Watermelon & Kale Salad

Serves Two

In our home we love kale, so it frequently finds a place on our table.  Elements of sweet, and sourcome together with a touch of salt to create a delightful combination. The crunch of candied walnuts and creamy bleu cheese add the finishing touches to a wonderfully balanced dish.  This simple salad is quick to prepare and very refreshing. 

Mounds of Zucchini & Summer Squash | Recipes

Our zucchini and summer squash have been abundant producers.  I've come up with a few tasty ways to use it without being repetitious.  They include a mix of new and my own (hopefully improved) version of old standbys.  In all versions I use zucchini and summer squash interchangeably.

Faux Crab Cakes

4 servings While this isn't an especially new idea the only resemblance most zucchini cakes have to a crab cake is the shape. Rather than being bright and flavorful they are dense breadcrumb laden, zucchini-laced patties. Zucchini is very watery and in order to hold them together many cooks simply pile in the bread crumbs. My approach is to remove the excess water producing a much lighter result. Zucchini also is somewhat bland so a bit of flavor enhancement in the form of grated parmesan, fish sauce and other seasonings is in order.

Focus, Focus, Focus!

Of the many things that keep me busy, sharing discoveries on this blog is one that I enjoy.  On the other hand I spend countless hours photographing, formatting and composing what appears here.  In addition to this blog I maintain several websites including my eCommerce site RebeccaBaer.com, my art licensing site RebeccaBaer.net (okay, so I'm not terribly original with those website names), my store site ArtisanLifeAndStyle.com along with FB, Linked in...  You get the picture.  Enough already!    Developing original content isn't so hard. My brain is always exploding with ideas, more that I can possibly accomplish.  As I wonder where my time goes and try to determine how to insert more hours in the day, I find that I still only get twenty-four.
 Fooey!  The alternative is to try and cram fewer tasks into those hours, which brings me to the title of this post.

When our youngest was in middle and high school we turned to homeschooling (One of the best decisions ever!).  She was an excellent student but easily distracted.  I cannot count the number times we repeated the word "focus", as in "focus on the task at hand".  I was reminded of that recently and decided that perhaps I need to focus.  How can I  spend my time most effectively?  What must stay; what can go?  Add to that, on what do I want to spend my time?  Well the answer, first and foremost, is designing.  Designing is my first love.  Whether painting or enhancing my work in Photoshop I truly enjoy what I do.  It is also my livelihood.  Designing stays.  I'll spare you the step-by-step details and suffice it to say that my blog really only entertains me.  I like cooking, creating, figuring out coding workarounds, etc, and like to share my discoveries with you.  The reality is that all of this does nothing for my time management, although it might help some others save a bit of trial and error.   My last post before this one was for making homemade sauerkraut (once again it turned out great btw, yum!).  That was a few months ago.  It's not that I haven't had an original thought since then. I have them all of the time.  Other things just take priority.  Before Christmas I had been considering making some changes to the blog, especially how often I post and what the focus of it should be.  Then I received a Christmas card from a family member who said such lovely and encouraging things about my writings (thanks Kendra!) and I began to have second thoughts.  So I did nothing.  Now I can't just leave the blog dangling forever so there are going to be some changes.  If you've read this far thanks for sticking with me while I ramble.

Posts of the arts & crafts, creative sort, like you would find under my "hands on" tab will be shared on my RebeccaBaer.com site.  I have been and will continue to post these inspirations and techniques on my home page, treating it like a blog, likewise for topics like art & design, technical savvy (art gadgets) and art-related tutorials.  If those topics are of interest to you please subscribe to my newsletter.  On the subscription page there is also an option to receive the RSS feed.

Brilliant ideas like my instant hamburger bun pan (okay, I'm proud of that one--and it's super popular) I may not be able to keep to myself but I make no promises.  The same goes for code workarounds.

This leaves "foodie finds" and "made from scratch" tabs.  We've discovered some quaint shops and markets along with independent eateries in our travels and love putting them out there share a good word on their behalf.  These honest commentaries do get traffic and hopefully have given the purveyors a boost.  After all, word of mouth is the best advertising.  If I add any foodie finds in the future, they are likely to be few and far between.

"Made from scratch" features my original recipes or sometimes my adaptation of existing dishes.  These won't go away.  I refer to them frequently and know that others enjoy access to these as well.  New additions will be sporadic though as writing and sharing recipes cannot be a priority for me.  As I mentioned above, designing is my principal task and must be where I focus my attention.  Incidentally, I have a few tabletop collections on the horizon that feature my work, which brings me full circle.  What better vessel in which to serve one of my recipes than dinnerware bearing my art.  How fun and exciting is that?

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