A Duck Named Chuck

Chuck the Duck Watercolor 8x10 140lb Fabriano Cold Press

Chuck the Duck Watercolor 8×10 140lb Fabriano Cold Press

 

There once was a duck
named Chuck
who never really had much luck.

When a tempestuous storm struck,
he was stripped of his cluck.

It really did suck,
and he felt like a schmuck.

But not one to pass the buck,
he simply smiled and said,
“Oh F……..antastic!”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Just a little fun with negative watercolor painting and silly rhyming!

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans, and Corn.

I love legumes, and I am really growing to love quinoa.  I recently tried this new salad for dinner that was so so delicious, filling, and healthy.

A one-cup serving of quinoa is packed with 9g proteins, 5g fiber, and 20g carbohydrate. Red quinoa is also rich in magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and phosphorous. It contains high quantities of lysine, an essential amino acid.

Legumes like black beans and edamame are also high in protein and fiber, and avocado is extremely nutrient dense.

To eat something that is so easy, so healthy, so pretty, and so delicious is a win-win in my book!

Are you a legume lover?  Quinoa connoisseur?  I’d love to hear your favorite ways to enjoy!

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Red Quinoa, cooked in broth and cooled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, frozen, roasted, or fresh off cob
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vidalia or Green Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup edamame (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cilantro, fresh chopped, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cherry tomato (optional) for garnish

Directions

Cook quinoa, and set aside to cool.

Toss vegetables together gently.  Drizzle with lime juice, vinegar and oil.  Season with salt, pepper and cilantro.  Gently toss.

Spoon quinoa onto plate.  Top with a generous scoop of vegetable salad.  Garnish, as desired, with quartered cherry tomato.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

How do you say “Thank You?”

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA - June, 2017

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA – June, 2017

How do you say “Thank You”
for sunshine or health…
for clear days or gentle rains…
for happiness, joy or love?

You say it by sharing
what you have.
You say it by making
the world a better place in which to live.

-Thomas D. Willhite

How do YOU say “Thank You?”

I say it by trying to share something small every day
in this tiny little platform that is mine
to give to the world
a little bit of happiness…
a little bit of joy…
a little bit of love.

My “Thank You” might be
a photograph,
or a painting,
or a craft or DIY idea.

It might be a favorite cherished
or newly discovered recipe.
It might be a verse
or a quote or a story.

But it is my “Thank You”
for sunshine and health…
for clear days and gentle rains…
for happiness, joy, and love.

It is my gift.
It is my little life.
It is my creative journey…
at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Focus

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie.

Are you looking for an amazing fruit pie that is tart and sweet and bursting full of fresh fruits of the season?

I haven’t baked a pie in a while, so I thought it was high time I treated hubby to something he would love being that it is Father’s Day weekend and all.

He would choose pie over cake or cookies approximately 99.5 times out of 100 – conservatively speaking.

I had some fresh red raspberries and some fresh blueberries in the fridge, but not enough of either to make a whole pie, so I decided to try combining the two into one pie.

I researched some recipes and then decided to combine things I liked about different ones into my own creation – including using tapioca instead of cornstarch as the thickening agent for this pie.  Grandma always used tapioca in her berry pies, so there is no other way in my book!

This pie turned out perfectly thickened and so full of fresh berry flavors.  It was a complete hit with Hubby – especially when topped with a melting scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

If you are looking for a new twist on berry pie, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • Double recipe for Pie Crust
  • 2 cups fresh red raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract of paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp. milk or water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry.

In a bowl, combine berries, 1 cup sugar, tapioca, flour, lemon peel, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Gently stir, and pour into pastry lined pie plate.

Top with remaining pie crust cut and wove into lattice.

Brush with milk or water, and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Pansy for Your Thoughts

Purple Pansy Watercolor - 6x9 140lb Saunders Hot Press

Purple Pansy Watercolor – 6×9 140lb Saunders Hot Press

A Pansy for Your Thoughts.

I painted this pansy one night this past week, and it kept “speaking to me” in a thoughtful way.

It just keep saying, “A Pansy for Your Thoughts.”

Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m a bit of a “deep thinker.”  In fact, you might say I overthink things.  But it is who I am, and now that I’m in my fifth decade of life, I’m pretty okay with it.  A nice place to be.

So today, I just wanted to share a bit of me, and I’d love to hear about a bit of you.  You know… A Penny… A Peso… A Pansy for Your Thoughts.


I care what people think…
about me…

I really wish
I didn’t.

But I always want
everyone to like me.

And if they don’t,
it bothers me – a lot.

And it is not possible for everyone to like me.
I really do “get” that.

But it still troubles me,
no matter how hard I try.

My head
understands this.

But my heart,
which I prefer to think with,

Or just can’t help
but to think with…

just can’t wrap
its arms around the notion.

Is it just a part
of my DNA?

That is what
my personality assessment reveals.

I’m a High “I”
not matter the circumstance.

So I truly believe,
though I wish it weren’t so,

I will still think this way
if I live to be 108.

Do you care what other people think…
about you?

A Pansy
for your thoughts…

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

I am so glad to have him in my life to celebrate.

This is one of the very few pictures I have from my early childhood.

As a child of divorce, many photos of my early life were destroyed along with the marriage that ended.  I suppose in an effort to erase the “mistake.”

But I am so grateful for this photo shared with me by my sweet aunt of a birthday celebration that was shared by my brother and cousin.

Sadly, half of the people in the photo are no longer with us…
Cancer, aging, murder, suicide… Many of us can relate to similar losses.

But I have my Dad in my life, and today is his birthday.
And I am choosing to cherish these moments!

By the way – can you tell which two we are?
I think we look so much alike!

Happy Birthday Dad!
From your only daughter.
Your first-born child.

You were my first great love.
You are the man I am still discovering.
The Daddy I am still allowing myself to remember.

Thank you for being back in my life.
Thank you for healing the wounds.

Thank you for ending the nightmares.
Thank you for fulfilling the dreams.

I love you.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi


 



 

Updating the Nursery at Grandma’s House

Updating the Nursery at Grandma’s House.

Some of you may remember the fun I had creating a nursery for my first grandchild about seven months ago.  I turned my youngest son’s childhood room into a baby girly nursery room.  Here is what it looked like when I first created it.

Time is passing way too quickly, and our little girl is growing so fast.  She is starting to get around, so it was time to lower the crib so she won’t pull herself up and tumble out.

Then, though I hope she doesn’t need it very soon, we were so generously gifted with a beautiful antique iron day bed from my our bestie cousins, Joyce and “Oh Rob,” fully loaded with soft and fluffy Pottery Barn bedding in just the right colors to match our room!  Isn’t it awesome?!!?!

I moved some things around to make room.  It will be  a nice spot for us to snuggle up and read books soon I’m sure.  It also adds versatility to this guest room allowing for another “single” to stay over.  We love having campers stay over, so the more beds the merrier!

Remember how I made the bumper pads into curtain valances (since they are a “no-no!” now)?  Well – I still had a piece left, so I cut the ties off, cut about a 6-inch opening on one end, and stuffed it with filling from an old pillow I wasn’t using to create a fun tube-shaped pillow.  Throwing that and the other pillow that came with the nursery set really helps carry the theme onto the day bed and pull the room together I think.  Aren’t I so crafty clever?!?!

I am in love with this little space in the house.  It is the smallest bedroom of the four, but it is my current fave!  I’ve redone all three (now) guest rooms.  I think it may soon be time for a master bedroom makeover!  <wink!>

Hope you are having fun in all of your favorites spaces with all of your favorite people… at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Recipes like this one I am sharing today are ones where I really wish I had the ability to share “smell-a-blogavision!”

The amazing aroma that filled my kitchen and nose when I roasted this fennel and potato recipe is too divine for words.  Seriously!

So after the euphoria of the fragrance faded, and I began typing this post, I was trying to find a word worthy to describe it.  It was THAT amazing!

In my “research,” I found that fennel is actually used as an essential oil and  in aromatherapy.  Well…. there you have it!  I was not kidding about how awesome it smelled!  Apparently, sweet fennel essential oil helps nourish and restore an optimal mind and outlook. It is believed to bring strength and courage in the face of adversity.

Have you cooked much with fennel?  Besides smelling like heaven, it has great health benefits too.  It is wonderfully crunchy and sweet when served raw  in salads or silky and succulent when roasted or braised.  It has an interesting licorice-like flavor.

Now… before those of you who are not licorice fans skip over this recipe….. STOP!  You have to give it a try!

When you roast this amazing celery-like root vegetable…. O. M. G!    I don’t have the words for the amazingness.

Mixed with some simple sliced potatoes and seasoning, it makes for a simply glorious addition or highlight to your dinner.

We had ours with some grilled chicken and a simple cucumber and tomato vinaigrette salad one day last week.

I will be making this again and again.  I adore it!  Hope you do too!

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 small/medium potatoes (I used Yukon golds), sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spread sliced potatoes and fennel in an even layer on a stoneware baking dish or baking pan.  Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and rosemary.  Roast approximately 40 minutes, tossing 2-3 times during roasting, until golden brown and tender.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi