Sunday, May 31, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday

Hello friends, it's Metamorphosis Monday at the Lace and Ivy Cottage, but unfortunately my decorating endeavors have been on hold for a while. Home schooling and family life have a tendency to do that now and then. So, instead of creating beautiful tablescapes or painting and restoring old furniture, I'm just trying to get dishes done and keep up with the mountain of laundry in my not-so-organized laundry room. Sigh. So right now, the projects in my home are still in the "Before" stages and there's no metamorphosing in sight. But no worries, I did manage to publish a "before and after" post with some pictures in my computer. But before the unveiling, please make sure to visit Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for many inspiring projects.

As I type this post, I'm still unsure how this will be received. I hope it's not too corny for you.

This is a very blurry picture of a picture of me in kindergarten.

Now, this is the kindergarten picture of one of my best friends, Frances.

We were in the same kindergarten class, but I didn't remember her then. We ended up in different elementary schools, but our paths crossed again in junior high, and we became great friends. We remained friends through high school, then parted ways again, I going to UCLA and she working as a flight attendant for American Airlines. We both moved away from our home town, married, had children, and got busy with life. But as fate would have it, we crossed paths again. Though we had lost touch for a number of years, the years between us just melted away and it was as if we had picked up just where we had left off.

Well, it's been about 37 years since these kindergarten pictures were taken. Ahem, let's not do the math. And here we are today. This was taken about 3 weeks ago, when we rendezvoused for lunch. I'm one lucky lady to have kept the same friends since childhood.

So there you have it. My Metamorphosis Monday. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Till next time,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Albondigas Soup

Wow, it's Foodie Friday again! Where did the week go? Well, friends, I've been really busy this week with a Kindergarten graduation, a 5th grade promotion, and preparing for a high school graduation in a few days. Whew! But I can't stay away from my blog for too long, so here I am again with a simple, healthy, and delicious recipe to share with you. This time we're heading south of the border for Albondigas Soup, a hearty Mexican meatball soup. Please be sure to visit Designs by Gollum for more yummy entries.

Here's my beloved pot again.

Let's take a peek inside. Can you see some of the ingredients in all this steam?

Let me make it easier for you.

And here's the finished product garnished with a little sprig of cilantro.

It has a "been simmering on the stove all day" taste, but actually takes only a few minutes from start to finish. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser. I hope you give it a try!

Albondigas Soup

1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
1 T seasoning salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t pepper
1/4 C uncooked rice

10 - 12 cups of water
1 can diced tomatoes or 3 diced fresh tomatoes
2 bay leaves
beef boullion cubes or Knorr's beef base
1/2 onion diced
4 carrots sliced
4 celery stalks with leaves, sliced
4 potatoes cubed
2 zucchini or mexican squash sliced

Combine first 6 ingredients and form into meatballs.

Add water into large pot along with tomatoes, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, onion, carrots, and celery. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add meatballs one by one, then add potatoes. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Adjust seasoning by adding more bouillon cubes or beef base. Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm flour or corn tortillas.

Serves 6

Till next time,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dim Sum Anyone?

Happy Foodie Friday! Thanks for coming by the Lace and Ivy Cottage and please visit our gracious host at Designs by Gollum for more delicious posts.

I confess that I don't have a homemade dish or a recipe to share with you today, but do I want to take you along for a foodie adventure!

Every time our eldest son is home from college, we celebrate as a family by going out for Dim Sum. In case you're not familiar, Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese cuisine which serves small portions of steamed or fried food along with pots of hot Jasmine tea.

This restaurant specializes in seafood, and guess what you're greeted with at the front door? These are eels, and no, I didn't have any, but I have had them at a Japanese restaurant.

This aquarium held live shrimp. You can't get much fresher than that!

And these aquariums had Mr. Crab. Sorry, my kids are Sponge Bob fans.

The dining room is packed with people. Can't you just hear the dishes clinking, the chopsticks clicking, the diners engaging in loud conversation? Lots of energy and perfect for a large family like ours. No one hardly notices us!

Servers roam around with carts filled with a variety of foods in small stainless steel containers. You just tell him how many you want, he places it on your table, and stamps your bill.

This server had a cart of fried shrimp dumplings.

You know I'm a lover of tea, whether it be a Victorian tea with scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd or a Chinese tea with dim sum, it's all divine!

Here's a close up of some fried shrimp balls.

These are also shrimp balls, but these are steamed.

Now, I don't know what this is called. It is a pork dumpling wrapped in seaweed, and fried like tempura. Trust me, it's delicious.

Jasmine tea cleanses the palate between bites of these tasty morsels.

These are steamed dumplings called siumai, my kids' favorite. I don't know how many of these they ate!

This is a flat rice noodle filled with shrimp and served with sweet soy sauce.

This is another type of noodle, but pan fried right on the serving cart, topped with sesame seeds and served with a sweet oyster sauce.
This is a combination pan fried noodle. The steam fogged up my camera lens!

A simple dish of steamed Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce.

I hope you enjoyed our Dim Sum adventure. Remember, food is a great way to experience different cultures. You can travel the world right at your own dining table!

Till next time,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Tiny Treasure

Hey everyone, it's Thrifty Thursday again where all in blogland are welcome to showcase their fabulous finds! Please visit the fun and fabulous Leigh @ Tales From Bloggeritaville for more fun posts.

Now those of you who "know" me, know how much I love the thrill of the hunt, whether it be from a yard sale, thrift shop, or flea market, these fab finds all have a history and a story to tell. Most of the time, I have my eyes peeled for a piece of furniture, linens, or china, but this time I ventured off from the typical routine of going up and down the aisles at Granny's Attic ( a favorite antique mall) and paid closer attention to the smaller, locked cases containing jewelry and other small knick knacks.

Well, I'm not really a jewelry type of gal, unless it's vintage or a family heirloom, but something unique caught my eye.

It's pretty heavy for it's size and the shape of it intrigued me.

Upon further inspection, I gently pulled at the top, and this little glass cylinder appeared.

It's a little perfume bottle attached to a delicate chain. Isn't that just the cutest?

I just had to have it. And at just $6 - Sold!

Hope you enjoyed my little trinket. Thanks for stopping by and please say hello. I love hearing from you!

Till next time,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

California Coastline

Come with me on a scenic tour of California's Central Coast as we participate in Wordless Wednesday hosted by Dixie @ French Lique Texas and Outdoor Wednesday with Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer. Make sure to pay these lovely ladies a visit to see more participants.

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