February 28, 2014

Happy Friday Everyone!

Grab your favorite glass of vino and celebrate;
It is sunny and bright and one day closer to Spring! 

And for all of my Pennsylvania friends, it looks like it might be another three-four day weekend!?

As a teacher, I used to lovity love snow days, but
being home with a toddler has exhausted my resources.
The only thing I can think is that the museums, parks and zoos will be dead mid-week through June!

There is always a silver lining, right!?

Well, whatever Mother Nature throws at us this weekend, I hope you all have a good one!

See you on Monday!

February 27, 2014

Stop Wining

Dare I say that I am wined out!?

I think I have finally done it!
No...never mind...not yet....

We attended our second wine tasting of the week last night and I am still full to the rim.

Holy food.
Holy wine.

As usual, Cale did an amazing job with his cheffing and wine pairing.

It was just so. much. food!

I wish I could have taken a to-go container without feeling like a total sow...

A Parting Gift!
Thank you Becks!

The End

If you ever get a chance to make the drive to Nazareth, PA, Beck's is the place to go.
Chef Cale does an amazing job on a regular basis, but he is truly able to show off his creativity and skills at these wine pairing dinners.
The sommelier is a total character 
(he swings a butter knife around like a sword when he is doing his presentations), 
but he is knowledgeable, tells a lot of great histories, and pours a heavy glass.

We will return again and again!
Thank you for another great dining experience Beck's!

Now I must juice for the next month.....

February 26, 2014

Karra Street

A wise woman once said, 
"I don't smell wine, I drink it"

Actually, this woman sat next to us at a wine tasting last night.

Her name was Ellen, no H

She has a point. 
Otherwise they would call it wine sniffing. 
And that wouldn't be much fun.

I am torn at posting this, as I fear popularity will soar, but this was one spectacular fetch.

Twenty five dollars for a five course meal with wine that was above the top!

For my Pennsylvania friends, this is one local event that you will want to pencil in your calendar at some point.

They hold it every other month.

I can't say enough. 

Thank you Sarah Street and Doug for hosting one of the best meals I've had in Stroudsburg in a long time!

February 24, 2014

Ina's Winter Ministrone

You can't go wrong with a big pot of soup when it is chilly outside. 
It warms your kitchen, your bones and your soul. 

This recipe eats like a stew, and develops deeper flavor as it sits, so feel free to make it ahead of time.

Pair this with a bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc, a big loaf of crusty bread, and you will have dinner for days!

This is Ina's recipe. 
I followed it step by step. 
Save the garlic bruschetta...we made a honey wheat bread and a crusty white bread instead. 
But, who cares!?
It is all good...unless you burn it...

ps. Stirring in fresh pesto at the end definitely raises it a level, so try not to skip that step!


Happy Monday Everyone!

February 20, 2014

To Dance on Tables

I have never wanted to feel the sun on my face, bust out of these wool socks, and jump into a pool so badly in my entire life.

When you wish for a 'real' winter, you must be ready for what may show up at your doorstep.
Tread lightly with your words.

Here are a few fun finds for your cold Friday afternoon to bring you to a place all things fun, and sun, and Spring Break.

Watch out; 
I may behave like a nineteen year old this Spring... 

Beer Belt
Do you think wine bottles will fit?
Pong Head Game
When a table isn't available...
Party Pong Pool Float
Who is in!?
River Rover Lounge Chair Pool Float
Spring break...this summer!?! Hell, both!
Bike Fyxation Bike Wine Holder
For the ride to the beach
Bota Bag Flask
The perfect wine bag for any Spring Break outing...
but I would be wearing clothes...
Unicorn Mask
Why not, right!?
UO Bandages
For the morning after...

Thank you Urban Outfitters for helping me imagine how my alter-ego may behave...
given the right opportunity...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Spicy Shrimp Caesar

I love me some spicy shrimp!

And on a caesar?! Yes, please!

This caesar recipe is derived from Peppe's Italian Restaurant in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania where they used to make it tableside, circa 1980's style. 
They would crush the garlic, anchovies and capers...squeeze in the lemon juice from a lemon carefully wrapped in a pretty mesh net....

Sadly, they no longer offer it on their menu.
They say they do, but they don't. 
They use premade dressing now.
Very sad, because I believe it may have been the best caesar ever. 

So, since we could no longer get this fabulous salad, I took matters into my own hands, and experimented for what seems like an eternity to finally perfect the art of the caesar. 

I hate to brag, but I think I got it.

It still isn't as good as their's used to be, but it ranks a close second.

Ah, the labors of love.

Now, my husband and I have it all the time topped with whatever protein strikes our fancy...or whatever is left in the refrigerator from the night prior: 
shrimp, chicken, steak...

Makes a meal sized salad for 2 or 4 pre-dinner snackers

For the Shrimp:
12 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 tsp of crushed red pepper flake
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp of salt

Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to an afternoon.

For the Caesar:
1 large head of romaine lettuce, cleaned, chopped and spun
1 cup of croutons made from homemade bread (bread cut into cubes, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and baked until crunchy)

1 clove of garlic
1/2 can of anchovies
1 tablespoon of capers

Mash the above ingredients into a paste

1 tsp of dried mustard
1 tsp of freshly ground pepper
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp or so of Worchestershire sauce
1/2 a cup of good quality, aged balsamic vinegar
2 cups of good quality olive oil
1 egg (optional)

2 large scoops of parm +/or romano cheese + more for the cheese lovers to sprinkle on as they eat

Put all ingredients into your Vitamix or similar blender except for the olive oil and the cheese. Blend the shit out of it until it is creamy and combined. Slowly add the olive oil in a drizzle, mixing as you incorporate it. Once all of the oil is incorporated, toss with the romaine and the croutons until coated. Add cheese and toss again.

Take the shrimp out of the refrigerator, along with the marinade, and toss in a hot pan until they are translucent. Put on top of the salad.

Serve with extra grated cheese


*Disclaimer: We still love you Peppe's, we are just those annoying customers who get hooked on a dish.
Trust us, our criticism is genuinely out of love.

February 18, 2014

A Winter Adventure

Finally, school was not cancelled yesterday! 

Because running outside is almost impossible right now, and a trip to the mountain on President's Day was less than appealing, I set out down the driveway with intentions of doing a few short laps to get a little fresh air...
then I realized how absolutely beautiful it was outside! 
A short walk was not going to suffice.

So, I went back in the house, strapped on my big-ass snow boots, grabbed a pair of poles, and I was off...

Whether it is because I have been pent up for the past few months with various illnesses, snowstorms, or allergies, it truly was the best two + hour snow hike ever.
I came home with full intentions of buying snowshoes and starting a new hobby.

Snow Selfie


A Field Just Waiting to Be Snow-Shoed

Thank you Katie and Allie for making miles of tracks! I still sank, but this hike would have been impossible without them!

So quiet and peaceful!

Anybody Home!?

Critter Scuffle #1

Critter Scuffle #2...yes, that is blood...:(

Katie, Allie and Elias' Snowman

2 hours later and still toasty warm!

Thank you school for not cancelling, Mr. Golden Sun for shining, my boots for keeping my feet warm, and Katie and Allie for snowmobiling the perfect paths through the fields and forest! 

It was a charmed day.

February 17, 2014

Mugs O' Love

I personally think that Valentine's Day is a bunch of bullshit. 
Expensive flowers that inevitably die...
Everything dipped in chocolate and pink...
the pressure to show everyone around you that you love them...
blah blah blah.

With that being said, I also like to make stuff. 
And I like to show appreciation to the village that helps raise my son; 
teachers, doctors, babysitters, friends...

So, on this cold winter's day, I busted out my inner crafter and made these little mugs of love...

Just a little something for those that care for the little boy when I'm not around.

A heart bookmark, hot chocolate, mini-marshmallows + a mason jar = Mug O' Love

I hope you all survived the pink explosion!

Happy Monday!

February 7, 2014

Happy Friday!

Well, Wednesday was pretty dreary, and I felt like sticking a pencil in my eye around 2:30....anotherrrrr snow day!?! 
They used to be so grand when I was a teacher, but now that it means I am stuck inside with a toddler for another day it makes me want to scream.
Especially when the roads are clear and there is not a cloud in site.
Give me a break!

Okay, I'll stop complaining.

Well, yesterday as Mr. Golden Sun came to visit I was reminded to not be such a bitch...
It was very pretty.

Thank you for the balance Mother Earth!

Look at this ice!
It shimmered like gemstones.
It was the type of snow that a toddler could walk across with ease. 
The ice that formed on top was the perfect layer of glass. 
For me, or anyone over 38 pounds, however, it was the type that you crash through and kill your shins with every step. Ouch!

Well, at least it was pretty!

Bring on the weekend!
Have a great time out there!
Stay warm and enjoy the season....

February 4, 2014

Warm Your Soul

So last week we made the pilgrimage up to the Adirondacks for some winter fun. 
Sledding, skiing, eating, drinking...
It was cold as shit, so we stayed inside most of the weekend, but I did get to drop off some new paintings at Five Corners!

There is no better place to get a great glass of wine and a warm meal before heading back out into the cold.

So, if you are up for a road trip, or you are one of my faithful northern readers, stop in to see my work! 
This series should warm your bones.

Gouache, Salt and Sugar on Canvas

'Leaf Pile'
Gouache, Ink, Alcohol and Salt on Canvas

Oil on Canvas

Thank you PKR!

We can't wait to come back to eat and drink some more!

February 3, 2014


Ya, I don't really get into football.
Fanatics tend to scare me; 
they are loud and aggressive and somewhat unreasonable. 
I just don't understand the entire culture.

Call me un-American.

 Maybe it is because I grew up in a town where they barely had enough boys to make a soccer team...and I went to a college where lacrosse was almighty... 
but I can dig any party, 
so when Superbowl Sunday rolls around you can guarantee that I will be in the kitchen snacking on all things bar-food inspired.

Also, we didn't have a party, but if we did I can imagine a sea of fat: 
pulled pork nachos, Thai peanut chicken wings...maybe a giant fountain of cheese!?

But since there was only a few of us, I tamed my inner food-pushing beast and only made a few select items...

Double Smoked Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Before the Oven

Half of these are stuffed with cream cheese and chives, and the other half are stuffed with a mixture of cheddar and monterey jack cheeses.

Fingerling Potato Skins

Before the oven

Who doesn't love potato skins?!
I made these with fingerling potatoes to make them ultra snack-able.


Jalapeno Poppers
Makes 12 poppers

6 Jalapeno Peppers
4 ounces of cream cheese
monterey jack cheese
cheddar cheese
fresh ground pepper

Cook 12 slices of thin-sliced bacon until golden brown but still bendable. Set aside to drain and cool.
Cut the jalapeno peppers in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. 
Arrange the peppers, cut side up on a parchment lined pan or baking dish.
Mix the cream cheese with chives and black pepper. 
Fill the peppers with the cream cheese mixture and wrap with the precooked bacon. Secure with a toothpick if necessary, or tuck the bacon under the pepper to hold it in place.
Bake at 375 until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve immediately.

Fingerling Potato Skins
Makes 12 potato skins


6 Fingerling potatoes
Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped green onions
Cooked bacon pieces
Sour Cream for serving

Bake the fingerling potatoes until tender (you should be able to cut them in half with ease)
Cut the potatoes in half and gently scoop out the flesh from each side of the potato. Leave only a thin amount of potato flesh on the skin.
Arrange the potato halves on a parchment lined pan or baking dish.
Fill the halves with cheese, chopped green onion and bacon. 
Bake at 375 until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve immediately with sour cream.

I made mozzarella sticks too, but I burnt the shit out of them, so they didn't make the photo spread.

I hope you all had a great Superbowl Sunday!