In My Kitchen ~ May 2017

Iris 1

In My Kitchen… April showers bring May flowers, or so they say. Pictured above is one of “my” irises. Can’t take credit for nurturing ’em; they magically appear every year. I’m thankful for spontaneous beauty! Below is a photo of last weekend’s rainfall. (Pay no attention to the weeds in my flower beds, lol.)Wheelbarrow

This is NOTHING compared to last month’s devastating tropical storms “Down Under”. Hope y’all are doing okay, xo! In the meantime it’s been wet here, too — and my lavender is lovin’ it.

Lavender

So do my “Okie orchids” below, or whatever they’re called. (Horticulture is not my forté.) I love seeing their sassy lil’ blossoms in our back yard (with apologies for re-posting a somewhat gratuitous website/logo photo from a few years back, but I wanted to show you a “close up”) — unfortunately, we’ve been under a wind advisory lately and it’s difficult taking flower photos when they’re waving about wildly. 70 mph gusts… that’d be 112 km/hour for you waaaay Southern folks, whoosh… welcome to Oklahoma.

In My Kitchen… is a photographic potpourri reflecting “life”. A hodgepodge reflecting every given moment — or my latest thrift store find. (Inspiration is where you find it!) Claim it and move on. Make your life your own!

Cobalt rimmed pitcher 2

This cobalt rimmed pitcher is a prime example. (It holds at least a gallon of H2O!) Here’s to staying hydrated this summer… and hello, Lizformer hostess of IMK. ;) BTW, for more fun and culinary adventures, please visit Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings for this month’s kitchen inspirations, posted by cooks from around the world. (Thank you ALL!) Sherry graciously took over the helm of In My Kitchen and the fun continues. Take a peek!

Side Table

In My Kitchen… (or the corner of our dining room) is a 1940’s side table that houses my camera case, purse, and hopefully a “lake-themed” fish sculpture or art piece soon. (Or maybe I need to create my own?) I acquired it after a recent much needed “girls’ day out” and had FUN in the process. The craftsmanship is phenomenal and the camaraderie far exceeded that.

Magazines

In My Kitchen… are my latest issues of Milk Street Magazine ala Christopher Kimball, formerly of America’s Test Kitchen, and Cook’s Illustrated. My late Sis used to subscribe to the latter and I learned tons from it (and from her); the former is a new publication that delights my palate and culinary curiosity. Even if I can’t EAT it, I can read about it!

This past year has been one of refining/honing down my dietary limitations. Let’s add soy, tree nuts, eggs, and corn to my allergen list, shall we?! Besides wheat and dairy — basically, everything I ever loved to cook with and EAT, aarrgghh — every “allergen” on the back of labels seems to have an adverse affect on me. Not sure what’s up with that (or why), but I still eat WELL thanks to “scratch” cooking and a plethora of IMK inspiration worldwide. For that, I’m eternally grateful!

Sorry this is a tad lengthy. Such are the vagaries of posting infrequently. Once a month? I had a larger (and/or more frequent/regular) vision for this space when I started. Will try to do better in May. YAY for new months beginning on a Monday — do you revel when that happens, too? — and for IMK inspirations from near and afar. Thanks, Sherry!

Enjoying Life On The Lake despite my “limitations”, 

~ Kim

Still Life

by-dawns-early-light

I love the early morning light as it filters in my kitchen window and illuminates evidence of a previous day well-lived or the promise of today’s possibilities!

Between my last post and this one I’ve been faced with yet another challenge: DON’T use it or lose it… contrary to the ol’ adage spurring us on to greater fitness and/or efficiency: “Use it or lose it.” Hello to another life-altering event, which hopefully I’ll overcome.

Basically I can’t use my left arm — or I won’t be able to for the rest of my life! Turns out, I’ve got bone spurs on two neck vertebrae pressing on my spinal cord (exacerbated by last month’s use and abuse) and anything “arms forward” aggravates it undeniably. Life has come to a standstill. Sit still. Still life…?

jan-2017-snow

I haven’t been able to write outside lately (obviously) thanks to our recent unprecedented snowfall (which thankfully disappeared), but it gave me pause for thought. Sometimes you have to go it alone. Endure the seasons in your life. Expect the unexpected. See the beauty in fleeting moments and appreciate ’em all. Accept your limitations and adapt!

I wrote this post on notebook paper on my clipboard whilst sitting in my recliner with a heating pad on my neck. (No piano playin’ today… limited time on either/or my piano and computer… thank goodness I can type fast!) But, that doesn’t mean life has to be limited, or bound by unchosen boundaries! I’ll continue to fit in whatever I can whenever I can and love the light… and still life.

jan-2017-snow-back-yard

Enjoying weathering changes at the lake, unprecedented or otherwise…

~ Kim

Happy New Year

sunset2

Happy New Year! (a few days early…)

Hoping your holidays were merry.

Sending you a lil’ sunset love from the lake, xo.

sunset1

Would love to expound, but I’m recovering from nerve compression in my neck. (In laymen’s terms: OUCH!)

No piano, minimal computer. Will catch up with you soon.

Wishing you a glorious New Year!

Enjoying anticipating 2017,

~ Kim

The Desk

I never imagined I’d fall for such a modern-looking desk to house my “creative space” (especially in a room I’ve been trying to make look cozy for two years), but with its full-length keyboard drawer and room for treasures on top (my monitor and printer included), I was smitten.

Nothin’ like combining the new with old. If that’s the story o’ your life, too, do tell!

I’ve come to relish unexpected blessings and spontaneously altered floor plans.

garden-room-aka-office-in-flux

Above is my Garden Room (aka office) in flux. Still a tad crowded, but it’s getting there.

My plan, my dream (neglected ’til now) involved moving things around a bit, but it’s coming closer to the vision of what I “want” it to be… HOPE it will be… some day.

The the rest is trial & error. And Trust. God works all things for good! (Romans 8:28)

One thing that’s made my seemingly impossible dream possible — besides moving furniture, ongoing prayer, and a huge dose of grace — was this recent purchase of art supplies to pursue yet another “creative dream.” (See some day above.)

More on that soon!

There’s still FOOD — yay, food! — even though I haven’t pulled out the ol’ Nikon as often as I once did. I make it a point to treat myself to something tasty every single day. (Once in awhile I’m even compelled to share a glimpse.)

walleye-1

Pan-seared Walleye & Caramelized Onions atop Spring mix salad lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, Tuscan veggies, Quince preserves, & Moroccan olives

Enjoying moving forward ergonomically, artistically, musically, and TASTEFULLY!

~ Kim

Muted Magic

leaf

Autumn is oft noted for its splendor, breathtaking colors, and audacity (taunting the bleak black & white Season to follow), but it literally snuck up on me this year. Even though I had a brief encounter with Minnesota’s red, gold, and blaze orange glory earlier, I was relieved that Autumn arrived here subtly.

Softly…

(And a tad soggy.)

on-deck

While I was away, The Man Of Few Words (TMOFW) constructed a deck overlooking our backyard jungle. A new playground! (Or at least another place to think and write without being baked to a crisp; it’s still in the 90’s yet.) Shade is a blessing.

I’ve had very little control over my creative surroundings for much of this year and I’ve been longing for some Seasonal inspiration — without screaming for my attention. In my opinion, one of the greatest downfalls in this age of “immediacy” is the lack of mental space. Take time to ponder the Muted Magic surrounding you (whatever the Season).

All that’s required is noticing. Ahhhh…

Enjoying a lil’ breather,

~ Kim

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch…

Living The Dream

I can’t tell you how glad I am to be home. (Or, maybe I did already.) If so, sorry for the repetition. It’s just that I’m acutely aware of the contentment, relief, and multitudinous blessings that the Universe has continued to dole out since my arrival here last month — without asking.

Pinch me.

Maybe it was that lil’ side table that recently arrived from Jaipur…

Jaipur Coffee Table

I’ve since remanded it to my Garden Room (aka “office”) because it didn’t afford adequate space for cocktails and remotes and whatnot in the living room as my beloved & I attempted to re-acclimate to our long-neglected “mutual space” while we got used to each other once again. (Such is life.)

Plus… feeling selfish, but entirely blessed… I love it so.

That, and it needed some green to offset its rich, dark brown hues. (See it there on the left?) Apologies for the lighting. Every day is an adventure at the lake.

Garden Room update

I still have to break out the paint to transform that bench on the far side of the room to the glory I once envisioned. (Tangerine? It may end up paprika!) Or, as the Monet I dreamed of painting in my Music Room long ago… which has since been converted to a “Tool Room.” My hubby gets to play, too! (We miss our garage.)

In the meantime, I’m relishing creative license — revising dreams daily — and going with the flow.

I wish you the same… and some mighty tasty vittles. (Sneak peek below.)

When life — or your surroundings — or painting projects — don’t work out as planned, feed your soul. Enjoy every bite and every spontaneous revision along the way. It’ll work out eventually!

You’ll know when it’s “just right.”

And you’ll be glad you waited. (Or changed your plans.)

Enjoying flux,

~ Kim

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Deviled Eggs 3

I realize that Avocado Deviled Eggs have been “done” before by Martha and umpteen others (thanks for your inspiration!), however I give original credit to Dr. Suess’s Green Eggs and Ham. :)

Often the simplest things in life are the “funnest” (and tastiest) when you use your imagination.

There’s truly nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9), so here’s I came up with:

Avocado Deviled Eggs

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled & halved

1/2 ripe avocado, peeled & pitted (reserve the other half for pure pleasure)

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (yes, lemon,  not lime… I wasn’t goin’ for Tex-Mex at this point… do ya hear me, Adam Holland? tee hee!)

Several grinds of cracked black pepper & a pinch of smoked sea salt “to taste” (despised culinary term that it is — use your judgment and your taste buds!) I added Pepper Creek Farms Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, although  I don’t currently see it on their offerings — oh well… just picked up their Mayan salt the other day. I’ve been away from home 1/3 of this year…. whatever works!

1-2 green onion tops, thinly sliced diagonally (save some for garnish)

Remove yolks from hard-boiled eggs and place them in a small bowl; mash with a fork until crumbly. In a separate small bowl (I know, I know, more dishes….) mash the avocado with a fork until creamy. Sprinkle with lemon juice, pepper, and smoked sea salt. Add green onions and stir well to combine.

Transfer avocado mixture to the egg yolk “crumbles” and blend well. Using two teaspoons (or a piping bag), fill egg-halves with avocado-egg yolk mixture.

Garnish with green onion slivers. EAT! (I promise you won’t miss the mayo.)

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Enjoying simplifying things and “new” recipe creations” at The Lake,

~ Kim