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Showing posts from March, 2011

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a recipe for Baked Shrimp Scampi that is to die for!  It is so easy and so delicious you really won't believe it.  The recipe comes from her Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook.  It is a cookbook I use often. Back to Basics Cookbook Do you want to make a special meal even though you've had to work all day?  You can do it with this Baked Shrimp Scampi recipe.  Do you want a recipe to serve to guests that is fail safe, delicious and doesn't require hours of preparation?  This is the one.  Let's see how you can make this at home, shall we? The Barefoot Contessa's Baked Shrimp Scampi Serves 6 Baked Shrimp Scampi Ingredients 2 pounds of shrimp, shells still on 3 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of white wine 3 1/2 teaspoons salt  1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup minced onion (recipe calls for shallots) 3 t

What Do the Things You Carry Say about You?

Do the things you carry around with you every day help to define who you are?  I saw this story about the Persona Project  the other day and it got me thinking. Wow, I thought.  What a great way to get to know a little bit about someone.  What do the things I carry in my handbag say about me?  Let's see... I've carried this Coach wallet for at least ten years, maybe longer.  It's not really a wallet.  It's a wristlet, and that's one of the reasons I love it.  With a main zipper compartment and an outside pocket, it has room for my bills and coins as well as plenty of room for credit cards and all those preferred shopper store cards.  It's getting shabby looking and I've been trying to replace it, but I can't find another leather, wristlet style, wallet that is just the right size.  I want my bills to fit in without folding. What does this say about me?  It says when I find something I like I stick with it. "What are you doing with a plas

My Favorite Salsa

We've been on a Mexican flavors kick the past couple of weeks, so much so that we went to the same Mexican restaurant two weekends in a row.  You know the kind of restaurant.  It's where they bring a great big basket of warm tortilla chips and spicy salsa as soon as you sit down.  It's where you can get your margaritas either frozen or on the rocks, salt or no salt on the rim.  Just keep them coming!  There's something terribly addictive about those spicy, salty, limey flavors.  Oh, yes! My Favorite Salsa Salsa helps satisfy my cravings for the Mexican flavors.  Luckily I have a favorite salsa recipe that is quick and easy to make.  The ingredients are readily available.  You may already have them in your pantry.  This recipe makes more than enough for a salsa-loving family.  It's perfect for a party, too! My Favorite Salsa Print Recipe Makes more than 1 quart My Favorite Salsa Ingredients 1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes 2-14.5 ounce cans petite di

Five Tips to Make the Most of a Wine Tasting

Have you attended a wine tasting recently?  Wine tasting events are popular fund raisers in my neck of the woods.  A number of community organizations host wine tastings as fund raisers for worthy causes.  Local wine purveyors arrange for wine vendors to showcase a variety of wines for the attendees to sample.  Local restaurants and caterers  donate a variety of tasty appetizers and finger foods.  At some there are silent auctions and raffles as well.  It makes for an evening of fun and community, all for a good cause. These wine tasting events can be a terrific opportunity to broaden your appreciation for a variety of wines.  It is helpful to have a strategy when you attend a wine tasting so you can make the most of the opportunity as well as enjoy the wines. Five Tips to Make The Most of A Wine Tasting 1.  Choose a wine variety to focus on at the wine tasting event.  By choosing one or two varieties you'll be able to compare and contrast the different wines and perhaps fine

Taking the Fear Out of Pie Making

When you want pie what do you do?  Do you head to the local bakery?  Is the frozen food aisle at the grocery store your go to solution?  Are you a pie making pro who whips up pies on a regular basis?  Whenever I talk with anyone about pies the focus is always on the crust.  It's the crust making that cause grown women and men to shake in their boots.  This fear of pie crusts has resulted in many frozen and ready made pie crust options for those of us who want to bake a pie at home, but don't want to struggle with the crust. Pies have never been my strength.  Yes, it's the crust. I admit it.   I have bought pre-made pies from the bakery.  I've bought frozen pies at the grocery store.  I've purchased both frozen and ready made pie crusts.  Perfecting pie dough is on my list of things to do in 2011. This week I attended a free pie making demonstration hosted by King Arthur Flour.  It was one stop on a four city tour for the King Arthur team.  Over 400 of my clos

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

The weather so far this week made it feel more like the last week of winter rather than the first week of spring.  The cold, raw weather makes me yearn for comfort food.  Do you feel the same way?  One sure fire way to satisfy a craving for comfort food is with this Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  As the chicken roasts it fills your kitchen with such a delicious aroma.  You'll be very impatient for it to finish cooking! The recipe I'm sharing with you is a mix of my standard roast chicken recipe  and recipes I have seen for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  No, I don't count the garlic cloves.  I approximate by using three whole heads of garlic. If you love the sweet, but robust, flavor of roasted garlic you'll love this recipe.  Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Serves 4-6 Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Ingredients 3 heads of garlic 1 whole chicken, 4-6 pounds 3 Tablespoons olive oil 3 Tablespoons white wine 6 scallions, chopped 2 sprigs

Teriyaki Pork Chops and Coconut Rice for Dinner

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops with Coconut Rice We love to grill at our house.  We grill all year long, weather permitting.  It's been a hard year for winter grilling, but now that the snow has melted and we can get to our outdoor grill, it is time to fire it up.  Ours is a gas grill, so it is easy to use.  One push of a button and we are ready to go. Grilling is a perfect cooking option for busy moms and dads.  Meats and vegetables cook quickly on a grill and clean up is minimal.  With minor preparation, you can have a delicious weeknight dinner on the table in no time at all.  Are you a year-round griller as well?  If you are, this Teriyaki Pork Chops recipe will be a delicious addition to your grilling menu rotation.  You can make the marinade the night before, marinate your pork chops overnight and be ready to have dinner on the table within 30 minutes the next night. Let's see how to do it. Key Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients Teriyaki Pork Chops Printer Friend

Social Media and Me-Twitter

I'm Tweeting....OMG, yes, Tweeting...on Twitter....Can you believe it?   About two weeks ago I signed up for a Twitter account.  I'm @justonedonna on Twitter, so feel free to follow me if you have a Twitter account. Do any of you have a Twitter account?   I had been hearing "Twitter this" and "Twitter that" for quite some time.  I was tired of not knowing what it was all about.  Then I heard that Charlie Sheen signed up for a Twitter account...and got 1 million followers within 24 hours!  Not that I care about Charlie Sheen, but the fact that 1 million people signed up to follow that train wreck, well that is quite a phenomenon.  I wanted to know more about the phenomenon that is Twitter. Here's some cool facts and figures from Twitter: The first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey (@ jack ) sent the first Tweet .  Happy anniversary, Twitter! 3 years, 2 months and 1 day.   The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet

Ten Reasons to Love Spring

It is finally here.  Spring is here today.  Spring officially begins tonight at 7:21 P.M. EDT.  Today marks the vernal equinox, the time of year when both day and night are each approximately twelve hours long.  The actual time of equal day and night in the Northern Hemisphere may occur a few days before or after the vernal equinox, depending on your latitude, but let's not split hairs.  It is at this point in the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator going northward.  It rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. Yeah! In celebration of today's vernal equinox and tomorrow being the first full day of spring, let's think about the reasons we love spring.  I can think of ten... Ten Reasons to Love Spring 1.  The snow has finally melted from my front yard and it didn't take until April to happen (like I predicted ).  It only took until March 18th. Before-Snow March 9th After-No Snow March 18th 2.   It stays light longer.   At las

A Closet Essential to Save You Money and Time

As I was getting dressed today I noticed something I have in my closet that I consider an essential in my life.  It wasn't always the case.  This is a relatively new addition to my "make my life easy" tools, but I must say it is one I don't want to do without going forward.  "What is it?" you ask.   It is my garment steamer.  My Garment Steamer Yes, that strange looking thing you see standing in my closet area is an essential tool that I wouldn't want to be without.  Let me show you some of the reasons why I say that. I bought myself a pretty "little black dress" for a charity gala we attended recently.  Do you see all those layers of chiffon on the dress?  How would you take care of a dress like that?  Iron it?  I think not.  Send it to the cleaners?  Perhaps.  If you have a steamer you can crank that baby up, and within three minutes be good to go! Are you a corporate warrior?  Do you wear suits on a regular basis?  A garment s