Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Salmon Dinner

Salmon was on the Frog & PenguINN menu last week and here’s an easy dry rub courtesy of Tammy who posted it on Simple Southern Happiness. Check out her blog and click on the Good Eats section for mouth-watering recipes. But don’t look if you’re hungry because Tammy also posts awesome photos that look good enough to eat!

Note that for this dry rub, I estimated the amount of seasonings needed. Also I used smoked paprika and substituted dried nutmeg.

Prepare dry rub of dried garlic, paprika, dash of fresh nutmeg, and pinch of salt. Rub ingredients on salmon, wrap in plastic wrap, and marinate overnight in fridge.

IMG_9831salmon (2)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on salmon and bake until done. Cooking time varies depending on the size and thickness of the fish; ours took about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with dill and pour pan juices on salmon before serving.

While we often serve salmon with a side of wild rice and vegetable,IMG_9832 this meal was enjoyed with fresh beets from friends (thanks Matt and Grace) and green beans from last year’s harvest (thanks Grenville).

AND, a big thanks to Tammy for posting this wonderfully easy salmon rub. We’re planning a repeat soon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Heritage Celebration 2012

IMG_0368Not that we expect everyone to remember, but once again this past weekend, Eastern Shore Community College hosted its annual Heritage Celebration to showcase local arts and crafts. We’ve participated the past 3 years, Grenville with wood turning and myself with photography as shown in the above collages.

What’s unique about this event is that it’s not only free for local artisansIMG_0365  but coffee, donuts and lunch are also gratis to participants. Artists are invited to sell their wares too. Last year, Grenville lamented about having no sales. This year, he nearly sold all his remaining inventory (shown here) which made him very happy.

We know many folks in the local arts/crafts community from participating in local shows in past years. It’s always good to see their work; there are many talented folks on the VA eastern shore. Here are some examples of local talent.

heritage collageheritage collage2Bee keeping was one of the most popular displays – complete with live bees and honey sampling – it was delicious.heritage collage3

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Creepy Crawlers & Early Blooms

Temperatures were above average a couple of days this week, good weather for doing some outdoor yard work and finding interesting photo subjects. These colorful crawlers were spotted while raking up wood chips in the back yard.

crawlersThere was also an abundance of large black beetles.

black beetleAlready blooming on the lawn are several varieties of small and very invasive wildflowers including birds eye speedwell, purple henbit, and mouse-eared chickweed.

wildflowersSome daffodils are also putting in an early appearance.


What critters and blooms are showing up in your part of the world?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Funnies

011312 reader (3)This guy will never finish reading this paper, the news will always stay the same, and the paper will never get wet.

011312 reader (2)He’s been on the same page for years seated on a park on a park bench in Princeton, NJ.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicken Marsala

Fanciful name for a chicken dish that’s really simple to prepare and wonderful to eat. As with any meal, recipe variations abound for this dish – some use boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin, others cut them into chunks. For this version, I went in between and used store-bought boneless chicken tenders. These were sliced thinly enough not to need added preparation.

Besides the chicken, you may already have all the needed ingredients available, chicken marsala (2)except possibly the Marasala wine.

Hint: use the cheapest Marsala wine available (it cooks down anyway) or use Marsala cooking wine is a substitute.

Chicken Marsala
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (canned works too)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine (more if you prefer)
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, garlic salt, pepper, and oregano. Dredge chicken in the mixture to lightly coat.chicken marsala (4)
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the chicken in the skillet for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned on one side. Turn chicken over and cook until also lightly browned. Add mushrooms and stir to cook evenly.chicken marsala (6)
  3. Pour Marsala wine over the chicken.
  4. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. chicken marsala (7)

Our dinner was delicious served with a side of wild rice and steamed fresh broccoli.chicken marsala (1)

Grenville is already asking when Chicken Marsala will be on The Frog & PenguINN dinner menu again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Don’t Call this SNOW

. . . cause we certainly won’t !

WOW two snowfalls just a week apart. Grenville posted about last weekend’s snowfall here on the VA eastern shore.

Earlier today, this was the scene in our back yard after an overnight snow or rather an “attempted” snowfall. If you look (very) closely on the left side, you can see the “guard flamingoes” where the greenhouse used to reside. They asked Grenville if he planned to put in a beach area since the sand was already there. He’s thinking about it.IMG_9669There was no need to clear the “accumulation” from our Jeeps before heading to the “Y” today. IMG_9670Yes,  we did brave the elements to go and work out today. After all, what’s a little – and we DO mean very little – snow – or was that just some lint that fell overnight?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Since You Asked

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the Green House post. To answer some questions .....

1. It was NOT made of glass.... Not even corrugated poly. The walls were aluminum frame and poly carbonate panels. It was very light, which is why you see 4 old folks walking it over to the trailer.

2. YES it is going to a very good home. I have been told that it will be living next to a nice farm pond. I wish i was so lucky.

3. YES the new owners are nice folks. We have known them for a while. They are as close to 'Self Sustainers' as you can get. If you haven't checked out their website treat yourselves to a stop there. On the down side, their cow was attacked by dogs recently and sustained serious injury to her utter. Gangrene has set in and it doesn't look very positive as of yesterday. This, along with a few goats, was their source of fresh milk. YES, they milked their cow every day.  Just think how fresh their milk was.

SO what's next for the Green House Plot??????? Well, you'll just have to keep checking back to see.

The question of the day is:::: Can you train a Sharp Shin Hawk to eat Starlings, Grackles, and Cow Birds?????? It seems our neighborhood SS Hawk prefers Cardinals and Bluejays. Maybe if we spray paint some of the grackles???????


Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Green House???????

Another downsizing mile stone has been reached today. Our friend Matt (the Master Attacker of Tiny Turips), who can be found at, bought our Green House and like Mr. Peabody of Paradise down the Green River, "done hauled it away". He and his lovely wife Grace, and another friend Ed (I've got a pocket full of ROCKS) came this afternoon and we loaded the greenhouse onto Ed's trailer.
Plans now for that space is a small garden for this year. A little compost and some tilling and we should be ready. Two Tomatoes, a Pepper, a Cucumber to climb the trellis and that is about all. Maybe a nice little fence to use up our surplus lumber.

If you are worried that the Princess was left out of all this fun, fear not. She stood bravely behind her trusty lens and risked life and limb to snapped these for us.
In a few weeks we will go up to Matt & Graces to see the results of the move, and of course will share them with you'se guys!!!! Just one closing shot.......
Bye Green House,,,, We had fun with you!!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just say “NO!”

For word verification in Blogger. That’s what I have done on The Frog & PenguINN blog after reading about the new process in a recent post by TexWisGirl on The Run*Around*Ranch blog.

Also, this change was made after recent comments left on our blog. I had no idea how confusing the verification process had become. As as a blog author, I never see the word verification when leaving comments.

So, I checked the F&P blog settings and found that we indeed had word verification turned on, but no longer.

The change can be made by going to the Settings tab and then selecting the Comments tab.

Show word verification for comments?

Yes   No

This will require people leaving comments on your blog to complete a word verification step, which will help reduce comment spam.

Blog authors will not see word verification for comments.

Thanks fellow bloggers for the heads-up!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back Yard Visitors

Our bird feeders have been attracting the usual visitors this time of year: cardinals, finches, sparrows, chickadees, mourning doves, and blue jays .
feeder visitorsAll these shots were taken from the kitchen window inside as I enjoyed my morning coffee and the activity at the feeders. The white lights seen here are permanent ones that overhang the back patio.
feeder visitors0215The crepe myrtle trees provide handy perches.
birds in tree0215 Also, the unwelcome visitors have returned . . .
unwelcome visitors0215Some backyard visitors just sit and watch . . .

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Hearts Day Everyone

Today, is the day to tell that Special Someone in your life how much you care for and love him/her. No, it doesn’t have to be done by spending a lot of $$ on flowers or candy, although those are nice, We’re celebrating with a card . . . OK, a few cards cause the card fairies got into the Frog & PenguINN). 

What’s most important every day are 3 little words – I Love You.

And I most certainly do, dearest Grenville, my always Valentine

honey bear

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our blogger friends.
We wish you happy hearts – every day.

Beatrice & Grenville

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snow Day Pot Roast

IMG_9312As Grenville posted earlier today, we had a “snow event” here on the VA Eastern Shore last night. So what better meal on a cold Sunday than something from the crockpot / the slow cooker.

This recipe is from The Farmer’s Wife Slow Cooker Cookbook, a gift that Grenville lovingly gave me a couple of holidays ago after telling me that I was “the farmer’s wife.” The book has “101 blue-ribbon recipes adapted from farm favorites.”  It was bought at a Tractor Supply store, which has been known to be one of Grenville’s favorite shopping places.

Recipes include soups, sauces, main and side dishes, and desserts adapted from The Farmer’s Wife, a monthly magazine published in Minnesota between 1839 and 1939. There were no slow cookers then, so these recipes have been adapted for slow cooker use. The cookbook contains many appliance and cooking advertisements, which are fun to read. Interestingly, most of these period advertisements were from the 1940-50s. They will be featured in a separate post.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
  • 3-4 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 C flour
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut
  • 4 celery ribs, peeled and cut
  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 C cider vinegar or red wine
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, low-sodium
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  1. Remove packaging from meat and dry off with a paper towel. Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic power and roll beef in mixture. Save any leftover flour.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet and brown the meat, turning to brown all sides.IMG_9346
  3. When browned, transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add some red wine (cooking wine OK) to the pan to deglaze it. Add in the beef broth as well.IMG_9348
  4. Pour the broth into a heat-resistant cup then take all the cut up veggies and mix them together in the pot, seasoning with the parsley and oregano. Add the veggies around the beef roast. Pour the broth all around. Cook on LOW 7-9 hours or until meat is tender.
To thicken the juices, take some of the reserved flour and some of the juices and whisk in a bowl or Pyrex cup. Add back to the crock pot and turn on HIGH for 10 minutes. Alternately, you can remove the juices, whisk in the flour, transfer to a saucepan and cook until thickened, making sure to stir.

This dish is a meal in itself, but can also be served over buttered noodles. There’s sure to be leftovers, which are even better the second night.

Significant Snowfall Paralyzes Eastern Shore

A severe winter storm began inundating the Eastern Shore with snow around 9PM last night and raged throughout the night. Winds howled and whipped the snow into blinding squalls. We spent the long night huddled under the comforter listening to the rattle of the windows and the shriek of gusts around the eaves.
This morning we awoke to find almost an inch of snow blocking our door. Unfortunately we left our only snow shovel out on the porch and couldn’t reach it.

So we consulted out ‘Winter Emergency Plan” which recommended hot coffee and reading in bed till 9AM, which we did.

Then the Princess bravely entered the kitchen and boldly put together a Crock Pot Roast Beef dinner for later. Pictures of the 'Crock Creation' to follow.
Not to be out done, her trusty Frog hopped into the fray and whipped up a delicious Bacon & French Toast Breakfast. 

AND to compliment the Princess's magnificent ‘Crock Creation’, he popped a home grown Peach Pie in the oven for dessert.

And that’s how we handle ‘Significant Snowfalls' on the Eastern Shore. Hopefully we will be able to get out soon so we can get some Vanilla Ice Cream for the pie. [I think i hear the plows coming NOW!!!!!]

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fellow Bloggers Are the BEST

The song goes that “there’s no people like show people . . .” Thatt’s NOT true, because there’s definitely NO people like bloggers, especially when it comes to creativity and thoughtfulness.

Here’s WHY . . .

These wonderful surprises came in the mail this week .

Tammy gift (6)

A beautiful embroidered 1st Birthday onesie and a just-as-cute handmade bib too.

bib collage

Thanks, Tammy, these will look adorable on our sweet granddaughter. Bloggers are the nicest folks so very gracious in sharing talents. We are very thankful!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Who Dunnit ???

It’s a mystery to Grenville and myself. And, exactly what we’ve been trying to figure out these past few weeks.


By reading these  . . .


For the first time in its 125-year history, the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate has authorized a new Sherlock Holmes novel – The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

The setting is London, 1890 where Edmund Carstairs, a fine art dealer visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson seeking their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap, a wanted criminal who has followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened, and then the first murder takes place. Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the criminal underworld of Boston, the gas lit streets of London, opium dens and more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase, the House of Silk, a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith featuresIMG_9182 amateur Edinburgh sleuth, Isabel Dalhousie, a philosopher who uses her training to solve unusual mysteries. She edits the Review of Applied Ethics and also hosts The Sunday Philosophy Club at her house in Edinburgh. This is the first of several books in this series. McCall has also authored the acclaimed Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency which features Mma. Precious Ramotswe, agency proprietor. The setting for this series is Botswana.

IMG_9181A Duty to the Dead is the first in a series about Bess Crawford, a nurse serving in France during World War I. The setting is 1916 England. Bess is returning home on the doomed hospital ship Britannic. During an earlier voyage, she had tended to the gravely wounded Lt. Arthur Graham. To give him comfort before he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, as she is injured when the Britannic is sunk.

Charles Todd is the pen name of  American authors Caroline and Charles Todd. This mother-and-son writing team are best known for a series of novels, set in post World War I England that features Inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the European campaigns who is attempting to pick up the pieces of his Scotland Yard career. Suffering from shell shock, he lives with the constant,  taunting voice of Hamish MacLeod, a Scots soldier he was forced to execute on the battlefield for refusing an order.

Louise Penny is a Canadian author of mystery novels set in the IMG_9184Canadian province of Quebec in the town of Three Pines and centered on the work of Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec.

In The Brutal Telling, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to investigate. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, questions start to surface about the beloved bistro owner, Olivier – How did he make such a  success of his business? What past did he leave behind to bury himself in a tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Birthday Doings

Many thanks for the Birthday wishes, fellow bloggers!

As Grenville (aka Froggie) posted, yesterday was my birthday and  the love of my life, friend and special someone made it special.


Simply by spending it together sans gifts, cake, or candles, BUT with a LOT of birthday cards.  Seems that Grenville forgot to lock windows and doors; the card fairies distributed them everywhere !

My birthday began with a trip to the local “Y” as most of our mornings start.

YMCA (1)YMCA (2)

breakfast (2)Of course, after all that exercise and no breakfast beforehand, we were hungry. Luckily the local diner is only a few minutes drive from the YMCA. We had the breakfast special shown on the sign – the “2-2-2.” 

It was delicious with a cup of coffee. breakfast (3)Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast?breakfast (1) 

Or AFTER – this complimentary cherry cheesecake came with a chorus of Happy Birthday singing from the staff of waitresses and busboys.
Thanks Sage Diner!

Later in the afternoon, Grenville showed me a special project he has been researching, gravesites dating to the 1700s. He will most likely post about this project in a future blog; it’s quite interesting.


Annies (3)The day was capped by an early dinner at our favorite restaurant, Annie’s, which we last visited for Christmas Day dinner.

The holiday trees and lights were gone, but it was brightly decorated although the light strings don’t display well here.

We made a reservation to return for Valentine’s Day dinner.

Annies (4)Dinner was capped off by another complimentary dessert – apple pie a la mode. Thanks Matt & Annie!

Birthdays should come around more often than once a year!

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S.President)