Monday, October 18, 2010


My Monkey drew this on the back porch today. Pretty cool, huh!

Sunday Dinner

I doubt that I will ever be able to capture a neat and orderly dinner table. You know, the kind where everything matches and everyone looks crisp... Besides, most happy families are messy, right? {I know mine is.}

Sunday Dinner: Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola- fancy for penne with vodka sauce
Courtesy of Ina Garten/ Food network

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 medium Spanish onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, diced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 cup vodka

2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound penne pasta

4 tablespoons fresh oregano

3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

Grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands. Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.

Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan.

Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

I kept last night simple pairing the pasta with a fresh baguette and a mellow red table wine. However, next time I'll add a dark green salad, pancetta appetizer and make a tiramisu for desert.  {Maybe I'll even triple the ingredients and invite friends over - it's that good-} This is one of those recipes that doesn't need to be altered. It's a bit time consuming but if you follow the directions, you will have the most amazing vodka sauce -ever-. My second oldest, the pickiest eater in the universe, went for seconds. When this happens, I know I've got a winner.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kewkies By Alice

Today, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies... Not just any chocolate chip cookies but superfantabulous chocolate chip cookies. I searched the net for something better than good and found a new favorite blog as well as a keeper cookie recipe which can be found here
As usual, I added my own touch by throwing in a dash or 3 of cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and double vanilla.
Thank you, Alice - these are, hands down, the best chocolate chip cookies I have -ever- made!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Pink Promise

At the mall today: The Pink Promise- they (the mall) will donate $1.00 for every person that signs the promise and posts it to one of three walls. Mine is right smack in the middle of the newest wall to be filled. :)
 Awesome and win.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Timeless Style

Spotted these over at A Cup Of Jo.

During the cooler months, my mom would wear moccasins like these with argyle socks, jeans and a complimentary sweater. Even as a wee kid, I thought she looked sharp (this is dating back to the early 70's when we lived in Jersey- where it actually got cold). Eventually, I got a pair and thought they were the coolest shoes!
How great would these look with a pair of faded jeans, fitted plaid blouse and vintage cardigan? The answer is really great! Putting these on the top of my wish list and silently thanking my mom for having an awesome sense of style. (Love you, mom!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog Sweet Blog

Oh my sweet, little blog how I've missed you! I took up a job opportunity to house sit over the weekend (with an iPhone as my only link to the internet).

But I'm back now.

Back in my bed, with my guy.

Back with my kids who are sleeping soundly in their disgustingly messy yet happy rooms.

Back with my 2 dogs and 3 cats.

Back with my coffee maker, pc, tv, front yard, back yard, Halloween decorations, hairballs on the floor, dust on the ceiling fan, messy garage, wilty porch plants, sink full of dirty dishes, ETC.

Back with my -family-... And I have to say that I've never been happier to be with them, either.
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