Saturday, April 29, 2017

British Car Show

Last weekend we attended a British car show held at a vineyard. There were many vintage and antique British automobiles, as well as new ones. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them all because after a short time there the skies turned dark, then the rain came and all the car owners left. Can't blame them. 

My husband and I love antique cars. We wish we could own one, but since we don't have a garage, it's not practical unless we stored it somewhere. Maybe one day ...

We struck up a conversation with this couple (we were drawn to their beagle). They own a pair of vintage Austin Coopers in the same shade of green. The gentleman has owned one of the two cars since high school.

We hadn't been to this vineyard before. It's a lovely place, and their wine is pretty good too. When the thunder, lightning and rain started, we headed indoors for a wine tasting -- and took home a few bottles. By the way, you may have heard how much rain the Southeast has gotten in the past week. We recorded more than 8 inches of rain in less than a week in our back yard rain gauge.

What fun things are you enjoying this spring? Tell me! I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring Planter

Here's my front porch planter that I planted on Easter Sunday. Starting at the front and going clockwise, the plants are: Super Elfin White XP impatiens, Bellinto fuchsia, 'Fishnet Stockings' coleus and asparagus fern. In the center is 'Gay's Delight' coleus.

Below is a close-up of the fuchsia with its dramatic red and white flowers, which I am hoping will attract hummingbirds to the feeder above.

Check out my previous years' planters here:  2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011

A larger, 'Dipt in Wine' coleus caught my eye at the garden shop. I planted it in this orange pot and included a couple of extra white impatiens with it.

We bought a new hummingbird feeder for the back of the house, and a suction cup hanger to put on the guest bedroom window. I hope we get some hummingbirds to visit it this summer so we can see them up close. Just inside this window is a twin bed that the dogs like to sleep on during the day. Henry enjoys looking out the window into the back yard. If hummers do come to visit the feeder, I can only imagine what Henry will think of the little birds hovering just on the other side of the window.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spinach-Mushroom Quiche

Happy Easter! What a joyful day it is. My husband and I attended Easter Vigil Mass last night. During the nearly three-hour service, 20 men and women were confirmed into the Catholic church. Two women were also baptized, which was a lovely thing to witness. My husband was confirmed into the Catholic church three years ago. Last night was the first Easter vigil service we've attended since then. A previous neighbor of ours -- a young woman in her 20s -- was confirmed last night. It was so nice to witness this significant moment in her life.

Today, Paul and I are celebrating Easter quietly at home. I made a quiche this morning, which I'm sharing the recipe for below. I used another recipe as the basis for it, but improvised. With the quiche we had a simple green salad, and enjoyed brunch on the front porch, savoring today's gorgeous weather: upper 60s and sunny with a slight breeze -- perfection!

This afternoon, I am going to work on my front porch planter. I bought the shade-tolerant plants yesterday and had fun choosing this year's mix. I'll post some photos soon. Later, I'll do a bit of reading, then I plan to make a new type of frozen pop. If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe, which I came across as I was going through previous issues of Living.

Here is my recipe for spinach-mushroom quiche. Paul said it's the best quiche I've made so far, which was such a nice compliment! I must say it was pretty awesome.

Spinach-Mushroom Quiche

1 frozen pie crust (I use a gluten-free crust from Whole Foods)
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thaw the spinach. I use this quick-thaw method: In a colander, run cold water over spinach until thawed. Press spinach firmly against sides of colander to remove as much excess water as possible. Set aside.

2) In a skillet, heat vegetable oil (I use avocado oil). Saute the onions until softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until the liquid begins to evaporate. Set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

4) Set the pie crust on a baking sheet. Distribute the spinach and parsley evenly across the bottom of the crust. Top with the cooked onions and mushrooms, spreading evenly over the spinach. Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese evenly over the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture into the crust. 

5) Bake 50 to 55 minutes until center is just set and top is browned. Remove from oven and let sit 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Or let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. Reheat in 350 degree oven until warm in center, 30 to 45 minutes. 

Bon apetite! Thank you for visiting My Little Bungalow. Have a blessed Easter.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Book Recommendations

One of my goals this year is to read more. I'm happy to say I've been doing well so far. I recently finished America's First Daughter: A Novel by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, as well as A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. 

I loved America's First Daughter, which falls under the genre of historical fiction -- probably my favorite genre. I also enjoyed A Man Called Ove, but I have to admit I liked the movie much more. It followed the book very closely, and the acting was great. My husband enjoyed the movie, too.

Since finishing those books, I've read A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison, which is about two teenage sisters in India who lose their family and their home to a tsunami, only to be kidnapped and sold into slavery. It's a very compelling story, and an easy read. The subject matter is difficult and disturbing, though. It's horrifying to realize how prolific human trafficking is around the world. Absolutely awful. At the end of the novel, Addison gives the names of some groups that work to help girls and young women who've been victims of the slave trade, with the hope that readers will support these groups with donations.

I'm now reading The Only Street in Paris: Life on the rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino. It's a work of non-fiction, and being a lover of Paris, I'm enjoying it. I learned about this book from my blogging friend, Libby, of An Eye for Detail.

I'm always interested in what others have enjoyed reading, so please, leave a comment below and let me know what books you've read lately that you would recommend!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vegan Fudge Pops

Hello, and happy Spring! I first made these fudge pops a year or two ago. They're delicious and dairy-free. Their creaminess comes from avocado. They're very easy to make -- just six ingredients and three steps. All you need is a blender and Popsicle molds. Why not whip up a batch today and indulge as the weather begins to warm up.
Vegan Fudge Pops

1 large, ripe avocado (about 1 cup flesh)
1-1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1) Cut avocado in half. Remove pit. Scoop out flesh. 
2) Combine all ingredients in a blender container. Blend until smooth. 
3) Pour mixture into 8 ice pop molds. If you have any leftover mixture, enjoy as is. It's like pudding! 
4) Freeze pops for at least 8 hours.

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