I can’t wait until I can embarrass my kid with her baby pictures!




Mother’s Day Menu 2013

Currently planning Mother’s Day menu.  I’m a little late in planning this year, but this day crept up on me.  Been a little busy, I guess.

Steamy Kitchen had a recipe for Sweet and Sour Berry Chicken and I think I’m going to do that with rice and a green vegetable.  Now…what to do for dessert?  I always want to do something light and fresh and fruity, but we are having fruit with our chicken, so I’m thinking maybe I could make a chocolate mousse tart or something.  Things to consider as we count down to the weekend.  I should go get started on my grocery list!

Mother’s Day 2012 Menu in Progress

Currently developing the Mother’s Day 2012 menu.  Chime in if you have any thoughts.

Prosciutto wrapped melon
Minted melon

Caprese salad, with reduced balsamic vinegar

Light pasta fagioli

Grilled marinated chicken
Couscous or mashed cauliflower
Green beans

Berry-tiramisu parfait

New Year’s Eve Eve Dinner Party

In celebration of all sorts of new and novel things in my circle, we are having a dinner party!

I present to you…

the menu!

Le Menu A La Celebration
New Year’s Eve Eve


by R


Beer & Wine Selection
by C


Avgolemono Soup
egg, lemon, & rice soup


 Sourdough Slices

 Baby field greens & spinach
dried figs, sliced almonds, pecorino with pomegranate vinaigrette

Grilled Sirloin with Roquefort Cream Sauce
Roasted Potatoes
Haricot Verts


By L


by C

Chateau Frank Celebre, Finger Lakes, NY

Pick a Palette

I want a new website.  With these colors.

Do you think it goes with my themes?


Paper Crafts & Happy Halloween!

So, y’all know I found Pinterest in the last six months or so.  I love it, love it, love it.  Looooooove it.  It helped me to start working on some awesome crafty things—mostly starting in my new office.  I started with this (Again, apologies for the cell phone pics, but it’s what I’ve got).

It was simple, random and colorful!

Then I made these cute paper flowers and everyone loves them!

 I even made some cute little paper pumpkins!

One of the residents (I support an a surgery residency) holds an annual pumpkin decorating context!

Here is my contribution!

Happy Halloween!!


Yup, I did it!  Well, my grandfather did.  I had been half joking for a year or so how I wanted chickens.  My grandpa *SURPRISE!!* built me one.  I had no idea it was coming and apparently this condo of a chicken house had been rebuilt several times over several months per my grandmother’s, mother’s, father’s, father’s employees’, second cousin’s input over that time period.

So here is my chicken condo. It’s so cute!

My mother gave me one of her Rhoad Island Red hens because she kept getting beat up.  I also “stole” an extra rooster.  In a crowd of three, roosters get aggressive and were attacking everyone.  So I took one to separate them.  He’s so much more calm with me.  I love him.  He’s so tall and gorgeous.  So sorry I don’t have a better pic right now, but here they are getting ready for me to put them in the coop!

A week or so later, I decided that since my hen was nuts, I needed more.  I found some on craigslist for a buck.  I decided to pick up a matched pair of Old English Spangled chickens, two Black Austrolorps and a leghorn–all bantam or smaller.  The Spangled rooster was hilarious.  I have audio of his crow!!!

This is the part where I tell you that of the six I bought, only one remains.  Don’t ask.


I picked up “chicks” on craigslist! Cheep!

Cheep! Cheep!

Yea, I’ve only gotten one egg.  Cross your fingers for me.  Right now, all these guys are doing is making poop.

Mother’s Day, a week late!

I had scheduled to be away over Mother’s Day, so I had to reschedule making the annual special menu!  Last year, I’d made a small plates menu and what did I learn? I made too many courses but it was DELICIOUS!  I don’t even remember if I got to blog about it, but maybe I should.  I loved my menu.  If I were to do small plates again, I’d figure out how to pre-plate or get more help in plating.  This year, I wanted to keep it a little bit more simple; instead of ten plates, I wanted to do more like three courses.

The background: We have family dinner nearly every Sunday.  My “family” consists of my dad, mom, adult sister and my mother’s parents and father’s father.  I live next door to my grandfather, two miles from my parents and my other grandparents are just twenty minutes away.  My family’s reaction to my food ideas are often “Don’t make anything weird for us” because they’re pretty much typical tuned into Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine with a menu on rotation.  Granted, we do go out to eat as a family once a month or so where we can all select our own interests–but you can assume the men always pick fried food and the women pick pasta or salads.  My sister has even more peculiar tastes which do not include meat other than McDonald’s hamburgers.  And come on, is that really meat?  The other part of the back story is that high blood pressure and diabetes is present in at least half of the family.

So, the original menu included a beef brisket with carrots and jasmine rice as the main entrée, but I didn’t like how the beef came out. So I’m going to use it for something else!

I now present to you…

The Official Mother’s-Day-A-Week-Late Menu

Wedge Salad
Iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, spring onions, blue cheese and blue cheese dressing, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, fresh-ground black pepper

Spaghetti with Pancetta and Chicken
with Broccoli, Onion and Cannellini Beans

Panna Cotta
with Strawberry Coulis

I’m merely an hour away from serving this!  Pray for me.  I don’t anticipate that the Wedge Salad is going to go over well. After all, they are comfortable with making their own and smothering with their own salad dressing!  We’ll see!

The spaghetti will be fine. It’s tasty! To me, anyway.

The panna cotta is made with a mix of light cream and milk and no-sugar strawberry sauce. I personally love panna cotta, but my last reviewer wasn’t too impressed.  It’s a texture thing, I guess!

Wish me luck!

Just a quick note…

It is somehow a busy week.

1. It is a new fiscal year!
2. I am excited to make mozzarella cheese! I want to blog the experience for Slow Food Baltimore.
3. Ahhh! Work!
4. Boordy’s Farmers’ Market tonight. Maybe.
5. I need more coffee.
6. Forgot I had a standing lunch date today.
7. Going to miss the lunch options at Irvine Nature Center’s Farmers’ Market today. Grr.
8. Time to go home yet?

Garden Version 1.01 – My front is bush free!

Haha, think about that one!

So, a few years ago, my parents moved out into a new, bigger house/farm and pretty much left me the old one.  It is not really a big secret that my permanent address has always been this one!  I have always hated the ugly cypress bushes that look like lumpy meatballs in front of the house.  Okay, I totally understand that they are an integral wind break and weather protection.  But they are ugly.  And I can’t just plant something else there without taking those up.

So I took them up.  Rather, I let the snow last winter break them.  I started chopping away over a few weeks and then my grandpa volunteered to come down and chop them off at the base.  So he did!  He came over one night last week and it was done!  My mother surely hates me and I need to get my rear in gear to plant the new bushes I have planned for that space.  But now that I’m thinking of it…I want different bushes.  Like a nice, layered look.

I bought the golden cypress bushes and was ready to put them in because they will have a different, more modern look.  And then my guy decided that he wanted to put some plants in at his house because he just dug out his cedar trees and other random bushes he never really cared about.  So, he decided on some boxwood, purple knights and two holly trees.  They came in a week or so ago and the more I look at the boxwood, the more I love it.  I think I am either going to steal some of his or buy some as well as two or three bayberry bushes.  I think that will complete my look!  I am definitely going to put some evergreen type in at the bottom of my sidewalk, too because the creeping evergreen that I have there is almost 30 years old and its all dead at the bottom.

Here’s the front of the house.  It is soooo bare.

 I know, I know.  It is a cell phone photo.  Get over it. 

Go ahead, admonish me for showing the front of my house, but let’s just be real and friendly and promise not to stalk me or something. Love you, readers!  Now, would you mind grabbing a shovel?  We have holes to dig and planting to do!