Curried egg salad with cranberries, sweet golden raisins, and peppery arugula

What to do with leftover hard boiled eggs? Heart Healthy Curried Egg Salad with cranberries and golden raisins on LouiseMellor.com

 

What to do with leftover hard boiled eggs is a piece of cake – egg salad of course, but in with the olive oil and out with the mayo. This simple egg salad recipe replaces the mayo with a touch of heart healthy olive oil and adds some exotic flavor with a bit of curry, sweet golden raisins, cranberries, and peppery arugula.

For this recipe and more visit me over at Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs. 

 

Parmesan, Black Pepper & Rosemary, Buttermilk Biscuits

Parmesan Black Pepper and Rosemary Biscuits on Louise Mellor.com

Biscuits are feed my soul kind of food. It doesn’t matter if  I am over-the-moon- happy or down-in-the-dumps-sad, fresh baked, fluffy biscuits, still  warm from the oven feed my soul and seem to make eveything better.  To me they are like a warm hug or a kiss on the cheek after a long day. I have that same lovey dovey  relationship with extra toasted, grilled cheese sandwiches or  a stack of  fluffy buttermilk pancakes soaked in butter and  oozing with real maple syrup.  I received this affection for comfort foods from my mom, all the recipes remind me of being a kid in my mother’s kitchen.  Parmesan-black-pepper-rosemary-buttermilk- biscuits are my creation, but as I drizzled them in honey and then proceeded to pop each little biscuits in mouth, one after another- I couldn’t help feel like I was five years old.  I always have that feeling like I am a kid and any minute my mom is going to yell at me for not waiting until dinner.  Then I realize that I am the mom and I can eat as many biscuits as I want to … Sometimes it’s good to be a grown up.

Parmesan Black Pepper and Rosemary Biscuits on Louise Mellor.com

The most important part of making these biscuits is the quality of your butter and your cheese.  Use a high quality butter and never ever used canned parmesan cheese.  I used freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano.  The buttery nutty flavor of real Parmesan cannot be substituted.  Even though this recipe is a little more savory with the cheese, black pepper, and rosemary, don’t let that keep you from drizzling them with honey or jam.  These biscuits are wonderful for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  For this recipe and many others visit Saputo cheese.

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Banners

DIY Valentine's Day Banners on LouiseMellor.com

 Be still and know I am God ~Psalm 46:10

I am standing still, knee-deep in the flow of life and paying close attention.  Everything around me feels like it is moving in slow motion and here I am, carefully yielding every part of myself … my body and spirit to the unpredictable flow of life around me.  There are moments when I feel that I might be swept away, and then there are moments when I can’t catch my breath or find my footing.  There are also times when I feel as if I might drown in my own tears – when raw emotion rages out of my body in the form of tears like a sudden thunderstorm.  My tears flood my face and my throat … I cannot breathe or speak a word out loud.   I cry out to God with my inner voice,   He always hears me.  Within minutes, the flow of energy surrounding me changes. I find myself calm, safe, warm, secure, and my feet are grounded.  Happiness follows and an overwhelming sense of delight and joy overtake me.  As this pattern continues I find myself increasingly aware and paying close attention to my inner self, my thoughts, my words, and my internal struggle to be absolutely still and know … God is God and He loves me.

 

By paying close attention I have come to realize a few things about myself, about the tears and about the joy. I am learning it all is about how I react to the “unknown” and what I chose to pay attention to.

When I think about all of the details that are unknown, when I leave the here and now, then I begin to be swept away.  Fear flows in, stirs the waters, and I loose my footing.  There have been a lot of unknown details in this situation and there will inevitably be a lot more.  Unknown questions like, “How will I choose an oncologist?”, “Has the cancer spread to my chest wall?”, “Is there cancer in all my lymph nodes?”, “Is the cancer in my organs?”, and ultimately the real question that nobody on earth knows for sure, “Am I going to die?”

I know that there are details that I need to take care of, doctors to call, and questions to ask.  I know God expects me to make the best decisions for myself.

 

Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight ~  Proverbs 3

I do the footwork and He leads me down the right path.  Beyond that I feel that God is calling me into a deeper place in my relationship with Him.  A place where there is only He and I, it is the place where happiness and joy reside … it feels like the most beautiful place I have ever been and I can only get there when I stop trying … and … I am just still.  It feels like I’m in Heaven surrounded by love.

DIY Valentine's Day Banners on LouiseMellor.com

 Know that the Lord Himself is God.  It is He who made us and not we ourselves ~ Psalm 100:3

I know that nothing is unknown to God, He knows the answers before they call with the results. He knows if there is still cancer in my body.  He alone knows the number of my days.  My faith, certainty, and trust are in God – not the doctors and not in my own ability to make good decisions.  Knowing this, really knowing this, allows me to pay attention to the beautiful things that are going on right here and right now.

 

Right here and right now, in Heaven with God, I am in perfect peace. I am recovering from surgery in the luxurious comfort of my bedroom.  I am cozied up under all of my fluffy white blankets with Flapjack & Mr. Waffles. My incredible husband, tirelessly to the point of exhaustion, serves me night and day. He is my super hero & prince charming rolled into one.  My children adore me and we lay in bed eating chocolates and watching old classic movies. My son watched his first episode of Leave it to Beaver and my daughters and I caught up on all of Marilyn Monroe’s movies.  My favorite so far, “The Seven Year Itch”.  I am surrounded by an unimaginable amount of flowers, gifts, and cards from you, my dear friends.   Lavender scented candles burn all day making my bedroom smell like I am resting in the middle of a lush garden. Right next to my bed hangs one of these Valentine’s day banners that I made before my surgery.  In the stillness of the day I pay attention.  I notice that my tea tastes sweeter and warms my chest on the way down, I rave over the flavor of a simple sandwich from my favorite deli, and dinner every night from a different friend moves me to tears. I notice the sun shining in the window and I delight in seeing it’s rays dancing across the sheets.  I never realized how lovely the neighbor’s orange tree is, always baring fruit in and out of season.   In the here and now, in the stillness with God, everything is extraordinarily beautiful because I am in love, I am His and He is mine.

DIY Valentine's Day Banners on LouiseMellor.com

My surgeries went better than expected.   My body is healing at an incredible rate and this has stunned my doctors.  I am in very little pain at all and I must force myself to stay in bed to be still.  I stand in awe of this everyday.  The tumor (4.3 cm) was confirmed to be cancer and the cancer was in my lymph nodes. They have staged my cancer at a 3A.  This is what we know;   I will rest for another 3-4 weeks and during that time meet with a few oncologists.  I will begin chemotherapy and receive scans to see if the cancer has spread to any place else in my body.  I am spending little to no time thinking about any of these details, I have more delightful things to think about, like luscious strawberries with yogurt for lunch and what  surprise meal is coming for dinner.

DIY Valentine's Day Banners on LouiseMellor.com

These simple Valentine’s day banners are so much fun to make for yourself or a friend.  Since Valentine’s day is one of my favorite holidays, I hung these up weeks ago.  It never feels too early to celebrate love.  Here and now love is in the air – can you feel it?

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Banners

You will need 

  • Twine or ribbon (craft store)
  • Colorful paper (craft store )
  • Doilies in different shapes and sizes (99 cent store)
  • Ribbon (craft store)
  • Clothes pins (craft store)
  • Deck of playing cards (try the 99cent store)
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch

Directions

  • Measure your twine to the desired length.  Cut the hearts out of the paper and use your hole punch to make two small holes near the top or the side, depending on how you want your hearts to hang. (Making two holes will help your hearts to not swivel back and forth on the twine).
  • Lay out the design of your banner onto the twine before assembling.
  • Find the center of your twine and work from the inside out.  Choose a heart or decoration to be in the center and then balance the rest of the hearts to the left and right.
  • Get creative and crafty, nothing has to match or make sense.  There is no right or wrong way, just choose the paper and any combinations you like and leave the rest to love…

 

Baked Egg & Spaghetti Nests

 

Baked Egg & Spaghetti Nests on LouiseMellor.com

Here I am, sitting at Starbucks’s, halfway through my Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte, with writer’s block.  I have Vivaldi playing in my ears to help open the right parts of my brain to be creative – but it’s not working.  I have nowhere to be, no projects to rush me out the door, nothing at all to keep me from being able to write. I have rewritten the first sentence at least fifty times, gone on Facebook, and then back here again to face the blank page.    I have avoided writing on my blog for weeks, okay months – because I really don’t know how or what I want to say.  Styling and taking pretty pictures is the easy part, but putting words to the pictures?  Not always easy.   So,  I am just going to say it, here we go – I have breast cancer and here is a recipe for Baked Egg & Spaghetti Nests.  See I told you, there is no real witty way to tie  my recipe into this story… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

Baked Egg & Spaghetti Nests on LouiseMellor.com

I found a lump in my breast right before Thanksgiving.   After many tests,  I was told on December 19th that my biopsy confirmed that I had breast cancer.  I received the call from my doctor five minutes before I was supposed to log in for a Twitter party.  I hung up with my doctor, fell on my knees before God, and then poured a champagne cocktail.   I proceeded to attend the Twitter party.  As silly as it sounds, it was the best decision I could have made.

 

Baked Egg & Spaghetti Nests on LouiseMellor.com

The Twitter party was for Evite & Bevmo, and I was privileged enough to have been hired to style  & photograph all of the images for the campaign.  I sat in the dark, with my champagne cocktail next to my monitor.  With a smile on my face, I  stared at my beautiful images, giggling and  chatting online about one of my favorite things in life, celebrating with bubbly.   In that moment I realized a  few things that I know now,  more than ever,  to be true.

 

  • I love being a stylist & photographer and I am so incredibly thankful for the talents God has gifted me with.
  • Creating beautiful things is a part of my very soul, what I was created to do – sharing my work makes me happy.
  • When I am creative,  it heals myself and others.

On the surface,it may seem strange  to some that I would be writing recipes, photographing or blogging, but it is actually the opposite. Taking the last month to craft, style, and photograph has gifted me with an incredible amount of joy.  So there you have it, I have breast cancer and when I share my recipes and images, I am sharing with you a  part of me that God is using to heal my body…

 

I am having surgery this Monday January 27th at 10:00 a.m.  Please pray for me and especially my family.  I am writing a spiritual journal on Caring Bridges and I would love for you to follow me there as well.  No recipes on Caring Bridges,  just my heart and all  the Lord is gifting me through this incredible experience.

 

I have been a little obsessed with eggs lately – be prepared for lots of egg posts. I love birds, but that is another post in the making.   This recipe is such a great idea for brunch. The little nests are so beautiful and they come out of the muffin tins easily.  Serve the eggs and garlicky  pasta nests over a simple salad with a drizzle of olive oil (buy the good stuff) and a little extra parmesan cheese.  I used a 1/4 of a teaspoon of red pepper flake and they were pretty spicy – so adjust the spice to your liking.  Your oven may run hotter or colder than mine, so be sure to keep an eye on your eggs – you don’ t want to over cook them.

 

Baked Egg & Spaghetti Nests
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces dry whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup good quality olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, about 1 Tablespoon – minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flake
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup,flat leaf Italian parsley – roughly chopped
  • 8 – 10 large organic eggs
  • Parmesan cheese – grated
  • Simple green salad
  • Garnish with a drizzle of Olive oil, extra chopped parsley, parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, adjust rack to the center, and lightly oil a standard size muffin/cupcake tin.
  2. Fill a large pasta pot with water and 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and boil pasta for 6-7 minutes, just under aldente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick saute pan over low/medium heat. Add in olive oil and once the olive oil is warm, add in the garlic and red & black peppers. Stir to combine for about 15 seconds or until fragrant.
  4. Add in the cooked spaghetti and turn heat up to medium/high heat. Use tongs to toss the spaghetti with the oil and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat and add the parsley – toss to combine.
  5. Fill each muffin cup with pasta and then gently using your fingers create a small well in the center by pushing the pasta to the outside edges. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just want a little hole in the center to cradle the yolk.
  6. Crack your eggs into a small bowl and then gently slip into the center of each spaghetti nest. Sprinkle the eggs with salt & pepper and parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are just set with no uncooked whites surrounding the yolks.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature with a simple green salad.
  9. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, parsley, and extra parmesan cheese.

 

A New Year’s Eve Champagne Guide

Bourbon Champagne Cocktail on Evite.com

Whiskey Champagne Cocktail – recipe below.
Click the image for more Champagne Cocktail recipes on Evite.com

“I only drink Champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty”

~ Lily Bollinger

I must confess, I am smitten, enamored, and  head over heels when it comes to champagne.  The sophisticated bad boy , champagne is like the alluring-tall-dark-handsome-stranger in a tuxedo standing at the bar, picture Joe (Brad Pitt), in the movie Meet Joe Black.    There is something  a little dangerous and thrilling about uncorking a chilled bottle of champagne. I start by peeling off the foil top, then slowly untwisting the wire.  There is always the unexpected chance that it will uncork the second the wired is loose enough, so I untwist with caution. Then with my eyes tightly closed and a gentle twist of the wrist, there is the loud pop and the cork goes flying.  I  laugh to myself once it’s open, there was never any real danger, maybe I just like thinking there might have been.   The anticipation escalates right before I take the first sip, the bubbles fizz up and tickle the end of  my nose teasing me with the sweet unmistakable smell of champagne. Continue reading »