Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicken Piccata...Ina's way...

I absolutely positively love this cookbook. If you are a cook this should be added to your collection of cookbooks. If you are just learning how to cook, or cook occasionally, the colorful photos alone will inspire you. This is a wonderful gift for your girlfriends & family who enjoy cooking. The recipes are packed full of flavor.

Last night was warm and I was not sure what to cook for dinner since I am SUPPOSEDLY on a diet to fit into that teeny weeny polka dot bikini (see my foodie Friday post 4/24). I was thinking of my grandmother's chicken piccata recipe and thought I would give Ina's recipe a try. Now this chicken piccata recipe is not exactly light yet I was so in the mood for this meal. With some minor tweaking, which consisted of cutting back on the oil and butter, I managed to shave off a few calories and fat. I could have baked the entire thing in the oven but I really wanted that crunch and the olive oil for flavor. I don't know how you feel, but some days you just need flavor and that usually makes me eat less too. I loaded up my plate with lots of salad first and veggies and limited my portion size of the piccata. Since there are no calories listed in this book I can only guess at the calories and the WW point factor. It was satisfying and tasty.

I would serve this to company along with a nice tossed salad and seasonal vegetables and a bottle of white wine. For dessert I would make Ina's summer fruit crostata. I promise to showcase that heavenly recipe in a few weeks when plums and blueberries are in season.

*This recipe can be found on page 96 and also on foodnetwork.


Monday, April 27, 2009

WARNING: Secret to your health is in your nails...

The secret to your health is in your nails. A doctor can detect several health issues just by looking at your nail such as anemia, heart problems and several other major health issues. The following is my daughters story that I beg you to share with your family and friends. You may save a life.

Talk about fate. I went to a new dermatologist this year. The Dr. remarked that since I was wearing nail polish she could not check my nails. She proceeded to show me photos of nails with melanoma. I viewed the photo and remarked that none of my nails resembled the photos, however one photo was similar to my daughters fingernail. The Dr. asked if my daughter had this for a long period of time and I remarked that perhaps for 5 years or more. The Dr. said she would clear her schedule to see my daughter immediately. Time was of the essence!

My daughter went to my dermatologist and was immediately sent to a surgeon for a biopsy. After two painful surgeries it was not know if they could save her finger and amputation of the finger was a possibility. The third surgery involved pulling out the entire nail bed and lab results showed no melanoma. The Dr's. all agreed that my daughter is a walking miracle.

If you have a simple light black line growing from your nail bed to the tip of the fingernail please go to a dermatologist. If you have what may look like a tiny mole under your nail, have any black or brown spots, nail discoloration on your nail, please see a dermatologist. A regular doctor may not detect this. My daughter has been showing this to her regular doctors for years and they said it was nothing. WRONG!

So the next time you polish your nails please examine them carefully. If you wear gel or acrylic nails you may want to consider taking them off to examine your real nails. Examine your children's nails. This has been a very scary experience and one that is not widely publicized.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Let's discuss "THE DONALD's " hair...

Did you wake up this up this morning girlfriends and think you were having a bad hair day? Well let me tell you that you are not even close to winning the bad hair contest my friend. For a man who has it all , it seems silly to me that Mr. Trump does not have a good hairdresser. With the economy the way it is, perhaps now is the time for Mr. Trump to go to a local hair salon for some good advice. Hair plugs or a good toupee would be a good alternative to the Comb Over! Those eyebrows could use a few plucks too. It is obvious Bill O'Rielly is afraid to look at "The Donald" and that is why his eyes are closed in this photo. I am not sure "The Donald" is paying attention to what Bill is saying but rather thinking about how he would look if he let his hair go naturally like O'Riellys. I think it is time for Mr. Trump to call a board meeting with his hairdresser and say "YOUR FIRED". What do you think about "The Donald's" hair style and color? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shrinking bathing suit & Foodie Friday...

Today is my second Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum and the theme is Spring. As soon as Spring rolls around I start to look at a few extra rolls that have attached to my middle from my long Winter hibernation. All those nights watching TV, not having the extra sunlight to walk after dinner, have taken a toll on my waistline. Gone are the days of having visions of sugar plums in my head or in my mouth. Now I have visions of putting on last years bathing suit. Can you relate girlfriends? So I gingerly open my closet and try on my bathing suit. Guess what? My bathing suit shrunk. I refuse to buy a bigger size. It is time to eat smaller portions and lower fat foods. I love to grill and found this recipe years ago on allrecipes and have tweaked it to fit my needs. It is quick and easy to prepare. If I stay focused, and cook this tasty recipe once a week, I may get into that teeny tiny bikini by opening day of pool season.*

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian-style seasoning
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 pinch ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves -
cut into strips

In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, wine, lemon juice, oil, Italian-style seasoning, ginger, garlic, onion powder, and ground black pepper. Place chicken in the bag. Seal, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

Thread the chicken onto skewers, and set aside. Pour marinade into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook chicken on the prepared grill for approximately 8 minutes per side, basting with the sauce several times. Chicken is done when juices run clear.

I like to add fresh pineapple, onions, mushrooms and peppers onto the skewers for flavor and color.

* note: Did I mention that I am delusional? The last time I wore a teeny bikini was before they invented Twinkies! SMILE!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Teddy Bear Picnic /Tablescape Thursday...

~Come to the Teddy Bear Picnic~

Besides honey what do you think bears like to eat after a long hibernation to celebrate Spring? Monkeys are crazy about bananas so maybe the bears will enjoy some Oatmeal Banana cookies and some red straw-BEARIES .

Only the best English china cup for the tea with honey.

The cookies are ready in a New York minute because you
want to keep a hungry bear waiting.

I hope you have a BEARY nice day!

Come and join the picnic over at betweennapsontheporch.blogspot hosted by Susan.

Outdoor Wednesday/ Masters golf 2009

Thank you dixie for hosting Outdoor Wednesday: http://frenchlique.blogspot.com/
Go on over for more wonderful sharing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PEZ Candy Museum...

Do you remember what your favorite Pez dispenser looked like?

Just south of San Francisco, close to the SFO airport, is a charming little town called Burlingame. The Pez Museum is located in Burlingame. I remember having so much fun with my Pez dispensers. I loved opening the candy and stacking them into what I called the "tiny elevator". I use to trade the fruity flavors with my brother and friends.
Here are some facts to share about Pez from the museum site:

Austrian candy executive Eduard Haas invented Pez candy in 1927. The original little candy bricks were peppermint. In fact, the word Pez is an abbreviation of the German word for peppermint.(PfeffErminZ) Pez candy was originally sold in small tins. The first Pez dispenser appeared around 1950.

Pez was originally marketed as an adult mint for people trying to quit smoking. The first Pez dispensers, known to collectors as "regulars", did not have character heads. Around 1952, cartoon heads and fruity flavored candy were introduced. Since then, over 500 different heads have been made.

To find out more about Pez and to see your favorite Pez characters from the past go to the Pez Museum site and have fun reminiscing.

I wonder if Elivs had any idea his head would be on a Pez dispenser?

The perfect gift for a Star Wars/Pez collector

Friday, April 17, 2009

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp...

This is my second Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum. I can't wait to see what everyone has on their menu this week.

When making Italian food it is very important to use the best cheeses. My Grandmother, Mom, and Aunt's always visited the local cheese market every Saturday morning. It was a chance to socialize with friends in the Italian community. I use to hold my nose and roll my eyes when they opened the door to the cheese market. The owner would always laugh, offer me a sample of his best cheese, and I would always refuse. I was not impressed. My Mother was horrified at my behavior but I had my sight set on the Italian pastry store right next door. Long gone are those little neighborhood cheese stores and gone too is my finicky pallet. Today I wish I had a little cheese store in my neighborhood. While I know that these are hard economic times, and cheese can be pricey, remember there is more flavor in one ounce of good cheese then in that entire green shaky canister of make believe cheese. The use of fresh ingredients is the key to successful cooking.

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 pound large shrimp - peeled and deveined
2 (28 ounce) cans Italian-style diced
tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon oil. Cook pasta in boiling water until
al dente. Place pasta in a colander, and give it a quick rinse with cold water.

Heat remaining olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Add shrimp, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove shrimp from the skillet, and set aside.

Stir tomatoes, wine, parsley, and basil into the skillet. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half, 8 to 12 minutes. Add shrimp, and continue cooking until shrimp are heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the shrimp mixture over the pasta.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Serve with a nice glass of white wine and a crusty loaf of fresh Italian bread.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Picasa

The Art of Racing in the Rain ...

It is rare that I do not have a stack of books on my bed table. I had heard through the grapevine that The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein was a delightful book to read. I reserved this book at my local library a few months ago. I was surprised when my librarian gave me this book while I was checking out other books last week. I had totally forgotten I had reserved this book. I almost said to put my name back on the waiting list but I am so happy I took this one home. I can't begin to say enough good things about The Art of Racing in the Rain. If you like dogs, racing cars, and like to laugh out loud, then you need to read this feel good book. If you enjoyed reading Marley & Me you will also enjoy this book.

This book had me hooked after the first chapter. It is a fast read and one that you will want to pass along to your friends. It is so refreshing to read this amazing story and escape for a few hours from the paces of our every day lives. So run, don't walk, to your local library and reserve your copy. I always say that a book is a gift you give to yourself. The benefit is that it contains no calories unless you just happen to have a pint of Ben & Jerry's in your fridge.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Italian Easter Meat Pie...

This Italian Easter Meat Pie is a must on our table every year. This recipe makes two pies and it is very rich. It is a bit on the salty side but oh so delicious. Makes 12 large servings.

4 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
2 pounds ricotta cheese
6 eggs
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1 pound cooked chopped ham
1/2 pound chopped Genoa salami
1/4 pound chopped prosciutto
1/4 pound graded Parmesan cheese

. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
. Place ricotta in a large mixing bowl and add eggs one at a time while mixing on low speed. Stir in mozzarella, ham, salami, and prosciutto until all ingredients are well combined. Line two 9 inch pans with pastry. Spoon half of mixture into each pan. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over each pie, then cover with top pastry. Crimp edges and cut steam vents in tops. When I have some extra time I like to make a lattice with the top crust.
. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until crust is golden brown. Cool on a rack.

* I have to give credit where credit is due. I was sick yesterday with a terrible cold so my husband actually made this pie for us. So you know how easy this recipe is!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Egg Bread...

My Grandmother & Mom & Aunts would make a bread similar to the following recipe that I found on allrecipes. The only thing I did differently was add some lemon zest. I also added some pastel colored sprinkles. I decreased the baking time by about 10 minutes.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
  2. Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter funny just for you...

I could not resist passing along this little funny that someone sent to me this bright & glorious morning. I hope it puts a BIG SMILE on your face today!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nathan's Lemon Cake...

This is my second Foodie Friday which is hosted by Designs by Gollum so head on over and have a look at some wonderful recipes.

I belong to a cooking light supper club. One of our themes was casseroles and cakes. Since I like to perform my Flour Power it was an easy decision for me to volunteer to make a cake. I love the taste of lemon and this cooking light recipe was a BIG hit with our group. This is a perfect cake for Spring or Summer. Try it you will like it!

Nathan's Lemon Cake

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Icing:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon rind strips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray. Dust pans with 2 tablespoons flour, and set aside.

3. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

4. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

5. Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack; remove wax paper from cake layers.

6. To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar and the remaining ingredients (except lemon rind strips) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of icing on top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining half of icing over top of cake. Garnish with lemon rind strips, if desired. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

* As you can see I play with Flour well but obviously I am icing challenged*

*The little red toothpicks were only for transporting the cake and not for decoration*

*Trust me it tastes a whole lot better then it looks*



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Passover & Easter to all my friends...

Only the best Matzoh flown in from Brooklyn!

All I need is some P&J to go with this Matzoh!

One never wants to be in Brooklyn on the afternoon of the first night of Passover and Good Friday. Talk about traffic! The kosher bakeries are busy preparing the Matzoh Shmurah by hand in anticipation of the first Seder. The Italian Pastry shops are filling orders for Easter pie. Everyone is preparing for the Holy week to sit down and break bread or Matzoh with family and friends. Whatever holiday you celebrate may it be a peaceful & joyous one!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jersey girls just wanna have fun...

Jersey girls just wanna have fun! We call ourselves the Ya-Ya's of Medford. We have a whole lot of laughs. We are there for each other from near or far, through thick or thin , and from chocolate to ice cream. When I get the opportunity to fly north I call the Ya-Ya's and we meet in Philadelphia for a day of fun. First we start with some Starbucks and then off to shop before we stop for lunch at Devon located on Rittenhouse Square.

The Jersey Ya-Ya's

Delicious fish encrusted with macadamia nuts!

Then we decided to walk off lunch. What better way then to continue our shopping spree to look at made to order purses . You pick the fabrics of your choice and style and you have your very own custom designer purse made by creative you. What fun!

Aren't these awesome?

So many purse choices so what's a Ya-Ya to do?
Let's think about the purse choices while eating ice cream!

So the Ya-Ya's head on over to the Reading Terminal Market in search of the best ice cream in Philadelphia.

This Philadelphia landmark market has every type of food imaginable from Philly Cheese Steaks, hand dipped chocolate pretzels, homemade ice creams and my favorite Italian pastry. There are counters of fresh colorful vegetables, fresh fish and meats and cheese. There are many hand made goods from the Amish community. If you go to Philadelphia bring your appetite to this market for lunch. You will not be disappointed.

Ice cream, you scream, all the Ya-Ya's scream for ice cream!

Remember girls just wanna have fun!

See y'all next year!

Cosmetic Surgery for our home...

This is my 1st Metamorphosis Monday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. So grab a cup of tea and head on over to see what is happening this week.

Due to weather conditions of wind, rain & hail, along with age, shingles start to recede. We have owned multiply homes but this is our first experience purchasing a new roof. Since I have a habit of researching information until the cows come home, I feel I could become a representative for roofing products.

Did you know that certain roofing ventilation products help protect your roof from moisture damage, such as warping and cracked shingles, by releasing heat from the attic? I could go on and on but who really wants to hear about flashing materials? My priority was color choice. The choices are abundant. There is desert tan, beach wood sand, brown wood, teak & driftwood. Translation? Brown, brown and more brown. I was hoping for a nice shade of pink so that my house would look like a giant cupcake with pink frosting. No such luck! We have many laws and codes in our development to avoid living next to a cupcake house. Our house is tan and we have one choice. I guess by now you have guessed what that color is...BROWN!

Act I: A fine balancing act.

The show begins promptly as scheduled at 8 AM. with ladders reaching to the roof and the performers climbing quickly into position. The performers are perched high above the treetops with shinning tools in hand. The noisy symphony begins. The old shingles are flying into the air at the speed of lightening. The performers move in balanced motion.

It is safe to say that one walking below needs a hard hat and goggles. I must remember to tell the contractor that a pair of ear plugs and a large bottle of Excedrin would be a nice extra for the homeowners when they sign the contract. The next phase is to hammer on a waterproof lining before installing the new shingles. The decibel range is now exceedingly louder.

Act II: Mother Nature

Act II was interrupted not by a workers strike but by Mother Nature. It began to rain for three days and three nights. We noticed all the animals heading for the Ark and had the sinking feeling we were in trouble. Remember the movie Money Pit? We had pots in all the rooms and towels wrapped around windows. I was so slap happy by 4 AM that I decided to let the water flow into jars to different levels. I then composed a complete water jar musical score and I will be performing this original score on next season of American Idol. Please call in and vote for me. I will be the one performing in a canoe.

Act III: Sunny days are here again.

The performers arrive bright and early to take their cues. Mother Nature takes center stage and begins to play with her big bright yellow ball that she calls her Sun. Everyone begins to sing in perfect harmony. I am so antsy in my seat watching. Oh wait! Is that the fat lady walking onto the stage? It's almost over but I have to have some patience because it is not over until the fat lady sings or in this case the roofer sings!

The End!
* It was reported yesterday on the news that we received record breaking rain on the island this week. Now why am I not surprised?*

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kitchen Gadgets addiction...

The Beaterblade +
I love kitchen gadgets. I have a draw full of them in all shapes and sizes but when I saw this I just knew I had to have just one more to add to my addiction. My KA is old some of you may already have this beater style with your newer KA edition.

The BeaterBlade continuously beats, scrapes, folds and mixes clean like a squeegee — with a patented, wiper-blade design that eliminates hand-scraping bowls, batter build-up, and unmixed contents. It’s a holiday must for cookies, cakes, frostings, meatloaf, mashed potatoes — you name it. And it cuts mixing time by as much as 50%! Dishwasher-safe. Rubber and metal. Made in the USA. This comes in two sizes for your KA's.

So now I am hanging out at my front door waiting for the UPS person to deliver my new gadget so that I can perform my FLOUR POWER!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Foodie Friday & Eggplant Parmesan...

A big thank you to Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday. Please head on over and share in the fun.

I love eggplant Parmesan. My Mom's family always fried the eggplant. The taste was delicious and most Italian restaurants serve it fried. Almost thirty years ago I turned on the TV and there was Richard Simmons (wearing shorts & tank ). Richard suggested to save calories by baking it in the oven. Richard, I am a true convert. My family and fat cells thank you!

Here is what you will need to help guide you into a summer bathing suit:

2 eggplants
1 box Italian flavored bread crumbs
3 beaten eggs
Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Gravy (marinara sauce homemade or store bought)
Pam olive oil spray
Baking dish
Baking sheets

Peel skin off of eggplants. Cut eggplant into thin circular slices.
Beat 3 eggs in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl add 2 cups bread crumbs.
Dip a slice of eggplant into the egg bath and then dip it into the bread crumbs to coat.

Preheat oven to 350
Place eggplant in a single layer on baking sheets sprayed with oil.
Bake eggplant for 15 minutes and turn each eggplant slice and cook for another 8 minutes.
Do not over bake.

Spray a baking dish with oil. Put some gravy (sauce) on the bottom of the baking dish.
Add a layer of the eggplant.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Add a layer of gravy (sauce).
Repeat layers ending with a layer of the cheeses.

Preheat oven to 350 and bake for approx 20-30 minutes until bubbly.
Slice into squares and serve.
Can also be frozen before you bake. Mangia!