Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene At Our House

Well, it has been a whirlwind day here at our house in the Boston area! We moved all potential projectiles from around the outside of the house. We have been watching the news constantly and jumping every time the lights flicker holding our breath til thankfully they stayed on.

Periodically we would look around outside to see what was happening. Our property backs up to conservation land which means there are a lot of trees.

Then my hubbie spotted part of a  tree down that landed smack across the extra car that we have. We kept the third car,after buying my beloved Flex last year, for emergencies and family that might want their own wheels when visiting. It got me around for 128,000 miles only to be downed in the driveway.

The wind is still blowing and howling but we are told the worst is over.
After speaking to the insurance people about the car and being told that they have already started processing hundreds of claims before ours, we feel like the worst may be yet to come.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tiger Lily

I was making a cake for a friend and she asked me to make gumpaste Tiger Lilies for the decoration. Coincidentally, I was experimenting with some gumpaste Asian lilies  because the lilies were all blooming in the garden and I was inspired. I felt it was a nice jump to making the Tiger Lilies.
I thought I would do some instructional photos and post them here. Then I noticed the video camera the boy had set up and I thought I would give taping it a whirl. This is my second attempt at taping something for YouTube and it always amazes me how much time it takes me to get something done. Please be kind with your critique. I am hoping the more I do, the better I will get!

I am listing the links to the YouTube uploads.

Part One shows how to make the flower petals.
Part Two shows how to floral tape the petal wires and make the flower center stem and put together the flower.
Part Three shows how to color the flower.

I used the Wilton Ready to Use Gumpaste and the Gumpaste Flower Kit. I am a Wilton Instructor after all!!
I used lily flower stamens from The International Sugar Art Collection.

 Give the lilies a try. The  lilies in the garden are gone but the sugar  lilies are always in bloom!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Gazpacho is my my favorite summer dish. It takes less than 30 minutes to put together. I whip up a big container of it and have it for lunch every day. It is refreshing, easy, and loaded with the season's best ingredients. I blend this version of the recipe for a smoother soup. You could easily just chop the ingredients for a chunkier version. I prefer to add in toppings for texture and  to vary the interest. This version has cooked shrimp and avocado. Sometimes, I will add croutons or french fried onions. This soup lends itself to many variations. I think it would make a good picnic item although I cannot even remember the last time I went on a picnic?!? Hmmmm, if this rain we seem to have woken up to stops, perhaps I will test that picnic theory.
Hope it's sunny where you are!

Summer Gazpacho

1 clove garlic, peeled
5 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and rough copped(concasse)
1/2 vidalia onion, rough chopped
1 english cucumber, peeled seeded and rough chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 slice whole wheat bread slice, torn into large chunks
24 ounces v-8® vegetable juice
4 ounces beef broth, canned is fine
1 tablespoon lemon, juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped

Pour half of the V-8 juice in a blender and add the bread slice. Allow the bread to sit for about 5 minutes to completely saturate. Add the vegetables ( garlic, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, green pepper) in 2 batches and blend untiltil smooth.

Remove to a large bowl.

 Stir in the rest of the v-8, beef broth, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco. Stir well. Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper to taste.

Add parsley and stir to combine.

 Chill until serving. Ladle soup into a bowl and garnish as desired. I added chopped cooked shrimp and chopped avocado.

About 6 servings.