Donna Hay's Spicy Chicken*, Cucumber and Mint Salad

I'm a huge fan of Australian celebrity chef Donna Hay, so when Pam recently featured this recipe, from Donna Hay's magazine on her terrific blog "Sidewalk Shoes", I KNEW I wanted to make it right away.

What more could you want in a main course salad? It goes together quickly, is light yet filling and is delicious!

Pam substituted ground beef for the minced chicken; I used ground turkey but I would consider substituting lean ground pork, or even prawns or shrimp as well.

The method is really simple; I prep the cucumbers and red onion using a mandolin, then set them aside. Then brown the meat of choice until done, add some crushed garlic and chili (as much or as little as you like), cook for a minute; add the fish sauce*, lime juice and sugar. then toss with the cucumber & red onion slices, along with the mint leaves.

* If you don't care for fish sauce, you could substitute oyster sauce or soy sauce (I would dilute the soy with a little water to avoid excessive sodium.)

I'll definitely be making this one regularly, and I'd like to give a big thank you to Pam for discovering the recipe and sharing it.

If you would like a printable copy of the recipe,
you can find it on my recipe blog by clicking HERE.

If you like Asian-style food, I think you may love this as much as we did.
It's been declared a KEEPER at my house... it's very good.

Back to edit:

I've received several emails about the bowl and placemat so I thought I would answer here in case anyone else is wondering. ;)

Bowls are currently available from Target 2 for $9.99 (if I remember the price correctly.)

Round, scalloped placemat made by C & F Enterprises


Mosaic Monday: Birds in the Garden

I've had a lifelong love of birds, both as pets, and we attract plenty of them to our gardens by offering food, water and homes for them year round as well.

But this time I thought I would make a mosaic from some of the bird-themed items from the gardens.

I ran out of mosaic space before I ran out of bird-themed accouterments, so I'll share more another time. *grin*

Thank you for stopping by and any comments you would like to share; I LOVE to hear from you.

Mary graciously hosts Mosaic Monday ~ It is my understanding that she is taking a short break this week, but please go by her wonderful blog "
The Little Red House" to admire her fabulous photography, leave a comment and see some past mosaics.


Pink ! Roses and Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

In spring we had a rose-themed celebration ~ because it was a little early in the season for my roses I chose the old fashioned David Austin rose "Mary Rosa", which is the earliest of bloomers in my rose gardens.

Mary Rosa is an incredibly prolific bloomer, giving an gorgeous show with two or three flushes of blooms throughout the entire summer. The pink blossoms fill the air with the delightful scent of honey and almonds ~ absolutely heavenly!

Interestingly Mary Rose (also his sister's name) was named after King Henry VIII's flagship of the same name, when it was recovered after sinking 400 years earlier.

I garden organically, no sprays or pesticides, so the petals are completely edible.

Strawberry - Rose Frozen yogurt

Showered with rose petals to carry out the theme

I use the electric ice cream maker all year round for all sorts of frozen desserts, not only ice cream but sorbets, gelatos, custards, and often for frozen yogurt. I appreciate being able to control the quality of the ingredients ~ and custom flavors you can't find anywhere else. :)

I always keep the canister in the freezer so fresh, frozen treats can be enjoyed within minutes.
Helpful Tip~ get an extra canister, it really comes in handy if you want to serve two kinds of frozen desserts, and if you store it in the freezer there is no waiting for a canister to freeze.

Someone in my family has sugar issues, so this time I sweetened the frozen yogurt with Splenda (TM) , it turned out creamy and delicious.

If you would like a printable copy of the recipe you can find it on my recipe blog by clicking HERE.

With great thanks to our host Beverly for hosting
Pink Saturday, on her blog

Thank you for visiting me today ~ I welcome your comments.

Pan Seared Salmon Filets with Sweet & Tangy Dijon Vinaigrette

If you've been following you know I prepare salmon often ~ usually very simply prepared and finished with some kind of condiment or sauce.

I had some mustard greens I wanted to prepare, so I devised this sweet and tangy Mustard Vinaigrette to compliment both the salmon, as well as the slightly bitter greens.

Since these filets were rather thin, I didn't want to sear them for long so as to avoid overcooking. The downside to this was that they didn't really get that nice golden brown sear on them that I love.

When I plated them I thought they looked
BARE. The salmon definitely needed a boost.

Not bad, but not as eye-appealing as they could be.

So I garnished them with crispy proscuitto, to add color, flavor and textural contrast.

It's a fabulous method; one that I learned from my delightful friend Lori, on her blog
"All That Splatters" (click link to see how-to.)

We really enjoyed it, it scored 5 out of 5 stars and I've already been asked to make it again soon.

I love when that happens! :)

Along with the mustard greens, I served this with pan roasted tomatoes-on-the-vine ~ a really nice slightly tart compliment to the other flavors.

If you would like a printable copy of my recipe, you can find it on my recipe blog.

Click HERE to go there.

Thank you for stopping by ~

Please talk to me ~ I love comments!


It's a Rerun, but ~ You Must Try THIS one....

Strawberries prepared this way ALWAYS receive RAVE reviews. If you make them, prepare extras as there are never any left !

I learned this method of preparing them from my friend Debbie. Please visit Debbie's Blog:

Mountain Breaths

Beautiful photos, and she and she lives a gracious, lovely life!

If you like strawberries and cream cheese you will LOVE this one.

Here you go. As originally posted

My friend Debbie introduced these delicious sweet mouthfuls to me, and I'm so happy she did!

Fresh strawberries, tips trimmed so they stand upright, hull end leveled, then slightly hollowed and filled with lightly sweeted whipped cream cheese, they taste like little individual Strawberry Cheese Cakes.

They are perfect for a dessert buffet.

The recipe first appeared in Martha Stewart Living a couple of years ago. So simple to assemble and they pay back big rewards for such easy prep.

Filled Strawberries
Yields 12 filled berries; recipe is easily increased

With an electric mixer whip 6 ounces of room-temperature cream cheese on medium speed until slightly fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar.

Trim tops and bottoms of 12 strawberries to level. Use a small melon baller to scoop out tops.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip with cream cheese mixture; pipe into berries decoratively.

Toast 1/4 cup sliced almonds in a 350 degrees oven until toasty brown, 3 to 6 minutes; arrange slices over filling.

The berries are best made just a few hours (or less) before serving, keep loosely covered in the refrigerator until serving time.

If you would like a printable copy of the recipe, you can find it on my recipe blog by clicking HERE.

Thank you Debbie ~

I think of you every time I make them.

This is my entry for ...

Thank you for hosting us Michael ~ you and Mister are in my thoughts.

Please click the logo above to visit Michael's blog "Designs by Gollum", to leave a comment and see all of this weeks participants.

And thank YOU sweet followers for stopping by today to leave a comment. I really appreciate hearing from you! :)


Tablescape Thursday ~ August 27, 2009

Thank you for stopping by for this weeks Tablescape Thursday!

As we approach autumn, I like to take every opportunity to dine al fresco while the weather is still warm.

I have some authentic vintage tablecloths which are dear to me, but most are over 50 years old and I try to take good care of them. For outdoor dining (as under this Douglas Fir tree), I'm more comfortable using reproduction tablecloths like this one which don't require any special care.

I purchased this new reproduction on the internet a couple of years ago, very reasonably priced. Quite honestly when it arrived the colors were not what I expected.

Not my favorite combination of colors, so it has been in the drawer ever since.

But for today's Tablescape Thursday I decided to try to work with it to see if I could make it work, using dishes and accessories I already had.

I started with the chargers; a buttery yellow color to pick up the field color of the cloth. Next the apple green Fiestaware dinner plate, on top of that I pulled salad plates from the American Atelier set. Then individual covered casseroles by BIA.

By now I think everyone is familiar with the "Bee" flatware? *grin*

And the French "Bee" tumblers?

A little cherry platter.

These two shades of green don't coordinate well, but I chose them for strictly utilitarian reasons ~

The casserole was the right size for the recipe... :)

And the cast iron trivet ~

is actually a candle-warmer.

The hydrangeas in the garden are kaput for the summer ~ these are fakes. :)
I like to keep a candle lantern nearby in case the sun begins to set while we're still enjoying our time at the table. I love the ambiance the soft light brings, it invites us to linger and relax.

Well, these STILL aren't my favorite color combinations... but at least I gave the tablecloth a try!

A big thank you to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting us ~
(And for the incentive to pull that tablecloth out of storage!)

Please click the button above to visit Susan's wonderful blog and to see all of this weeks entrants!


(Click highlighted links to read more, or to order )

Pinzon Charger Plates, Set of 4 (link)
Dinner Plates: Fiestaware by Homer Laughlin
Salad Plates: American Atelier "Baroque"
Stainless Flatware: Neiman Marcus/Horchow

Cast Iron Candle warmer : Le Creuset*

Retro Tablecloth (link)

Cherry Platter :
Harry and David Gift Store
Base tablecloth and napkins: April Cornell

*Note: These are the plain cast iron trivets ~ to locate information on the candle warmer version you may need to contact Le Creuset/USA.

A Sampling of my food . . .


 Subscribe in a reader...or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner