Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giveaway Last Day!!

There's an awesome Giveaway here.

It's at Epiphanie and they have AWESOME bags.

The giveaway is for a Canon 5D or $2500 Gift Certificate to Southwest.

Hurry it's the last day!!

Good Luck !


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holiday Cooking

I love cooking.

I love cooking for other people.

The holidays are an opportunity for that.


We always attend dinners at our family's houses (one night his and one night mine).

This year my parents are away - no problem.

So I decided to make a dinner for my family.

I saw a friend in the store (actually her husband - he does the shopping) and asked what they were doing, they had no plans for the second night. I invited them to come over.

She called me back and we made a plan.

I love having friends over.

So, here's my menu:

Turkey Breast (have to have variety)
Matzoh Ball Soup
Apple Matzoh Kugel
Charoset (gonna try something new from here)
Matzoh Crunch
Chocolate Covered Macaroons

The Brisket is cooking now. Recipe is easy-peasy.


Onion soup mix
Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix onion soup mix and ketchup to paste like consistency. Cut onion into rings and lay on bottom of pan. Lay brisket on top of onions and rub paste all over it. Put in the oven, covered. Cook 2-3 hours or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool. When it becomes room temperature slice against the grain and put back into the pan (with the onions and juices). Refrigerate or freeze. Reheat when ready to serve. The longer it sits the better it tastes.

I will let you know as to what I make next.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cherry Blossoms

I am so excited.

I have booked three days and two nights in Washington D.C. for next week.

I am taking my kids there to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington D.C., hubby will come if he does not have to work.

We are excited.

It is something I have never done (Cherry Blossoms) but I have been to D.C. with my parents back in the day.

Now that I have my lovely camera (YAY!!) I will be able to take awesome photos.

My son has just learned a lot about Washington and governments so it will be very exciting for him.


We have a great time together (made sure to book the hotel with the indoor pool for sanity's sake ;-) you know what I mean?).

Hey I will be with two of my most favorite people and we will have a Blast!

We will be leaving later in the week, just when the Cherry Blossoms will be in FULL BLOOM!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Transformation Thursday

Finally I have a Transformation for Thursday.
I found this lovely table at Home Goods (regularly $149 but was banged up a bit and I got it for $40).

I went over to Lowe's and got some Satin Finish White spray paint and Ta-Da!

It is exactly what I was looking for and the price point as well.

My only thought now is to distress it a bit on rub it down with some smoke glaze. I will live with it a little and see what happens.


Kasey, You are my Hero

I have been reading Lola B's blog by Kasey for months now.

She talks about how she does not cook often BUT lately she has been cooking and I have tried a few of her recipes.

And you know what, they have been AWESOME!!!

Tonight I tried her chicken enchiladas.


Not only that but they seriously remind me of a FAVORITE dish from one of my favorite dishes from one of my all time favorite restaurants in San Diego.

Casa De Pico - LOVE IT. Even though it is no longer in Old Town San Diego I love their food.

The Chicken Enchiladas I made to day remind me of that dish - yet it's name completely escapes me and I cannot find it on their website.

I am absolutely in love. I only wish my kids would eat it. Hopefully hubby will.

Check out the recipe here.

Ahh and after texting my sister in San Diego all afternoon I finally came up with the name of the dish - Pollo Fundido. Muy Excelente!

Thanks again to Kasey for helping me out tonight and bring back great memories.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This year I had made some promises, resolutions, what ever you want to call them to make myself better or more efficient in some ways.

I had decided to try the new recipe a week thing.

I decided that rather than spend money on processed cookies, I would bake my own.

I love to bake.

I have tried different recipes but mostly my standard Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This week I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.


They are so tasty. We are definitely a chocolate/peanut butter family. Even my daughter who is the least of peanut butter fans in our family, loves them.

They came out amazing!

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz Package of Reese's Peanut Butter chips

Heat oven to 350, Stir dry ingredients (Flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt). Mix butter and sugar until smooth, add eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture. Then add chips.
Drop on ungreased cookie sheet in rounded teaspoons (we like our cookies a little bigger so they are not too small).
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Take out and let cool a minute on cookie sheet. Then cool on wire rack.

Enjoy with a big glass of milk or with your ice cream.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's with this Ivy?

I used to like ivy.

I thought it was a great accent piece, a nice filler but not anymore.

My yard has tons of ivy.


It runs along my driveway and then ends in a huge area (whole back corner) in my yard.

When we fell in love with our house we always knew the ivy would have numbered days.

We have been here about 17 months.

Last year we got rid of trees, now I have to get rid of the ivy.

It just takes up so much space, lots of extra space for the kids to play, a garden to grow and my dream a cute garden shed.

Courtesy of Country Living

So last year we started to pull it out.


That freakin' ivy is so dense and so imbedded with itself and the ground it is very tiring.

I did a section the other day and amazingly enough it was easier to pull (probably since the huge rain made the ground so soft the stuff was coming out easily.

I am dying. At this rate I will have it gone by the end of the summer.

And I am all itchy now. I wore gloves, I swear.

I will have to tackle it slowly OR when I finally get my teaching position hire someone else to do it (let them be itchy).

Here's to another day out in the ivy.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back on Track

So, today I weighed myself.

And you know what? I got back on track.

Only 1 lb.


That's better than nothing or gaining.

So, I have to keep up with it.

NOW, I can exercise.

Why now do you ask?

Because, last week at my Tricky Tray...





I was so excited when I pulled the ticket with my name on it.

I was jumping up and down.

Yay me!

Today I got myself a bike helmet (it is the law and I am setting a good example for my kiddies).

I will have them take a picture of me and my new bike later.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cricut Giveaway

Check out this AWESOME giveaway at Women Who Do It All.

A Cricut, how awesome is that?

Head on over there.

Good Luck,


Monday, March 15, 2010

Look what's lurking in my house..

That would be a Maya-Tiger

She was lurking in the flowers after a party

She had so much fun at that party.

Can you believe those roses? Some are left over from my birthday last week and some as a gift for my Tricky Tray.

You know the trick to cutting flowers, specifically roses?

Lay them down in a room temp tub/basin of water and cut them while under water. Always keep the water full and never have the leaves from the stems in the water (they create bacteria). Roses drink from their full stem. I learned this many years ago when I took floral design as a science at community college. I still use some of my skills.

Those yellow roses are from a week ago and not from some fancy florist.

I love flowers so I am going to try and get some in the house more often.


Another New Recipe

Recently Kasey from Lola b's made this amazing sounding Mac 'n Cheese.

So I decided to try it out.

I bought the cheeses and the Truffle Oil (can you say yumm-o?)

I mean it has a few of my favorite ingredients: Cheese, cheese, cheese and Truffle Oil.

I made it tonight and amazingly enough, Maya liked it.

Sam has not tried it yet.

Actually it is not surprising Maya liked it, she likes to try stuff all the time.

Sam, well, he wants it to be with American Cheese, what?

I know that we (my husband especially) sometimes are food snobs (he is a Culinary Institute Graduate) but we do use cheaters sometimes.

It was any easy recipe and fun to make. Best of all, the family liked it (we will have Sam try it soon - he does get a quarter for it).

Why don't you hop on over to Lola B's and check out the recipe.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Keeping My Promise

To try new recipes weekly has been hard.

Some weeks I can do and others I cannot.

This week I tried two new recipes so that should make up for missed weeks, right?

SO, tonight I tried to make Corned Beef (in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and my Irish roots somewhere) and Braised Red Cabbage (why do they call it red when it is really purple?).

The recipe for the corned beef was rather simple, I just followed the directions on the package. It took longer than the package said but my husband the Culinary Graduate said I did not have it on a TRUE simmer. Umm, okay.

The recipe for the Braised Red Cabbage came from Epicurious.

Everything was tasty. The Corned Beef a little salty but that is expected from that kind of meat, I guess.


Braised Red CabbageGourmet | December 2001

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 3/4 hr
3 1/2 lb red cabbage (1 medium head), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse cabbage under cold water, then drain (do not pat dry).

Cook bacon in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving it for another use. Add butter to bacon fat, then increase heat to moderate and cook onions, stirring, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cabbage, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

And The Winner Is....

LORI of Wildflowers!!!!!

I used and they came up with Lucky number 6 which belonged to Lori!!

Lori, please contact Kimmy over at Mimi Charmante.

Thank you so much for entering and following my Blog!


Last Day for Giveaway!!

Wow, it certainly has been a crazy week!

The Tricky Tray event is OVER and we did well but I will save that for another post since I want to post some pics of the prizes.

Then my birthday passed.

Between regular life stuff and the big event I was swamped.

Yesterday I thought a boat would take me away from all the rain.


I am just giving a quick reminder that the Give back/Giveaway is coming to a close - tonight at 8 pm EST.

Good Luck!!!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thank You

I so APPRECIATE all the birthday wishes and lots of love.

I am SUPER SWAMPED as tomorrow is my BIG EVENT.

I Promise to answer all of the wonderful responses and comments I have received.

I love you all, you touch me so.

(P.S. I have a SUPER ANAL husband who after the ladies took all of the baskets out of our house, he ran around sweeping and vacuuming)

I PROMISE to take lots of pictures with my new friend, I am deciding if I should name my camera as some of my friend's have.

Lots of Love to you all.

Don't forget to enter in the big contest/give back.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Yes it is my birthday and I went out an treated my self right for the occasion.

I finally bought something for ME with my birthday money (thank you generous folks).

I got this:

Yep I sure did and I LOVE IT!

I absolutely CANNOT wait for things to bloom around here to get some awesome pictures.

SO, since I got something for MY birthday I wanted
to give back to my friends and maybe even some of their friends.

I am having a give back/giveaway:

The Prizes you say?

Well, being that I got the camera and I am friends with the Lovely and Awesome Kim of Mimi Charmante it is as follows.

Kim is donating one of her fabulous prints from her Etsy shop AND I am including a $25 Gift Certificate to Kim's Etsy Shop (she really has so beautiful treasures there).

Here's the rules for entry:

Leave a comment = 1 entry
Post on your blog and link back to my blog = 1 entry
Become a Follower = 1 entry

Just let me know if you Post on your blog and if you become a follower.

I will choose the Absolutely Lucky Winner on Sunday March 14th, 2010 at 9 pm EST.



Friday, March 5, 2010

5 Days and Counting....

Until my BIG Fundraiser.

Spent almost a year planning - actually the past 3 years because this is actually my third year doing this.


What is a Tricky Tray you ask?

Find out here.

Basically I have over 200+ gift baskets filled with stuff that needs to be auctioned off.

My committee has shoppers and let me tell you, they are THE BEST.

They hover around Target waiting for everything to go 75% and it does.

Then they bring it all to me and in two weekends we wrap it ALL!

Of course, there are stragglers and they presently reside in my not so finished living room.

I still have to finish my program (which is out of the question for today since it is OSCAR night and I have FIOS my other good friends do not since they have Cablevision - you are invited over if you want to watch).

So I will have to try tomorrow to get that program done.

It is a huge event I still have a list of things to do like balloons, printing the program that is not done and so much more.


It will be fabulous and I plan on having a great time!!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Experiment

So, I am tryng to keep up with my promise to try new recipes.

For some reason I have this memory stuck in my head that my mom used to cook Chicken Cacciatore.

Which is so odd since my mom's idea of spaghetti sauce back in the day was ketchup.

I had the idea suck in my head and decided to go for it. It was fabulous.

I sort of looked at a recipe and sort of improvised.

Chicken Cacciatore

1 Chicken cut up (8 pieces or so - you can use just breasts, with bone and skin, if you like)
1 28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
1 package mini portobellos
1 small onion
Olive oil
Italian seasonings

Salt and pepper the chicken in a bowl or plate. 2-3 turns of olive oil in a big pot. Add onions until translucent (add a little salt and pepper), then add chicken to brown the skin. Add mushrooms until cooked. Add crushed tomatoes and let simmer.

I really don't know how long I let it simmer but it was delicious over some egg noodles. My daughter tried it and she loved it. The sauce was great too. I plan on making this one again.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fallen Off the Scale

I have been so darn good it was scary.

But something in me is stopping me from moving on.

I have fallen off the scale.

I am not doing well with my diet.

It's almost like I am content where I am (BUT I want to lose more).

I need to lose more.


Everyday I think I am starting off right but somewhere I lose sight of the big picture.

I need to get back on track....