RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Category: Through My Lens

Beet, Chard and Peach Salad

This is a full flavored salad that is perfect with a side dish of wild rice.  The mix of sweet and sour and add the slight smoky taste of grilled peaches and red onions makes it delectable to say the least.  It is a bit of work, but quick to put together in the end and well worth the effort.  It seems that Sawsan Chef in disguise and I had the same thoughts in a salad but put together with different blends of flavors, hers looks delicious… take a peek!


  •        2 medium red beets, trimmed
  •        ½ cup of red wine vinegar
  •        Pinch of sea salt
  •        Cold water to cover

In a sauce pan combine the beets, vinegar, salt and enough cold water to cover the beets by several inches and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat and cook until tender, around 30 to 40 minutes depending on size of beets.  Once the beets have cooled in the cooking liquid you can peel or slip off the outer skin and then slice into ¼ inch slices.

Wash the chard well in a sink full of cold water, I do this two times.  On the larger leaves that have large ribs, I separate and remove the large rib.  Slice the leaves in thin strips.  Mince a couple of cloves of garlic.  Put olive oil (I fried some pancetta in the pan and am using the oil from that.)  in fry pan and once heated start adding chard as it cooks down some add some more until you have it all in the pan.  Once all the chard is in pan sprinkle the garlic on and stir in, I cook the chard stirring occasionally until it is very tender.  This takes only takes a few minutes.

Peal a red onion and slice into ¼ inch slices and mist each side with olive oil.  (I try to have the onions, beets and peaches about the same size.) Halve the peaches and mist the peach halves with olive oil.  Heat your grill and grill onions on both sides until you have grill marks.  Add additional oil to grill to grill the peaches, be careful when you turn to keep them whole.  I had a problem with this, turning too soon and not having enough oil on the grill.  They were not as pretty but tasted wonderful anyway. 

I had some Dill Havarti Cheese that I made little ½ inch cubes for the salad.  There are many cheeses that can be used for this salad… pick one of your favorites.


  •         2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  •         1 tablespoon kalamata olive brine
  •         1 teaspoon honey
  •         ½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano
  •         Pinch of sea salt
  •         Freshly ground black pepper
  •         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (I was running low so use just a couple of teaspoons… it seemed fine)

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, brine, honey, oregano, salt and pepper.  Gradually add oil, whisking to a thin, steady stream until blended.

I arranged the chard, onions, and beets, peach and topped with a slice of pancetta and added the Dill Havarti Cheese cubes.  I wish I had started with the wild rice on the bottom… but just topped the salad on top of rice after taking the pictures.

We both loved this salad and will do again.  The mix was full of enjoyment and was a dish we relished with each bite….

My mother gave me this recipe and would love to give credit where credit is due… if anyone knows where this recipe came from let me know.  I did a lot of adapting from the directions my Mom gave me.

Brisket Panini with Au Jus

On Sunday we had a basic roasted brisket with lots of onions and garlic.  It was delicious.  The decision was made because of Greg and Katherine at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide, take at a look at his brisket, how we could not crave brisket after seeing that.  It more than prompted T and me to have brisket something we had not had in a long time.

T did not want to barbecue with the weather being very cold, rainy with a snow and ice pellets mix and I could not blame him.

After said meal T asked if I would make Brisket Panini’s with some of the left over’s.  How could I deny him that, such a simple request… if we are going to have a sandwich/Panini night it is usually on Saturday but nothing is written in blood as to it having to be on Saturday only!

Instead of straining the brisket broth (au jus) I decided to leave all the goodness in and after dipping our Panini’s in… it would make a nice bit of onion-garlic soup… not the normal onion soup but it tasted just as good!

I added some grilled asparagus,  orange  slices and a pickle for good measure along with some corn chips and salsa… it was more than enough for anyone for a quick meal.  We both enjoyed having Panini’s on a weeknight….

In Loving Memory for My Mom… an Iris from My Heart


This little miniature botanical watercolor I had been working on as a surprise for my Mom for this coming Mother’s Day.  She loved the Iris… purple and yellow was her favorite.  She was my biggest fan of my miniature botanical watercolors and always made me feel like I was an artist.  This is for you Mom… from my heart with love.

My Mother passed away on February 10, 2012.  She is no longer in pain and is now in a place far better and more peaceful than what any one of us can conceive.

It was my Mom who I called when I decided to make Blackberry Vinegar or too how did she make this or that.  She would patiently go through the steps precisely on the complete instructions and let you know what she liked or preferred (you would have thought she was coming to dinner…) She would apprise you on this seasoning or a little something of that and the reasons and whys to her likings.  She was a wonderful cook… no one made potato salad like she did.  Her fried chicken could have won blue ribbons at the fair.

She is the one who would walk me through with only words on how to sew something (what a wonderful seamstress she was;) it seemed there was nothing she could not give me understanding on and she always had little remèdes for this or that.   We shared what we were reading and so much more… all said and done with laughter on one level or another… there was nothing we did not talk about.  We both did so much laughing; it made me feel good to hear her laugh… a goal I had for each new day’s phone call.

What are you up to now she would ask… my doings were always for something or someone or just for enjoyment and it was a way to bring her along for the ride so to speak.   It was a way to share my life with her, to get her opinions, I think more than not to make her feel she was still needed and too to let her know that she was still a big part of my life even though we lived over a thousand miles apart.  Nothing will compare to a good long talk with my Mom… a Mom that I dearly loved and too knowing I will miss more than I can imagine….

Hummingbirds in Snow

On watch of nectar… Female Anna Hummingbird

Wintry Holiday for the Hummingbirds

I have been told that sometimes when you ask you will receive.  Our moist cold air turned to snow last week…finally; we received over ten inches (some in the Northwest received over twenty inches, in the mountains it was in feet…) of the beautiful white fluff.   I have to say it was beautiful and we were very blessed to be about the only ones that did not lose power during our “winter storm.”  We had very high winds and it was snowing so hard at times it was a white out.   The site was stunning to say the least.

Our storm here in the hollows came and went for several days; the temperature was just a little bitter (and add the wind chill to that) more than what my body can suffer so the little walks I took were very short and only in the first couple of days of the winter blast.

I did get out and about and took a couple of pictures I thought I would share with you, I wanted so badly to take a walk about when we were at the height and depth of the snowstorm but after the few little jaunts I had taken I just could not muster up the needed strength and my bodies temp had plummeted to the point I wondered if it would  return to normal… but I think you will enjoy the pictures of our winter wonderland.  I too took a few pictures of things in my gardens.

My favorite pictures are of course the hummingbirds; I am taken by their pure resilience and stamina when it comes to enduring the freezing weather we get here in the Northwest.  They kept me busy watching them chasing the snowflakes as they drifted to the floor of white.  Buzzing the drifts and taking dives they were very busy just keeping themselves occupied.  Sometimes with the high wind gust I thought they would be carried off just as the snowflakes… wouldn’t it be something to have the fortitude of the little winged ones!

Male Anna Hummingbird

Female Anna Hummingbird

Nectar… Fuel for energy and to keep warm

Nice landing in the snow

Last season’s Robin nest topped off with snow

A Triple Drip!

One Drop in Time

I love old stumps… this one is from 1904

Down our Lane

Looks like white linen… time for tea!

Thick cushions of snow

In the pictures you see of the hummingbirds looking up, they are keeping watch over their nectar juice in the hummingbird feeder (they took turns)… the one thing that keeps them going in the winter’s whiteout….

A New Year… A New Beginning

Space Needle, Seattle, WA New Year 2012

New Year… New Beginnings

I cannot believe that another year is all but here… where did the year go? It must have been marching along double time or better.   As the Christmas decorations were being repacked and stored and readied for next year I was thinking about those things that did and did not happen in this year that is coming to a fast close.

What would I like to change about next year, for one slow down time?  Knowing full well that is impossible I thought I would do something I could control… make life easier.   In all that I do and contemplate doing I am going to (try) to think it though and make the most of whatever it could be.

I do not generally make New Year’s resolutions because they somehow get lost in the first weeks of the New Year.  No matter how hard I try to do what I know is best for me… I will never be one to be tied down to resolutions, I can resolve some thing’s so much easier when put to paper, but to put the resolutions into practice in the normal  day-to-day life… it just does not seem to mesh with my lifestyle.   I am more of an in the moment kind of gal.  It is one of those changes for me that came with maturing many new years ago.  I actually liked the change!

I am not one that needs to tell myself to exercise; I love walks and such without much push.  I normally eat a pretty balanced diet… there are times that I get off the path so to speak but a light diet makes me feel good so I am not long derailed so to speak.  I love learning and think I will continue to sponge in as much information as I can… and hope to continue to learn should I live to be a hundred.  I can hope!

What I do need to do is something that I miss terribly.  I love helping those that need help through the food banks and such.  I need to make time available to help where ever I can… I use to spend a great deal of time getting donations for the food bank throughout the community.  Life in general caused for drastic changes in my life some time ago and I had to give up my volunteer time.  But with a little effort I know I can at least put in a couple of hours a month to help in whatever way I can physically to help feed those little mouths.

I wonder how many of us take the time to give a little of ourselves to the need of others.  If you made a list what would you put at the top that you would like to do to serve others… making opportunities in a small way that could possibly make life happier, healthier… making a difference no matter how insignificant (it may seem) in someone’s life.

I would love to hear about the things that each of you do or would like to do to make a difference.  There are so many areas that need volunteers: schools, nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, libraries, food banks and the list seem(s) to be never-ending.

I want to take this time and thank each of you for taking the time to make visits here at my blog and for your comments, they mean a great deal to me… my wish for each and every one of you is for the best of health, happiness and why not add in a little prosperity for this new year of 2012, may it be the best ever….

Space Needle, Seattle, WA New Year 2012

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