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Showing posts from July, 2012

Good Things in July

I love the month of July for so many different reasons.  At this time of year we're enjoying very warm weather, rain showers, lazy weekends, barbecues, vacations and the bounty of summer gardens.  Gatherings with family & friends always seem extra special, and mine have been a  lot of fun this month.  This year, I was fortunate enough to have spent an entire week with my extended family in California which was rather nice.  The weather out there was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the laughs seemed endless.  Although there was a flurry of activity at my parent's, I still managed to spend quite a bit of quality time with some of my favorite people at cafes, restaurants (the only time I ever go out to eat!), parks and shops.  My main objective of that visit, however, was to spoil my niece whom I adore immensely.  I must say that my mission was accomplished! A few delicious Good Things were shared this month, like that batch of delicious sugar cookies or the raspberr

Basic Black Beans

Black beans are among my favorite legumes because they are earthy, meaty, tender and downright tasty.  Their flavor is incomparable.  Served as a vegetarian main course, the beans will provide you with a lot of good iron and protein which are essential to our every day diets.  As a side dish, black beans are a delicious accompaniment to so many things such as chicken, pork, beef, shrimp and of course, sausages of all kinds.  At home we love the combination of hearty chicken or turkey sausages and black beans, served with vegetables and a rice pilaf. I make a small pot of black beans at least once or twice a month here at home, using them several ways for lunches or dinners.  Although I have nothing against canned beans or legumes of any sort (I do stock them in my pantry for emergencies or last minute preparations), I find it so easy to make my own from scratch.  With only 4 ingredients one has the ability to create something delicious without having to spend too much time in the

Rice Salad

Summer is the perfect time to make rice salad, because it's delicious and very light.  I find myself enjoying it several times during the year with variations on this particular recipe; I either leave it vegetarian or I add the best canned tuna or salmon, depending on what I feel like having.  Served cold or at room temperature, this salad is a perfect no-fuss dish to have for lunch or dinner.  I always search for the freshest Jersey tomatoes from my farmer's market, along with the firmest kirby cucumbers and the sweetest of onions.  A salad will only be as tasty as its ingredients, so choose the best of the best available to you.  Steaming and cooling down the rice ahead of time is the only step which may seem a bit involved when composing this salad, but with a bit of planning, the ingredients come together very quickly.  Delicious for work lunches or when entertaining, my rice salad is also good on the days when you just don't feel like working over a hot stove.  Tasty,

King Richard's Antiques

You must know by now that I love antiques and the thrill of finding a small treasure or two when I'm perusing a shop is always fun.  If I'm in the Los Angeles area I have to make a quick stop at the largest antique store in the state.  Located in the charming town of Whittier,  King Richard's Antiques  has over 47,000 square feet of merchandise from about 260 dealers on three separate floors.  One can find fine silver, linens, kitchenalia spanning many decades, furniture from several periods and many other unique items all in one space.  I'm always amazed to find certain pieces of 'stuff' that I clearly remember growing up with, mixed among items that I truly covet. A few days ago I walked in there with my younger brother because we were in the area.  I knew I wanted to capture images for everyone to see, so I made sure to ask for permission before I started photographing.  My time was limited and I tried to get as many pictures as I could, while keeping an e