Red Onion-Rosemay Marmalade

I found myself with 2 huge red onions needing to be eaten or cooked, so I decided to make a marmalade, or compote, with them. This is so easy and great on sandwiches, alongside cheese and crackers, or a topping for grilled chicken and pork. I enjoyed it in a sandwich with goat cheese and arugula on some toasted bread.

You will need:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large red onions
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sherry
2 TB. apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Step 1: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Thinly slice red onions and add to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are tender, about 15 minutes.

Step 2: Add the brown sugar, sherry, vinegar, and rosemary. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 20 minutes.

Step 3: Add the dried cranberries and cook an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely and refrigerate.

Devonly, yours


Farmer's Market

Summer time is the perfect time for fresh and local produce when it's at its peak and in abundance. And your local farmer's market is the perfect place to find it. I ventured up to the West Seattle farmer's market this weekend and picked up some lovely items to make dinner with. This is one of my favorite things to do in the summer: grab a random assortment of delicious goodies and make whatever comes to you and even make it up as you go. No rules, no plans. You might be surprised at what you come up with - some of my favorite dishes are usually ones I make up using what I have in the fridge or pantry at the moment. And how can you go wrong with such fresh produce?

For my farmer's market dinner, I made a tomato salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, capers, arugula, and a splash of balsalmic vinegar and olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper and it tastes as fresh as summer can be.

I also picked up some fresh spinach pasta. When pasta is this fresh, I don't like to cover up its natural flavor with much. Just saute some garlic in a little bit of melted butter, add a splash of white wine, salt, and pepper. It's so good and so fresh.

Devonly, yours


Happy Friday

Yes, friends, Friday is here! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Devonly, yours


Get Lost (in a good way)

One thing I love about Seattle is all the little neighborhoods and hidden streets. I love going to a new section of town, parking my car and getting lost in the streets. It allows me to see a side of the city that I never knew. I pop in my headphones, grab my camera, and see what I can find. Today I wandered around the more residential side of Greenlake and I found (besides my house envy) some great little scenes.

Azaleas at their last few days

A bustling cafe window

The cutest thing I saw: a tuckered out pooch dozing in a beautiful backyard

Succulents are the plants that will survive the end of the world

The next time you're bored on a sunny weekend, take your camera and get lost. You might be surprised what you find.

Devonly, yours


Lunching Ladies

My dear friend, CRM joined me for lunch today and to help me wade through the blogging world's features, tricks, and tips (hope you like the result-in-process!). I love lunching because it's usually a fresh delicious meal that has the rest of the day to digest. And it gives me an excuse to make some yummy recipes I've been dying to try.

For our menu today, I made:

THESE! So good...
Frissee salad
Coconut macaroons

The frissee salad is super simple: toss a head of frissee with the juice from half a small lemon, a splash of olive oil, a drizzle of white truffle oil, and some salt and pepper. Yum! Try it tonight!

Devonly, yours


Vodak Infusions

One of my favorite gifts to give is something that has a little of my personality in it but is also something the recipient will really enjoy. This past holiday season I infused vodkas for my friends, and I think I'm the only one that has any left! I made one large batch of Oolong tea infused vodka. They all prefer it straight up or over the rocks, but I like to shake mine up with a little simple syrup and lemon. Today I'm making a few different varieties in smaller batches using what's fresh and in season right now. They're perfect to give out as hostess gifts or to have on hand for the spur-of-the-moment BBQs and guests. And you don't have to spend a lot on fancy, expensive, sugar-laden mixers.

Infusions Du Jour:

Pink Grapefruit
White Peach

The grapefruit, peach, and cucumber can all be enjoyed solo or shaken with a little simple syrup. The rosemary is sophisticated and complex so should be paired with care. The pepper infusion (I'm using jalapeno and serrano today) is a great base for a Bloody Mary.

It's very simple to do: slice up your favorite fruit or vegetable, leave herbs sprigs whole, and for tea: bagged or loose will work. Simply place your flavor of choice in a jar and cover with vodka. Cover and refrigerate until desired potency is reached. For stronger flavors like the pepper, rosemary, and tea, a few days should be plenty. For the peach and grapefruit, you want to let them stand for about a week. Depending on your vodka:ingredient ratio, you will want to stir the batch every few days. Once the batch is ready strain out your ingredients using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth in the case of any loose tea or particles, jar, label, and refrigerate until ready to use!

Hope you get to experiment with your own flavors and enjoy some delicious combinations this summer and wow your friends (even though it's really easy...but I'm not telling anyone that!).

Devonly, yours


Busy as a Little Bee

Hello again friends! I have been so busy working my little toes to the bone at the salon, I haven't had a moment to attend to anything more than sleeping and eating (hey, a girl's gotta have some priorities!) But, alas, I am back! And I have some really exciting things planned for this week! If all goes as planned, of course - which around my house usually doesn't mean much of anything. Last night I finally had some time to attend to my much needy family.

Harley was beside himself that I was actually home playing with him. Poor guy!

I've been so busy I haven't had time to stop and enjoy my lilies that are blooming right now. The colors are magnificent. I love lilies because they're so low maintenance and their yields are gorgeous. Just plant them as bulbs in a sunny spot, water them well the first year, try not to let the dogs (or the hose for that matter) run over them, and wa-la! Wonderful pops of color. I just planted some chartreuse mum seeds around these, can't wait for them to come up! The package said they will germinate in 7-10 days. Amazing!

But I have had some time to do a little something: make jewelery! I was inspired by a recent trip to my most favorite store ever and by the lack of bills in my wallet to make my own jewelery for a fraction of the cost.

These gorgeous tear-drop stone earrings were a cinch! All I needed were the stones (about 75 cents each), some needle nosed pliers, the posts (which I wrapped around the top of the stone), and the earing clasps. So simple, and they're already one of my favorite pairs!

These beauties consisted of: earring clasps, the beads, a little wire, and a round clasp for attaching everything together. With a little help from my pliers, they were complete in seconds flat. I'm going to be making multiple pairs in a wine color for a co-worker's bridal party. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

This necklace was inspired by one I saw at my most favorite store ever. It was a little more time consuming, but well worth it. And since my dress code at work is all black, I have to spice it up with as much color as I possibly can and this necklace sure stands out.

I have a few more ideas that I'm still working on, but those might have to wait a little while. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and Father's Day, and are having a little sunnier Monday than here in Seattle.

Devonly, yours.


Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream

The only thing I like better than fresh cherries in summer is fresh Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream. I can't help but steal licks of this delicious concoction while it spins away in my ice cream maker. It's grown up flavor will not keep you from feeling like a kid again.

You will need:

3 1/2 cups 2% reduced fat milk
1 cup half-and-half
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (14-oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 TB bourbon
16 oz. cherries, pitted and halved
1 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped

Step 1: combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions.

Step 2: Once ice cream is almost finished freezing in your maker, add the bourbon, cherries, and chocolate. Stir to combine and freeze in your freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

Oh, heavens, my! This is so yummy and it's the perfect end to a perfect summer day. Hope you get to enjoy some soon!

Devonly, yours

Fennel Sausage Ravioli

I came up with these delicious delicacies one night when, having cooked an entire 2 acorn squash for dinner for Jason and I, we had a ton left over. I wondered out loud what I should do with them, and Jason said, "make them into pasta!" Thus, this recipe was born. This is a great recipe to make a large batch of and freeze for a quick weeknight meal, or to keep on hand for unexpected company. It's tasty, easy, and decidedly gourmet.

You will need:

1 acorn squash
1/2 fennel bulb
1/2 pound ground sausage
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded aged white cheddar, or your favorite Italian cheese
1 tsp. salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Fresh won ton wrappers*
1-2 TB. melted butter
Powdered sugar, optional

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Half acorn squash, scoop out seeds, and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minuets, flip squash over and bake another 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can safely handle the squash. Scoop all flesh into a bowl, and set aside.

Step 2: Finely chop the bulb section of the fennel bulb along with 2 or 3 "leafy" sections. Add this plus the ground sausage to a skillet over med-high heat and cook until sausage is no longer pink and fennel is soft, about 7 minutes. Add this mixture to the squash and allow to cool completely.

Step 3: Once mixture is cool, add the vinegar, egg, salt, pepper, and cheese. Mix thoroughly.

Step 4: To assemble the ravioli, take one won ton wrapper and place a small dollop of the sausage mixture in the center. Brush 2 sides of the wrapper with water, and fold over the other 2 sides to make a triangle. Press along the entire seam to close. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers.

Step 5: To freeze for later use, place the entire baking sheet in the freezer until the ravioli are frozen completely. Transfer to a freezer bag until later needed. To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few ravioli at a time and boil until all the ravioli are floating. Remove and place a serving platter tented with foil until all ravioli have been cooked.

Step 6: To serve, drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Makes approximately 36 ravioli.

Yum! These are so tasty and easy to make. Now, if only I had someone to share them with! I guess I will be freezing mine for later enjoyment.

Devonly, yours

*If you would like to make your own pasta dough, this is an easy recipe to follow. You can make them bigger if you like with your own dough.


Have a stake out

My poor plants were all looking so sad a droopy, so I gave them a little lift! Staking your plants allows them to continue to grow up, up, and away! as they get a little top heavy. My plants that needed uplifting were my peonies (a typical plant that needs support), tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and some flowers. Here are some different ways you can stake your plants for proper support as they grow:

{A pre-made trellis that you can buy at a hardware store is ideal for climbing vines}

{When tomatoes are young, tie them to a post to encourage their upward mobility}

{As tomatoes get larger, cages can help to support them all around}

{Even just some string will do the trick!}

{A stake with a loop or "cage" is great for tall, top-heavy plants. Garden centers also sell peony- specific supports, I think this works fine for now, especially since my peony is still young and hasn't grown to it's full potential}

Give your plants a hand and something to lean on for a happier, healthier garden.

Devonly, yours


Nooks and Crannies

There are many little spaces in our houses that leave little to the imagination. In mine, there just happen to be a lot! There are easy ways to dress up a bedside table, a corner of a bookshelf, or an odd-shaped nook in a wall. Experiment with mixing and matching different items of different sizes (try to stick with one large item per space, a maximum of two if the space is rather large). Here is a list of items to consider grouping together to make a corner of your home look like a magazine spread:

Books (pair in odd numbers for a more aesthetically pleasing appeal)
Potted plants (make sure they aren't going to leak on other items)
Cut flowers in smaller vases or in my case, an empty wine bottle
Figurines or small statues
A bowl full of found objects: rocks, shells, or vintage keys
Bookends or paperweights perhaps not doing their intended duty

Devonly, yours


One man's treasure

I had the most marvelous weekend this past week staying with our dear friends in Brooklyn. We had brunch at the best little place you'd ever stumble upon (which is exactly what we did last November) complete with mimosas and Bloody Mary's, Eggs Benedict and delicious company. From there, we found the best Flea Market I've ever seen in Forte Green. If only I had a place to take all the treasures I wish I could have bought! I am now in hot pursuit of some of Seattle's better Flea Markets to visit. I will keep you posted on the ones I find. The key to these is that you have to be willing to hunt, and to barter. Below are some snaps I took while wondering around in the warn sun:

Nothing like a cool ice cream after a hot day of bargaining. This weekend, look for some new treasures in some old places.