Monday, November 18, 2013

Elena Worship

I worship at the altar of Elena Amsterdam .  Her blog is fantastic for people who are Gluten Free, like me, and for those who aren't as well. Her cookbooks are my go to. I have come to believe that Hashimoto's Disease symptoms can be improved greatly by going gluten free.  She has helped guide me on this new journey of healthy eating. And she has made it absolutely delish.

I am quite thrilled to have made a variation of her pumpkin spice muffins this early am. The reason I am so thrilled is that I actually tried to tweak it- and it worked. She says you have to use real pumpkin meat- not canned,  for her muffins to work. She was very specific in that. I decided to say "ah what the heck" and tried to do it with canned (organic) pumpkin and it worked. It not only worked it is one of the best batches of pumpkin muffins I've ever made and if you know my old wheat muffins you know that's saying something.  Not only are they gluten free and delish but if you use coconut flour they are low on the glycemic index and low carb.

What I did was double her recipe( I need 12 muffins not 6!) And add the tiniest bit of Pamela's Pancake and Muffin mix ( about 1/4 cup).

  Yum. Yum. Yum.

Now if you would like to try Elena's and use real pumpkin ( which I definitely will this week) her recipe is HERE. I suggest you follow her on twitter and follow her blog and buy her cookbooks. I worship at the altar of Elena's Pantry. You should too!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Buona Sera

  I'm back in Assisi again for a two week writer's workshop at  Art Workshop International.

It was 10 years ago that I first heard of the workshop while daydreaming online of writing in a far off land. My kiddles were still living young and with me so there was no way I could tear away to the hillside dream town of Assisi for two weeks.....

But now I can.
                                                                                       (View from my balcony)

 For a second year!!!

                                                             It is pure magic.

 Someday maybe this "Folly" of screenplay I'm working on with my writing partner Mary will be on the big screen for all to see.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hello There...

I've been MIA for awhile now.

Have you missed me?

I'm nursing a bad cold and decided to make some homemade....well sorta... tomato soup.
It was Fantastic.....

                                            SORTA HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP

~1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce ( I used Giada De Laurentiis from Target- voted #1 in a nation-wide taste test)
~fresh herbs ( I used oregeno and basil)
~ 1 tbs. butter
~2 cups water
~1/2 cup cream( I used half and half)

Saute the herbs in the butter for a nanno second. Add the jar of sauce, the water, the cream and let simmer for 5 minutes.

You're done.

It tastes just like Nonna used to make.

Now all you need is  a grilled cheese and  you're all set for the perfect lunch or dinner.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back by Popular Demand

For those of you that are sick of looking at Rufus' done up eye, a new post!!

Want to listen to an audio book while you drive, garden, walk, iron, wash the dishes and so on and so forth???

A sure bet is ANYTHING performed by Jeff Woodman.  I have learned through trial and error that just because a book is a best seller and everyone LOVES it, it can be a total bust if read by someone who is a dud.

Jeff Woodman is NO dud.

I have been thoroughly engrossed by his readings of -
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Life of Pi
The Curious Event of The Dog in Night Time
Midnight In The Garden of Good And Evil

He is a Master of Accents-from the voice of a child to Southern gentleman, Indian, English- you name it, he does it - and he does it most excellently. And his interreation of a woman's voice- always tricky when read by a male- is completely unoffensive. It's too bad he did not read The DaVinci Code , the all time worst book I have ever heard on tape.I am looking forward to listening to  The Air We Breathe, all about TB in pre World War U.S.A., if  only because he is the reader. I  encourage anyone to buy ANYTHING he has read. You will not be disappointed.

Simply The Best.
Thank you Jeff Woodman, Reader Extraordinaire

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Rufus Wainwright's newest album  ALL DAYS ARE NIGHTS-SONGS FOR LULU just came out today on iTunes!!!!!

How peachy... just Rufus and his piano...
Heavenly- yes!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

                                                   What a glorious Easter day.

                                                  This put a smile on my face..
This is how these 2 teens spent their Easter Mass...sunning themselves on the car.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Soldier's Song

The beyond excellent HBO series BAND OF BROTHERS has all but comsumed my life these past two weeks.

I know. It's 9 years old.

I had been racking my brain trying to remember why on earth I didn't watch it when it first came out. I am a World War II buff and to this day my trip to Normandy has been the most moving experience of my life.

After some thinking and research, I figured it out.

It premiered on September 9th of 2001. For some reason I missed the first episode. There was no Tivo in 2001. But I know it was on my radar and I was going to catch a repeat of the episode later in that week. But then the world we lived in changed two days later.

I tried watching an episode a few weeks later. I couldn't do it. The pain of 9/11 was too real and watching it was unbearable to me. I remember not being able to comprehend  how HBO could still show the series. They did in fact stop promoting it after 9/11 but it continued to do well. And I can understand why.

 It is the finest series I have ever seen. Everything about it is excellellent- from the acting, writing, set design, cinematography, editing and the hautingly beautiful music.

This series honors those brave men who served during that war. But it also honors all men and women who have served and who are serving today.

 The producers newest series, THE PACIFIC is  now showing on HBO. I am anticipating the same excellence from that.

So if you want to watch something that really has meaning- turn off The real Housewives of Whatever and turn on BAND OF BROTHERS or THE PACIFIC.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Give Me Liberty or Give Me.....

I am counting down the hours till LIBERTY OF LONDON for TARGET begins.

8 hours till it drops.
or opens.
depending on how you look at it.

The "Pop Out" store in NYC, which opened early- on March 11th, has closed due to being completely sold out!!

I'm absolutely positively without a doubt getting the bicycle.

so I can peddle across the street to my sister's house for a cup of tea.

Grand Girl will have her summer wardrobe complete.

I'm staying awake till Midnight and going straight to  for an obsessively Libertine shopping spree...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Afternoon At The Movies

Toe. Pick.Toe Pick. Toe Pick.

It's that time again...Olympic Figure Skating.
Which always makes me think of -

It's  a favorite in our household.
Just love the tension between DB Sweeny and Moira Kelley.

 They are adorable together.
A sort of modern day Tracy and Hepburn.

I never get sick of this movie.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunday Afternoon At The Movies

There is nothing much better than Masterpiece Theater- don't you think?
Masterpiece, as it is now called, began in 1971. It was a show we watched as family every Sunday night. I looked forward to hearing Alistair Cooke introduce with British elegance, each and every episode.And how bout that theme song??

More recently I have been addicted to THE FORSYTHE SAGA and enthralled with the THE LOST PRINCE,the heartbreaking true story of Prince John, the child of King George V of England and Queen Mary.

Well, the new series, EMMA, based on the book by Jane Austin , has begun and stars Romola Garai (ATONEMENT) as Emma. I had the misfortune of missing the first of 3 episodes ...

But as luck would have it... one can watch it on PBS right HERE
which I plan on doing today so I will be all caught up for the second installment in the three part series.

Laura Linney is the new Alistair Cooke and she does a fantastic job introducing the adaptations.

I loved ever so much last year's LITTLE DORRIT-and one of the best parts of each show was hearing tidbits about the corelation between LITTLE DORRIT and Dickens' real life, as told by Ms. Linney.

I have got the Tivo set for recording a Season Pass for all of this year's
 "Masterpiece"  which has some fine show's coming up....

"The 39 Steps

Secret agent Richard Hannay battles German spies on the eve of World War I in a riveting and romantic new version of the classic thriller by John Buchan, made famous in Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 movie. Masterpiece favorite Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion) stars as Hannay.

Sharpe's Challenge

In 1817, soldier-adventurer Richard Sharpe comes out of retirement to quash a rebellion in British India and rescue his old friend. Sean Bean returns as the swashbuckling hero of this legendary series based on the novels of Bernard Cornwell. Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi guest stars.

Sharpe's Peril

The thrilling adventures of Colonel Richard Sharpe continue as he leads a ragtag party of civilians and soldiers across India, with the murderous army of an opium lord in hot pursuit. Daragh O'Malley stars as Sharpe's comrade-in-arms, Sergeant Major Patrick Harper.

The Diary of Anne Frank

The most accurate adaptation of Anne Frank's account of life hiding from the Nazis stars Ellie Kendrick as a maturing teenager who undergoes an extraordinary ordeal. Iain Glen, Tamsin Greig and Felicity Jones also star. The Diary of Anne Frank airs on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010.

Small Island

The saga of two couples — one Jamaican, one English — whose lives intertwine in both friendship and tragic misunderstanding in post-World-War-II Britain. Naomie Harris and David Oyelowo star as the Jamaican immigrants, with Ruth Wilson and Benedict Cumberbatch as their English landlords." ( as per PBS site)