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.