May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday. Continue reading
The Amber Lotus team had a wonderful time this last weekend at Emily’s house creating art-glass plates in her studio. Emily and her husband, Paul, hosted the Amber Lotus team in their studio for a fun potluck dinner and art-making experience. Great fun creating something so spontaneous and exploring the possibilities.
These are a few pics from the weekend.
Thanks Emily and Paul for opening your studio and for all the fun!
Refreshing and delicious, easy to make and easy to drink, sangria makes any gathering a party. Although Spain is considered the home of sangria, it has been adapted around the globe, with variations in the type of wine used as well as the fruits and flavorings. Experiment with various herbs used singly or in combinations of no more than four or five herbs. Some of the best herbs to use are lemon balm, lemon verbena, borage, rose geranium, sage, rosemary, lavender, anise hyssop, bee balm, pineapple sage or sweet woodruff, as well as the many different basils, mints or thymes. With the bounty of fruits available, the combinations are limitless.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup turbinado or coconut sugar
4 4-inch fresh spearmint sprigs
4 4-inch fresh thyme sprigs
2 4-inch fresh rosemary sprigs
1 bottle (750 ml) white wine, such as
pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
1/2 cup orange liqueur
2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in half
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh spearmint leaves
1/2 bottle (1L) sparkling water, chilled
In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, add herbs, cover and let steep until mixture is room temperature.
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine wine, liqueur, fruit and mint leaves. Strain the sugar syrup (discard herbs) and add to the wine mixture. If possible, chill the mixture overnight to allow flavors to blend. Add sparkling water just before serving. To serve immediately after preparing, use chilled wine and serve over ice.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe by Maggie Oster
Photograph © Marianne Majerus / MMGI
Excerpt from Herb Gardens 2014 wall calendar
Shrimp and Berry Salad
2 cups mixed greens
2 cups young spinach
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
1 nectarine, stoned and chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, stemmed
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces cooked shrimp
Toss greens with berries and divide among 4 dinner plates. In a food processor, puree half the nectarine with the basil, smoked paprika and salt. Arrange remaining nectarine and shrimp on greens, drizzle with nectarine dressing and serve immediately. Serves 4.
To preserve freshness, don’t wash berries until you’re ready to eat them.
Plump, firm, brightly colored berries offer the best flavor and nutrient value.
Refrigeration quickly reduces berry quality, so pick or buy them as close to serving time as possible.
For best flavor, serve berries fresh and at room temperature.