Thursday, December 9, 2010

So, This Is What My Blog Looks Like

I wish I had about four hours in the day to myself in which I could blog, tweet, clean, nap, and do anything I wish I had time to do. Alas, that is a pipe dream and somehow 24 hours in one day will have so suffice to try to be super woman. It is okay because I do need to sleep. I like to sleep. Before having kids, I was such a light sleeper. Now, I apparently sleep through thunderstorms and really loud wind. I always wake up when I hear the kids crying. Well, that is not actually truthful. Maybe twice in four years, hubby had to nudge me.
I really have wanted to write, but with a freelance gig with a commute, some at home PR clients, being a wife and a mom, somehow I did not get around to it. Pathetic, I know, but truthful.
I have been loving my new career. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. Change is scary and to bite the bullet and take a buy out at a time when hubby was unemployed was insane. But I saw work going in a completely different direction than where I was headed. Leave it to the young 20-somethings with attitudes galore do the work. Let them work 20 hour days, get no sleep and be miserable to everyone around them. Let the mean girls be miserable together. I was ever so happy to move on. And it is funny how people get jealous of how well your life goes. If you want to wallow in your misery and jealousy, I say go for it. It is a waste of time, energy and karma.
It has been awesome to see my kids, to cook, to sit down for a few minutes here and there and just not do a thing. Just relish in the hugs I get from the kids and take in those fleeting moments, so in 10 years when I am not cool enough for them, I will have those kind memories.
So, I know this has been a little all over the place, but that is my life, still, go go go, but not to the tune of the train schedule and the calls that something fell apart at work, after it had planned out for so long. Four poopy diapers in one day in under 5 hours is way better than a terrible day in corporate America. I love that I can balance that and getting a client an interview with the LA Times at the same time. So, super woman I may not be, but I think I am a pretty good wonder woman.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fancy Food Show

Five hours at one day of the Fancy Food Show is almost like crashing a wedding for a few minutes and then leaving. I wish I had gone for two days. With that said, it was FAB to be back at the show, as last year, I was about two weeks from delivering baby #2 and the thought of the hugeness of the Javits Center and not being able to eat all of the blue cheese and foie gras I wanted to, made me decide to sit 2009 out.
Since I do not have the perk of my old job, hubby could not tag along as the "help." I think he has gotten over it. Justin from was kind enough to say he would have provided a pass for hubby. Hubby found their bacon salt in 2008 and it was featured in my Sara Moulton segment. Those guys are adorable and have been ahead of the bacon curve.
The Fancy Food Show is one of the few places on earth you can go from eating salted caramel soft serve ice cream to lentil chips to the super tasty pickles, etc from to drinking hot chocolate from a slew of booths to Sea Buckthorn tea from the lovely folks at to tasting the latest chuntneys, hot sauces, etc etc etc. It really is so cool to see booth after booth of food and drinks. A kid in a candy store feeling!
The first time I went a few years ago, I literally ate my way through the show. Each year, I became more judicious of eating and yesterday, I was so good, that I actually left hungry. Pathetic, right?
The show is open to the media and those in the food and restaurant business. It is a place to show off what is new and each year there are different trends. Past trends include green tea, the acai berry, pomegranates and this year, gluten free was big. It was funny to see some items as GF when they never had any gluten to begin with.
My fave booth is They are excellent purveyors of meats. Everything from hot dogs to serrano ham to my fave foie gras. Ariane D'Aguin is a lovely French woman, who is the most gracious host and is passionate about her products. Stopping by is like being in the countryside in France, albeit for just a few moments of hellos and hugs and tasting of the most delicious food I have come to enjoy.
I have more to say, but now I am hungry from talking about food and I am off to find a snack.

Monday, May 3, 2010

And now for Act 2

Dear Blog, how I have neglected you! See, I left my job after being there for 13 years. Nuts, you say? Maybe, but the timing, although not great, just made a lot of sense. More time with the kids and now time for something new. What to do, what to do? Let me think about it and get back to you. I promise to tell you all about the pasta carbonara I made with the delish bacon from Fleishers soon. xoxo

Monday, March 22, 2010

More Meat

The rain tonight put a damper on grilling, so hubby grilled the steaks in the oven. He used the Emeril grill pan to sear each side and then finished the gigantic Porterhouse steaks in the oven. Grass fed animals really do have a superior taste compared to those animals who are not grass fed. Again, YUM, Fleishers. And I am happy to report, I did not burn my fingers on the handle of the HOT grill pan like last time. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!
And on Bravo now is A FEW GOOD MEN. What did happen to honor and tact? Not sure, but they are dying breeds that need resuscitation. One of the very few Cruise movies that I like. He lost me at, "look at me jumping on Oprah's couch." And Jack with the best line of all, "you can't handle the truth." Ain't THAT the truth.

Pizza meets Fleishers

Hubby had a great idea for dinner. Make pizza with the Rockin Moroccan chicken sausage from Fleishers. Did I mention JUST HOW AWESOME his idea was??? So, we grilled the sausage on the stove. I layered red onions, dollops of marinara sauce, Sicilian black olives (the kind REALLY from Sicily) and covered the dough with the sausage slices. Cooked it at 375 for 20 minutes. Heaven! Every bite was tasty and Sunday dinner was perfect. Check out Fleishers online. The best meat. Period.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catching Up

So, posting once a day isn't in the cards right now. I have good intentions, good ideas, but time is busy and when sleep calls, I go running and crash. I was never a deep sleeper, but in the past two years because I'm so tired, I'm more of a deep sleeper. I have never relished sleep so much.
Update: We never switched cable providers. Hubby looked into it and we decided saving 15 dollars per month wasn't worth the aggravation.
Last night: Hubby grilled chicken on the BBQ for dinner and it was awesome. We are hooked on spices from Penzeys and he used their Northwood Seasonings spice blend. Heaven! Hubby is a great griller and just a great man. He loves me so much and it is almost hard to believe sometimes. He is gaga and I love it and him.
In memoriam: hearing about Corey Haim's passing made me nostalgic for the 1980s and the fashion faux pas/fads and music came flooding back. Pastel Reebok sneakers, perms, big hair, Benneton, leggings, leg warmers, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, INXS, Drakar Noir cologne, acting and singing, proms, meeting hubby, Ghost and Dirty Dancing (the movie).
Friday is a day away and I'm looking forward to the weekend full of hubby's chocolate pancakes and cuddle time with my little ones.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Sunday

In college, I watched every Oscar show with the theatre group. We had pools and food from my parents' restaurant catered one year. As the years have gone by and going to the movies is pretty close to zero, watching the big night is not a big deal. And we have Cablevision, so no Oscars tonight anyway. We are ditching them and it is hubby's job tmrw to figure out a plan. And let's hope that this disagreement to agree upon who gets how much money ends soon or more job cuts might be around the bend. Good times.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Lots going on at work and at home. Kids keep you in check with their love and cuteness. Hubby and I welcome that relief in our hectic lives. Time is flying. I remember being a kid and a day seemed like a week long, especially when nothing good was on TV. Time would crawl by. I wish I could bring that pace back. I'm dreaming of warm weather and a trip to Rhode Island, which we didn't make last year, as I was preggers and finances didn't allow a trip. I also wish I could spend a full day cooking. There is serenity in chopping and stirring. Hubby is making a chicken and veggie stir fry tonight. Nonna's lentils were very good over pasta and a drizzle of olive oil. Hubby and I enjoyed 4 meals. Simple food can bring such pleasure. A dish I love that is very simple is pasta with garlic and oil. I don't like too much of a broth and I'm liberal with grated cheese along with a touch of black or red crushed peppers. And some fresh basil. Don't forget to cook the pasta al dente. I hate overcooked pasta. I always cook my pasta 2 minutes under the suggested cooking time. Very few pastas need the actual time they tell you and if you use a few of the cheaper, but well known brands, and cook the pasta to the time you suggest, your pasta will be overcooked. Yuck!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Nights

Dear Sunday Night, why must you creep up on us way faster than we want you to? It should be a day of rejoicing, not panicking that off to work you go in the am and that you did not get enough sleep or get enough time to play with the kids or that you still had a gazillion things to do or that the really delish recipe you saw went unmade. Please reconsider slowing down and letting Monday am creep up on us less quickly. Please. Thank you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The World

There seem to be way too many natural disasters in the past several years. From Katrina to the quake in Haiti to today's quake in Chile and tsunami watch in Hawaii. Is it really a slow version of Armageddon or is it all just coincidental? It is scary and it makes you very grateful not to live in those places and hope you live in a safe place. It really makes you appreciate each day and makes you want to live it to its fullest. Today, I feel like I hit a brick wall. I actually needed to lay down while my baby napped today. I usually try to cram everything into nap time, but today, I had to just chill. I loved watching the snow melt and drip off of the deck, while my son was being goofy and thought the word "sugar" was hysterical. His laugh was infectious and the cuddle time was just what I needed. We were reading and then he just got all silly and it was the best medicine. Hubby right now is watching a show on Elvis' love songs. What if Elvis never overdosed? What kind of career would he have had and would he have let Lisa Marie marry Michael Jackson? I now hear the Olympics back on. I wish I was 1/100th the athlete that Olympians are. I watch in awe as they skate and snowboard. Such talent and a true testament that practice, practice, practice does pay off. Perseverance to be the best. So, as another Saturday comes to an end, I am hopeful that the world can provide a safe place for our children and that the opportunities they have be endless. They will have come a long way from the farm in the hills of Sicily that my ancestors tended to.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Snow! WAY too much! It has been snowing for almost two days. The piles of snow are so high, we almost cannot see the car outside. And the trees are so heavy with snow, we have had some in the complex fall down. We have a huge branch on our deck that looks like it will snap if any more snow falls on it. It looks pretty, but being snowed in does cause cabin fever. And then in NYC, it just gets to be a big, slushy mess. Tomorrow, I am excited to heat up Nonna's lentil soup. My sister said it needs salt, so I will be sure to add that and then some olive oil and serve over some pasta. And don't forget the ground black pepper. This is one of my fave dishes. It is comforting and tasty to me. I made chicken for dinner tonight. Breaded with some spices. Nothing special and I do need a chicken break soon. Yesterday, at work, my guest was Ree Drummond aka the pioneer woman. She has a cool blog ( and it was neat to get a shout out in it. She said she wanted to be me when she grew up. That made me laugh and also made me happy that my professional side does come thru at work. Thank goodness for those acting skills. LOL! Seriously, it was a nice compliment and I am glad that I do my job well and make the guests feel comfortable for their few minutes on the air. I am glad Ree got back to the ranch okay and did not get stuck in NYC with the snow. She has 4 kids, a hubby she calls "marlboro man", cattle and horses to tend to. A former city gal who traded her Manolo's for equestrian boots. Check out her blog and enjoy being snowed in.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm not a fan of mincing words. Mincing is for garlic. It is either black or white. You can either make a decision or you are the type who cannot. You can contribute to the world in small ways. Make it a safer, better, happier, smarter place. I'm not a fan of people wasting my time or talking to me to either be nosy or just when they need something. I'm not a fan of lateness. It shows blatant disrespect. I'm not a fan of people who think they are better than you. I'm not a fan of people who cannot respect each other. You don't have to have the same beliefs to respect each other. I'm not a fan of people who are close minded and who cannot see beyond what they believe in. Those qualities are ignorant and selfish. It would be nice not to have a world full of war and fighting. Maybe one day, even for just a moment, the world will be a peaceful, loving place. One can hope and teach future generations to embrace differences and exercise tolerance. That is the best we can hope for.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Slicing and Dicing

And I do not mean those words in the cooking sense. I mean job cuts at work. Up to 400 people. A little unsettling and who knows what the coming days will bring and what it will be like 6 mos from now. Rolling with the punches. Enough said. Too much to digest for one day.

Dinner is Served

come from a family that can cook. No one has had formal training. The talent to create delicious food must be a gene. I'm thankful to know what a good meal is and that I'm able to boil water and then some. On Saturday, we went to my parents' house and we were joined by my sister, Uncle Tony and Nonna (grandmother in Italian). It was pretty funny to see my parents, Uncle Tony and me cooking. Nonna was smart and arrived with homemade bread and sun dried tomatoes stuffed with bread crumbs and grated cheese. My sister was smarter and arrived just before dinner. Dad manned the calamari marinara. You know how I feel about that dish, so I just stuck with plain marinara. There were scallops and there was bacon. I took the bacon and coated it with brown sugar and cayenne before I wrapped it around the bacon. A hint of sweet and spice. Perfect! When my sister and I lived in NYC, I would sear salmon in chambord. A tasty caramelized raspberry sauce was a tasty companion to the salmon. Uncle Tony kicked it up with meyer lemon juice and then dad added maple syrup. YUM! Mom ran around acting as sous chef. And the smell of meyer lemons made me want a cocktail. Something it the way the aroma wafted from the juicer. No cocktails were had, but next time for sure! It was great fun to cook with the famiglia in a ad hoc kind of way. The result was an amazing dinner and more fond memories.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Time Out

Forgive me for not blogging as much this week, but I had to give myself a time out. Work for a week and a half straight was non stop. It all paid off with three amazing segments. Yes, I am tooting my own horn, but I deserve it. And then one day I worked 6 hrs straight on something that was offed. A flurry of non stop calls and e-mails. UGH. And kids and work and commute and hubby and it was all too much. I gave myself a time out. Time to decompress and time to realize that I cannot do it all, sometimes. And that is okay. At least, I am learning to be okay with that. I always like things in order, precise, perfect, set up to the tee and I am a fan of being in control. And now that the living room is mostly a playroom and looks like a landmine, even tho you clean it up constantly, I am learning to let some of that perfectness go. It was a battle, but I am surrendering. When things get to be too much, it is easy to lose of focus of what is important. And for me it is my children and hubby and I had to refocus on them and realize thru the craziness of it all, I will get it done and come out on top. It takes a lot to believe in yourself sometimes. You just have to find it within yourself to do so. Two family friends passed away this week and that also made me realize that life is precious and the things that set us off in a tizzy are trivial at the end of the day. So, here is to just getting it done and coming out the other side a better person and knowing that as I hit post, the weekend is five days away.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Too Much on My Plate

Too Much on My Plate. There is. But I guess that is part of being a responsible adult. I am not complaining, just in awe of how much women take on, mom or not. Working full time with close to an weekly 18 hour commute and 2 little ones is no easy task, but I wouldn't trade it for the world! How do I manage? Lots of lists and post its. Sadly, I am living proof that multi-tasking wrecks havoc on your short term memory. I read that about 8 years ago and I can attest that it is true. I enjoy coffee, but don't rely on it. It just kicks in when I am going to bed. A black espresso (no sugar) is my preferred my poison, but anything with cream and calories works, too. Here is to making lists, getting in sleep when possible and learning how to juggle so much and keep on tap dancing. Oh, yeah, and celebrating that women can have it all.

Toy Fair

I got to go to the toy fair for work in NYC this week. The Javits Center is an overwhelmingly LARGE place. Over 7000 new toys! A child's picture of heaven. A producer's mission to plow thru it as efficiently as possible and choosing products that are visual and buzzy. We had two great pr people from the toy fair taking me, talent and two interns around. I've been to the JC for the fancy food show. Aisles and aisles of food and drink. Hubby comes every year to help us find great products. I think he just loves to go to the Italian section and indulge in those Italian cheeses. Can you blame him? The pr ladies took us to booths that we wanted to check based upon our needs, they thought we would want to see. Lots of Star Wars stuff for anniversary of EMPIRE and my son would have been in hog heaven. Me? Happy we scouted in under four hours and I set it up in a timely fashion. And I am tooting my horn, the segment was AWESOME I worked My tushy off and it showed1 I missed the food show last summer, as I was less than two weeks from delivering my daughter. D'Artagnan, here I come!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Date Night

This week kicked me in the tushy at work and when hubby's mom asked what time to come over on Saturday, I looked at her like she had ten heads. I forgot hubby and I were going out for dinner!! Pathetic, but true. I was so happy that the work week was over and enjoyed two, yes 2, pomegranate cranberry kir royals. I don't get out much. Next date night will be in May for my birthday, so we tried to make the most of it. Missed the little ones, but it was nice to go out and eat without someone needing something yesterday. I have eaten a lot of cold meals. Hot breakfast? Far and few between, but the joy of little ones makes the cold food and stressful work week all worth it. Happy Valentine's Day! "Love the one your with" and "yada yada yada."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Unscientific Surveys

In my two unscientific surveys, I've found that
1) very few people offer a seat on the subway to a pregnant woman
2) the women's room is always after the men's room.
These are two things I've noted over the years. I saw a pregnant woman on the subway on the way home the other day. Hard to tell when everyone was bundled up for the snowpocolyse, but her coat wasn't buttoned and it was obvious she was preggers. No one else noticed and I offered my seat. She declined. I then realized I had offered my seat before to the same woman and she declined before. I would do the same sometimes, as it was just easier to stand in the sea of people than sit, but still it was always nice when someone offered, which was not often. And the women's room IS always AFTER the men's room. Why do we have to schlep further? Sometimes a few steps, sometimesto NJ. Take notice over the next few weeks of my two observations and feel free to agree or disagree.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Pot Runneth Over...

Didn't post yesterday, as planned. Worked from home because of the snow. Not an easy task. Worked like a madwoman. In between bottles and diaper changes, I was an email maniac. What did we do before email? I know it takes away from the whole personal contact, but talk about how much more efficient it makes you. Or at least me. I was stressed not knowing who or what to give my attention to first. My hubby is a saint for putting up with me and often incredulous of some of the things I have to deal with at work. In all of the craziness, I had a meltdown and to hear my 3 year old ask what was wrong (no hiding the tears) was the Cher slapping Nick Cage in MOONSTRUCK that I needed...SNAP OUT OF IT. Reality check. At the end of the day, the stress isn't worth it. It is easy to lose sight of what is important. It is hard to shake the feeling away, but on we press to find balance in work and family and play. And at the end of the day, I know I do it for my family. So, forward we march and we sometimes stumble, but keep need to keep our eyes on the big picture.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Alarm rings at 4 am today. Get in shower and I proceed to put face soap in my hair. I'm like Munch's "Silent Scream" - ARGH on the inside, not wanting to wake anyone up. Third time in a year I've done this. Since hubby still cannot lift, in order for me to go into work super early when required, my parents stayed over. They slept on the sofas. We don't have a guest room. Naturally, I get out of the shower and hear the baby crying. Not a good thing when I have to be in the car at 5 am. Hubby goes to wake my mom, who was probably awake because how comfy can it be to sleep on a comfy sofa all night? Mom feeds baby her bottle who looks at me with puzzled eyes, "why is Nonna feeding me? What are you doing?" 4 oz. seem to make her happy and we leave her with Dave on the changing pad on our bed to sleep. I'm downstairs getting ready and hear the pitter patter of feet upstairs. Oh, no! My son is up. I dash upstairs and he's in our room and he says he's not tired. That's funny, I think in my head, you SO look it. Take him downstairs and snuggle him on the sofa and he closes his eyes. This is not a typical day, THANK GOD! It is all part of the sacrifice of being a grown up, of being the sole provider (for the time being) of benefits for the four of us, so off to work I must go. You can leave out the heigh ho part. My parents go up and above the call of duty watching our kids FOUR days a week. That wrecks havoc on their lives, but they do it out of love. For that, I'm forever grateful and hope when I'm a grandparent, I can pay that sacrifice forward.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wing It

Yesterday was one of those days where I was on on call for work and spend a major part of the weekend praying they do not call me in. The usual plan is to chill at home and by chill I mean spend time with the kids and hubby and get as much household chores done in a day. It was around 930 am and I was just getting done with a shower and like always called down to hubby to make sure everything is fine. He said yes, but then I hear him open the front door. I hear him talking, but no one is talking back. It turned out that our neighbor handed him a note asking for him to bring her to the ER. She has a history of aneurysm, so he put on a coat and grabbed his wallet and cell and off he went. Gotta love that fleece bottoms allow one to get out the door really fast! The kids and I were daddy-less for a few hours, but we had fun playing, reading and I managed to make pizza for lunch and got it done just as Dave texted he was on his way. Talk about good timing! And for dinner, I whipped up some meatball parm sandwiches and sans recipe, grilled some wings in the oven. And I am up for mom of the year....who else has the patience to take meat off of chicken wings for their son! He had like 8! This was my on the fly recipe: 20 wings with 1/3 cup of bbq sauce that had a little honey mustard thrown into it. Ground cumin, ancho chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. It marinated for about 6 hrs. Cooked for a total of 1 hour at 350. Very tasty and not bad for literally winging it. I could have gone heavier on the seasonings, but it was fun to just play around with a recipe. Looks like our neighbor had a reaction to the new medication, but further testing will be done. Hubby is a super hero!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Double Wide

We braved the cold, sans snow, today. Winter garb for all and me schlepping the double stroller and the bags because Dave cannot lift anything over a gallon of milk. You do the + stroller = many gallons of milk. Off to the Poughkeepsie Galleria we headed to use holiday gift cards and we tried not to spend money in Target on things that we did not need just yet. This is in no way directed to anyone who lives in or around the Po'k area, but Dave and I thought we were in Hicksville. We were NOT in Kansas anymore or maybe we were. It was bizarre. Like bizarro world on SEINFELD. One girl who looked 16 and had the oddest pastel dye in her hair was talking like she drank too much kool aid and the guy oggling her, who just needed a piece of straw in his mouth and looked about ten years older than her, was hanging on to her every world. And everyone kept looking at our kids. They are cute, but good Lord, people, have you never seen cute kids or were they incredulous that they were not double fisting junk food and were not in ADD melt down mode? And then the woman and her 7 year old, who were VERY capable of NOT taking the elevator...2 women and a stroller enter first, as they were there first, followed by the mom and 7 year old. The mom stands smack dab in the middle of the elevator. REALLY? move to the side, moron, is what I said in my head, of course. I just pushed that double wide right straight into her with my best LEAVE IT TO BEAVER smile and she did move out of the way. You would think that this woman never had a baby. Shopping online is way easier and less entertaining, but after today's culture shock, cyberspace sounds more enticing.

The Sounds and Smells of My Commute

Flamenco guitar playing twin brothers with matching hats and glasses. A few solo act guitar playing women who sound like a cross between Joan Osborne/Jewel and Joan Baez. A guitar playing duo with bad 80s hair, but their music surprisingly doesn't mirror their looks. A soulful singing male and female duo, who wears wings and an aviator cap. The homeless guy on the track one or three shuttle to and from Grand Central Terminal, who has a guitar that's missing strings and sings "The Lord is Blessing Me" before asking for donations. This one disturbs me every time...a hunched over old man who plays a keyboard and has these creepy bobble head dolls. Then there are the smells. Well, it is NYC, so you know that it includes the good, bad and the ugly. When I'm in Grand Central, I'm assaulted with smells of wafting butter and chocolate and each day resist the urge to indulge in a black and white cookie. And in their food court, I see a "coming soon" sign for Magnolia Bakery. Did you know they just opened in Dubai? This is a glimpse into my harried commute. Snippets of songs and intoxicating smells that I encounter in my mad dash.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I am not a fan of the cold, winter or snow. I know some like the idea, but not me. Everyone gets in a tizzy and then it does not snow as predicted and then the next time, we do not heed the weatherman/woman's prediction and we get caught unprepared. Did you ever go to a grocery store before a storm is predicted? Then you know that that is NOT the time to go to the grocery store. That is why it is important to be stocked up in the cupboards and it is a good time to head to the freezer and take the casserole (or fill in the blank) you have had in the freezer out for dinner. I am taking the slow cooker out tomorrow. Not sure what I will do with the chicken yet, but it seems like a perfect day to bring the slow cooker down from its perch. I have visions of being snuggled on the sofa with the fam enjoying some hot chocolate, but you know that the four to five loads of laundry and other household duties will be calling in between. Get the shovel ready, the fridge stocked and let's see what happens today!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Two weekends ago, hubby was sleeping in (and I was up with the kids) and I made myself fried eggs. Not too much olive oil and just enough of a runny yolk in my fave "green" omelet pan. A little salt and my fave buttered white bread from the health food store. Took me back to being a kid and when my dad and grandfathers would go hunting in Ellenville, NY and we would all roll out bed super early. The ladies would hang out at our friends' home for the day and the men would go hunting. Their house was like a museum. Ornate, over the top Italian furniture and tchotchokes. I was always fascinated going there. So much to explore. It is also maybe why I am not a fan of having a lot of things out that require dusting. Francesca would make the best fried eggs, so getting out of bed was worth it. My hubby likes egg whites. Yuck. He does make a mean omelet though. I have been able to make these eggs twice since two weekends ago and it is such an enjoyable breakfast. Every bite is savored. Funny how such a simple thing can make you so happy. So, try to do something nostalgic today. Hope it makes you do a happy dance (or something like that). . And by the way, Francesca made a mean homemade pasta.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love To Watch Those Wheels Turn

I asked my son the other day what he wanted for breakfast and he said eggs. I explained the past few days he had asked for eggs and had left half or more. Would he like something else? He said French toast. As my morning is a race against the clock, that wasn't the best option. Yogurt? Waffles and fruit? I offered. He asked if he would have time to play? Of course! And then, I understood! He knew that asking for eggs and French toast would leave him with more time to play before breakfast! I laughed and said you are funny and told him I figured it out and he just gave me the sweetest smirk! Smart cookie for 3! How do little minds work? I'm not sure, but may he continue to be super smart and land a nice scholarship in 15 years! Kids are smarter than we think. Just give them love and the art of conversation and the sky is the limit. And don't make them watch a ton of TV. Gasp! He didn't watch TV until he was one. We got lots of grief for it. It was more exhausting constantly having to explain why than occupying him with other things.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Cheese on Pasta that Has Fish/Seafood on It?

Is it an Italian thing? My grandparents and parents would always say not to add grated cheese on pasta that has fish or seafood. It ruins the flavor, they say. I don’t know, for me it adds flavor. When my parents had the restaurant, every Thursday, when dad would get the fish delivery, he would make calamari marinara for dinner. Until this day, my sister and I cannot stomach the sight of calamari, unless it is fried. Seeing a plate of calamari marinara, takes me back to sitting at table one at the restaurant on a Thursday. I think that is where the adding cheese thing to pasta became a way for us to force ourselves to eat the calamari. We laugh about it until this day. And I still continue to add that cheese on clam sauce or the tuna pasta dish I throw together, with apologies to Italians everywhere. For that tuna dish...saute garlic and onions in good olive oil, add sherry wine and spices when the garlic and onions are browned, add tuna and cook for about 5 minutes, add tomato sauce and olives and let bubble. Serve over pasta of your choice. Add cheese.

Monday, February 1, 2010

You say toe-MAY-toh, I say toe-MAH-toh...

My hubby does not like fresh tomatoes. I find this hard to comprehend. He loves sauce, but no fresh off the vine for him. There is nothing better than a ripe, tasty tomato in the summer with some extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper. He has attempted to try bruschetta and still, he is anti-tomato. That stuff is delish over toasted bread or pasta. My dad used to make the pasta version at the restaurant. Served hot or cold, it was a popular dish. Dave always had chicken parm there “back in the day.” He claims my dad makes the best chicken parm. He is right on that one. The key? Good, fresh oil. There is nothing worse than pulling into the parking lot of a restaurant and smelling the smell of old oil outside. That is a sign to run and not go inside to eat. And for those of you who want to whip up some bruschetta, chop tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, good olive oil (the greener, the betetr)and some fresh basil. Mix it up and serve on toasted bread that you have rubbed a clove of fresh garlic on. If you would like to serve this over pasta, same method and just heat it up in a sauté pan, if you want it hot. Serve over a pasta of your choice. If you want to make it spicy, add some cayenne or red crushed pepper flakes. The only way hubby has managed to eat the bruschetta (on bread) is with balsamic vinegar. I am determined to make him like tomatoes and blueberries one of these days.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


The day of rest? I wish. I am exhausted. Hubby will be down and out to help with the kids and around the house for a few months and I think I may go out of my mind. You take for granted that tag teaming is a way to keep your sanity and to help each other catch a breath. No time to catch a breath here except to write this quick post. Laundry to fold and I think the half bath cleaning will just have to wait until tmrw nite. I would be nice to catch a glimpse of the Grammys, but honestly, if I can be asleep by 930 pm, then that would really be a good thing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


The lemons in Italy are sweet, not bitter and you can eat a whole lemon and it is the best snack ever. I wish we could get them here. I remember them being as big as baseballs. Such a treat. I am a fan of lemonade. In fact, when we go to the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, NY, I love getting a lemonade. I have been known to get a few of them, at different stands along the long food path. And of course, we have to make a stop at the 4H booth and get a milkshake. So delish and I am always torn between vanilla or strawberry. Hubby gets chocolate. Maybe one day, I will just go for it and get one of each. So, if you ever find yourself in Italy, please eat a lemon. I promise you, it will be a sweet treat. And I guess, "when life hands you lemons..." has an entirely different meaning.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Lisa

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, my Uncle had an Italian restaurant and that is where my dad learned how to cook. A woman my Uncle knew did his menu and she didn't want money, so he named a dish after her. And he created "chicken Lisa." It is chicken breast stuffed with shrimp, mozzarella, spices, wrapped in bacon and cooked in a mushroom, wine and cream sauce topped with fresh garlic and sliced almonds. It was over the top and decadent, but then it was the 70s. My parents had it on their menu when they had their own Italian restaurant in 1980. Now, I know that there are many recipes out there and the same recipes are bound to be fairly identical when it comes to preparation, but after one of my parents' employees went to work at another local Italian restaurant, he took the chicken Lisa recipe with him. Of course this Poughkeepsie, NY establishment named the dish something else, but we all know they stole Uncle Tony's recipe, as it is identical. Coincidence? I think not.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thick Skin

Social networks require you to have thick skin. Someone friends you and you ignore them. You friend someone and they ignore you. And gasp, you take the plunge and UNfriend someone. Ballsy, but I have done it with the few who always had snarky postings about my updates. One should be allowed to say what they want without constant criticism. Another said she was unfriending those with multiple updates. I fit that bill and saved her well manicured finger the trouble and unfriended her before she unfriended me. Imagine her surprise. The word "friend" can have so many meanings. True friends are there thru thick and thin and don't end your friendship over a 150 dollars they don't want to pay toward your bridal shower. That is another blog topic, so until then, relish those friendships and if you need to UNfriend, do it and don't look back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'm not talking the turkey we have at Thanksgiving. I'm talking about how my 3 year old son called one of his classmates turkey. At pick up yesterday, my dad was told my son called a classmate turkey. The teacher didn't make an issue of it. She just made a statement. Like, "The kids had music today." He asked my little guy why and he said he couldn't remember the boy's name. I explained, upon hearing the story and trying not to laugh, that if he doesn't remember someone's name,he should just ask. And that calling someone turkey is not nice. I have to laugh at his choice of words. Dave and I were cracking up about it in the car today. And all this talk of turkey, makes me want a turkey leftovers' panini. For me, THAT is the best part of Thanksgiving. Turkey.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Homemade Pasta

My maternal grandmother is coming back from Italy this week and we are waiting to get a lesson in how to make homemade pasta. I cannot wait for my kids to see this. My son will don his chef's hat and want to help. My grandmother eyeballs measurements. Hmmm, wonder where I get that from? I remember being a kid and the pasta drying on her bed on a white sheet before it made its way into the salted pot. I also remember eating homemade pasta in Sicily that was served on a table. Claim your spot and dig in. Good thing we were all family. I can taste the pasta, marinara sauce, grated cheese and fresh basil. Ah, the good life.


-I also added a dash of smoky Spanish paprika to the slow cooker chicken.
-typo in name of Kingston is Fleishers...yum!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Slow Cookers

My slow cooker left its perch on top of the kitchen cabinet and found itself on the kitchen counter this past weekend. I found myself with two packages of chicken thighs, so it was only natural that I whip something up. My one mistake with slow cookers is that I get liquid happy. I add liquid. Just a little, but you all know that in slow cooking a little is really a lot when all is said and done. This goes back to my not liking to read directions blog entry. I resisted and did not add any liquid at all! So, 2 packages of chicken thighs (skin off, bone in), bbq sauce, a touch of honey mustard, a touch of that really spicy hot sauce my sister got us, ground cumin, ancho chipotle powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Sorry, I do not measure, just eyeball. It goes back to having that confidence, so if you don’t, just take a chance. Added 3 cloves of garlic and half a small onion. They just dissolved in the cooking process. I thought my 3 year old would never eat it. I thought, it would be too spicy, but it wasn’t and he and hubby loved it. Steamed some plain white rice and voila, an easy Sunday night dinner. And Sandra Lee told me a great tip for slow cookers. Fold about 6 paper towels under the lid to absorb the moisture and after trying it myself, it is indeed a great tip. Okay, so go dust off those slow cookers and let me know what you come up with.


We all want more. More time. More sleep. More balance. More money. More time with our family. More time to have date night. More time to clean the house in one day and not over the course of a few weeks. More (you fill in the blank). I try to cram as much into one day as possible. It is so rare for me to sit on the sofa and chill. Even on the days I can do that, I jump up to do just one more thing and then one more thing turns into another thing and before you know it, the routine of the day starts over again...dinner time, then bath time and then bedtime. Phew! Just writing that exhausted me. And after a long day and we are all spent and I am helping my three year old brush his teeth before bed, I hear him say, “Mommy, I am making more

Sunday, January 24, 2010

When Life Hands You Bananas...

My mom says she ate a lot of bananas when she was pregnant with me. I only eat bananas that do not have any brown spots on them. I know it means the banana is sweeter, but I cannot stomach the taste. My hubby, on the other hand, says the more brown spots, the better, so it works out well. If he doesn't want the brown spotted bananas, they are banished to the freezer for baking. Until last week, when sans recipe, I whipped up an easy, super tasty bananas foster! Slice bananas lengthwise and place in baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and has some butter chunks. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg and bake. It was a HIT with my 3 year old and hubby. Some when life hands you bananas, give this a try!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

slim pickings

Hubby had his work awards' banquet tonight. There is an opportunity to make serious money. For now, I remain the supportive wife and still believe a commission only job is not great when you have a family. But with less than a year on the job, he has made a name for himself and I'm proud of him. Again, commission only stinks, until your business takes off. We are starving because the food was a "pickies" buffet. All I could think about was food. And the stuffed mushrooms, made me think of the stuffed mushrooms my dad made at the restaurant. Mushrooms topped with garlic, layered with tomato slices, shrimp, bacon and mozzarella cheese. Sounds good, right? Yes, it was. The food there made so many people happy. I still run into people who miss the pasta e fagioli, the chicken Nella and the flounder Maria. Thanks for that dad. One day, I will dole out those recipes.

"I Think I Can..."

"The Little Engine That Could" is currently Matthew's fave book. He gets a kick out of the fact that I was the "I think I can" engine in a play in like first grade. And so, "I think I can" upkeep a blog and hope soon to be able to add the aspect to this that was the original idea. Still under-wraps, but not enough time to add that element. Thanks for reading the few posts I have had on here that only my hubby and high school friend have read. And I leave you with this, why is it that when the kids wake up early on a Saturday, mommy is the one to tumble out of bed and begin the day?

Friday, January 22, 2010

lunch today

Nobu is one of those restaurant experiences that stays with you. Food that is fresh and well prepared can make or break a dining experience. Whether you spend 15 a head or 100 plus, you should walk out feeling satisfied on a few levels, including a full belly and knowing that every penny was worth it. When I walk out with that "I was robbed feeling" it is so disappointing. I know many are not sushi fans. I never was until the mid-90s, after moving to NYC. The best tuna hand rolls and toro sashimi can be found at Nobu, in my opinion. My toddler son loves avocado rolls and we are hoping he branches out. He loves duck, filet mignon, shrimp and meat from Fleischers (butcher shop in Kingston, NY). He is, knock on wood, a great eater. And the kid knows good food from bad. For me, it has been a journey since branching out from a California rolls. So, grab your chop sticks, pour some soy sauce and dig in! And by the way, I have a confession to make. For some reason, I cannot master the chopstick thing. Maybe one day.

You either like to bake or cook...

I am a firm believer in that. I love to EAT baked goods, but do not like to bake because in baking you must be precise. You must follow directions. I do not like to read directions. Ask my family. Ask my hubby. I love to cook because you can throw in a little of this, a little of that and somehow it all works! Well, that is, if you have a confidence to take that approach. I love to open the fridge and throw stuff together. Not only is it fun, but economical. Use what you have. This is what I threw together a few months ago when my sister came over. It was delish. Heat up some olive oil. Add onions and brown. Then add garlic and brown. If you want to add some vino or tomato sauce or paste to add flavor and color, now is the time. Add broccoli, can of beans and radicchio. Season with your fave dry spices. I love a little cumin thrown in. Saute and I added a little chicken stock, if you want a little broth. Serve over pasta of your choice. Drizzle with olive oil and grated parmigian cheese. So, I dare you. Look in the cupboards, the fridge and create something. Let me know what you come up with.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

day one

I have never been someone to postpone doing things, but for some reason starting a blog was something I kept pushing off. I do not have enough time, too tired, too much to do, a crazy commute, the kids, the hubby, the house, the get the idea. Today, I got to work in a good mood and got two cranky e-mails that put me in a funk. I did not want to be in a funk, so I chose to do something to shake off the blahness that had set and what did I think of to do? I headed to and here I am. delishdishmom is something that popped into my head a few months ago. I thought it was catchy and to my delight, the blog name was open. There will be a component I want to add to this blog in the near future. That is under-wraps for now. Yesterday, was hubby's birthday and we headed to Amber on the Upper West Side of NYC. Great sushi and what a bargain, with or without my work id. Then we headed to split a banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery. One of my fave finds there. You feel like you are five years old again. All giddy with excitement and like a kid in a candy store, not knowing what to get and changing your mind every few seconds when another decadent dessert catches your eye. How could we eat dinner? Well, we did. My mom made breaded pork chops and veggies. I grew up in an Italian restaurant, so my family knows how to cook. And another dessert? You bet! A chocolate cake from Homestyle Bakery in Westchester County, New York. A layer of chocolate ganache, anothrr layer of cannoli filling with chocolate cake and vanilla icing. For $12, this cake is a steal and it is beyond delish! Better than some NYC bakeries that charge triple that. Those are some tasty finds from delishdishmom.