Sunday, August 21, 2016

Seasonal Living And Timeless Traditions Personal Blessing Celebrations

I have never cared much for store bought celebrations...to honor a birthday...a pregnancy...baby shower...or a new home etc. These events are too important...to settle for buying plastic mass produced items...that have no soul...and end up being thrown away...and soon forgotten.

I  wanted something more...something that nurtured and soothed the spirit...from the heart...from a "sense of place"...that would connect...bond...and express realness...life experience...and authenticity...to honor milestone celebrations and life changes...that I knew in my heart was missing in today's world...but still very much needed and welcomed by all.

With careful study and research...thoughtful planning...and my love of timeless traditions...I set about designing my own unique celebrations in the form of Personal Blessings...for you to honor...celebrate and pay tribute to all those special moments and life changes that are so worth honoring in special ways,

I offer you...with my easy to follow...and complete directions and format...Seasonal Living And Timeless Traditions...Personal Blessing celebrations...that come to you as an e-course via your email. Each Personal Blessing celebration will add more meaningful...soulful...creative...and heart filled celebrations for you...that you can create and use...for all those memorable life changes and happy moments...in your own life...and to use as the foundation ...to celebrate and honor all those you love and care about too.

My Personal Blessing celebrations e-courses are made for any age..or any faith...and the inclusion of all. With only one purchase of any one of my e-courses... you can use the one you select over and over again...which makes my e-courses a wonderful resource and value for you.

All you supply with any e-course is an open heart...your own creativity...and the willingness to connect and deeply bond with others...in a timeless...supportive...good old-fashioned way. Each Personal Blessing celebration is designed with complete instructions for your personal use...or to celebrate with a group.

Go to my link on the right side bar and click on Seasonal Living And Timeless Traditions...then
just click on the button TRADITIONS...to view and order yours today...for all those special moments in your life.

Seasonal Living And Timeless Traditions...offers the following e-courses

...YOUNG LADY COMING OF AGE

...PREGNANCY BLESSING

...BABY BLESSING

...HOME BLESSING

Blessings,
Victoria

Monday, August 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS AUGUST 2016

August musings... This month is the beginning of the harvest season...on the land...but also the month for you to acknowledge your personal and professional harvest so far this year. A person's harvest can be many things...sometimes it is a goal completed...a new job...a move...or a simple...but big lesson learned...that can make you a better or happier person. My personal harvest this year so far...has been many things... but the one I am most grateful for,,, is the valuable lesson I finally learned...that I have not wanted to "see" and carried most of my adult life.

It took a series of a Summer events for me to finally face this fear.

Here is my story...sometimes filled with my sense of humor...but still very true.If my story helps you in any way face a fear you have...then I am glad to have helped.Sharing our stories...fears and issues makes us all human...and the knowledge that we are not alone...or nut cases.


This Summer season for me... has been full of taking care of mundane tasks...you know those things that we all seem to put off...with our "I will do it tomorrow" attitude. I couldn't avoid putting things off any longer...I needed to focus...use discipline...as well as delete things and activities that wasted my time.

Beginning in early June...I was on a mission...to get cracking and get things done... as I was determined to stick to my plan...and my timeline...of having all my tasks... home projects...and to do list done by the end of July.

Now...anyone who truly knows me ...knows I love home and garden projects...I have been a DIY person...long before it was the chic thing to do...which tells you how old I really am! So this is not out of the ordinary for me. But not the way I planned it this Summer...good grief...it was madness...my self-imposed race for time!


You see...this Summer season...as I was scurrying around...taking care of endless tasks...packing up my daughter at college for her Summer break...unpacking her here at home... then of course packing her back up to return to college... countless trips to get that supply material...for painting projects... redoing a bathroom...seeing the dentist...having dental surgery...taking pictures and listing dozens and dozens of my vintage and antique items for my upcoming on-line shop Seasonal Home Goods...writing for hours and doing research...to complete my new Seasonal Living e-course...taking care of my family and home.. cooking...laundry... running my business...tending to my garden...and yards...a light bulb went on in my head!

I had issues with time.

I was in fear...that because I am in my early 60's...my "time" was running out. How many suns and moons are left to me...to do things that I want to do...long to do...before that final big blanket of "lights out".. Victoria...happens to me...to meet the Great Spirit in the sky?  Yikes...no small wonder I tried to fill each minute doing stuff...this Summer...so I didn't have to think about "my time running out". I guess I figured...if I do all these tasks first...and do them all within about a 8 week period...then I can do all those other cool things...that I really want to do...because I will have the "time"...now that I completed all those tasks and necessary items...that sucked up all my time!

And now of course...because I spent all my time...dashing here and there...cramming 18 million things into a small window of time...because I was in fear I had not enough time... by the time I had successfully completed my very long task list...l was ...exhausted...stressed...and still worried and fearful about not enough time!

What had happened to all my time?

On top of all this...fearful... time thing... I was dealing with...and facing... some unexpected events were thrown into my fearful drama  of time. As if I wasn't already a mess... I began watching the news...about all the horrible events in the world.... then my younger daughter was involved in a car accident... had to have an unexpected minor surgery... and my dear and close friend moved away...which made me even more fearful about time. My thoughts started going in the direction of "I really have no time at all...because the world is going to blow up any minute  or... .I might not have any more time with my daughter...because she just had a car accident...and a health scare." Then my thoughts raced to the fact that...as of this month...I have NO time at all left... with my good and close friend...because he... as of August 1st moved to another country with his spouse. My time with him was gone! All these events sucked me into... an endless fearful thought process of time.

I have I am sure...been dragging around my issue and fear of time my whole life. The Universe...has a way of teaching a person their lessons to overcome long rooted issues...when you are ready to receive them...face them...and hopefully release them.

My "time" had come for me to get over myself...and my life long fear of time...with events and circumstances...that forced me to dig deeply within myself and ponder this fear of mine.

How can I be whole...when I am so in fear of time? Or of anything?

Now...I am the type of person who really wants to grow...and evolve as a human being...and as a woman. Because I want to live with soul...with a deeper meaning of my life. I needed to fix this time issue. So I dug deep and pondered my beliefs about time...and yes my fear of it...and my constant obsession with trying to control time.

So I did.

I am aware now...as I write this blog...that really there is no guarantee in life...of how much time we have to walk the Earth...or a guarantee of anything for that matter.  

I must live in the moment...do the best I can...and be grateful for each and everyday that I am given. I do not have to cram 18 million to do list items in a 24 hour period...or a 8 week period. I can be mindful and wise about how I spend each day...and find joy and fulfillment even in doing the mundane. Because the mundane is part of life...for each and everyone of us...but it must be balanced with fun...laughter...rest...and quiet too.

And creating the space...and special time to be with those you love.

You have "time" for it all. And so do I.

Above all else...please do not do what I did for many years...and that is living in fear about something or someone...that honestly you can't control. Life and events are going to take place...no matter what you do or don't do anyway...so stop fretting about it.

Value your life...your loved ones...your friends.And value the minutes...the hours...months and years...you have with them.

Live in the present...allow love and beauty into your daily life...and make each moment count...in this thing called life.

Close the door on people and old habits that do nothing but steal your time...bring you down...and make you fearful or worry.

Make your "time" meaningful...sacred...joyful...and fulfilling...and you will discover that you have the "time" for everything that truly is real and that matters...even the mundane tasks.

But remember... you can always save all  those mundane tasks for another time!

Happy August to you,
Victoria


Summer declines and roses
have grown rare
but cottage crofts are gay
with hollyhocks,
and in old garden walks
you breathe an air
fragrant pinks and August-smelling stocks.
by John Todhunter (1839-1916)


PRAYER... " I give blessings and thanks for all the growth and change I experienced this Summer season... my personal  harvest has been good...I am grateful".


WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST...August 1st...First Harvest or Lammas...August 5th...Edinburgh Festival in Scotland...August 5th...International Forgiveness Day...Mid- August Autumn Festival is held in China...Taiwan and Vietnam in celebration of the harvest season... August 26th is Women's Equality Day


FACTS ABOUT AUGUST...August is named in honor of the first Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.-A.D.14) who was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar


FOLKLORE ABOUT AUGUST...

As August, so is February.

So many August fogs, so many Winter mists


GARDENING TIP...Plant your Fall season bulbs this month. Pull weeds...and start doing general clean-up in your yards where needed. Harvest herbs that are ready...to bring in and dry.


HOMEMAKING TIP...Start cleaning and putting away Summer toys...beach and pool towels...and Summer sport equipment. Clean out your refrigerator...letting go of expired foods. Pull out refrigerator...vacuum the floor...and also vacuum the coils and back of fridge. Mop the floor area behind refrigerator with pure Lemon essential oil. Allow to dry...then put refrigerator back in place...being sure you leave at least 2 inches from wall...when you move it back...to allow air to circulate...behind the refrigerator.

FULL MOON...August 18th

FLOWERS...Are the gladiolus and poppy

GEMS...The gem for this month is the beautiful peridot

TEACHINGS...The month of August...is the perfect month to reflect on how much you have grown... or changed during the Summer cycle...and to feel gratitude for these experiences.


HARVEST OF FRIENDS CELEBRATION...

Friendships...whether old or new...are very much a part of your personal harvest.This month to show thanks and appreciation for your friends...either make or purchase cards...that express to them how much they mean to you...and mail them out through the month.

This simple expression of a card...picked out just for them...will let each and every one of your friends...feel special and appreciated by you.


APPRECIATION OF THOSE WHO DO A SERVICE FOR YOU

The mail person.. the folks who do your dry cleaning...your dentist and doctor...the sacker at the grocery store...and so many more people who do things of service for you each and everyday so deserve to be acknowledged by you. Give a few dollars... as a tip... to that person who sacks your groceries...stick a card...giving a big thank you in your out going mail slot...to your mail delivery person...take flowers into your dentist or doctors offices...to show how much you value all they do for you.


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS

...For Your Home

Place fresh herbs such as rosemary...sage...and thyme in small vases throughout your home...they smell and look wonderful...and will be a gentle reminder of harvest season.


...For Your Hearth

I have a few really great pots and pans... roasting pans...and my beloved cast iron skillets...to make really good food for my family. It doesn't take a lot of gadgets to cook great meals...just good ingredients and good cooking utensils. If you haven't tried cooking with cast iron...go get one...they are amazing and very affordable...and one skillet will last a lifetime if cared for properly.

CAST IRON SKILLET CHEESY HASH BROWNS
Serves 4-6

4 tablespoons butter
4 large russet potatoes
shredded with a cheese grater and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Add the butter to the skillet and when bubbling add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Press the potatoes into the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl...whisk the eggs and milk together. Pour the eggs over the potatoes...shaking the pan to help them penetrate to the bottom. Sprinkle liberally with the cheese.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until just set...about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


...For Your Heart

Buy some healthy canned food items...dried pasta...rice...oatmeal etc. and donate to the food pantry. It feels so good to help feed folks who are in need.

Start each morning with a prayer of gratitude for being alive.


Friday, July 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS JULY 2016

July musings...This month brings with it...heat on the land...and the fire within each one of us to get our projects and goals into full motion.

Most folks believe that goals have to be to obtain something material...or work related...which of course is wonderful...but what about inner goals...or soul projects?

Make this month of July...your month...to free yourself of worry...anger...frustration...and fears...and create personal freedom...of faith...trust...happiness and kindness instead. Stop being a sheep...and following the gloom and doom of others...the media...and even those close to you...who do nothing but complain...talk about everything that is wrong...spread anger and hate...and live their lives from a place of conflict and victim mentality. Do not let anything or anyone outside of you...influence you anymore.See the world...with different eyes...the eyes of higher vision.

I am not writing here...for you not to be concerned about problems in the world...or in your personal life...that would be denial. And of course you must take action steps yourself to make those changes...to solve those problems...that goes without saying. And feelings of anger and sadness are human...and you must... to be emotionally healthy...express them freely...and give others that freedom too. But at some point...you must move on...and see life for what it also is...it is good and beautiful too...filled with wonder and joyful events...and it is up to you...to focus on...and create those positive qualities and experiences in your own life.

A quality...happy life...is no one else's responsibility...it is up to you.

Take some time this July...to really ponder all the ways you perhaps are following the crowd...allowing world events...family and friends to influence you in negative ways.

Ignite your own inner fire this month...and decide to be happy...no matter where you live...where you work...or what relationship you do...or do not have at the moment. Be a free thinker and doer...and shed all that negativity from within you.

Make everyday a day of independence for yourself...and allow freedom and happiness into your life...from this moment on.

Because when you are happy...you will always feel free.

May your inner fire burn,
Victoria



First, April, she with mellow showers
Opens the way for early flowers;
Then after her comes, smiling May,
In a more rich and sweet array;
Next enters June, and brings us more
Gems than those two that went before;
Then, lastly, July comes,and she more
wealth brings in, than all those three.
by Robert Herrick


PRAYER..." I use wisdom and care with my personal power... and never infringe on another's personal choices or freedom".

WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS... July 1st...Canada Day...July 4th...Fourth of July...July 14th...Bastille Day...July 30th...International Day Of Friendship

FACTS ABOUT JULY...The Roman senate named July in honor of Julius Caesar who was born on July 12th

FOLKLORE ABOUT JULY...Ne'er trust a July sky...If ant hills are high in July...the coming winter will be hard.

GARDENING TIP... Deadhead your blooming flowers...stop fertilizer application...make sure you keep your trees and shrubs watered

HOMEMAKING TIP... Stay organized this month around your home...by putting summer items in large baskets...to keep things tidy. July is a good month to clean your oven...when you will not be using it much. Use natural products to do this...baking soda and white vinegar work really well...just goggle it and follow the directions.

FULL MOON...July 19th

FLOWERS... The larkspur...water lily

GEMS...The Ruby

TEACHINGS...This is the month to take action steps...on your goals and projects...but to also remember to bring fun and relaxation into your daily life. Make one of your goals to connect to your inner spirit more...by learning to meditate or start daily prayers.


JULY CELEBRATION

SUPPLIES
pen and paper
a lit candle
something to dig a small hole outside

Light a candle and get yourself centered with deep breathing for a few minutes.When you are ready...write down...all the ways...you are keeping yourself from freedom within. This can be from any area in your life. Take your time doing this process.

When you feel complete...read over your list...then say a prayer...asking for guidance from The Higher Power...to help you.

Take your written list outside...dig a hole in a potted plant or in the ground...and then bury your list....as a symbol that you are done...living your life without freedom...because of your own self-made prison.

Remember...you must take action steps each day...to change what you need to change within you...to create more personal freedom...but you can do it!

Freedom will set you free!


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS

...FOR YOUR HOME

Wipe down bathroom sinks and kitchen counters...and even doorknobs in these rooms...with pure Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary oil kills bacteria and disinfects...and with the warmer weather...bacteria is abound.

MICROWAVE CLEANER
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
5-6 drops pure lemon essential oil

Combine all ingredients to make a paste. Apply to the walls and floor of your microwave with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse well ... and leave the microwave door open to air-dry for about 25 minutes.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

Quick...easy...but very good food needs to be on the menu for Summer Suppers...and I think you will love this tasty shrimp dish. Serve with a salad and a rice of your liking...and supper is ready.

SPICY GARLIC AND SHRIMP
serves 4-6
1 large red bell pepper
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing
8 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup white wine

Cut the bell pepper in half crosswise...removing stem and seeds...and then cut into strips.

Peel and devein the shrimp...leaving the tails intact.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a heavy large roasting pan with olive oil.

Combine the bell pepper...shrimp...garlic...paprika...cayenne pepper...and the olive oil in a large bowl and mix well. Spread the shrimp mixture out on the prepared roasting pan in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 10 minutes. Turn the shrimp and bell pepper and sprinkle with the oregano. Roast until the shrimp are just opaque in the center about 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

Place the roasting pan on a stove burner and set at medium-high heat. Add the wine and boil...scraping up the browned bits...about 2 minutes. Drizzle the pan juices over the shrimp. Serve...garnishing with more fresh oregano and lemons.



...FOR YOUR HEART

Let go of your control issues...and allow those you love and care about...just be who they are...instead of what you need then to be.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING SUPPERS JUNE 2016

June is hot here in Texas...and easy peesy dinners are a must! And who says it always has to be meat... for dinner?

Below is a very tasty egg dish for supper...or a lunch for a lazy and  relaxed Sunday.

Because nothing says love...like something homemade!



ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH PROSCIUTTO AND EGGS
Serves 4

1 pound asparagus...tough ends cut off
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
butter for cooking eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs
4 thin slices prosciutto
shaved Parmesan cheese for serving

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet...and then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil...and then season with the salt and pepper.Using clean hands toss the asparagus...making sure each one is coated with the olive oil and seasoned with the salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until lightly browned...and slightly crisp...about 18-20 minutes.

About 10 minutes...before the asparagus is done...cook the eggs...in butter...over easy style...or if you prefer scramble them. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Take the asparagus out of the oven...and divide on 4 plates. Put a slice of the prosciutto on top...then top with the egg...garnish with the shaved Parmesan cheese and serve. Be sure to serve with a piece of grilled bread...to dip in the eggs! Yum!


GREEN BEANS WITH DIJON VINAIGRETTE
Serves 4

I love these green beans...a really nice way to make these with lots of extra flavor and wow factor. These green beans also taste great cold.

1 pound green beans...ends trimmed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 shallot...minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil...and extra for cooking the green beans
salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute the green beans...until fork tender. While the green beans are cooking...whisk together the vinegar...mustard...and shallot. Add the olive oil in slowly...and whisk together well. Season with salt and pepper,

Place the green beans in a serving bowl...and drizzle the vinaigrette over the green beans...and mix evenly. Serve.

Happy June to you and yours,
Victoria

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING SUPPERS JUNE 2016

June suppers...call for relaxed cooking...and dining... but that doesn't mean you have to skip dessert. To me...dessert is a must...and actually my favorite part of any meal...truth be told.

Below are a few of my quick and easy desserts...they are very good...very simple...and will satisfy your sweet tooth craving.


GREEK YOGURT WITH LEMON CURD

Greek yogurt and lemon curd work very well together...sweet...creamy...tart...refreshing... this simple dessert really will hit the spot for a sweet treat! Just be sure you buy genuine Greek yogurt...or the taste will not give this dessert justice.

4 servings

1 medium container plain Greek yogurt
jar of lemon curd
mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Place dessert bowls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving this dessert...as this dessert tastes so good very cold.

When dessert rolls around... ( not soon enough for me)...take the cold bowls out of the freezer...place at least 1 cup Greek yogurt in each bowl...then top with  1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon curd...garnish with fresh mint...and serve!


VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH ROASTED BLACKBERRIES

Roasting fresh fruit tastes so good...it really brings out the flavor of any fruit...but is exceptional for bringing out the  sweetness of berries. A little roasted fruit goes a long way... and you can use it in many ways... try spooning it over pound or angel food cake...pudding... eat it as is..or enjoy it...in my favorite way... spooned over vanilla ice cream.

4 servings

2  small boxes fresh blackberries
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place clean and dry...blackberries on a baking sheet...in a single layer. Sprinkle sugar on blackberries...and then using your hands...mix gently so all berries have a bit of sugar on them...and then spread out in a single layer again. Place in preheated oven. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Take out of oven...place in a bowl... and let cool down for a few minutes. In the mean time...dish out the ice cream into serving bowls...and then spoon roasted blackberries on top. Serve  right away... and be sure to lick your spoon!

LIME PIE WITH BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

makes 1 9-inch pie

Who doesn't love a really good piece of cold pie? This one is wonderful...and you will want seconds.It takes a little more time to make than my other recipes above...but it is so worth it!

CRUST
1/1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter... melted

FILLING
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 eggs

COMPOTE
16 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
whipped cream for serving

TO MAKE THE PIE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch glass pie dish. Mix the graham cracker crumbs...sugar...and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Press the mixed mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the buttered pie dish. Bake the crust until it just begins to brown...about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven...and set aside to cool.

TO MAKE THE FILLING
In a large bowl...gently stir the condensed milk...lime juice...and lime zest together until well blended. Whisk in the eggs. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake until the filling sets...about 20 minutes.

Let the pie cool completely...then refrigerate it until it is chilled.

TO MAKE THE COMPOTE
Simmer the clean blueberries and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until the mixture reduces to about 1 1/4 cups...which will take about 15 minutes.Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To serve...cut the pie into wedges and spoon the blueberries on top...and  top with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint.


Happy June days and evenings to you,
Victoria







Friday, June 10, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING SUPPERS JUNE 2016

With the weather warming up...you want lighter fare at the dinner table...but this doesn't mean you have to ear bland...unfulfilling food. Below are a few of my favorite go to meals for you...very good...easy to prepare...and surely to impress everyone who eats them...including you!

The key to good cooking is to use only the very best and freshest ingredients you can find...and of course afford. A great dish does not have to have lots of ingredients...only good ones...and these recipes fit that guide line.

I hope you enjoy my Seasonal Living Suppers...until then... remember...nothing says love...like something homemade.

Victoria


SPINACH-PEAR SALAD WITH MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
Serves 6

2 Bosc or Bartlett pears...that are not too ripe
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Slice your pears and place in a large salad bowl...along with the spinach. Cover and put into the fridge to chill. Combine the water...sugar...the mustard...pepper...balsamic vinegar...the olive oil and salt together...and whisk until well blended. Put in a glass jar or bottle with a lid...and chill until cold.

When you are ready to serve the salad...toss gently...with the vinaigrette...plate...and sprinkle with the cheese.

***You can put your salad bowls or plates in the freezer until really cold...to make any salad you serve on them more refreshing and crispy cold.


CHICKEN PICCATA

This is such  a good dish...so good you will make it countless times...and is elegant enough for dinner guests.
serves 4

4 split (2 whole breasts cut in half down the middle lengthwise)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour ( or 1 cup gluten free rice flour)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups seasoned dried bread crumbs ( or panko bread crumbs for gluten sensitive)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 sliced lemon for sauce
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and have a cookie sheet handy to place the chicken breasts on.

Place each chicken between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour... 1 teaspoon salt...and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on a plate. In a large bowl beat the eggs...and 1 tablespoon of water together.Place the breadcrumbs on another plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour...shake off the excess flour...then dip into the egg mixture...and then the bread crumbs.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan...over medium-low heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until brown on both sides. Place on cookie sheet...and allow them to finish cooking in the oven while you make the sauce for about 5-10 minutes.

For the sauce...keep the pan drippings from cooking the chicken in and turn to medium heat...add 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice...white wine...and the sliced lemon...you sliced earlier...1/2 teaspoon salt...and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat...until somewhat reduced...about 2 minutes...being sure to scrape the bottom of the frying pan...to get all those tasty bits of the cooked chicken mixed together with the sauce. Turn heat to low...add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter...blend well into sauce. Return chicken breasts to pan...coat with the sauce.
Serve...immediately...spooning sauce over each serving...garnishing with the fresh parsley.    

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS JUNE 2016

June musings...This month I wanted to try something different...because the Summer season is all about growth and change...and the Summer cycle begins this month.

So to honor change...I am going to post my favorite recipes...all month...long...once or twice a week...instead of my usual format. I hope you get in your kitchen this lovely June...and create some of these dishes for yourself and your family. And remember fresh...local...seasonal and organic food...makes common sense...is more affordable...and so good for your health.

So follow me this month as we explore and cook food traditions together...using the best ingredients...including the timeless tradition and joys of cooking with herbs.

By all means add to my recipes...adjust the seasonings to your liking...and experiment with the ingredients...cooking is creative and there are no rules...just simple guidelines for you to make and creative in your kitchen this month.

So put your apron on...and get into your hearth...and start cooking.Be sure to add lots of love...and a dash of care into everything you make...because nothing says love...like something homemade.

VICTORIA'S GREEK SALAD
This is such a refreshing and healthy salad on a warm Summer evening...this salad takes just a few minutes to make...but be sure it is well chilled...the colder the better for this Greek classic...so make it about 1 hour before serving and put in the fridge.
serves 3-4

3 medium fresh tomatoes...sliced in half...quarted...then quarted again
2 small seedless cucumbers (or Persian cucumbers)...skin left on...sliced thinly
1 medium green pepper...seeded...sliced in thin strips
1 1/2 cup pitted Greek Kalamata olives
half of small red onion...sliced very thin in strips
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7 ounces...or one small block feta cheese...preferably Greek
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano

To make your salad get out a glass bowl...and then cut the tomatoes...and place in bowl. Slice the cucumbers...put on top of tomatoes. Slice the green pepper...place on top of cucumbers.Add the pitted Kalamata olives. Slice the onion...place on olives. Take the cheese...break the cheese in half...and place the halves on top of the salad. Drizzle the olive oil over the whole salad.Lightly salt and pepper. Sprinkle the dried Oregano over the entire salad. Place the finished salad in the fridge for at least 1 hour to get really chilled. To serve ...do not mix salad...just spoon it out on a dish...making sure each serving has a bit of everything in the salad...including pieces of the Feta Cheese.