March seems to have flown past so quickly~and I've been shamefully absent from the kitchen. So instead, I thought I would share another of our little chicks from the second batch.

She's one of the most dainty and calm-mannered chicks of the entire brood ~ the name Daisy seemed to fit her perfectly.
Coincidentally, my sister recently reminded me that one of our family's pet ducks had the same name! ~ So Daisy it is.

(I just adore the matching "tweed" look on the tips of each of her tiny wings, and her bitty tail!)

She's a Brahma Light chicken, and it's difficult to believe she will look similar to the hen in the photo below in a very few months.

I'm taking photos of the progress of construction of the chicken house and hope to share some of that in an upcoming post.
Have a wonderful week everyone!


Creamy Lavender-Scented Rice Pudding

Spring can be such a tease!

A string of warm, sunny days and we're ready to put winter clothes away...

But the weather in March and April is fickle where I live ~ the most welcome days of sunshine are usually interspersed with rain, and dipping temperatures overnight.

Perfect for a few more of those comforting meals and desserts before the warm weather sets in, like this old favorite ~ Rice Pudding, with a delightful lavender twist.

The method is simple; just steep a scant tablespoon of dried culinary lavender blooms in the hot milk for about 5 to 10 minutes then strain the lavender out and continue with your favorite rice pudding recipe, substituting the lavender scented milk for plain in the recipe.
I like to portion out the servings into individual size servings... but it tastes just as delicious served from a big bowl.

A pretty violet spoon with an engraved 'M' somehow seems to make it taste better ;D
(shhh! ...Not a family heirloom, it was an ebay find.)

A lavender sprig and a candy flower helps to make this lowly dessert just a little more special, too.
If you try it I hope you like it as well.
Thank you for stopping by ~ have a lovely day.


Postcards from Home ~ March

It's been a crazy-busy week, not much time for cooking/baking anything worth sharing so I thought I'd share some postcards from around home instead.

The fruit trees are nearly all in bloom ~ filling the air with their heavenly scent.
(This one and the one below are nectarines.)

And sadly, we had to have an old, enormous pine tree removed.

I never take it lightly when a tree on the property must be removed, especially one of this stature; it was about 80 years old. However, this one was no longer thriving and perilously close to the studio out back. Still, it makes me sad.

Can you see our favorite tree-guy waaay up there? First he climbs up and ties off each huge limb, cuts it with his chain saw and lowers each one down to the crew on the ground. Into the chipper it goes to become garden material. Then he ties off and continues cutting the trunk into large logs which are lowered to the crew below;
the crew cuts them into 16" logs. After they dry and age, they'll be split for firewood.

They make it look so easy, but I'm always on pins and needles when I see this.
And I even get sweaty palms just looking at the photos. Eeeek.
He left a good "table-height" stump to which we'll add a tabletop for outdoor dining; maybe I'll feature it in an upcoming Tablescape Thursday!

Daffodils, tea, and a darling tea cozy...
(Stay tuned, there's more to come about tea cozies in the future.)
And introducing one little girl from the second batch of chicks ~
They just arrived on Tuesday.

She's an Australorp, a breed was developed in Australia in the late 1800's with Black Orpington stock from England.

No name yet... but I'm leaning towards Olivia, or Olive. :D

And she will look similar to the hen below when full grown;
black with a greenish sheen.

Photo courtesy of

The daffodils/narcissus are in full bloom ~

Some of my favorites; I love to bring some indoors to enjoy up close.

Spring showers or not ~ the flowers always add cheer to the room.

Thank you for stopping by today~ I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

I'll leave you with one of my favorite

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Healthy Potato-Cauliflower Soup and Savory Parmesan-Black Pepper Biscotti

Sure Cauliflower is healthy for you, but some just cannot tolerate the strong flavor (or aroma) ~ if that's the case for you or for people you cook for ~ you might want to try this recipe for Potato-Cauliflower Soup.

Onions, a little garlic, potatoes and chicken or vegetable stock (or broth) help to mellow out the cauliflower flavor in a most pleasing way.

It just might win the favor of the non-cauliflower eaters in your life, and that may be a GOOD thing.

The added bonus is that the soup is low in fat, budget friendly, and it can be made vegetarian/vegan friendly if you substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth/stock.

To serve you can leave it brothy with the vegetables in chunks, but I like to whiz it with my hand held blender (or in the blender) to a smooth consistency to create a rich, silky and creamy texture ~ without a drop of cream or a dot of butter!

Garnish it with croutons, snipped chives, crispy bacon or chorizo, or as I did here ~ a few baby watercress sprigs and white violets. Or use any fresh herbs or edible flower petals that you desire.
Originally called "Poverty Soup" the recipe is available HERE on Alison's wonderful blog; "Brocante Home".

I served it with an old stand-by; Savory Parmesan-Black Pepper Biscotti ~
these are delicious and easy to make. They go perfectly by themselves with a glass of red, or as a vehicle for dips or spreads. The recipe makes plenty, and the good news is that they freeze beautifully if stored in an air-tight container.

The recipe is from "Gourmet" magazine, 2007. However you can also find the recipe
on the "Epicurious" website by clicking HERE.

I hope you'll try either (or both!) of these recipes, you'll be in for a treat.

If you are interested in the soup bowls or other similar accessories, you can learn more about them by clicking the items below:

Thank you for stopping by today!


We have a WINNER & Nigella's Fairy Cakes for SPRING!

First of all I want to thank every one of you who entered the drawing for the cookie/biscuit cutters, and for taking the time to leave such fantastic comments! I wish I could send this set of cutters to each of you.
Our winner this time is Karen from Karen Cooks!
Congratulations Karen!
If you will contact me via email with your mailing address I'll get the cutters right off to you. I hope you enjoy them.
Thank you again everyone for entering! I will be having another drawing soon ~ and I hope you'll check back and enter for another chance to win.
Aside from St. Patrick's Day I haven't been in the kitchen much this week.
Getting the groundwork completed for the Chicken House has taken priority over most anything else because the chicks are growing so fast!
Happily the weather has been gorgeous, so working outdoors has been a delight.
I did take a few minutes today to make Nigella Lawson's super easy (food processor) Fairy Cakes.

If you haven't made these, I hope you'll give them a try ~ I don't bother with boxed cake mixes for cupcakes ~ Nigella's recipe is just so simple!

This is how simple they are to make ~
Whir 1 stick of butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup self-rising flour (you can make your own in seconds)
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
in bowl of food processor until mixed.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, vanilla extract if desired, and pulse until combined.
Place batter in standard size cupcake papers in pan and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
Yay! You can skip the boxed stuff!

Decorate any way you like.
This time I used Nigella's suggested icing, tinted with food coloring and topped each with an M&M.

See how easy?
The recipe makes exactly 12.

I love that!

Just perfect for the first day of Spring. *heart*
If you would like a printable copy of the Fairy Cake recipe and Nigella's Icing,
you can find it on my recipe blog~ click HERE.
Thank you for stopping by today.

A Sampling of my food . . .


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