Tuesday, March 29, 2016

No More Ads!

When I first started this blog in 2007, I made the decision not to put ads on the site. This blog is something I put out there just for me, not for money. 

Over the years, I've heard from other blogger friends who've told me I've been missing out, and that I should at least give it a try, as a means of earning extra income.  So, last month, I finally gave in and decided to click that little "Allow Google Ads" button on my dashboard, just to see if I really was missing out.  I promised myself I would try it for a month, and then make a decision.

It was a long month. 

I hated the way the ads looked. HATED IT. I know they work for some people, but they just weren't for me. 

So, the button is unchecked, and the ugly ads are gone.  I may eventually put up some sort of "shopping portal" button that readers can use to help support the blog, but for now, things are back to the way they were before.   Ad free!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Roasted Lamb: Recipe from Tasty

This is the lamb roast I made for Easter Dinner this year. I followed the recipe from Tasty, exactly as set forth (this roast was under 5lbs but I used all of the topping, because, why not?)   
The lamb turned out great, but the best part was the vegetables underneath.  I used garlic cloves, carrots, white potatoes and sweet potatoes, because that's what I had on hand, and the flavor was outstanding. 

Here's the VIDEO RECIPE. 

Here's a link to the FULL RECIPE.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

RECIPE: Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms

I've been trying out some new recipes lately, and when I find one that really stands out, I feel compelled to share it here on the blog.

This one: Wow.  SO GOOD.

If you like mushrooms, this one is a keeper.

The recipe is from Eataly: CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT.

Here's a photo of the batch that I made last Friday (using sliced mushrooms, a combo of fresh and rehydrated):

And here's a photo of the second batch I made tonight (chopped, fresh mushrooms):
A few tips:

-- The first time I made this recipe, I used a combo of fresh mushrooms and dried mushrooms that I soaked and rehydrated. I also sliced them, as directed in the recipe.  The second time, I used all fresh mushrooms, and I chopped them, which definitely made a difference in the consistency of the ragu.  If at all possible, use fresh mushrooms, and try to use a combo of at least three different kinds.  The second time, I used baby bella, shitake, oyster, and chanterelle, and I felt like the overall texture and consistency of the ragu was better. As far as taste, I had no preference, but my husband preferred the chopped version.

-- Don't forget to set aside some of the hot pasta water--I needed it both times, at least a half cup to 3/4 of a cup.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Eggs 2016

My girls did a great job this year! We've got Pokemon, Neko Atsume, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Emojiis, Starbucks, and Steven Universe represented, in addition to the usual artfully dyed eggs. 

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Harp Lager Redesign: What Fresh Hell Is This?

I guess I haven't purchased bottles of Harp lately--on the rare occasions when I drink beer, it's usually when we're out somewhere, and it's available on tap--so it was really jarring to see the new label design.

It's HIDEOUS.  It looks like Budweiser and Zima had a baby.

The first time I tried Harp beer was on my first trip to Ireland in 2007. We visited Dublin, which included the absolutely-essential visit to the Guiness factory.  We also visited Trinity College, where the actual harp is on display.  It was a really special trip, and every time I did have a Harp back home, it instantly brought back wonderful memories of the majestic reading room, and those floor to ceiling shelves filled with old leather-bound books. 

Ugh. This modern packaging is a travesty.

Julie Ogden: Animal Rescue Superstar!

Great blog post on www.PointsofLight.org about my dear friend, Julie Ogden, and her life-long devotion to animal rescue.

Please CLICK HERE to read about this wonderful woman, and her dedication to helping animals in need.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Reminder: no matter how clean and busy your supermarket appears to be, ALWAYS check the dates on your groceries while you shop.

I just got back from my local grocery store, a new supermarket that recently opened after the old one went bankrupt, and found this:

Supposedly, all of the old merchandise was fully inventoried when the store was purchased last Fall, so there's really no excuse for this kind of negligence.  And yet, I see it time and again, in every grocery store I shop in.   I can't even count the number of times I have found expired dairy products, meat that's two days past its sell by, tins of oatmeal that belong in the trash bin--you name it. From frequently-used perishables to shelf-stable canned goods, no section of the store is immune.

Buyer beware!

Spring 2016

Winter's (hopefully) last gasp greeted me first this morning--a light dusting of snow on the second day of Spring. My hyacinths were not amused!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Best Homemade Mushroom Soup!

I saw this simple recipe for Homemade Mushroom Soup on Food.com, and thought it sounded too good to be true.  Hearty homemade soup in just 20 minutes?

YES.  This stuff is SOOOOO good, and embarrassingly easy to make. I used the evaporated milk because I didn't have heavy cream in the house, and it was still rich and delicious.  My husband said he might prefer the mushrooms chopped instead of sliced next time, but for me, it was absolutely perfect as is.

You can find the recipe HERE.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pappardelle ai Funghi (Pasta noodles in a Mushroom Ragu Sauce)

My good friend Bobby has this wonderful habit of sending me mouth-watering recipes that he comes across (on an almost daily basis, mind you) and this one really caught my eye: it's from Eatly, the huge foodie's market in New York City.

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it out, and it absolutely exceeded all of my expectations.  This was one of the best pasta dishes I've ever made!

I used a combination of baby bella, porcini, and morelle mushrooms because that's what I had. I will definitely be making this dish again soon.

You can find the recipe on Eatly.com by clicking THIS LINK.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Good riddance, Marco Rubio

Although, truth be told, I'm not exactly happy about ANY of the choices in this year's Presidential election, I won't be the least bit sorry to see this guy leave the race. Time to bow out! 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Daylight Savings Time...we meet again

Never fails: the first morning of Daylight Savings Time, I immediately turn into a panic-stricken Michael York in Logan's Run. BUT WILL I GET MY HOUR BACK?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

GOP Debate on FOX: The end of civilization is already upon us

Yes, members of the GOP debate audience are sticking out their tongues, waving furiously, and making silly faces behind Megyn Kelly's back while she asks questions of the candidates vyying for the most important elected office in the Free World. I cannot believe what I'm seeing.