May 31, 2014

roasted rosemary potatoes {recipe}

I love potatoes. Absolutely love them. I could live on potatoes and be perfectly content. It's a real problem. Especially for my already curvy figure. A while back, we discovered Russian fingerling potatoes, basically a miniature, easily poppable-into-mouth version of "normal" potatoes.

This is my favorite way to prepare them. Heav. en. ly. Starch and calories and all.
Cast of characters:

May 29, 2014

cool cars & huskies, 7qt (vol. 39)

1. This is why we have Memorial Day, folks. I know it's already been a week, but I snapped this picture at the parade on Monday, and I can't get the image out of my head. In the casket are the cremated remains of seven soldiers who had died in previous wars, but haven't had the honor of a proper military burial.

May 27, 2014


Methinks May is my favorite month, next to October. It's just so pleasant, in every sense of the word. Flowers are blooming all over the place, birds are singing, it's warm enough to be outside without wilting away into nothingness, and it's the month during which we especially honor Our Lady. And, there are no bugs, at least where I come from. Much yay. Anton especially loves the month of May, for many of the same reasons I do, but mostly because his lens is very attracted to all the blossoms, and because he can be outside without his wee gears freezing up. I've never had that happen, but who's to say it's not possible?

Here are some of our snapshots.

May 25, 2014

balsamic braised chicken {recipe}

First of all, I hope you are all having a lovely Memorial Day weekend with your friends and family - and remembering what it was made to stand for. God bless the men and women who have died in service to our country.

Now, onto today's recipe.

I've rarely been very particular about what I eat, but I realized recently there are only a few chicken recipes I actually care for. I have never been a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, either, but I discovered this recipe last week, and just had to try it out with a few of my own alterations. The combination of my favorite herbs (thyme, basil, and oregano) initially caught my eye. Oregano is lovely.

My family was just wild about it, and my mother ended up making it for a friend of hers, who was equally wild about it.

Here's the recipe!

May 23, 2014

where i'm from

I am from green grass, cast iron skillets, and pine trees.

I am from the red brick ranch. Rough. Quiet. Off the beaten path.

I am from the Forget-me-nots growing on the edge of the water, the wind in the willows, the birds in the trees, naps on the back porch.

I am from family and loud conversations. Hanlin. Brocco.

I am from fast laughter and quicker emotions.

May 22, 2014

flared annabelle {outfit post}

First of all, let me tell you that Aemelia is just a brilliant photographer. I'm so blessed (and, yes, lucky) to know her and have her as a friend! (And at my beck and call whenever I need to do a fashion shoot!) You rock, Aemelia.

May 21, 2014

featured blogger: cherishing everyday beauty

Welcome to the first installment of Featured Blogger at Country Girl's Daybook! I thought it would be a fun way to get to know some of my favorite bloggers/blogs in the little community we've built up. Today, I'm joined by the lovely Sarah Thérèse of Cherishing Everyday Beauty: Finding Joy in the Ordinary, a blogger I've enjoyed reading for the better part of a year now. Please, pour a cup of tea and join us!
My name is Sarah Thérèse.  I was born at a very young age and was almost given the first name of Theresa.  However, my older sister who, at the time, was 4 years old requested that the new baby be named ‘Sarah,’ after her doll.  (My parents say it’s actually Biblical, but it’s a funny story nonetheless.)  I’m a very homey introvert and probably come across as being very reserved initially, but give it some time and you might soon mistake me for an extrovert.  I can ride a unicycle, my favorite animal is a kitten, and the way to my heart includes mint chocolate chip ice cream, Abbot & Costello, and an armful of cherry blossoms.  I wish we could go out for some tea and coffee and a nice chit-chat, but meeting over the blog will have to suffice for now.  Leave a comment somewhere so we can get this friendship rolling!
Q: How did you first get involved with blogging, and what inspired you start your own?

May 18, 2014

spinach feta orzo salad

This dish is exactly as it looks - simple and delicious. I tossed this wee combination together a few summers ago on a whim, and I must say, I'm quite fond of it, despite the carbs. (Sometimes, people, carbs are worth it.)

One thing I especially enjoy about this recipe is the measurements are not absolute. If you don't want to make as much, simply don't put as much of each ingredient in the bowl. If you want more or less spinach or cheese, have at it. And, it is very easy to prepare with little notice. I love meals like this.

May 17, 2014

turtles & beards ~ answer me this (vol. 5)

Happy weekend, folks!

Here's another volume of "Answer me This" with Haley (Carrots for Michaelmas) this time around, because lovely Kendra is in France. And without me.

1. What's the scariest thing that's ever been in your yard?  Most definitely all the alligator snapping turtles that have made their way onto our lawn from the pond over the years. I'm not one to frighten easily (unless I'm walking in the dark, and you run up from behind and shout in my ear - I'll most likely screech, and you'll most likely get an elbow to the gut), but man... those things are nasty. And generally quite grouchy.

May 16, 2014

of gardens and the monuments men ~ 7QT (vol. 38)

1.  I have a garrrrdennn! Mar sin sásta. Some of you may remember my failed attempt a year ago. Pour yourselves some sparkling grape juice and raise your glasses to second chances. I'm only growing a few things because of limited space, so here is an extremely low-quality snapshot during one of the past week's multiple downpours.
I have since laid wood chips around the plants, so it looks much nicer than this presentation.

Really looking forward to those brussels sprouts.

2.  Erin and I went to see The Monuments Men at the local $3 theatre last week. I have some thoughts:

May 12, 2014

in the city ~ polka dots {outfit post}

Since last Tuesday, I've been staying in the city for work, and I just had to take advantage of some of the urban scenery. I'm not a city girl by nature, as my personality lends itself to the peaceful slow life of the countryside, but I do like the city. It's a whole new "scope for the imagination." As I write this, I'm munching on corn chips and homemade spinach artichoke dip on the veranda, as the sky unleashes a deluge upon the city and thunders angrily, and every so often, a gust of wind blows a cool mist through the screen. I'm not in a huge city, but still the sights and sounds are so different from the country. One can't hear the birds as easily, and the low rumble of vehicles adumbrates the background of all life. Everything seems to echo more here - footsteps, barking hounds, children's laughter - bouncing off the houses and other structures. But I do love the city. The sights, and restaurants, and shops, and churches, and people to be observed, the walkability from one place to another.

May 11, 2014

blogger selfie: why I write, how I write, when I write

Amy, a friend of mine and author of the lovely blog named Blessed By God (and homeschooling wonder-mother of twelve great youngun's) has invited me to join a "blog tour," and I thought I'd join in since I finally have some down time (read take one of last Friday's post to see what mischief I've been up to).

What are you working on?

Every so often, I get a burst of inspiration and add a little bit to a book I've been working on for about three years. I can't tell you what it's about, because then I'd have to kill you. Just kidding. Kind of. Most of my writing energy, though, goes directly to this blog. Being a journalist and too easily distracted, I think I'm naturally better at writing shorter article-type pieces rather than novels. I'm trying, though, and someday it will be completed. Maybe when I'm 70 and retired.

What makes your work different from others' work in the same genre?

May 10, 2014

answer me this (vol. 4) ~ of foodstuffs & nicknames

Happy Sunday, my friends and readers, and reader friends! And happy Mother's Day to my madre and all the madres out there! And happy birthday to my first boss - who was the best boss ever, and taught me all I know about farm life and horses. 

Today I'm combining two posts I had originally intended to publish on their own – the Liebster Award I’ve received from my friend Julia, and Kendra’s Answer Me This link-up.

Zuerst wird die Liebster. I do not speak German.
I’m to list 11 facts about myself:

May 8, 2014

of shakespeare and old friends ~ 7QT (vol. 37)

Man, what an exhausting past two weeks this has been. Every day, my schedule was as such:
6 a.m. - Awaken
8 a.m. - Mass
9 a.m. - Pool work
1 p.m. - Lunchtime visit to Monkey and a quick pit stop home
2:30 p.m. - Pool work
7 p.m. - Arrive home and immediately pass out on my bed
Somehow fitting food into the equation.
Rinse, repeat.

Oy. Finally the biggest pool is clean (and was hopefully painted yesterday), and I have a week off from grunt work and am staying in the city whilst caring for two dogs.
--- 2 ---
During my homeschool group years, I was part of a Shakespearean drama club named after St. Edmund Campion, the patron saint of theatre. We did so many great plays – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Macbeth, A Winter’s Tale. Now two years graduated, I attended the Campion Players’ production of The Tempest. ‘Twas an excellent performance, and being in the theatre and backstage brought back so many wonderful memories. It’s strange not being backstage during the production. It was even stranger seeing the people who have always been the “little kids” growing into handsome young men and beautiful young women, and completely owning the stage. As a fluke, I was the last minute videographer for the play, and I managed to get a few good stills as well.

May 4, 2014

4-bean baked beans

If I had gone to the Derby this year (and was about 10 pounds thinner), I would be wearing this:
How absolutely stunning and classy the old style is. Alas, I was at work on Derby Day, so I wasn't able to catch the race, but the horse I hoped for, California Chrome, won! Yay!
What a beautiful animal, eh?

And now, food.

Mi madre made this 4-bean baked beans recipe for my youngest aunt's Easter Sunday family get-together, and it was a real hit.

May 1, 2014

of puppies and bon fires ~ 7QT (vol. 36)

*photos from my Instagram account, @iristhephotog.

1.  If you've been following me on the wonderful and time-consuming gadget the kids call "Instagram," you probably know my (relatively) new canine niece, who, for the sake of this blog, we shall call "Monkey." This is Monkey and I when she was a baby.
And this is Monkey now.