May 31, 2013

HaPPy FRiDay!

I am knee deep in Baby Shower preparation, so I should keep this short, but here are five things I have learned during this process...

1. Never set up the candy bar when your toddler is home.

2. Never set up the cookie table when your toddler is home.

3. Never set up the gift table when your toddler is home.

4. Never set out the party games/favors/treats when your toddler is home.

5. Never give your toddler a shortbread cookie after you have mopped the floors.

The End. 
I hope you all have a great weekend!!! 
(Stay tuned for pics)

May 28, 2013

BLT Salad...

Leave it up to me to make a salad unhealthy.
Actually, leave it up to my mom. 
This is her deal.
Best. Salad. Ever.
Make this for any summer barbecue and you will miraculously have friends you never knew existed.

Makes 4 Large Salads

One head of Romaine lettuce, cleaned, spun and chopped
1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and drained
1 handful of ripe, summer cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved
1 handful of croutons (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup of grated fresh Parmesan

1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. chopped thyme (my addition; not necessarily necessary)

salt and freshly ground pepper

Prep salad ingredients. Mix mayo, lemon juice and thyme in a small bowl and toss with salad ingredients. S/P to taste. Serve with additional cheese and pepper. 

Listen to the silence....wait for applause!
Take a bow.

Ginger Love

I am not a big soda fan....well, unless I am at a movie theater, and it comes from a fountain in a 42 ounce cup...but this ginger ale might be a front runner if I were to start drinking soda at home. 
My mother turned me onto this a few months back, so I was delighted when I found it at our local grocery store.
If you see it, give it a go. 
It has a really nice, clean, sweet taste.
And if you are like some people I know, it goes well with rum. 
Just sayin'....
Sippy Sippy!!

May 27, 2013

First Bounty!

Spring has Sprung!
Our first root vegetables have sprouted, and I am reminded of how much I love my garden. 
Having grown up in a town where nothing grows, and if it does the deer are ready and waiting to annihilate anything green, I truly appreciate being able to grow most of our summer food.
A friend and I got laughing about how spot on trend it is for me to be gardening, raising chickens, cows and fish. 
Truth be told, however, here in Pennsylvania it isn't much of a trend. 
It is called farming. 
Shockingly, this is how people have been getting their food for years!?!
Who knew!?
 ps. I am admittedly a novice at this gardening gig, and I have realized that I need to practice much more restraint when planting my seeds next year. 
Was it really necessary to plant 5 rows of radishes?
Time to research pickling recipes...
If you have any send them my way!!!

May 24, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

 We are not going to let this weather get us down, right!? 
It is Memorial Day so bust out your favorite barbeque apron, shake yourself a cold beverage and put on your red, white and blue.
Let us celebrate the beginning of summer!
Have a great weekend everyone!

May 22, 2013

Monster Cupcakes

Candy Eyes Inspired This Everyday Tray of Cakes!
These are for my son's classroom, however I think they would work great for a monster-inspired birthday party!?

For these guys I just used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie mix, and candy eyes I found at the grocery store. The frosting is a simple cream cheese/unsalted butter and confectioners sugar mix with a touch of vanilla. 
Nothing fancy. Just fun.

Oogily Boogily!

May 21, 2013

Boyardee Bliss

A trip home is never the same without a cold can of Chef Boyardee's Ravioli.
This has to be one of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures, and I await the day that studies show it causes some sort of horrible disease.
But I love it. 
The only thing else you need is a big stack of magazines and a fork.
What is YOUR guilty pleasure!?!

May 20, 2013

Happy Monday!

Hi Everyone,
I hope you all had a great weekend! 
For all of you who ran, I hope the wind was at your back, and that the light drizzle kept you cool and fast.
I was lucky enough to celebrate this weekend with two short runs that were justified by the world's best donuts. 
If you are ever passing through the Adirondacks, this is one destination in Eagle Bay, New York
 that you don't want to miss! 
Get them while they are hot, and the the grease soaks the bag clear.
Can you hear the angels sing?!

I hope your week brings you much deliciousness!

May 17, 2013


The weather looks like it is going to cooperate this weekend for all of you marathoners, half-marathoners and 'Girls on The Run' out there!
Best of luck to all of you running this Sunday on the new course. 
Stay safe and rock it!!!

Have A Great Weekend Everyone!

May 15, 2013


So, my husband declared this week "Meat Week," and since I am trying to reduce my carbohydrate intake, this works to my advantage. 
I can't, however, have steak on the grill every night, so I have to be a little creative.

Here is a quick, easy version of beef carpaccio; 
one of my favorite appetizers at many an Italian restaurant. 
Here, I just used the rarest roast beef I could find instead of slicing it from a raw piece of beef. 
I know that it isn't the "real" thing, but it is still yummy.

My husband called it 'Roast Beef Salad'....but I think Karra-paccio sounds so much nicer.
I am pretty fancy.

Yields One Large Appetizer to Be Shared

1/8 lb. of the rarest roast beef you can find (or slice raw beef from a tenderloin...freeze first so you can slice as thin as possible)

One large handful of washed and spun spring greens or fresh baby spinach

One large roasted red pepper, sliced (or a mix of roasted red peppers and banana peppers, sliced)

3 tablespoons of capers, drained

Olive Oil (+-1 tablespoon)
Truffle Oil (gentle drizzle)
Good Balsamic Vinegar (+- 1 tablespoon)
Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Freshly Ground Pepper + Kosher Salt

On a large plate, 
Lay a bed of greens; top with peppers; top with beef; top with capers and shaved parmesan; Drizzle with olive oil, truffle oil and balsamic vinegar (to taste, but be gentle with the truffle oil); Season with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.

Share and Enjoy!

May 14, 2013

Blast From the Past

I came across this DVD the other day, and I almost fell over.
This may have been one of the best shows to have ever aired on television. 

Did Somebody Say TV Night!?

(Don't Worry Kitty-Cat, We Will Keep You Safe)

May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

I just came across this poem by Shel Silverstein and I had to share it. 
I know it is a day late, but it is a goody.

Happy belated Mother's Day to you all!

Meat Week

So, after a week and a half of vegetarianism, my husband has thrown in the towel and has declared this week "Meat Week"....
Luckily for me, I am trying to reduce my carbohydrate intake so this could work...

Menu Options:

Stay Tuned for Details and Images!
Happy Monday Everyone!

May 9, 2013

HaPpY FRiDAy!!

 Let's Meet at the Local Watering Hole!
I honestly could not have staged this any better.
 Thank you to my son for inspiring this Friday's post.
Everyone here was the cat.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Copy Cat

Salmon, Sweet Potato, Spinach and Asparagus
I didn't make this.
But it was so good that I am going to try to this weekend!
Being from planet earth, I know that the base had roasted red peppers, sweet potatoes and spinach; the salmon and asparagus were grilled; the sauce was buttery, lemony and herby, and it was finally drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
Seems easy enough.
I'm going to give it a go.
Wish me luck.
Any insights or recommendations!?

May 8, 2013

Mama Dreaming

The most important holiday of the year is only a few days away. 
Let's play a game where we can all get exactly what we want.
 If my son could own a credit card, we lived in a world with no limits, and at the risk of being completely obnoxious, here are ten things I would gladly welcome for Mother's day:

Tickets for the Aspen Food and Wine Festival 

NYC Museum and Food Weekend 
(specifically: Per Se)

Dream Back splash and/or Lights for Our Kitchen
Killer Lights!
Moroccan tiles | Design: Pacific Family Homes
Back splash!

Ya, I'd Settle...

Overpriced but Super Cute 
Necklace + Earrings
from Sundance

 Dreamy Frye Boots
yes please

A Cleaning Lady.

This Kick ass Right hand Ring
Yes please

A Trip Across the Country in this Baby:
teardrop trailer

Television/Entertainment Stand with Bookshelves

Alternate View
Something Like This....

A Week Off + Bank to Go on a Trip With My Mom!
Vineyards, Tuscany, Italy     photo via murray

Super Bonus Round:
I could see this pool outside my door
C'mon, Play with Me. We Are Talking No Limits People!
This pool would be so perfect in our yard:)

Okay, now it is your turn.
What do you want for Mother's Day?

ps. In all sincerity, you need to get your mother something awesome in just a few days. 
You only have one! 
Treat her right!

May 7, 2013

Canoe Canoe?

After the longest winter ever, it is such a relief to get outside and enjoy the earth again. 
Here is a quick snap I took this weekend of the maiden canoe voyage of this season.

Did I mention that I love my iPhone?

May 6, 2013

It Tickles

Here is a fun fetch that I couldn't resist. 

Monday morning always calls for coffee, and this makes the beginning of the week that much more enjoyable. 

Have you been tickled today?

Happy Monday Everyone!

May 5, 2013

Free of Meat Recipe #6

"Homemade" Pizza
Okay. I know this one is not earth shattering or original, but it is so delicious, especially if you like doughy deliciousness.
...Not to mention that I really wanted to try out my new pizza stone, and I was desperate for a quick, meat free recipe after a day of shopping...

It is also a fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen; just set up a station of toppings and let them decorate their very own personal pizza.
Again, I know this is far from original, but the variations are endless. 
And it is fun.
Here is one that my son made. 
Sometimes less is more... 

Homemade or Wegman's pre-made pizza dough
Flour for rolling
Cornmeal for bottom

1. Make and/or roll out dough on a floured surface
2. Add sauce, cheese and toppings
3. Bake
4. Eat


Free of Meat Recipe #5

Caesar Pleaser

I don't know if this can technically be considered "vegetarian," since it does contain anchovies, but c'mon...close enough, right!? 
I guess I'd serve it to my non-vegetarian friends without muttering a word, but if somebody shows up with conviction, I guess I would be nice enough to disclose that it does contain fish...
I grilled the romaine, which is unnecessary, but adds a nice depth of flavor. 
Also, I can't take full credit for this recipe; It is adapted from one of our favorite restaurants that used to make it table side, 1980's style.
It is delicious.
I like it. 
Try it on for size and let me know what you think.
The Essential Ingredients

The Paste 


1/2 can of anchovy fillets; draining is optional; more flavorful if you don't drain them
1/2 tablespoon of capers
1 garlic clove, minced

1. Mash the above ingredients into a paste (See above image)

Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 egg
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper

2. Mix all of the above ingredients

Olive Oil (1-2 cups)
Parmesan Cheese/Romano Cheese (3 cups)
3 Heads of Romaine Lettuce, chopped, cleaned and spun ( optional: brush with oil, salt and pepper and grill until wilted and warm)
2 cups of croutons (homemade recommended)

3. Add olive oil in a slow drizzle to the above ingredients, stirring as you add
4. Add Parmesan/Romano Cheese and toss with lettuce and croutons to coat
5. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan/Romano cheese

I apologize that I neglected to take a photo of the finished product; I was too busy chowing down. 
Oh well, I guess I'll have to make it again! 


May 3, 2013

Happy Friday!

Ahhhh Spring, 
Let Me Count the Ways I Love You!

Goodbye Snow 
Hello to All That Blooms!

I hope you all have a great weekend, 
now get off your computers and get outside!

May 2, 2013

Meat Free Week Recipe #4

Utica Greens with Beans
This recipe is a version of Utica Greens, an Italian specialty from Utica, in upstate New York.
In this version, however, we went vegetarian and substituted white beans for the pork product. 
I know, it shouldn't be legal.
It was still good, but don't tell the grandmas from Utica.... 
They will beat you down. 
Then make you eat it the right way.


4 heads of escarole, cleaned very well, and chopped (Don't worry about spinning because you are going to boil it anyway)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (+2 tablespoons for marinade)
1/4 cup +- of chopped cherry peppers
1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups of parmesan cheese
2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs
olive oil
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper

1. Marinate cannellini beans overnight in olive oil, 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper
2. Drain but don't rinse beans and set aside
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in escarole and cook until wilted. Drain and allow to cool.
4. Meanwhile, cook garlic and cherry peppers until the garlic is fragrant. Toss in the cannellini beans at the end to warm and allow flavors to meld. Do not over toss or you will destroy the beans.
5. Once the escarole is cool, ring out excess water by placing the escarole in a clean dishtowel and ringing. You will see that the escarole 1/4's in size
6. Mix the escarole well with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Add more crumbs and/or cheese if you like. 
7. Once this is well mixed, gently mix in the garlic, hot peppers and beans.
8. Bake in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
9. Serve warm as a side for any pasta dish, or as an appetizer to be shared amongst friends.

To see my original, and more traditional, version of Utica Greens, scroll to the bottom of my 'Drinkies and Snackies' page; it was one of the first recipes I blogged....because it truly is one of my favorite dishes to make and to eat!


May 1, 2013

Meat Free Week Recipe #3

Portobello, Red Pepper 
Three Cheese Frittata

Last night I paired this simple dish with biscuits and a grilled romaine salad, and it was a hit even with my carnivorous husband. I thought for sure he would make fun of me for making a 'quiche' for dinner, but the words "this is good" actually came out of his mouth...And he went up for seconds!
That is always the best complement.

Yields one Pie Plate (6-8 servings)
3 Portobello mushrooms, sliced or chopped
3 Green Onions, sliced or chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced or chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
8 eggs
1/4 cup of whole milk
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt

1. Slice or chop your vegetables and saute in 2 tablespoons of oil until slightly tender. Salt and Pepper.
2. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper
3. Spray pie pan with non-stick spray
4. Dump in egg mixture, chopped basil, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, then the vegetable mixture. Stir lightly. Top with mozzarella cheese and decorate top with sliced mushrooms and peppers.
5. Bake, covered for 30 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake until eggs are set and the cheese on top is melted.
6. Serve hot or at room temperature.
*Great Alternative: Grill Vegetables instead of sauteing them

 I have made many different versions of this recipe depending on what I have in my crisper, garden and cheese drawer.
You can use almost any vegetable or cheese you have available, because this dish is pretty forgiving. 
I try to get a variety of colors and textures for interest, but try it with your favorite vegetables and cheeses, and I am sure you will not be disappointed. 
 I actually made a great one for my son's third birthday party which you can check out as well under my 'Drinkies and Snackies' page. 
This dish is perfect for a Spring brunch, lunch or an early dinner.