Flowergram X

 

 

004

Though it’s not official for a few days, Spring has sprung here.

Plants and trees are bursting into bloom anxious to begin the next Season.

I don’t mind the head start either. Feels like I’ve been hibernating all winter and it’s time to poke my head out again. Hello!

Wherever you are and whatever the season, relish forward moving change.

001

Enjoying a Spring-like day at the lake,

~ Kim

All Things Brrrrrright & Beautiful

Snow trees

Leave it to my home state to roll out the white carpet for me.

Within hours of my arrival in Minnesota, it snowed.

Four days in a row.

Spring in Minnesota

No complaints.  Mother Nature’s sense of humor amuses me.

It’s just that I’m not used to scraping my windshield.

In April.

April 2013

Although the weather outside was frightful, the warmth inside was delightful.

Laughter, memories, food… and lots of it.

Family stuff. xo

Snow pines

Unexpected chills make you appreciate warmth.

Safe havens cause you to count your blessings.

And snow can be fun.  (Yes, fun.)

Snow Jeep

You can take the girl out of Minnesota…

Many thanks for your love and support during my recent trip.

I’m looking forward to catching up with you soon!

In the meantime, it’s great to be home again.  Ahhh…

The green green grass of home

Enjoying a lil’ Spring in my step,

~Kimby

P.S.  Snowmen are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee… :)

Snowman

Spring Fling (My Second Blogiversary)

Spring Fling

Two years ago, my blog was in its fledgling stages.  Frankly, so was I.

I had a wisp of an idea — lots of them, actually — but no clue how to bring them to fruition.

Since then, I’ve learned a thing or two.  (I’m still learning!)

Asparagus... The Early Years

Asparagus… The Early Years

Asparagus... Two Years Later

Asparagus… Two Years Later

Back then my heart had something to say, but I wasn’t sure how to say it — or take pictures, lol!

Still, I gave it a go.

For me, this forum wasn’t so much about cooking as connecting.

Spring Fling Art

Truthfully, I never thought of myself as a “loner” until I moved to Oklahoma — not counting The Man Of Few Words living in the same household.  (It’s easy to feel alone with one so quiet.)

That wasn’t a complaint, by the way.  I thrive on the creative “space” he affords my adventures, xo, and I could have been perfectly content without ever venturing out again.

But thank you for bringing me out of my shell!

Contentment

My soul (then and now) needed a shot of exuberance.

I found it in expressing myself.  I found it in you!

And, I found it in this Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter. :)

Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter

Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter

1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c. bacon, fried & crumbled

1/4 c. Bleu cheese, crumbled

Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

Fold together gently.  (It’s a good way to cook — AND live life.)

Serve on steak, baked potatoes, or…

Asparagus with Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter

“You’ve come a long way, baby!”  (Remember that?!)

Two years ago, this blog was my “baby.”  I’m content with the way it’s turned out (for now.)  And, following my songwriting stint, I’ll dream up a fabulous giveaway to acknowledge your faithful support!

In the meantime, here’s a picture of the birthday girl…

55 year old "moi"

55 year old “moi” — photo courtesy of TMOFW

Yup… we’re both older and wiser!

Enjoying living, loving, and learning along with ya,

~ Kimby

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Flowergram IV and… Giveaway Winners!

First of all, allow me to apologize for the delay in announcing the winners of my giveaway.  I’ve been experiencing technical difficulties (and then some…) with my blog… and Internet Explorer… and Google Chrome… and everything else I’ve tried, short of hand-delivering this announcement to you.  (Although that would be fun!)

To make up for the suspense, I’m sending ALL Y’ALL a bouquet. :)

True to form, the Man Of Few Words lived up to his end of the deal by drawing names out of the hat, and….

One last tease…

The winners of my blogiversary giveaway are…

Tina aka flourtrader – gourmet chocolate,

~ and ~

Missy of Guns, Grub, and Other Goodies – your choice of Cattledrive, Statehood, or Homestead (decaffeinated) coffee.

Congratulations, ladies!   (I’ll be in touch re: shipping info, etc.)

THANKS to everyone who entered my giveaway — I hope you had as much fun as I did!  (You’re ALL winners in my book.)  To those of you whose names weren’t drawn (or who joined the party after all was said and done), stay tuned…

There’s another event to celebrate, coming soon to a blog near you!

Enjoying the suspense,

~ Kim

P.S.  Since this post was brief, here are the links Flowergram I, II & III ( herehere, and here) — you can never have too many flowers!

Flowergram II

I couldn’t let another weekend pass without sharing some of the flowers in our neighborhood…

My favorite Okie wildflower perked up its head recently and said, “Pick me!  Pick me!” (not as in:  pick me and take me inside and plunk me in a vase.)  No, that little beauty is too free-spirited to sequester indoors.  (But it did graciously pose for a photo.)

As I wandered closer, a bevy of beauties peeked through the grass.  They looked like young girls at a school dance, shyly begging to be noticed, self-consciously hoping…

I assured them that they were lovely and thanked them for gracing our back yard.  (The hillside is covered with them now!)  There are benefits to “group therapy” for young flowers… and young girls.

In the front yard, our irises bloomed with wild abandon.

I said wild abandon…

This is the land that I’ve come to know and love.  There’ll be time for yard work (later…), but for now, I’m content to marvel at the beauty of untamed Spring.

Around the bend and up the hill, our neighbor’s cactus was in bloom.  Allow me to zoom in on the object of my affection before the full sunlight blinds you…

Doesn’t God’s handiwork leave you in awe?  The fact that blessings like these are within walking distance of our house makes me feel especially grateful.

And then there’s the magnificent magnolia tree next to my office…

There’s a story waiting to be told in that tree.  But for now, I’ll leave you with a picture and a promise to tell it soon.

Happy Flowergram!

Enjoying life one blossom at a time,

~ Kim

Spring Salad

There has to be a reason for Thursday afternoon lethargy.  Insert James T. Kirk monologue here:  “Must…overCOME…this strange…senSAtion!”  (Bear with me, I’m getting to the recipe…)   

“Captain!  I dunno how much longer the dilithium crystals are gonna hold out — we could lose our gravitational field at any moment!”  (Thrash about in mock dramatic moves here, if desired.)

Yup.  No “Bones” about it — the only cure is to cook something, quickly.  All I could think of was pasta salad…

By my calculations (and Spock’s), this will “energize” you faster than you can fire a phaser.  (Profuse apologies to any non-Star Trek fans… )  When intergalactic equilibrium is at stake, pasta salad is the answer.

Spring Salad

8 oz. pasta shells

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c. green onions (including tops), thinly sliced

1/2 c. celery, diced

1/2 c. toasted pecans

1/4 c. dried cranberries

Dressing

1 clove garlic

1/2 t. Kosher salt

1/2 lemon, squeezed

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 to 2 T. sugar

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/3 to 1/2 c. Miracle Whip (ordinarily I’d use mayonnaise, but I was humoring the hubby…)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Dash of curry powder

Cook pasta according to package directions until “al dente;” drain, then transfer to a large bowl.  Toss with 1 T. olive oil and stir in remaining salad ingredients.

To prepare the dressing, measure the salt onto a cutting board.  Mince the garlic with the salt until it’s very fine (almost paste-like); transfer it to a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Add the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and sugar.  Give it a good stir (I use a fork), then slowly drizzle in the olive oil (while stirring) until it forms an emulsion.  Mix in the Miracle Whip and season with freshly ground pepper and curry powder to taste.

Combine dressing with salad ingredients; toss to coat.  Chill until ready to serve.

This salad is “out of this world.”  Beam me up.

Enjoying life at warp speed,

Kim

Psalm 148:13

P.S.  My quirky sense of humor will emerge on this blog now and then.  To reassure you that I’m still “down to earth,” here’s a recent photo from our corner of the galaxy.

Spring At The Lake (photo courtesy of Miracle Whip Man)

Do You Not Perceive It?

This past week was busy to the point of distraction — I started a new job, we had weekend guests, and my Dad’s been battling pneumonia in a nursing home four states away.  To say the least, it’s been trying.  But… HOPE is in the air as Spring reveals itself, slowly but surely.

Isaiah 43:19 says: “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  During times of tumultuous transition, there’s JOY in the simple things when you perceive them:  Flowers in bloom.  Cardinals and bluebirds vying for pecking order on the lawn.  Warmer breezes.  Asparagus.

Somehow, the sight of asparagus spears nestled on a pretty plate assures me that all is well with the world.  It’s a back-to-the-basics vegetable, at least in my book.  “A” is for asparagus!  Try this simple recipe to get a jump start on Spring…

Sauteed Asparagus

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. butter

Fresh asparagus spears, washed and “snapped” (remove woody ends by snapping the spears at the point where they break)

1 garlic clove, sliced (optional)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add asparagus spears and garlic (if using.)  Stir occasionally until asparagus is tender-crisp.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(Recipe credit goes to my friend, Theresa.)

Life — and asparagus — don’t get much simpler than that.

Wishing you calm amidst the chaos,

Kim

P.S.  Daffodil update…