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July 2009 Archives

July 3, 2009

PhotoHunt: Pink

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This week's theme is "Pink."

I had so many photos that would work for this theme but ended up going with flowers in various shades of pink, a color I love!

Petunias

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a happy weekend. Happy Independence Day to those of you here in the good ole USA.

July 5, 2009

Sunday Salads: Watermelon Salad

samplersOur Fourth of July weekend salad came from Nancy of A Winelover's Wanderings. Nancy gave us several different recipes plus a link to others on Watermelon.Org so basically, we had the freedom to do our own thing which was fun!

I looked at a bunch of recipes and ended up going with a version from Nigella Lawson that starts with soaking red onion in lime juice to mellow it out and add some tang to the salad. I let it soak in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then added the onion and the juice to the watermelon chunks and kalamata olives, fresh parsley and mint, feta cheese, olive oil, and some freshly ground black pepper. I could not stop eating this stuff! It's such an odd assortment of ingredients but is a combination of flavors that really works.

Thanks Nancy!

Watermelon Salad

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Ceviche from Candi.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Watermelon Salad" »

July 8, 2009

Costoluto Genovese

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the best tomato I’ve ever had is of Italian descent.

I grow lots of different kinds of tomatoes every summer and like to try new varieties, especially heirlooms. Even though my success with heirloom tomatoes has been mixed, I have found that they are much tastier than more common workhorse hybrids like Better Boy, Big Boy etc. Heirloom plants don’t usually yield as much but still, they are worth planting if you’re obsessed with tomatoes like most Southerners are.

When I was buying tomato plants at the Farmer’s Market this spring, a vendor pointed out the Costoluto Genovese plants and told me that it was the best tomato she’d ever had. And I have to agree with her. This Italian heirloom (the one in the photo was the first on my plant to ripen) is absolutely delicious with intense tomato flavor and the perfect mix of sweet and acid. I ate about half of it plain (sliced with salt) and used the rest to make tomato sandwiches on multigrain bread with mayo, salt, and pepper.

It’s kind of a funky looking tomato with those deep ridges on top. I’ve read that most Italians use it for sauce (it’s a fleshy tomato inside without a lot of water or seeds) but it was truly awesome raw. Homegrown tomatoes are one of the best things about summer here in NC and make me much more tolerant of the heat, humidity, and the awful bugs.

COSTOLUTO GENOVESE

July 10, 2009

PhotoHunt: Garbage

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This week's theme is "Garbage."

Gonna be fun to see what folks come up with for this week's interesting theme.

This is my compost bucket. I keep it in the house and put all my kitchen garbage in it (coffee grounds, eggshells, vegetable trimmings etc.). Every couple of days, I carry it outside and dump it into the compost pile. Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of garbage you have and make rich garden soil in the process. Plus composting appeals to our inner alchemist (even though Mother Nature does the work!).

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Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

July 12, 2009

Sunday Salads: Ceviche

samplersThis week's salad came from Candi of Candi's Corner: Wanderlust and Passions. What a great recipe! Fun and easy to make, and perfect for this hot steamy weather we've been having. I've had ceviche in restaurants but had never made it so I was really excited to try this one.

Candi's recipe calls for both shrimp and fish, and I decided to go with just shrimp. I used Sungold tomatoes from my garden - yellow-orange cherry-sized tomatoes with a lot of flavor and sweetness. This salad looked beautiful and was so delicious.

Check out Candi's blog - she recently returned from Thailand and is posting some amazing photos and stories.

Shrimp Ceviche

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Israeli Salad from Teaberry.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Ceviche" »

July 17, 2009

PhotoHunt: Rocks

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This week's theme is "Rocks."

This theme rocks!

A stone wall by the walking trails where I walk sometimes. Every time I go by, that pinkish rock jumps out at me.

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A big pile of rocks on a paved road:

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A mural on a school playground. Central Park Rocks!

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

July 19, 2009

Sunday Salads: Israeli Salad

samplersThis weekend's recipe came from Slow Talk moderator, Teaberry, who had this salad when she visited Israel. There are many versions of this salad and the one we made came from Mollie Katzen's cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. A perfect salad for me because I've got tomatoes coming in like crazy in my garden.

It's a truly delicious salad. The pickles and olives take the flavor to a whole other level beyond a chopped fresh veggie salad. And while it looks like a lot of work, the food processor does most of it. Making this salad made me wonder why I don't use my food processor more often (I mainly use it for pesto). I followed the recipe exactly and put some feta cheese on top.

Israeli Salad

I liked this one so much that a few days later, I made it again. This time I added a can of garbanzo beans to make it more of a main dish salad, and put cubes of fresh mozzarella on top. This was very good too.

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The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Maria's Thai Beef (or Shrimp) Salad.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Israeli Salad" »

July 24, 2009

PhotoHunt: Utensils

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This week's theme is "Utensils" and I'm thinking about the Fork.

Venice is often given credit for inventing the fork in the early 11th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, civilized Venetians were dining with forks while the slobs in the rest of Western Europe were still eating with crude spoons or with their hands.

The truth is, the fork might have been brought to Venice by a Greek princess named Maria Argyra, niece of the Byzantine Emperor and daughter-in-law of a Venetian Doge. A grumpy priest blasted this princess for “the luxury of her habits”:

“Nor did she deign to touch her food with her fingers, but would command her eunuchs to cut it up into small pieces, which she would impale on a certain golden instrument with two prongs and thus carry to her mouth.”

You might think that it was the food-cutting eunuch slaves who upset this priest, but no….it was the fork!

"God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks - his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating."

Whatever. Perhaps such wild and crazy religious objections explain why the fork was so slow to catch on. It took several centuries for the use of the fork to spread from Venice to the rest of Italy and eventually all over Europe.

Anyway, my photos were taken in Venice last year and show a few memorable things I ate with a fork.

Spaghetti con vongole veraci (clams). These clams were so tiny but so sweet and delicious.

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Moeche con polenta. Small crispy soft-shell crabs over polenta. These little crabs are amazingly good.

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Pizza with mozzarella, smoked ricotta, and arugula. In Italy, the pizzas are left whole, not sliced like they are in the USA, and Italians eat them one bite at a time using a fork and a serrated knife. I prefer to eat pizza with my hands but when in Venice, I use the utensils.

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

July 26, 2009

Sunday Salads: Thai Shrimp Salad

samplersThis weekend's recipe came from Maria of My Place in the Sun. Maria gave us a recipe for Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua) that also included a shrimp variation, so that's what I made.

What a great salad! I followed the recipe exactly except that I used three herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, and fresh mint, all three of which are growing profusely in my yard. I also let the red onion soak in some lime juice while I was assembling the rest. I followed Maria's suggestion and used serrano peppers since I can't find Thai bird's-eye chilies anywhere around here. I might have to look into growing those in my garden next year.

The thing that's so amazing about these Thai recipes we've made this summer (besides how great they taste) is how healthy they are. This salad has virtually no fat except for what's in the shrimp. Thanks Maria!

Thai Shrimp Salad

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Palma's Tropical Rice Salad.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Thai Shrimp Salad" »

July 27, 2009

Corte del Pestrin

A lovely shrine to the Madonna in a charming corte close to the church of Santa Maria Formosa. When I look at these photos, I remember how excited I was when I found this one. It's a beauty. There's a little electric light at the Madonna's feet that gives her a cool-looking glow.

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A shrine and some laundry, doesn't get much better than this. And a tree!

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Continue reading "Corte del Pestrin" »

July 28, 2009

Community Art

Here's some cool art that I saw at the mall in Chapel Hill a couple of weekends ago. It's called Our Stories, in Focus and over 1,000 members of the community contributed images to this project.

From the website:

"This spring members of the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and University of North Carolina communities were invited to share personal stories and family mementos as part of the 2009 Community Art and History Project.

Participants were asked to look more closely at their personal and community histories by considering these questions: What brought you or your family to this place? and What is the legacy you want to leave in your community? Participants brought pieces of their history (photos, letters, etc.) to community workshops.....where local artists Leah Sobsey and Lynn Bregman Blass scanned and photographed the mementos. The artists then created a community portrait out of these collected images..."

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From a distance, it looks like a giant windsock but when you get closer, you see the collection of memories. It's a lot of fun to look at it all, plus I love the whole concept of a community artwork. There was also an oral history part of this project that recorded people's stories about the images they contributed. We tend to think of a lone artist in the studio communing with his/her muse, but group projects like this are such a great idea. I love this one.

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Continue reading "Community Art" »

July 31, 2009

PhotoHunt: Entertainment

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This week's theme is "Entertainment."

Round and round, up and down...

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in July 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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