Archive: February, 2011

February 24, 2011

Online Shopping for Kitchen Accessories

I’m sitting at Starbucks this afternoon doing some online shopping at CSN Stores. Did you know that CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find just about everything? … from a chic lights, to office funiture, children’s toys, and modern kitchen accessories.

Speaking of kitchen accessories, I am looking to spiff up my kitchen with some sleek, new, stainless steel acessories..

This is the perfect, minimalist wine bottle holder for dinner parties. It looks stylish and keeps messes to a minimum.

These are just so CUTE! Make eating ice cream even more enjoyable with a heart shaped spoon :)

This set comes with 6 coasters. It looks modern and I think it will fit my taste forever!

An oil/vinegar pourer has been on my list forever. I eat salads daily and my dressing of choice = balsamic and xtra virgin olive oil.

February 23, 2011

Broccoli Soup

i bought 5 lbs of broccoli over the weekend. (Costco!) so i am trying to cook it all before it goes bad!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
dash or two of red pepper flakes
2 cups vegetable broth (plus more to thin if needed)
1 large bunch broccoli, florets roughly chopped, stems peeled and sliced
1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
coarse salt/freshly ground pepper
various toppings (see above for recommendations)

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a few dashes of red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the broth, broccoli, potato, 2 cups broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a blender, food processor or with a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add toppings-recommendations above and serve.

photo and recipe via

Categories: soup, vegetables
February 22, 2011

Simply Breakfast

one of my favorite blogs to visit each morning is Simply Breakfast. Jennifer Causey photographs her breakfast almost daily- and it is always something so yummy. her blog just makes me happy to wake up!

Categories: breakfast
February 17, 2011

Banana Bites (chocolate involved ;)

err…i always have leftover bananas and they often get thrown into Stella (my german shepherd’s) bowl!

problem solved:

* 2 cups chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* Assorted toppings for coating bananas (such as crushed oreos, toffee bits, chopped Butterfinger candy bars, chopped salted peanuts, or toasted shredded coconut)
* 3 bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Stir chocolate and oil in heavy small saucepan over low heat just until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes to cool.

Place each topping in separate shallow dish. Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange banana slices on foil. Using fingers, dip 1 banana slice in chocolate, coating completely. Shake off excess chocolate. Drop dipped banana in 1 topping. Using clean hand, sprinkle more topping over banana to coat; transfer to foil-lined sheet. Repeat with remaining bananas, chocolate, and toppings. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours, then serve.

via My life. One recipe at a time.

Categories: dessert, Fruit
February 17, 2011

How to Shuck Oysters & Prosecco Mignonette

i’m a huge fan of oysters…i definitely prefer eating them on the beach on an exotic island. we have no exciting vacations planned this year so i guess my family room will have to do. we buy oysters at Wegmans. they are not cheap, but a fun appetizer for a special meal (i am thinking for our anniversary!)


2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (from about 1/2 medium shallot)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Prosecco or dry sparkling wine, chilled
12 freshly shucked oysters on the half shell

Place the vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper in a small, nonreactive bowl and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to meld. Just before serving, add the Prosecco or sparkling wine. Spoon the mignonette onto the oysters and serve.

photo and recipe via

Categories: Appetizer, oysters, sea food
February 15, 2011

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse

aren’t these photos beautiful and so yummy! i was so excited when i read the recipe and it looks so easy -the only ingredients are chocolate, water and sugar!

9.35 oz (265 g) bittersweet (70% cocoa) chocolate
1 cup (240 ml) water
4 tbsp sugar, optional

cold water & ice

Place ice and cold water in one of your mixing bowls. Then place the other mixing bowl on top to chill. Chop up the chocolate and place it in a medium sized saucepan. Add the 1 cup water (and sugar if you decide to use it) and place the pan over medium heat, whisking the mixture occasionally.

When the chocolate is all melted, take the pan off the heat and pour the mixture into the mixing bowl that’s been chilling (the one on top of the ice and water). Take your whisk and start mixing until the mixture starts thickening and resembling softly whipped cream.

Continue whisking until it thickens more and can be scooped up by the whisk (video below showing perfect texture). At this stage it is very easy to over-whip the mousse, so watch the texture carefully or else it will end up grainy.

Divide mixture into serving containers, garnish (if desired with whipped cream and chocolate hearts), and serve.

recipe and photos by

Categories: dessert
February 10, 2011

braised endives

i never know what to do with endives. they always look so fresh in the produce department at Wegmans but my mind goes blank! i am bookmarking this recipe (from for next time.

Braised Endive with Herb Gremolata
3 medium to large endives
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tsp finely chopped fresh marjoram
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, finely minced

Preheat oven to 425F.
Trim the bottoms from the endives, then slice in half lengthwise.
Lay the endives cut-side down in a baking dish, making sure the endives fit snugly into the dish (I used smallish gratin dishes that were just big enough to hold two endive halves apiece, but a single dish works just as well). Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir together white wine and chicken broth. Pour over the endives. Sprinkle in the garlic slices, then top with dots of butter.
Wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, uncover the baking dish and turn over the endives, then return to the oven to continue baking, uncovered, for another 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and top of endives is lightly caramelised. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
While the endive cools, prepare the gremolata by mixing together the parsley, majoram (if using), lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl until combined.
To serve, transfer the endives to a serving plate and drizzle with any poaching liquid left in the baking dish, then sprinkle with gremolata.

Categories: side dish, vegetables
February 10, 2011

Pepsi’s Skinny Can

i am a Coke drinker- but the new Skinny Can by Pepsi has me tempted. it looks so modern and sophisticated! i can’t wait to see it in March.

hmmm, how will Coke compete with this??

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