Sunday, December 31, 2006

If you like pina colada's...

Here's what's on the menu for our rockin' New Year's Eve bash.. Virgin Pina Colada's and Chinese Dumplings. For the Pina Colada's:

1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 c. - 1/2c. cream of coconut
6 scoops pineapple sherbet
ice -optional
fresh pineapple - optional

Blend in the blender, pour and garnish with fresh pineapple wedges, a cherry, and a paper umbrella(a must). Makes about 3 cups.

Now for the dumplings. My sister-in-law, Tiffany gave me this recipe and they are wicked tasty. They are a bit time consuming, and make a LOT, so if you are not feeding an army, make half. I figure this is a good thing to make once a year since it takes a big chunk of time to fill all of these babies. Definitely worth the time.

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c. minced cabbage
2 1/2 c. minced garlic
1/4 c. minced onion
2 1/2 t. minced ginger root
1 t. salt
1 egg

2 pkgs. wonton wrappers

Mix all of the above except wrappers, and saute in skillet, until meat is browned. Fill each wrapper according to package directions. Boil, steam or fry dumplings until done. Makes about 100, that's right, 100.

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

Blend well and dip dumplings as you eat. This sauce is a must for these dumplings. So good. Happy New Year everyone! Cheers!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Festivus For the Rest of Us

While most of you are giving careful thought to the coming new year and said resolutions, I am thinking that it is time for the airing of grievances. No better way to start the new year off than with a little axe grinding, right??!! Once you get it all off your chest, then you can move on in a more positive direction and run that marathon with gusto, or wake up on time every day, or eat healthy, or whatever your resolve may be. So, I've let this little grievance of mine go, brushing it off as no big deal for years now, but still definitely at the top of the list of pet peeves of mine, until today...I can stand it no longer, it's CALL WAITING. Basically, what it boils down to is're talking to some person on the phone, then someone beeps in, the person you are talking to says, "I've gotta go or hold on, SOMEONE is on the other line." Translation: I'd really rather talk to that PERSON than you now, so I gotta go. Rudeness. I refuse to sit on hold while they check to see if they would rather talk to me or the other PERSON. I almost always hang up when they leave me hanging. I'm fine to sit on hold for the doctor/hotel reservations etc. because they are busy people and that is what you do at a business, you put people on hold. But friends do not put friends on hold...I mean really, you can't miss a call??!! The thing that got me all jazzed about this today, because like I said, I had let it go long ago, but today a friend put my daughter on hold! The nerve! Oh no you din't just put my daughter on hold! Am I just a lunatic? Maybe there are advantages to call waiting, it can get you out of many a boring phone conversations. At any rate, I don't mean to be disrespectful to any of my readers who may have call waiting...I am sure there are very good reasons for having the call waiting option installed to your phone line that I have not thought of and I will find myself eating these words in a minute...hold on...just after I take this call...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Creme Brulee French Toast

This is good for breakfast, sometimes I make it on Christmas morning. I have altered it a little using egg nog and it is even better, I think. I use half egg nog and half of the half and half plus 1 or 2 eggs and leave out the Grand Marnier( I usually don't have any on hand) but do add the vanilla. You can leave it over night to soak or just make it up and cook that morning and it works just fine. Grate a little fresh nutmeg on top if you like. Yum-o.

If you like egg nog, you should also try these. My friend, Megan made these last year for a cookie exchange and I thought they were amazing. The texture is perfect, soft and dense, full of egg nog flavor. I can't get enough of them! Go get yourself some egg nog.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Time to...

This is how I feel today...

Friday, December 15, 2006


This is what our Christmas dinner looks like, well not really, but this is one of the components, Varkenshaas. Varken - are probably saying??!! It really is just a way to say pork tenderloin in a mustard cream sauce. Don't let the name fool you, it's easy to make and is a taste sensation! It's especially good when you are all ham and turkey'd out after the holidays. My kids go crazy for it, requesting it everytime I ask them what I should make for dinner. Really, we just like to say the name...VARKENSHAAS... Barkin' Josh, Soph n' sauce...try it!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mmmmmmm Good!

I love to make this Dark Hot Fudge Sauce at Christmas and give to friends and neighbors. It is especially good atop peppermint ice cream and a brownie, or on a spoon all by itself straight from the jar.


Love these jammies. Love it at Thomas Pink.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holiday Cheer

Everytime I see snowman cakes at this time of year, I am reminded of a time when I discovered what was REALLY inside of those cakes. It was the first grade holiday party at school. The class mother had brought the biggest, most delicious looking snowman cake to the party. All the kids were oohing and aahing over this cake...we couldn't wait to dive in. Come to find out, the cake would be divided up and awarded to the three winners of the party games. All hopes were dashed. Well, lucky for me, I happened to win one of the games. I was the luckiest winner because I got the biggest part of the cake, the bottom part. It was boxed up and sent home with me to enjoy with my family (or not!) Those poor kids in my class who didn't win any of it, too bad for them I thought! Well, I run home, careful not to shake my snowman and crush him to crumbs, "this is going to be sooooo good," I think to myself. The anticipation is killing me..."hurry Mom, get a knife, cut this cake...I won it at school!!!!" My Mom gets out the knife and cuts into it for mouth drops, the tears start spraying's not a cake's a...a....I can't even say it now without my blood's a grapefruit! A big, fat, stinking, frosted grapefruit! I was outraged...who does that to a kid??!! Who frosts a bunch of citrus fruit and presents it as a snowman cake at a party full of kids??!! That has got to be the cruelest trick ever pulled on children at a time when no trick playing should be allowed. I hope she got coal in her stocking that year and every year since...I have not completely recovered from this event, as you can see. If I ever see that lady again...she is going to get more than grapefruit in the eye from me! Nothing like a little grapefruit to brighten a child's Christmas, eh? The one time I actually win something in my entire life and it is a lousy grapefruit. I didn't eat it, but I am sure my Mom did.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Have you had these? You are missing out if you haven't. These are little Brazilian delicacies that are pure chocolatey, caramel-y goodness. A family friend who used to live in Brazil introduced me to these years ago, and when I asked her for the recipe she really gave me the run around. She bribed me! She told me if I stayed friends with her daughter forever, she would give me the recipe. No problemo, I had to have the recipe, even if her daughter was a pain. Needless to say, I kept my end of the deal and she kept up her end. I now have the recipe and although I can never get them to turn out right, I keep trying, because they are just delectable eaten straight out of the bowl! Here is the recipe:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 T. butter
3 T. cocoa powder

Boil the can of sweetened condensed milk in the can for 3 hours. Now I know this method is no longer recommended because of the serious hazards, so use your judgement, you can also cook it in the oven out of the can or over the stove top. Commom sense caution: If you do boil it in the can, don't open the can until it is completely cool and don't blame me if you get into trouble here, you've been warned. So, after you do that, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a pot, add butter and cocoa and stir over medium heat. Now this is the part where I mess up. Perhaps I don't cook it long enough or maybe I cook it too long, but after this step you are supposed to roll into balls. It is really sticky, so put butter on your hands. I still have trouble here, so I usually roll a few, roll into sprinkles/jimmies(is there a difference?) and then grab a spoon and start eating it out of the pot. Put into little candy cups if you make it that far.

You are probably asking yourself," Why did she post this recipe if it is a flop"? The truth is, they really are worth a shot and I believe there must be somebody out there who knows how to make them turn out right and then you can help me. Maybe my friend's Mom tricked me and didn't give me the exact recipe for fear that I would take the recipe and run?

In a few recipes I have seen that the sweetened condensed milk is not cooked prior to the second cooking, it just suggests to cook it all at once. Maybe that is my problem? I'll let you know after I try this method. You should also note that they can be rolled into sugar, coconut, nuts, or little white non-pareils or rainbow sprinkles, but I highly recommend the chocolate sprinkles, especially these.

So, try them, they really are not as much work as they seem and they make great little somethings to give to your friends/neighbors at this holiday time. And if they don't work, just heat and pour over some ice cream.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

get these shoes

The thing I love about these shoes, is the red soles. Christian Louboutin's shoes are exquisite, but the red soles peeking out underneath are stunning. I saw a picture of Jada Pinkett Smith this week in Us Weekly (don't laugh!) and while she looked gorgeous, the thing that really catches your eye is the soles...amazing. For brides, he has made a beautiful blue sole...something blue. Go pick yourself up a pair here.

Try these...

Give these a go, you won't be disappointed. You may even be able to use up more of that leftover turkey in place of the chicken here. I make them a bit simpler by omitting the deep frying bit, and rolling them up like enchiladas. I pour the tomatillo sauce over them, top with cheese and bake them. So good. Make the tomatillo sauce, you won't be disappointed, and it is not hard to make. You can use monterey jack cheese in place of the queso blanco if you can't find it. Dee-lish.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Turkey Tetrazzini

What to do with all of that leftover turkey??? Make turkey tetrazzini, of course. The first time I had turkey tetrazzini was at my mother-in-law's. I loved it and still do, although I can't make it taste as good as hers does. I love the name, it makes ho-hum, everyday turkey sound really extravagant. I love that it is easy to make, but sounds like you've been slaving away for days making it. I love that it is named after this opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini. When you've got a last name like Tetrazzini, you can't help but have a dish named after you. I guess when you are an opera singer, you get perks like that. Like Renee Fleming's, Diva Renee au Chocolat by chef Daniel Boulud. Now wouldn't you like to have a dessert named after you?

Here's the recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini from the Lion House Cookbook:

8 ounces spagetti, broken in pieces and cooked
5 T. butter
6 T. flour
3 c. chicken or turkey broth
1 cup light cream
1 t. salt
1 cup fresh or canned mushrooms, including juice
5 T. minced green peppers
3 c. cooked turkey, cubed
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in skillet, blend in flour. Stir broth into flour mixture. Add cream. Cook until mixture thickens and bubbles. Add salt and pepper, drained spagetti, mushrooms, green peppers, and cooked turkey. Turn into individual baking dishes or a 2-3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Serves 8.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hooray for National Bundt Day!

So, November 15th was National Bundt Day!! Did you know that? I never knew there was such a day devoted to such a pretty, yet functional object. I saw this lamp and thought it was a great way to pay tribute to the bundt. I would love to have this somewhere in my house. I love it when kitchen tools become functional as other forms and vice versa. See it at, which just so happens to be a local (as in Rhode Island local) design team. Long live the bundt.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wicked cute

How cute is this skirt ?!!? I happen to know a little girl that would look great in this. I don't think I can justify its pricey price tag though. If only I could sew! Oh, that I had paid more attention in Home Ec. class. Sigh. Find it here in a few other colors and polka dots to boot.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Darda Race Tracks

Perhaps this post should be reserved for my car-loving husband, but I realy like this toy and I am always appreciative of a good toy recommendation. These tracks are the best, in my opinion. They're easy to put together, even for a young child, they can make more than one track configuration, very durable, and if one breaks, easily replaceable. But, the coolest thing about these tracks is the cars...they're not just any car...they have Porsche, McLaren, BMW to name a few...and they don't fall off the track, no batteries required, just pull them back a few times and they go at 600 m.p.h. (scale, that is). They are so fun to watch zoom around and around the track. I don't know who likes them more, the kids or the parents?

How cute are these shoes?

I wish I had a little baby girl to buy these for. Luckily they have big girl shoes too. Love them. Check them out here. Ultra cute.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Praline Yams

Okay. One last post for today. My sister-in-law makes these Praline Yams every Thanksgiving, and it is the only way I will eat them. I have never been a fan of the marshmallow topped version. I try to like them, I should like them, but I just can't. So, I am glad she came up with this recipe. Don't tell anyone that she uses canned yams.

1 large -40 oz. can yams, drained
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter

Place yams in baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Crumble over the top of yams. Bake in a 350 oven for 35-45 minutes, until nice and golden brown on top. Mmmm. I love to eat them for breakfast the next day!

The Swedish Chef

Do you remember him? I loved him. I looked forward to watching The Muppet Show every Sunday night(I think that is when it was on?) . He was my absolute favorite character. I think I thought I was somehow connected to him with my Swedish heritage and all. He was just so funny to watch and listen to. I thought I was so clever that I could imitate his accent. I think we need to see a revival of this character. I almost named my blog The Swedish Chef, but I am no chef and I thought it a bit presumptuous. Hogie Wogie was just so catchy, don't you think?

Oh, Somebody Has a Birthday!

Look who is turning 7! I love this girl. I love that she is so artistic/creative/crafty. I love that she is a scrapbooker, because I am not. I love that she is such a hard worker. I love the outfits she puts together, sometimes??!! I love that she loves to watch HGTV, especially The Carol Duvall Show. I love that she loves sushi. I love that her penmanship is 100 times neater than mine. I love that she is so organized and precise. I love that over the summer, when she had a t.v. in her room, she would wake up extra early and watch VH-1 videos. Now, everytime she hears a song on the radio, she says, "Oh, I've seen this video." Nice. I love the way she ice skates. I love that she taught herself how to tie her shoes. I love that she sings in the shower at the top of her lungs. I love that since she doesn't have a middle name, she gave herself the middle name, Fluffy. I love that she is better than me in so many ways. I love that she is my daughter. Happy Birthday, you!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Key Lime Bars

While everyone has pumpkin and cranberry flavors on their mind, I have been thinking of these. The recipe intrigued me because the crust uses animal crackers and one of my favorite ingredients, key limes. Key limes or Mexican limes/West Indian limes are very different from the Persian limes that we are accustomed to in this country. True key limes are very small, and yellowish green and they pack a mean, tangy punch as opposed to their big, green counterpart. My sister, the Floridian has educated me on all things key lime. They are only in season in Florida a few months during summer,but you can still find them year round. They really are worth the effort if you don't mind zesting and jucing the little things. My mouth is already starting to pucker just thinking of them.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bok Choy, Baby! and other fabulous sides

I love this stuff, especially prepared this way. I think you'll like it too. Another good side dish is these chili roasted sweet potato wedges. And one more simple, really simple thing, but I am sure you already know it is... oven roasted broccoli. Cut up some broccoli crowns, toss with olive oil and kosher salt, roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or so and there you have it. My friend, Valentina makes a medley of vegetables this way (using sea salt) and it is so delicious. We found ourselves eating the broccoli like candy, so I usually just make the broccoli minus the other veggies, although equally delicious.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

India Tree

India Tree makes some really pretty decorations for cupcakes, cookies, etc. I recently bought the chocolate vermicelli and love the way it makes everything look...I want to sprinkle it on everything. Check them out here.

Happy Halloweeners

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bad idea

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin and Nutella

Not a big fan of pumpkin pie, but I eat it every Thanksgiving like every good American should, but I don't enjoy it. However, I have come to really enjoy this pie. How could anything with Nutella be bad? It really does the trick for the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Nutella Pie

1 pie crust
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375. Pre - bake pie crust for 10 minutes. Then turn oven down to 325 after removing pie crust from oven.

In medium bowl blend Nutella with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and 2 egg yolks, stir and mix thoroughly. Spread mixture into pie crust and bake for 30 minutes until puffy and set. You may want to cover the edge of pie crust with foil at this point to prevent burning.

In a separate bowl, stir together remaining sweetened condensed milk, 2 whole eggs, pumpkin and spices. Gently spoon mixture over chocolate layer of pie. Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Make sure knife comes out clean when testing for doneness.


I like these shoes and this necklace, both from White House Black Market.

Duran Duran

Look who's coming to Providence for my birthday!! How did they know??!! How thoughtful of them. And in case you were wondering which one was my boyfriend...the one in the middle, Simon Le Bon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bread Pudding

Kathryn requested a bread pudding recipe. I love this one that Judy Tyler made. I just serve it with homeade caramel sauce instead of the cinnamon rum sauce. I also love this pumpkin one and I omit the raisins and substitute chocolate chips...much better. Speaking of Judy, one of the best cooks in the world...she made this pumpkin soup once and I love it, lots of interesting flavors, really good with hot, crusty bread on a cool fall day. I make it every year. Deee-lish. I will be posting more pumpkin recipes soon.

Fresh Sage Stuffing

Rebecca asked for this recipe, so I will post it since Thanksgiving is coming soon. This recipe is from Williams Sonoma. One year at Thanksgiving, my Dad put raisins in the stuffing. After everyone had eaten their Thanksgiving dinner, each person had left a pile of raisins on his/her plate. So, the moral of this story is don't add raisins to your stuffing.

Fresh Sage Stuffing

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
8 cups dry bread cubes
3 T. finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 t. salt plus more if needed
1 t. pepper
1/2 - 1 cup turkey or chicken broth

In fry pan over med. heat, melt 2 T. of butter. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often until soft, but not brown 6-8 minutes. Melt remaining 6 T. butter separately. IN a large bowl combine bread cubes, sage, parley, salt and pepper. Add the onion and celery and melted butter, toss to combine. Slowly add the broth, just enough to moisten it, do not get too much or it will be soggy. Add more seasonings at this point if more is needed. At this point you can either stuff the turkey or bake it alone. I usually bake it in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until heated all the way through. Makes 9 cups.

Buyer's Remorse

Most people have buyer's remorse after making a big purchase. I have buyer's remorse because I see a cute thing and don't buy it and then I obsess about it until I have to go to great lengths to find it and pay extra just to have it. I know I am crazy, I even had to make a New Year's resolution last year that I would just buy things as I saw them, but I hate impulse buying. I need to do better, I need to buy things, I can always return them, right? I saw a tote bag like this in Sun Valley in the local drugstore for 10$, why didn't I buy it? I don't need a tote bag, but it was cute and only 10$. Now I am looking all over the internet to find it and can only find this bowling bag and a laptop carrier, both well over 10$. The company that makes them is called danicaimports and they are a Canadian company, they make a lot of other cute things for the home etc. Just so you know that I am extra crazy here (in asian plum) is another bag that I passed up while in Sun Valley. Why do I do this?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


18 seconds and 1 dollar more and this lovely handbag could have been mine, all mine!!! Blast that girl who outbid me! You know how it goes, isn't it the worst feeling ever to think you have won and you didn't?! AAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH! I am so mad about this. Look how cute and brown it is. It was only $29.00 when I started bidding and ended at $46 dollars. I guess these bags have been around for awhile, but I am just now catching on. I saw them while shopping in Sun Valley last week. Apparently they are called Dogy Bagz or so I am told and made by a company called Un Apres Midi de Chien. So sad... if you happen to see one like this...give me a holler. I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Is there anything better?

Do you love this apple juice as much as I do? Mmmmmm. I better jump on the apple bandwagon before apple season is over. I have a recipe for apple fritters that I love. The recipe says to fry in bacon fat, but I just use butter. I am sure it would be delicious with the bacon fat. Let me know what you think.

Apple Fritters

1 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
1 apple peeled and chopped or grated
bacon fat(or butter) for frying

Sprinkle with mixture of:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients except confectioner's sugar and cinnamon. Beat egg, add milk and add to dry ingredients, then gently fold in apples. Drop by spoonfuls and fry in a medium hot skillet/fry pan in lots of butter until golden brown and set in center. Roll in confectioner's sugar/cinnamon when hot. Eat.

Is there anything better?

Do you love this apple juice as much as I do? Mmmmmm. I better jump on the apple bandwagon before apple season is over. I have a recipe for apple fritters that I love. The recipe says to fry in bacon fat, but I just use butter. I am sure it would be delicious with the bacon fat. Let me know what you think.

Apple Fritters

1 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
1 apple peeled and chopped or grated
bacon fat(or butter) for frying

Sprinkle with mixture of:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients except confectioner's sugar and cinnamon. Beat egg, add milk and add to dry ingredients, then gently fold in apples. Drop by spoonfuls and fry in a medium hot skillet/fry pan in lots of butter until golden brown and set in center. Roll in confectioner's sugar/cinnamon when hot. Eat.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Free Speech

I am sorry that I implied on Liz's blog that my husband shouldn't be able to participate by commenting. I retract that statement and express my regrets that I ever implied that his posts or comments are embarrassing to me or my family.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Banoffee Pie

Have you tried this? Pure heaven! There are many variations and recipes, so if this one doesn't look do-able, you can try many others. It is probably one of those things you should eat before you die.

11 years ago...

Robert proposed to me here. I don't remember the exact day, but I know he does...he won't tell me because he likes to hold it over my head that he is the more romantic one. He is good about those things, I am not. I do still remember our anniversary, though. Anyways, points for me remembering the approximate date of our engagement. Here's to you, honey buns!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

No Reservations

I love this show. Of course it is about food, but more than that. This Anthony Bourdain is very witty and sarcastic. He travels the world...eating and he will eat anything, and I mean anything...brains, stomaches, feet, you name it and he really enjoys it. The only thing I've seen him eat that he didn't like...a deep fried twinkie. His book, Kitchen Confidential looks like a good read...but then again maybe not if you don't want to know what's going on behind the scenes in your local restaurant.

Monday, October 02, 2006


This is what I made this weekend for breakfast. This is standard fare in our household since my kids won't eat pancakes...huh? What is wrong with them??!! I like to put chocolate, bananas and whipped cream in mine, although there are a million good things to put inside. Here is the recipe:

1 1/3 cups whole millk
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
3 T. melted butter
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
2T. -1/4 c. wheat germ (opt.)

Mix all of the above ingredients in blender, or hand held immersion blender. Heat skillet over medium heat and spread a thin layer of butter to coat. Pour 2 T. or so of batter into pan, enough to cover bottom of pan making a very thin layer by swirling. Cook until edges are light brown and flip to cook other side. Fill with lots of good things. See how easy?

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Another favorite treat in our household. Check out this website to see which flavor Pocky you are.

Mmmm Good

Have you tried Quadratini's by Loacker? We have been eating them for a long time now in our household. I first saw them at Trader Joe's years ago and have been buying them ever since. They are the perfect bite, "little squares" pop right into your mouth. The chocolate ones are the best, the lemon a close second. This Loacker company makes a lot of really good things. They are made with all natural ingredients, so I feel really good about eating them ! Check them out.

Love Boxes

Look how cute these hand painted love boxes are. My sister-in-law, Tiffany paints these little ditties. She has lots of different patterns and motifs like flowers, hearts, snowflakes etc. She does a lot for holidays. Some of you have seen some of these in my house, although Sophie has hoarded them . She also does custom boxes like the seahorse for my friend Stacey's wedding, and a special edition NYU box for Robert's graduation. She is very talented, she has painted children's rocking chairs and furniture as well as coffee tables and end tables...I wish you could see all of her work. She has some of her boxes on e-bay if you'd like to see more. Just look up hand-painted love boxes. They make great little gifts or favors.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Chicken Gyros

In honor of National Chicken Month, I have decided to go with Lindsey's request for the chicken gyros. Here is the recipe I use. It came from, but I have made a few additions, so I'll take the credit!

1 - 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 - 1.5 t. dried oregano
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 t. fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Add all of the above to chicken, stir and marinate at least 1 hour, can do overnight. If you want to grill, it works great on the grill. Otherwise heat large skillet to medium high and cook until cooked through. Serve with tzatziki in pita bread. I used to make my own tzatziki, but Fage does a pretty good job. Nice and easy. Only a few more days of September, so get celebrating Chicken!

This is not a trowel

I would like to serve cake with this. I saw this in this month's Bon Appetit. It is called "ceci n'est pas une truelle" meaning...this is not a trowel. Very clever. Buy it here.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Make this tonight

Try this Chicken with Ginger from Everyday Food. I would dare say that it is better than take-out. We love this in our house, even Max who eats nothing sings its praises. I think it goes much better with noodles than rice. So easy, so good. What did we do before Everyday Food?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This is one of my favorite chocolate shops in Westchester. It is located in Larchmont on Boston Post Rd. The bad thing about it is that it is just down the street from my kids' dentist. So, yes I have been known to drop in occasionally after an appointment. They have all kinds of goodies from ice cream to hot chocolate and a really good caramel chocolate with fleur de sel. I can't promise that this will be my last post about chocolate, I just have been thinking about it a lot for some reason. Enjoy!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Comfort Food

My Mom used to make this dish called Baked Rice for breakfast. I am not sure of its origin, I think it may be Swedish because I had a Swedish roomate who also grew up eating it, but they called it Milk Rice in her family. Maybe I should do a little more research on it, but all I know is that it is GOO-OD! It is the ultimate breakfast comfort food, warm, sweet and hearty. Serve it with milk and plenty of sugar and cinnamon.

Here is the recipe:
1 cup rice
1 cup powdered milk(or evaporated milk)
1/2 t. salt
3 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir well and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 and a half hours.

I use brown rice, so increase liquid to 4 cups total. Don't worry about using powdered milk, I rarely do. I will usually use half evaporated milk and half water, or any milk that I have on hand. As long as you have 3-4 cups of liquid in there, you will be fine.

Another Food I make a lot in Fall/Winter is French Dip Sandwiches. The recipe I use is a HUGE shortcut, and probably wouldn't even be considered a true French Dip, but it is quick and easy and not too terrible tasting. Here you have it:

1 lb. thinly sliced, cooked roast beef from the deli
6 crusty rolls or baguettes
2 cans beef broth or consomme
a few shakes of Montreal Steak Seasoning

Toast rolls. Meanwhile, pour broth into large skillet/fry pan, add steak seasoning, bring to boil. Add roast beef in single layers. You just want to warm the meat this way and take it out with tongs and place on the toasted rolls. Pour broth (au jus) into individual ramekins and dip sandwiches in with each bite. Voila!

Happy Birthday Rebecca!

So, yesterday was my friend, Rebecca's birthday. I meant to wish her a Happy Birthday on the phone the day before, but forgot. And now it is the day after, so a very happy belated birthday to you. Last year Rebecca made the best cupcakes ever for me on my birthday. I took some home from the party to share with my family, but my husband and I polished them off. I thought to myself..."the kids will never know...I'll eat them before they wake up..." and that is just what I did. They are that good. I have made others since then, but they all pale in comparison. So, what I am trying to say is that I am a bad friend for not even wishing Rebecca a Happy Birthday on that exact day after she went to all the trouble to throw me a party, bake the most divine cupcakes ever, and give me this. Happy Birthday somewhere in are loved more than you will ever know.

P.S. Serve the cupcakes with this fluffy buttercream.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One more for the road...

I promise this is the last thing I will post for today, but it won't be the last entry about food. All that talk about pudding got me thinking about one very delicious Vahlrona Chocolate Pudding available at City Limits Diner. It really is divine. Maybe one of the last things I would request before I die. If you are lucky enough to live in Westchester County or thereabouts, go get yourself one or two, and then pick up one of their Banana Cream Pies to go. Trust me, I am not a banana cream pie lover, but when you put chocolate ganache on the bottom layer, how can it be so bad??!!

Monthly Chocolate

I came across this in my latest perusing of all things chocolate-y. This is what we all need. Forget the fruit of the month club, or the flower of the month club, sign me up for the chocolate of the month club, please!
I know, I know this is a lot of posting for me for one day...I do have some making - up to do. Check these out too while you're at it. Don't get me wrong, chocolate is good and all, but you can only eat so much before you feel comatose... caramel does the trick for me, you can eat it all day, with no adverse effects. And aren't these cute? This looked good too. Ok, Ok, I'll stop.

Haute Chocolate

I saw this in the local grocery store and had to try it because Vosges chocolates are so unique. I was not disappointed. I love the combination of chocolate and red hot chile. If you cannot find Vosges ice cream near you, Haagen Dazs makes a Mayan chocolate ice cream that is pretty good, but does not give you the burn at the back of your throat like Vosges. So, it's a good way to get your ice cream fix, even though summer is gone, you can still feel a little heat. If you are done with ice cream for the season, try some of these haute hot chocolate drinks: Jaqcues Torres Wicked Hot Chocolate and MarieBelle.

It's Autumn Time, It's Autumn Time

...the leaves are turning it's nice to live in New England in the fall. I think we get a peek at fall before anyone else does. It is my most favorite of the seasons for many reasons. I was born in the fall, so I feel a special connection to the season. I love what everyone else loves, the crisp, cool air, the smell, the crunch crunch of the leaves under your feet as you walk, the colors, the way the sun looks at 4:00p.m., the fact that Halloween, my most favorite of holidays is around the corner, the wearing of jackets and cozy sweaters, and how can I forget the food? Apple cider, caramel apples, hot chocolate and warm drinks, the hot meals cooked in the oven after a summer hiatus, it's all just so comforting. I've been thinking about the first thing I will cook this fall, one of my favorite meals. Click here for the recipe. I love this because it is quick, easy, and an entire meal on one pan. It really says fall to me. I love it. Robert, however, will be eating ramen that night.

Pudding in a cloud

Remember this dessert when you were younger? I thought it was the most ingenious concoction ever invented(I was 10 or so, mind you). The fact that I could make dessert for my family made my year! I thought it was so hip, and cutting edge of the culinary world. And do you remember when they reversed the order and had Cloud in Pudding? Step back! Well, I think it's time to bring it back except, try it with this. I love this pudding recipe because it does not use eggs, so there is no chance of having scrambled eggs and pudding in a cloud. And use real whipped cream for crying out loud.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wode Island

This was our conversation in the car today:

Josh: I don't really like Rhode Island.
Me: I don't either, but we've only been here for six weeks.
Josh: But, I still don't like it.
Me: Yes, after living in NY, nothing will be as cool.
Josh: I think I'll live in California when I grow up.
Me: Yes, California would be nice.
Josh: Soph, where are you going to live when you grow up?
Soph: Utah or Sun Valley.
Josh: Max, where are you going to live when you grow up?
Max: Wode Island.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

cooking out of a suitcase

This should be the name of my blog for awhile since that is what I have been doing for the past month or so. I have been at a loss without my pots, pans, tools, gadgets etc. I have the basics, very basics. So, I've made do, eaten out a lot, and tried to remember what I cook on a regular basis. It's starting to all come back to me, but then I remember, I can't make that because I don't have this. One thing this apartment is equipped with is a grill, so I have been thinking of all the things we like to grill and eat. One of my favorite marinades for chicken is this:

1/2 cup mango chutney
2 T. dijon mustard
1-2 cloves minced garlic

Mix it all up and coat chicken breast pieces that you cut up. Skewer the chicken if you like let sit for an hour or so and grill. Delicious and so easy.

Another good one is for fish, I use tilapia or any mild white fish:

1 onion sliced (yellow or purple)
2 T. cilantro chopped
zest of 2 limes
juice of 2 limes
4 T. orange juice(fresh squeezed or Tropicana)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 t. cumin
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 t. kosher or sea salt
pinch cayenne pepper

Mix it all up and put in ziploc bag with fish. Let marinate at least one hour before grilling.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Out, Out Darn Spot!

I know it is not a very clever title for this post, nor is this going to be a very exciting one because I am asking for help. How do you get lipstick out of a shirt?? Sophie HAD this great lipstick ring that she wore and could apply lipstick at will, meaning the whole car ride to RI from NY. So now we have bright pink lipstick stains and I do not know how to get rid of it. I know my clever friends will, so please give me your suggestions in the comments section.

I will post a bit about RI, or maybe my impressions. So, far not much to report. It's all a blur to me. I've been all over the state with the realtor, looking at houses, but none of it makes much sense to me yet. It looks a lot like NY, so when I go to Stop and Shop, I expect to run into someone I know and then I remember....I'm not in NY anymore...sniff. There is an inordinate number of Dunkin Donuts in this state. It makes me sick to see one on every corner, so I am boycotting, how many Dunkin Donuts do you need in one state? This state is not that big, one donut shop for the whole state would suffice. I did see a Krispy Kreme shop, now that is another story, you cannot ever have enough of those. We'll see how it rivals that of the true Krispy Kremes in the south.

Well, I digress...always about food. If you want to hear more about RI, I'll post more when I get a better feel for it. I just miss NY,nothing can compare.

Happy Pioneer Day!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I can't believe I left this one off my last list...Entenmann's Fudge Iced Golden Cake. Maybe I've mentioned it before in here, but it is worth repeating. So bad for you, but so worth it. Best grocery store boxed cake ever, hands down. And now they have a personal size, just for me.