Saturday, December 12, 2009

A day with Allesandra

I was blessed to spend the day with niece Allesandra! What a fun day. Rainy and stormy outside made it a perfect day to spend with loved ones. My brother Jeff brought his daughter over for a visit. I have a balance ball in my bedroom that has now become my nieces' favorite toy! The ball is larger than she is tall. It is so funny to watch her try to maneuver the ball around.

Besides playing bouncy ball on the bed, balance ball, we also decided to use it as a pillow on the bed while we tried to push buttons on the remote to make the TV work. Allesandra was in search of Dora the Explorer!

Allesandra never leaves the house without her purple back pack to load her favorite toys and snacks in. Her latest thing she is into is FAIRIES!

So Allesandra and her Dad were playing fairies at the kitchen table! That is a first for me to see my brother flying fairies around. It was cute and funny at the same time. During play time Allesandra wanted "Juicy". I gave her some apple juice and it was so cute because she called it "apple sauce juicy".

Then Jeff thought it would good for Jaguar, Alle's stuffed animal to meet Milo my cat.


Allesandra wanted to share her fairies with Milo. He was nice enough to sniff them but wasn't interested in playing.

As you can tell, he went to hide. Well, sort of.....

Allesandra fits under the table being she is only 2.5 years! Perfect play area. She insisted Milo play with the fairies!



~Family Love~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Card Making

A perfect Sunday~weather is chilly, rain is moving in and Christmas cards need to be made. I pulled out my supplies and and was ready to be crafty. Almost..............
First things first. I walked over to Starbucks to get a Cost-a-latte to keep me warm and fuzzy while making my cards. A Gingerbread Latte with Whip Cream. Perfect.

Oh and second, I would need my assistant a.k.a Supervisor Tule. Somehow he managed to stay put on the top of the chair even as I moved around in it. My worst fear was for him to put is claws out and scratch my head as he tried to keep his balance. I lucked out and no cat mishaps.
This year I decided to be simple in my card making. Maybe because I was lazy about the details this year or just wanted the task to be done in one day. Not sure, but they still are cute and handmade.

I got up for a nano second and up jumped Milo! And of course he happened to be in a playful mood. PURR-fect timing! There went my organized work space filled with a large feline and my embellishments looked like 52 card pick up!

BAD KITTY!!! NO MILO, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See what happens to bad kitties~Sticky BUTT!

What did I do?? I am angel kitty, MOM!
Luckily I was almost done with most of my cards before my cat managed to mess my entire workspace up! Starved so I am off to make Crab Bisque from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook that my Aunt Nancy was kind enough to rummage up a copy for me.

Yumm...dinner is ready. Crab Bisque with Havarti and dill.....

What a day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Loving this time of year! I am one of those people who can not wait to "Celebrate the Season." I had it all planned out the day after Thanksgiving to have the outside Christmas lights hung, all the fall decor packed away and my Christmas totes of goodies stacked in the living room. Here is my mantle this year. I have been enjoying turning on the twinkle lights every night at 5PM sharp! Every year I decorate my mantle a little different. It is fun to be able to switch out my decor each year.
I can't forget the stockings for the kittens! They would be very disappointed~

I love Stars! This year my tree is decorated with stars, hearts and snowflakes.

I also enjoy my flame less candles every night too! They are on timers and come on every night at 5 and off at 10PM. It is great, I no longer have to worry about the cats tails catching on fire!!

Did I mention I like stars??

I saw this candle holder on year and liked it a lot. But now that I am seeing here in the photo, it makes me wonder why is the candle on the tree top?? Kind of weird....

These are my cute little Christmas birds that I purchased in Kansas of all places! Lol... I was visiting my Auntie and had to bring them home. Can't wait for my mini Christmas cactus to bloom.

This cactus just started blooming and I love it this time of year to see the beautiful blooms! Not to mention my cute squirrel salt and pepper shakers.

Hope you all enjoy your holiday and "Celebrate the Season"!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Apple Crumb Pie

Let me start out by saying, I am so glad it is a 3 day weekend!! Today after work, I indulged in Thai take out. Next I found myself asleep on the couch watching the Food Network. When I woke up, I had this horrid craving for Apple Crumb Pie. I was got up and decided to go buy an Apple Crumb Pie, why because it would be quicker and easier. Let me say this, I went to 3 markets in search of and came up with the zero, zilch, nada. This led me to turn to this recipe. This cute recipe was given to me by my Aunt Nancy, a.k.a, ANT, ANT-ie, Aunt Fane! This recipe is so simple and yet sooooo good. I was just in the dilemma of wanting now and not having to go through the time to make one although I knew it would be BETTER than store bought. Here is my assistant, a.k.a. supervisor of the kitchen to help me make my apple crumb pie! I did make a small alteration to this already perfect recipe. One thing was I used a little less sugar because the Gravenstein apples I used were already super sweet. The second thing I changed was I added a generous handful of walnuts to the crumb topping recipe. I was hoping to add pecans but realized I was out. Perfectly baked!

OK, now have you ever tried Haagan-Dazs five ice cream? IF not, it is a must. They don't make more than a handful of flavors BUT the vanilla bean is heaven!!!! Made of only 5 ingredients.

Finally, the pie is ready now that it is accompanied by the ice cream! Well worth the work of making your own pie. Now I have left overs for the next few day! Enjoy~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pizza Night

One of my favorite things to eat-PIZZA ! Tonight's variation was just from what I had on hand at home and sounded good. On my way home from work, I stopped at my favorite grocery store-Trader Joe's. I picked up the fresh pre-made whole wheat pizza dough in the cooler section. Yes, I said whole wheat. Don't knock it until you try it! Got to be somewhat healthy...right? In a small skillet I chopped onion, zucchini, and red bell pepper in EVOO. Then added in one clove of minced fresh garlic and a nice portion of cubed pancetta and finished cooking until the veggies were al dente. Meanwhile, after letting the pizza dough rise, I attempted to roll it out into a circle. Still need more practice with that! For my sauce, I always use tomato paste. I just love the tangy taste it gives to the pizza. I do season that with a little salt and Italian seasoning. Next I sprinkle an overly generous amount of shredded mozzarella. More the better, LOVE cheese! Then I distribute the cooked veggies evenly, add sliced kalamata olives and dabs of ricotta cheese. Then yes, I topped the pizza with a little sprinkle of MORE cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Yummmy!

And don't forget the vino! Chardonnay was my choice tonight due to our HOT weather. Was debating even making pizza for dinner tonight because it is a hot day and didn't want to turn the oven on but it was WAY worth it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cannellini Salad

Ok, so since I am single and I eat simple when cooking for one, here is one of my favorites. Cannellini Salad. There are several different variations of this salad that I make or swap out the beans for another, like chick peas. Start with a can of Cannellini beans (white kidney beans) and drain them well. I usually drain and rinse mine in a strainer to remove the starchy liquid.

Next I add a can of artichoke hearts which are already halved. I slice them in half again, so now they are quartered. These ones are packed in water but will often use the marinated artichoke hearts.
Then one of my favorites-OLIVES! Today I used Kalamata, but feel free to swap these with your favorite or black is always a good choice.

Mmmm, then I add fresh mozzarella. Ciliegine! I love these from Trader Joe's because they are small and round. I usually slice them in half so they are more bite size.

Next is to dice up a fresh tomato like this beauty below. This tomato was grown by my good friend James. I better get some gardening tips from him so my tomatoes will look like this next year!

Today I choose to add some basil I was growing. Usually I use fresh flat leaf parsley but didn't have any on had so basil was the winner. After washing the leaves, I gently stack the leaves together. Then roll them up into a tight little wrap and slice thinly.

Lastly is to season with Salt & Pepper and drizzle generously with EVOO. As an alternative you can use a good quality Italian dressing or your own favorite vinaigrette. The possibilities are endless. I think that is why I like to cook more than bake! Baking is precise measuring and not too much flexibility with the ingredients. With cooking, you rarely need to follow a recipe to a T!

Gently toss all ingredients together. Then grab a cute little bowl to enjoy your salad in!


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