Good Morning!

Say hello to my little friends. 

Oregano and paper whites have just made each other’s acquaintance.

Pansies and Snow

They may feel or look delicate, but it takes a strong will to withstand a winter storm.

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If they could talk, they should say something like: “We’d like to see you spend your weekend out here, in the frigid ground,  having ice, snow and blustery cold winds whip you around and around.”  It’s not a walk in the park, people!”

Got to give those pansies some credit.  They are tough!

But, as in life, not all who fight the brave battle, survive.

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The cycle of life is anyone’s guess.

Rest in peace, fallen comrade. ❤

 Kale and Snow

Friends for life.

Chicken (Spaetzle) Noodle Soup

What do you do when you don’t have traditional egg noodles, but  you’re craving Chicken Noodle soup?   You throw in Spaetzle, “farmer style” egg pasta.  Or buy some at any grocery store.

It’s so worth it.img_1688

I think I wolfed down my bowl in under five minutes.  That good.  That simple.

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I made it for my children, but those little stinkers didn’t even try it.   That’s ok, that’s what mason jars are for…

I only make chicken noodle soup when I have a leftover roasted chicken and I’m feeling a bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Mom, (Caroline).  When you use every bit of something after it’s main purpose is gone, you kind of feel like you’ve stepped into the real world of using what you have, as a cook.  And it costs very little.

New Year’s has a lot to do with that.  I love that we get the do-over each year. We need it.

So here’s what I do…

The Recipe

First…the broth…

  • Fill a large soup pot about half way with water
  • Add the chicken carcass.  Just put in it there.  All of it.  The water should cover at least half the chicken.
  • Throw in some roughly chopped carrots (2), celery (1) and onion (quartered).  You’ll toss this out later…just adds flavor to the broth.
  • The spices:  whole peppercorns, two bay leaves, a pinch of thyme (I only had ground thyme), sea salt.
  • Bring everything to a boil.  Let it boil for about five minutes before simmering with lid partial on.  Simmer for about an hour.  Already smells good. 🙂
  • Remove the chicken as much as you can into a large bowl and let it cool.  Drain the soup with a mesh colander to catch the veggies and bits and pieces of chicken.

Next…The Chicken…

  • When the chicken is cool enough to touch, start separating the good stuff from the bad stuff.   You should have about two cups of cooked chicken.

Finally, the SPAETZLE…!

  • Return the broth to the pot, add new carrots, celery.  I keep it simple, but you might like to add onion or another veggie.
  • Bring to boil again and then simmer again for about fifteen minutes.
  • Add chicken, couple dashes of fresh pepper and sea salt.
  • Then, finally, toss in about a cup of spaetzle.  It needs to cook for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes.

Voila!img_1689

The texture of the spaetzle feels homemade.  I love how it tastes, too, but especially how it’s a little thicker than thin strips of  egg noodles I’ve used in the past. Spaetzle  wraps around the chicken and broth like a big bear hug.

Comforts the soul.  And your appetite.

Aufessen!  🙂

 

Crustaceans in Cary?

I’ve seen all kinds of critters on my morning walks here in Cary, North Carolina, but this is a first. 


That’s right. Some form of crustacean. Is it a crayfish, a little lobster?   How did it get here?  Cary is at least two hours from the sea. And yet,  on a rainy Tuesday morning, here he is, just walking down the sidewalk in the suburbs.  😳

My friend’s dog was equally curious.  She cautiously approached only to be greeted by a most definite warrior, ready to do battle. 

Not so fast!  


We took our cue and kept on walking.

Curious though. 

Where did you come from little fella?  Good luck to you little lobster. At least it’s raining today.  

☂️

Hawaiian Dreamin’

Decorating or design in a home isn’t just about making things pretty. It’s about creating that space that you connect to. 

The place that makes you feel good. Peaceful. Home. 

This family in Cary North Carolina reached out to me late this summer when they decided that they were ready to bring that sense of peace they loved in Hawaii to their home in North Carolina. It’s an ongoing project, but I’m impatient and just had to share how it’s going.​  I hope you will watch and get inspired. Is there a room in your place that could use a second look? 

​www.the-right-space.com

Mistletoe 

Nobody decorated this.  

It’s just nature’s way of recognizing Christmas is around the corner. 

 I’m not exactly sure this is mistletoe. 

Just like it.  😬

"Color your world."

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