September 22, 2011

Frosting cupcakes the easy way...

Piping frosting onto cupcakes, instead of simply spreading it on, can really change the look of your desserts. 
Making neat little swirls creates a pretty and more professional finished look!
I have all the Wilton decorating tips and bags, etc...
...but the easiest way to pipe on frosting is to use a regular plastic bag.
(even a zip lock)
Just scrape the frosting into the bag with a spatula, twist the bag at the top and snip off the corner.

Happy Icing,

September 20, 2011

A Green Tomato Surprise...

What can you do with a vine full of green tomatoes that have
no plans of turning red anytime soon? 
Here's one idea...
Green Tomato Cake...yup cake... 
It is one of our favorites!

It is moist and dense and chewy and delicious! Similar to carrot cake...
I added a cream cheese icing with a touch of pineapple


  • 4 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Place in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until creamy.
  4. Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add raisins and nuts to dry mixture; add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Mix well.
  5. Add drained tomatoes and mix well. Pour into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
Stay Cozy, 

September 11, 2011

We remember....

An original post from September 11, 2009

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 2, 2011

Blackberries... an Oregon treasure

In late summer here, the blackberries quickly ripen.  
Blackberries can be found free for the taking along fences, roadsides, clearings,
and fields throughout much of the Pacific Northwest. 
My husband loves to head down the block to harvest these delicious sun-warmed, 
juicy berries.   

With his bucket now filled.... he returns home and I set out to 
make mini blackberry almond tarts! 

The scent of summer lingers in the kitchen as the golden treasures bake. 

~It is time to enjoy this tasty fruit~

What kind of fruit are you enjoying these last days of summer?

Stay Cozy,
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