Don’t Buy New, Shine Your Shoe!

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Seems like common sense, right?

Well, for most…

I kept getting hand-me-down leather shoes from my nieces for my Beach Rose to wear and they were all scuffed and dull and old looking and I would kinda think to myself that these wouldn’t do for Sunday School at all…

and then my Mom came over and saw a pair and said why don’t you put a little shoe polish on those?

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Ta Da!

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Sunday School-worthy!

Use a Pen

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A small courtesy, but one that will set you apart in business and life…

When pointing out a word, sentence, section of legal document that needs attention/signing, etc. to a person of relevance (i.e. client, potential client, colleague, etc) use a pen to point to it.  Even if you have perfectly manicured nails and your hands are immaculate, you never know.  You could offend someone with your choice of nail color or there might be a stray hangnail, or …

It’s more professional and pleasing to focus on a pen!

Table Manners…Part I?

I added ‘Part I ?’ to the title wondering if perhaps there may be some addendums to this blog in the future…

there is so much to be said on this subject, after all!

Ok, below is a brief listing of manners, some passed on to me by my parents and strict French relatives, some picked up from my reading of Emily Post and some gleaned from reading English classics which detailed the upper crust’s decorum.

  • no elbows on the table, ever
  • no knife in the mouth, ever
  • do not put your fork in your mouth any further than necessary; really, the food should be pulled off the tines, without your mouth touching the fork
  • your utensils are to be used under-hand

Pull Your Rhubarb

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Breaking news!

Your rhubarb plant will replenish the stalks it loses, throughout the summer, if they are properly “extracted”!

Fun!  I love the idea of experimenting with rhubarb desserts for 3 months, so I’m in…

Pretty simple way to ensure that this happens:  you’ve got to pull your rhubarb stalks straight out of the plant.

Don’t twist.  Don’t cut. Don’t break it off.

Pull.  Hard.  Use both hands and get a firm stance on the ground and yank that stalk!  You’ll know that you did it right when you see the papery “husks” at the bottom of the stalks.

And now you can reap the benefits of this delicious and tart treat for so much longer than you thought!

Oil AND Butter???

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Quick Cooking Tip:

Oil AND Butter!

Butter gives a dish delicious flavor and richness.  However, if you try to sear meat, or sauté anything in a skillet over medium heat or higher, your butter will burn.  And yes, it will definitely be adding flavor to your dish, but not the kind you’re looking for!

Oil has a higher smoke-point than butter, so by adding butter to the oil in the pan, it allows for the oil to coat the pan and in turn allows the butter to melt without burning.

It lets you heat the butter to a higher temperature without smoking.

Try it!

Rhubarb Crunch

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This dessert is the perfect blend of textures; crunchy, soft, silky.  And the perfect blend of flavors; sweet and tart.

A perfect way to kick off spring…

 

Let the sweet adventure begin!

 

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In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of packed brown sugar,

 

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3/4 cup old-fashioned oats,

 

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1 cup all-purpose flour,

 

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1/8 teaspoon baking powder and soda,

 

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1/2 teaspoon salt,

 

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and 1 stick of cold, salted butter cut up into 1 inch pieces.

 

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Incorporate butter into dry ingredients using your fingers.

 

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Pat 1/2 of the crumb mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch square pan.

 

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Cover with 4 cups of chopped, fresh rhubarb.

 

Now make the sauce that brings the dessert all together…

 

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In a medium saucepan, cook 1 cup white sugar,

 

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3 tablespoons cornstarch,

 

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and 1 cup of water, over medium heat.

 

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Cook until bubbly and thickened and then add a scant (less than 1) teaspoon of cinnamon,

 

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and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

 

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Pour the sauce over the rhubarb.

 

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Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs over the top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Servings: 8

Can be served warm or room temperature.  Always wonderful with ice cream or whipped cream!

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Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

 

 

 

Spaghetti Casserole

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Do you see the hunk of cheese??!

That was pulled off the top of the spaghetti casserole and heaped on top of my plate, because I just needed to sink my teeth into it!  Wouldn’t you have done the same?

This casserole is phenomenal.  It is more plentiful and is easier to make than spaghetti and meatballs, it’s extremely flavorful and there are 2 cheesy layers to it!  What more could you ask for on a weeknight?

Let the savory adventure begin!

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Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter.

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Brown 1 pound of ground beef.  Drain excess fat.

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Add 1 small onion, chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Cook for 2 minutes.

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Add 1 can (8 ounces) of tomato sauce,

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1 can (28 ounces) of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, pureed in food processor,

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8-10 ounces of fresh mushrooms, chopped,

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2 teaspoons dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Add 1/2 package of cooked spaghetti (8 ounces) to meat sauce.

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Add 1/2 of spaghetti/meat mixture to a 2 quart pan.

Combine 1 1/2 cups of freshly shredded mozzarella cheese with 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Top the spaghetti/meat mixture with half of the cheese mixture.

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Repeat layers.

Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 10-20 minutes; until bubbly and light brown.

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Yum!

Servings: 8

Serve with garlic bread and salad with Italian dressing or Caesar.

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

 

1-2-3 Ricotta Pancakes

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Easy as 1-2-3…

Quantities of 1-2-3 (1 cup, 2 tablespoons & 3)…

These pancakes are a cinch to make (the kids can help!), they’re super-healthy & your kids will love them!

Let the sweet adventure begin!

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Start with 1 (of 1-2-3!).

You’ll need 1 cup of ricotta in a food processor, along with

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the 2, of 1-2-3…

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour,

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2 tablespoons wheat germ,

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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

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3 eggs.

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Mix in food processor.  Ladle by 1/4 cupfuls onto a griddle, in a sauté pan, or your favorite pancake pan!

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We love the barnyard motif!

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Dot with the butter and drizzle with maple syrup… and enjoy!

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

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Liquid in Your Purse

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Ok.  Let me be the one that has to learn by experience so that you don’t ever have to…

Sage advice:  Avoid any type of liquid in your purse!  Don’t do it!

In the example shown above, I brilliantly shoved my water bottle into my purse for the short jaunt from the car in the driveway to the kitchen table.  Unbeknownst to me, it was not securely fastened and proceeded to dump out its entire contents all over my checkbook, IPod, important papers, gift certificates, wallet, etc.  2 days later and I am still airing out my purse on the patio to dry in the sun, and have to leave my checkbook open to a different section every couple of hours to dry it out entirely!

Let me be the one who had to deal with the inconvenience of drying every item and the heartbreak when the beautiful picture that my little Beach Rose drew me in washable marker came out of my purse as one big colorful smudge.

Don’t carry liquids in your purse.  Any kind…hairspray, drinks, or even creams like sunblock or hand cream.  Explosions in there are very messy and very irritating.

This is unfortunately not the 1st time this has happened to me and did I learn?  Obviously no.

Do as I say, not as I do and you will be sooooo happy!