This week I revisited a post from Halloween past, courtesy of BuzzFeed. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few great pics proving that dogs really will do almost anything to be a man's best friend...
Many years ago after my husband and I rendevued throughout the streets of Italy, I became an espresso drinker, of course. And not only was I an espresso drinker, but when I came back home, I realized I was quite a picky espresso drinker. So I ended up testing out coffee shops and espresso makers, and ultimately fell in love with the Bialetti Espresso Press.
Fast forward a few years and my poor espresso press broke, by no fault of its own, purely by user error. I once again dabbled in using some of the espresso makers and richer coffee makers that we had on hand, but none of them took me back to the streets of Rome as much as my Bialetti. Add it to the list of so many great things that are made in Italy.
So buy another one, I surely did, and promise to take care of it, I will!
Now that it is finally getting colder in the Northeast I’ve been thinking about warming Fall meals and there is nothing that says early Fall like braised duck with dried fruit. Serve it with a side of polenta or cheesy grits for an unforgettable entrée.
Four whole duck legs
Cup of dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes)
Red Wine (French table wine will do)
-Add enough olive oil to coat a 12 inch skillet (cast iron is preferable).
-Sear duck skin side down and flip once, sufficiently browning both sides.
-Add stock and wine until duck legs are a quarter of the way submerged.
-Season with salt and pepper (teaspoon or more each).
-Add a cup of dried fruit and put heat down to medium low, cover, and cook for one hour – one hour, fifteen minutes.
-Remove each leg to serving plate, drain skillet for liquid and reduce on high to make an incredibly flavorful, medium thick sauce.
Yesterday was my mom's birthday. And anyone that knew my mom, knew my mom's Poppyseed Cakes. She would deliver them for any occasion - new neighbors, first day back to school, birthdays, holidays - she loved any reason to bake someone a Poppyseed Cake. And truly, we all loved receiving and eating them!
Well, my boys couldn't have said it better, "It's a birthday, we need cake." So in my mom's honor, we made her Poppyseed Cake. And I want to share it with everyone, just as she would.
Poppyseed Cake Recipe
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (you will not follow the instructions or use the ingredients listed on the box)
1 package of Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 cup Hot Water
1/2 Cup of Oil
1/2 Small Bottle Almond Extract
1 Small Jar of Poppyseeds
Mix all ingredients together in an electric mixer. Pour into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (depending on oven). Cool on a rack.
Pendleton Woolen Mills is a textile company that is truly American in nature. Famous for its blankets and throws, the patterns reflect the original founding of the company with Native American inspired design polished by a Brit's weaver expertise. And true to the nature of the state of origin, Oregon, wool is meant to keep its owner warm. It's a company that has stayed true to its founding.
In addition to supporting its original heritage and artists by backing the Indian Arts & Crafts Act, Pendleton is also a proud supporter of the National Parks with a line of products dedicated to the foundation. One of which has become a recent addition to our household, the National Park dog bed, which comes in Acadia, Crater Lake, Glacier Park, Grand Canyon, and Rainier.
Glacier Park shown with Bear
Founded in 1863, Pendleton has been family run and operated ever since. And check out their blog - did you know the Beach Boys were initially the Pendletones?!
I have been wanting to try to make homemade pasta for a long time now, but you know how life is, something always comes up - we're getting married, work's too busy, we're moving, we're having a baby, we're moving again, and another baby, and let's throw one more move in there just for fun! :)
Somewhere along the way I finally acquired a classic Kitchen Aid stand mixer and last Mother's Day I received the pasta attachment and voila! There were no more excuses.
So folks, it was on my to do list (for many years), and I finally did, and I now do make homemade pasta all the time! It's so easy, and so flavorful, and it's loads of fun for all! But just a heads up, once you go fresh, you'll never go back... So, here it is, super easy fresh pasta the old fashioned way:
2 cups of flour
pinch of salt
Pour the flour into a bowl. Sprinkle in the salt, as desired. Crack in the eggs.
Using your hand, combine together all ingredients. *
Work with the dough, kneading for a good 5-10 minutes to help ensure it is smooth. The more you work with it now, the easier it will be to roll out.
Let rest for 5-30 minutes. Again, the longer it rests, the easier it'll be to work with, but if you are in a time crunch, it will still be ok...
Once dough is ready, roll it out using a rolling pin, or a handy dandy pasta rolling machine! **
Cut the dough into the desired shape, boil hot water and cook for no more than 5 minutes.
* If it's too sticky, add more flour. If it's too dry, add just a touch of water.
** When using a machine to roll out your dough, you will break the dough into smaller balls and stretch the balls out slightly so it fits into the machine. If the dough is tough or sticky, just remember that flour is your friend!
C.O. Bigelow, the oldest apothecary in America, is more than just a modern day pharmacy - it's an experience. But the brick and mortar is a separate post in and of itself... I'm here to talk product.
Playing with different recipes and potions for over 180 years, C.O. Bigelow products are tried, tested, and true. And better yet, whether in the store or on the web, the pharmacy tells you just why they have chosen those specific ingredients.
Like cane sugar?
"Speeds up the healing process of wounds and wrinkles. Packed with beta carotene it also provides antibacterial and anti-fungal protection."
So it makes sense for a body scrub...
"Extremely moisturizing and soothing, with antibacterial properties that are great for acne treatment and prevention while antioxidants slow aging."
Makes perfect sense for a lotion.
I have mentioned before that I am a fan of C.O. Bigelow lip care, and today I bring to you their quality line of hair care.
"Not Your Ordinary"
Not Your Ordinary Shampoo and Conditioner are a year 'round go to for me. The shampoo has an ever-so-slight coconut smell, which is always delightful.
"Lemon for All"
The Lemon Shampoo and Conditioner truly is for all hair types, even us thin and dry or extra oily types. Because of its slight fragrance, I especially love to use this product in the summer.
Last but not least is Mentha, which of course can be a little bit more pungent due to its main ingredient, but I absolutely love this Shampoo and Conditioner for the winter season.
Whether it's Hot Toddy, Cider and Rum, Mulled Wine, or a Fire Punch, they all help to warm you up in many ways!
Mulled Wine, a popular seasonal favorite has been around for ages, much as wine itself. Used for drinking, and cooking, and a mix in between, Mulled Wine most likely made its first appearance under the Roman empire. And while it may be called many different names in many different countries, with many different recipes, the one commonality is that it is served in the winter and served to combat the cold.
Mulled Wine Recipe
Your favorite bottle of Red Wine
Sugar or Honey
Cinnamon, and any other spices that you enjoy
Orange slices and/or Lemons slices and/or Apple slices
1) Pour your bottle of wine into stove top friendly pot and turn on the heat.
2) Add some honey or some sugar, not too much, just a touch for some sweet flavor.
3) Add your spices of choice - Cinnamon is always a favorite!
4) Add some fruit if you'd like, for flavor, or save it for a garnish upon serving.
5) Heat on the stove top over low-medium heat and remove right before a boil (you don't want to lose the alcohol!). Serve immediately.