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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Company Worthy Food in a Flash

I had a crowd last weekend, and with everything going on,
 I wanted to put together a good meal that would wow my guests
 and meet all the dietary needs of the throng,
such as the vegetarians.
It was also important that it pack a nutritious, high fiber punch.
And it even includes an appetizer!
Crispy Asparagus Spears

2 pounds of fresh asparagus
Cooking spray
Lemon pepper seasoning

Set the oven for 450.
Rinse the asparagus and cut off the woody ends. In a pot large enough
to immerse the spears, bring enough water to a boil to cover the veggies.
Once it's boiling, add the asparagus for three minutes.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
Lay the spears on a broiler pan, spray with cooking spray,
sprinkle lightly with lemon paper, and place in the oven close to the top element
until they start to brown slightly and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Arrange on a platter and send them out to be devoured. 

Leave the oven on.
Mini Caprese Salad
This has a bright, amazing flavor just like its more formal cousin
but without the high maintenance fuss.
1 pound of grape tomatoes
1 pound of golden pear tomatoes, or yellow cherry tomatoes
1 can of medium pitted black olives, drained
1 tub of buffalo mozzarella pearls, drained
1/2 bottle of fat free balsamic vinagrette
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, washed and cut into thin strips

Rinse the tomatoes. Dump everything into a bowl. Toss gently and fall in love.
Wild Mushroom Pasta
  A half hour total is all you'll need to make a gourmet dish that's creamy and 
satisfying without the high calorie consequences.

A 16 ounce box of fettuccine, cooked according to package directions
8 ounces of baby portobellas, sliced
8 ounces of shitake mushrooms
2 large portobellas
8 ounces of cremini mushrooms
1/2 a bag of fresh spinach
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
1 cup dry white wine, such as chardonnay
Olive oil
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp roasted garlic seasoning, such as Montreal
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Drain the cooked pasta, rinse in cold water, and return it to the pot.
In the meantime, in a large saute pan on medium high heat, coat the bottom with olive oil,
wait one minute, then add the mushrooms and roasted garlic seasoning.
Saute for five minutes, then add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
Toss in the scallions.
Add the milk and cheese, stirring until smooth,
then the spinach until it wilts.
Add it to the pot of pasta and toss over low heat until you're
ready to serve.
All you have to do now is make dessert.
That'll take hours, right?
Tropical Sauce

1 fresh pineapple
1 cup light brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream

Cut the rind off the pineapple, core and chunk it.
Lightly spritz a baking dish with cooking spray, and the pineapple
and sugar, and mix.
It makes its own sauce!
Put the dish in the oven 10 minutes before serving until the sauce caramelizes slightly. 
spoon over ice cream, and enjoy!

Sure, it's a little decadent.
Actually, it only tastes that way.
But this is a special occasion, and you still spent less than an hour in the kitchen!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tossing Daisies in the Surf

I am not a fan of funerals.
I find that's just not the last memory I want to have
of someone who was a part of my life.
When my sister passed away, I knew how I wanted to honor her memory.
 We invited friends and family to join us on the beach
where Jen and I hung out as kids.
The universe was cooperating that day with a perfect, sparkling morning.
 There's no way to be depressed with your toes in the sand.
 The idea of this ceremony is to take turns sharing happy
memories and toss a flower into the ocean.
I bought three bouquets of white daisies.
There was a good bit of laughter as we recalled hijinx 
and shenanigans from back in the 80's, 
and pleasant recent adventures and Facebook postings.
As blossoms washed back up, I saw a little boy of 4 or 5 gather
some of the stems and present his mother with them.
Further down the beach, someone was sticking them in the shore line like a garden.
You know I was smiling.
I don't generally indulge anymore, but I felt I'd be forgiven.

And I did go have a beer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's Blooming?

Today, we're having a Flower Ceremony to honor my sister's passing.
More on my weirdo beliefs later.
 Savannah, Seamus and I hit the Farmer's Market for tons of fresh food and flowers.

Happy Sunday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


This was probably not a good choice for this week, huh?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Get Your Irish On!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
 It's time for a little wearing o'the green!
Nothing wrong with that, right?
 Okay, maybe there are a few things wrong.
However there's nothing wrong with the following recipe,
straight from my BFF, Michael, owner of the blog
Diabetes Done Right. 
Making soda bread with a little twist will surprise and delight your family,
and the prep time is under 15 minutes.
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
16 oz. container sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Craisins…. YES CRAISINS!!!
Mix all dry ingredients well. Add egg and sour cream. Fold ingredients with floured hands until well combined, but not overly mixed. Bake at 375 degrees in greased 9” cake pan for about 50-60 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Enjoy!

Do yourself a favor and double're going to want some for breakfast! 

For more of my favorite Irish recipes, click HERE.
So meanwhile, wanna have a little fun?
I went to one of those sites where you supply your on-hand ingredients
 and they give you a recipe using them:
Window cleaner
Crystal doorknob
I've never seen automated profanity before. 
And I appear to have been blocked.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Memorial

Wednesday afternoon, I was at Lowes when I got the call.
Mark was with me, saw me start to collapse, and ran across the store,
 barely keeping me on my feet.
As soon as I could breathe again, I told him what had happened, 
and he took my car keys from me.
My younger sister, Jennifer, had had a massive heart attack
and was gone.
Bright, funny, and popular, she was also beautiful.
We grew up at the beach and were always tanned and sporting
bleached out hair from hours in the sun.
 Jen married her childhood sweetheart a couple months after my wedding...
 ...and my nephew, Chip, is just 4 months younger than Samwow.
He's a little older now.

 My niece is a Junior in high school and has been college shopping
with her mom, so they spent Jen's last few weekends together alone.
Athough she was in a meeting at the hospital where she was head of HR,
we still lost her at the way-too-young age of 49.
There will be a lot less laughter in this world without her.