Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clam Spaghetti in White Wine Sauce

So I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and experiment with seafood. I saw that clams were on sale and I thought to myself I was really going to challenge myself.  So I apprehensively picked up a 2 pounds of them, a bottle of dry white wine and some yummy crunchy bread and prepared this delicious dish. I found this recipe in my Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian book, it seemed easy enough to do and had some flavorful ingredients. The recipe lived up to its expectations and all enjoyed this light, summer dish.

Spaghetti with Clams  (From Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis)
Serves 4

1 lb of dried spaghetti
1/2 cup EVOO
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 Garlic cloves, finely chopped ( i would even use a press next time)
2 1/2 lbs of Manila clams, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high flame. When almost smoking, add the shallots and saute until soft. Add garlic and sautee until golden brown and the shallots are translucent.  Add the clams, wine , 2 tablespoons of parsley and 1/2 Teaspoon  each of sea salt and pepper.   Cover and simmer until most of the clams are open (tip from the hubby once they open take them right out!). This takes 4-6 minutes.  If they don't open, discard.   Whisk in butter to thicken the sauce.

Drain spaghetti reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid. Do not rinse spaghetti, this will help the spaghetti to stick to the sauce.  Toss the the spaghetti w/ the clam mixture to coat. Add the cooking liquid  to moisten.

Transfer the pasta to large serving blow. Spring the lemon zest over the pasta. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve immediately.

Monday, August 27, 2012


This weekend I had one of my favorite girlfriends in the whole wide world stay with us. Every time she comes up and stays over we skip on all the diners the city has to offer  and I happily make breakfast. I absolutely love it, we stay in our jammies, sip on coffee, eat whatever I decide to whip up and catch up on all the things we miss living miles apart. This time for breakfast I decided to make a frittata, because it is a great way to clean out your fridge before you go grocery shopping! All you need are the basics: eggs, milk, veggies and cheese. Frittata's are not just for breakfast, add some meat to your dish and you have yourself a hearty dinner!

Clean up Frittata
Serves 4

6 large eggs
6 Tablespoons of Whole Milk
1/2 large Red Pepper chopped
1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes 
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 Large Baked Potato skin on, sliced(I microwaved it first for 8 minutes to make it soft)
1/2 Tsp of Paprika
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
 1 cup of Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In oven proof skillet heat up EVOO on Med High heat and saute onion, red pepper, tomatoes and potato slices. Once vegetables are soft add paprika and garlic powder.

Meanwhile whisk together eggs and milk. Once mixed add into pan with vegetables and salt and pepper to taste. Let set on burner for 5-8  minutes until halfway set and add cheese on top. Transfer into over and cook until not jiggly in the middle. Take out of the oven and put a dinner plate on top  of the skillet (watch out its hot!) and flip the skillet over so the frittata falls onto plate. Enjoy!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

I had one goal before our one year anniversary and that was to use the ice cream maker I desperately wanted on our wedding registry. Let me give you the background story:  When I was in registry heaven at Macy's and was blissfully scanning away in the kitchen appliances apartment without a care in the world,  my husband rudely interrupted me at the ice cream maker. I believe the conversation went like this:

Husband: "Really babe an ice cream maker? Why do we need an ice cream maker?"
Me: "But I always wanted an ice cream maker, how fun would it be to make ice cream?"
Husband: "But you can't eat ice cream, you are lactose intolerant"
Me: "But I always wanted an ice cream maker..."
Husband: "Fine, but I guarantee you won't use it once before our one year anniversary."
Me: Beep goes the scanner and off I go.

Sound familiar?????

Well fast forward to 360 days after our wedding and BOOM!  I am in the kitchen making this kick a#s strawberry ice cream that only he can enjoy! And from the quick disappearance of the ice cream I would say he is happy I put it on the registry! :)

This recipe is from Cuisinart recipe booklet that came with the ice cream maker. Please note you will need to freeze your ice cream maker bowl (which can take up to 24 hours) and you will need 2 hours for strawberries to macerate, this is not a quick dish!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes about fourteen 1/2 cup servings

3 cups of fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and  sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I learned the hard way, you  need the fat)
2 3/4 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In  a small bow, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or puree half the berries.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved about 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries and vanilla. Turn ice cream machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened about 20 to 25 minutes (read instructions for your ice cream machine).  Five minutes before mixing is complete add reserved sliced strawberries **Note make sure they are super thin or cute in half. They are hard to chew when frozen**.  The ice cream will have a soft cream texture.  If you want firmer consistency transfer ice cream to airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yummo Style: Scarves

Jessica Alba frequently boosts here style with a stylish scarf.
Photo take from
Fall is probably my favorite season. Living in New England Fall provides beautiful scenery, crisp cool weather and fun fashion. And guess what people??? Fall is just around the corner! One of my favorite accent pieces for fall are scarves.  This little piece of material can dress up any casual outfit and give you a cool chic look.  I tend to wear mine with jeans and white tee or to add a pop of color to any outfit that is slightly bland. 

Now that I got you all excited about this inexpensive trend please remember there are some RULES about wearing scarves. To help us out, I found these tips helpful from
  1. If your scarf has print, your shirt should not.
  2. If your shirt has print, your scarf should not. Yes I know this seems redundant, but for some reason, people think that mixing ALL prints is necessary and sometimes, it’s best to just leave it alone.
  3. Busy earrings and neck jewelry are a no go while wearing a silk scarf. Opt for simple studs instead and let your scarf speak for itself.
I also found this GREAT YouTube video on different ways you can wear a scarf by Eileen Fisher. I guess I will need to up my game on how to wear this stylish trend!

Don't know where to go to get these stylish accessories? Here are some websites that can help you nab the right style for you!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chicken Soup...for my summertime cold

Ugh one of my pet peeves is having a cold in the summer. Having a cold in general blows, but when you are stuffy and sniffy in 90 degree weather, something about it just makes me automatically irritable.

So needless to say I have been a joy to hang around with this weekend (sorry honey!), so to make myself feel better I made some yummy homemade chicken soup.  You may say to yourself soup in the summer?  Well this is my secret weapon to fighting those stubborn colds! The broth acts as a decongestant and big chunks of chicken leave you feeling full. Add a little love into this dish and your or your loved ones cold will be gone in NO time!


2 lbs of Chicken Drumsticks (you can use a whole chicken, thighs, but I find this to be the cheapest)
Enough water to cover the chicken in a pot
2 ribs of celery
2 carrots large
1/4 of a yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
salt and pepper

In large put place drumsticks, add water just to cover.  Put pot on burner on  high heat and right before it is about to boil add halved celery, carrots and onion. Bring up to a boil and then simmer adding the garlic powder and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 1 hour.

Remove chicken and vegetables.  Remove meat off the bone and reserve.


2 lbs of chicken meat (I prefer large chunks)
1 lb of carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
5 or 6 large celery sticks cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 of yellow onion thinly sliced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

In remaining broth add all ingredients and let simmer for 30-60 minutes. Serve with crusty bread with Cheddar cheese! Mmm...its like a warm hug in a bowl.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Zucchini Bread

  I am SUPER excited! This recipe won Host Favorite from Foodie Fridays on! Thank you!!!!!!
One day I would like to have my own vegetable garden, however living in the city makes it slightly difficult as my yard = a wooden deck  and the Topsy Turny really isn't the most attractive planter around. :)  Lucky for me my sister’s father in law has his own vegetable garden and each summer I  finagle obtaining some of his home grown veggies to incorporate into my cooking. I was able to snag a HUGE zucchini this time and with that I made this moist and delicious zucchini bread which I found on Food by Paula Deen. The spices of the nutmeg and cinnamon complement its’ soft, yet still firm texture making it the perfect counterpart to a nice up of coffee or tea. And who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? This TASTY bread has so much zucchini in it I swear it could count as a vegetable serving! :)     YUM!

 Zucchini Bread

3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.  In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, waters, zucchini and lemon juice.  Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.

 As featured on Foodie Fridays on and !!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sour Cucumber Salad

Have you ever had one of those days that when you look at the clock you swear it is a few hours later than what it really is? today was a loooooooong day. I am just starting to feel back to normal after our trip to DENVAH (Denver said in my Maine/Boston accent) visiting my sister and her family which consists of four kids ages raging from five-fifteen (get the picture??). We had an absolute BLAST, but after a few days of camping, playing with the kiddos and the time change we are happily exhausted.  Therefore the wife duties were at an all time low, so I deemed  tonight pizza night.  And I am not even talking about homemade pizza or take out, I mean that frozen pizza that you stick in your freezer to save for nights like these.  So feeling guilty that I put ZERO effort into this meal and that I was about to consume an additional 4,000g of FAT for the day, I wanted to make a side dish that was healthy because healthy food negates bad food (don't judge, you know you think that  too) .  Well I was tired of the usual (mixed greens, carrots, tomato, celery, blahhh) and decided to mix it up by making a cucumber salad.  This salad  is actually my brother in-laws favorite, so it was fresh on my mind as I made it for our camping trip.  This salad requires a unique taste bud, but if you like salt and vinegar chips you will love this salad...Voila!

Cucumber Salad
4 servings

One large cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
Half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
2 tablespoons of EVOO
1/4-1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (depends on your taste buds!)
Salt and pepper

Mix all cut vegetables in bowl, drizzle EVOO toss, then add cider vinegar, toss again. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving so the veggies have a chance to absorb all that salty and sour flavor!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My sister is out of control...

Dana Marshall Photography: Puppy Photo Practice: I decided with all the requests to have pets in the
Holiday photos this year, I would take the time to practice on my sisters dog Diesel....

My sister is watching my pudgy puggle while I'm in Denver visiting my other sister & family. 100 treats & 10 lbs later this is what she came up with to entertain him & to build her portfolio.   My dog is such a  little ham! ;)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Yummoness!

I have a slight sweet tooth. I swear it's in my genes as everyone in my family loves sweets, so therefore I don't deny it (shrug). My favorite sandwich? Peanut butter and jelly. I could eat that bad boy ALL DAY LONG!

Wanting to step out of the box from my normal PB & J I decided to kick it up a notch and replace the jelly with banana. Then I got aggressive and added honey. Then I got REALLY brave and added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar... all pan fried on country white bread . The sandwich below may not be for all, but for you sweet lovers, oh my gawwwwwwwwd it was delicious.

What's your favorite Peanut Butter combo?

Peanut Butter Yummoness

2 slices of Country White Bread buttered (or whatever you prefer)
1 banana thinly sliced
2 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter (oops!)
1 Tablespoon of honey
1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon Sugar (1 part of cinnamon to about 2 parts of sugar!)

On both slices of bread spared on peanut butter. Then on one side top with banana, drizzle honey and spring cinnamon sugar.  Put sandwich together and fry in pan. Let the PB and honey ooze... DELISH!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Block of Wine!!!

Oh boy my prayers have been answered, I am able to open a bottle of wine (or 3) and keep it in the fridge for 45 days without it going bad! WOO HOO! I was so excited about this I just HAD to share with you! Boys and Girls I am proud to introduce to you  ....(drumroll please)  the BLOCK OF WINE from Trader Joes. My mother inlaw introduced me to this phenomom and it's is NOT to be confused with a BOX of wine. This is a highclass, first it's a BLOCK, second it actually spouts out GOOD wine. And the best  part is, instead of uncorking a bottle and feeling like you have to drink it in the next day or two you can let it sit and rest in your fridge and enjoy it for the next 45 days! Throwing a party and want some cheap wine that doesn't taste cheap? Buy the BLOCK as it holds the same amount as 3 bottles of wine all under $10. I am telling you, you will not be disappointed! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jean Therapy

Alright folks after going through my closet this weekend and creating a large Goodwill/ Swapification bag (more about that to come) I have narrowed down my clothes to mostly staple items. In my opinion, this is where the bulk of your shopping budget should go, on classic staples that will last you more than one or two seasons. TAnd believe it or not, fronting the money on these items will actually save you money in the long run. Once you have invested in  some of these quality pieces you can accessorize them to create the look you are wanting. Some staple pieces include, a little black dress, black pencil skirt, good trouser, button down shirt, blazer and jeans. Jeans can be tricky for some as there are so many different styles such as: flared, straight leg, slim fit, boyfriend, and the list goes on!  All of these styles can be slightly overwhelming to the average shopper, so my goal is to help you understand your body type and what style of jeans look best on your body.
 First lets go over some basics about jean shopping:

1)Never get high waisted jeans (above belly button) & especially that taper. This  1980's Mom look is NOT COOL no matter what anyone says.  And NO your bum does not look good in these, actually it looks like a  long pancake.
2) Don't by light, light blue or acid wash...unless you are in your 20's, a size zero, and making a fashion statement... just stay away.
3) Buy jeans that actually fit. Don't care about the size, every store runs different anyway. Remember: If you squeeze you're NOT aiming to please! Muffin top is NOT an attractive thing.

SO don’t fret people…jean shopping could actually be fun for once! It’s all about understanding what looks best for your body type.
First you need to evaluate your shape in the mirror…and don’t lie, trust me your not doing yourself any favors. Harsh, I know but this is a time to be honest about how you look, because once you embrace it you can dress to make your body look its best! Trust me the right jean will make you look 10lbs thinner. How great is that? SO, what shape are you?


                                                                                                Picture from:

 Now once you understand what shape you are let’s look at what style of jean works for you.  I have created this chart to help you along. There are many styles of jeans that I have not included, but this is at least a start. Once you know the basic style of jean will look good, it will help determine what looks best!

Here are some of my favorite brands: True Religion, Levis, 7 for All Man Kind, Diesel, Joe Jeans, Paper Denim, Lucky Brand, Citizens of Humanity & Paige.

(Catherine Zeta- Jones)
Large bust, broad shoulders less defined waist and narrow hips! Ahem...Eyes up here please!  
Pear:  (Jennifer Lopez)

 Itty bitty top, with a voluptuous voom!
Hour Glass: (Jessica Rabbit)
Girl you got it going on!  Broad on top, itty bitty waist and some good birthing hips!
Rectangle: (Cameron Diaz)
One straight line down with no curves. Undefined waist, narrow hips, small bust.
I am betting you never look bad in a bikini...

Plus size: (Melissa McCarthy)
Voluptuous all over.

Curves to make the boys drool!
Great wide leg or trouser pant will do with a clean front.  (This will even out your body shape line.)

Try for lighter denim as well to draw attention to your slim bottom.
 High-rise to cover your bum and lengthen your legs.

Boot cut, Flared, or straight (the narrowest you should go)

Try for dark denim as well, to highlight your petite top.

Wide leg, boot cut, skinny, straight… basically anything goes. 
 You can wear dark or light denim. Go WILD!
Straight fit jean with slight flare,Skinny jean with larger back pockets with design to create some curves,  & boot cut.  

Basically look for any embellishment around your booty or hips  that creates an illusion of curves.

You are also probably one of the few that can get away with the boyfriend jeans as well (jealous!).
Boot cut this minimizes the hips by creating an even silhouette from top to bottom

You can wear skinny jeans! Just make sure they are high waist
Dark wash denim will make you appear your slimmest.

 Help from:, Lucky Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine

 I hope this helps and that you can embrace jean shopping and not fear it, because when you look good you feel good. Happy shopping!