Saturday, February 27, 2010

Edible Cupcake Wrappers

I just LOVE it when mistakes turn out okay. This is a mistake that turned out really yummy!

For inquiring minds: The filling is whipped cream with Trader Joe's Lemon Curd added for color and taste. Top the tippy top with a fresh twist of lemon zest.

Pappardelle Bolognese

Here is another one of my favorite dishes that my hubby has mastered.  It is almost a dump, dump recipe.  This means there is minimal chopping and prep.  Tasty enough for any day of the week and special enough for dinner guests.  The secret?  Letting it simmer for the day!

Pappardelle Bolognese
adapted from Trader Joe's Pasta Package


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1  4 oz. package Trader Joe's pancetta {optional}

1 lb. hamburger OR Trader Joe's beefless ground beef

1/2 of 1 small onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced...or 1 Tbsp. garlic powder if you are into fast and easy!

1/2 cup red wine {I use Blue Fin Pinot Noir}

1 28 oz. can Italian crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. salt

1 package sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup cream {optional...but!}

2  8 oz. packages Trader Joe's Pappardelle Pasta...cooked according to directions.

Freshly shredded Parmesan for serving.


*In a large saut'e pan over medium heat, heat olive oil, pancetta, hamburger, onion and garlic.

*Cook until burger is brown.

*Add wine, tomatoes, seasonings and mushrooms.

*Allow to simmer for as long as possible.  The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.  :}

*Cook Pasta and toss with a bit of olive oil.

*Add cream to sauce about five minutes before serving.

*Top with Bolognese SAUCE.  Sprinkle on the cheese.

Serve with fizzy apple juice, crusty bread, and a Caesar salad!


Monday, February 15, 2010

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentines 2010

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I am not usually too impressed by how our society puts so much of an emphasis on February 14th...better known as VALENTINES DAY...but for some reason I have been so giddy about it this year!

Not sure if is the bright red contrasting with the delicate color of white, all of the fresh flowers at Trader Joes as you walk through the front doors, or the vintage puppy dog valentines' cards that seem to be popping up all over the place. All of it just makes me so HAPPY.

They say that as you grow older your senses get dull, but I think it is quite the opposite! I notice so many more things I didn't have the time to pay attention to when I was younger. It is pretty hard to observe all of the lovely things that are going on around you when you are busy potty training, peeling a toddler off the "floor to ceiling rock wall" fireplace, rushing the baby straight to the bath after dinner to ensure the food doesn't dry and hurt baby's skin as you try to scrub it off...anyway, you probably know what I am talking about and if you don't, you should be writing this post since you have had a head start in the observation department.

SOOOO...I have really been enjoying watching older couples lately. I know it is partly because my hubby and I have been married for almost 20 years...but I want to interview every couple I meet who are still head over heels in love...and, actually I HAVE asked several love birds what their secret IS.

The other day, I was at a crosswalk waiting for an elderly couple to cross the street. He was tall and handsome, but walked with a bit of a struggle. There, on his arm was his tiny wife. She was completely dependent on her honey. She was blind and had a cane to help her along, but you just KNEW they were IN LOVE and even though they were both in a tough spot in their life, you could tell he was more than happy to be her helper and that she was just so proud to be with her hubby. They had such joy. I am sure they were just as happy if not even happier as the day they got married. That is a lot of info to gather from a stroll across the street, but it was BEAUTIFUL!

I was talking to a couple of friends yesterday morning about what it was like falling in love at a young age. There is just something about falling in love with and spending your life with the love of your youth! We were young and didn't have a clue about so many things, but it has been fun learning everything together. So, if you are young in years or young at heart...grab your sweetie pie... and celebrate VALENTINES DAY BIG...and celebrate every day for the rest of your LIFE! Take advantage of tons of hugs and kisses and lots and lots of I love you's. Don't forget to cuddle and snuggle because the opportunity to show your affection to the ones you love may never come again. xoxoxo

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:11-12

good advice

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Friday, February 5, 2010