Tag Archive for World Market

A Perfect Day for a Provençal Picnic

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers for Picnic Week!

The Novel Bakers been busy packing picnic baskets, baking, and cooking up recipes for a couple of months now in anticipation of picnic week, from a host of books full of inspiration, delicious menus and theme picnics!

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I had some inspiration for a Provençal Picnic from

A Perfect Day for a Picnic by Tori Finch.

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“Chic country girl and gourmet Tori Finch understands the joy of a carefree picnic. There’s nothing like eating outdoors to capture your sense of adventure, and add flair to the food—whether you are entertaining a relaxed crowd of friends and family or preparing a romantic feast for two. Whatever the occasion, A Perfect Day for a Picnic is your guide to enjoying the outdoors life.”

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“Many times on a a dreary day, I find myself gazing out of the window and dreaming of Provence. The fields of lavender, the azure sea. . .”

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“However, you don’t need to be in the South of France to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean. Summer’s harvest of produce and a warm sunny day are just what’s needed for a Provencal Picnic. Pack a checkered ground cloth, a baguette or two and some cheese. . .”

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Among the recipes included for a Provençal Picnic was one for Salade Niçoise, a picnic friendly & hearty salad. Keep the eggs, tuna and dressing chilled and assemble when ready to manger!

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I’ve been hoarding these galvanized déjeuner pails I found for $3.99 at Tuesday Morning or Mardi Matin a year ago. Fun for a packing or toting French picnic lunch!

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Ingredients

Haricots verts, green beans, trimmed and cooked until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water. I used a microwavable bag of cleaned and trimmed beans from the produce section.

Solid white tuna packed in oil, drained and broken into chunks

Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated

Small new potatoes, boiled until tender

 Hard-cooked eggs, halved or quartered

Plum tomatoes, halved (roasted if desired, I used grape tomatoes)

 Nicoise or Kalamata olives

Anchovies if desired, I omitted

Simple French Vinaigrette

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Simple French Vinaigrette

 pinch of sea salt

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

To make the dressing add a generous pinch of sea salt to the vinegar and mix to dissolve. Add the olive oil, Dijon mustard and garlic if using, and mix well before sprinkling on this salad.DSC_3331-001

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I filled my picnic basket with some French treats from World Market or Marché Mondial. . .

French Soda

 French Soda and a Rosé. . .

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Along with Filet Bleu Galet de Quimper Biscuits, a buttery shortbread cookie

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Un Mondo Herbes de Provence Salami

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Pack some Brie and some confiture frambroise.

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Fresh figs

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And some cocktail cornichons

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Provençal Picnic Details:

Déjeuner Pails / Tuesday Morning, a year ago

Quilt/ Kohl’s

Napkin Rings & Confiture Jar/ Williams-Sonoma, several years ago

Napkins & Assorted Picnic Treats / World Market

Galvanized Bottle/Picnic Tote, Pottery Barn

White Dishes & Flatware / Mikasa French Countryside

Bistro Glasses/ Pottery Barn, several years ago

Blue & White Transferware / Antique Mall

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“Lastly, when you get to the destination and set up the feast, don’t forget to relax, take your shoes off, enjoy the moment and pour yourself a large glass–you deserve it.”

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“This book is a tribute to the picnic in all forms, be it a family day at the beach, a trip out in the car to your favorite wild spot with a flask of tea and a hunk of cake, or a cheerful children’s party. A picnic is one of life’s simple pleasures- they are about relaxing in the great outdoors. . .Mostly, they are a way of appreciating the good things in life. Live. Love. Picnic.”

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Bon Appétit!

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Bring your appetite and your virtual picnic basket and visit Jain and Michael Lee for Picnic Week, along with special guest bakers, Linda and Pam!

Novel Bakers Picnic Week

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Linda, More Fun Less Laundry

Pam, Sidewalk Shoes

A Perfect Day for a Provençal Picnic

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The Year of the Horse & Long Life Noodle Soup

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In celebration of Chinese New Year and The Year of the Horse  which officially began January 31st, I thought you might enjoy a repeat stroll through a Chinese garden, enjoying a little spring green instead of a blanket of snow :)

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In addition to a garden stroll, there is a recipe included for Long Life Noodle Soup, which is light, healthy, easy and considered “lucky” if you eat the noodles long and don’t cut them.

Long Life Noodle Soup

Chinese New Year celebrations last 15 days, so there’s

 still time eat your “lucky” noodles for a long life.

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The photos were taken during our visit

to Vancouver, BC two years ago.

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 We walked through Chinatown on the way to Vancouver’s Chinese Garden, to see the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. We also visited the breathtaking Butchart Gardens, on our trip. If you have a chance to visit, I highly recommend a stop at both gardens.

Click on the mosaics to enlarge any photo.

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The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, was the first of its kind outside of China, built in 1985-1986, using the time-honored principles and techniques of the original Ming dynasty garden.

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Fifty-two master craftsmen from Suzhou China, working with Canadian counterparts, completed this landscape masterpiece within a year. The intricate halls and walkways are constructed with precise joinery and without the use of nails, screws or glue.

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You can read more about the design

elements of the Garden here.

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In the meantime, journey back in time to 15th Century China

and enjoy this “window to another world”. . .

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“Lucky” foods are served during the 15 day Chinese New Year celebration.

For longevity eat your noodles long, never cut~ since long noodles represent a long life. Any type of noodle—thin chow mein noodles to broad rice noodles to the thicker Shanghai wheat noodles—is a must at Chinese New Year’s.

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I pulled out my Mikasa Daylight to serve the soup. The shape of the bowl makes it difficult to see the broth, but it is about the same shade & color as the tea :)

Long Life Noodle Soup, serves 4

This soup is light, healthy, and comes together quickly! Use rice stick noodles for a gluten-free choice. I would add an extra teaspoon of Sriracha for a little more heat next time.

Ingredients

3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast

 1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium)

1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas

2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)

2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger

6 cups water

3 ounces uncooked wide rice sticks (rice-flour noodles, I found mine at World Market, but not the wide variety)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

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PREPARATION

1. Bring first 9 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep warm.

2. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice noodles; cook 3 minutes. Drain. Place about 1/4 cup rice noodles in each of 4 bowls.

3. Discard ginger. Add juice to broth mixture; stir. Ladle 1 1/3 cups broth mixture over each serving; top with 1 tablespoon each mint, cilantro, and green onions.

You can find a printable recipe from Cooking Light, here.

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Gong Xi Fa Ca!

Wishing you prosperity in the coming year!

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Gingerbread, Cranberry & Lemon Curd Trifle

Gingerbread Cranberry & Lemon Curd Trifle

I love assembling a trifle for dessert! The look impressive but are easy to assemble and vary, altering your ingredients with cake, fruit, custard or pudding, and whipped cream.

Gingerbread, Cranberry, and Lemon Curd Trifle is delicious and easy to assemble for Christmas with a few short cuts, preparing your components or layers in advance.

 

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I had seen a recipe in the December issue of Cooking with Paula Deen for a Lemon-Gingerbread Trifle with Cranberries. The combination of flavors sounded wonderful and perfect for the holidays. I look for short cuts wherever I can find them this time of year and I used a box mix for the Gingerbread from Betty Crocker.

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You can bake your gingerbread the day before assembling your trifle. It cooks in about 30 minutes and you can mix your cake in the pan you bake for easier clean up. I made two pans with two boxes of cake mix for this trifle and had just a little left over and some squares to enjoy with coffee or tea.

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I found these holiday gingersnaps from Nyakers at World Market a couple of weeks ago. I got a kick out of the addition of the pig in box. I was familiar with the Peppermint Pig, as a symbol of good health, happiness and prosperity.

Nyakers are Swedish but I couldn’t find any Scandinavian Christmas traditions or significance of the pig in my google searches. If you know, please chime in :)

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Paula’s trifle recipe used raw cranberries, while pretty, they are not something I want to bite into. For a sweet and tart layer, I mixed a jar of cranberry preserves with a 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and cool completely and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

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My go-to layer in trifle or in a layered cake is lemon curd mixed with cream cheese, in a ratio of one to one (jar to 8 ounce block). You could mix lemon curd with whipped cream if you prefer or use by itself to layer with the gingerbread. Top your trifle with whipped cream and add some gingersnap cookies.

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Adjust your layers however you like, with the addition of more whipped cream, cranberry and/or pudding. The lemon flavor is wonderful with gingerbread along with a little tart cranberry flavor!

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Wishing you a Delicious & Merry Christmas

and good health, happiness and prosperity

in the coming year!

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Seasonal Sundays

Pumpkin Pie Spice Nuts

Pumpkin Pie Spice Nuts

Pumpkin Pie Spice Nuts are a flavorful, sweet treat for your Thanksgiving table or make an easy and delicious hostess gift!

They come together quickly, you can make several batches in 30 minutes and your kitchen will smell wonderful too.

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I adapted a recipe from Food Network substituting pumpkin pie spice for a mixture of spices for sweet and fragrant glazed nuts.

Pumpkin spiced nuts

Pumpkin Pie Spice Nuts

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

*2 cups mixed nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds

*(Pecans were the most flavorful since the glaze gets in all the nooks & crannies!)

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Directions

Mix pumpkin pie spice and salt, set aside.

Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

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Add the butter, sugar, water and spice/salt mix to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until a glaze forms, about 1 minute. Return the nuts to the skillet and toss to combine with the glaze. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.

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Remove from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating with a fork.

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Let rest until nuts are cooled and the sugar has *hardened, about 10 minutes.

Store in an airtight container.

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*Some of the reviews for the original recipe mentioned the nuts remained tacky with the glaze not hardening after they cooled. To remedy that I ran the baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes, turned the oven off and let them sit for an additional 5 minutes. The glaze hardened up so the nuts were no longer wet & sticky.

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If you’re making several batches of these nuts, it’s best not to overcrowd your pan so the glaze has room to coat your nuts. You can knock out several batches in just 30 minutes.

Vintage Postcard Harvest Containers are from World Market last year, this year’s versions can be found, here.

Gravy ladle/Nut Spoon, WM Rogers & Son AA Fair Oak

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Feel free to use any combination of

spices you like in this recipe!

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

and you can find the original spicy version

courtesy Emeril Lagasse here.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Nuts.Wishing you a Delicious Thanksgiving!

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Mystery Ingredient & Halloween Fun: Creepy Sprinkles Lab

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I’m joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday

and the return of The Mystery Ingredient Club!

 Our Mystery Ingredient this month~

Wilton Creepy Sprinkles Lab,

timely for planning a Happy Haunting!

Thank you Michael Lee!

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The Creepy Sprinkles include Bones, Black & Green Jimmies,

Orange Sugar, and

Black, Green & Orange Jimmies.

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I couldn’t resist adding a few Candy Eyeballs

from Wilton along with the sprinkles

(I found mine at Target).

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I had a surplus of apples from Apple Picking~

2 1/2 inch Gala apples~

a fun size to serve in a cupcake liner

 and to make chocolate-dipped & sprinkled

Halloween Treats!

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I used both chocolate and vanilla flavored bark coating from the baking aisle in the grocery store. Follow the directions on the back of the package for melting.

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I inserted a ‘food-safe’ twig in the apple prior to dipping but you could use a craft stick or dowel.

Since I didn’t have access to an apple tree, after much googling, I determined that our River Birch trees are considered ‘food-safe’.

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There is a bit of a trick to making these treats~

you need to let the chocolate set up a bit,

before using the sprinkles, but it once the coating begins

to harden, it happens quickly.

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Dip your apples into the chocolate coating and let the excess chocolate drip off your apple and back into your cauldron. . .

Set your dipped apples onto wax paper and spoon the sprinkles onto the apples while the chocolate is setting up (rolling the apples in the sprinkles rather than sprinkling them on makes a scary mess ).

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I mixed part of vanilla with the chocolate together in a separate bowl to swirl together and coat a few of the apples.

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The candy bone sprinkles took more time, placing them right before the chocolate was set, otherwise they slide down the chocolate coating in an avalanche for a bone chilling effect. . .

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Bone setting is a project requiring patience

or for a die-hard Halloween enthusiast :)

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I had the orange sugar left

 from my Creepy Lab~

lethal rimmer with an arsenic label

for a sinister cocktail. . .

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And I found spooky Halloween stickers from World Market

 for $3.99. . .

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Each tube from the Creepy Lab just happens

 to hold 1 1/2 ounces of potion. . .

 

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Pick your Poison

and shake up a Skeletini~

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Skeletini Ingredients:

~1 1/2 ounces of Poison #9, aka vodka, citrus-infused or Creepy Crystal Head Vodka 

 ~ 1/2 ounce Witches’ Brew, aka Grand Marnier

~ 1 1/2 ounces of Vampire Blood, aka Pomegranate juice

~1 ounce freshly squeezed poisoned lime juice

~ Black Cat Arsenic, aka orange sugar for rimming

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Adjust the ratio of your potions if you’d

like a more lethal cocktail :)

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Add only add top quality

spider bites if you dare. . .

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 Skeleton Hand Servers, Target, several years ago. Similar ones from World Market, here.

 Sinister hand votive holders, Target several years ago.

Cocktail Shaker Pottery Barn, several years ago.

Skeleton Martini Glass, Pottery Barn

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Thank you Michael Lee for providing the Halloween fun

and Creepy Sprinkles as the Mystery Ingredient!

Pick Your Poison Skeletini

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Seasonal Sundays

Seaside Dining

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I’m lakeside enjoying a little seaside dining

with Pfaltzgraff Seaside Dinnerware.

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Pfaltzgraff’s Seaside brings the color palette

of the sun, sand, and sea to the table.

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 Shells, starfish, and a rope detail,

dot the coastal borders of the plates

in shades of blue and green with

a touch of sunny yellow.

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I combed the aisles of World Market recently

and found square water hyacinth chargers

with a fringed shell border.

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 A discovery as fun as spying a starfish

in the depths of the

 16 ounce soup/cereal bowl.

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A sculpted salt and pepper shaker set,

 sand dollar and starfish, washed up on a bed

of crushed shells from Michaels.

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And seeded glass goblets give

the illusion of watery bubbles~

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Twisted rope flatware

adds a nautical detail~

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My shell seeking uncovered ceramic shell napkin rings

 from Pottery Barn and Rosalie paisley napkins.

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A Seaside lighthouse sugar & creamer set

stacks to make a tower~

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And can also provide a decorative way to serve

condiments, cheese, or salad dressing.

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Seaside Dining Details:

* Seaside Dinnerware/ Pfaltzgraff

 Water Hyacinth Chargers & Flatware/ World Market

Napkin Rings & napkins/ Pottery Barn

Goblets/ HomeGoods

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 Click  here:

www.pfaltzgraff.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGPFSS201

to enjoy some Seaside dining and receive

20% Off 1 Seaside Item, June 17th – July 1st!

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

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At the Table~ Belmont Blue Flowers

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I’m at the table

with Blue Flowers. . .

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 Hydrangeas,

Blooming Napkin Rings,

and

Mikasa Gourmet Basics

Belmont Round Blue Flowers Dinnerware.

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Square and round salad plates offer

two different blooming varieties in

this handcrafted collection of stoneware.

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Tole flower napkin rings act as a nosegay

presenting red checked napkins.

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A casual centerpiece,

a birdhouse and watering can with hydrangeas,

 provide some additional blue at the table.

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A quilt is multitasking as a tablecloth with a

patchwork of sun washed shades

of red, khaki, and blue.

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The color of the glaze on the blue dinnerware,

reminiscent of soft faded denim, would be fun

paired with a burlap and bandanas

for a western-themed table!

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 To enjoy blue flowers at your table, click here:

www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKBL201

and receive 20% Off 1 item in the

Belmont Collection, June 3rd – June 16th.

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 Belmont Blue Flowers Table Details:

*Belmont Blue Flowers Dinnerware/ Mikasa

Flatware & Tole Napkin Rings/ World Market

Napkins/ Pier 1

Chargers/ Pier 1 & World Market

Goblets/ Mikasa French Countryside

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Belmont Blue table

*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

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Spring at The Butchart Gardens

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I had the good fortune to travel with my husband to Vancouver, British Columbia for a business conference a year ago last May~ our first trip enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and a chance to visit our neighbors to the north in Canada.

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The Butchart Gardens in Victoria were on the “not-to-be-missed” list. If you have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it~ photos don’t begin to do it justice!

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I came home with some seeds, tea, and serious garden envy with hopes to return for a future visit to experience the gardens in all their glory in the summer or fall!

This spring I’m enjoying some tea, getting my flower fix from some favorite books with my tea tin as a vase, sprouting azaleas.

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I’m reminiscing and revisiting the spring beauty of The Butchart Gardens.

If you’d like to tip toe through the tulips and see more photos  along with more than 300,000 spring bulbs, you can visit here.

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I found pastel chocolate flower cups at World Market, ($6.99 for 6 ) ready to bloom with your favorite filling for quick and easy dessert or a tea time treat!

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 I filled my flower cups with a mixture of lemon curd & light cream cheese, added strawberries, and topped them with an edible (pesticide and chemical free) viola.

You could also fill the chocolate cups with flavored whipped cream and fruit or fill with low-cal mousse like Kitty did with hers from Kitty’s Kozy Kitchen.

Victoria Buchart Gardens

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Plates/ 222 Fifth Ananda, HomeGoods

Teapot & Cups/ Gracie China, HomeGoods

Napkins & Cake plate/HomeGoods

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Hope you’re a enjoying a beautiful spring!

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Butchart Garden Tea

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A Chinese Garden & Long Life Noodle Soup

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We had the Good Fortune 造化

to visit Vancouver, BC last year!

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In addition to visiting the breathtaking Butchart Gardens, we walked through Chinatown on the way to Vancouver’s Chinese Garden~ to see the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

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In tandem with Chinese New Year and The Year of the Snake which officially began on February 10th, I thought you might enjoy a virtual stroll :) through the Chinese garden.

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Click on the mosaics to enlarge any photo.

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The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, was the first of its kind outside of China, built in 1985-1986, using the time-honored principles and techniques of the original Ming dynasty garden.

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Fifty-two master craftsmen from Suzhou China, working with Canadian counterparts, completed this landscape masterpiece within a year. The intricate halls and walkways are constructed with precise joinery and without the use of nails, screws or glue.

Vancouver Chinatown & Garden4

You can read more about the design

elements of the Garden here.

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In the meantime, journey back in time to 15th Century China

and enjoy this “window to another world”. . .

Vancouver Chinatown & Garden-001

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The photo below is courtesy of

 Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society of Vancouver.

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, a 40 feet long snake sculpture made of green willow and other organic materials, will reside in the Garden next to the Jade Water Pavilion through the end of April. The snake will grow, changing appearance as the green willow sprouts in the spring.

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“Lucky” foods are served during the 15 day Chinese New Year celebration.

For longevity eat your noodles long, never cut~ since long noodles represent a long life. Any type of noodle—thin chow mein noodles to broad rice noodles to the thicker Shanghai wheat noodles—is a must at Chinese New Year’s.

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I pulled out my Mikasa Daylight to serve the soup. The shape of the bowl makes it difficult to see the broth, but it is about the same shade & color as the tea :)

Long Life Noodle Soup, serves 4

This soup is light, healthy, and comes together quickly! Use rice stick noodles for a gluten-free choice. I would add an extra teaspoon of Sriracha for a little more heat next time.

Ingredients

3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast

 1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium)

1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas

2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)

2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger

6 cups water

3 ounces uncooked wide rice sticks (rice-flour noodles, I found mine at World Market, but not the wide variety)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

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PREPARATION

1. Bring first 9 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep warm.

2. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice noodles; cook 3 minutes. Drain. Place about 1/4 cup rice noodles in each of 4 bowls.

3. Discard ginger. Add juice to broth mixture; stir. Ladle 1 1/3 cups broth mixture over each serving; top with 1 tablespoon each mint, cilantro, and green onions.

You can find a printable recipe from Cooking Light, here.

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Gong Xi Fa Ca!

Wishing you prosperity in the coming year!

Long Life Noodle Soup

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Let’s Dish!~

 On the Menu Monday~

Mosaic Monday~

Wow Us Wednesdays~

Outdoor Wednesday~

Home and Garden Thursday~

 Foodie Friday~

Seasonal Sundays~

The Love Boat

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We had a break in the weather with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 50’s!

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With a week-long forecast for rain, we decided to board The Love Boat for a cruise, bundled up with blankets for an early Valentine’s Day celebration!

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Welcome Aboard~

Love is in the Air

and on the Bottle!

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A life ring is provided for

some fruit and cheese~

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And a basket is filled with a

few provisions for casual dining~

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Before embarking, I made a stop at

World Market for some Valentine treats~

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Chocolove comes wrapped

with a Love Poem inside~

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And I found Cinnamon Heart Snacks 

 to share with my Sweetheart~

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Je T’Aime Brut Rosé ~ I Love You Bubbles for

Valentine’s Day, also from World Market~

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A quick introduction to our crew~

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Our Captain, occupied at the Bridge,

and who prefers not have his photo taken :)

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And our Cabin Stewards in their cruise line

uniforms, enjoying a little fresh air & scenery~

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They tend to sleep on the job, so we apologize

in advance for the state of your cabin :)

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Love Boat Details:

Dishes & Mug~ Lauren Skylar & Skylar Floral/ HomeGoods, used here

Cheese Knife/ Pottery Barn

Sweetheart Snacks, Chocolove Bar, Je T’Aime Brut Rosé/ World Market

 Napkins/ Pier 1

Love Boat Cruise

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Let’s Dish!~

Tutorials Tips and Tidbits~

Wow Us Wednesdays~

Tablescape Thursday~

 Foodie Friday~

Be Inspired Friday~

Seasonal Sundays~

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