Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Necklace and My Mom

I have been working on some of my jewelry lately.  This piece is one I have had in my head for awhile.  The pendant is of Our Lady that was fashioned out of an old coin.  It was part of my mother-in-laws collection.  I like the blue accents on the necklace as well as the clear vintage rosary beads.  I am beginning to feel like life is getting back to some normalcy.  My mother passed away a month ago.  It had been a long, long fight with cancer and she succumbed to the disease mid last month.  It is still is hard to believe she is gone.  Yet she really was gone for me two years ago when they did brain surgery to remove the tumor and then whole brain radiation.  What an awful thing whole brain radiation is.  It took the women I knew as my mother away from me and my family.  Of course I loved my mom up to the end and I will always love my mother, but the essence of the women she was was gone after that.  I am sure it will hit me at some odd moment and I will break down, but I really feel I did a great amount of mourning two years ago.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Two of my new favorite recipes and perfect for warm weather entertaining.  The top pictures is from Dorie Greenspan and her cookbook Around My French Table.  It is a Savory Cheese and Chive bread and it is fabulous.  I have made it twice, it is very easy and the texture is so tender.  The key is to not over stir.  You can vary the flavorings by using different cheese and herbs.  The first time I made it I used Gruyere and Cheddar cheese.  This time I used Gruyere and Comte cheese, both were delicious!  I can't wait to try more recipes in her cookbook. 

The second picture is my new favorite salad.  I clipped the recipe out of our local newspaper.  It is a recipe adapted from Jacques Pepin.  It is a warm bean and bacon salad.  How can you go wrong? 

Warm Bean and Bacon Salad (adapted by Jacques Pepin)

8 ounces of Pancetta
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
two 15 1/2 ounce cans of Navy or small white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 avocados
1 lemon

Place pancetta or bacon in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Saute, covered, for about 8 minutes until the meat has rendered and is crisp.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, until soft and translucent.  Take care not to burn the garlic.  Transfer the contents of the saucepan and 1 tablespoon of rendered fat to a large bowl. 
Add beans, salt, parsley, vinegar, oil and pepper.  Mix well then serve warm or at room temperature.  Slice avocados and toss with fresh lemon juice.  Add  alongside the salad of toss with the salad.
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