December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

"Live each season as it passes; 
breathe in the air, 
drink the drink, 
taste the fruit, 
and resign yourself to the influence of the earth." 

- Henry David Thoreau

A quote for this winter's solstice. 
Have a great weekend everyone.

Winter is officially here!

*Image, again, taken with my trusty iPhone. 
The best gift I gave myself this year.

December 20, 2013

Happy Friday!

Let us toast to the winter solstice!

Here is a creamy, frothy, black-raspberry, boozy beverage to get your parties started.

Imagine a black raspberry - vanilla twist from the Pied Piper.
In a glass.
Adult style.

All of those years pushing cones will come scurrying back.


A small plate of water
A small plate of cane sugar
1 part Milk (+- depending on mood)
1 part Chambord (+- depending on mood)

Dip your glass' rim in the water and then into the sugar to coat. Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, in a metal shaker, shake vigorously the milk, chambord and ice until frothy and well chilled.
Remove the glass from the freezer and carefully pour the beautifully frothy liquid into the beautifully chilled glass.
Sharing is optional.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Again, don't forget to toast to the winter solstice tomorrow...

Winter is finally, officially here!

December 19, 2013

Why Quiet is Bad

This is not a shocker, and it may be the number one lesson that all mothers know and learn pretty early on in their parenting careers:

Quiet is bad.

Because, just when you think your little angel is quietly watching Peter Pan in your bedroom while you are in the kitchen making lunch, 
think again...

He may just be cutting off his brand new pair of splurge 'Tea Collection' cargos at the knees because he wants to be like the Hulk...

Or, he may cut the belly button out of his three wool sweaters because they make his belly is hot...
or the sails off of his toy pirate ships, because it isn't windy, and the pirates just want to relax...

Or, he may eat all of the Hershey kisses off of a batch of 24 cookies 
(and consequently shit himself for a week straight)...

Or, he may take that green Sharpie marker and decorate the toilet like a wreath...
and then give himself a mustache for good measure...

Or, he may just trap the cat under the laundry basket because she is his prisoner...

I am just saying.
Sometimes quiet is bad....

At least this week it was...

December 18, 2013

Cookie Craze

So there is no denying it; I am going to get super fat this holiday season.

Call it beginners luck, or conquering the fear of my electric mixer, but I actually made edible cookies from scratch last week!

And what better way to celebrate than by inviting a bunch of women over to share and exchange the deliciousness?
Well, with wine, of course.

Look at how beautiful our cookies came out!

Just make sure you platter and gift them immediately, unless you intend on eating them all yourself....or risk your three year old son eating the Hershey kisses off the top of all the cookies in reach...

Here are the cookie recipes I conquered:

Melty Coconut Macaroons
(They weren't supposed to be melty, but I did something wrong....regardless, they were delish)

*Ina Garten's Recipe for Coconut Macaroons @

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
(Hard as a rock...but my son loved them...)

*Recipe found on the lid of Quaker oatmeal, just substituted dried cranberries in place of raisins

Cornmeal Butter Cookies with Raspberry Jam
(You will notice that these didn't make the platter....ehh hemm....sorry....)

*Recipe found in Cook's magazine

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Sea Salt
(Seriously salty addictive)

*Recipe found on

So I know that I am not the first person on earth to make cookies, or have a cookie exchange party, but damn it was fun!

I think this has to become an annual event!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

December 17, 2013

Winter Sunset

On another cold and snowy day, it is moments like this that warm our senses.
Thank you Mother Earth for keeping us in balance.

I took this shot after our first snowfall. 
Now that it is apparent that winter is here to stay, I have to suck up these moments every chance I get.


December 13, 2013

Happy Friday!

This drink will forever remind me of my brother.
 He has probably moved onto other flavors at this point, but back in the day when I used to be fun, young and bartended for a buck, this was his drink of choice.
Served in a big glass.

Here, I just supersized it for the holidays in a punch bowl, added festive cranberries, lime slices and giant ice cubes made out of cranberry juice and mandarin slices.

Perfect punch for your next holiday gathering!

The only thing wrong with this picture is that Colin isn't in it!

1 bottle of Absolut Mandarin Vodka
1 bottle of 100% cranberry juice
The juice of one lime
Lime slices
Ice cubes made out of cranberry juice and orange slices (or an ice ring)

Mix all of the ingredients together and drink up!
Have a great weekend everyone!

December 11, 2013

The Sky is on Fire

On frozen days like today, I like to look at images like the ones below to warm me up.

I hope you are all staying toasty in these sub-zero temps!

I took these images a few months back from our back patio. 
You can almost feel the warmth!

Think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts.....

December 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Bonanza

My husband is a peanut butter fanatic; The more peanut-buttery, the better.
So, for his birthday I wanted to make him a peanut butter something...cake, pie, truffles, candy?!
I had great luck over Thanksgiving making a pumpkin cheesecake (Thank you Paula Deen!), so I thought maybe I could make a peanut butter cheesecake...

Unfortunately, who knew that finding a decent peanut butter cheesecake recipe would be so difficult!?
The reviews read too mild, too strong, too stiff, too soft...

I guess everybody likes their peanut butter in different capacities.

As a reminder, I am not very good at baking.
In fact, I usually fuck it up pretty bad.

So, the thought of recreating a recipe, or adapting a recipe usually scares me...knowing deep down that any type of tinkering usually ends up in a disaster.
But, due to the fact that I couldn't find my vision, I was forced to try and adapt.
So I dove.

What happened?!
Pure brilliance.

I am a kitchen ninja.

The secret is the chocolate graham cracker crust...oh, and the miniature chocolate chips peppered throughout...oh, and the melty peanut butter chocolate topping...
oh, and the......well, you get the idea.
You will think you have gone to chocolate peanut butter heaven.

Makes one badass cake
Preheat oven to 325. 
You will need a spring form pan, parchment paper and a large baking or roasting dish for a waterbath.

For Crust:
One 10 ounce box of chocolate Teddy Grahams (or ten ounces of chocolate graham crackers...but the Teddy Grahams are sadistically fun to crush...)
1 stick of salted butter
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar 

Directions: Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of your springform pan and place into the pan. Crush the graham crackers (I put them in a ziplock and hammer them with a mallot), put them into a bowl with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Melt the butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of your prepared springform pan, coming up the edges ever so slightly.

For Filling:
1 1/4 cup of peanut butter (don't use all natural)
2, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of sour cream
3 eggs
2 tsp. of vanilla 
1/2 package of miniature chocolate chips (5 ounces)
1/2 a package of peanut butter chips (5 ounces)

Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the sour cream. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the chips. Dump into the crust.

Bake for an hour in 325 degree oven with a waterbath. Check doneness around 45 minutes. The top should look set.

Refrigerate for a minimum of four hours and up to two days.

Remove from pan and top with any or all of the following. 


For Topping:
- Whipped Cream: Heavy Cream + Conf. Sugar + Vanilla extract
- Melted chocolate and/or melted peanut butter chips
- Crushed peanuts
- Miniature chocolate chips

ps. This recipe was so quick and easy = perfect for your next holiday meal or gathering.
You might even impress your mother in law!


December 5, 2013

My Favorite Long Distance Run

Okay, so maybe the length of one rural Main Street block is not considered 'long distance' to those who lace up on a regular basis...but to a three year old it is damn long. 
And if you are one of the unlucky parents who have to carry your toddler and run that is even longer.
Luckily, my son is training to be a superhero, so he ran his little ass off. 
And he didn't even recognize that we came in second to last!
(The Grinch being the official last...)

I think we could have smoked that crowd if my little lover didn't have to stop and say hi to every spectator along his path, and/or pick up all of the antlers that had fallen from the more competitive children and adults in the crowds ahead of us; 
This upset him very much.
How can a reindeer run without his antlers?!
Don't they want them!?
Do they notice!?
"Wait! Stop! You lost your antlers! WAAAAIIIITT!"

I believe he has inherited both his mother's running ability and competitive spirit.

Best. Race. Ever.

This 'Reindeer Run' was hosted in Old Forge, NY this past weekend and was completely free, antlers and all!
Not to mention Bob and Helen hosted Disney's 'Frozen' at the theatre for $3/runner + free popcorn.
Where else on earth does this happen?!!


Thank you race organizers, Bob and Helen, and Old Forge for hosting such a great event.

See you again next year!

December 4, 2013

Go The F*K To Sleep

My good friend Aimee introduced me to this beautiful and brilliant "children's" book today, 
and as I sit and listen to the superhero banter and animal sounds echoing from my son's room, during what is supposed to be nap time, I can not help but  thank her for this introduction.

I believe every mother has their own version, but 
this one is sweetened with honey because it is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.
Click on this Youtube link to enjoy:

Thank you Aimee and Samuel for making a hair-greying afternoon somewhat humorous!