!)
2 tsp honey
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 ground pepper
4- 4oz salmon fillets
2 cups of fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 C chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley ( I prefer the italian parsley)

1.  Combine the lime zest, lime juice, garlic , honey, s&p in a small bowl. Put 3 T of the lime mixture in a lg ziploc bag add the salmon. Refridgerate, turning the bag occasionally, about 30 min. Set the remaining dressing aside.

2. Preheat broiler , remove salmon from bag, and discard the marinade. Broil 5 inches from heat. I broiled the fish on parchment paper for 6 min only.  For moist tender fish the rule of thumb is to cook fish fillets 8-10 min per inch, I always undercook a bit , because once the salmon is out of the oven it is still cooking. Trust me on this one!

3. Plate salmon, top with the confetti corn salad! Sprinkle some parsley around the dish just for the beauty!

Any questions , simply contact me! xxx

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How do you spend your Sunday morning?

You can find me most every sunday morning either on the couch or on the front porch armed with cookbooks! Sipping rich french press coffee.
Of course still in my jammies, it would be too formal to be already dressed as though it were a work morning. Nope, not me , sundays are for lounging around, gently coming into the day, surrounded by cookbooks and coffee.....

Friday, June 24, 2011

beef sashimi

This is one of the most decadent things I have ever eaten, melt in your mouth.
It is a lightly seared filet mignon served sashimi style with a garlic ponzu sauce. The good news is I'm sure we could make it, the bad news this came from a lovely Japanese restaurant in Round Rock , TX.
The name of the restaurant is Beluga.
If it were not for my sister Sallie and her husband Luu, cooking equally fabulous food, I would have eaten here every night!  Just imagine!

Monday, June 20, 2011

weaverville yoga

This morning I went to the most wonderful yoga class at Weaverville Yoga. Barbara Schauer who owns the studio, is the most magnificent teacher. I cannot wait to take her class again. Do check it out , it is located right next door to the Well Bred Bakery!
One of Barbara's teachers Kelley Wolfe has this favorite quote I thought you all might appreciate.
"Yoga is a gift for older people. One who studies yoga in the later years gains not only health and happiness, but also freshness of mind since yoga gives one a bright outlook on life. One can look forward to a satisfying, more healthful future rather that looking back into the past. With yoga, a new life begins, even if started later. Yoga is a rebirth which teaches one to face the rest of one's life happily peacefully and courageously."    Geeta S. Iyengar                

Thankyou Barbara!             

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ma Po Tofu

I'd have to look up the recipe to tell you what's in this dish, besides the obvious! This gem of a dish is served over rice. I cannot wait to make it myself!

the best food ever!

Recently our family spent almost 2 weeks in Austin with my sister Sallie and Luu. There was never a reason to eat out because their cooking surpassed any place we could have eaten! ( Yes, Luu even the 1 restaurant we went to!)
Sallie made this wonderful cold eggplant dish, and just seemed to doctor it up with rice wine and other goodies, so simple, though I swear I would have to call her for exact instructions! She did the same thing with the bok choy. I should have sat there taking notes!
Luu made the most incredible halibut, I do know that it also had some rice wine vinegar, oil, sallions, garlic and ginger, and that was just the marinade.
When he was done perfectly sauteeing the fish, he then put scallions , more garlic and more ginger in the hot pan until they became crunchy then put them on top of the halibut, it was melt in your mouth. There was nothing else to do but moan! Thanks guys, still dreaming of food! xxxx

the brother in law!

Luu, is this really you?

sister sallie!

This is my sister, lucky me! She is still smiling even though Austin is 110 degrees! Hang on though, wait till you see the food we ate! She is a superb cook!
It's a bit of a tease, but I will be posting later, gotta get back to work!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

thanks to Jennifer!

O.K. food lovers, we are back from vacation and thanks to my dear friend Jennifer, computer wiz, besides beautiful and brilliant, I should be up and running now!
Keep checking ! New things to come!   Maggie

Sunday, June 5, 2011

a little plate of art...

I know, I know it's been far too long, something was acting up with my computer, oh well, here I am again!
As you know this is one of favorite little "noshy" plates, actually one of my quick favorites, along with a wonderful salad dressed simply with a white balasmic and an excellent quality olive oil and a sprinkle of salt!
We are on a lovely vacation, and will not be blogging until we get home!
Happy Summer!    Maggie