Friday, March 26, 2010

Renovation in Full Swing

This is what it looks like when I walk into our house in Maryland. Last year it was the master bedroom, which turned out beautiful! This year, it the rest of the bedrooms. This is looking into the living room. We are down this weekend to do some hardcore labor. Doing most of the grunt work ourselves to save some money.

This is our dining room. It is full of everything from the three bedrooms that we are re-doing. We started out thinking we were just going to paint, then it turned into a full fledged remodeling job. We even added a bathroom in one of the bedrooms.

This is my daughter Amy's/guest room. Beautiful view. Putting all new solid wood doors throughout. So much painting to do!!

This is my mother-in-law's/guest room, also a beautiful view. This is the room that we added the new bathroom. It will be a pretty sage color.

New bathroom in mother-in-law's room.

This will be a walk through closet between the 2 bedrooms.

This is my son's/guest room. We have twin beds and a futon in here.

This is the hallway looking down to the 3 bedrooms and the main (small) bathroom.
We are painting the wainscoting white, finally! On the left is going down to the basement.
We will be putting hardwood flooring throughout, tough decision because I kind of wanted carpet in the bedrooms. It will look nice with some pretty rugs though. Can't wait to show you the results.
So when I say I need a break sometimes from the computer, you can see why! There will be no entertaining here for little while.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Spring!

Hello everyone, and Happy Spring. I was in Maryland over this beautiful weekend, and have say, I worked pretty darn hard. There is so much to be done, it seems like it never ends.

We have gutted our 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, and added another bathroom. It is now time to try to put it all back together, after we paint it.

Back home in PA, I really need to give some attention to this house too.

So don't think I'm ignoring you, or slacking. I just seem to get so much more accomplished when I'm not on this computer. I always say, "just checking my mail". Then an hour later, I'm knee deep in cyberspace! I know you know what I mean!!

In the mean time, I'll be reading, writing and posting when I can. For some reason, I get a case of the guilties, when I'm not on top of my game. Right now, I'm not on top of my game.
I hope you are all doing well, and enjoying the Spring.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

I love Pomegranate martinis in the summer. This drink I found sounds so delicious and refreshing. I cannot wait to try this.
Heading to Maryland this weekend to work on the bedrooms, and I think this cocktail must be tested!
Have a wonderful weekend friends!


2 oz fresh lemon juice

2 oz simple syrup

Crushed ice

3 oz light rum

Lemon-lime soda or soda water

1 oz POM pomegranate juice

Fresh pineapple wedge


  1. Blend the lemon juice and simple syrup in an old fashioned glass.
  2. Add the ice and rum.
  3. Fill the glass to the top with lemon-lime soda or soda water
  4. Gently add the POM pomegranate juice so that it floats on the top of the drink.
  5. Garnish with the pineapple wedge.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010


May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Have a wonderful day.
Sorry about all of the pictures, but I hope some of them put a smile on your face!

Poor guy.







Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Did It!!

I did it, I finally made homemade bread. I have always wanted to do this, but was always a little intimidated by the idea. This recipe was very easy, no kneading, and was delicious! Looks like it came straight from the bakery. To bake it, you put it in a large dutch oven with a lid. The hardest part of making this bread was lifting my heavy pot out of the oven.
I made the dough last night, which was a snap, and let it rise over night. Fresh bread tonight!
The center was moist and tender, and the crust was nice and crusty, perfection!! Any leftover bread would make excellent croutons too!
Give it a try, and surprise yourself!

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via Mark Bittman at New York Times

Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1& 1/2 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

**I used half all purpose flour, and half bread flour.

Let me know if anyone makes this!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Break Time

Hi everyone! I've been SUPER busy this week, with lots more to do. So I haven't had much leisure computer time. I'm at work, sitting down, and taking a break, and figured I would take a moment to say hi. I will try to catch up real soon on my blog reading. In the mean time, Happy Hump Day, and have a great rest of the week!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan-Garlic crust

Very easy and delicious dinner tonight. I got the recipe from Cook's Country. I did make fresh bread crumbs, and I do think that makes a big difference. I also used a crusty baguette for the crumbs. I'm sure in a pinch, you could use regular bread crumbs. The garlic and cheese really adds a lot of flavor! Something tasty for mid-week dinner.

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Garlic Crust

  • 1 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh (see note)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to 9×13-inch baking dish. Combine basil and mayonnaise in small bowl and spread mixture evenly over chicken. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over mayonnaise, pressing lightly to adhere.
Bake until crumbs are golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees, 18-22 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Note: To make fresh bread crumbs, process 2 slices of hearty white sandwich bread in a food processor until coarsely ground.

*I used Dijonnaise in place of the mayonnaise. Added a little more zing!



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dancing With the Stars 2010

Not that anyone cares, but DWS is about to begin a new season. I have to admit I am guilty of watching it every so often. They announced the new line-up of celebrities to dance last night, and I have that list for you. (If you care).

Baywatch babe, Pamela Anderson.

Peephole scandal, Erin Anderson

Mother of eight, Kate Gosselin

Recent star of The Bachelor, Jake Pavelka

Does anyone remember bad girl Shannon Doherty, from Beverly Hills 90210?

Pussy Cat Dolls lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger

And how about this guy, 80 year old Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin?
Way to go Buzz!

A few others to add to the list are:

~Comedian, Niecy Nash
~All My Children star, Aiden Turner
~Olympic figure skater, Evan Lysacek
~Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, Chad Ochocino

Good luck to all, and happy dancing!


(all pictures were uploaded from somewhere in cyberspace)