Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BIG NEWS!! We are Moving!

Tom got a new job so we are moving!! Yay! It's been pretty good here in Sylva, NC. We have a great little house by the river. I became an official gardener here and we have had some great times. But it is time to move on since our gypsy hearts always want to move on.

But do not despair, Carolyn in Carolina will continue since we are moving to Wilmington, NC. I was a little worried Tom would get a job in Michigan or Kentucky because then what would I do with Carolyn in Carolina. I might have had to let it go. But I don't now.

So the next few weeks, I might not be posting a lot because we are going to busy planning the move. But then I will detail every minute of our move as well. We might be visiting Wilmington soon to see the housing and neighborhoods. So if we go, I will have pictures of our new town!

I am a little sad I will not have a garden this year and I will miss that. We had the best garden ever. I will miss the mountains but I am glad our life is starting a new phase.

Dreaming . . .

It's freezing again today. It was supposed to snow but it didn't, thank goodness. But it got me thinking that I cannot wait for spring or summer. I am over this weather. This is a picture from a trip we took in Jamaica a few years ago. I am dreaming of being on that beach.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mushroom Stroganoff Recipe! #meatlessmonday

In our continuing effort to get healthier, I am doing a lot of meatless dishes recently. I say meatless because there are times when even a recipe that is vegetarian isn't because I use chicken broth. This is one of those. We love Beef Stroganoff so I thought I could make a meatless version using Portobello mushrooms. Portobellos are great because they are thick and "meaty" and, if cooked correctly, they can be a great substitute for meat. I even make Portabello mushroom burgers and we do not miss the meat. This recipe was super delish. 

Ingredients needed: 2 cups of noodles, a pack mushroom, one shallot, 3 cloves of garlic, fresh thyme and rosemary, 1/2 cup white wine and olive oil and a cup of vegetable, chicken or beef broth.  

Start out by mincing the shallot and 3 cloves of garlic and sauteing them until soft. 

Cut the Portabello mushrooms into halves or quarters and add to the garlic and shallot. 

When the mushrooms are nicely caramelized, add the 1/2 cup of wine and reduce. Also add the fresh herbs.

Start the noodles. 

Add the cup of broth. If you want a vegetarian meal, use vegetable broth. I used chicken broth. If you really want a deeper flavor, then use beef broth.  You can use more broth depending on how much sauce you want. 

After the broth is added and warmed, take the pan off the fire and add a cup of sour cream. If you want to make this vegetarian, you can try and find vegetarian sour cream. I like the real stuff.  Mix the sour cream into the mushroom sauce. Add the noodle to the pan and mix well. Viola, it's done. 

This is a super easy dish. I was surprised how yummy it tasted and we did not miss the meat at all!!

Buen Provecho! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Polar Vortex and Winter can suck it!

I am over it. I am over the cold and the snow. I am over the ice. I am over wearing layers of clothes and fuzzy socks. Okay, maybe not the fuzzy socks but I am over all the cold.

This year has been bad in North Carolina. I know it's been bad all over but we have had some wicked cold days and more snow than we have seen in a couple of years. I am officially putting it out to the universe that I want to move somewhere warm. Maybe Florida or maybe Southern California, I don't know. I just want out. With my luck, the next time we move it will be up north. The universe is that kind of a joker. Sigh.

It's been so bad that while I was out the other day, I had my old black peacoat on and a sweater. I walked out of the store and thought, boy it's warm. I figured we finally caught a break and it was 60 degrees or something. I took off my coat and then realized that it was only 40 degrees outside. It's a sad day when I am hot at 40 degrees.

What happened? I used to whine when it was 65 degrees in Miami. I had my winter coat and boots on. I don't even know myself anymore. Who am I?

Luckily, in the last few days, it has been in the high 50's. It's a damn heatwave! I am hoping that means Spring is coming soon! It is supposed to be in the 50's for a few days.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What is wrong with this picture?

When we moved into this house 6 years ago, I had to put up with this. The washer is where the dryer should be and vice-versa. GRRRR We tried to change them out but the brainiacs who did the plumbing didn't think about where the washer should be. So every time I wash, I have to deal with the doors bumping into each other, getting caught and not being able to easily transfer the wet clothes to the dryer. Sigh.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fontina Cheese, Red Onion and Tomato Pizza

This is my favorite go to pizza. This recipe was actually for a potato tart that had these three ingredients. When I was going to make the tart, I did not have the right pastry so I had to adjust and use some Naan bread I had in the freezer. It was really good. SO know I use these three ingredients to make pizza. 

Like I said, I first used flatbread and this recipe I made with pre-made pizza dough. I have also tried it with Pillsbury pizza dough. The best so far was Stonefire flatbread. If I wasn't so lazy, I would make my own pizza dough and I still might, one day. But is a really good flavor combo! 

Get your pizza dough. I usually add a little olive oil. If you use raw dough, pre-bake it. 
If not then it is ready to go. 

This was already pre-cooked so I added olive oil and started layering the ingredients.

Add the Fontina cheese. 

Slice up tomatoes. Make them as thin as you can and put all over the dough.

Slice up red onions and add them to the pizza. 

Bake for about 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. And there you have it. The cheese is delish with the fresh tomatoes and red onions. If you don't like onions, leave them out. You can also add some fresh basil to the top of the pizza as well.