Sunday, March 28, 2010


I really wanted to make a Reuben sandwich this year with our leftover corned beef from St. Patrick's Day. It's not that I am a super huge fan of them, because I'm not. Usually, the closest I'll get to ordering a Reuben, is ordering a turkey version. But, since we had the goods, I thought it would be fun to try making one. My DH was happy I did.
There seems to be many variations on a Reuben sandwich. It can be made with corned beef, or pastrami. Smeared with Russian, or 1000 island dressing. Topped with coleslaw, or sauerkraut. Served on rye, or pumpernickel.
If I am going to eat one, I prefer corned beef, Russian dressing & coleslaw, on rye.
So, I had the Russian dressing, and the corned beef. I just needed the coleslaw. You can use some store bought coleslaw...or, do what I did below.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Russian Salad Dressing

There is a deli near my house that makes all their salad dressings from scratch. They even make their own mayonnaise...which goes into their dressings. They have the most delicious turkey sandwich with Russian dressing. I looked around for a good recipe to make my own & was surprised on how little was out there. This one was exactly what I was looking for. I'm not sure if it's technically a 1000 island dressing, or Russian. It seems the two are often confused. But, regardless, I love it. I made it specifically for making some Reuben sandwiches with leftover corned beef. But, it's also great on a salad, or on any kind of sandwich.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Corned Beef & Cabbage

I thought another year would pass without a St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef & Cabbage post. But, this year, I made it twice!
We had some friends & family over for the holiday this year. It was such a success, that all 6 pounds of corned beef were devoured. Not a scrap of anything leftover. I had made some homemade Russian salad dressing in hopes of making some Reuben sandwiches with the leftovers {those posts are coming!}. So, I decided, why not make it again? This time I halved the recipe & we had a few leftovers...not much though!
The first time I attempted this meal was two years ago. I shopped the day before St. Patrick's Day & all that was left at the market was low sodium corned beef. Obviously, not as popular as the regular variety. I loved it! Corned Beef can be way too salty & the low sodium variety is still salty, but just not so overwhelming. I highly recommend it.
I love this recipe. It does take half the day...but, it couldn't be simpler.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Harold & Maude

My sister, out in Oregon, got 2 little ducklings this weekend. She sent me these photos. They might just be the cutest things I've ever seen!
As soon as I saw the pictures, I immediately thought of one of my favorite children's books, The Little Duck. How lucky is my neice, Penny, to have the real things!? And, just in time for Easter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guinness Mustard & Horseradish Cream

These are my most favorite condiments for a St. Patrick's Day dinner of Corned Beef & Cabbage. When I was a kid, the only thing I looked forward to on the holiday was the Irish Soda Bread. Everything else, I didn't really care for. As an adult, I love the whole meal. I will be making the traditional dinner this evening. I won't be able to blog the corned beef, as it will be too dark when I serve it. It's hard enough to make corned beef look pretty, without adding the extra disadvantage of having to use a flash.
This recipe is what I will use, for anyone who's interested. I made it last year & it was perfect. Both of these condiments are super quick & easy & can be made ahead of time...which, is always a big help when entertaining. I recommend trying both!

Boxty {Irish Potato Pancakes}

"Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man." A little Irish rhyme for my cousin, Steven.
Boxty, is a traditional Irish potato pancake, most often served at breakfast with eggs & bacon. In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to try my hand at the delightful, carb-o-licious treats. They were a huge hit with my little
leprechauns, who hate mashed potatoes. It's like the flavor & texture of mashed potatoes & french fries all rolled into one.
This recipe couldn't be easier & I recommend it for a fun cooking activity with the kids, to celebrate this time of year. We have been home together for 5 days now, due to a terrible
Nor'easter that hit this past weekend. So, I need all the help I can get keeping them entertained!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Some Things I Just Love....

Some things I have & love. Some things I want!

a. I loved our Meri Meri robot Valentine's this year. I have been familiar with the company for years, after working in the stationery business. They have always had great stuff. But, it seems they just get better & better. Their line of party supplies is amazing! Specifically, the cupcake decorations. I love so many of them, it was hard to choose an image. But, the mermaids won me over.

b. I still have some of last years herbs alive in my kitchen. Many of them, however, did not make it. I hate to see them die every fall. Many of my perennial herbs are so big, that they could now be considered shrubs. I am determined to try & dry some up this year. I love these jars & when I saw them, it reminded me that I should start with my bay plant.

c. I am not a huge fan of stoneware plates, etc., because they chip so easily! But, I love this set Fleur De Lys dinnerware from Anthropologie. I have the bowls & I am testing them out to see if they'll hold up to this family's abuse.

d. I love this image. These biodegradable paper straws would be perfect for a kid's birthday party. I love the retro, pixie-stick look of them.

e. I love, love, love this bathroom! Bright, simple, white. Love it! Our bathroom is in desperate need of an overhaul {I'm really not kidding, folks}. We have a dragon claw tub & I love the way the shelving around the tub in this bathroom solves the lack of storage space issue that comes with having one.

f. Moo Chocolates for Kids. Love them. So good & not just for kids! This local company makes chocolate bars filled with kid's favorites...graham crackers, rice crisps, granola & corn flakes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bozo Picture of the Week...

This year's exciting season of hockey has come to a close. My big guy played for two teams this year...having his first taste of travel hockey {the real deal}, as the team's goalie. They ended the season with an amazing record of 15 wins, 3 losses & 2 ties...7 of the 15 wins were shutouts!

Some things that were said about my goalie this season in the local newspaper write-up's....
" while Darien's MV continued to be a stone wall in the net, making several critical saves when it mattered."

"MV was noteworthy between the pipes, turning aside 4 particularly strong scoring opportunities in the first period."

"Netminder MV was sharp between the pipes", and "goalie MV anchored a powerful defense that held Central to two goals."
Okay. I'm done bragging about my kid {it's what parent's do, right?}. We are super duper proud of him & it shows in his father's misty eyes, sitting on the ice cold bleachers, at ungodly hours each weekend.

On to Little League for both my guys & spring hockey! Am I really committing to all this?!

Note: The tongue hanging out in the photo? It's called concentration!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup with Matzo Balls

I posted this recipe a year, or so back. I shot the pictures, at night, with flash. They were terrible. But, I posted it anyway, because I just love this soup.
So, I have decided to put it up again, with fresh photos & with some more clarity in the instructions.
I am not Jewish & don't have a Jewish grandma teaching me the right way to make matzo balls. I had an Italian grandma, who taught me how to make meatballs. But, I just love matzo ball soup & so do my kids! It's the ultimate comfort food & so good for you. Whenever I am sick, this is always what hits the spot.
This recipe is long. But, only because it includes all the components together. It can easily be adjusted, or built on, however you choose. You can make the stock ahead of time, or use store bought stock {not nearly as good, but okay}. You can use leftover chicken, or rotisserie chicken. You can use leftover bones & unused meat from a roasted chicken dinner to make the stock, instead of using raw chicken. You can use different veggies...potatoes, spinach, chard, parsnips, etc.
But, this is how I make chicken noodle soup with matzo balls.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lentil & Bulgur Salad

This recipe is from the Moosewood of my most beloved cookbooks. Years ago, when I first made it, I made it lots. I haven't had it in ages & decided it was time. This salad is packed with protein & loads of other good for you stuff. It's very similar to Tabbouleh, but with lentils mixed in. It's more of a summer time dish, but with spring in the air, I am so ready to start cooking some summer time food.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fennel & Orange Salad

I love salads like this. Super simple, no washing, or spinning lettuce & it looks so gourmet. It is sure to really impress your family, or dinner guests.
I love the flavors used in this dish. I am especially fond of fennel. My Italian grandmother frequently served it & it always reminds me of her. If you've never tried it, it has a subtle licorice flavor & a texture similar to celery.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shallot & Goat Cheese Tart

This recipe is from my Barefoot in Paris cookbook. I have been wanting to make it for ages & finally did this weekend. I love quiche & this is a different spin on the classic, as it's lighter on the eggs & heavier on the cheese. While the ingredients themselves are not light...loads of cheese, cream & butter. It has a very light & airy texture. I made a few changes in the original recipe. I used a bit less cheese & changed up a few of the steps in making the pastry. I loved the final dish & will be keeping it in mind for our Easter brunch.

Bozo Picture of the Week...

So, Bozo #2 got a Fisher Price digital camera for Christmas in 2008. He is obsessed with taking pictures with my iPhone, so the thought was that he could have his own camera & stop walking around dropping my phone! The problem is my phone takes amazing pictures & his camera? Not so much.
Well, after a year & a half of picture taking, I finally uploaded all of it's contents & was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Especially adorable are his shots of little toy still life's. It's like getting a brief chance at staring through the eye's of a child...a child who likes to make funny faces & pick his nose.
Now, most of them were blurry, pixelated garbage. Again, it's a crappy camera. But, here are some I liked.

Note: Some of the shots were taken by his big brother.