Simple Sundays

I grew up in a musical family.  My mother, an accomplished operatic soprano, performed all over this country, Europe and the Far East when I was growing up.  My world was filled with the music of various operas and classical music, which I also enjoyed playing on the piano.  My path took me on a culinary route and then a literary one but classical music has always been very important to me.  I have chosen this beautiful duet, The Fleur Duet, from Leo Delibes three act opera, first performed in Paris in 1883.  This particular performance will showcase the beautiful voices of Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca.

 

On The Radio

millie 7

Join Millie Wilcox and me on the radio this week as we discuss local history, art and Millie’s plans for the future!  If you think this wonderful woman has retired……think again!  She’s full of life, energy and knowledge about the Golden Isles.

Finally Friday!

Chili was definitely on our menu this week!  BRRRRRR…..it’s been cold and damp!  A friend shared this recipe with me a few months ago so I cooked up a bit pot for dinner the other night.  This is a very quick, easy chili to prepare and it makes enough to freeze a container for later.  Add shredded cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce (That’s a Texas thing), and a spoonful of sour cream on the top and you’ve got a great meal!  Of course, saltine crackers or Frito’s are always served on the side.  Frito’s…..I rarely buy them because I can’t eat JUST ONE! I hope you’ll give this a try.  If you’re eating low carb just leave the beans out and you’ve got a great meal too!

nana's chili

Nana’s Chili

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 pounds stew meat, cut into bite size pieces

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons good quality chili powder

3 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 large cans chopped tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

2 cans dark red kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot heat the oil and add the onions.   Sprinkle with salt and saute for 5-7 minutes.  Add cayenne pepper.  Stir in the stew meat and ground beef, chili powder, cumin, crushed red pepper and oregano.  Brown the meat.  Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste beef stock and beans.   Bring to a slow boil and simmer, covered for an hour.

A State Of Grace

 

grace 1

I like the idea of living in a state of grace!  Each day brings something new to be grateful for.  Whether it’s talking with someone really interesting on The Permanent Tourist radio show….learning about upcoming events…..or stepping through each door as it opens…..I’m always saying thank you!

grace 2

I’m truly grateful for new friends and opportunities that present themselves to me.  Things I might never even have thought of before!  One of those opportunities presented itself yesterday so I have to share it with you all!

itinerary 2

When I first began writing this blog I wanted to meet new people and discover more of the history that is so rich here in the Golden Isles.  I wanted to experience the wonder of life in this amazing place.  In the book, “The Grace Process” by Lori Leyden, she talks about living in a state of gratitude, love, joy and wonder.  By so doing there is scientific evidence that the front part of our brain, where we experience joy and happiness, is literally triggered and we experience a higher brain resonance.  Think about how you feel when you are simply happy with you life, joyful for all that you have and thinking positive thoughts?  That’s what I’m talking about!  That sense of contentment that brings such peace!  I also wanted to help promote the arts…all kinds of art from music to the culinary arts….never in my wildest dreams did I realize what might happen!

coastal symphony

With that in mind, when Sharon Flores, President of the board for Coastal Symphony of Georgia, called and invited me to lunch I was delighted!  I adore Sharon and always have such a great time with her.  When she mentioned that another board member, Susan Garrett would be joining us I was excited to see her as well.  Both ladies have been guests on the radio show, I love their energy and zest for life!  That lunch took place yesterday and I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted a position on the board to help with marketing our wonderful symphony.  I could never have dreamed such a thing would happen when all of this began a little over two years ago.

emmelinecover

For this and so many other things I am so grateful.  I’m saying little prayers of thanks and moving right along as news on the first of my children’s book came to me yesterday as well.  Galley’s will be here next week and I’ll begin the work of setting up book signings….marketing and working with my publisher to get the show, literally, on the road. Here’s a “sneak peek” at the cover…all illustrations are by the fabulously talented Ed Hose.  I love sharing good news!  And I thank you all for reading, sharing and supporting me on this journey!  It’s great to have so many amazing friends!

 

How Things “Seem”…

flower post 1

No matter where we are in our lives there are times when we are challenged by something.  It may be illness in the family or it could be work related.  I’m writing this post today as a sort of therapy for myself, the eternal optimist.  I’m sharing some lovely antique prints of flowers I’ve found on-line because they lift my spirit.  I love happy flowers.

flower post 2

I believe in a positive attitude, but there are times in my world when things happen that leave me wondering…”WHY?”.

flower post 5

That is when I realize it’s time to pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward.  I don’t believe we can ever really see the reasons for things with our human eyes.  Taking the time to quiet our minds and go within for the answers… to that still, silent place that awaits us there is essential.

flower post 4

I’m taking the time today to stop and listen.  The results will be a better more positive me who is focused and centered on where life is taking me and what I want and need to experience.  We all have these moments, it’s how we deal with them that makes us stronger or tears us down.  If we could only see the future, I wonder what we would find.  Better not to wonder and to live each moment as it comes…fully, with joy and love.

flower post 3

As a writer I have to have the courage to dig down into my depths to find the characters I write about in my books.  Many times this process is uncomfortable and at other times it’s uplifting.  So as I sit at my desk today I’m focusing on my writing, the blessings in my life that make it so amazing, my wonderful family and the creativity I have been given to share with readers everywhere.  My books will be my legacy and the process of writing them a healing balm for my soul.  I found this lovely little poem on-line…I think you’ll like it!  It was written by a Russian poet, Nika Turbina, in 1987.

flower post 7

 

What a shame that
I’m not a fortune teller.
I would tell fortunes
only with flowers
and I would heal
the earth’s wounds
with a rainbow.

 

 

Nature’s Gift

Brandi Joy Wedincamp Sikes

Brandi Joy Wedincamp Sikes

Saturday evening’s sunset was nothing less than spectacular!  I’m sharing some photos taken by myself and five other photographers who posted the magnificent show on Facebook’s group, “My Georgia Coast”.

Kathy Riggins

Kathy Riggins

What makes a beautiful sunset?  I’ve read that the clearer and cleaner the atmosphere, the more chance for dramatic color.

Michael Croft

Michael Croft

High clouds catch the rays of light and scatter them across the heavens for all to enjoy.

Nancy Kirkpatrick

Nancy Kirkpatrick

Whether you were on Jekyll Island enjoying time at Latitude 31 and the Rah Bar as my friend, Nancy Kirkpatrick, did….(www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com)

Chris Jurstik

Chris Jurstik

Or you were watching from St. Simons Island and other Coastal areas, the show went on for all to see!

sunset 6

Here’s my offering from the parking lot at The Inn At Sea Island….my skills may not be as developed as the other, but I’m learning!  It was an incredible display of color that caught the attention of people all over the area.  Mother Nature continues to provide us with such natural beauty, so much to take in and appreciate!   Sharing the photos of others and remembering the evening….memories not soon to be forgotten!

It’s A Dolphin Kind Of Thing!

Three Dolphins

February 28th is the Super Dolphin Day Race!  The traditional pasta party is the night before with donations of all sorts of deliciousness coming from “Nazarro’s”,  “Crabdaddy’s”, “Del Sur” and “Golden Isles Olive Oil”….what a winning combination!

This is the largest PTA  fundraiser that benefits both Oglethorpe Elementary and St. Simons Elementary schools.  The pasta party takes place in the cafeteria at St. Simons Elementary school on the 27th from 5 – 8 pm….dine in or take out!

Don’t forget to stop in at the gym to register for some amazing prizes that will be given away!

There will be expo booths, bounce houses from Games 2 U, and the silent auction(7-10:30). The 10k 7 am, 5k 8:30, and the 1 mile fun run 9:30.

Tickets to participate in the race can be purchased here: http://superdolphinday.com/

This has been an annual event since 1978.  You DON’T want to miss it this year….share the word and share the fun!

Simple Sundays

We watched the movie “Message In A Bottle” one night last week.  It reminded me of how we all change with time as I saw a younger Robin Wright play the role of Theresa.  Seeing her now in one of our favorite series, “House of Cards”, you’d barely recognize her!  I love the story of her character finding the wine bottle in which a message, so poignantly written by the Kevin Costner’s character, leads her on a journey to find him.  In typical Nicholas Sparks fashion the movie has a bittersweet ending….why does he always do that?  The soundtrack is so beautiful in this movie.  I’m sharing the piece “Forever (And Always)” by Gabriel Yared with you today.  And if you get the chance and want to view the movie get out your box of tissues, settle back and enjoy!

On The Radio

donna macpherson

Listen in as I talk with my guest, Donna MacPherson, On The Radio this week!  Donna is a good friend and wonderfully talented photographer.  I think you’ll enjoy the conversation!  If you’d like to see her work visit:  www.donnamacpherson.com.

Finally Friday

Some of our best meals are the result of my getting into the kitchen and experimenting.  I have been having so much fun using different olive oil and balsamic vinegar combinations from Golden Isles Olive Oil.  I love the product line and the fact that the shop is just down the street from our home makes it so easy to drop in and pick up samples or full sizes of vast selection available there.  The layering of flavors in any dish is always important to me, as well as texture.  This recipe came to me on a cold, rainy evening.  I think you’ll enjoy it….it’s company friendly too!

tarragon-chicken

Pinterest

Tarragon Chicken with Pasta

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons GIOO lemon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 shallots, finely minced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine (choose a wine you would drink)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

1 box pappardelle pasta

1 tablespoon lemon olive oil

Wash the chicken breast, pat dry and trim any excess fat.  Place the olive oil and butter in a saute pan and heat over medium heat.  When the butter is melted add the chicken breasts and sear on each side for about 3 minutes per side.  Add the shallots and garlic, using chefs tongs to mix.  Sprinkle with tarragon, add the white wine and broth,  lower the heat to simmer.  Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and add the cream, salt and pepper.  Taste to adjust seasoning.

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water.  Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon lemon olive oil.  Place a portion of pasta on four plates.  Top with chicken and plenty of sauce.  Garnish with more fresh tarragon.