September 28, 2009

Oh the Possibilities...

I had been thinking how nice it would be to have a set of all white dishes for entertaining. White would mix with my Fiestaware and I could add accessories to decorate for any occasion.
I couldn't justify spending a lot of money for a "Want" and not a "Need"...
And then... look what I found on "clearance" at our favorite store... "Tar-jay" (TARGET)...

Yes, ladies...these sets of dishes originally intended for college students were all marked down!

Each set included a plate, bowl and silverware for only... are you ready for this???

$1.43 a set!
Now that I can handle!

I gobbled up a bunch of them....20 to be exact. Hey you never know when you will break when we have our "Family Sunday Dinners"...we usually have at least 12 - 14 guests!

Just imagine the possibilities... especially for the holidays...
here's a quick peek...

Oh my gosh I am going to be able to mix 'n match like crazy!
I can't wait to really do some serious tablescapes with them!

September 23, 2009

Easy Peesy Pizza!

Sorry...but I couldn't resist passing on another "Yummy" Post!
Not sure if you have found these yet, but Trader Joe's carries these wonderful pizza doughs.
I like the whole wheat ones.

Just check out the ingredients...all real and natural.

You just take the dough out of the bag, toss some flour on your work surface and let the dough rest for 20 mins.

Then roll it out and add your favorite could use up those veggies from yesterday's post...but of course my daughter and her girldfriend wanted plain cheese!

They bake for only 8-10 mins and a "healthy" pizza dinner is on the table.

At $1.29 per bag of dough it is a very economical meal!

Visit Trader Joe's and have fun!
...and as Rachel Ray would say..."YUMMO!"

September 22, 2009

My Delicious Veggie Lasagna...sans the noodles!

Although our garden wasn't very big this year...just two raised gave us (and still is giving us) wonderful bounty! Today I picked more beautiful red plum tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, fresh basil, parsley and cilantro. On Sunday we visited our local farm store and loaded up on more delicious veggies; eggplants (.60 ea.), cucumbers (10 cents a piece), zucchini ( 6 for $1) red, green and yellow peppers (25 cents each), giant cabbages for only $.70, carrots (.50 a bag) and onions too. The prices are amazing....but as you know, these fresh vegetables continue to ripen very quickly and before you know it you are tossing some out before you have had a chance to eat them.

So for Sunday Family Dinner I prepared a huge Chicken/Veggie was yummy!
And tonight I came up with a new recipe...

I guess I will call it "Tomato Eggplant Lasagna" (without the noodles) was absolutely unbelievable...if I do say so myself. My husband and daughter thought so too!

First a layer of eggplant and then a layer of pear tomatoes, a little sharp cheddar cheese and then another layer of eggplant, red tomatoes and a little cheese on top. In between the layers I put some green salsa, cilantro and parsley. I also poured some Red Curry Soup that I happened to have in my cupboard throughout the casserole. I'm telling was wonderful. And so healthy. I am sure I only used about 1/3 cup of cheese total. The soup was very low fat and all natural. And of course the veggies are sooo good for you....and so flavorful!

I just had to share it with you was so easy to create a healthy meal by experimenting with the fresh veggies. I washed and cut up all of the rest of my garden fare and made freezer bags ready to grab and cook up or add to another meal! I like to take a bag, pop it in the microwave add a splash of olive oil and seasoning and eat it for lunch!

Don't miss out on a visit to your local farm store while you still can... grab some veggies and start cooking...let's see what you come up with!

September 14, 2009

Anybody Going My Way?

I wished I lived in Columbus, least for this weekend...because then I could go to the COUNTRY LIVING FAIR! much fun would that be?
You lucky Ohio gals!

"Join us as we bring the pages of the magazine to life with the fourth annual Country Living Fair. Shop the more than 100 exhibitor booths for antiques, vintage furnishings, crafts, gifts and collectibles. Enjoy food tastings, cooking demonstrations and the harvest/gourmet market. Attend decorating and crafting seminars and meet and mingle with the editors and contributors of Country Living for a weekend of fun family activities."

Could somebody give me a lift? It's only 2000 miles away...

September 11, 2009

I found the pot of gold...Garage Sale Gold!

I didn't think I would make it to any garage sales this morning. I was running late...After all, I didn't get out the door until after 11am! "It's probably too late", I thought, "Maybe I should just get on with my errands."
But then I saw it...a golden sign posted at the first corner, its arrow pointing me to the right...a few more streets and yet another sign luring me on...this time it pointed straight ahead...still another gold sign kept me on track and finally one more gold colored poster landed me right at my destination...a garage sale. I quickly exited my car and as I approached the wares I spied them...piled high on a sheet in the driveway with a sign that read,
"Vintage Table Cloths $5 each"

Oh My I browsed the stash of jewels I could see that each one was more wonderful than the next!
How would I choose? Which ones would I pluck from the pile?

$5.00 a piece could add up very quickly, I knew.
What to do?
I called my sister, Diane, in California for a little coaching.
She confirmed that $5 was indeed a great price for a vintage tablecloth in good condition and advised me to scoop it up. And that's when I told her there must be at least 25 or 30 in the stack! "Oh my!", she gasped.
After conferring for a few moments I knew what to do... I walked up to the proprietor and offered her a price for all of her treasures! She agreed and trust me...she was more than generous! She piled them into a jumbo sized baggie and off I went with my newly acquired treasure chest!
"Ah Yay"...I faintly heard myself say!

So here they are...each a gold nugget of "Time Gone By"!

The collection includes 13 state cloths, 5 Spanish Flavor Motifs and 11 gorgeous florals!

Boy do I feel lucky!
One sale and I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

I hope to get some of them up on ebay and etsy very soon...gotta keep some for myself.

Here are some pictures of a few of the highlights!

Is there a favorite that you see?

We remember...

On September 11, 2001 our nieces' husband, John, was killed in the brutal attack on the World Trade Center and on America. Our family waited for hours and then days, weeks and months for some sign that John had survived the attack, hoping he would be found injured in one of the hospitals or even in the rubble of the buildings. This, of course, would never be. The only thing ever found was his unclaimed car in a nearby parking garage. John, as well as thousands of others are missed terribly, especially today as we honor their memories. Please take a minute to read John's story...
On September 11, 2001 John P. Salamone, a broker in preferred stocks for Cantor Fitzgerald, died in the attacks at the World Trade Center. He worked on the 104th floor of Tower 1. True to his competitive nature, John left his office with a few of his friends and tried valiantly to escape the horror. While he could not defeat the magnitude of the disaster, there is no doubt no one tried harder to get home to his family and children.
John Patrick Salamone was born on January 25, 1964 at Fort Hood, Texas. He grew up in Fairfield, and graduated from West Essex Regional High School where he excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field. At Oglethorpe University in Atlanta he earned a business administration degree and later graduated from Fordham University with an MBA degree. John worked at Shearson Lehman Brothers, Kidder Peabody and Quick and Reilly before moving to Cantor in 1998.
The town of Fairfield was John's home for 26 years. He later moved to West Caldwell and then for three years resided in North Caldwell with his wife and three young, beautiful children. John enjoyed nothing so much as spending time with Alex, Aidan and Anna. Anna thought of her father as "Prince Charming." For all of them he was the light of their lives.
John chose soccer as his sport at an early age and quickly developed his skills. He was a talented soccer player on both the interscholastic and intercollegiate level. He was a three-year letterman at West Essex and is among the school's best all-time players. At Oglethorpe John was captain of the team and was twice named All-District as well as twice selected for the All-South team. In 2002 he was inducted into the Oglethorpe University Sports Hall of Fame. Oglethorpe's long-time soccer coach called John "the finest soccer player I ever coached." In October of 2002 the soccer field was named in his honor. A soccer tournament is held annually at his alma mater to raise funds for the John P. Salamone Endowed Scholarship for students exemplifying his spirit.
No one loved life, family and friends more than John. And that love was reciprocated by the more than one thousand people who came to pay their respects at his memorial services. It was truly a testament to his character. Most of all everyone remembers his amazing sense of humor, his contagious personality and his undaunting character. In any serious situation, he would find the lighter side of it and make you laugh about it. He could hurt you and make you laugh about that, too. He rarely lost at anything and called you "sucker" to remind you. He was always one of the first ones chosen once the real games started. These are only a few of the words to describe him--funny, charming, competitive, athletic, sincere, loving, happy-go lucky, sarcastic, talented, caring. What best sums up who John was is this statement by one of his Oglethorpe friends. " He was the glue to our team and our friendships. Everyone wanted to be around him."
John's athletic accomplishments were many, but his most significant accomplishments were the type of person he was, the way he cared for his fellow man, and the love devotion and loyalty he exhibited to family and friends. We are saddened by having to endure his loss, yet we are grateful for having been enriched by his presence.
For his courage and his determination, for his love and his friendship, we will remember and honor him always in our thoughts, and through the John P. Salamone Memorial Foundation.
John and Mary Ellen's three beautiful children.

Our niece, Mary Ellen and her three children along with her parents, my husband's brother and his wife.

Ground Zero Memorial made by some of the surviving children.

These are the memorial plaques the children made that are a permanent part of the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero.

This one was made by Aiden.
by Alex
...and by Anna.

A special Memorial in Essex County, New Jersey.
To my dear family in New are in our thoughts and prayers today as we, as well as our country, remember all those lost in this terrible tragedy.

We miss you, John.


September 9, 2009

Dinner with Emeril...Lagasse of course!

My best friend, Marsha and her husband Kirk were joining us for dinner.

Hmmm.....what to prepare?
Since I had some potatoes that I wanted to use up and some fresh salmon from H Mart... I googled "Salmon and Potato Casserole" and came upon
Emeril Lagasse's tempting recipe.

It was delicious...I tweaked it a bit (only because of the ingredients in my kitchen) but it turned out fabulous! It smelled so good when it came out of the oven...that I forgot to take a picture until we had already busted into it! Four people and we ate half a casserole!

And for Dessert? Gotta use up those browning voila...

"Banana Walnut Cookies with Lemon Icing".

I wasn't sold on the lemon icing...but they were totally yummy!
The flavors blend perfectly!
By the time a couple of my daughters showed up later with a few friends...
the cookies were gone!

Leave me your email address if you would like either of the recipes and I will be happy to send it to you!

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