Friday, April 29, 2011


This is one of my most prized possessions.

A metal recipe card holder I inherited from my Nana, filled with recipes from her family and friends.

While I've not made all of these dishes, the goal of "Friday's Recipe Journal" is to record the favorite recipes my family will actually eat. There are a few that will never grace my table again, but most have been successful with a few tweaks to bring them into the twenty-first century. Although, to be honest, there is no substitute for real, salted butter.

Chicken with Artichoke Hearts
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
6 chicken breasts
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 1/4 cups white wine
1 cup chicken broth
3 oz. cream cheese
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Brown chicken breasts in melted butter. Remove chicken form pan and put into a baking dish with a lid. Add onion and garlic to butter in pan. Saute until tender. Add flour and salt and whisk until blended. Add white wine and chicken broth, whisking until bubbly over medium heat. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Put artichoke heart quarters on top of chicken and pour cheese sauce over both. Top with almonds. Bake at 350ยบ for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned. Serve over white rice.

This recipe (unbaked) can be assembled a day ahead and/or frozen for a month.

My ultimate goal is to try-out and record every usable recipe from my grandmother's collection and compile them for my children, as well as the women (and a few of the men) in my extended family.


Thursday, April 28, 2011


April 28, 1962

Today would have been my parents' forty-ninth wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, my father passed away in 2004, but he wore that same smile until the very end. We miss you, Dad!


P.S. For those of you interested in vintage wedding gowns, this dress was made by the New York City designer Murray Hamburger.


. . . Veins of violet hue;
Earth wants no beauty that may scorn
    A likening to frail flowers;
Yea, to the stars, if they were born
    For seasons and for hours.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Oxalis Triangularis in the morning.

Azaleas after the rain.

Irises at attention.

First flowers in the garden.

Last of the Easter centerpieces.

Sixth day of the Octave of Easter.

What is a "Study in . . ."? 
A visual record defined by a single element, such as color, texture, or type. An exercise left over from design school, it's a habit I've been trying to teach my children, to encourage them to pay attention to their present and not worry about their past or future (unlike their worry-wart mother who's better at lecturing than applying.) As of today, Thursdays are my designated "Study in. . . ." days. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Some days are more difficult than others. 
When harsh words come easier than those of love.

When darkness threatens, rain falls, and things seem broken beyond repair. 

Where emptiness surrounds and silence reigns until the pain of it hurts my ears.

 That's when I hear the children's laughter,

and with breath held close, I change my point of view. 
Instead of focusing on the empty, on what's missing, I look ahead, 

beyond what's immediate, 

 up instead of down. 

Because grace always falls from above.

May your Easter week be filled with light, laughter, and love.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


When I started this blog, I honestly thought I'd be posting once a week. Not once every nine months! So to make up for my lack of attention, and to catch up, I'm posting a Visual Journal of the last five months.

Why five months? Because five months ago my waiting period ended. Decisions were made, changes put into place, and sleep reappeared as stealthily as it had left.

And what, you might ask, is a Visual Journal? It is a diary of many photographs and cut-out pictures from magazines, few words, inherent in meaning and open to interpretation for both the past and future. I hope you enjoy!


December 2010: Light at the end of the long, dark tunnel

January 2011: Winter Garden

February 2011: Stormy Skies

March 2011: Winter Blahs

April 2011: Spring Renewal at Oatlands Plantation, Leesburg, VA

I can't wait to see what May brings, hopefully warmer weather, no rain, and lots of of sunny days.