Friday, March 27, 2009

you've GOT to be kidding

we may get 3-4 in of snow tomorrow night.

1800gotjunk wanted to charge us approx $400 to haul away our junk. our local trash hauler is going to charge approx $40. thanks for the tip, karen!

brady stubbed his toe. the x-ray said it was broken. i let him gimp around for 3 days, but the "bone whisperers" (mom and dad) knew immediately it was broken.

bare minerals comes from "untouched" soil. hope i don't glow in the dark!

i got approx $170 for the clothes i took to resale this week. i took about three years worth of brady's clothes.

my friends from high school haven't changed a bit. we graduated 28 years ago this coming may-YIKES! good to see ya'll (that's for you, robin!)

spring break ends in 2 days. BOO!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's for Dinner

One of my favorite columns in Martha Stewart's magazine each month is What's for Dinner. What I love about the column is whatever meal she features includes an appropriate pairing of dessert and the meal is often uncomplicated, but always elegant.
Well, here's what we had for dinner tonight - Ina Garten's Parmesan Chicken with baby greens and lemon vinaigrette. Oh, and potatoes because I'm Irish and I can't have a meal without potatoes!

And this is what we had for dessert. Strawberry shortcake-one of mine and Jeff's favorite desserts. Had to try this recipe for cornmeal shortcakes. And only real whipped cream would do-YUM!

Having a great week and making progress around here. I'm planning to do some sewing tomorrow again and Brady is planning to play some golf with Daddy. TTFN!
Oh, here are the recipes:
Ina's Parmesan Chicken
from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
Lemon Vinaigrette, see below
Pound chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Coat chicken breasts on both sides with flour mixture, then dip both sides into egg mixture and dredge both sides in bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.
Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ah, Spring!

So many lessons and parrallels can be drawn from the changing of seasons, but none more so than the change from Winter into Spring. There's just something about it-this pattern of renewal and rebirth that I find so refreshing and inspiring. I love this time of year when we can throw open the windows and breathe in the fresh air scented with new grass, daffodils and rain. Change is all around as the dull, lifeless landscape gives way to bright pops of color--forsythia, dogwoods and redbuds begin to bloom. And the birds make their return and dash madly about gathering materials for their new nests. Their songs accompany the abundant activity of this new season. Ah, Spring!

I'm hoping to tap into some of that spring renewal this week. Brady and I are on Spring Break (YEAH!) and I have list upon list of things to accomplish. However, we're easing into things today and trying to get organized a bit. Thought I'd start here since I've been absent awhile. The nasty cold I had has lingered for more than two weeks now and completely wiped me out. But I'm on the mend and have things to do and places to go! My hope this week is to get my house in order-literally and have time for some sewing and artwork, too. Way more than I can accomplish in one week, but I'm sure going to try! Here's a couple things inspiring me right now. Perhaps you'll be inspired too or better yet, let me know what's inspiring you!

Nothing says Spring like green and yellow. I'm seeing these colors everywhere -clothes, shoes, purses and I'm completely drawn to them! Can you guess why?

Mrs Meyers. I love the idea behind these products and I'm totally gaga for the packaging, but can't let go of my Tide and Clorox. But it inspires me to clean so that's a good thing!

This bag + this material. Need I say more? MMMWAAH!

She is making me want to get back to my art. Love her take on Alice In Wonderland, but her Frida is magnifico! Check her etsy shop HERE or read more about her in the latest issue of Somerset Studio magazine.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I could star in a Nyquil commercial. All of those classic symptoms-fever, headache, chills, stuffy nose, cough. Yep, I've got 'em. Wouldn't be so bad, but this is the third one I've had this season and they seem to last awhile. They say it's because this is the first year of working at a school. Hopefully, next year I won't have as many.

Had high hopes for this weekend, too. Spring cleaning, working on some artful things, inspiration trips to a couple shops and a facial. Looks like I'll have to alter my plans once more. Hoping to finish a couple of books I'm reading for work, watch a good movie or two and some doodling. Thank goodness for TIVO and the internet. They provide a plethora of inspiration and window shopping when you're stuck on the couch. Perhaps a good magazine and some soup will enter the mix as well. Whatever it takes to pass the time as I try to get better before heading back to work on Monday.

Also, dreaming of all things Lilly. Thanks, Martha for reminding us just how ingenious she was proving once more necessity is the mother of invention. I'm loving her right now as I countdown to Spring Break. Here' a little fuel for daydreaming... 'cause I can't even afford a pair of her sunglasses let alone a trip to Palm Springs!

Sweet dreams. Sweeter tomorrow. Even with a cold. Thanks, Nyquil!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


One of my favorite blogs to visit is that of Alicia Paulson. Known mostly for her charming sewing patterns and projects, she often shares new recipes she's auditioning as well as family favorites. Inspired by Alicia, I'd like to share a recipe I recently tried from the pages of Country Home magazine. With a few cool Spring days yet to enjoy a warm, hearty soup this is perfect for a weeknight supper or weekend lunch. Bon appetit!

Tortellini Meatball Soup

1 c chopped sweet onion (1 small)
2 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 - 12 oz container reduced sodium or all-natural chicken broth
1/2 c water
1 - 16 oz pkg fronzen Italian-style cooked meatballs
1 - 9 0z refrigerated 3 or 4 cheese tortellini
1 tsp Italian seasoning, crushed
3 c chopped fresh spinach leaves
3 tbsp chopped bottled roasted red sweet pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp snipped fresh basil

In a Dutch oven cook and stir onion, carrots, and garlic in hot olive oil for about 3 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth and water. Bring to boiling. Add meatballs, tortellini, and Italian seasoning. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Add spinach, red pepper, and lemon juice. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes more or until tortellini are done. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in basil.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Today is Papa Bird's birthday. Poor dear (and Mom) has been sick for several days with the flu. I don't remember them ever being sick like this at the same time. In fact, Dad is rarely sick. Hopefully, they're both on the road to recovery. No fun being sick on your birthday!

So much I could say about my dad - I love him so. I've always been so proud that he is liked by most everyone he meets. I am amazed with his construction and woodworking talents. Given the opportunity, he could have easily been an engineer. I'm grateful for his strong work ethic and the example he set for us kids. He can tell you all you'd like to know about local wildlife and I love that he taught us to spy hawks, deer and the like along the side of the road. I'm grateful for the afternoon he took me cross-country skiing several years ago and all the trips to the creek and the river as kids and now times spent at the Lake. I love the way he always made us feel safe and I love the way he's at the door the minute we pull in the drive and waving us off as we pull away. I love you, Dad.

Happy Birthday!