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Showing posts from April, 2011

Conquering Broken Nails

I've been having a lot of trouble growing my fingernails lately. By lately I mean for at least the last five years.   This is frustrating for me because prior to this I had strong, healthy nails.  Not anymore.  Now I have nails that do nothing but break and peel.  Getting them to grow out past the tip of my fingers is viewed as an achievement these days. I take care of my hands and nails.  I use hand lotion to fight dryness.  I wear rubber gloves when I wash dishes and garden gloves when I muck around in the dirt.  So abuse is not the cause of my nail dilemma. Why am I telling you this?  Well, I recently started using some OPI nail polish that seems to be improving my nails.  I should tell you that I do my own nails.  I have never, ever had my nails done by a manicurist.  I know, that's hard to believe in this day in age, but it is true.  I don't like the idea of manicures, pedicures, facials, or spa treatments.  I have issues. Enough about my issues.  Back to my new

A Pineapple Cocktail

It is time.  Time for what, you ask?   A Pineapple Martini for Cocktail Time Time, my friends, for us to mix a delectable concoction with the pineapple infused vodka I made a week ago.  First we must prepare our cocktail glasses.  First, select the glasses you will use.  I have some lovely glasses from Williams Sonoma that I absolutely love. Love, I tell you, L-O-V-E.  They are not inexpensive, friends, but using these special cocktail glasses makes your drinks just that much more delectable.  These are $20 each, so you probably won't want enough on hand for a cocktail party, but having two makes sharing a cocktail with your honey a little more... Add Sugared Rims to the Martini Glasses Now, back to preparing the glasses.  I really like sugared rims on my cocktails.  I know, it's very girly of me, but what can I say?  I like it, OK?  So, let's take some turbinado sugar (you can get it in the grocery store) and mix a bit with one teaspoon (more or less) of grat

A Visit to Cleveland Ohio

I just got back from Cleveland, Ohio.  I went to visit my sister who had a milestone birthday.  My visit was a surprise for her.  We don't get to see each other nearly enough! I arrived on Thursday and returned home yesterday.  While there the local news said this month was the tenth most rainy in history.  The rain continued through most of the weekend with only one day of sun.  Easter was rainy and with a yard full of mud, we had to cancel the Easter egg hunt. The rainy weather just kept on coming.  Here is the weather radar map from 10:00 Sunday night. We had one break in the weather.  That was Saturday.  Saturday afternoon was sunny, warm and breezy.  We took the opportunity to get out and experience nature through a visit to the Cleveland Botanical Garden . There was a lovely tropical garden filled with interesting plants, animals and butterflies.  Lots and lots of butterflies. This was the weekend for the daffodil flower show.  It was interesting to see many,

Five Popular Herbs to Grow at Home

Fresh herbs are a beautiful thing.  They are miracle workers in the kitchen transforming the simple and plain into the sublime.  Do you use fresh herbs in your cooking?  If you don't, you really must start now.  There are five popular herbs I consider essential in my daily cooking.   They are chives, parsley, basil, rosemary and mint. You'll find these herbs readily available at your local grocery store, but they are easy to grow in your home herb garden or in pots on a patio, deck or terrace.  I've been growing these herbs for several years in pots on my deck.  That keeps them handy for watering, they provide texture and greenery, they smell great whenever I brush against them and they are handy for snipping and adding to recipes. Chives Growing In My Garden Chives are the easiest of all these herbs to grow.  This is one herb you can plant and forget.  It's a perennial herb and once established chives will grow year after year with very little effort on your par

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  I'm celebrating the holiday with my family today and hope you are as well.  As I celebrate this joyous day I want to share with you some pictures from the shoreline I love. Catching A Sunrise The Sun's Rays Creating a Rainbow in the Spray Tranquility A Beautiful Sunset Enjoy your day! Here are some other posts you might enjoy about the beach: Oh Sunny Days Cabin Fever Antidote-A Walk On the Beach Baby It's Cold Outside Sea Glass

Pineapple Infused Vodka

Making a delicious cocktail is more art than science.  At least that is the case at Just One Donna's house.  The art of the cocktail has become a hobby at our house.  We look forward to the end of the week when we share a cocktail, relaxing together in our family room or on our deck.  The drink is just one of the elements of our cocktail hour.  The other key elements are: 1.  Festive glassware 2.  Fun and colorful cocktail napkins 3.  Delectable appetizers A key to a delicious cocktail is the quality and freshness of your ingredients.  One way we like to customize our ingredients is with infused spirits.  Today I'm sharing our pineapple infused vodka.  It is simple to infuse your vodka.  All you need is a fruit at peak ripeness, a glass container with a cover and vodka. Let's see how we do it. First prepare your fruit.  For pineapple, you will need to cut the top off the fruit. Then cut the bottom. Next, cut the peel off the sides.  Then slice the

Five Dinner Survival Tips for Parents

Today's post is in the spirit of Been There, Done That!  For many years our Just One Donna!  household was one with two parents working outside the home dealing with long work hours and frustrating commutes.  Even so, it was important at our house to have an evening meal together as often as we could during the week. Do you embrace the concept that a family that eats together, stays together?  We always viewed our family dinner as a time to take a breath, catch up and stay connected.   Are you spending too much money on takeout and restaurant meals?  Cooking at home can save both money and calories.  It's win-win all around. "OK," you say.  "I buy in, but it is easier said than done."  You are so right.  It is easier said than done, but if we could do it, so can you.  Here's some suggestions on how to get started. 1.  Develop a repertoire of "good food, fast" meals.   By fast I mean meals that take 30 minutes from in the door to on the ta

Two Delicious Pizzas

Pizza is a weekend meal at our house, usually on Friday night, but occasionally on Saturday or Sunday.  It's my "let's just relax and hang out" meal. The other day we were feeling wild and crazy and made three different kinds of pizza.  It's simple to make multiple kinds of pizza.  All it takes is a little planning to be sure you have the toppings you need on hand.  It's also a great way to use up ingredients you may have left from other dishes you prepared during the week. Hot Italian Sausage Pizza One of the pizzas we made was our favorite Hot Italian Sausage and Cheese Pizza. I've told you about that before, so no need to go into it again.  It was yummy as always! The others were Basil Pesto and Ricotta Cheese Pizza and BBQ Chicken Pizza. Pizza making does require some preparation.  While you can make your pizza dough the day you plan to make your pizza, the dough will benefit from a slow rise in the refrigerator. I recommend making th

Linguine and Shrimp Scampi

Sometimes I get on a kick.  Some might find that fact a point for criticism, but I think it is a charming little quirk, even if I say so myself.  The kick I am on now is related to lemons...and shrimp.  I seem to be obsessed with lemons.  I got in the mood for shrimp the other night and because lemons are on my mind a lot lately I thought of shrimp scampi.  Shrimp Scampi for Lemon Lovers Shrimp Scampi I shared a delicious Baked Shrimp Scampi recipe with you a little while ago, but I wanted to make one with pasta.  This linguine and shrimp scampi tasted light, lemony and delicious.  It makes a perfect spring dinner. I love cooking shrimp for dinner on busy weeknights.  The meal comes together so quickly you can have your dinner on the table in a flash.  This shrimp scampi doesn't taste like a quick and easy dinner.  It's that yummy! Shrimp Scampi Ingredients Linguine and Shrimp Scampi Printer Friendly Recipe Serves 3-4 Ingredients 1 teaspo