Friday, December 12, 2014

The "Eyes" Have It

When Dan fell the other day he was lucky not to break anything---even his eyeglasses.  He did lose one of the nose pads though, and the other day we popped into an optician's nearby to get it replaced.  While they were working on Dan's glasses I noticed how nicely decorated the shop was and proceeded to take a few photos. 

First I noticed a great poster of Willie Nelson, a favorite of mine.

A second poster caught my eye.

The lovely flower in the silver colored urn matched a poster of orchids in the background.

They certainly have cute eye glasses for kids these days.

And look at all the colorful eye glass cases.

There was even a touch of the holidays with one of the arrangements.

In short order, the optician had replaced the nose pads, had touched up the frame in a few places where the coating had scraped off and presented them as good as new.

Dan's specs as good as new. 
While browsing around I saw a beautiful pair of polarized sunglasses that have my name on them.  Are you listening Santa?
Sunglasses by Cocoon.

I never knew when I went into this little shop that I would find something to blog about.  But here it is.

We got splendid service in a lovely setting.  Thanks!!
 Bob Morris Opticians

An early present from Santa.  What could that be?????
 Oh look what I found under the Christmas tree this morning.  An early present from Santa!!!  I wonder what that can be?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lane and Hamilton Antiques and Collectibles

Logo designed by Ava Barlow.
Thanks to my friend Ava Barlow who has been helping me set up an online shop for selling antiques and collectibles, the site is finally launched.  Ava did the photography and designed the site.   Here are some of the items I have listed for sale:
Alladin's lamp by Waymon Cole. (Photo by Ava Barlow.)

And early Westmoore Pottery salt-glazed jug with cobalt decoration. (Photo by Ava Barlow.)

Westmoore Pottery teapot and cups.

Assorted glassware.

Pottery and other items.

Assorted Wolf animal collection. (Photo by Ava Barlow.)

Beautiful vintage quilt made of wool scraps.  Probably kept someone warm long ago.(Photo by Ava Barlow.)
 Why don't you check out my new online store at Lane and Hamilton Antiques and Collectibles.  And perhaps you can share this site with your friends. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Not My Mother's Rolling Pin

Not my Mother's rolling pin.
When I was making a pumpkin pie the other morning using my mother's rolling pin, I thought about all the different kind of rolling pins that are available now.  I've seen quite a few of these myself.  So I thought why not post a blog on "rolling pins".  My husband will think I'm desperate for something to blog about.  But no.

Here's a variety of rolling pins I saw online at The Chopping Board

A melange of rolling pins.

When we were in Italy, we saw pasta being made using a very long and very heavy rolling pin, something like this:
The kind of rolling pin we saw used in making pasta in Italy.

I was in Pier One Import's on Black Friday and saw this pretty rolling pin.  It's pretty, but I don't know how functional it would be.
Pretty black and white polka dot rolling pin at Pier One.
Here's a unique use for an antique rolling pin.  The cup hooks could be used to hang pot holders.

Here's a pretty antique Delft rolling pin.
Delft rolling pin. (Photo from HiloAcres in Etsy)

Here's a unique rolling pin with built-in flour sifter.
Silicon rolling pin with built-in flour sifter. (Photo from the green head.)

And here's my Mama's rolling pin that I used to make the pumpkin pie.

My Mama's vintage rolling pin from the late 1930s or early 1940s. 
This is my favorite of all the rolling pins.  My Mama made many pie crusts using this rolling pin and now I am doing the same.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Breakfast at the Mandolin

The Mandolin decorated for Christmas.
Shelley and Jesse, friends we met on our trip to Italy three years ago, were in town visiting Mary (another member of our tour), and we got together with two others tour members,  Becky (and her husband Frank) and Paula (and her husband Doug) for brunch this morning at the Mandolin Restaurant.  It was sort of a reunion of several NC State Alumni who had taken the Alumni sponsored trip to Italy in the fall of 2011.  After the big victory of State over Carolina yesterday, everyone was celebrating that win.  *
Shelley and Jesse visiting from Virginia.

Dan and I had been to the Mandolin for brunch last year**, and we recommended it as a great place to have breakfast.  It was a lot of fun visiting with this bunch of friends.   And the food was good too.
Clockwise beginning in foreground:  Dan, Paula, Mary, Shelley, Doug, Jesse, Becky (hidden behind Frank) Frank.

While we were waiting on our orders, each of us was served a delicious homemade biscuit with butter and apple butter.  I love these biscuits.

Mandolin's homemade biscuit.  Delish!
For the main dish several enjoyed the Johnston Co. Country Ham Benedict.  The Mandolin is a farm to table restaurant and uses products from local farms as much as possible in their dishes.

Eggs Benedict with country ham from Johnston County.
My choice for brunch was a Virgin Bloody Mary, fresh orange juice and a country breakfast. 
A Virgin Mary garnished with a pickled okra.

Country breakfast.

Doug chose the shrimp and grits served in an iron skillet.  He pronounced this delicious.
Shrimp and grits.

Dan chose the Omelet of the Day that included pheasant, scallions and cauliflower.
Omelet of the day.
Jesse and Dan.
Left to right:  Paula, Mary, Shelley, Jesse, Doug, Becky, Frank

The food was good, but the best part was visiting with these NC State Alumni friends. 

*I am a State fan unless they are playing Carolina.  But I wore a red jacket and was sitting with State fans, Jesse had gotten the ticket and I certainly wasn't going to be cheering for Carolina under those circumstances.  I did my graduate work at NC State so I was happy they won---sort of

**Check out my earlier blog about Brunch at the Mandolin.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pesto Chicken Salad

Pesto Chicken Salad

Pesto adds a little spark to almost any dish.  Recently I was planning to make chicken salad and noticed that I had a jar of pesto in the fridge I thought I would use it in the salad.  Here's the recipe:

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs poached and diced
1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
1/4 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 stalk of celery diced

When I make chicken salad I like to poach the chicken because it always comes out quite tender.
Dice poached chicken thighs.

Toast pine nuts. 

Add toasted pine nuts and pesto.

Add celery.
Add mayo and mix all together lightly. 
Ready to eat. 

I served this on a bed of Romaine lettuce leaves garnished with tangerine slices.  A croissant finished off the dish.