Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Places" ~ Act II

This phrase and scene has a very special meaning to me... I stage managed "Jesus Christ Superstar" in College - this was the opening of Act II. This famous da Vinci is also hanging in my folk's dining room... it's also representative of my favorite Mass during the year... Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)... As we enter into the Easter Triduum - The Triduum is the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Shepherd's Pie Week!

Within the last week I've heard people refer to Shepherd's Pie at least 4 or 5 times... all very random comments, all random times - all stayed with me. One comment was because I mentioned Phil and I recently tried a new Greek restaurant and we shared Moussaka, what I'd call a Greek Shepherd's Pie... (sort of)... This past week it's just come up... once while eating lunch in the faculty lounge at school, once "I think" with Patty, (not even positive) yesterday while working at Williams Sonoma ... but the clincher was this morning one of my favorite channels to watch on Sunday Mornings is, what else, Food Network - one of my least favorite shows is Rachael Ray...but what was she making this morning - her version of "Shepherd's Pie"! (I thought I was hearing things) I've made it very rarely, growing up I'm pretty sure it's what my mom made and she called it Scotch Stew (I have to ask her)... So... figuring it was some sort of omen, I looked up a few recipes and bought the ingredients this morning - I'm sure my son will love it, I'd never make it for just Phil and myself! Curious, if you have a recipe for this English standard, please share it - there are no two recipes for this that are alike! (except for the mashed potatoes on the top)!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter = FAVORITE Carrot Cake Recipe!!

I've tried a few (actually, MANY) ...BUT this is my favorite Carrot Cake Recipe - courtesy of Silver Palate.  If you too like a moist, "heavy" carrot cake with coconut, pineapple and walnuts, then this is one for you!  Being Easter time, it's a GREAT reason (excuse) to make (and consume) this culinary extravaganza... to me anyway! 
So... I wanted to share - I had to go into my recipe bin to find this as I want to include all the ingredients in my next shopping trip.... I LOVE carrot cake, it was our wedding cake too...

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 cups sugar (I use 2 1/2)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1-1⁄2 cups corn oil (I use canola)

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use GOOD vanilla)
1-1/2 cups shelled walnuts, lightly chopped

1-1/2 cups shredded coconut

1-1/3 cups puréed cooked carrots (I use shredded)

3/4 cup drained crushed pineapple
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch springform pans.
 Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes.
4. Cool on a cake rack for 3 hours. Fill and frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting - Just use your favorite recipe (I'll admit, I've even used pre mixed in the can... but it's so easy to make w/ cream cheese too)
Happy Early Easter!  (a good excuse to eat Carrot Cake)!!!
If you have a "favorite" Carrot Cake Recipe... PLEASE share... a GREAT excuse to try another recipe!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Goodnight Bush"

While reading Marianne's comments on 2 of my favorite children's books, "Goodnight Moon" and "Pat the Bunny" she told me about "Pat the Husband" a parody.

I had to look it up...

But this popped up first, and it really cracked me up! 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Rugby...

We have a happy son... Seton Hall's first rugby game of the season! I forget just how rough of a game it is... but I love that all teams in the tournament go to the same pub and celebrate together... It's one of my favorite aspects of the game... the camaraderie! The North Jersey Rugby Club participated in today's tournament, all college graduates that want to continue to practice and play the game on an adult team ... something I'm sure my son will continue with.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Save The Date! .... is this really necessary?

A "Save the Date" set of Cookies arrive in a box!
This is a new phenonomin to me... receiving a piece of mail to "Save the Date". I'm going out on a limb (again)... I'm hearing about edible cookies that have a "save the date" message on them, not to mention that they cost $3.00 each to be mailed!
Perhaps you'd like this tacky magnet on your fridge so you don't forget to "Save the Date"!
 I know when we mailed our wedding invitations, we "banked" on some people NOT's just the way it was!   Well, the US Postal Service must be happy as mail is dwindling down to an all time low - but I'm really OK to wait to receive an invitation and if I'm booked already - Oh Well!
Here you go... another way to hope people remember to "Save the Date"!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


"A Hundred Thousand Welcomes"...
Wishing all my Irish Family and Friends a wonderful (safe) Paddy's Day!
 And a  tribute to my Dad, the proudest Irishman I knew...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Sheila!!!

Happy Birthday to my favorite
younger sister!!!
St. Paddy's Day will always remind me of Sheila... they're only day's apart, and it's Sheila's favorite holiday!
Love You!

March... our families BIGGEST Birthday Month!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When your doctor calls... ?!?!?!

I had my long overdue physical last week... it's been haunting me. I knew I had to meet my new primary care physician and schedule my first colonoscopy.... (a few years overdue). Today I received a call... hmmm, why was the Physician calling me? Apparently, I'm VERY low in B12, Iron and Vitamin D, she sounded "a little" concerned and recommend I have B 12 injections weekly for at least a month... Can I come into her office TOMORROW??? She wanted to know how I was functioning, and "WHY" I'm not exhausted. I really had little to nothing to say... I feel absolutely the same. (I asked her to check to be sure she had "my" chart) I'm aware post bariatric patients may not absorb all nutrients... but I always thought I'd feel badly to determine if it was reason for concern... My sleepless nights are when our 21 year old is home from school and I can't sleep until he's in for the night... So, I'm going into her office to start my injections and starting my supplements...
This is a new challenge for me to face, maybe it goes with getting my AARP "STUFF" in the mail more frequently (that I totally ignore too)... my sister-in-law calls me "stubborn Irish"... maybe, after all, SHE does know best???

Friday, March 5, 2010

Simply Homemade Desserts - Meet Sharyn!

Sharyn on the show with the famous Chef Gordon Ramsay!
Bazzini Restaurant, Ridgewood, NJ - aired, February 5, 2010 - on "Hell's Kitchen"
It happened again... a Friday night at Williams Sonoma... I started talking to a customer who was reading one of our new "Chocolate Cake" Cookbooks... After talking to her for a while, she informed me she has her own baking business... I then learn she was the pastry chef on a recent "Kitchen Nightmares" episode... Wow! Of course I was engulfed in conversation and a sponge to learn everything about her... Her carrot cake is becoming word famous... Chef Ramsay LOVES it, endorsed it openly on his show and she is making them non stop. Sharyn Sherman is a character, I can see her taking her career to another level, she should - lots of spunk and feisty openness, we (my manager Lisa and I) encouraged her to "PUSH" herself to continue to be nationally recognized, with Easter around the corner make these carrot cakes well known! I certainly hope so! For anyone in the area, Sharyn currently has space in Cafe Amici in Wyckoff, (a great restaurant where Sharyn also supplies their desserts) she supplies a few other establishments and bakes for the consumer! Lisa ordered a carrot cake tonight... I think I may have to as well! To place an order, call:  201.248.9361 and... follow Sharyn on facebook: Simplyhomemadedesserts and her website: 
Sharyn's Famous Red Velvet Cupcakes
I mention that "it happened again"... on a recent Friday night, George Georgiades, from Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey, NJ also visited Williams Sonoma - another great chef! 
LINK to "Hell's Kitchen" Episode: (copy and paste to your browser)

Monday, March 1, 2010

When was the last time you saw this???

On my way into school, (I drove in with my sister today), we see a guy with his thumb out, on the highway - Hitchhiking! When was the last time you witnessed this? It used to be a common scene... I was threatened to NEVER pick up anyone, and I never did (unless I knew them)... I'll also admit I never hitchhiked (in this country)... but all over Ireland (I was told it was safe, I was young and foolish and very lucky) - what was I thinking, no kooks in Ireland???
It was just a quick glimpse of something we used to frequently see... I had guy friends and that was their only way of getting around... and I thought absolutely NOTHING of it...

Not so sure if I now feel jaded, or I miss my innocence?