An Easter Brunch With Taxidermy & Ice

20 Apr

Capital Grille Buffet

Today was a beautiful and glorious day.  My day consisted of being surrounded by some fabulous food as I always love doing.  And who in their right mind doesn’t love a buffet?

I love the above ice sculpture.  I’m not sure what kind of talent you need to do something like that to a big chunk of ice, but I’m pretty impressed with it.

Oh, and let’s not forget the taxidermy below.  Just look at that gigantic moose head among the food!  Yikes!

The dessert station had a beautiful large container on the counter full of Stolichnaya Vodka being infused with huge fresh pineapple chunks—just marinating together for those so inclined to have a stoli doli cocktail.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, enjoy a lovely feast of a brunch with family and friends.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  We may not all possess an ice sculpting talent, or be able to arrange huge chunks of pineapple so prettily into a jar, or even be talented enough to center and staple a moose head to a wall ourselves—but we can all enjoy the many talents of others while eating beautiful food.

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Mushroom-Asparagus Risotto

16 Apr

Mushroom-Asparagus Risotto

Made with chicken broth, salt & pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, shallots, minced garlic, mushrooms, arborio rice, white wine, asparagus, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Recipe for—Mushroom-Asparagus Risotto

So, if you have nothing else to do today, make yourself a simple and divine risotto dish.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Season it well; otherwise, it can be a little bland.

Saucy Vegetable Tofu

14 Apr

Vegetable Tofu

Made with whole wheat spiral pasta, onion, green pepper, zucchini, olive oil, tofu, and spaghetti sauce.

It’s what’s for dinner.

Recipe for—Saucy Vegetable Tofu

So, if you have nothing else to do today, find different ways to incorporate tofu into your life.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Vegetarian dishes with tofu can turn out allllllll riiiiiiight.

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Spiced Breakfast Quinoa

12 Apr

Spiced Quinoa

Made with quinoa, milk, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, honey, vanilla extract, egg white, and raisins.

So I tried a quinoa recipe.  I don’t get a chance to make quinoa very much mainly because my taste buds haven’t found a way to really like it too swell.  I think you have to find the right mix of ingredients to make it taste divine.

I’m sure quinoa is lovely if you find the right way to make it.  I’ve just been an unlucky soul in that department.  Or maybe I don’t like quinoa like I thought I did.  I do have to say that the sweetness of the raisins helped loads with the taste.  Just pile on the raisins, people!

Spiced Quinoa

Quinoa grains

I did make a quinoa recipe a couple of years ago as a side dish for dinner.  I can’t remember the ingredients mixed with it, but it was edible.

I think anyone that likes quinoa, overall, will like this recipe.  I, on the other hand, have no plans to make this recipe again.  But it was an interesting experiment in the kitchen, nonetheless.

Recipe for—Spiced Breakfast Quinoa

So, if you have nothing else to do today, see if you can make a dish of quinoa that will knock the socks off my taste buds.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Sometimes you have to experiment over and over to get a dish to taste just the way you like it.  Or maybe quinoa just isn’t for everyone.

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Cinnamon Crumb Cake

10 Apr

Cinnamon Crumb Cake

Oh, I happened upon this lovely cinnamon crumb cake as I mosied my way over to the bakery area of Whole Foods Market.  As you can clearly see, I didn’t really have a choice but to put it into my shopping cart.

Cinnamon Crumb Cake

So, if you have nothing else to do today, buy yourself a cinnamon crumb cake—or better yet, make one from scratch.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Who knew there were so many joys to be found in Whole Foods?

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Scrambled Eggs With Tomato Bruschetta

8 Apr

Scrambled Eggs with Tomato Bruschetta

Made with Italian bread, extra-virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, tomatoes, fresh basil, butter, eggs, and Pecorino cheese.

This was my first time making my own bruschetta and I absolutely LOVED it!  This recipe also gave me a reason to bust out my grill pan as I hardly ever use it.

I had a good time making the grill marks on the bread.  Then I got to spread all that tomato goodness across the top of it and finally feel all that love inside my mouth as I took my first bite.  Crunch.

And to smell the fresh basil………..ahhhhhhh.

Recipe for—Scrambled Eggs with Tomato Bruschetta

So, if you have nothing else to do today, try making your own bruschetta while having fun making grill marks along the bread.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Sometimes a grill pan can be more fun than you expect it to be.

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Baked Ziti

6 Apr

Baked Ziti

Made with olive oil, minced garlic cloves, onion, ground turkey, Italian pork sausage, tomato sauce, canned whole tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, ziti pasta, mozzarella cheese, whole-milk ricotta, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and eggs.

Yeah, yeah, I know—another pasta dish.  What can I say?

Recipe for—Baked Ziti

So, if you have nothing else to do today, slop together another pasta dish for the umpteenth time.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  You can never have too much pasta in your life.  Live, love, and enjoy life with pasta.

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I’m Loving These Italian Home Fries

4 Apr

Italian Home Fries

Made with butter, smashed garlic cloves, onion, red bell pepper, yellow pepper, new potatoes, Italian sausage, paprika, salt & pepper, fresh rosemary, fresh parsley, and olive oil.

There’s my love for the potato again!  I loved this dish so much that I had to buy the ingredients to make this potato dish a second time because it didn’t last long at all.  Like I say—fresh is always better than frozen.

Recipe for—Italian Home Fries

So, if you have nothing else to do today, cook your own fresh potatoes just the way you like ‘em.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Double up on the ingredients list to make yourself a huge moundful from the start.

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How Can Such Innocence Be So Terrifying?

2 Apr

Corner Doll

This doll has freaked out more people who have entered this home than I can count.  I even remember the day she scared the bejeezus out of some big burly firefighters at my former home.  I’ve never seen a bunch of guys jump back so far in my life before!  How tickled I was.

How does a doll this tiny scare the living daylights out of some big burly dudes that are supposed to be our super heroes?  I’ll never know.  I guess a better question would be…….why were the firefighters called out to my former home to begin with?—but that’s neither here nor there.

Needless to say, I got a good laugh out of it.  She’s such a permanent fixture in the house that I sometimes forget she’s even there.  But when a visitor happens through, it’s not long before I’m reminded once again of her presence.

Corner Doll

So, if you have nothing else to do today, get your own faceless corner doll if for no other reason than to see your friends jump back a few feet in the air.  Oh, the joys of life!

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Even super heroes get a scare every now and again and may need some hand-holding from time to time from us commoners.

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Spaghetti With Pancetta & Chickpeas

30 Mar

Spaghetti With Pancetta & Chickpeas

Made with spaghetti, turkey bacon, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, chickpeas, fresh parsley, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Yes, it’s yet another pasta dish.  What can I say?  I adore pasta and a lovely dish this was.  But instead of putting pancetta in it like the recipe called for, I put turkey bacon into mine.

Sometimes when a recipe calls for either pancetta and prosciutto, I’ll substitute.  The first time in my life that I ever shopped for pancetta and prosciutto at my health food store specifically for recipes I wanted to make, I didn’t realize these items cost close to $5278.99 per pound!!!

So once I realized I could easily use bacon instead of pancetta and ham instead of prosciutto—I went this route with substitutions in recipes.  NOT every time, mind you—but for the most part.  Once every triple blue moon, I will splurge on these fancy meats when I’m feeling a bit gutsy and adventurous.

Recipe for—Spaghetti with Pancetta & Chickpeas

So, if you have nothing else to do today, I dare you to take out a bank loan for half a pound of pancetta and a quarter pound of prosciutto.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Bacon can be a great substitute for pancetta and ham can be a great substitute for prosciutto if you’d rather not take out a home equity loan for these items.

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