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Posts from — February 2012

Happy Leap Day

Check out this article that was in The Washington Post a couple days before Leap Day four years ago, in 2008.  It just makes me smile… and want to crawl back into bed!

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February 29, 2012   1 Comment

Turkish olive basket

Does this photo look familiar? If so, it is because I posted it back on February 7th as I was describing to you the wonders we saw at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. These vintage Turkish olive harvest baskets were in the Big Daddy Antiques tent.  Here is what I said about them, “The one thing at Big Daddy’s that I really wanted to buy was at least one of these vintage olive harvest buckets. As we walked through the faire, I’d see people with them and be so jealous and sad that I couldn’t get one home.”

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February 28, 2012   No Comments

a Pinterest weekend

I didn’t post yesterday because I was busy working on a project that I had seen on Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest yet? If not, why not?  It is such a fantastic internet tool, I can’t get enough of it and I’m going to explain why. Then I’ll show you two projects I found on Pinterest and then DID! That is correct, I didn’t just “pin” said projects, I actually did them!

If you have not yet discovered or even know what Pinterest is, read this article from Forbes. It describes it in a much more comprehensive way then I would or could. The paragraph that hits the nail on the head for me is;

“The value of Pinterest is in capturing and collecting inspiring scraps of the Web. The site taps into our primal hardwiring to hunt and gather. We want to keep things that make us feel good and we like knowing they are kept somewhere safe; like a treasured shoebox full of life’s memorabilia. Through its browser bookmarklet, “re-pin” button and ability to invite contributors, users collect items onto “boards” they’ve labeled based on their interests. Common boards include, “things I love,” “places to go,” and “stuff for kids.””

That is what Pinterest is for me, “a treasured shoebox full of”… full of stuff from the web that I want to save and access again.  Before Pinterest, I would take a snapshot of something from the web, or copy/paste a website address and place it on a Word document, and then I’d put the snapshots and documents into folders “somewhere” on my computer. That’s the key problem, “somewhere” on my computer where it would later take me forever to find them when I needed them. I’d search and search for that thing, that idea, until I was either totally exhausted from the search or until I gave up.

If you would like to join Pinterest, let me know by sending me a comment saying so and I’ll send you an invite. An invite is the quickest way to join. I joined without an invite (just by going to Pinterest.com) and it took about 5 or 6 days for them to get back to me, thus allowing me to join.  OK, so what projects did I do because I saw them on Pinterest, subsequently “pinned” them onto one of my boards, and then went back when I was ready to tackle the projects?

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February 27, 2012   3 Comments

17 ingredients and 4+ hours but still… “easy breezy”!

Really, it is!  Eight of those 17 ingredients are things like salt, pepper, spices, sugar, olive oil, and chicken broth. The only things to cut up are an onion, some garlic, and a couple apples. As for the time involved, the four hours – or more, if that works better for you – is to brine the meat. That means that it is just sitting in the refrigerator, not bothering you one little bit! So don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off, this is the perfect recipe for a quick and easy dinner, as long as you think ahead and get those pork chops into the brine.

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February 25, 2012   No Comments

lickidy split

This is a great go-to soup to make with three favorite convenience items in the pantry; sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and boxed chicken broth. Toss a salad or put together some sandwiches while the soup simmers and you are sitting at the table eating dinner with your family in no time!

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February 23, 2012   1 Comment

oh lemon tree…

FYI: Before I get to today’s recipe, a quick update about “Wednesday’s Child.”  I received an email from AASK saying that the segment may be pushed back to tomorrow due to the Republican presidential contenders debate happening here in Arizona tonight. Now back to my regularly scheduled program…

Wanna hear the song “Lemon Tree”?  CLICK HERE.

Last year at this time I was juicing more citrus from my seven trees than I could handle. I only had a tiny juicer but was lucky enough to borrow my neighbor, Jeanie’s, ACME Juicerator. Yay, I received my own Juicerator as a Christmas gift this year! CLICK HERE to reminisce with me.

Currently, I am reminiscing back to when my lemon tree produced crates of lemons. This year… not even one lemon from that very same tree! My Meyer lemon tree, on the other hand, produced a bumper crop this year.

As a result, I shall make a bumper crop of marmalade!

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February 22, 2012   2 Comments

“Wednesday’s Child”

A few weeks ago I filmed a TV segment with Scott Light of NBC Channel 12 EVB Live. The segment is called “Wednesday’s Child.” Scott now fills the shoes of longtime, now retired, Channel 12 anchor Kent Dana, who started the monthly segments more than 20 years ago. “Wednesday’s Child” is a profile of special-needs children available for adoption thru AASK, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids. In a 2009 interview, just before Kent Dana was to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he said, “I’ve profiled over 1,000 kids over the years, and close to 80 percent were adopted. That show really changed lives, and it was a fun thing to do.”

It was fun for me to do too. You may recall that I am good friends with Tram Mai, Scott’s co-host on EVB Live. Tram had mentioned to Scott that I was adopted, so he asked if it would be all right to ask me a few questions about that during my interview portion of the segment. I, of course, said it would be absolutely fine…. but then I met Robby…

The first people to show up to my house that morning were three women from AASK, including the two videographers. Next came Robby and his foster dad. I fell for Robby the second I saw him.  My heart just melted as we talked and then even more so as we cooked and hung out afterwards.

Scott and a couple more people from AASK came and we got busy with the filming. The shoot was of Robby and I cooking together in the kitchen. He was so sweet and interested and curious and polite and sweet, oh I already said sweet. He had wonderful manners and insisted on helping me clean up. Then, as the adults all gathered to figure how and where to shoot the interview portions of the segment, Robby and I played a little Foosball outside on the back patio. I’m pretty good – but he beat me.  Next, Scott came out and Robby beat him too. He has so much joy and confidence for a child who has not had it easy and who as been shuffled around.

You might think that AASK is only for kids with physical, mental, or emotional special needs. There are any number of needs that make a kid “special” and in Robby’s case all I could see that made him “special” was that he is 12 years old, not an infant, who is up for adoption. You can check out Robby’s AASK profile HERE to see what I mean, this little boy stole my heart! Oh, and we made the Lasagna Soup recipe you will find below – just take a look at the list of foods he likes. I didn’t know a thing about it until about an hour ago when I pulled up his profile to write this! That just makes me smile.

The segment will run sometime tomorrow on EVB Live between 4:00 – 5:30 PM.  I am dreading it a little bit though, because after Robby and his foster dad had gone, while Scott was interviewing me alone, I broke down. I don’t know how much, if any, of that they will show, but I’ve never cried on camera before. What if it’s the “ugly cry” as Oprah calls it? I have no idea how they will edit the interview. Channel 12 doesn’t do any of that portion, they just provide Scott and the airtime, AASK does the rest.

Oh well, it is what it is, that sweet boy and the position he, and so many other children like him are in, just breaks my heart. So if the segment has any impact and helps him get adopted by a loving family, any old ugly cry is worth it!

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February 21, 2012   1 Comment

1 pan + 1 hour = 1 delectable dinner

I love everything about this meal. There is very little prep, only minutes of hands-on time, and only 1 knife, 1 microplane, and 1 pan to clean. You pop it in the oven, set the timer, and go about your business.

I wish I would have created this fabulous recipe, but alas it was the lovely Nigella Lawson. I have a few minor revisions. For instance – the addition of one of my favorite ingredients – smoked paprika.  Enjoy!

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February 20, 2012   4 Comments

be mine

On Valentine’s Day evening, Dave walked into the house with two huge bouquets of flowers for me and I made seafood pasta for him. Although dinner was delicious, I think I got the better end of that exchange. The meal is long over and there have been four more dinners since then, but my beautiful flowers are still bringing me the reminder of being loved. <3

Note: To make the rose napkins above; Open a large cloth napkin. Fold in half diagonally. Beginning at the long end, roll into a rope. Then start at one end of the rope and roll into a spiral. Secure with a paper clip if needed and “garnish” with real rose leaves. I swiped the ones I used from my neighbor’s yard! She loves me, so it’s OK.

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February 19, 2012   No Comments

guilty pleasures

In May 2000, when Connor turned nine, we took a family trip to the east coast; Newport, Rhode Island,  New Hampshire (including the Ben & Jerry’s factory), Philadelphia, New York City (Statue of Liberty, Broadway, the Empire State Building, Times Square, etc.), Washington D.C. (Smithsonian, White House, Capital, all the monuments, etc.), Colonial Williamsburg, Arlington National Cemetery, and Mount Vernon.  The highlight of that trip for Connor – and about the only thing he remembers, besides celebrating his birthday – was his first taste of lobster (Yes, that is the actual moment in the photo above)! He immediately fell in love and ate lobster at every meal it was available for the rest of the two-week vacation.  His happiness came to a screeching halt when we arrived back in Arizona and he learned that lobster was a seriously special treat, not an everyday staple, like say, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

He still loves his lobster and I know that when he sees this post, he’ll be begging me to make it for him when he comes home this summer.  I love him to pieces, so I will!

The other guilty pleasure I want to show you is this fabulous vintage grocery store scale I purchased on Thursday at Sweet Salvage. Isn’t it amazing!?!  It obviously needs to be calibrated… or maybe I’ll just let it be.

Back to the lobster … I read an article about this over-the-top sandwich made by the Devilicious Food Truck from San Diego, California and had to try and copy it at home. It was a major success!

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February 18, 2012   4 Comments