Today’s Pictures

Well it’s a rainy and windy day today.  I just got done getting my socks soaked by wading through puddles to get to the broccoli to cover it up.  Before that though we had a great shoot, we worked with 2 of our favorite models, Melinda and Milo, and a fantastic creative team.  Shoots are the best when everyone is happy.  Pizza helps with that.  Who doesn’t get happy about pizza?

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I also made kale chips for the shoot, it’s my little thank you to such great people.
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Somehow I hurt my neck and back yesterday and now am rocking Bengay relieving patches that smell medicated but make me feel good.  I have no idea how I did it, but whatever it was it causes me to be in pain when moving.
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And to end with, the always charming Xanadu Pluto. 
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Brother Bear Loves His Plastic

Brother Bear is our silly boy.  He is 14 pounds, 2 years, and a furry black Maine Coon full of love.  It’s funny seeing him next to our small girls, and then learning that he’s the baby of the family.  It’s also funny because you’d think he had a big attitude to match his size, but he doesn’t, he’s gentle, very soft voice (baby meows = adorable) and super protective.  He loves afternoon belly rubs and just laying by us to know we’re ok.   He often lays next to my toes under my desk when I wake up in the morning.  Just one thing, no touching his front paws.  Not even if you’re the vet, no touching them, you don’t want to learn the hard way (like the vet did, hehe) . :)

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Brother Bear has one obsession, plastic.  You see he doesn’t do anything but rub his tongue on the plastic and then lay on it.  He loves to feel it on his paws, on his belly, and especially his tongue.  He never eats it, just feels it.  It’s slightly strange, but he loves it and it makes him happy.  A few days ago we got a package in the mail with a bunch of plastic protection and the below pictures are Brother in his various poses on this plastic.  Sometimes he uses them as a pillow, sometimes he lays in the middle, it all depends on his mood.  What a silly guy.

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Seedlings Update

Wow! Look at these seedlings all grown up now.  Ever since we transplanted the tomatoes into bigger cups they have exploded to new heights.  Today they even got a day of real sunlight on the roof.  We’ll be planting them in their official homes in the next week or 2.  Check the tomatoes out 1 month ago, then compare to below. YEAH!

Here’s the tomatoes inside a few days ago:
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Is there anything better than the smell of tomato leaves?
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Today, in the sun. The tomatoes are about 14 inches high already. WOO WOO.
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Eventually they got a little shade roof above them:
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And what about those pumpkins and watermelon..

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I had to play the role of killer and pick my favorites.  Fortunately/Unfortunately, they each had 2 healthy seeds.

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Sorry little guys but you will live on in my heart.

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The Pumpkin Pie pumpkin has such big leaves already, I’m in love with it.

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The pumpkins and watermelon got some sun too.. they’ll be moving soon as well.

Good job seedlings! :)

Easy Barbecue Wings

I love barbecue wings! Childhood fond memories includes driving to a airport to eat at a fabulous wing restaurant, embarrassingly ordering (and saying) the “virgin wings” in front of my parents, watching my dad cook our wings on Sundays over the deep fryer, going to the butcher and buying pounds of wings, etc.  Wings = good stuff.   When we lived in Pittsburgh there was this great place called Pickles that sells good barbecue wings (and cheese fries) that I would swoon over, so much that we went back to Pittsburgh a few years ago, 2 hours off the plane and we had these items delivered to the Hilton already.

So every once in a while, I just want some sloppy barbecue wings slathered in sauce.  For my birthday last year Matthew made me some homemade ones with a found recipe and I fell in love (with the wings, I’m already in love with him).  They were so good, he had to give me the recipe.  So tonight I decided to make myself happy and cook up some wings, no deep fryer needed!  The only thing I change in the recipe is I use Kraft Barbecue sauce instead of hot sauce.  Enjoy! :)

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Flour batter and wings. Shake it up!

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Put on pan, put in fridge for an hour.

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Dip into sauce, put into oven.

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All done.. time to eat up!

Feeling Like Spring Time

Do you feel Spring where you are?  Many things are putting me in the spring time mood!

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Neon socks in all colors of the rainbow.   I even wore shorts one day this week!

Back to brainstorming meetings as picnics on the roof. Hello Spring!
Our brainstorm meetings have moved to the roof with picnic lunches and fresh lemonade. 

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Our azaleas are starting to bloom! So pretty.

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The beans FINALLY decided to say hi! We were so worried, thank you beans!

Today’s Diary

Today was long. As I sit here at 1:33AM eating tortilla soup leftovers I decided to do a quick update.  I took pictures documenting the day so you could come along….

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The morning started out like usual but a tad earlier.  I had my cup of tea, did emails and treated myself to a english muffin breakfast sandwich.

Go behind the cut for the rest of the day.

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Tortilla Soup Revisited

I’m about to start a long day, but first I wanted to post this quickly.  I’ve been craving tortilla soup so yesterday I got all the ingredients and made up a batch.  I swear by this.  This is pro level soup.  You will eat so much because it’s so good and you can’t stop.  I’m not lying.  Leave the avocado and cheese melt in your bowl a bit, OH BROTHER.  This is hands down one of the best dishes I have ever made.  Please try it! :)

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This recipe also started my love for hominy.  I literally eat it out of the can when making this dish, so good.
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Avocado. To be honest I end up putting in about 10 slices because I just keep adding them. 

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Look at that cheese just melt.

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LOOK AT THAT! OH BROTHER!

Have a great day all!

Garden Update

It was 85 degrees out today.  WHAT.  Let me say that again. It was 85 degrees out today.  Craziness.  Is it going to be a super hot summer? Should I prepare the 100SPF and ice packs in advance to lather all over my body? Please just let our beans grow!

The garden is exploding, besides the beans not showing up (yet, hopefully), everything else is looking marvelous.  Let’s see..

This is one giant lettuce plant.  He’s on top of the spinach as well. The spinach is like “move it”. The lettuce is like “no”.
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This is 3 other giant lettuce plants. I have no idea where to water because I can never see the soil.
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I excitedly picked our first lettuce leaves today.. going to enjoy them tonight for dinner!
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Kale: Beautiful. Although I think it wants the temperature to go down a bit.
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Sugar Snap Peas: Starting the Climb..
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Onions: Strong! Green! Kinda amazing to watch them grow. Note: Staples in background are supposedly “rust resistant”. Whatever.
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Carrots: Got their first true leaves!
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Strawberries: Bushy, Lots of flowers. Hold on guys, soon!
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Broccoli: Love of my life, so big.  This is literally one plant. And one red hand.
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Broccoli again because I’m in love. You have no idea.
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Rhododendron: About to bloom!!
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Happy Gardening Everyone!

Kale Chips

I have been having nightmares recently.  Last night I had a dream which had me sleeping with the light on.  Then the night before I had multiple strange dreams, one being that I found a bag of unused parsley in the refrigerator and was freaked out/devastated that it went bad before I could use it.  What does this mean? What does this say about me?  I’m sure if I saw a psychiatrist they would say it has something to do with me feeling neglected, or I spend too much time with green vegetables, I’m not sure. But today, knowing the kale we had in the fridge was a ticking time bomb, I decided to make some kale chips.  I specifically made these to share with friends onset tomorrow, but we’ll see if they last to the morning..

Ingredients:
Kale
Olive Oil
Sea Salt, Garlic Powder, Cumin

Directions:
Wash and dry your kale.
Rip the kale off the stem into pieces (larger is better, it will shrink, that’s what she said).
Preheat your oven to 300.
Put kale and seasoning into bowl and toss around.  I did 3 batches, one with sea salt, one with garlic powder, one with cumin.  Do what you like!
Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
Take out, cool down, eat!

So easy.. so good!

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Potato Planting

Today we planted our potatoes, this year we decided on Dark Red Norland potatoes.  They arrived last week after waiting a few months so we were very anxious to get them planted.  If you remember we had great success with our potato experiment last year, so this year we hope to have success again.  I can’t wait to see these plants all green and bushy with surprises under the surface!

Here’s our 5 pound bag and my filthy soil digging fingers.  We didn’t even use half of these so we’re trying to talk some friends into growing potatoes.  If you live in NYC and would like some seed potatoes, email me. :)
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These are seed potatoes, don’t they have lovely eyes?

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Gorgeous in my opinion.

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Planting potatoes is really easy.  You dig up the soil, place a potato in there, cover it back up, and then a few months later, there will be many potatoes. It’s magic. Just remember that you need to hill a high mound of soil on them once they start growing their bushy plants, and you need to keep on this as the plant continues to grow.  Trust me, it will turn into a monster (a lovely one!).

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Here are the 3 containers we used, we planted 5 seed potatoes in all.. which I’m hoping will equal baskets and baskets full.

Spring time is here.. let’s garden!

Today was a beautiful day so of course we spent it in the garden!  I knew the weather was going to be lovely so I made sure to clear up the afternoon,  I had one goal in mind: flowers!

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So off to Home Depot we went to pick out this year’s flowers.  Note to self: Plant flowers from seeds next year. And yes, I took my baskets with me.

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Then I pushed my cart home..

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No seriously, we do.  Here’s the cart in the elevator.  After we unload, we take the cart back right away.  Home Depot is just 2 blocks away, it’s amazing.

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Unfortunately carts can’t go up stairs.

Before:

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After:

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Before:
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After:
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We got quite a range of flowers, we even got a beautiful azalea shrub.  We also got marigolds (Matthew loves these), mums, dianthus, gerbera, dianthus fire star.

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We also got one of my favorites, begonias.  I got them in 3 colors because I couldn’t decide (and wanted them all!).  Also the orange begonias got the prized location of the pumpkin planter. <3

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While planting all the flowers Matthew surprised me with some lemonade and fresh chocolate (!) mint.  MMMM, I was a super happy girl!
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Garden time.. I love it!

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Best Stuffed Shells

Yesterday I made what some are calling my best stuffed shells ever.   I used this recipe here but made some tweaks such as 1 egg, no mushrooms (besides the mushrooms in the sauce), less ricotta and parmesan, and I added in some dried basil to the ricotta mix.  WOWZAS, this is a major keeper.  Here are some step by step pictures..

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Starting here..

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To having all the ingredients ready.  Stuffing can begin!

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Aren’t they beauties?  You can add a little bit of sauce..

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Or alot.  We prefer this route.  I made this in advance, so some wrap went on top and into the refrigerator it went.

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All baked…

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MMMMMMMM…

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Better get some quick! :)

If you’re a lover of stuffed shells, you have to try this recipe!