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Savory Swiss Chard

Do you find yourself in a vegetable rut?  This time of year I find myself stuck eating the same vegetables over and over again...carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.  This may be a great time to pick up a bunch or two of fresh greens and change up your vegetable sides a bit.  Spinach is my usual leafy green vegetable of choice, so on my most recent trip to the grocery store I decided to shake things up with some Swiss Chard. Colorful Swiss Chard Prepare your Swiss chard by rinsing the leaves well and cutting about an inch from the stems.  Discard this portion of the stems.  The rest of the stems are tasty.  Cut the stems from the leaves and chop into 1 inch pieces.   Cut the leaves into 1/2 inch widths.  It's as simple as that. Savory Swiss Chard Ingredients Savory Swiss Chard 1 bunch of Swiss chard 1 tablespoon garlic flavored extra virgin olive oil 2 slices of bacon, diced 1/2 small red onion sliced 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 cup chicken stock Directio

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup If you are a fan of mushrooms you are most likely a fan of mushroom soup as well.  No, not the kind of mushroom soup that comes in a can, but the kind you make lovingly yourself.  It's a special treat. Do you think it is hard to make cream of mushroom soup?  Not at all.  It's actually a pretty quick soup to whip together and takes just a few simple ingredients. The star of the soup, of course, is the mushrooms.  I used a mixture of white button mushrooms and baby bellas, the small version of portabellas.  You can use whatever you have on hand or even use a fancy wild mushroom mix.  Whatever you choose, it is going to be good.  Trust me. Gather together your cast of characters.  You'll want to be sure you have a little sherry on hand.  No, you can not use cooking sherry.  I'm sorry if I'm sounding a little bossy here, but this, my friends is the secret love ingredient.  Sure, you can leave it out, but it just won't be as good as it

DIY Refinishing Oak Stars-Part 2

Last week I told you about a brand new toy, my orbital sander, and that I intended to put it to good use refinishing the stairs in my house .  Well, today I am happy to report that the project is well underway.  When last we left this saga I had completed three hours of prep work on three of the twelve stairs needing refinishing.  I chose the flight of three stairs above the landing as my starting point thinking the landing was an appropriate separation point for the work.  I'm expecting this project to take a few (maybe several) weeks to complete.  It makes sense to divide the work into multiple parts. Those three stairs got another hour and a half of sanding and then some dings and holes in the treads were filled with wood filler. Not being certain about whether my prep work was sufficient, I decided to go ahead and stain just one stair as a test.  That way I could assess how the stain would take to the wood, whether the stain color would be satisfactory, and if I neede

Game Day-Super Bowl Feast

Are you planning to gather some friends and family to watch the Patriots and the Giants battle for bragging rights on Super Bowl Sunday?  You'll be wanting some ideas for foods to serve that can be made ahead, will keep well throughout the game and will pack a punch of flavor.  Here are some ideas that I know will satisfy all your hungry football fans. Appetizers My Slammin' Guacamole  You can't have a football party without guacamole and chips, can you?  No, of course, you can't.  This recipe is chunky and delicious. Slammin' Guacamole My Favorite Salsa   You'll want some salsa with those chips in addition to the guacamole and this recipe is delicious.  We make it at our house all the time.  Watch out!  It's addictive, but this recipe makes plenty for a crowd. My Favorite Salsa Jalapeno Poppers   These jalapeno poppers are always a favorite at our gatherings.  I often make a batch a week or more ahead of when I will be serving them.  I jus

Making Yogurt at Home

Yogurt is a staple food in my refrigerator.  I've been a fan of the Yoplait Light line of yogurts for several years.  With flavors like Boston cream pie, strawberry shortcake and raspberry cheesecake, what's not to like?  I also like that Yoplait Light has 100 or 110 calories per six ounce container, making it a sensible snack.  Last year I tried making my own yogurt at home using a crock pot .  That was a surprisingly easy and successful way to make plain yogurt at home, but I really like having my yogurt portioned out in individual serving size containers.  Oh, sure, I could have done that on my own, but I didn't own any appropriately sized containers.  Excuses...Excuses... Yogurt Maker That brings me to my new favorite kitchen gadget.  I received a yogurt maker as a gift and have been busy making a batch of yogurt once a week since receiving it.  The yogurt maker came with the yogurt cooker and seven, six ounce glass containers with screw on lids.  The lids als

DIY Refinishing Oak Stairs-Part 1

Has hell frozen over?  Have pigs started flying?  I ask because last week I made a purchase that must have happened as a result of one of those two things.  Those of you who know me will agree, I'm sure, when I tell what that purchase was. My Very Own Power Tool Yes, friends, I purchased a power tool of my very own.  It's my first...and only...power tool, or any kind of tool, for that matter.  Yes, we have tools at my house.  They are Hubby's tools.  I don't touch them as a rule.  Well, occasionally I touch them.  I have been known to screw in a loose screw, or hammer a nail that is sticking out where it shouldn't be.  Power tools have been left to Hubby's domain...Well, except for the electric hedge trimmer.  I kind of like that one. Let's get back to MY power tool.  It's a variable speed orbital sander.  Cool, huh?  I bet you are wondering what I am going to do with it, right?  Well, I have gotten a bee in my bonnet, so to speak, and have decid

The Citrus Zing Martini

While in Florida a month or two ago I had the most delicious grapefruit martini at a restaurant.  We asked for the recipe, but the bartender was vague wanting to keep the proprietary concoction under wraps.  Ever since I've been wanting to recreate the flavors of that martini.  You know what I mean, don't you?  Sometimes you get something stuck in your brain and it just won't go away. The Citrus Zing Martini Well, earlier this week I made a Pan Seared Cod with Citrus Salad that got me thinking about the flavors in that grapefruit martini.  It would be a great addition to share during Citrus Week here on Just One Donna . Unfortunately,  I would definitely not be able to recreate the original martini, but I thought I could make myself a tasty impostor. Voila!  The Citrus Zing Martini was born. Citrus Zing Martini Printer Friendly Recipe Serves 1 The Ingredients 2 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice 2 ounces mandarin orange vodka (I used Absolut) 1 oun