Wednesday, November 15, 2017





Exploring: A Sunday afternoon lunch date exploring downtown Sarasota, then a short drive to Lido Beach with the top down on the car. Beautiful fall day in southwest Florida.






Festivals: There are festivals in this area, of some sort, nearly every weekend. This past weekend was the Venice Chalk Festival and everyone told us we shouldn't miss it. We found it really interesting and many of the chalk artwork was very high quality, with artists from as far away as Italy and Germany. The downside for me was the location. It took place at the airport and while there was plenty of space for the artists, the atmosphere was lacking.



Reading: This book was on my Summer Reading List and I just got around to reading it a few weeks ago. It reintroduces an interesting character from The Widow and is the best book I have read in some time. Lots of twists and turns at the end, and I couldn't stop reading.



Golf: Really enjoying the cooler temperatures (no more 90's), especially for golf. I haven't been golfing as much as I like in the past few years, but now that year round golf is possible, I plan to change that.

Happy Wednesday!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Florida Decor - Living Room




My house in Michigan was a mixture of warm colors and dark wood, which fit the style of the house and the wooded lot. I knew when we moved to Florida, I wanted to go lighter, brighter and primarily a neutral, coastal feel, with pops of color. We found a great furniture store (Pamaro Shop in Sarasota) that had exactly what we were looking for. I didn't want tropical, but I wanted it to feel like a Florida house the minute you walked in. There is a seashell pattern on the chairs, but it's subtle. The two paintings are something we have owned for years (since Memphis), but I think they work really well in this room.










Some of my favorites are the tv stand with its weathered finish and tourquoise accents, the starfish base lamps (also subtle) and the brightly colored rug (Wayfair) that picks up all the various shades of blue and green.

It's way out of our comfort zone, but I love how it turned out.

See adjacent kitchen and dining area for a complete picture of the open concept space.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup





It's not really soup weather here in Florida, but I think my body clock knows it's fall and that is what I have been craving, regardless of the temperature outside. This recipe is one I have wanted to try for a long time, since stuffed cabbage (Galumpki) is one of my husband's favorites. However, they are rather labor intensive, so I usually only make them on holidays or for a birthday treat.

As you can see from the photo, this soup is very hearty and contains all the traditional stuffed cabbage ingredients; ground beef, tomatoes, rice and cabbage. I was skeptical that the flavor would be there as well, but it really was. This recipe makes a lot, so the second day left overs were even better. It really is a great alternative to traditional stuffed cabbage and all the work required. Of course, there is nothing like the real thing, but as a shortcut, this will be in my recipe repertoire for good.


Unstuffed Cabbage Soup

1 1/2 cups minute rice, prepared as per package directions

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 lbs ground beef

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)

1 can tomato paste (6 ounce)

3 T Worcestershire sauce

32 ounces chicken broth plus 1 1/2 cups water

1 head cabbage, sliced into strips

Prepare rice and set aside. In a large soup pot, brown ground beef, onions and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage, stir and cook on medium low for about 45 - 50 minutes or until cabbage is soft. Add prepared rice and a bit more water if needed. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Enjoy!


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