Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Carnival Time...And Everybody's havin' fun, including me.

This is certainly the time of year when the saying "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans"? rings so true in my ears. My Ipod was on shuffle last week and stumbled over some Professor Longhhair. Tears began to well in my eyes as my hips swayed back in forth to a rhythym that only the booming drums and glorious horns from the Mardi Gras marching bands could exude. Those memories of walking the streets, waiting for parades with the smells of crawfish and beer in the air. Or even younger memories of helping my dad suit up in costume to ride on his float and then staying up to see him all glittering and grinning and getting bombarded with beads, cups and dabloons from every angle. We would run after his float just to get one more glimpse and hopfeully some more loot as he would ride past us to the next anxious observers. There are so many wonderful memories of Mardi Gras that have spanned my life time, it is truly a past time for the young and old.

This year though, I didn't have to miss out on all of the fun. My family friend Stefanie Wiedemann is making traditional New Orleans King Cakes and is selling them on the internet. They are called, "My Sister's King Cakes"

Stefanie is a true New Orleanian and she has done me so right this year by sending me this delicious king cake, which I must say is already gone. So Stefanie, thank you so much. I hope you are so proud of yourself and the piece of art that you created, you just made another New Orleans memory for me possible.

My recession proof Valentines Day

This Valentines Day everyone seemed to be discussing the financial situation of the country and were finding it hard to spend money for the holiday. However, I feel that if we honor what is important about the holiday, and take away what isn't, we will find that you don't have to spend very much to show your special someone that you love them. Even though I think it is lots of fun to go out on Valentine's Day, no mess to clean up at least, there is nothing better than to create a beautiful meal at home. This was ours

Sometimes there is no better way to describe something than to just show a picture. Christian called this the "The Love Birds". Two roasted cornish games with a mashed rutabaga puree and wine reduction sauce. Accompanied by a truffled egg and spinach salad. It was fantastic and we finished it off with Chocolate Covered Strawberries. The whole meal with wine was under $50.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Best Find for Wintry Weather.... MOOV BOOTS

I am obsessed and have to have these before they become the next "Ugg's". Moov Boots are just as comfortable as Uggs because they are lined with fur on the inside, however the outside is waterproof like a wellie. You can learn all about the boots at Personally I want the mid-calf Rider's because they look like they would go with everything. Please cupid hear my valentine's wish, christmas and my birthday have passed and no Moovs yet.

Books of Inspiration that I really want right Now!

I am interested in a lot of things and nothing is more exciting to me that a new book about something I am interested in. Usually I keep a running list of all of the books I want to get at some point and i have decided to start a list here.

1. Sew U - Home Stretch, the guide to sewing knit fabrics.

I own the first Sew U, which I enjoy, however she does kind of make sewing seem like rocket science. But knits are what I really like to wear and it would be nice to get all of her helpful hints from the years of practice.

2. The Eight Human Talents: Restore the Balance and Serenity Within You with Kundalini Yoga

Gurmukh is the writer or this book and I use one of her DVD's for my yoga practice. She is wonderful; completely calming, motivating, radiant, and it is impossible to believe that she is almost 70 years old. Kundalini Yoga is not called the fountain of youth for nothing.

3. Making Artisan Cheese: Fifty Fine Cheeses That You Can Make In Your Own Kitchen

I really want to start making some cheeses. We have a farmer's market in our town and I really think they could use the addition of a vendor who sold homemade cheeses. I would love to learn more about that.

4. Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy

Enough Said

Well that is the list right now, but I am sure I will have more soon.

Valentine's Day... The Great Hallmark Holiday.

chocolate, or maybe flowers, but because I truly get enjoyment from seeing couples out celebrating their love for each other. I love people watching and nothing brings warmth to your heart like people sharing in the greatest emotion on earth. A lot of times in our relationships we forget that romance is the thing that created our connection in the beginning and we truly need it to keep the passion alive. Since I work in the restaurant business I will be working on the actual day of Valentines (lot of people watching there- note to all, sitting on the same side of the table as your date is not cool), but tomorrow I plan on celebrating with my someone special with a relaxing dinner at home, a little music, wine (of course) and some red velvet cake truffles, my favorite. So if you are in a relationship or not I hope you will use this day to at least tell someone that you love and appreciate them. Happy Valentine's Day

RECIPE Red Velvet Cake Truffles
(I make mine from scratch, but this is the easy recipe. If you want to make it from scratch just find a recipe for the cake and icing)

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)
4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

The are also fantastic dipped in white chocolate, whatever you prefer, just enjoy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blueberry Muffins... another nostalgic baking moment.

I love blueberry anything and there is nothing better than a warm blueberry muffin. I have such fond memories of my mom and me baking blueberry muffins when I was a kid, I can see where the addiction came from. So I saw this recipe on the other day for a blueberry muffin with a crumble top and I had to try it. It was super easy, looked professional, and tasted perfect. This one is a new addition to the family cookbook.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
* I added a touch of lemon zest to give a tang to it


1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted (in the microwave)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine s flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a measuring cup and add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

ENJOY.. I know I did at least three, maybe... four