Recipe for tonight

Thursday, February 25, 2010 | | 18 comments
One of my favorite restaurants in Mystic serves the most amazing risotto. It's creamy and thick; it melts in your mouth and each bite just gets better and better.

I've never made risotto before. To be honest I've been rather afraid of it ~ I have no explanation of this fear. I'd consider myself to be a very seasoned cook of sorts and often make up my own recipes.

 After talking with a friend, I decided to face my fear and take on a risotto recipe.

Seriously now, I thought this was going to be such a flop that I had our local pizza place on speed dial so I could call in an emergency order.

I'm happy to say that no only was it easy {I have no idea where this displaced fear came from}, it was delicious! 
I will be making this again very soon. 

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Tomato and Sausage Risotto

1 can {28oz} Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3 cups water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage {I used turkey sausage}
1 large onion chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1cup dry white wine
10 cups baby spinach
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbs butter

In a pan combine tomatoes and their juice with 3 cups water and bring to a strong simmer.

Heat olive oil and cook the sausage and onion until no longer pink and onions are tender. Add the rice and wine. Cook for about 3 minutes.

To the rice mixture, add 2 cups of the tomatoes. Simmer and stir until absorbed. Continue to add tomatoe mixure 1 cup at a time. Wait until absorbed before adding more. This process will take about 25 minutes.

Once all the liquid has been added, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach, cheese, and butter. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

A tossed veggie salad goes very nicely with this dish.

Bon Appetite

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Black & White Wednesday with the Boz

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | | 24 comments
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Meet Mr. Bozely, he is our one year old English Bulldog.

This little {or not so much} guy has more personality than energy.
If you are at all familiar with this breed, then you know they like to enjoy a relaxing lifestyle.
This is not to be confused with lazy {ha!} They are all about exercise as long as the end result is in the form of a treat follow by a lengthy nap. 

Boz has a fairly hectic schedule to be honest.

*Wakes up the entire household every morning
 * The official greeter of each guest who enters
* Life of every party that is hosted
* Security system {when not sleeping}
* Taste tester {or at least would like to be}
* Foot warmer for cold New England winters

most importantly ...

* Woman's best friend and silent confidant!

It's a "ruff" life ;)

Join in the fun with Lisa's Black and White Wednesdays

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Flower power

Monday, February 22, 2010 | | 11 comments
{click on picture to enlarge}
On Saturday we went to the Flower Show in Providence, Rhode Island. Just being in a room filled with fresh blooms, brilliant greens and landscapes created by artists was almost more than I could handle. I was ready to strip off my winter wardrobe and break out my Lily. Words simply cannot express how ready I am for SPRING. There were so many beautiful displays of gorgeous flowers and fantastic landscaping ideas. I took notes and pictures in hopes of introducing a few new scenes in our yard this year. I was also lucky enough to pick up a few treasures that I'll share with you all later.
The lighting was poor so my pictures are a tad yellow but, if you live in an area that is currently blanketed in white, it won't really matter since it's a color we haven't seen in months! :)

My favorites were the baby elephant created from plants and flowers as well as the bird bar. Their cocktails are martini glasses filled with birdseed ~ hilarious!

Just to keep me in check, we are due for a week of rain, sleet and finishing up with several inches of snow.

Oh Mother Nature, you certainly have a quirky sense of humor.

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He loves me ...

Saturday, February 20, 2010 | | 16 comments
I had a couple days off this week to celebrate President's Day.
My sweet husband told me he had a little something up his sleeve on Valentine's Day. To my glorious surprise, he had planned the perfect little rest and relaxation overnight.
On Valentine's, he gave me beautiful flowers, a bottle of massage oil, and a sweet card. Inside the card he told me where we were going and what he had organized.
{the pictures are out of order but I'm too tired to redo them}
We had dinner at Todd English's Tuscany
This is one of my most favorite places to dine.

He took this of me when we arrived. The room was lovely and I was thrilled that I was being treated like a princess.

My beautiful flowers. I don't care for roses, don't judge me, but I do LOVE tulips!

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The massage oil that was the "messenger" of my surprise.
We went to Elemis Spa. I was treated to Stress Reducing Massage and a pedicure ~ ahhhh.

Please note the bow on the bottle. It's tied like a tie.
The inside joke to this one is that I always make fun of how he ties his tie. He can't put it around his neck, he has to tie if off his neck and then puts it on.
He cracks me up!

It was the perfect little break out of the norm and I enjoyed every minute!

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Black and White Wednesday on skates

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | | 26 comments

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What's better than a fresh blanket of white, a pair of skates and a sled? As a child, who grew up in Michigan, this is what dreams were made of!
I loved {and still do} to ice skate. My father took me for my first lesson when I was just a small little lady. He was an amazing skater. I loved to sit and watch him as he glided, and jumped. We went to the "old rink" at MSU. I bobbled, wobbled and fell many times until I got the hang of trying to stay upright and glide on two sharp blades. As I perfected the art of staying upright, my parents enrolled me in skating lessons. I finally reached the stage where I could compete and with that came my first skating dress ~ it was absolutely beautiful! At least that's how I remember it from so many years ago. It was kelly green and inside the box was also a pair of skating nylons {just like my mom's} I was thrilled to have my complete skating outfit and made sure to model it for all to see ~ endlessly.
My brother and I were also lucky enough to have our very own rink in our backyard. Each winter my father would ice a section of the yard. The neighborhood children would come over for hours. My mom would treat us to cookies and coca once our cheeks began to freeze. We looked forward to this every winter!

My family still ice skates although it's reserved for local rinks, lakes and ponds. There is just something so magical about skating followed up with a piping hot mug of hot coca!

Join Lisa for more beautiful Black and White Wednesday photos.

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Sweet sentiments

Sunday, February 14, 2010 | | 14 comments
While going through some paper work this week, I stumbled upon this Valentine from Nicholas. He was in 4th grade and the assignment was to make a Valentine for your parent. The message inside needed to contain that weeks spelling words.
This was his message to me ...

Dear Mom,
Thank you for caring and respecting me on Valentine's Day. You are so lovable and I adore you. Ever since ancient time you have inhabitant me with appreciation. The affection of that has made me smitten with other intelligent people. Now I have an admiration to care and think of so many other people.
Love you tons,

When he called this morning I reminded him of the card and read it to him. We both had a fun giggle over it and he reminded me of how I cried when he gave it to me Valentine's day. What he doesn't know is that his teacher called me and shared how impressed he was with Nicholas' sincere affection for his mother. He gave me a heads up that I would need a tissue (or two) when I received my card.

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I made these pretty posies for my students. My school encourages the children {and teachers} to make their own Valentines. I personally love that they do this. We have grades pre-K through 5th grade. This provides for a very wide range of ability and creativity. The mindset behind this is that parents are involved with their children during a school project which provides the perfect opportunity to talk and spend time together. What children don't realize is that they are more comfortable and relaxed during this time {they are focused on the project} and end up sharing more than they would during a regular conversation. The time spent with the child is priceless.

My husband is taking me out to our favorite restaurant. It's a small but upscale local place. The chef is incredible
 and has never ceased to amaze us with his culinary creations.
He also has something up his sleeve ~ details will be revealed this evening ;)

Hope you're all enjoying a little love today! 

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So Long, Insecurity

Saturday, February 13, 2010 | | 12 comments

A friend of mine is reading this book and is learning so much about herself, and those in her life.
I would not consider myself as one with insecurities so it didn't spark an instant need in me to run out and purchase the book. Upon a recent enlightening discussion, I decided to pick it up as a future read.

Since then, I've learned of Beth Moore's "book chat" on line. It is very doable and the so called assignments are not difficult. I'm looking forward to hearing others thoughts and insights as the chapters are read and discussed.
If you're interested in learning more, pop on over here.

Have you read this book? Let me know what you think.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Hodge Podge Pasta

Thursday, February 11, 2010 | | 14 comments
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What's a gal to do with a variety of leftovers and odds and ends in the refrigerator with no recipe to follow?
Create a masterpiece!

The recipe below is a general idea kinda recipe. Add or subtract what works for you and your family.
This was so good that I was asked to please make it again soon.

4 cups cooked pasta ~ I had left over ziti on hand
2 cups chicken ~ I had leftover baked chicken
1cup frozen artichoke hearts ~ I use Trader Joe's
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
6 cups roughly chopped spinach
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup herbed cream cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 milk
4 garlic cloves sliced
1/2 cup diced onion.

Now comes the hard part ...

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam or other cooking spray. Transfer ingredients to pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350.

Serve to hungry family.

This makes for a fabulous lunch the following day as well

Enjoy :)

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Snow day ~ black and white Wednesday

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | | 18 comments

{winter 2009/2010}
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This is what my future looks like ~ in only a matter of a few hours we will be breaking out the snow blower.
I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I got "the call" last night. Have you seen the commercials for snow day? Yep, that was me doing the happy snow dance last night in my jammies! Seriously, I'm not kidding.
It's amazing how much you can accomplish with an unexpected day off. I broke out my list and starting jotting down some areas that needed my attention this morning. I've got Valentine goodies to bake, handmade Valentine's to finish for my classroom and a few packages to get together.

 My sweet husband built me a fire before he left for work ~ he's hoping to get a few hours in before the heavy snow begins. I'm toasty warm and have a steaming cup of coffee in hand ~ life is good! :)

Join in the fun of Black and {snowy} White Wednesday over at Lisa's. There are some very talented gals that share each week. I'm not in that category but they let me play along anyway.

Have a great day!

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Super fun!

Monday, February 8, 2010 | | 15 comments
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This evening we went to our friends annual Super Bowl party.
To be honest, I didn't really have a favorite team until I heard Drew Brees speak earlier in the day about his loving involvement with a child who is battling cancer. I was impressed and touched with all that he is doing for this young boy. I think it's wonderful that those with the ability to help others, share their blessings. It also just so happens that I have a fabulous fleur de lis sweater that  I bought just before Christmas from Lands' End. To continue with my love of fleur de lis, I also have a Miraposa bowl, tray and spreader in my beloved fleur de lis.

Each year we are asked to bring a dish to share that supports the area of your choice team. We made a few muffaletta sandwiches and a chicken creole dip. I thought our sandwiches needed to be dressed up a bit so I made fleur de lis picks that were placed in each slice. They were both very yummy!

I made a small "oops" and placed our dip on the wrong table ~ it was quickly moved to the correct teams table ;)

There was endless amounts of food, fun and friends!

The biggest surprise was the SAINTS winning play ~ Way to Go!
{It must have been all my fleur de lis support ;)}

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"Time" for Black and White Wednesday

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 | | 20 comments
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I love clocks of all varieties. One of my favorites is the Grandfather Clock my husband built. It is Shaker style with simple lines and delicate beauty. The chimes always bring a sense of comfort and reminder that all is well in our home.

 This grand beauty stands proudly among the mansions that line the street in Newport Rhode Island.  I snapped it quickly while passing by only to discover it's real charm while reviewing my photos later that day.

This photo was taken on a very dank and gloomy winter's day. The sky was ominous with the threat of snow becoming a reality at any minute.

I'm really enjoying Lisa's Black and White Wednesdays.It's been a wonderful opportunity to see photo in a different light ~ kinda like thinking outside the box. Stop by and take a peek at some of the other wonderful pictures.

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