Friday, July 4, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!

This is just such a fun day!  I don't know if this is just a great party day or if everyone is just so happy spring is coming--either way let the festivities begin!!!

Take Won Ton wrappers and insert them into a muffin tin that is sprayed with pam.  Bake for 5-7 minutes until golden.  These can and should be made in advance and stored in a metal tin.

Combine the following:
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 medium vine ripe tomatoe
cumin to taste
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with sour cream and cilantro

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wow-- we have had one long, long, cold and snowy winter! We even had an inch of snow today!   At first, I was so excited because this winter reminded me so much of the typically Buffalo winters I had when I was growing  up. I would see the "real"  piles of snow building up (at least five feet) as I backed out of my drive way and would smile. But after what seemed like forever, I got tired,(actually spoiled, by the very mild winters that we typically have in the Midwest).  So instead of complaining I decided to just deal with it--embrace it!!. I had my "girl night in" despite having to cancel and reschedule it twice because of weather!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Year New Resolutions!

Something about a new year just excites me--it's filled with new beginnings, new possibilities and new outcomes!

 Usually, in January, I am still recovering from the mad rush of Halloween/Thanksgiving/Annual Holiday Party/Christmas, where there is an overabundance of things to do.  But this year was different, I wasn't  exhausted from that Halloween-Christmas preparations as we were in Germany for over 6 weeks.

 I missed our American traditions.We saw only a few children dressed for Halloween.  At Thanksgiving, we enjoyed a seafood plate at a brewery instead of turkey. But the Germans know how to do Christmas!  Each town and neighborhood has a Christmas market with a different theme.  We probably went to 15-18 different markets.  I was enthralled by them! My favorite one was in the downtown of Hamburg, where Santa magically flew through the sky and even stopped high above the crowds to tell the story of Rudolf and to remind the children and adults to be good!

 By the time we got back to the States, there was only a week until we were leaving again to spend time with our daughter in Milwaukee.  I debated getting a real tree, because we ALWAYS have a real tree, but that didn't make sense.  The thought of a fake tree seemed unbearable, but decorating for a full house seemed foolish.  And I wondered would it feel like Christmas if I didn't do all the "normal" things.  I ended up taking out a small table top tree from storage and hung a Christmas wreath on the door.  I finished the Christmas shopping in 2 days and make a batch of cookies.  And I didn't feel as guilty as I thought I might.  In fact, it was nice to just have a break from all the pressures we seem to put on ourselves especially that time of year.

But December quickly passed to January and with time to reflect on the past and the future. I did well with my most of my resolutions.  I even lost that extra five pounds while in Germany from walking 6-12 miles every day.  Not to mention climbing numerous stairs, one day we actually climb 30 (yes, thirty) flights of stairs just from sightseeing. I was surprised I lost any weight because I ate wonderful unknown cheeses, pretzels, breads and beer daily.  I even ate a delicious fruit and nut chocolate bar everyday (and I rarely eat sweets!)  Fortunately for me, I have not found this candy bar back in the States!

I also manage to blog once a month.  And for my house resolutions, I completed the following projects:  new landscaping where the 7 bushes were removed, new planters for the front of the house, new bar stools in the kitchen, new desk chair in the kitchen, painted my daughters bedroom, install new faucets in 2 of the four bathrooms, changed out the towel bars, toilet paper holders, bath hooks, toilet handles and cabinet hardware in 3 of the 4 bathrooms, installed ceramic tile in the lower level bathroom and changed out the cabinet hardware in our laundry room.

This year I planned to blog monthly (and as you can see by the date of this post, I broke that one pretty early!) and make sure I do cardio regularly.  As for my house projects, I plan to take down the wallpaper in the mudroom and laundry room, do drywall repair and skim the walls, paint both rooms and install travertine tile in those rooms, install new ceramic tile in our master bath and in the girls bathroom, change out the hardware in the mudroom, find new light fixtures and find new towel bars, toilet paper holder, and a bath hook for the lower level bathroom.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Strawberry Mousse Cups

When I saw this mouse recipe in the summer, I fell in love with the color and knew this would make a festive dessert for the holidays! I thought putting it in these chocolate cups would make the perfect presentation and I  liked that I could make this ahead of time and freeze it.  The mousse was light and a nice change from the many chocolate desserts that I make every year.  The hardest part of this dessert was finding the already made chocolate cups!  I had looked everywhere and finally found them in a small gourmet Italian market in the neighboring town.

Merry Christmas!!!

    1 quart fresh strawberries
    1 package (1.4 ounces) 4 serving-size strawberry gelatin
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 cups heavy cream
    Whole strawberries and whipped cream for garnish

  1. Wash and hull strawberries. Cut each in half and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over gelatin and sugar. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Pour pureed strawberries into gelatin and stir until combined. The mixture should be room temperature at this point. If not, refrigerate until cool.
  4. Whip cream until stiff and fold into gelatin and strawberry mixture until well blended.
  5. Spoon into individual serving dishes or keep in bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.
MY TIP:  I left the chocolate in their original plastic holder which made it easier for piping in the mousse and made it convenient for freezing. 
MY OTHER TIP:  Garnish with whipped cream and strawberries right before serving.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Up 20

"Up 20" is Hamburg, Germany's most exclusive bar.  Numerous locals mentioned we should try this place for the best views of the Harbor. It is located at the Lundenbuchen stop on the S or the U train or make your way there by ferry. It is located on the top of the 22nd floor of the Empire Riverside Hotel.  It opens at 6 pm nightly, arrive early as there is always a line waiting to get in. It guarantees the most spectacular floor to ceiling views of the Elbe River and the Hamburg Harbor. The drinks are pricey but the view is worth it.  Although Hamburg is a very industrial city and the daytime views are such, at night the view becomes mesmerizing.