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Chicken and Stuffing

Chicken and Stuffing As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter here in the Northeast I find myself migrating toward recipes that are comfy, cozy and homey.  Chicken and stuffing as a name for this recipe really doesn't do it justice.  The chicken is moist, tender and very flavorful because it is cooked on the bone.  The stuffing is moist and filled with the flavors of herbs, onion and celery.  Bringing the two together is the mushroom and wine sauce made from that old standby, cream of mushroom soup.  Don't judge me, now!  You know you have some in your pantry for dishes just like this one. The great thing about a recipe like this one besides its homey deliciousness is that it can easily be scaled to serve a few more, or many more.  It takes about 30 minutes to prepare and an hour to bake.  That means it won't work as a last minute weeknight dinner, but consider adding it to your menu rotation for the days when you have a little extra time. Chicken and Stu

Greek Inspired Baked Cheese Appetizer

Appetizers, little bites, hors d'oeuvres, tapas, small plates, antipasto, canapes, whatever you might call the tasty morsels you eat before a meal, are my obsession lately.  I've been on a quest to find the five to ten appetizers that can be prepared in a flash, but pack that burst of flavor I look for in my before meal bites. A Baked Cheese Appetizer Greek Inspired Baked Cheese One appetizer I have been making lately is a baked cheese appetizer inspired by the Greek bouyiourdi , a mixture of tomatoes and Feta cheese.  Served with crackers or a crusty bread, this is a perfect winter appetizer enjoyed in front of a fire with a glass of wine.  It also transfers just as well, to your backyard patio, sitting around a fire-pit, enjoying a summer evening. This recipe is not meant to replicate bouyiourdi.  You can do that by searching the internet starting with the link above.  It is meant to inspire you to think about combinations of cheese and aromatic vegetables that wil

The Rhode Island Beach Before and After Sandy

Public access to most of our local beach area is blocked by the National Guard, but this weekend I was able to walk a two mile stretch of the beach to see the Hurricane Sandy impact. Those of you who read Just One Donna regularly know that I love the beach.  I feel very lucky to live so close to the ocean's beauty and can't imagine ever living too far away.  We, New Englanders, are used to storms and the resulting beach erosion. It seems to come with the territory.  We check our beaches at the end of each winter to see whether or not we lost a significant amount of our precious beachfront to Mother Nature's fury.  Sandy was much more than our usual nor'easter.  The media dubbed it a super storm.   A storm of that magnitude was bound to wreak havoc. Sadly, many of the homes and businesses in the area sustained significant damage or were destroyed by Sandy.  Assessment of the full extent of the damage is underway.  Today's focus is specifically on the storm's

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes I try to make weeknight dinners at my house quick, but tasty.  My goal is to have the total prep-to-plate time be less than sixty minutes.  One of the ways I accomplish that is by keeping the components simple, using a few high-quality ingredients.  Our dinners usually have three components, either a meat and two vegetables or a meat, vegetable, and starch.  I like this roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes side dish because it combines two of the components into one dish. This dish works particularly well when my meat entree is being roasted in the oven because it can cook along with the roasting meat.  An added benefit is the wonderful aroma that fills your kitchen as the bacon, garlic, and onion flavor the Brussels sprouts and potatoes.  So yummy! You'll notice the recipe calls for you to roast the vegetables in a preheated 400 degrees F oven, but if you are cooking them along with another dish at a lower temperature, just cook th

Choosing Paint for Interior Walls

Are you contemplating painting a room or two in your home?  Recently, I went through the process of selecting paint for an entire house.  It felt like an overwhelming decision at first, so I thought I'd share some of my experience to help you when faced with making paint decisions. How to Select Paint Colors for Your Home The Beach-My Color Inspiration Step One:  Look to Your Favorite Things for Inspiration One of the first steps in the paint selection process is to decide on the color pallet you will be working with.  If you have existing furniture that you will be integrating into the room you'll want to use colors from the furniture to guide your selection.  In my case, I was starting with empty rooms, so I looked to some of my favorite things for inspiration. Step Two:  Find Inspiration Rooms The next step for me was looking for other rooms that were decorated using the same colors.  One of the first places I look for decorating inspiration these days is ww

Finding Inspiration When Selecting Paint

Have you selected paint to redecorate a room in your house lately?  My goodness, it sure can be overwhelming!  Just take a look in the paint section of your local paint store.  The array of colors to choose from seems endless.  How do you start?  It is even harder when you are thinking about painting multiple rooms at one time.  Coordinating a number of room colors just multiplies the complexity.   Where to Find Paint Color Inspiration Recently, I was faced with the challenge of selecting a color palette for our new vacation home.  The house was painted throughout in a peach tone, which just didn't float my boat. Peach Walls Throughout Start with things you love.  As you may know, I'm a beach lover and with this home being located near the beach I decided first to look to the beach for inspiration. My Favorite Beach Pull inspiration from the colors that evoke the feelings you want in your home.  The stone colored tones in the sand and the complex array of blue

A Decorating Road Map

For the past two months I've been immersed in a decorating dilemma.  After all the excitement of finding and buying our vacation home, the next step was to begin the decorating.  Some of you might find this to be a fun, creative challenge, but for me decorating is more often an overwhelming challenge.  That's especially true when the space I am decorating is new to me. Seven Steps to Guide Home Decorating Living Room-Before Decorating is easier for me when I know the space.  I like to have a sense of how the rooms will be used.  Where will we hang out most?  How will the light from outside fill the space?  Which cabinets will house the plates?  Which drawers are best for the utensils?  What direction should the beds face? How will the storage spaces the organized?  Can I imagine family and friends filling the rooms with conversation and laughter? Dining Room-Before It may seem strange, but one of the things I like to do when faced with decorating a new space is