Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Squeeky Clean

One Good Thing by Jillee via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Today's Tuesday Tip comes from Pinterest for a cleaning paste.  Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with peroxide to make a paste and rub it on anything that needs cleaned: pots and pans, stainless steel appliances, the stove, kitchen tools, etc and everything comes right off.  Above is the before and after from Pinterest.

I tried it on some of my own very, very discolored pans and I did see a difference so this is certainly a tip I would pass on!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Sandwich

The other week when I made the French baguette we made a delicious sandwich for lunch.  It is our new favorite lunchtime treat!

French BLT - serves 2


French Baguette - click here for a recipe
6 slices of bacon
Medium onion
6 slices of Brie Cheese
2 large pieces of lettuce
Fig jam


1.  Slice the onion and saute until caramelized.

2.  Cook the bacon using your preferred cooking method.

3.  Slice open the baguette and spread with fig jam.  Place the brie, caramelized onions, bacon, and lettuce on your sandwich.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

What's for dinner?

Here is what we are having for dinner next week...

Sunday - Lemon-Tarragon Salmon over Asparagus

Monday - Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Soup (I didn't end up making it last week)

Tuesday - Sushi

Wednesday - Spicy Pork Salad (although I will use red leaf lettuce instead of iceberg)

Thursday - Sauteed Escarole with Toasted Pearl Couscous and Eggs

Friday - Chickpea Patties with Tomato and Halumi Salad - See below for the recipe

Saturday - Pad Thai

Chickpea Patties with Tomato and Halumi Salad
Chickpea Patties – Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 48

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup olive oil, extra, for shallow frying

1.    Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon rind, flour, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture forms a thick paste. 
2.   Add the sesame seeds and mix to combine.  Shape 1 Tbsp of the mixture at a time into patties.
3.   To cook, heat the extra olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and crisp.  Drain on absorbent paper.  Makes 24

(To freeze uncooked patties, divide into 4 portions and place in zip-lock bags or airtight containers.  Freeze up to 3 months.  Before cooking, place the patties in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight and allow to defrost completely.)

For Salad:

6 cups of your favorite salad greens
Parsley leaves, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
halumi cheese – this is generally sold in a block, make sure you have enough for 2-3 full
            slices for each salad
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1.  Assemble the salad greens, parsley, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber on each plate.
2.  Thinly slice the halumi cheese and fry in a sauté pan for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.  Add to the salad.
3.  Add the cooked chickpea patties to the salad
4.  Sprinkle the salad with the fresh lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The House of Books

Boston Public Library via Joanna Berliner via Pinterest

As you know, I love to read.  For years I have bought books online, most of the time I would hold out for used books, so I was only paying a few dollars for them and then shipping on top.  I never felt like I spent that much money, but over time it does add up.  So I have rediscovered the library.  The library system has certainly changed since I was a kid!

Mine has a wonderful website that lets me queue up books to read and put holds on books, dvds, and music.  If they don't have what I am looking for, they will order it in from another library in their vast system.  I live in a medium sized town, it is amazing what books they have available.  For instance, I wanted to read the new Physique 57 book, and I looked it up online and low and behold, the library has it!  I never thought about going to the library for these types of books.  I am now preparing a list of cookbooks that I have considered buying and getting them from the library first to make sure I will enjoy them!

P.S., if you want to follow my 2012 reading list check it out on SkinnyScoop!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Personal Training

If you need some motivation and would like some personal training look no further than the Nike Training App.  This app gives you workouts for your specific goals, getting lean, toned, stronger, or focused.  The 85+ workout options range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.

You can train with professional athletes, set your own music, do celebrity workouts, and get step by step instructions and demos for each exercise.  The app lets you track your workout history and share it via Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to change up your workout check out this app!  It is available in itunes



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wax On Wax Off

Real Simple via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Here is a great tip I found at Real Simple, after you deep clean your stove top, apply a layer of car wax on the top.  It will make cleanups much easier, things will wipe right off! 

Another great use for car wax is on your shower door.  It definitely worked to prevent any buildup and made cleaning much easier.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Activity Village via Jodi DeBaar Durham via Pinterest
 Happy Chinese New Year!  It is the year of the Dragon.  The Dragon is a symbol of good fortune as a result of striving for excellence and a sign of power. 

People born in the year of the dragon are honored and respected.  You are a dragon if you were born in:  1094, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, and 2000.  

Dragons are known for being free spirits, colorful and flamboyant.  They are generally extroverts and everything they do is over the top.  Dragons are generous, confident, and fearless, and usually work their way into powerful positions. 

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

What's for dinner?

Dad is traveling next week...so expect lots of soup...

Sunday - Chicken Skewers with Meyer Lemon Salsa

Monday - Almond Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato, Collards, and Ginger

Tuesday - Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Soup

Wednesday - Polenta and Spinach Soup

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Dinner Out

Saturday - Dinner Out - I know, lucky me!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weather Out Your Window

Winter has finally hit our house....if only it was this pretty.  I hope you stay warm!

Deviantart via Alys Donato via Pinterest

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Doctor Is In...

If you are like me and have to look over your moles and freckles with a fine tooth comb you will love this new app that I discovered called SpotCheck.  You can snap a picture of a suspicious mole and send it to a group of board certified doctors who will review it within 24 hours and send you a recommendation.  There is a fee related to sending the picture, but if you want to get a response now and not have to worry about getting in to see a dermatologist and paying your co-pay then this might just help you. 

Your skin is so important, this app could just save your life.  The app is available free from itunes.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lemon Scrubbing

I have seen countless of articles toting the cleaning power of a lemon.  So last week I tried to use a lemon to clean some old cutting boards. 

Here are my before and afters....personally I don't see much of a difference.  I even tried using some salt to make it more abrasive and clean better. 



I would love to know if any of you have tried this tip before and been successful.



Monday, January 16, 2012

And the winners are...

Last night's Golden Globes were an entertaining show and there were some surprises!  Here are my top three best dressed last night at the Golden Globes...

Angelina Jolie looked terrific!  I loved the splash of red right at the top of her Atelier Versace dress.  Just gorgeous!
Breakfast At Mom's via Entertainment on Today via Pinterest

 Freida Pinto's Prada dress looked comfortable and the color was lovely, so unique..

Breakfast At Mom's via The New York Times via Pinterest

I also thought Charlize Theron looked beautiful.  Her Dior dress was somewhat predictable, but she always looks amazing!

Breakfast At Mom's via Entertainment on Today via Pinterest

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

What's for dinner?

Here is what we are having for dinner next week...

Sunday - Roasted Salmon with Parsnips and Ginger

Monday - Roasted Chicken and Pear Spinach Salad (although the recipe doesn't call for the chicken I like to add it to make it a full meal)
Tuesday - Spiced Eggplant with Bulgar Salad

Wednesday - Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

Thursday - Roasted Cauliflower with Shallots with Chard and Dukkah

Friday - Quinoa, Fennel, and Pomegranate Salad

Saturday - Chicken Skewers with Meyer Lemon Salsa

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Golden Globe

So Sunday is the Golden Globes!  I love the movies and watching the award ceremonies has always been a treat.  Getting to see everyone dressed up, a little tipsy, and celebrating wonderful movies.  It will be interesting to see how Ricky Gervais does hosting again. 

In honor of the awards here is some Golden Globe trivia!

  • Originally only five categories were awarded
    • Best Motion Picture
    • Best Actor
    • Best Actress
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Supporting Actress

  • The Most Golden Globes won by a film 5
    • "Doctor Zhivago" in 1966
    • "Love Story" in 1971
    • "The Godfather" in 1973
    • "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"  in 1976
    • "A Star Is Born" in 1977
  • "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" is the only film to win all five major categories: Best Motion Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay.

    Vogue via Sidonie Carpenter via Pinterest
  • The most indiviual acting awards have gone to Meryl Streep ( 7 maybe going on 8 this year!) and Jack Nicholas with 6 wins.

  • Jack Nicholas famously mooned the crowd in 1999.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I just discovered this site called SkinnyScoop.  If you are a lister head there now!  There are all kinds of lists such as, 10 Best Things To Buy At Trader Joes, Top Baby Gift Ideas, TV Shows That You Should Be Watching, Best Beauty Trics...the possibility of list items are endless! 

They also have quizes and questions...so this week here is a SkinnyScoop question for you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cake Cutting

I have just discovered the best way to slice a cake in half.  Of course it comes from none other than Martha Stewart!  I record her baking show and was zipping through her yellow cake episode and learned this one which I used on a cake recently.

If you need to cut a cake in half, place it in a baking sheet that has sides and rest the knife on the sides so that you maintain a level cut.  So easy right!

Monday, January 9, 2012


So yesterday I tried my first baking recipe from my 2012 goal list.  I went for the basic, but ever so wonderful baguette.  I decided to use Mireille Guiliano's recipe from French Women Don't Get Fat.

I have to say the recipe was

I also decided to up the ante and make my own butter to slather all over them. Below is the recipe I used, thank you Vitamix!

4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Serving: Makes 4 baguettes; Serving = 1 oz piece
1.  In a small bowl dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water using a fork. Set aside for 10 minutes.

2.  Combine flour and salt. Add yeast mixture, stir in remaining 1½ cup water. Mix until sticky enough to knead. Knead for 6-10 minutes; dough should be sticky and smooth. Put in a bowl, cover with a damp tea cloth, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume.

3.  Punch down and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each into a ball and shape into a baguette. Transfer to slightly greased baking sheet (I use a special baguette-shaped baking pan) and let rise until nearly doubled). Brush with mixture of one beaten egg and one TB water. Score.

4.  Pour two cups of hot water in a pan and place in preheated 450° F oven. Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 400° F and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool on a rack before slicing.

HOMEMADE BUTTER - recipe from Vitamix


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1.   Place cream into the Vitamix container and secure lid.

2.  Select Variable 1.

3.  Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.

4.  Blend until mixture is thick and you hear a change in the sound of the machine.

5.  Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula to bring ingredients into the center of the container. 

6.  Reset machine to Variable 5.

7.  Turn machine on and blend for 5 seconds, stop and scrape sides again.

8.  Repeat this process several time until you see the mixture start to flow easier and fluid appears.

9.  Blend for a few seconds more until solid butter starts to set up in center of container on top of blades.

10.  Place butter in a fine strainer to drain.

11.  Remove butter to a bowl and add salt to taste.  Work butte with a spatula to remove as much liquid as possible. 

12.  Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Keep At It

If you made a resolution to get fit this year...keep at it!  This quote I found says it all...

Fast Cars Slow Kisses via Missy Muhaluk via Pinterest

Friday, January 6, 2012

What is for dinner?

Here is what we are having for dinner next week...

Sunday - Spicy Peanut-Shrimp Soup

Monday - Herb, Chard, and Feta Soup

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken with Broccolini with Spicy Sesame Vinaigrette

Wednesday - Dinner Out

Thursday - Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato Sauce

Friday - Easy Chickpea Curry

Saturday - Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Harissa Dressing

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apps To Fight Abuse

In 2011 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a challenge to develop apps that would help prevent abuse and rape.   Although the main focus was for college campuses, anyone can use these apps.  Below are two winning apps that were submitted in the challenge and that will be released soon for downloading.

Apps Against Abuse Challenge
The Circle of 6 app will let you alert six emergency contacts of your location via GPS if you have been attacked.  It will only take two touches to get help.

Apps Against Abuse Challenge
OnWatch will give you access to 911 and campus police and provide your location via GPS.  Two taps will be all you need to alert authorities.  The app also integrates with Twitter and Facebook so that additional messages can go out as well. 

To find out more about the challenge please click here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Movie Review

Sorry my posting has been a bit sporadic this holiday season.  Time with friends and family is so important to me, that other responsibilities get pushed to a back burner sometimes.

During our holiday break I got to see a number of movies.  Here are my thoughts on each:

J .Edgar - an interesting movie full of historical information and yet a love story that I found touching.  Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer are terrific in this film.   
The Descendants Poster
The Descendants - I was disappointed with this film.  I found it sad and the only highlights for me were the young kids in the film - they provided the much needed comic relief. 

Young Adult - I liked this movie.  If you are from a small town like myself you can totally relate to it.  The movie has a lot of layers and Charlize Theron's acting is terrific.

The Adventures of Tintin - This was for my husband, he read Tintin as a kid.  The movie was fun, I wished we had seen it in 3-D.  I found myself caught up in believing that I was watching real people, even though they were animated. 

My Week With Marylin - I really liked this movie.  The setting was terrific and I thought Michelle Williams totally nailed Marylin Monroe.  I will be anxious to see if she gets the Golden Globe for this.  If you want a nice, entertaining movie, go see this one.

I would have liked to have added War Horse, but at the end of the day I think I will cry through a lot of the movie and decided against seeing it right now.  I am still holding out hope for a trip to NYC this year, and then I'll see it on Broadway if it is still there.  I am really looking forward to seeing The Iron Lady, I can't wait for it to be released!

Did you see any movies this holiday that you recommend?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Here is to a wonderful new year! Happy 2012!

Squidoo via Amanda Smith via Pinterest

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