Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Pot Luck

So, I have been given the task of organizing my companies Holiday Pot Luck party.  Color me excited..its a party, with food and decorations and games.  When I made the announcement I had many people asking me what could they make.  I printed a simple list of ideas - veggie tray, cheese & crackers, pasta, cocktail meatballs, pasta salads, desserts, etc...but really I was hoping for some unique recipes.  You know Grandmas special dish or ethnic specialties.

I'm bringing my famous ham. Famous?  Well, not really.  But it's really really good and everyone who tastes it loves it.  I thought t make empanadas, but given that the party is mid week and that I have to make cupcakes for peanut's birthday, I figured a ham would be easier and well received.  I made one for the office when Hurricane Sandy struck and it was devoured.

If you have a specialty, please share! I'm always looking for something new.

Now, onto the Shutterfly contest. Two winners were announced, and I can't believe neither has come forward.   So I re-selected tonight and comment #11 is the winner - Tracy Mellini, you have 48 hours to claim your prize by posted your contact information here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

And the new winner is....

Monique Velanzano!!!  Please claim your prize.  You will have 48 hours to leave your contact information for the code.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shutterfly Contest Winner!

And the winner is..... Comment #6 - Mollybelle!!
Congratulations.  Please leave a comment with your email and I will send you your $50 Shutterfly gift code!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Eat your Vegetables!

Growing up in an Italian household, there were vegetables with every meal.  But unlike typical vegetables like corn, carrots or green beans, we had things like, broccoli rabe, fava beans, cardoon, cucuzza, and eggplant.
Not very tempting to a childs palate, at least not mine.

I wouldn't even think of touching broccoli, zucchini, or heaven forbid - cauliflower. Up until I had kids I wouldn't even think of it.  My husband on the other hand used to be a vegetarian and will eat almost anything.  It was important to him (and me) to make sure our kids grew up with a well rounded palate.  We want to make sure they try every thing - at least once.  House rule, in fact!  You have to try everything at least once.  I'm happy to say that my kids LOVE their fruits and vegetables.  We keep a well stocked fruit bowl on the table so the kids can grab a piece anytime they want.

In my attempt to make sure the kids don't grow up hating vegetables, I, in turn, have started eating them myself..even the dreaded cauliflower!

Earlier this week, I had such a craving for a hearty soup.  I felt a cold coming on and wanted something rich and warm.  I looked around and found a recipe from Cook Michael Chiarello for a Super Quick Minestrone.  Perfect for an after work meal.

The original recipe can be found here - Super Quick Minestrone

I made a few little changes:

Added 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms which I sauteed with the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and pancetta mixture.

Added 1 tablespoon tomato paste

It took some prep work and not exactly quick...but quick enough and once you put it all together in the pot to cook - you could walk away and do something else.

My picture isn't uploading for whatever reason, but I promise to upload one as soon as I can!

And don't forgot to enter my shutterfly giveaway!  Contest ends tomorrow night!

Click Here for the details on how to win!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Guess who? Coming back after a loooong break. I've had this blog in the back of my mind for some time.  I had ideas on revamping it, changing things up..but life with 2 kids, a new job, and new house kept that thought at bay.

But, I'm here now and hoping to continue on and hoping to put some new spins on here.  Same family recipes, stories and such.  But want to incorporate information on some of my other passions - family, community, shopping, saving money, and friends.

And I have a great, new friend to thank for bringing me out of retirement.  She is none other than Cate from Sweetnicks. She recently invited me to a post Thanksgiving bloggers dinner sponsored by Shutterfly.  Food, dessert, laughter, and pictures...I'm there!

Looking over the new cards Shutterfly had to offer, I immediately felt the need to get home and take our family picture...but at 11pm, I figured it was better to wait till the morning.  Tons of ideas were running through my mind, do we do a formal picture, candid, funny, serious??  Decisions, decisions.  I came across some #cardworthy ideas here -

Now, the best part of coming out of retirement - a CONTEST!  Just in time for the Holiday!  Shutterfly gave me a $50 promotional code to share with you.  $50 will go a long way for Holiday cards, gifts, photobooks, etc...possibilities are endless!

The catch - you have to leave a comment here.  Tell me what your favorite Shutterfly product is. EASY!


  • Tweet this post with the hashtag #cardworthy and come back and leave a comment that you've done so.  
  • You can also share this with a friend on facebook, leave another comment for another entry.  

It's that easy!

Contest ends December 3, 2012 at 11:59pm EST
Contest is open to US Residents
Winner will be announced on this blog shortly after the contest ends and will have 48 hours to claim their prize (I will use If winner doesn't come forward, a new one will be chosen.

Good Luck.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Baking Challenge!

It's been a REAL long time since I blogged..doesn't mean I haven't been cooking.  Time, life, you name it has gotten the best of me and well not much time to blog.

Anyway..I was on one of my sites and saw a Thanksgiving Day baking challenge and figured I would do it in hopes I would kick start this blog up again.

I submitted a recipe from Ina Garten - Pumpkin Roulade.  It is delicious!! I'm not a fan of anything pumpkin...but this is amazing! I have tweaked it over the years to make it more to my liking. The recipe I got was for a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie from Christine's Kitchen Chronicles!

When I first looked at the recipe I saw two things that raised a red flag 'cloves' and 'maple' - I'm not a fan of either..but again, I'm not a fan of Fall type flavors - pumpkin, cloves, ginger, maple, sweet potato, cranberries, etc... So I immediately thought - do I really need the cloves and what can I use instead of maple? Vanilla..Cinnamon..Brown Sugar???

I decided to follow the recipe as is figuring I'm not the only person who is going to eat them right?  The only difference was that I used a cookie scooper since it was the only thing I had with the quick release mechanism.  So this recipe yielded about 30 'small' whoopie pies and by small I mean a very healthy 'small'.
I thought the clove would be overpowering, but it wasn't.  The combination of the spice from the pumpkin whoopie pie and the sweet maple cinnamon cream was perfect.  The flavors worked very well with each other.  Since I had so many of these little guys I brought some to work and gave some to my neighbors.  They all came back with rave reviews.

They were very easy to make and held up very good.  I made them on Tuesday and put them together on Wednesday. I refrigerated them and they were enjoyed on Thanksgiving Day!!!

Thank you for the recipe..I will be adding it to my Thanksgiving Day recipe files!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Need some Votes from my followers!

It's been a LONG time since I blogged...but I have been cooking, trust me!

I am hoping you would take a second to help me win this contest...simply click on this link & LIKE it

It literally takes 2 seconds.  I am so close to winning..but need a few more votes.  The contest ends tomorrow 9/23/11 at 2pm EST.