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Showing posts with the label Product Review

Using Countertop Water Filtration in Your Kitchen

Have you considered installing a water-filtering system in your kitchen? If you are like me, you may have been curious about water filtration systems and how they can improve the quality and taste of your tap water for some time. Every year about this time I get a report from my town about the quality of water it supplies. It always makes me stop and wonder if I can do better. Installing Stand-Alone Countertop Water Filtration in Your Kitchen So when BigBerkey gave me  the BigBerkey countertop water filtration system  to try in my home for the first time, I was very excited. Here are some of the reasons why I decided to give it a try and what I have learned so far from the experience.

Coffee and Dessert-A Perfect Pairing

Coffee and dessert go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly, night and day, or Thelma and Louise. I've teamed up with three blogging friends who love coffee and dessert as much as I do to bring you three of their favorite fall desserts to pair with three specialty coffee drinks I've made in the Ninja Coffee Bar System. I was very excited to receive this Ninja Coffee Bar System (Model CF092) to review.  I am by no means a coffee snob but I do like a good cup of coffee.  I also like a coffee maker that is easy to use and can be depended on to produce a consistent cup of coffee day in and day-out.  In the past few years, I have used a Keurig single-serving system, a French press, and a Cuisinart drip coffee maker. The Keurig is sitting on a shelf in my basement, the French press is on a high shelf in the kitchen and the Cuisinart sits in my beverage center waiting for me to return to it while I take the Ninja Coffee Bar System for a test drive.   I have been using

Steals and Deals-A Modular Bar

I'm a big online shopper.  I guess you can even say I was an early adopter of online shopping.  When I discovered online shopping it allowed me to improve the efficiency of my shopping technique over the usual approach of browsing from store to store until I found the very best price for whatever it was I was shopping for. The trouble with the brick-and-mortar store search was that shopping took forever. With online shopping, the time I have to spend searching out my deals is reduced exponentially. At least, the time I save  seems  like an exponential improvement to me.  I also appreciate the wider variety of options I can find online and the ease of making pricing comparisons.  Occasionally I score a deal I want to share with all of you.  My new modular bar is one of those deals. My Modular Bar I first saw this modular bar at Pottery Barn .  You may have seen it as well.  It has been prominently displayed in various Pottery Barn catalogs over the past few years.  It can b

Dining Room Update

It's absolutely true what is said about the snowball effect of home upgrades.  A little paint here turns into new paint everywhere.  Fix a broken tile here and soon whole floors need changing.  Well, that's what has been happening in my "Just One Donna" home.  Spring brought us a brand new kitchen and that kitchen makes everything else feel old and worn out. Not one to throw it all out with the bath water, so to speak, I have been working hard to find ways to update on a budget.  Freshening up doesn't mean you have to break your budget.   One room of focus has been the dining room which is adjacent to the kitchen.  It's a work in progress, but I've made a few changes to get some momentum going.  First, let's take a look at the before dining room.  You can see it is a very traditional dining room.  I love the traditional feel but wanted to add some more modern accents. Three things have changed.  The first and most impactful change was replaci

Metallic Paint Updates a Dated Light Fixture

I'm in overdrive these days, working to make our vacation getaway feel like a home away from home in just a few, short weeks.   With a number of pricey changes underway in this new-to-us home, prioritizing expenditures is important.  So, instead of replacing the existing gold toned bathroom light fixtures, I decided to try to make them tolerable for a period of time. A Budget Friendly Way to Update Light Fixtures Using Metallic Paint Dated Light Fixtures I remembered the transformation a metallic glaze made to some old, brass urns I had purchased years ago,  Perhaps the same paint would transform the light fixture for me?  Well, it was worth a try.  The existing light fixtures were a ghastly brassy-gold color that needed to be toned down a bit. The light fixture makeover was an easy, four step process: Step One :  Remove the fixtures from the wall. Step Two:  Clean the Fixtures. Step Three:  Apply the metallic paint and let it dry.  I used a Coffee Glaze,

Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts

Whenever Hubby and I dine in an Italian restaurant with Chicken Marsala on the menu it is a safe bet that he will choose the Chicken Marsala for his dinner.  That's why, when I heard that one of Buitoni's new pastas being introduced in the the Northeast was Chicken Marsala Ravioli, I knew he would love it. Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts I decided to make a traditional Marsala sauce for the Buitoni Chicken Marsala raviolis, but kicked up the color and flavor of the dish with the addition of prosciutto, red pepper and artichoke hearts.  Buitoni provided coupons that allowed me to try the pasta for free, but as always, the recipe and my opinion about the pasta are all mine. Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts Serves 4 The Chicken Marsala Ravioli and Artichoke Hearts Ingredients 2 packages Buitoni Chicken Marsala Ravioli 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into ribbons 1 can artichoke he

Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in Pistachio Cream Sauce

This week I am posting a couple of recipes highlighting fresh packaged pastas from Buitoni .  The fine folks at Buitoni recently contacted me to let me know they were launching two new pastas in New England and to ask me if I would be interested in showcasing them in Just One Donna recipes.  I jumped at the opportunity, mainly because it would be an opportunity to demonstrate how quality prepackaged foods can help all of us to prepare knock your socks off dishes for our families and friends. Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in a Pistachio Cream Sauce This post is sponsored by Buitoni.  I was given coupons with which I was able to purchase the Buitoni Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti pasta used in today's recipe for free from my local grocery store.  As a thank you, Buitoni also sent me a cutting board, an apron and a kitchen towel.  The recipe is mine, as is my opinion about the pasta. Butternut squash soup is a favorite of mine.  I make it all the time during the

Update Time

I'm on the run today with no time for a full on post, so I thought I'd post some quick updates... Remember the wild goose chase I was on?  Yes, I was obsessed with the need to find a garden stool for my three season room.  The wild goose chase is ovem thanks to my very good friend, Robin.  She found me a white garden stool at a local Home Goods store.  Thanks, Robin! My Garden Stool Today is May 14th and I still have healthy poinsettias growing indoors.  I'm amazed at how well my plants lasted!  I'm trying to decide whether to compost them or plant them outside.  A Poinsettia in May Anyone else still nurturing poinsettia plants?  Should I bother to plant them outside? Phase I of my vegetable garden is growing well. My Sugar Snap Peas and Spinach I'm looking forward to my first harvest. The Garlic and Lettuce How does you garden grow? Enjoy!

Making Egg Salad

Making a tasty egg salad starts with perfect hard boiled eggs.  Do you have trouble making perfect hard boiled eggs?  There a couple of simple things to keep in mind, but anyone can make a perfect hard boiled egg.  From there you can make an equally perfect egg salad. First, you'll need some eggs.  I like to use either large or extra large eggs.  Any size will do, your choice is a matter of preference.  Ideally, your eggs should be a week or more old, because a little age will make it easier to peel the shells.  This is more important if you are serving your hard boiled eggs whole or halved because they will look prettier.  The eggs I used to make my egg salad were very fresh and as a result, the shells were very hard to peel. Fresh Eggs May be Harder to Peel Place your eggs in a pot with a lid and cover them completely with cold water.  Place the covered pot on your stove over medium high heat.  When the pot comes to a boil remove it from the heat and leave it covered on th