Tag Archives: Sunday

Playing Catch Up

Lots of beautiful buckets, lots of interesting stories … all sidetracked by not enough hours in my busy, super busy days.  So, let’s play catch up and get back on track, shall we?

This gorgeous little bluebird of happiness has been visiting my backyard with great regularity and I hope he (or she) is building a nest somewhere so that lots of pretty little bluebirds will be flying around soon.  Is that not the prettiest color in nature?


The weather in Atlanta has been fickle: warm one day, literally freezing the next, but on a beautiful Saturday, while my guys spent the day roofing and framing at Habitat For Humanity, I was baking up a gorgeous Meyer Lemon Pound Cake from a favorite old recipe …  fresh chilly were breezes pouring through the open windows and opera was pouring from the radio.  Realizing we need more than just cake for dinner, I also whipped up a last minute Summer Squash Quiche with homemade rye crust (it’s a new flour kick I’m on).  Even the bucket filled with yellow scraps echoes the sunshine.


Another gorgeous Sunday called for a bit of leisurely yard work (this is Sunday rest in my house) and grilling.  We spent a few hours prepping our back deck for resurfacing, which meant drilling out all the old fasteners.  Hundreds of them.  Naturally my husband was a pro and could zip out a dozen screws in a minute.  Not to be outdone, I gave it a try too and held my own with a much slower work rate but a very satisfactory bucket of nails to show at the end of the afternoon.

Naturally a day in the sunshine called for a meal eaten outdoors.  That go-to meal is grass-fed burgers.  I dressed them up with homemade tomato jam, arugula, avocado and caramelized onions.  Triple yum.  We topped off the leftover Meyer Lemon pound cake with a sweet gingery strawberry sauce that was kind of like this.  Blissfully delicious Sunday Supper with grandparents and good times.


Here are some shots of the tomato jam production.  It was just so vibrant and smelled so fresh I had to keep snapping away … chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, ginger and spices … very heady stuff.


When it started cooking down it smelled spicier and sweeter than ever.  I may have tasted it a few too many times.  And burned my tongue for the efforts.  Note to self: bubbling sugary jam is HOT.


Skip a week and we’ve got double buckets.  Temps dipped back into the twenties and three soccer games made the week fly by like the wind.  We cut as many daffodils as we could carry so the cold did not wilt their lovely little faces and at least all was sunshine inside.  We feasted all week on fresh strawberries and citrus and on Sunday my oldest boy came home for a few days of spring break.  (Family complete.  Life is good!)

I pulled out all the stops with a recipe straight off the cover of this month’s Bon Appetit: Beef Short Rib Pot Pie.  Mine looked just a perfect as their picture.  My only beef (haha) was the crust, which, even though it was too dense for my taste, mopped up the juices perfectly.  With mashed potatoes, carrots and a really tart lemony mixed green salad it was the perfect Sunday Supper.

Dessert was an utterly forgettable Strawberry Milkshake Cake from Pinterest that seduced me with its spring hue.  Plus, I’ve never had or baked a “poke cake”.  Take my advice and just enjoy the pretty picture.  Even though I freshened it up with sweet strawberry puree and whipping cream in lieu of Cool Whip, the artificial preservative taste came shining through.  Not even is it not a keeper, half of that cake is still in my fridge a week later.  **sigh**  If a cake is untouched in my house …


That brings us to Toss It Tuesday … I cleaned out the produce drawer in the fridge and came up with this sad moldy citrus and a few wrinkled soft old apples.  I tired to think of how I could use them but decided the compost pile would be happy to have them so I chopped them up and tipped them in.


Have you noticed my lack of eggshells?  Just wait until you see what I’m up to …

In the meantime, I hope the bluebird of happiness is flying around your neck of the woods!


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Sunday Supper: Beef Stew

What is it about Sunday that makes you want to slow down, relax and have a great meal with your family?  Maybe it’s just the way I grew up, but Sunday is a different kind of day.  It’s a day to slow down and savor not just a wonderful meal, but life.

It’s kind of hard to tell our meal from this bucket, but give it a try.


What you can see (clockwise top to bottom):

  • six eggshells
  • orange peel (left over from a lunch box)
  • bay leaf & thyme stems
  • iceberg lettuce leaf
  • onion & garlic skins
  • four TAZO “Focus” tea bags
  • carrot scrapings

What I made with all of that:

Beef Barley Stew, a simple wedge salad, and a Cranberry Custard Pie that was NOT a winner. We were test driving this for a Thanksgiving option, but while tasty, it did not make the cut!

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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Sunday Supper, The Daily Bucket


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Savoring Sunday Supper

What does Sunday look like in your house?  Is it another day to get things done?  A day jammed with kids’ sports, household errands, work deadlines, and study?  Or is it a day filled with religious services, family time, hobby time, relaxation, and reflection?  Our Sunday falls somewhere in between.

Traditionally, unless we have a rare Sunday soccer game (under 19 is seriously laid back soccer), morning Mass is the only concrete item on our agenda.  This week after church, we headed right home for a leisurely afternoon and fun “chores” like painting the porch swing, carving out a new garden bed, working on creative writing (my daughter), and of course, NFL/fantasy football (my son & hubby).  There was a bit of schoolwork, some soccer kicking, and I even found time to knit a few rows on a shrug project.  It was a quiet and cozy family day.

Now one of our “day of rest” non-negotiables is gathering for Sunday Supper.  It might be just our immediate family, or it might include grandparents, or sometimes friends, but regardless of who is around the table, it’s a time we set aside to linger, savor, and just enjoy the company and food.  Here’s a clue to what we had:


What you can see (left to right):

  • brussels sprouts leaves and stem ends
  • wax bean trimmings
  • sweet potato peels

Sunday Supper Menu

  • Pan Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts and Wax Beans
  • Oven Roasted Maple Sweet Potatoes with Nutmeg
  • Oven Roasted Mahi with Paprika & Lemon Butter
  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache & my mom’s secret recipe frosting

Even though we decided we prefer cod to mahi, it was a nice time to just reconnect and prepare for the week.  A time to breath and a time to reflect.  If you don’t have a Sunday Supper tradition, perhaps it’s time to start one?

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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Musings, The Daily Bucket


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Falling for Apples & Pumpkins

September + Cool Temps + Family = Apple Picking Excursion

When the family is all together we’ve got to pack as much fun and together-time in as we can, so….even though there was some grumbling about the early hour, we managed to be first in line for apple picking at R & A Orchards in Ellijay.

The trees were laden:


And we were laden too!  The orchards are rolling and gorgeous and in no time we picked four pecks of Mutsu, Red Rome Beauty, Stayman Winesap, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.  Of course we ate our share of each variety – at least one of each kind.  Apple bloat-us.

We forgot to pick up anything from the obligatory farm store, so down the road we popped into the B. J. Reece Apple House for some hot fried apple pies, apple slushies and muscadine slushies.  Overkill?  Yes.  Necessary?  Yes.

We thought we’d hike it all off at Amicalola Falls Park but the traffic just to get inside was insane.  Not sure about you, but I’m not a fan of crowded hiking, so we shelved that plan for another weekend and much to my middle son’s dismay (Sunday afternoon football), we headed to Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.

A twenty year tradition in our family, Burt’s is fun but it fills up fast.  And it’s not a quick visit.  And it was crowded.  But we bypassed the hayrides, skipped the sweets, and focused on choosing pumpkins.  They have A LOT to choose from (and you can’t even see the interesting varieties).


We chose well and headed home, weary and stuffed and satisfied.  Can you guess what I cooked up for dinner?


What you can see (clockwise top to bottom):

  • cinnamon stick
  • brussels sprout leaves & stem ends
  • 5 red raspberry herbal tea bags
  • carrot peels
  • lemon half
  • butternut squash peel & stem end
  • sweet pepper tops & ribs
  • stem end of fennel bulb
  • kale tough stems

What you can’t see:

  • Lots of russet potato peels

What I made with all of that:

Lots of roasted veggies including a carrot & fennel combo, mashed potatoes, and roasted butternut squash on cider sauteed kale with bacon.  Yum.  It was so good I took a photo.


Can you see why?  The perfect end to a perfect day.  Make your fall perfect too!


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No Place Like Home

The scent of burgers wafted on the air all afternoon.  Hot dogs sizzled on the grills and drinks were a mere $4 a bottle, $5.50 if you wanted a souvenir cup with ice.  We were enjoying a gorgeous family afternoon at the 2014 FedEx Cup at East Lake Golf Club from a shady spot on the twelfth fairway and it was a perfect day.  But after five hours on the course (and one meal already grabbed on the run), we opted for better burgers and fries. We headed to the home grill.

What you can see (clockwise from top)

  • sweet potato skins
  • banana peels

sweet potato fries 9.22.13

What you can’t see:

  • celery trimmings
  • carrot peels from two pounds
  • l2 onion skins
  • garlic papers
  • peel from six gala apples

What I made with all of that:

  • Grass-fed Burgers with Mushrooms, Sauteed Onions & Aged Cheddar
  • Baked Sweet Potato Fries
  • Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Crust
  • Our usual morning smoothies …
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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in The Daily Bucket


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Sunday Buckets

Perfect Atlanta weather calls for a perfect Sunday schedule: Mass, soccer game, grandparents for dinner.  We were able to check the boxes for everything!  Sadly, we lost the soccer game AND the Falcons lost AND Florida lost too.  Come to think of it, Azarenka lost as well … but life is not all about sports!  It’s about food!  Here’s my Sunday lineup:


What you can see (clockwise top to bottom):

  • A rotting homegrown plum tomato (darn!)
  • Cauliflower leaves and core
  • Husks & silk from six ears of corn
  • Watermelon rind, Vidalia onion tops & skin,
  • Sunflower petals
  • Thyme stems

What I made with all of that:

  • Local grass-fed Beef Burgers with Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon, Gorgonzola Cheese and Sauteed onions on on Buttered, Toasted Egg Buns
  • Corn-on-the-cob
  • Roasted Potatoes & Cauliflower in Dijon Vinaigrette
  • Watermelon

Here’s to late yummy late summer meals!

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Posted by on September 8, 2013 in The Daily Bucket


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Sunday Supper

FInally, time to breath … time to relax … ah, Sunday.  After Mass we had visited the local nursery where we got free ladybugs, along with eggplant and pumpkin seedlings, and a new birdbath bowl.  We also popped into Whole Foods for fresh veggies after weeks in the ballet rehearsal/performance food desert.  That meant time to clean out the fridge!

Things you can see (clockwise from top):

  • A few badly bruised, inedible Ranier cherries (love these so much more than regular dark, sweet cherries)
  • Pre-cut organic carrot slices (normally don’t buy these because they taste stale and dry out quickly, as pictured here, but they are an easy snack with hummus)
  • Chopped cucumbers (cut WAY too many and they just got old.  Sad.)
  • Rose leaves from performance bouquets
  • Herbs – bay leaves, cloves, allspice & peppercorns
  • Damaged yellow & red cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach leaves
  • Avocado rind


What you can’t see:

  • Saturday’s Bland Bucket
  • Lots and lots and lots of leaves from the many flower bouquets my ballerina received for her weekend concert
  • Eggshells

What I made with all of that:

  • Croque Monsieur, my breakfast version of grilled cheese.  There are lots of recipes out there (and I’m including Ina’s because she does butter better than just about anybody) but I keep it simple because I don’t have time in the morning to whip up a bechamel.  Besides, don’t you think that’s just too heavy for the morning?  So, here’s what I do.  Assemble my daughter’s favorite grilled cheese componenets: artisan bread, ham, good muenster cheese, and mayo (because she hates dijon).  Dip that sandwich in two eggs beaten with whole milk & let it soak a bit until it’s eggy, but not a soggy  mness.  In a hot pan with lots of salted butter, quickly fry until golden, and here’s the important part!  Turn the heat to low and cook until you can see the cheese melting.  Only then can you flip it over, turn up the heat again to fry until golden, and then flip it on the cutting board.  Let it rest a minute before cutting so the cheese doesn’t ooze, and hooray!  Grilled-cheese-french-toast-so-my-girl-doesn’t-pass-out-in-Mass breakfast.
  • Avocado, Pesto Parmesan Ham and Spinach sandwich for lunch
  • Brined roast chicken (truly yummy, brining is not just for your Thanksgiving turkey)
  • Roasted tomatoes because I had ’em and I love ’em


I don’t really use a recipe for these any more.  They are that simple.  Cut the tomatoes in half, drizzle with good olive oil on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt (I used pepper this time too – take my advice and don’t.  It intensifies and it fights with the sweet tomato yumminess.) Bake these at 225 degrees for about two hours or until they are dried to your taste.  They will look like this:

tomatoes roasted

I can pretty much guarantee you’ll eat this entire pan once you taste one.  It’s kind of like “cleaning up” the edge of a cake or pie.  You’ll just nibble away until you have a tiny handful left to sprinkle in your salad, or toss on your soup, or… into your mouth.  In the event you have more self control than I do, cool these tomatoes, put in a glass jar & cover with a bit more olive oil and store in the fridge.  I hear they last for weeks.  Ha!


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