Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Vegetable Soup

Wanting to clean the refrigerator thoroughly, I pulled out all the veggies left in the crisper.  I had the right amount of things, with some pantry staples added, to make a nice pot of vegetable soup for myself, with leftovers.

I rough chopped a couple of carrots, a large celery stalk, a wedge of cabbage, an onion, one potato.  I put a small amount of oil in a medium size pot, added a smashed clove of garlic and tossed in the veggies.  Season with salt (I used seasoned salt).  I just wanted them to be glistening, not browned, then I added some simmering water, 

1 cup of Recipe Starter fire roasted tomatoes,  (you'll have about 1 1/2 cups left from this can)

1 cup string beans (canned), and one container of Knorr concentrated vegetable stock.  

Added some dried basil and oregano.  Let it come to a boil and simmer for maybe 30 minutes.  Soup's done when potatoes and cabbage are soft.

Here's a "pinteresting" trick that worked:

This celery is at least four weeks old.  Wrapped in aluminum foil and kept in the crisper.

If I had a small can of corn, I would toss it in at the end of the cooking.  Or you could add some cooked small pasta.  Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.  But it is really delicious just as it is.

Serve with these corn muffins (I halved a recipe for 12 muffins, so for six muffins, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup corn meal, 2 T. oil, 2 T. + 2 tsps. sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 cup milk, 'half' of a beaten egg (save half to add to breakfast egg in a.m.).  Bake 350 degrees 15-20 minutes.  Spray muffin tin or use paper liners.)

My Recipage is still a work in progress, I promise to get it updated, and keep it that way.

Joining On The Menu Monday, You're Gonna Love ItFull Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Simple & Sweet Fridays, Sunny Simple Sundays.  Thank you to all the hostesses.


Happy and Blessed Easter

He is risen

Wishing you a most blessed and happy Easter


This is the Easter message, that awakening is possible, to the goodness of God, the sacredness of human life, the sisterhood and brotherhood of all.
Anne Lamott

Friday, March 29, 2013

Diary of a Daffodil

While shopping at Trader Joe's, I picked up two bunches of daffodils, $1.49 each.  They were all tightly closed.  By the time I got home, one or two were starting to open.

And others decided to join in

Wasn't much longer when I saw this

And then they really decide to stretch

And stretch some more

One of my most favorite flowers,  heralding Spring

Sharing the happy yellow flowers with Claudia for A Favorite Thing.  and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.  Thanks for hosting each week.

Wishing all of you a very Happy and Blessed Easter 


It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sky Watch

Staten Island, New York

As I was pulling out of the parking lot Tuesday, I stopped to take this with my cell.  There were these huge dark clouds, they seemed so low, as if they were resting on the tree tops.  And there were two circles of bright blue sky.    Very unusual to me.

Sharing this with Sky Watch Friday

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Greens and Beans

I really enjoy vegetables during the Lenten season.  One of my favorite cooked greens is escarole, or scarola, as it was called in my house.  It is a member of the endive family with a slightly bitter taste.  It is used raw in salads, but I prefer it cooked.

A mess of greens cooks down to almost nothing, I cook one bunch just for me, with maybe a little bit left over.  Wash them well, toss into the pot with water clinging, to which you already added olive oil and chopped garlic, after adding the escarole add some broth, or even more water, salt and pepper.  Let it cook down.

I love it just like this.  Add a loaf of crusty bread, well, you know the deal.  

I added some canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained.  I am working through canned items in my pantry, getting ready to paint it.  I will be using dried beans and soaking them myself from now on. 

Protein, fiber, heart healthy omega rich olive oil, mmmmm.  Sprinkle some red pepper flakes before serving, if you like.  Optional.  I think any green and any bean would be just as good used in this recipe.

Oh wait, I forgot to add something.

My mother always said it was a sin to throw away bread.  This was way before low carb diets.  Save it and toast it in the oven, after you've brushed it with evoo (or butter, if you must) and sprinkle some herbs.  Better than packaged croutons.

I'll be sharing this humble (perfect for this week) dish at Tutorial Tips & Tidbits, Miz Helen's Full Plate ThursdayFoodie Friday, Sweet & Simple FridaysSweet & Simple Sundays and Green Day.  Stop by and say "hi".


Comparison is the thief of joy.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, March 25, 2013's snowing

It's snowing like crazy but not accumulating too much, so far.

Trying to think positive thoughts.  These plants poking through the ground made me happy

Looks like the foot print of Big Foot but my angel statue was placed there by the roofers when cleaning the gutters, I moved it just in time

Spring, where are you?



“A Robin said: The Spring will never come,
And I shall never care to build again.
A Rosebush said: These frosts are wearisome,
My sap will never stir for sun or rain.
The half Moon said: These nights are fogged and slow,
I neither care to wax nor care to wane.
The Ocean said: I thirst from long ago,
Because earth's rivers cannot fill the main. —
When Springtime came, red Robin built a nest,
And trilled a lover's song in sheer delight.
Grey hoarfrost vanished, and the Rose with might
Clothed her in leaves and buds of crimson core.
The dim Moon brightened. Ocean sunned his crest,
Dimpled his blue, yet thirsted evermore.” 

― Christina Rossetti

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Potato Soup

I love a bowl of potato soup, but I rarely eat it since most recipes call for lots of butter and milk or cream.  I had a hankering for it, with St. Patrick's Day last weekend.  I also bought several cans of Del Monte sliced potatoes that were on sale.

I used three 14.5 oz cans, 1 1/2 cans filled of chicken broth, some mire poix that I had saved in the freezer (onion, carrot and celery), added seasoned salt and pepper, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder and a generous palmful of poultry seasoning, placed everything it the crock pot and cooked it on low for six hours.  (I could have stopped it at 4 - 5 hours but I was involved in something and it just kept slow cooking).  I then pureed it with my stick blender.  

For toppings I sprinkled sharp cheddar and bacon crumbles (I found a precooked bacon uncured with no nitrites or nitrates at Trader Joe's, pricey, but good) and some chives.  

It was a nice first course before the corned beef and cabbage, which I neglected to take a picture of.  Second year in a row, too.  

Soup got good reviews from my friend who had a bowl.  

Joining Seasonal Sundays, Sunny Simple Sundays, and On The Menu Monday, and Clever Chicks .  Many thanks to the hostesses.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'm a Farm Girl At Heart

For this month's Note Card Party at A Haven For Vee, I chose a farm animal theme.  Spring is here, even though many of us are still freezing and shoveling snow!  But it is here.  I cannot wait to get out and plant and visit farm stands, my favorite pastime.

Yo, whatssup?

Mooooooooooove over, honey

Maa-aa-aaa  photo by Everyday Ruralty used with permission on a post

roses are red, dandelions are yellow, munchin' this grass, I'm one happy fellow

Soon the grass will be green and things will be growing and blooming.  And I will be complaining about the weeds.  The circle of life......

Please stop by Vee's and enjoy the beautiful photos.  


Happy St. Joseph's Day

Traditional pastries for this feast day, zeppoli on the left, sfingi on the right.  Click here if you would like to read a re-post of my family's traditions. 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Count your Joys instead of your woes

Count your friends instead of your foes     ~  Irish proverb

Happy St. Paddy's Day!


Comments closed today to not interfere with the party and parade watching!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Magic Mint Chocolate Bark

I came across these Nestle's chips the other day.  I thought they would be perfect for a St. Patrick's Day treat, especially after eating a rich corned beef dinner.

I also love 2-ingredient recipes (this is so easy it isn't even a recipe) especially when one of them is chocolate.  I didn't have almonds but there was a suggestion to use pretzels, and that's what I did

Preheat oven to 325 F, line a small baking sheet with foil or parchment, spread 10 oz. package of morsels out in single layer, shaping into an 11x9 rectangle

Bake for 1 - 3 minutes, or until morsels are shiny.  Swirl with tip of knife.  Sprinkle with 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds.  Can use any nut of your choice or small pretzels

They said to drop the pan onto the counter so things could settle, I really needed to manually press these in, will do that next time.  Chill in fridge for one hour.  

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Makes about 9 servings or 3/4 of a pound.

Bringing some of these to Foodie Fridays, Sweet and Simple Fridays, A Favorite Thing, Sunny Simple Sundays, Seasonal Sundays, On the Menu Mondays, Bouquet of Talent

Thanks to our hostesses!  


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In 2011 I started a blog, I was technically challenged and in a tech fog

I stumbled upon a site so green, pretty dishes and great food called Cuisine Kathleen

There was a St. Paddy's Day blog crawl, you just had to link
but being tech challenged, I just could not think

I visited and commented and made quite a fuss
Next year, I told the birdies, this will be us!

So I gathered whatever I could that was green
to link up and party with the Divine Kathleen

It sure doesn't matter that I am Italian descent

Everyone is Irish at this fun event!

So grab a libation, pull up a chair

you'll swear you're in Dublin when you visit here!

I will also be partying at Tablescape Thursday and Seasonal Sundays; for more great tables, please be sure to stop by.  And because the prompt is green, also joining Thursday Inspiration, and Green Day and to welcome back Natasha for G'Day

Tablecloth - gift several years ago (please excuse the wrinkles)
Shamrock glasses, Eamon, Ireland - gift last summer from a downsizing friend, also four 'on the rocks'.  Thanks, Diane
White square plates, $ Tree, green salad, Fishs Eddy, small salad/appetizer Corelle Ivy, thrift store
Stainless - Christmas Tree Shop
Napkins (reversible) - I made them (with lots of help) 
Sparkling ornaments - Pier I


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