Monday, June 26, 2006

Easy Italian menu

This is an easy, delicious menu that will impress, guests, lovers and family alike! Created using fresh, seasonal ingredients, these simple recipes are extremely flavorful.

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1. Fresh tomato basil salad

1 tomato per person
1 bunch fresh basil
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle red wine or balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (remember, fresh ground is best!)

Rinse and slice tomatoes. Arrange on plate in a pleasing fashion. Rinse basil and chop.
Sprinkle over tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Summer "Pasta e Piselli" (Pasta with peas.)

1 package farfalle pasta
1 medium package fresh or frozen peas
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 an onion (variety of your choice)
1 clove garlic
chopped chives for garnish
grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and peas according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Chop onions and garlic. Cook in a wok or large frying pan with a 1 teaspoon olive oil until they begin to become translucent. Pour in cream, lemon juice and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour in pasta and peas and toss until warm.
Serve garnished with chopped chives and parmesan cheese. (This would also be delicious with some chopped bacon added!)

3. Easy tiramisu
Serves 6

3 tablespoons instant espresso or coffee powder
1 bar (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 packages (3 ounces each) soft ladyfingers
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

In a medium bowl, mix espresso powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water until dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water; set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese with heavy cream and sugar until light and fluffy.

Spread a few tablespoons of cream-cheese mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart serving dish. Separate ladyfingers. One by one, dip ladyfingers in espresso, then arrange in bottom of dish. Spread with a third of cream-cheese mixture. Repeat twice, finishing with a layer of the cream-cheese mixture. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Dust with cocoa just before serving.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Think girl, think!

This is an awesome new site dedicated to providing easy access to news about women from around the world. Love it!

Think Girl

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stewie gets a boo-boo

These are my dogs, Kylie and Stewie. Stewie's leg looks like a drumstick because somehow one of his toenails got ripped off. Sad hilarity ensues as he tries to navigate with his new cast.

Get this video and more at

Monday, June 05, 2006

How to: buy and care for fresh flowers

These are a few simple rules to go by when buying fresh flowers. Follow them for more beautiful, longer lasting blooms.

flower markets are fun

1. Make sure that the vendor has them in at least a few inches of water (I've been to stores where they aren't in any, a big no-no!), away from direct sunlight, and in a refridgerated area or cool place.

2. Look out for droopy, wilted looking heads, petals that fall off easily and/or are bruised, torn or brown (the exception to this last part is roses, which have a layer of "guard petals" that protect the flower and can be peeled off.

3. Once you get your blooms home, snip off stems at a diagonal and put them in water immediately. The stem can seal up and prevent the flower from drinking if exposed to air for as little as 10 seconds. If you've bought hydrangea, first submerge the heads in water for a few minutes as they like to drink from there as well. I've seen this trick revive even the saddest looking hydrangeas! Also, when dealing with woody stems like, lilacs, branches, etc you want to snip up into the stem or smash the ends with a heavy object to allow them to drink. Just the customary snip won't do for these guys.

4. Once your flowers are arranged make sure to add fresh water daily and always keep the vase full. If you can flush out the entire vase even better.

5. Keep your arrangement away from direct sunlight, heaters and drafty areas.

These steps will keep your flowers fresh and beautiful for up to a week and a half. Heartier or tropical blooms will last even up to 2 weeks!