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Posts from — July 2011

“vignette design”

About a month ago, I quietly added another link to a very special blog that I absolutely LOVE.  OK, not just love, but am completely obsessed by and obsess over- daily! I know, me, obsessed with something?  So out of character…

Vignette Design

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July 21, 2011   15 Comments

infusion

 

Flavored vodkas are easily found in every liquor store and are even easier to make at home.  All you need are fruits, herbs, and/or vegetables of your choice – plus some high quality vodka… oh, and about 7 to 10 days (with the exception of the jalapeno vodka, that will be ready in 3 to 5 days).  I’ll be making four different flavors today and will follow up at the end of the month with a cocktail for each flavor.  So if you want to join me, run out and buy the ingredients today and we’ll toast each other in about a week!

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July 20, 2011   2 Comments

cool off

After nearly two weeks in the cool North Woods of Wisconsin, returning to this hot (and recently – very dusty!) desert is a bit of a shock to the system.  An oven-free meal is called for!  The old standby, rotisserie chicken, is my savior today.

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July 19, 2011   2 Comments

creamy goodness

While we were in Wisconsin, I made this risotto, and all it did was make me ache for fall.  Summer risotto is very lovely and fresh with seasonal vegetables, but butternut squash risotto.… now that is truly something special… I am envisioning serving it up in the hollowed out squash halves… so come on October, hurry up and get here!

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July 18, 2011   2 Comments

easy-breezy pizza

And now for a little easy-breezy summertime pizza.  This comes together quicker than all the ingredients might lead you to believe – especially if you buy the cheeses already shredded.

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July 17, 2011   2 Comments

BBR

Had you already figured out that the title “BBR” stood for baby back ribs?  It’s my shortcut name for one of my favorite foods. Seems like it’s the favorite of quite a few people.  When we made these ribs in kids’ classes last month, we all broke into the that little tune that sticks in your brain all day long once you hear it….. “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…. I want my baby back, baby back, baby back….I want my baby back, baby back, baby back….Chili’s baby back ribs…”   

(Click the link above for a retro Justin Timberlake and Co. take on the snappy song – or this link for a more traditional version.)

Sing now, and thank me later…

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July 16, 2011   No Comments

potato heartbreak – smoothie heaven

Last month Harvard published a study, which after 20 years of monitoring, revealed a list of foods most associated with weight gain.

On the basis of increased daily servings of individual dietary components, four-year weight gain was most strongly associated with the intake of these six culprits:

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July 15, 2011   No Comments

tostada+

 

Happy Bastille Day. I wish I would have thought ahead and made something Frenchy, oh well, next year! Above is one of the many gorgeous photos my talented daughter, Marissa, took while in Paris for her semester abroad back in 2008.  And I couldn’t help myself, another of her photos is at the bottom of the post…

Of course you can make vegetarian tostadas with just beans, but if you have die-hard carnivores and vegetarians sharing a meal or simply want to build a bigger tostada, just add in a little chicken substitute and the carnivores honestly won’t know the difference.  Making your own seasoning blend instead of using a taco seasoning packet, seriously cuts down on the sodium. Also be certain to look for refried beans labeled vegetarian. Obviously beans are already vegetarian, but some refried beans are made with chicken broth instead of water or lard instead of oil.

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July 14, 2011   4 Comments

home again

I love to go on vacation but what I love even more, is coming home.  Isn’t everyone like that?  Dave and I had another lovely week up in the North Woods of  Wisconsin with our BFF’s Jeff and Jen and their 3 boys; Travis, Blake, and Jack. They (as in the 6 of them, not me) love swimming in the lake, boating, fishing, water skiing, tanning, hiking in the woods, and being outdoors.  I love staying inside their gorgeous log-cabin home, and relaxing. They can have all that sun, water, nature and mosquitoes!  Even though I do everything in my power to avoid those blood-sucking devils, they find me.  Oh well, it’s worth it to live in the beauty of the pines and be with the people I love.  Another thing I love is making meals with Jen. She’s a great cook and she and I are totally in tune with each other in the kitchen.  Can’t wait until next year…

While we were out of town, we missed a big happening in “the Valley of the Sun” – and I’m not talking about the All-Star game (although we did unfortunately miss that too).  We missed the “now famous haboob” that occurred here on July 5th!  I have two links for you to watch it – as I did – from the comfort of my laptop.  Here is the first video and here is another view.  Amazing!  And here is a picture of a damp paper towel that I used to wipe off the center island kitchen counter … mind you, my house was completely and professionally cleaned by Gabby, my “twice-a-month house cleaner” earlier that very same day – July 5th!  And no other living creature has been in the house since.  This is a small sampling of the dirt that came in through our closed and locked windows and doors when the massive wall of dirt rolled over our defenseless little house!

Disgusting!   On to better and more appetizing things…

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July 13, 2011   5 Comments

All-American

The cobb salad was created nearly 80 years ago at the famous Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant and has been an American favorite ever since. I prefer to serve it as individual salads as opposed to presenting on a large platter.  That way it looks lovely for each guest. If served on a platter, it looks great for the first guest or two, but by the end of the line, all the “goodies” on top are either gone or mashed into a nasty looking mess.

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July 12, 2011   No Comments