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.