Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yes, This Was My Dinner...


I really love this photo. I took it last year when I had a very unconventional dinner. Bellhaven Scottish Ale...and an acorn squash with butter and brown sugar. Just like Mom used to make! Well, maybe not the beer. Although I am proud to say that, after talking it up so much, my mom has taken to drinking beer! I suggested a Blue Moon when she wanted to try beer and she has since bought some for her own fridge! Not only that, but she is interested in trying the other flavors of Blue (Harvest Moon, Honey Moon etc.).

While in CT last weekend I found some Harvest Moon at a store in Mystic but chose to pick up Shipyard's "Pumpkin Head Ale" instead to share. I am familiar with it's tastiness while Harvest Moon is just a pretty name to me right now. My Mom was happy...but wondered why I hadn't gotten her the Harvest Moon too! LOL

Monday, September 21, 2009

One Year of The Lion's Share

Journalling at Newbold

One year ago I started this blog.

I had been home from my 30th birthday trip to Scotland for almost a month and the blog was part of an idea I'd had while staying at Newbold House in Forres.

I was very inspired by the way of life at Newbold and the people there. The tone in the house, the food prepared from the gardens etc.

While in my room writing, I had the idea of putting together some form of a workshop that would deal with healthy eating and good energy...and to write a blog to go along with them. I envisioned this blog sharingt recipes, my thoughts etc. I also thought that I wanted to do an herbal apprenticeship (after spending time with people that had just worked in the garden) and last but not least, I wanted to buy a laptop to become more mobile. Oh yeah, and I wanted to return to Scotland in the following year (and as much as possible).

Even the title came from my trip. While in Edinburgh, I was staying with a friend and she made the simple comment, "You can have the Lion's Share..." and it stuck with me.

It's been quite a year!

In November I will complete the first year of my apprenticeship:) In August I bought my first laptop, and next month at this time I will be leaving for another trip to Scotland!

The workshops have yet to materialize...I don't feel like I have come up with a formula or solid idea for them yet...and I also feel that currently my energy is needed to tend to myself and my dreams. Hopefully, some day it will all come together though...I'm building the tracks ;)

I'm delighted that The Lion's Share has taken shape and represents a lot of the ideas I had while on my trip...sort of mini virtual workshops. I'm also able to indulge all my interests, passions and talents such as photography and music, which is fabulous!

I think I'm doing pretty darn well :)


*And the winner of the anniversary give away is...

Marlene N!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

BLT Salad

I was left with a beautiful stack of bacon after making the oatcakes for Sandy's going away brunch. What to do with it? I could very well have eaten the entire stack alone (I'd had a pretty good head start while making the oatcakes).

When everyone had left, and things were marginally put away, I added the remaining bacon to the leftover salad from brunch (mesclun, fresh basil and grape tomatoes). For dressing I just splashed on some red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

It was the perfect quick dinner after a day of cooking and hanging out with my friends!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye...

Sunday I threw a little going away brunch for my friend, Sandy. She's moving back to Chicago and we're going to miss her so!

I took the opportunity to try out some Scottish recipes: Scotch Eggs, Oatcakes and a Selkirk Bannock.

Note to self: when attempting recipes from the UK, try and find adaptations that use US measurements. It proved quite an adventure because a couple of the increments were hard to convert (1/4 pint???) At least for someone like me who is mathematically challenged.

The oatcakes weren't that big a problem and came out pretty good! I used a recipe in an adorable little book I bought in Inverness, Scotland, last summer.

Oatcake Recipe

There was a Bannock recipe was in the same book called a "Pitcaithly Bannock." I had a hard time finding candied peel I sort of merged it with the Selkirk Bannock . I used golden raisins and dried orange peel mixed with candied ginger...and whole wheat pastry flour.

It didn't fare as well as the oatcakes. It was that pesky metric system again! I'm sure my measurements were off, and with yeast, that won't do. So far I haven't been a great success with the traditional bread recipes. The saving grace was that it was very edible...even though the texture was off (a bit too brick-like and dry). It tasted lovely with the "Famous Edinburgh" tea I served!

Last, but certainly not least:

Scotch Eggs!!!

Hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausage. I defy anyone to find a better invention...of course vegetarians might chime in here :)

We had a lovely time chatting, eating and knitting. There were also blueberry scones and black bean yam cakes and hard cider...deliciousness!

Sandy is going to be so missed here in New York, but I am so happy for her because she's been thinking about moving back to Chicago for so long! She's hilarious and very talented. Check out her blog and website to see just how much.


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Lion's Share 1st Anniversary Give Away!


I can't believe it's almost been a year since I started this blog. In honor of this, I have decided to do a little give away! To enter...send an e-mail to with "Happy Birthday" in the subject line. The prize will be a a small photo print of your choice off of my LionArt Creations website.

I'll choose a person at random and announce the winner on September 21st (a year to the day I began my blogging journey!)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale & Olives

I found that I had a huge back-log of food photos...and when going through them started wanting to cook the dishes again!

Of course since I pretty much do things on the fly...I couldn't remember exactly what I'd done the first time. I will definitely end up changing things or adding and subtracting ingredients depending on what I feel like eating at that moment.

This particular dish is one of my kale favorites!

I bought a pitted Greek olive mix (about 1 pint) and simmered them with half a can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes, about 1 clove minced garlic, 1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms, and crushed red pepper and Celtic sea salt to taste. *

While all that simmered, I cooked the Quinoa (1 cup, dry) according to the package instructions. When it was finished, I mixed it into the sauce as well as 1 small bunch of ripped up kale and let it wilt.

And to finish it off right, I grated some parmigiano reggiano cheese on top.

I have also made this with lentils instead of the mushrooms, and no tomatoes:

*The sauce also contained some dried Stinging Nettle and seaweed.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day "Stay-cation"

For some reason I scheduled a dentist appointment for Saturday morning...which made me get up "early..." But I got a lot done because of it! Ordered new contacts so I'd have some for Scotland (I tend to prefer them to my glasses over there because the rain can blind me when I wear them) and got my spare pair of glasses adjusted.

On the walk home I gathered some violet and plantain leaves at the park for medicine making and took a small detour to the supermarket where I bought coffee "ice cream" sandwiches and Guinness Anniversary Stout (note: possibly the best dessert combo ever).

Sunday morning I was woken up (at a very reasonable 9:00 Am) by a phone call from a post-partying Kimmy. It seems she found herself in my neck of the woods and in need of some Lee Ann time :) Aww.

I threw on some clothes, gave her directions and we went to the diner for some much needed eggs, pancakes, coffee and conversation. I think it was just what the both of us needed XO

Then I got productive! I had let the rest of Saturday be devoted to laying around the house (though I did do some cooking...I'll post that recipe in a separate blog)

I re-routed my broadband cable cord into the living room and now my work station is no longer confined to my old office's bliss being able to sit in my tartan-clad chair or in front of a window to write and do computer stuff. Once settled in I started working on a new site for my photography (stay tuned for more info on that!)

I fit in a bunch of relaxing, semi-naps, a couple quick Irish folk songs on Myrtle, watching Sarah, Plain & Tall, True Blood...and numerous Biography channel shows (I now know a lot about Alan Alda, Bea Arthur, Betty White and Florence Henderson).

To up the cozy factor I made some old school (boxed, organic) mac and which I added some garlic, and Cajun spices...and a dash of parmigiano-reggiano Cheese.

...and to finish off the weekend (no, not another Guinness and coffee ice cream sandwich...although the night is young) I made 3 different plant-based salves! Comfrey, Mugwort and Dandelion Blossom.

It was a very nice break.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tuna and Avocado Salad

Summer is winding down...and this salad is so yummy and easy I wanted to share it!

Tuna, Tomato and Avocado with mixed greens.

Dressing: Lemon Juice, Olive Oil salt and Pepper.

I am so in love with avocados and picking the right time to cut into one has become a bit of a game. The prize being the gorgeous green and yellow slices pictured above.

My gramma used to make sandwiches with just avocado and salt.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Love for The Music...

Meet my beautiful violin, Myrtle.

I've been honored to share my space with her since I was about 12 years old. She's French, just like me...and at this point, pushing 100 years old. A true beauty to behold.

I began my stringed journey when I was 8 or 9. My family is very musical and it wasn't a question of "if" you'd play an instrument, it was "which one you would choose." Sports were never on the TV when I was growing up.

My Dad and Brother played the Saxophone (my Brother is now a music teacher) and my Sister played the flute. At a young age I took a few piano lessons and my Dad showed me how to play a few notes on the Sax but they didn't capture my heart. For years I thought I'd be like my Sis and play the flute...and then Mrs. Brown (our School's Orchestra teacher) brought a violin into my class. I was intrigued.

Being the stubborn Leo that I am...I chose the violin. It was partially because no one else in the family played it, so they couldn't tell me what to do, and also because it's SO pretty. Looking back I guess it sort of chose me. The warmth of the wood...the resonance of the strings...the way you have to hold it to you like a love.

I don't play much these days, though I keep Myrtle close. While writing this I took her out, tuned her up and practiced a bit. There's something about playing that feeds the heart and soul. I feel very lucky to have experienced playing in big orchestras and small chamber groups. I can't even explain the feeling. All that power and being surrounded by the music. The sounds coming off the strings and right into my heart, infusing me with wonder...nourishing me in ways I didn't even realize at the time.

Music is an amazing thing in that way. My Dad played in bands most of his life and even when very sick, music was one of the things that kept him strong. It really does have a mystical power that transcends reality. Whether you're producing or absorbing it. I'm in a much better mood when I put on music and sing along while getting ready to go out. It makes me feel more balanced, creatively and spiritually.