Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Veggie Garden

A couple of weeks ago I posted how a friend help me move a couple of bushes.

We left this empty spot to start my veggie garden. Here is what it became over the weekend.

So we have yummy tomatoes, crunchy peppers and succulent eggplant.
Can't wait to start picking!!! And look a surprise. When the Peonies were moved a piece of the root must have been sliced and now!!!!
A new bush is growing. I'll let it stay there for now. Think I'll move it next year after it blooms.
And a little further down I'm starting a herb garden right now we have Rosemary and Basil.

And remember those pumpkins plants that started on their own. I decided to let them grow where they stood.

It's awesome you stopped by!!!....Thanks

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad

My favorite chicken salad recipe is this Curried Chicken Salad http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/87/CurriedCranberryChickenSala69051.shtml

I almost always double this recipe but I don't double the mayo amount. I don't like so much mayo in my chicken salad. Another thing you want to make sure is that you are using a really good Curry. I like Jamaican Curry but not the hot variety. The other one I use is McCormick Gourmet Collection.

Another thing to consider is the ratio of apple to chicken. Sometime there seems to be more apple than chicken, It doesn't bother me when this happens, so go with what you like best. 

When I do this recipe as an appetizer so I put it in a Boston lettuce to display surrounded with crackers.
This is just an individual serving just to show you how it would look.
Oh yeah, I don't use the nuts in the recipe just my preference. Enjoy!!!!

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Friday, May 27, 2011


I want to take a moment and thank everyone who has left a comment on my blog. I really enjoy reading your thoughts and comments. So if you haven’t left a comment please do so. I would love to read if you tried any of the recipes I’ve posted or try any of the wines. I would love to read if you been inspired to experiment in the kitchen or expand from your norm in wine. So come follow me on this journey of food wine and creative musings.
It's awesome you stopped by!!....Thanks
P.S. I love knowing I'm being read and I won't know if you don't leave a comment.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

DeAnna’s Restaurant in Lambertville, NJ

While in Lambertville we went to DeAnna’s Restaurant and Bar http://www.deannasrestaurant.com/index.php. My friend had been there before, she pick this place for us because she knows what a foodie I am. Plus that I had been looking for a chocolate dessert. You know the one that is slightly cakey but also gooey; rich melt in your mouth kind. I had several chocolate desserts during the week and they all were disappointing. She promised this would not. She was right!
The décor of the resaurant had Moroccan influences with a modern twist. The color where of delicious oranges, purples and blues with a sprinkling of flowers and bird accents. Our table had a bench on one side and 2 chairs on the other. The bench side was loaded with super comfy pillows that just beckoned you to come sit and stay a while.
This restaurant is known best for their fresh pastas which are made daily and are of course to the whimsy of the owner so you don’t know exactly which ones she has prepared for the day. The specials were an array of fish and meats. The special appetizers were Antipasto, grilled Romaine lettuce and an Eggplant Neapolitan. I had the Grilled Romaine lettuce that came with a Caesar.

 I have heard of grilled lettuce before and thought “now why would I want warm wilted lettuce”. So when presented with the opportunity, I jumped at the chance to proved myself right. Well, I was dead wrong. Yes the lettuce was slightly warmed but still crunchy. The grilling added a layer of flavor that is hard to describe. The dressing was amazing, slightly heavy with the anchovies but with the grilled flavor of the lettuce it was perfect.
Our dishes were Prosciutto with peas in a cream sauce, Pasta Bolognese and I ordered one of the special fish dishes of the day. Sorry I don’t remember the name of the fish.
The cream sauce that came with the Prosciutto and peas was surprisingly light with just the right coating of cheese and cream. You won’t leave the restaurant dragging your belly on the ground after eating this dish.
The Pasta Bolognese dish was equally delicious.  The fresh tender pasta was perfectly coated with the sauce and the sauce had an interesting twist with the addition of sausage.
The Fish dish was sautéed in olive oil over high heat until the edges were crispy and leaving the center oh so tender. It was served over a lime sauce and broccoli on the side.
Dessert oh Dessert!
Yes we had the cake that my friend raved about. Which, when we arrived were told it was not quite ready yet. It still had to set and perhaps it would be ready to serve when we had reach dessert time. Well, it was just acceptable to the chef for serving. The cake was everything my friend promised it would be and more. Soft, gooey melty perfection of chocolate.
I have to go back just to see what this cake would be like when the chef would say is was proper to serve. Which my friend said was everything I just describe to the 10th power if you can just imagine that. We also had a cupcake with a rum cream frosting.
This too was chocolate perfection. A super moist cake that was light, airy and tender. The frosting had just a hint of rum flavor that enhanced the cream. And when paired with the chocolate cake, it made it more chocolately if there is such a word.
The service was excellent, our waitress was very accommodating. She of course was the main reason we got to enjoy the chocolate cake. I sure wish this place was closer to my area. I would be here often!
It’s awesome you stopped by!!.... Thanks

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sight seeing of two towns

On our trip to the winery we also visited two adorable towns of New Hope, P.A. and Lambertville N.J.
In New Hope we visit two cute stores one was a wine store that had a large assortment of toys for wine from openers to racks for drying decanters. Who knew these things existed. They also t-shirts with cute sayings, napkins and of course glasses. We also perused a soap store that they add scents to salt scrubs, lotions and liquid soaps right there so you can pick out your favorite or mix it up yourself for a personalized scent. How yummy is that!!

In Lambertville we had coffee at the Lambertville Tracing Company.  I had my usual 4 shots of espresso over ice. They served it with coffee ice cubes. Talk about heaven in a cup the coffee was rich, dark and syrupy. With each sip I was in ecstasy. I would go back just for that but the town had tons of shops we didn’t get a chance to explore so there is a day trip in the making. 

Its awesome you stopped by!!.....Thanks

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Tasting

Over the weekend a friend of mine treated me to a wine tasting at Sand Castle winery http://www.sandcastlewinery.com/.

What an experience that was! I learned even more about how to taste wine and I now have admiration for Pinot Noir that I didn’t have before. What was so wonderful about this wine tasting was that we got it pair with cheese, all kinds of chocolate, nuts, wasabi peas, grapes and herbs.
He showed us how to breathe in the wine. I always just stuck my nose in the glass but he said to open your mouth slightly and breathe in with both your mouth and nose so that the middle of your tongue taste the air as well. It was amazing but it really did happen. Also not to look for legs on the glass, the way a glass was washed can affect the way it runs down a glass but to tilt your glass so that the wine is cupped in the blub of the glass and it looks separated and that will tell you the body of the wine. Sorry guys I didn’t catch which side would be the body. But I’ll be happily experimenting.
The other thing they had us do was the tasting of the wine itself first alone then with food but drinking the wine into the food. It’s amazing how food really does change the taste of wine. Like taking the sweet out of a wine or enhancing a berry flavor.
And this is where I gained my respect for Pinot Noir. Previous to this tasting I thought of Pinot Noir as red water for the most part. They had us take a sip before any food then a sip with cheese, than with a nut and then with chocolate. This wines complexity truly shown and changed with each of the pairings. I can now understand why Pinots are all the rage. I still am a heavy full bodied girl (LOL) but (as I tap my finger to my chin) I won’t be discarding a pinot noir so quickly any more.

They also took us to thier wine making area

It was totally fun and good learning experience.

Its awesome you stopped by .....Thanks

Monday, May 23, 2011

A night out with the girls at Pour

Two of my friends and I went to POUR http://www.pourmtkisco.com/. What an awesome place. This is a wine bar who list consists of small production wines that are also organic. They also have some great food. Their menu is mostly appetizer with some flat breads and panni's.

We were extremely lucky that evening, the owners personally served us. They asked us what were our likes and dislikes with wine and went about giving us tasting to see if they could pick out which ones we would like best. We got to 6 different wines between the 3 of us and I'll have to say they hit each one on the nose.

As far as food, we had a tray of Charcuterie and Artisanal Cheeses which included Wild Boar Cacciatorini, Casatica di Bufala and a aged Gouda. The platter included this amazing mustard and grilled apricots amongst other things. We also had Chickpea bites
with a Gorgonzola dipping sauce. I loved these so much that I searched the Internet for a recipe and I found one. You bet I'll be cooking these up soon. We also had 2 flatbread that were out of this world.

Sorry I didn't take more pictures I got caught up in the moment and it slipped my mind. I'll do better next time. And yes there will be many next times at this place. Wonder around their web site the place is simply beautiful!!!.

It's awesome you stopped by.....Thanks

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wine of the Moment

This week I'm drinking Ruah from Desert Wind a 2007 from Washington

It's a blend of Merlot (48%) Cabernet Sauvignon (36%) Cabernet Franc (16%)  Love the aroma of earth and jam. It has a great garnet red color. I loved this wine straight from the pop. ( A Day ago) Now a day later the flavor has deepened. I taste Cherry and pepper. It has a dry finish but with food it turns slightly sweet and still a dry finish. But either way its biting, in a good way.

Side note. I love that I am now really have to pay attention to what I'm drinking these days. Makes me appreciate the wine and its depth so much more. Thanks for reading you're making me a better wine enthusiast

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Monday, May 16, 2011

A Splash of Happy

My Living room has been taking a back seat to all that I have doing around the house. This morning I realized I really need to add something to make me happy and smile when I come into this room. I spend lots of time here and it's been making me feel blah without me even knowing it until this morning. So I decided to make a small but huge change. Here is my sofa before
Here is my sofa after
Aren't these pillows just sooo cute!!! The color and design just spoke to me.

I knoooow your asking..... where did I get them......... okaaaaay..... I won't keep you waiting any longer Home Goods! LOL where else. Now I smile every time I enter my living room. Yummmmoo!

It's awesome you stop by......Thanks!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hooks Hooks and more Hooks

Since I don't have a coat closet in my house. I created a hook wall
Here are are two that I recently added to my collection

Now, not only do I have a place to hang my coats but I'm finding some original pieces that make me smile.
There will be other changes coming to this entrance way. Please stay tuned....

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Tarry Tavern

This weekend I went to the Tarry Tavern with some friends http://www.tarrytavern.com/. The atmosphere is both homey reminiscent of your local bar and elegance of a high end restaurant.  They even have 2 sides to the menu. One side is bar food taken up a notch or two. The other side is more of a higher scale seasonal food. Both sides have their surprises. Like Mac and Cheese with Crab meat and truffle oil (barish side) or Mediterranean Branzini Sweet Fennel Puree, Citrus Salad & Olive Tapenade (resturant side). We started with a Roasted Beets & Mache Lemon Ricotta, Golden Raisin Puree & Pepitas
Burratta Cheese Fig Jam, "Pomme Paille" & Port Reduction. We ate up the Burratta Cheese before I started snapping pictures sorry....Take my word for it.. it was really good!
Our main dishes were Warm Portuguese Octopus & Potatoes Arugual, Kalamata Olives & Lemon Aioli
The Octopus was grilled to perfection. The Olives added a balance to the pepperiness of the Arugula.
We also had Maine Sea Scallops with a Asparagus Risotto
The Sea Scallops were tender and the Risotto was creamy without being overly cheesy with bits of Asparagus. And the last dish was Braised Short Rib of Beef
The Short Rib was melt in your mouth and the polenta super creamy
And take a look at our desserts Chocolate Bread Pudding, Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble and Warmed Chocolate Cake

The Bread Pudding was rich and yummy the Chocolate had the right touch with out being overwhelming. The Blueberry Rhubarb crumble had just the right balance between sweet and tart. I was disappointed with the chocolate cake. It was dry and gummy. But the vanilla ice cream was yummy.
I highly recommend this place. And if you do you really should try their Roasted Bone Marrow Shallot-Garlic Confit & Toast. I had this the first time I went to the Tavern. It was pretty outstanding and super rich. Don't miss it!

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Thank you

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pallets and more Pallets

I was reading this blog piece.

Oh My God!! I loved her work before I read this piece. Now I'm am really in love. Most of the stuff she has made is from pallet wood. Really awesome work. Super great ideas. I already wanted to get my hands on some pallets to create my bins for the compost out back. Now ideas abound and I really want to do other projects. Gotta get me some pallets. LOL

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Duck Eggs oh so Yummy!!!

I got introduced to Duck eggs last year at the Union Square Market. I just love going there, you can find so many different things not available at the grocers. This year at my most beloved craig's list there was a post from someone selling Duck eggs close to my area. Oh boy was I a happy girl. Look at these beauties. The ones with the EB stamped on them are chicken eggs.

Now you would think bigger egg more egg white. Nope that is why I love Duck eggs so much, There is more yolk. And being the yolker that I am. I am just in heaven. See the comparsion in color and size.
Chicken egg's yolk is pale yellow

Duck egg's the yolk is almost orange!

Here is my favorite way to eat them.

You guess it.... fried so I can enjoy that yummy thick yolk to all it's glory. Ahhhh so good....... so yummmyy!!!!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tasting Notes

About once a month Marco's has a high end wine tasting. Unlike the free saturday tastings these ones are fee based. He started it to have his customers have the ability to taste wine usually out of their price range. Most of the time the fee is $55.00 and you get to learn about and taste wines in the $100-$150 dollar range. This time he held a tasting for wines that he wanted to bring into the store so these where in the $40 to $55 range. We paid $35 for the tasting. So without further ado here are my tasting notes.
The Davis Family 2007 Pinot Noir. This one surprised me. I usually don't like Pinot Noir. I find them to watery for the most part. But this one had some body to it. It had a nice brownish color with cherry notes and a slight smooth finish

The Kunin 2007 Zinfandel was Black Red in color, strawberry notes Awesome finish.

Davis Family 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The color was a black brown with vanilla notes and a dry cherry finish
The Outpost 2007 Petite Sirah. It had a black red color with very rich dark friut favors blackberry unfiltered wine. This wine goes great with lamb

Lodola Nuova Vino Noble Montepuliciano This one comes from 75 years old vines. It was dark red with  pepper and strawberry notes. A super well rounded wine. This would have been sooooo great with a steak. Hmmmm I might have to start bringing  food to these higher end tasting.

All in all I enjoyed each one. I just can't pick a favorite. What I really enjoyed was that you could just pop these open enjoy the first glass while you let the rest of the bottle breath and go back for your second cup and really have a super dupper glass of wine. If you are intested in any of these and can't find them in your area Marco would be more than happy to ship. http://marcovino.com/ Sorry dad not to PR. But let know if you like any and I'll have them waiting for you when you come.

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, May 9, 2011

Whole life living

I've been going to a health for the last couple of months. She is the greatest. The philosophy that she teaches is not just on the eating but your whole life, like your environment and thoughts. Thur her I have discovered that my meals didn't always have to include a side of cow. I've learned that chicken is not as yucky as I thought when I buy organic. Then the chicken can be quite tasty. I have had tons of fun experimenting with all types of grains. I've learned that I must and I mean must have time to craft so I can be happy. I've learned that I need to have a minimum of 15 minutes every morning to linger over coffee so I can start my day right. And the major break though came this weekend I that am actually starting to be kind to myself. Here is her link if you would like to know more www.livepurebycrista.com.  She does do consults over the phone for those who think they are to far away to benefit from this. I highly recommend at least checking her out. And yes ....she walks her talk!

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Day Celebration

Happy Mother's Day!!

The family got together to celebrate Mother's day and we all had a wonderful time. Of course we had some really wonderful food. Here is a some pictures of the appetizers and yes it was as yummy as it looks.

Aren't these labels for the cheese just to cute for words. I just loved them. I'll be on the look out for them on my trips to Home Goods
Here is a Sangria I made.

It was so refreshing and not very sweet. And if you think you are looking at basil you're right.... It gave the Sangria a really nice crisp taste. Here is the link to the recipe if you are interested in making it yourself... http://www.marthastewart.com/317946/summer-fruit-sangria
For the main course we had a Veggie Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce

It was just perfectly light and Meatballs
They were super juicy just the way a meatball should be. And this salad
It was suppose to be a Radicchio salad with Goat Cheese but when I went to the supermarket they were all out. So I got a mix of Romaine and Radicchio Here is the link for the recipe I used. http://www.marthastewart.com/312737/radicchio-goat-cheese-and-hazelnut-salad
We had an awesome Strawberries over pound cake for dessert. I was too busy digging in, that I forgot to take pictures. So just believe me when I say, it looked beautiful and tasted as wonderful as it sounds.

Hope everyone enjoyed Mother's Day!!

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