Friday, October 23, 2015

Almond Paste



You do NOT have to spend big bucks on the canned stuff to get good almond paste.



Almond Paste
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) ground blanched almonds

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 large egg white

teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt



Directions

Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. 

Add the confectioners' sugar, egg white, extract and salt; cover and process until smooth.

Divide almond paste into 1/2-cup portions; place in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pignoli Cookies


PIGNOLI COOKIES

makes 30-36 cookies

INGREDIENTS
8 oz. almond paste
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour. .
pinch of salt
1 cup pine nuts


DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, using an electric mixer break up almond paste. On low to medium speed, beat in egg whites until mostly smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together confectioner’s sugar and granulated sugar. Beat into almond mixture. Then add flour and salt and mix until well combined.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pine nuts in a shallow bowl.

Using parchment paper, cover a cookie sheet. With wet fingers (this prevents the dough from sticking to your hands), roll dough into small balls, about 3/4 inch in diameter. Then roll the top and sides of the balls in the pine nuts. Place balls on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 17-19 minutes. Do not brown. Cookies should be pale on top and barely brown on the bottom. The centers should be soft.

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's that time of year already! Sign up for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

I'M IN!!!

SUCCESS!
HOORAY! Your donation has been received and you are now officially signed up for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015


Saturday, October 3, 2015

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, check out Glamulet



http://www.glamulet.com/breast-cancer-october-2015

The Charms brand Glamulet was launched in 2014 to offer to every women a new range of trendy and elegant quality jewelry at an affordable price. We believe that every woman should be allowed to express herself and to feel pretty. We design glamorous Charms and bracelets and we use quality materials to manufacture them. Each woman can mix and match the Charms to create her own Bracelet. Glamulet empowers women by giving them affordable accessories to state their fashion sense, commemorate an event or symbolize a special meaning. Two years after its launch, Glamulet is working hard to spread this vision worldwide and to better the life of every woman.

October is breast cancer awareness month and I'm teaming up with Glamulet to help spread the word about #PinkOctober and let you all know that 50% of sales from every charm sold by Glamulet will be donated to breast cancer charities.  Unfortunately Breast Cancer has touched so many lives and will continue to until they find a cure "Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. More women are surviving. But more are being diagnosed than ever before. And every 45 minutes, another woman dies from the disease." These are staggering statistics, and we need to work together to make a change.

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Hi there :)

I know I seem to disappear for months at a time, I'm really sorry -_- Things will be more active around here soon, I promise :)

My Facebook page for the blog is updated pretty much daily with recipes and shared tips, take a look and give me a follow.

I'm preparing to move so things are a little hectic. After four years here the kid and I are moving in with my boyfriend where the kid will have his own room again, two cats and a dog on loan whenever we want (he belongs to the landlords). :) Pretty much anywhere we've lived hasn't been pet friendly, so it's nice to be able to have pets again.

I'm sure this isn't a shock to anyone that I hate moving, I don't know anyone who really does. This will be the 4th time I've ever moved and hopefully after this there will be just one more where we can finally set our roots down for good.

I'll be back in a few weeks once the move is all done and I'm settled back into a normal schedule... whatever that is, but I know it will be a lot less driving back and forth and that is always a good thing.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Well, this is different...

My kid is at college taking his summer classes, my honey is at work.... and I'm at the park.. blogging, or, something.  I took the day off work and after going out to breakfast with my best girls this morning I have the rest of the day to pretty much do nothing.  I've been up since 5am (I told you my son is taking summer classes at college, 2 1/2 hours away by train and his first class starts at 8:30, yeah -_-) I'm not much of a napper, I was sick with pneumonia over Christmastime and even then when I was sick I didn't sleep during the day.  I was going to bake some biscuits for my buddy Apollo, but it's too hot to turn on the oven and way too nice to just sit inside.

Today feels like summer, it's warm but it's  not humid at all and there's a nice breeze.  I'm parked at the park around the corner from my house sitting under a tree.  I was hoping for a spot at a picnic table, but there seems to be some end of the year thing here with a lot of schoolkids.  Oh well.. it's still a gorgeous day out :)

I guess walking backwards is a new thing? There are two ladies walking backwards around the loop.  Odd.  I have enough trouble walking in a straight line on a good day, I'd trip over my feet going backwards HA!

Well... back to nature for me now :)  Enjoy the rest of your day.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry



I'm a no kid hungry blogger and I can't imagine how hard it is for kids who struggle with hunger.  As a single mom I've struggled and in the past when times were especially tough I've sacrificed my own meals to make sure my kid had enough.  It's really hard knowing when there's not really enough food to go around and it's really something kids shouldn't ever have to be burdened with.

The sad fact is, the summer is the hardest on kids who rely on school meals and that's why the summer meal program was first started in 1968.  Still though, it's tough for kids in rural communities to get the nutrition they need over the summer and that's one of the things No Kid Hungry is working to change.

NOW, CHEFS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE RIDING THEIR OWN BIKES SO THAT KIDS WON'T HAVE TO.
The No Kid Hungry Chef's Cycle is coming up This weekend!! (http://chefscycle.org/) Nearly 50 chefs and restaurant industry professionals are riding bikes 300 miles to raise funds and awareness for No Kid Hungry. The East Coast ride takes place June 7-9 and the West Coast ride happens June 14-16.

Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry

 For nearly 30 years, chefs and restaurants have served as our most ardent supporters raising millions to help end child hunger in America. Now, they are getting on their bikes from coast to coast to raise awareness and funds for No Kid Hungry. Nearly 50 chefs and restaurant industry professionals are riding from New York City to Washington, DC and Santa Barbara to San Diego. 300 miles each! Follow them as they ride - New York City to Washington, DC June 7-9 and Santa Barbara to San Diego June 14-16. And support their efforts by making a donation today or planning your own ride where you live.

Together we can make a difference.  Donate today or start a ride of your own.


Monday, February 23, 2015

$35 for 1 year BJ's wholesale club Membership + $25 BJ's GC PLUS $10 credit

I don't normally post deals like this here, but really, this one is too good to pass up

First, sign up for Livingsocial here  Instantly get a $10 voucher on your first $20 Purchase.

Then, go here to purchase a one-year BJ's Inner Circle Membership + $25 BJ's gift card  for $35 ($75 value) But it's actually just $25 with your $10 voucher :)

**When you're at BJ's, you aren't a customer -- you're a part of the family. Be the hero in your household and save big on everyday essentials with this BJ's Inner Circle Membership:
• $35 ($75 value) for a one-year Inner Circle Membership + $25 BJ's gift card
• You'll get one Primary Membership card and one household card
• Household card may be used by family members who live at your address
Your Life, Your Store

With more than 205 locations nationwide, BJ's makes it easy to stock up on what matters the most to your family at savings that'll make you feel like a VIP. Featuring USDA choice meats, deliciously fresh produce, superb tires, travel services, the latest electronics, tasteful home d├ęcor, health and beauty needs, and much more, this members-only warehouse is the only one-stop shop your family will need. Ready to save? Read more on how much BJ's will work for you.
Don't Forget: This offer is valid for new BJ's members only; not valid for those with an active membership or for a previous membership. You may use your voucher 48 hours after purchasing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ready as we'll ever be

Yesterday it was All over the news, starting at around 4am my phone beeped with a special weather alert that there was an impending blizzard.  As the day went on my phone beeped just about every hour with updated snow amounts, special warnings from the NYC Mayor, the Senator and everyone else in between.  "A Historical storm with totals this city has never seen before"  The thought makes me cringe.

Like I've said before, I've lived in New York my entire life, I've only moved in a 50 Mile radius of where I grew up and I don't like winter.. I despise it.   I hate the cold and the snow.

We did our weekend shopping Friday  night and then went back to the store yesterday for some last minute things and all I"m gonna say is we spent WAY too much money on groceries this week, the good thing is nobody needs anything else for the next few days, well... at least they'd better not.

We left this morning at 7:30 to get to work on time but the roads were fine and it started snowing around 8.  It's now 10:37am and I"m sitting here in my 4th floor office and the snow is coming down steadily.  They're calling for between 16-24" where I live and I'm not looking forward to this at all.

I'll try and update with pics here, if not check out the FB page and I"m sure there will be regular updates on this crazy storm.

Be safe out there!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Quick Artichoke Casserole

I was searching for this recipe this morning totally sure that I had posted this recipe a long, long time ago... turns out I had stuck in a recipe box long before the blog started.

I got this recipe from a coworker years ago and it's absolutely fantastic paired with some good crusty bread or as a side with pork or chicken

Quick Artichoke Casserole


Ingredients:

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1 (7 ounce) can pitted black olives, Drained
1 (7 ounce) can button mushrooms, drained
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
oregano, to taste
basil, to taste

pepper, to taste

Directions:


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large, ovenproof casserole dish combine all ingredients.

Mix well.

Cover and bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot or cold with Hot garlic bread, pita wedges or tortilla chips.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I would have loved to wish you all a Merry Christmas, but instead I spent Christmas Day sick. Since Christmas eve I'd been having trouble taking a deep breath and my left ear was killing me.  I managed to cook Christmas dinner and bake a birthday cake for my honey, but after sitting at the table with my family and not even being able to finish a slice of lasagna I passed out on the couch and woke up literally in ear splitting pain.  Friday morning my honey took me to urgent care (and it was SO packed there wasn't even a chair to sit in when we got there!)  After waiting for over an hour I finally got in to see a doctor.   After I got the usual work up by the nurse a bit later the dr came in, asked me a few questions and I was gasping for air when he asked me to take deep breaths to hear my lungs.

Not surprisingly he ordered a chest X-Ray to rule out Pneumonia, half an hour later... the diagnosis?

I've got freaking pneumonia.  I haven't had pneumonia since I was six years old and it sucks big time.

Remember my stories of the office witch? She's got competition...

Had it not been for a co worker coming in sick and not having the common decency to cover her mouth when she coughs I'd never have gotten sick at all.  I am a generally healthy person, I get the occasional cold but nothing that lasts more than a few days.  I had planned on taking the two weeks for Christmas and New Years off and spending them sick was not anywhere in my plans.  So instead of spending time with my family and friends I'm stuck at home in bed sick.  This is the first time in the ten years I've been working in this office to become sick like this and I'm seriously pissed about it.

I called this weeks ago when this lady came in sick, coughing her lungs out without covering her mouth.  I work in a fairly small office and she sits behind me to the right.  You'd think a grown woman would have the common sense to cover her mouth when she coughs, to not spread disease through the office or, ya know... stay home when you've got freaking Pneumonia and not come in hacking away and bring your breathing machine with you when you've got to administer meds every few hours to yourself! The boss had to send her home and then her Dr told her to stay home for a week.

I go back to work on Monday, the day after I finish my medication but the Dr says it could be 3-4 weeks until I feel like myself again.  Think I'm not gonna say anything to this woman?  I already told my boss last Friday.. I told him thanks to her coming in sick I've got pneumonia for the first time since I was a child. Last year it was brutally cold here and I walked over three miles every day back and forth in the cold and rain and snow to get the train to work until I got my new to me Jeep.

Whether or not anyone says anything to her before I get back to work is a mystery to me, but I'll be sure to say something for sure.