Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ladies who Lunch

The ladies of the Knoxville Symphony League do more than lunch--the 300+ member group raises over $200,00 annually for the Knoxville Symphony. At their annual spring luncheon today at Cherokee Country Club, they presented a check for $165,000 to Maestro Lucas Richman, recognized outgoing board members and welcomed new ones, presented some awards--and, of course, had lunch.

The tables were very pretty, featuring French blue in honor of Francophile Angela Pugh, the outgoing league president. Every table was centered with a blue watering can filled with colorful carnations.

I ate every bite of the strawberry salad.

David Pinckney, one of Knoxville's best chefs, is responsible for the delicious food at the country club. Today's lunch featured chicken a l'orange, wild rice pilaf, and asparagus. The chicken was especially tasty.

I honestly do not know what to call the dessert, but I approve of the slightly salty caramel sauce accompaniment.

The ladies of the Symphony League kindly invite me to all their events. I'm not always able to go, but I made a special effort to be there today. Awards were given to Cherokee Country Club (Business), Harriet Hodge (Board Member), and--the reason I wanted to be there--Cynthia Moxley (Individual). As usual, Cynthia, who received a framed award and a standing ovation, ducked out of a photograph, so I snapped her place card instead.

Rose Moseley, who was appointed to the League's Merit Board today, made all the cute place cards.

Spring luncheon with the generous ladies of the Knoxville Symphony League. That's what we're having.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another 14+ Hour Day in Paradise...

14 + hour days---not unusual around here. And we both (+ Caesar) love it. Well, OK, we love it. Caesar's on board if he wants that special indoor kitty chow--the stuff that adds a hint of grass to the usual flavors.

Bill's at the City County Building most days by no later than 7 am. At that hour, I'll confess, I'm usually still in bed--drinking tea and catching up on the news and FB on the I-pad (Slacker!). And with Caesar snuggled up next to me, it's especially hard to get up (Slacker Cat!).

But at the end of the day, I am so grateful for the warming drawer. Tonight I made shrimp & grits, one of our favorites, after I got home from a meeting. Popped dinner into the warming drawer and didn't have to worry about how long that pesky City Council Pension Workshop lasted. I'm a warming drawer fan: Keeps dinner warm but doesn't overcook it. Even the shrimp doesn't get tough.

Even way past 14+ hours, Bill's still checking messages as soon as he gets home.

And Caesar's still sitting on the "treat step," hoping we'll toss something his way.

A quiet dinner at home--that's what we're finally having. See you at 5 am. Some of us are more excited about that than others...

Mother's Day

My daughter Liz was able to get off work in time for a Mother's Day Girls' Night Out. She picked the location: Barley's in the Old City. Good choice--I'd forgotten how much fun it is and how good the music and pizza are. We had a great time and had great food while enjoying the music of the Bar Stool Romeos. Best of all: She gave me a painting.

 I'm glad she is creating art again. This photo does not do it justice. It's a painting on a piece of salvaged wood. The blue card underneath is my handmade Mother's Day card.

We had fun. No flash but I think you get the picture...

And we've got leftovers to take home for Bill.

A fun mother-daughter evening--celebrating 26 years together. That's what we're having.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Clean Out the Refrigerator Night

I try really hard not to throw out food.

I re-use and re-purpose ingredients and dishes, and I love discovering tips for prolonging the freshness of food. For example--rinsing fresh berries with 1 part vinegar + 10 parts water before storing. It works!

I also survey the refrigerator regularly to see if there's something in danger of going past its prime. Today I found three things that needed to be used: spinach, mushrooms, and broccoli. Just for fun, I did what I sometimes do and used a google search to find recipes. Found a couple of keepers.

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta.

Here's a link to the recipe. I used tagliatelle instead of penne and fresh spinach instead of frozen.

Brilliant Sauteed Broccoli.

The word "brilliant" refers to the technique used in the recipe to keep the broccoli green. Here's a link to the directions.

One thing these recipes have in common? Red pepper flakes. I add a dash of those to almost everything I cook.

Dessert? Leftover Magpies cupcakes from Leslie Wylie and Tommy Bateman's fun wedding reception at the Sunsphere last night.

Not much chance of any of these cupcakes going past prime.

A salvaged dinner. That's what we're having.