Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Feet

Our niece Alexa started dance classes this past weekend!  As the old song goes, "The best things happen while you're dancing."  She's such a darling, and oh so pretty in her pink!

Before The Lights, Camera, Action.....

Source: Elle November 2009 Volume XXV Number 3 No. 291

Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes Barefoot Style

This is delicious!  ENJOY!!

•1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
•Kosher salt
•Olive oil
•1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
•3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
•1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
•6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:
•5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
•2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
•6 tablespoons good olive oil
•1 garlic clove, diced
•1 teaspoon capers, drained
•2 teaspoons kosher salt
•3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
•1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.  (We added grilled sausage to the recipe)

Ina's Parmesan Chicken

•4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
•1 cup all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•2 extra-large eggs
•1 tablespoon water
•1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
•1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
•Unsalted butter
•Good olive oil
•Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
•1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows


Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:
•1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
•1/2 cup good olive oil
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Friday, August 27, 2010

All About Barefoot

This week we pulled our Barefoot Contessa cookbooks off the shelf, and started cooking up some of Ina's suggestions.  Ina nights always make for delicious nights!  We do an Ina recipe at least once a month, but our last full week of Ina recipes was this past fall when Shelby joined us.  Such fun!  That night we made lamb kebabs as our main dish.  And this week we made parmesan chicken, as well as pasta with sundried tomatoes, and grilled asparagus.  Those Recipes to follow.
Marinated Lamb Kebabs

•1 pound plain yogurt (regular or lowfat)
•1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
•1 teaspoon lemon zest
•1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
•5 tablespoons fresh whole rosemary leaves
•1 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•2 pounds top round lamb
•1 red onion

Combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a large, non-reactive bowl. Add the lamb, making sure it is covered with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.

Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals. Spread the coals in one tight layer on the grill.

Cut the lamb in 1 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 20 cubes.

Cut the red onion in 8 pieces and separate each piece into 3 or 4 sections. Loosely thread 3 or 4 pieces of lamb onto skewers alternately with sections of onion. Sprinkle both sides of the lamb cubes with salt and pepper. Place the skewers on the hot grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times, until the lamb is medium-rare.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bo Turns 2

Bo At 15 Weeks                                                             Two Year Old Bo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Bo!

Bo is 2 today!  I went and got cupcakes - two of course that are canine edible special for the pups!  I also picked up another present for him - a sock monkey toy!  He LOVES toys, but he'll have to share with his sister!  We are looking forward to having a little party tonight!  Jim and I enjoy this, but we think Bo knows something's up - he always does!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Family Happenings!

Mallory and Brody celebrated their first birthday with a big bash this past weekend, and yesterday Whit Rose came into this world.   
Fun Family Happenings!

Friday, August 20, 2010


2 pounds ground turkey
1 white onion (diced)
1 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce – La Morena (put rest in freezer)
2 cups of cheese (Mexican blend and cheddar)
2 cans of enchilada sauce (red or green)
1 tomato
Green onion/Scallions
Bell peppers (optional)
Tomatoes (diced)
Corn tortillas - La Tortilla Factory Recommended

Cook meat on medium - cover and stir occasionally about 10 mins total.  While the meat is cooking sauté onions (and bell peppers) with olive oil on low heat.  After meat is cooked, strain, and bring back to pan.  Then add onions, 1 can of sauce (heated), cilantro, 1 cup of cheese, cumin, stir and simmer on very low heat.

Heat Tortillas in pan on very low heat - each side – let it warm tortillas and make them soft.

Create an assembly line of mixture:
skillet for tortilla
meat and sauce mixture
sprayed baking sheet or dish.
Put a spoonful or so of mixture in tortilla and roll up and put in the pan.
Pour the other 1 can of sauce on top of all the enchiladas.  Add the other cup of cheese. Garnish with  cilantro, green onion now, and tomato.  (If you'd like to wait and add the cilantro and tomato after it comes out of the oven that's fine.)

Put in the oven for 10 mins. (no more than 15) mins. in oven on 350.  Serve

Makes 10 - 12

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Self Esteem Help

A self esteem camp for girls is getting publicity in the New York Times and on the Today ShowThe Curse Of The Good Girl book by Rachel Simmons founder of GIL comes out later this month.

Advice and tips while geared to young girls and their mothers also help us all.

Chicken Alfredo

What You Need:
1 pint (2 cups) of whipping cream
1 box of penne or fettuccine
pinch of sugar
3 tsp of sage (extra for serving)
1⁄2 cup grated pecorino sardo
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of paremsan or parmigiano-reggiano for serving
2 pds of chicken breast or chicken thighs

What You Do:

Boil water with olive oil and a pinch of salt in an 8 quart pot after boiling add pasta and cook till al dente.  If using a box follow their time, but check it a minute or two before the time they give.  (Italian expression describing pasta having been cooked so as to be firm but not hard.)

Grill your chicken

In a separate medium sauce pan combine whipping cream a pinch of sugar, cheese (a little or a lot), and fresh sage. Stirring often on med/high heat. Then put on a med/low heat. Add a good amount of salt and pepper to taste.

Drain pasta, add sauce and chicken, then top with sage and freshly grated cheese.  Stir and serve.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spanglish Sandwich

Thomas Keller created the sandwich used in the movie Spanglish.  Some consider it "the best" sandwich, and some consider Chef Keller "the best."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Somewhere Inside

Last night at an event I heard Laura and Lisa Ling share some of their stories on journalism, captivity in North Korea, North Korea itself, and their personal fight for freedom.  President Bill Clinton also shared some of his roll in their stories.  An eye opening, emotional night.

Lunch Last Friday

Reflecting on a good time I had last week with good friends.  Last minute plans can sometimes work out best.  Funny how that is the case at times.  And it's important to make time for good friends which makes for good fun.  Me, Sarah, Hillary, and Jenny certainly had good fun last Friday.  Voila!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Silly Bandz

I've been seeing young and old alike wearing these bracelets.  Seem to be fun and fashionable.  My cousin Avery came to see me at work yesterday and she posed with them for me.  She's a doll, and is a little more grown up everytime I see her.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Three years ago today our niece Alexa was born, and one year ago today my life long friend Katie's, Reese, came into the world.  Thinking about these sweet girls today! 

Alexa, in keeping with the style of her Aunt Suzanne, has been celebrating her birthday in advance!  She had a little birthday bash this Saturday.  Below are some photos of her party and her having a good time wearing some of her new things!

And today is also my cousin Lisa's birthday, as well as, Katie's mom, Afton's birthday, and our dear friends Brooks and Sarah Beth welcomed their second son Patrick into the world today.   Happy birthday to all the August 11th birthdays! 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pasta ala S&J

Bowtie Pasta
Tomatoes - 2 garden
Fresh Basil to taste
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
6 Mushroom Asiago Chicken Sausage (Can substitute with Grilled Chicken)
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper

Boil water for pasta and heat your grill.  Cook your sausages on the grill then plate them and cover with foil.  Set aside.  Once the water is boiling add some olive oil and salt then add pasta cooking as directed on box, but I usually test the pasta a minute before it says on the box.  Sauté the garlic on medium heat with olive oil for one minute. Add the onions and cook for another minute.  Then add the broccoli and mushrooms.  Stir and cover for 5 mins stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes and basil as well as salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, uncover and stir - cook for another minute or so.  Once pasta is ready add olive oil to the pasta and then combine everything.  I like to combine in the big pasta pan.  Serve with any fresh Parmesan cheese.

So simple - so flavorful - so fresh!