Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm making my famous brandied sweet potatoes today (I'll have to post the recipe) and going to Bill's sister's house to get caught up in the chaos of lots of children running around and lots of food. I can't wait! Hope you have a happy day too!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Filled With Gratitude

I love the homework assignments that Melissa at Operation Nice gives. They are very inspirational and a lot of fun! The newest assignment was to make a gratitude list. I found myself going on and on, but I condensed it because you may have a turkey you should be preparing. So here it goes...

I am grateful for my husband who is almost always in a good mood and is always supportive and loving. I am grateful that (with the urging of my husband) I have finally started to let some things go and ask for help when I need it. I am grateful that my parents raised me to be kind and thoughtful, because that is how they are. I am grateful that my family is relatively healthy; nobody has anything that isn’t manageable. I am grateful for the small community of talented women I’ve found who inspire me to reach inside myself and become better. I am grateful for my sister who will never let me quit. I am grateful that people actually read this blog. I am grateful for being creative. I am grateful that I can honestly say that I love what I do for a living. I’m grateful for my dog who keeps me company all day and loves to hear me sing. I am grateful that I have a home filled with love and that I never miss a meal.

Please let me know if you have a list...I’d love to read it.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

"....Just Like Pasta Fagiolle, That's Amore!"

I’ve been sorting through my little recipe box and picking out my favorite recipes from friends and family to add to the recipe book I’m putting together. Unfortunately, the company I blogged about that makes the cool books is closing and is no longer taking new orders. If you know of someone that makes those books, please let me know! I can design the pages myself and have them printed, but I really liked the format of that book! Anyway, it was a chilly night last night, so I pulled out my favorite Pasta Fagiolle recipe and made a pot of it.

This recipe is from an old friend, Claudette, who I used to teach with many moons ago. Although I’m Italian (my maiden name is Nardello), and my mom has given me a bunch of fabulous recipes, she never made Pasta Fagiolle because she hates beans. I think the first time I ever had this delicious soup was when Claudette gave me the recipe because she thought I'd like it. It was love at first taste for me.

Claudette’s Pasta Fagiolle

serves 6
Ingredients:
· olive oil (enough to swirl around the bottom of a big pot)
· 4 garlic cloves, minced
· 1 onion, diced
· 2 celery stalks (with the leaves), diced
· 1 large can tomato sauce
· 1 tbs garlic powder (I don’t measure, I just eyeball it)
· 1 tbs dried basil
· 1 tbs dried parsley
· 1 large can cannelloni beans (with the juice)
· salt and pepper to taste
· pasta (I like to use small bow ties because I think they are pretty)

Directions
1. heat oil in pot
2. add celery, onion, salt and pepper and saute until tender
3. add tomato sauce and ½ can of water
4. sprinkle garlic powder, parsley and basil over top, stirring after adding each spice
5. bring to a fast boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes on low
6. cook pasta separately
7. add beans and juice and cook 5-10 more minutes
8. add pasta to soup and serve

Garlic bread, salad and a glass of wine (or 2) go perfectly with this! Best served on snowy nights. Enjoy!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Color Me Greener

I truly believe that if we all chipped in just a little bit and did our share to reduce our carbon footprints, it really would make a difference. Every week when I pass the recyclable shopping bags at the grocery store I think, "I should...", but I never do. Well yesterday, I did! And let me tell you, I bought five bags thinking no way would my cart full of groceries fit in them. The bags are really big! I was pleasantly surprised that everything fit. They have a bottom to them and, unlike the plastic bags, nothing fell over and out and all over my trunk while I was driving home. And carrying them into the house was actually easy because of the handles. I love them, and I love that I did a little bit to help our planet.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thinking of Having a Holiday Party?

Nothing fancy, just something small, fun and festive? Go ahead and do it! Oh, and I think this invitation would be perfect!
You can find it in my Etsy Shop .
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Proud Moment

A few weeks ago Bill ran in a 10K across the Ben Franklin Bridge, into Philadelphia and back across to New Jersey. He signed up with a friend of ours and had been training for months. I was excited for him the day of the run and I charged the battery in my camera so I could take lots of photos. On our way to the run, I realized that I’d forgotten to put the battery back in the camera. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed that I wouldn’t have any photos. I don’t have a photo of it, but I watched him come across the finish line in time under what his goal was and it was truly a proud moment for me. Thankfully, our friends had their cameras and were gracious enough to share the photos with me this weekend. I’m a happy girl.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Friday!!

This may be old, but it's the first time I'm seeing it and it's making me laugh.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Shipping for the Holidays!

You can take a peek at the Holiday Cards in my Etsy Shop. New cards are being added in the next week, so check back often!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recipe for Happiness

Being organized makes me happy. When things aren’t organized I get edgy. So, when I have to search through my old tattered box of recipes, I go crazy. I’ve got quite a collection of recipes from family and friends that I love but every time I want a recipe from the box, I have to search through this mess:

Things are going to change because I found this...

A personalized cookbook! It’s from Secret Ingredients and you can submit up to 250 recipes. You can include photographs and a list of contributors. You can also choose your recipe layout and there are different font options. I haven’t started Christmas shopping, would it be too horrible if the first gift I bought was for me?

Because I work with fabulous brides every day, I can’t help but think how they could use this wonderful find! I think it would be a great gift for a bride. Guests of the wedding or shower could be asked to submit a favorite recipe along with their rsvp’s and the bride and groom can make a book that they will to enjoy until happily ever after. I’m off to start putting my book together!
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