Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Contemplation

                                                                                                                                           Giverny ©Victoria Copeland 2014

         Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.  ~ Claude Monet

                                                                                            Giverny ©Victoria Copeland 2014


Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
~ Claude Monet - See more at:
Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
~ Claude Monet - See more at:
Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
~ Claude Monet - See more at:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday Contemplation on Monday

 "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday Contemplation on Monday

                                                                                                                                                      Artist: Michael Copeland©
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. 
                 ~ Aristotle

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunday Contemplation on Monday

                                                                                                                                     Photo credit: Rick Allred Photography©
"We Were Created to Look at One Another, Weren't We?"  ~ Edgar Degas

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stormy Golden Beet Salad

We had a whopper of a storm Thursday evening. I wish I had a video of Michael and I wrestling a 9' umbrella to the ground in 70mph would win a prize. That said, I think my, "grab-n-go, what's for dinner because we no longer have electricity" beet salad might win a prize as well.

This took some strategy, as we had no idea how long the electricity would be out.  We agreed to open the refrigerator...just once, grab everything we thought we may need and Boom...Stormy Golden Beet Salad!
Of course the combination of vegetables/cheese and nuts can be altered to fit the bounty of your refrigerator and the severity of the storm!

Stormy Beet Salad
Combine in a medium bowl:

4 small golden beets, cooked and thinly sliced (followed my intuition and cooked these that morning!)
1 cup green beans, cooked and cut on the diagonal into 2" pieces
2 cups baby lettuces mix - mine: arugula, spinach and mixed lettuces
1/4 cup feta cheese, large crumble
1/4 cup toasted unsalted raw whole cashews
a few leaves of fresh basil, torn


Combine in a small bowl:

2 tablespoon minced shallots
3 tablespoon sherry vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Whisk in:

1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil (I used TJ's 100% Greek Kalamata EVOO, yum)

Toss the salad makings with the vinaigrette, eat by lantern/candle light! 
Note to self: Buy a larger lantern!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Contemplation

Dessert Sopaipilla - Tomasita's Restaurant, Santa Fe, NM

"Never Eat More Than You Can Lift" - Miss Piggy

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Small Town Advantage

At times I find it hard living in a small town, but not today. Today my dentists sent me flowers...really! (my regular dentist AND my oral surgeon). Take that city life! Oh, and...I am choosing to believe I received flowers because I am a model patient...which I am. Thank you Dr.'s!! While I'm at it, big hugs to all you sweeties who sent loving vibes my way on Monday...gratefully received!!

....and, with a snoot full of dental work, just what have I been eating? I organized a spaghetti frittata last night that was pretty wonderful. It fit the "soft food only"requirement (doctor's orders)...but by no means was it a compromise! Use what you have in the fridge, add eggs, milk and cheese and it will be wonderful, I promise.


Leftover Spaghetti Frittata Surprise or What to Eat After a Grueling Day at the Dentist

2 TBL. olive oil
2 cups leftover cooked spaghetti
1 8 oz. package of fresh mushrooms sliced...any variety
1 small zucchini sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic diced
4 eggs
Splash of milk/half and half/fake milk...whatever you have
Feta cheese, crumbled

Set your broiler on high.
Beat the eggs, milk and some salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside.

In an oven proof pan (I used my 10" iron skillet) heat the olive oil, sauté onion, garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms. If the sauté gets watery, drain some of the moisture out of the pan.
When vegetables are soft, add the spaghetti, stir, then turn down the heat to medium low, add the beaten egg/milk mixture. It should come close to covering the spaghetti. Do not stir...let the egg "set up" on the stove top for a few minutes.
When it looks like the egg is set, crumble the cheese on top and place the pan under the broiler until the top of the egg mixture is set and the cheese is hot and the spaghetti a little crispy.

I was shooting for quick and easy here. Use what you have, substitute vegetables, try a different cheese, add chopped herbs...just make sure you have enough moisture to come close to covering the spaghetti and enough oil so your frittata does not stick to the pan.
Add a side salad and a nice glass of red wine to cover all the food groups! Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Caramelized Orange and Almond Cake

Do you have a weak spot for the ubiquitous pineapple upside-down cake from the '60's? My mother and Betty Crocker rocked that cake!  Nostalgia struck when I found this great recipe for one of my favorite combos, oranges and almonds...going in my favorite direction, upside-down! Pretty enough for a surprise birthday celebration to boot! I tweaked things a bit to cut the prep time lower the sugar content and the results were delicious and gorgeous. If you can find them, try using organic blood oranges interspersed with the navel oranges for an even prettier presentation.

Caramelized Orange and Almond Cake
Tip: get your cake ingredients out now so they will be room temperature when you are ready to put the cake together.

Prep the Pan
Butter a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment then butter the top of the parchment.

Make the Topping
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 small organic navel oranges (yep, cuz you're eating the rind!)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Using a rasp grater, finely grate 2 tsp. zest from 1 orange and reserve for the cake. 
Halve that orange and squeeze to yield 3 Tbs. juice.
Trim the ends off the other orange, quarter it lengthwise, and then slice the quarters cross-
wise 1/8 inch thick; set aside. See below.


Combine the butter and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, (Do not walk away from the pan!!) swirl the pan occasionally, until the mixture is evenly colored a slightly darker shade than peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Do not stir during the process! After the mixture darkens, add the orange juice (Carefully, it will bubble-up and steam). Cook, stirring until combined, about 30 seconds. Immediately pour the caramel (yes, you just made caramel!) into the cake pan. Let it sit until cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes.
Decoratively arrange the orange slices, leaving some space between them for the almonds. Sprinkle the almonds between the orange slices

Make the Cake
Heat  oven to 325°

2/3 cup finely ground almonds (you can usually find this at the natural grocers)
1  1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 3/4 oz. if you are weighing your flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure almond extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature

To a medium bowl combine, finely ground almonds, flour, baking powder and, salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium
speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the reserved orange zest and the almond
extract, and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and the
sour cream (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with the flour, and beating until just
combined after each addition.

With a spatula, gently scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan without disturbing the topping. Smooth the surface. Tap the pan firmly against the counter a couple of times to remove any air  bubbles.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to release it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Remove the pan, and rearrange any fruit or nuts that have stuck to the parchment. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Your bottom is your top! 

We loved this cake for the bittersweet flavor of the caramelized oranges and the crunch of the almonds. Enjoy!

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