Monday, May 24, 2010

The Laughing Carefree Gull

I had the thrill today of having lunch with my newest client Gail Gersic to celebrate the printing of her first independently published book, "The Laughing Carefree Gull." I created the design and layout of her book, which features a lovely poem she wrote about her granddaughter playing on the shores of Ocean Beach, New Jersey. It is beautifully illustrated by her dear friend Doris Barabas. It was such a treat to work with Gail this year and see her vision come to life, or print I should say! I wish her all the best and many books to come!

Pictured below are Gail Gersic (left), our friend and mentor Marcia Mackenbrock (center), and Jim Ross (right), of Worzalla Printing Company.

Black Bean Salad

This is a recipe I cut out of a magazine a long time ago, and go back to again and again in many variations depending on what's in the pantry. It makes a nice large batch, great for parties and large groups. Pair with two bags of your favorite tortilla chips.

Dump all ingredients in a large bowl and stir. The pretty green glass bowl seen in the photos belonged to my Grandma Heser.

  • 2 cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped pickled jalapeno slices
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Goya Adobo seasoning with cumin
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen corn
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 small can of chopped or sliced black olives

Notes: I sometimes substitute 1 can of black eyed peas for the black beans, the bean variety is pretty and tasty. This salad is mild, you can spice it up by adding chili powder, using Rotel tomatoes instead of plain, or adding some fresh jalapeno pepper. I've made it without the garlic and onion for people who don't like those flavors, but it is on the boring side IMHO. I'm getting so I don't measure anything in this anymore, I just grab what I have and mix it up. Oh, and Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn is GREAT in this! Did I mention I love TJs? LOL!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Uncured Ham

We bought a glazed, spiral-sliced, uncured (also known as fresh - not smoked) ready-to-eat ham (about 8 lbs.) from Trader Joe's on sale recently and tonight I warmed it on the Weber grill since it's nearly 85 and humid outside and I didn't want to heat the house even more with the oven on.

OMG - it's the best ham I've ever eaten in my life. Not salty at all, moist, lean, and extremely tasty!

We setup the grill for indirect heat, then put a pan of water on the bottom for moisture. Wrapped the ham in a tight layer of foil, and placed on the grill grate above the water pan (coals on each side) for about 1 hour covered.

I will definitely buy this product again and possibly serve it for the holidays. Much better than a cured ham which is more salty and dry. I'm looking forward to ham sandwiches for days to come!

No affiliation with Trader Joe's, just a big fan. :-)

Bloggers Quilt Festival

The Spring 2010 Bloggers Quilt Festival is now underway, thanks to Amy's Creative Side. I stumbled upon her blog and have had a great time browsing all the blogs and quilt entries, it is truly inspiring! I have not posted to my blog in ages, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to update my look, share a quilt I made, and make a new personal resolution to write nearly every day (well try anyway).

The quilt I'm sharing was made in 2005, and because I'm so busy working, sewing and creating for other people, I rarely get to make anything for myself! This is one of two baby quilts I made in the same style and fabrics. The original was made for my husband's cousin who had a baby boy very prematurely. I loved it so much I made one for myself to keep. The fabric selection is also special to me, it reminds me of my Hilda, a smooth fox terrier who lived to be more than 15 years old. Hilda lived with me before I met my husband and had a family! She is still missed by all of us.

Head on over to Amy's Creative Side to see the rest of the entries in the Bloggers Quilt Festival!