Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Merlin kitty! Yummy 4th of July food!

Happy July!  It's Wednesday and things are getting back to normal from 4th.  It's been a bit cooler in the mornings here the last few days but I can't complain, I know that everyone back east is dealing with record breaking temps.  Sorry for all of you that live in those states, try to do your best to keep somewhat cool.  Just think about about those states that deal with 110-120 temps every summer.  My brother lives in Arizona and a few days ago it was around 115 that day.  I'll stick to living here on the central coast of California.
It's our cat Merlin's 15th birthday this month! 
He joined us for dinner one night.
I was washing dishes one evening when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.  Merlin was just sitting up there watching me.  It was really funny!
I couldn't leave Cleo out!  This was on the houseboat. 

We grilled pizza's last Saturday night for the first time for my in-laws.  It was also the first time
I've used Daiya(dairy free cheese).  I know... but better late than never.  We usually make cheeseless pizza's but I figured since my father-in-law was here I'd try out the Daiya.  I must say I was very pleasantly surprised!  It is so far the best non-dairy cheese I have ever tasted.  Everyone really liked it too! In the future though, I think we'll stick to cheeseless pizza's, just because I'm not used to having any type of cheese product and putting the cheese on all 3 different types of pizza's were a bit too much for me.  I didn't get a chance to take a pic of all 3 pizza's but this one was a tomato, onion, mushroom, vegan sausage with daiya cheese.  Yum! 
Our favorite black bean burgers with a grilled corn and tomato salsa.  This salsa is so good you can use it to top off tortilla chips!  Just grill up a few corn on the cobs, then cut the corn off the cob.  Chop up a couple of ripe tomatoes, cilantro, scallions/red onion, lime juice, jalepeno(to taste), s & p. 
So my plan for dessert on the 4th was to make berry hand pies but the Pate Brisee was so fragile I only got to making 4 little ones and they were falling apart at that.  Soooo....I opted to use all the berries I had, mix them together and make a Triple Berry Crumble Pie!  The berries were blackberry, blueberries and strawberries.  I mixed in some arrowroot and sugar, then poured into the pie crust.  
For the crumble top I used, flour, brown sugar and Earth Balance.
This doesn't look so great,  but I had wax paper covering the top so it kind of softened the crumble topping.
I must admit this was one very delicious tasting Triple Berry Crumble Pie!  This is the first time I've used strawberries in a baked pie.  It's also the first time I've used a crumble top on a berry pie.   Since I didn't use much sugar with the berries the crumble top sweetened it nicely.

Last week I had a visit from 2 of my best friends.  We have been hooked on succulents lately and there is a great place in Los Olivos with amazing arrangements and succulents.  One of my girlfriends made me this cute arrangement from some of her succulents.  When the girls come out we've been exchanging propegated plants and succulents from our cuttings.  It's a nice way to add to our collection of plants and make for nice little gifts.  It's alot of fun too!
This is an arrangement I made using a Corona pail.  I just made some holes in the bottom of the pail, added rock for drainage, filled with cactus/succulent soil mix and then the succulents.  There is some Irish Moss in the middle.  The nice things about succulents are that they grow pretty quickly, easy to care for and don't require much watering.

Upcoming reviews: POM


  1. Such yummy food...great stuff and happy Birthday to your beautiful kitty. he has lived this long because of all your tender loving care...congrats.

  2. Berry pie! I want a slice!

  3. Aw I love your kitty :) He has one of those faces that looks mad all the time. How cute! Pizza looks great too!

  4. Merlin is just too handsome! i love the picture of him outside watching you inside washing dishes. ah ha ha! Ms. Cleo is most adorable as usual - makes me smile! thanks, JoLynn! your triple berry crumble pie looks ridiculously awesome - hooray for success with the strawberries and the crumble topping. glad you got to try out daiya and that everyone enjoyed it as well. dan & i like it, too - we think it's pretty close to FYH cheeze - only a little more tasty. mmmmm! we've never made grilled pizzas - think we're gonna have to, and the black bean burgers have got me craving one. what recipe do you use for those, JoLynn? they look wonderful! your succulent arangement is glorious - it's too cute! i have yet to have luck with succulents, i think i water them too much. i've gotta look up how to care for them so i can keep one for more than just a few months. ah ha ha!

  5. your cat is so cute! in the first picture, he looks like he's making a birthday cute!

  6. Happy b-day Merlin kitty! Love the expressions on your face! Awesome looking pizza and pies! :-)

  7. Happy birthday to Merlin! Love the berry pie... yum!

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You cooked up a STORM! I think that is the most creative burger I've seen - I love the fresh corn topper!!