November 25, 2009

Words for Wednesday

I will let Abe's words speak for themself. A favorite quote of mine that speaks volumes and still holds true today. I actually have quite a few words from Abe, I'm sure he'll be featured again soon. :)




November 20, 2009

Excited for. . .

This, no further explanation needed.


Seeing these 3 cuties, three generations of Italian boys!


And one more for him, little brother. Bless his heart.


Leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for Arizona, so excited! Meeting up with sis at the Detroit airport and then we're off for a week in the sun. I know you're worried sick about no posts from me, rest easy, I'm sure I'll be updating from there :)

November 18, 2009

Let's hear it for the boys

The Spartans pulled off a pretty good win last night! It was a real nail biter though! And just in case you forgot, we're ranked 2 right now!! Loving the start of basketball season.

                                                     I love these guys.



Next up: Toledo, Friday the 20th @ 6:30 PM

Pictures from www.msuspartans.com

Hanging on

. . . to that last, last bit of summer.

My geranium in the backyard is growing like it's mid-July. Cut a few before they're gone for good! They actually make great cut flowers, who knew? I've never cut them before, but they're lasting great. Something to remember for next summer, which feels like a lifetime away. Sigh.


In the Kitchen: White Chili

I cooked up a little something this weekend. White Turkey Chili, a first for me. I had some extra ground turkey I wanted to use and found this recipe online. I thought it turned out pretty good, and it was so simple to make! I added chopped onions and a chopped up jalapeno to the recipe. Here's a look at how it went...

                                Everything's assembled



                                Browning the turkey


                               Let's get cookin'



                               Yum, yum!


November 11, 2009

A Salute

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  [Cynthia Ozick]





Thanks to all the brave men and women who have fought and are still fighting for our freedom. Today, and every day, we salute you. 

Words for Wednesday


November 9, 2009

Zocalo

A new find in Chicago for awesome Mexican inspired food! Mama D was in town for the weekend and we had heard of this restaurant through friends. We gave it a try on Saturday night -- and it did not disappoint. Of course I failed to bring my regular camera with me, and the one thing my phone can't do well is take pictures in dimly light places. I got a couple of photos from their website which I hope will suffice.

We weren't able to make reservations but went relatively early (6ish) and were easily seated. We ended up sitting at a high table in the bar because it seemed like that's where the action was. I loved the ambience, a lot of candles and soft lighting, very cozy feel.


First let me say that the service was amazing. Our waitress was very attentive and friendly, and the bus boys would not let our water get even the slightest bit empty!

Mama started with a margarita and said it was delish. Unfortunately, I had to abstain because I was still hurting from the night before. (Oh look, I got one picture!)


We started with the ceviche playero. It was fantastic, tasted very fresh and was perfect with the homemade chips, corn and sweet plantain. For our entrees I chose the Zocalo steak fajitas and M had one of the specials, vegetarian empanadas. I was so pleased with my meal, I am not sure what kind of steak it was, maybe skirt or hanger, but it was so tender and flavorful. The empanadas were also good.

I am so happy to have a new place for drinks and dinner. They also run some pretty good specials during the week; a BYOB night and half-off appetizers, to name a few.

November 6, 2009

la dolce vita

Dreaming of Italy today....

gorgeous positano





All of the pictures were taken by my talented big sister during our 2008 trip. We are beyond anxious to plan our third trip back to the homeland!

Happy Friday!

November 4, 2009

Words for Wednesday



Ever since the seventh grade when I had to do an English project with quotes, I have loved finding, reading and sharing my favorite quotes or words of inspiration. I have kept a "Quotes Binder" since seventh grade and continually add to it. I love to page through, it's like reading a favorite book! Naturally, I love Quotable Cards products. The above is one of their cards.

November 3, 2009

A brie love affair

And no, it's not brief, it's very much on-going. This started back in my East Lansing days (see glory days) during a trip to Beggar's for Wine Wednesday. It was always half-off appetizers and wine on Wednesdays. One of my friends ordered the baked brie and the rest is history!

I love to make this rendition for parties and gatherings. It is SO simple and tastes delish. Just add vino...

You start with a wheel of brie, your choice on the size depending on how many you want to serve. You will also need one or two packages (depending on wheel size) of Pillsbury crescent rolls or comparable pastry crust.



Preheat the oven to 350. Then flatten out the crescent rolls and knead together along the seams if you bought more than one package. Wrap this around the brie and place it, seam side down, onto a baking sheet. This will need to bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust becomes golden in color and flaky in texture.

While the brie is baking slice up an apple or two and arrange crackers on a dish. When the brie is done, serve warm! I find a perfect bite to have cracker, apple and brie, and of course a glass of wine in your other hand.





I served this with an Italian wine, one of my favorites from Montelpulciano, a town in Tuscany I visited in 2006. This region actually has a special kind of grape called, Montelpulciano d' Abruzzo and every single wine I have had made with this grape is fantastico! This variety, from Trader Joe's, actually happens to be made with organic grapes which I think is cool. More, much, much more, on Italy later!!



November 1, 2009

Fall in the city

As much as I dislike Fall and the nearing of Winter, the season does allow for some beautiful fall landscaping. One thing I love to watch in the city are the changing sidewalk planters. They are done quite elaborately for each season, a little bit of green in the otherwise concrete jungle. Here are a few things I captured walking downtown on my lunch last week.

And just bear with me on the photo quality, I'm no professional and to make matters worse, I took all of these with my phone! Hope you enjoy anyway!


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