Uncle

April 19, 2018

OK… new plan. While it’s already the middle of April and the snow, ice and frigid temperatures continue, I’m thinking a jump-start on next Winter might be a good idea. I’ve started some cuttings of yellow twig Dogwood to work into the landscape as soon as I’m able to get a shovel in the ground. The bright chartreuse stems should brighten things up when the world has gone all black and white. Added bonus…bright green leaves with white blossoms in Spring, clusters of white berries through the Summer and the bark turning bright red through the Fall.

Mid April…really?

Top two photos: gp

Bottom photo via: https://www.thetreecenter.com/yellow-twig-dogwood/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIooCriYnG2gIVl7XACh2IyAQsEAQYAiABEgIcM_D_BwE

 

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Out like a…

April 3, 2018

lamb? Well, that’s supposed to be the way March exits. The reality is we might have to kick up our own seasonal inspiration as long as Mother Nature insists on playing these games. I say plow ahead, pretend the temps are in the 50’s and 60’s and completely disregard any call for snow. A simple vase full of flowering branches couldn’t hurt either.

 

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Photos: gp

 

To Spring

March 18, 2018

No time like the present…middle of March…snow and ice up to here, still…and the official start of Spring just a few days away…to lighten up the cocktail menu. I was intrigued by a cocktail combination of Bourbon, lemon and tonic. So, I started with a glass of ice, a nice shot of Bourbon, a squeeze and drop of a lemon wedge and a topping off of tonic. The BLT. After the first sip I have to admit it was surprisingly fresh. Who knew? Especially when tonic is typically reserved for mixing with vodka or gin. Then the wheels started turning. Could the lily be gilt with the addition of St. Germaine? The answer is yes. The addition of 1/2 oz. of elderflower liquor is lovely. Either way, despite the weather, it tasted like Spring to me.

Photo: gp

 

Give a Bunch…

March 1, 2018

keep a bunch. How about spreading a little joy while waiting for Spring to officially arrive on March 20th? Nothing heralds the advent of Spring quite like Daffodils. Their bright sunny yellow and gentle fragrance are  like nothing else. And, at just a couple of bucks a bunch nearly everywhere, you can afford to treat yourself as well as a friend or two. It’s been said that presenting a bunch of Daffodils to another will ensure happiness and good fortune. Who’s going to argue with that kind of return?

Photos: gp

 

 

Everyone loves…

February 11, 2018

a happy ending. No matter what your Valentine’s Day plans are for Wednesday, finish things off with these Chocolate Raspberry Champagne Truffles. Gather your handful of ingredients and it’s as simple as melt, set, cut and dust.

 

G’s Chocolate Raspberry Champagne Truffles

Prep an 8″ loaf pan by buttering it lightly and lining with a piece of parchment leaving a couple of inches of overhang on the long sides.

Gather your ingredients:

20 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

a pinch of kosher salt

1/2 package Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Raspberries ( 1.2 oz package) lightly crushed

1/3 cup Champagne or Prosecco

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, for dusting finished truffles.

 

In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water combine chocolate, cream and salt until smooth. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

Remove from heat and stir in champagne until thoroughly incorporated and then mix in the freeze-dried raspberries.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.

Refrigerate to set up at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

Remove truffle loaf from pan using parchment sling after loosening edges with a knife warmed in hot water, then dried.

Cut the loaf in half crosswise. Cut each half into sixteen pieces, re-heating and drying the knife as needed. Toss the individual rectangular truffles in the sifted cocoa powder to coat.

Yield: 32 two bite truffles

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Photos: gp

My inspiration was Cindy Rahe’s recipe for found here: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/champagne_chocolate_truffles/

 

 

 

 

Reason to Celebrate

January 19, 2018

If I could be anywhere tomorrow for just the day it would Amsterdam, celebrating National Tulip Day. As Tulips are my absolute hands down favorite I’m already geared up to celebrate myself here at home. It doesn’t take much…a pristine glass cylinder vase filled with cool water and a bunch or five in any color…any variety.

Photos: gp

 

5…4…3…2

December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!  What better way to ring in the New Year than with a classic Champagne Cocktail? Simple enough…a sugar cube soaked in bitters topped off wth Champagne or sparkling wine and garnished with a twist of citrus. And, what better way to serve it up than in a simplequietmodern cylinder flute? That’s it…pop, drop, pour, clink.

https://www.cb2.com/set-of-8-cylinder-champagne-flutes/s422283