Sunday, February 28, 2010

I "think" I have a problem!

"Hi, I’m Susan and I’m addicted to my computer".  Absence was the true test, and as I’m writing this and storing on my hard drive…it is because I realize just how “lost” I am without being “connected”. If you are reading this you’ll know I’ve missed you! The recent Nor’easter was a true test… just before I left school on Wednesday one of our “seasoned” professors reminded me to get batteries and have a full tank of gas… “Yah, OK” I was too focused on if we’d have 1 or 2 snow days! Lesson learned. 26 hours without electricity got VERY nippy… and so did our personalities clashing because we could not “hide” and do our own thing… we actually had to all be together and work together… Gene came home from school not feeling well, but I was determined unless it was proven Swine, he was with us in surviving and digging us out. The good news… the power returned after we came home from being out to dinner on day two… The bad news, still no cable – that means no TV, Internet or house phone. It has affected us all differently – Phil misses the TV the most and while I’m missing the Olympics, news and food channel, what I’m REALLY missing is internet connection… it’s painful, I’m way more reliant on it than I ever realized. A morning trip to Panera worked for me… Gene decided to stick it out one more day at home and went to the town library where they also had Wi-Fi… but, It’s getting old… and Cablevision is NOT #1 on my hit parade right now… their canned answers “we know it’s out, we apologize and we are doing EVERYTHING possible”…. I know in the scheme of things I sound so self centered, it’s really just an inconvenience and a good lesson on how we take this “privilege” for granted… but Mr. Cablevision guy… be honest – don’t say it will be restored in 4 hours just to get me OFF THE PHONE! Yadda, yadda… While the box is blinking “hold”… well, at least we’re warm… no heat for 26 hours reminded me of camping… a topic for another blog...oh and maybe caving in and getting a Blackberry! 
… Happy to report cable came back mid morning on Sunday, I was actually looking forward to my corner table at Panera again…but sitting on the couch with the Olympics back on is just how I want it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Move over Simon...

I know what it takes to upstage American Idol....
I will be so disappointed to see them end! 
And...I'm determined to get myself a pair of these!!!
"Oh Canada"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bewitching Hours...

I’ve heard ALL the reasons… blood sugar is low, blah blah…but honestly, why is it so easy to stay focused and eat healthy small portions of non carb foods up until 4:00 – 5:00 PM? I think 5:00 PM is just that “be-witching hour” when everything is hard to resist…. It’s not that long ago that I haven’t forgotten how little kids grow their horns between 4:00 and 5:00 PM too! Does this ONLY refer to me… isn’t it ALWAYS easy to stay on a diet (hate that word), healthy eating plan all morning, through lunch until that inner alarm goes off and is looking for something salty or “carby”… sweets are really not my cravings… but crackers, pretzels… faougetabout it. I hear my Mom saying to me “have an apple”… “ I DON”T want an APPLE…I’m determined to TRY and stay away from them, “Lent” may consciously help say me to say “no”… but it doesn't make it any easier…

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thank You Karen ... You Set the "High" Bar...

It was an expected phone call but still one that made me "catch my breath". My manager of many years passed away today after a 5 year battle that started as lung cancer. Someone who I repeatedly say "set the high bar", someone who still made me "sit up straight" but someone who I had the ultimate respect for. My fond memories are the last few years when many of us met together in the city for an evening out... we shared many laughs, stories and I like to remember Karen in those days...she fought this battle with such honesty and dignity. She will be missed, she will always be remembered.
Happier Times...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meet George...and his delicious beets!

One of my many highlights from working (very) part/time at Williams Sonoma are the great people I meet (and work with)'s just great to work with and meet foodies (I really don't like that word) that have the same interest in food, cook and bake wear, recipes, restaurants, etc. Where else can you share your excitement when a new gadget arrives!

George Georgiades, Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey
Last Friday night, the chef from one of my favorite restaurants came in... Varka in Ramsey's Chef George Georgiades. He was such a gentleman and I made no bones in hiding how much of a fan my husband and I are of Varka (a very expensive, upscale Greek Restaurant) - known for their fresh fish, this is not your typical Greek Restaurant. Our "FAVORITE" dish is an appetizer salad we always share. I've spent countless tries on trying to re-create this masterpiece! George told me it was in "The Bergen Record", the first thing I did was "Google" it, and I can assure you, we would have NEVER figured out how to make the skorthalia... NEVER.

I'm posting the recipe... I've not tried it yet, but it's certainly on my short list
 Greek Beet Salad with Skorthalia
  • 2 pounds fresh red beets (about 8 to 9 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Skorthalia (see note)
  • Remove leaves from beets, leaving about an inch of stem. Wash gently and place in a pot of cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until firm but cooked, about 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Drain the beets, cool under running cold water, and remove skin with fingers. Slice in half and then into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
  • Combine beets, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, oil and vinegar in a bowl and toss. Add onion and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve dolloped with skorthalia. Salad can be served immediately or marinated for 2 hours in refrigerator. It will keep about 3 days, refrigerated.
Note: For the skorthalia, combine 10 crushed garlic cloves, 10 slices of white bread (crusts remove), 1/4 cup blanched almonds, 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup white wine vinegar. Let soften for 30 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. While processor is running, slowly stream in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 cup club soda.
Thank you George Georgiades, Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey, NJ. This has been the first restaurant in this location that has been successful... and thank you for sharing this recipe!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tri - Holiday Collision!

I LOVE Holidays...
Looks like I'll be busy this week! 

Chinese New Year - The Year of the Tiger!

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's a long way from Tipparary...

It's been 22 years since the Jamaicans sent a bobsled team to the Winter Olympics. That inspired the movie 'Cool Running's,' but in real life, the Jamaican bobsled team hasn't been in the Winter Olympics since 1994 and won't be competing in Vancouver this year either.

Aoife Hoey - proudly carrying Ireland's Flag in Opening Ceremony.
There is an Irish Team this year competing in the bobsled? Does it take absolutely NO native terrain or conditions to practice the bobsled? Jamaica, Ireland... go figure?? Ireland is not the only surprise to me - Pakistan is taking part in one of the events – skiing - for the first time in the Winter Olympics - I just watched skier Mohammad Abbas, the only participant from Pakistan proudly carry his native flag.
Mohammad Abbas from Pakistan
It's nice to see over 80 countries represented, we can predict the countries we'll see take the most medals... but ever so uplifting to see every continent so proudly represented!  I'm loving the opening ceremony but... Let the games begin!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Once a Year Discussion...

It came up again tonight... Husband and Son (pre super bowl) ~

I'm holding my ground, and for those that do have this... go for it - I just can't embrace it.
A flat screen TV over the fireplace... I don't want it, I don't care how "nice" the TV is. First of all, I'm still insisting the TV be in an armoire, I don't think TV's are "pretty" - and want to shut it off when I don't have to look at it!
And if I did something like this....
How could I ever do this?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Total Insanity!

Check out the carts...

OK...Snow is in the for-cast. What this REALLY means is... you better put on your brass knuckles and get to the grocery store - because you MAY have to go all of 1 day without getting out? Maybe? Who stays in because of a snow storm? My husband works in a grocery store, he's forever amused by the insanity. Let's be realistic... it shows our American consumerism in full gear... press the panic button if we were possibly stranded for 1 day... Could you NOT survive with what you have stored in your pantry and freezer for all of 1 day???????????