Friday, November 28, 2008

A Special Thank You...

All of you who have donated money to NieNie and Mr Neislon- Im sure you will be as touched as me by this video. It makes me happy to see Mr Nielson looking well and at peace.I look forward to the day when Stephanie is back home with her man and her children.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

God Bless Us All

This is a postcard of the painting THANKSGIVING by Doris Lee that I have. I am now on the hunt for a lithograph or poster. Isn't it just perfect?The original is at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was painted in 1935.It's a perfect parody of my family of women- the woman in the mink is my mom,the baker- my sis Mag, me at the stove, my baby sister Cara with the basket of veggies and fruit and my sis Bridget getting ready to set the table. I just love it. For a picture of it from the Museum click HERE Another blog, THE MAGPIE FILES, did a nice piece on the artist HERE.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Familes are Good for...

Wishful thinking and Losing weight right before Turkey Day without even trying...

1. Go to sister's house to hang out at dinnertime.
2. See there is no red wine in the house and suffer with old Pinot Grigio from the fridge-so you wont drink alot..
3. Try to have some homemade soup and acini pepe noodles - just like Grandma's only to find out the mixture is over a week old.
4. Decide to have her delicious homemade blue cheese dressing and tomatoes- but find out the blue cheese dressing has gone off too.
5. Decide to have some of the salad from the pizza place only to realise your niece has chomped on half of it.
6. Out of desperation - since there's no cheese and crackers or potato chips to gorge on, make Orville popcorn in the microwave.
7. Burn that.
8.Sister screams that she will make some of her blue cheese dressing for you.
9. She has no sour cream.
10 But she does have yogurt-relief.
11. Make a great looking salad with cucumbers and tomatoes- only to realize that her yogurt is french vanilla which doesn't make a good dressing to say the least.
12. Forage some more.
13.Find some old Devonshire Clotted cream which expired in May. Throw that out.
14.Find some real popcorn kernels and Crisco- make your own homemade popcorn- relief.
15. Still hungry.
26. Niece offers to make you the soft pretzel you saw in the freezer.
27. Find out after the first bite that was purchased sometime within the last century,and toss that as well.
28. Eye sister's homemade royal icing in the corner- go to dig in- only to see its as hard as a rock and it is still in the corner for a reason.
29. Finally gorge on some pate and pretzel crackers after a long work-out of trying to find something to eat....
30. Watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with sis Mag and Mr Bob and call it a night-none the heavier...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teacup Tuesday

Who'd have thought that my very first Teacup Tuesday would bring a comforting cup- of -tea-like message from Heaven? But it did.

My mom had emailed my cousin Diane, who I hadn't seen or talked to in quite awhile. She mentioned my blog to her.

And what day was it?
Teacup Tuesday.

There she was looking at my blog and in front of her was one of her aunt, my Grandma Miranda's, cherished teacups.

Now my Grandma Miranda is not my blood grandmother- but she might as well be. She married my grandfather Joe two years after he became a widower. She helped finish raising my mom, who was 14 and my uncle, who was 11. It was hard work.

But she did it.

She did it well.

When I came along 7 years later,I was the baby that she never had.

Lucky me.

My Grandma Miranda and cousin Diane's mom, Yolanda , were thick-as- thieves sisters( all the girls in the family were named after Italian Princesses- Miranda, Yolanda, Mifalda!) I spent many a day and night over at my Aunt Yolanda's house while the two woman kept each other company.They were inseparable.

Grandma Miranda has been gone now for many years.Aunt Yolanda died a few years ago. I miss them every day.

But there it was Teacup Tuesday, and I was reading an email from Diane.

She asked if she could have one of her dear Aunt Miranda's teacups and that she would give me on of her mother's in return!

What a treasure.

So now, not only do I have teacups from all three of my grandmothers I also now have one of my dear aunt's as well. All thanks to Teacup Tuesday.

What did she send me ?

A Shelley.
She said her mother loved Shelley teacups because they were so delicate. I have always loved Shelley as well. It makes me happy knowing that the two sister's cherished teacups are sitting together in two different homes.

The picture I chose if of the two sister's teacups-together, along with a Royal Dalton figurine, "Josephine", between them. Josephine was the grandmother I never knew- who died much too soon-with two children and a husband left behind.Grandma Miranda and Nonno Joe gave it to me when they were still alive. I like knowing that she is there happily standing between the two sister cups- all three of them lived each day with one important goal-to make their family happy. What a perfect way to live!

Thanks to you,Susie,for thinking up Teacup Tuesday!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This is my 100th post. I guess I've been writing up a storm about nothing at all.

I have a book to share from one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten. So leave me a comment and I will pull a name from a hat on Friday. Anyone who posts between now and Thanksgiving will have a chance to win!!

The book is great- there are so many recipes I want to try.I'm sure whoever gets it will agree!

Continuing my Thanksgiving preparations...I always make the Mashed Potatoes and my sis Maggie makes the Scalloped Mushrooms. Here are the recipes for both- well worth trying..

Scalloped Mushrooms

9 tbl unsalted butter
3 lbs assorted mushrooms cut in 1/4's
1 tsp. coarse alt
1/2 tp pepper
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parm. cheese

Preheat oven to 350'

1.Heat 1 tbl butter in large skillet ove med. heat.
2.Work in 4 batches of the mushrooms, melting more butter over and over, till all mushrooms are cooked-about 5 minutes a batch.
3.Add heavy cream ,parm cheese and salt and pepper.
4.Transfer all to a baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and the rest of the cheese.
5.Bake until golden- about 25 minutes

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These can be made early in the morning and put out on the cold porch till dinnertime or covered tight and frozen for a week or two and thawed.Heat in the oven for about 3o minutes till slightly golden on top..

Preheat oven to 350'

7lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 1/2 packages Philly Cream Cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 1/2 cups half/half
1 tbl coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1.Peel the potatoes and cut in half.Boil till done- about 15- 20 minutes.
2.Place the potatoes in the mixer along with 1 stick of butter and the cream cheese. 3.Add the sour cream,half and half and salt and mix till combined.
4.TASTE-This is a def taste as you go dish- I add butter, more half and half and sour cream or salt -or all if need be. This is very important. If its perfect- leave it alone but I always have to fix it up.
5.Pour it in a large baking dish and dot with 1/2 stick of butter. Place in oven til lightly browned- about 30 minutes.

Both recipes are a bit of Heaven on a plate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gobble Gobble

I don't know bout you but I'm getting ready for the big feast next week.
Ive ordered my desserts- 50 cupcakes- Bakers Cafe style(Magnolia and Sprinkles- you got noting on them), along with Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake, Kahlua Cream Cheese Cake- and scones- all done by baker Ingrid of the fantastic former Bakers Cafe..

I am going out and getting my turkey tomorrow at Turco's .May I suggest a Maple Crest Farm Turkey??Those are my favorites- and voted the best by Cook's magazine a few years back.

Then I go to William Sonoma and get a turkey brining bag. I BRINE the turkey ala chef Chris Schlesinger. I have been making this recipe for 8 years now. The bourbon really does the trick..

Brining the Turkey ALA Chris

2 gallons cold water
2 cups Bourbon(I use Wild Turkey- in his honor)
2 cups plus 2 tbl. course salt(Kosher is good for me)
1 cup sugar

Put all the ingredients in brining bag and stir till sugar and salt are melted.Put the turkey in the brining bath. For safety's sake- put the bag in a big pot and let the turkey sit in the brine for 18-36 hours( I do 36 hours)If you have a pot big enough for the turkey and don't have a bag- you can just put brine the turkey in the big pot.

Pat the turkey dry and do as you usually do- for me ,I stick sage leaves under the skin,slather in butter, stuff the bird with some apples and onions, shake Bells Poultry Seasoning over the bird and stick him in a 350d oven -breast side first-uncovered till golden- about the first half hour or so,then cover with foil till done. be watchful- some times the brined turkey takes a bit less than the usual turkey to cook.

It will be the BEST most tender bird you've ever had.When you make the gravy- you will need NO SALT- it actually might be a bit salty-so adjust as you go.

My friend Faith's mom used to make Stuffing Balls- she was Italian- so I do that as well.They are delicious- crunchy on the outside-soft on the inside. And what a conversation piece. It works with any stuffing recipe, but I once again, use Chris'-its delicious. And, as Martha Stewart said on her show when he did it all up- You use CREAM in your Stuffing and not chicken broth????

Oh yeah.

Cornbread,Apple and Sausage Stuffing

Homemade Cornbread(use your favorite recipe- or buy one made from the bakery)
1 lb sweet sausage
1 cup(2 sticks)unsalted butter
4 medium red onions, finely chopped
8 celery stalks
4 Granny Smith Apples-peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup chopped fresh sage

In large pan over medium heat,cook sausage till done,transfer to small bow, set aside.

Melt butter in same pan. Add onions and celery till translucent- about 15 min. Add apples, and cranberries, stir till combined and cook 5 minutes. Add half and half ad cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add sage and remove from heat. Add broken up cornbread and sausage. let cool slightly- so you don't burn your hands. Form stuffing balls- about the size of a small orange. Bake in oven till crisp- about 30-45 minutes-as an added bonus- our some of the turkey juices over the balls when they first go in.

Next up- sides-Mushroom casserole and make ahead mashed potatoes.

Look for them on Sunday- which will be my 100th POST!!!
I'll be giving away Ina Garten's newest cookbook to one of you as a thank you for reading my jibberish.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


It's back......

for now.

Sunday night.November 23rd.



to get us updated on whats been going on with Jack.

Then the new season begins on January 11th.

Here's the trailor for this Sunday's 2 hour event.

so get ready- I am.My tivo is on and programmed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Congrats to Teree for winning the Its a Wonderful Life dvd- sorry so late on the response..

Up next- my 100th post giveaway- I'll be giving Ina Garten's new book out- so get your fingers ready to post a comment when that comes up to win..

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grandma's are for ....


I can't believe I'm back in the kiddy stores again- but that's what grandma's do.

Janie and Jack is one of my favorites.
Know any kiddies you want to buy a little something for?The sale starts today through Sunday...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Already started Chritmas Shopping

Have you??

Shhh. Don't tell- got lots here at this KATE SPADE sale.Today and Tomorrow only..

Thanks Caraboo for the tip

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

its' beginning to look alot like...

Christmas Martha Stewart Style

Sign up for the Online Craft Workshop like me- it looks like great fun!!And what is better than a homemade gift made from love- whether the economy is in the tank or not.Click Martha's highlighted name above to sign up...

And if you are not so inclined- pretend to be- go on ETSY for great homemade gifts. I bought the most beautiful Giant Blue smocked dress for Grand Girl for Christmas- with the Nativity scene embroidered on it.I typed in smocked dress in the searched and it came up- it is SO CUTE...Click HERE to see it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teacup Tuesday

Hi Everyone
It's Teacup Tuesday- I got the great idea from fellow blogger Susie .Check her blog out.

Are any of you teacup lovers like like me?? I know that a bunch of you are.

My collection is from my three grandmothers. I have all together 27 sitting in my grandma Kass's china cabinet.

I LOVE my TEACUPS. Each one has it's own story.

This one is very special to me.It was my Grandma Miranda's.It is a Royal Minster,made in England. I love it because I love Goldfinch's and knowing this was hers made me realize, after she was gone, that she loved them too.

Every spring when the goldfinch's come back to eat the thistle in my back yard- I know spring is here.They beckon me to wake up early and smell the roses. Their voices are so short and sweet- I think that's where the saying must have come from ..To hear what they sound like click HERE.The all-birds website says that they seem to be saying "Potato chip". No wonder I love them so much!

I am very picky about my tea-
-I have to have the water boiled on the stove- not done in one of those fast tea maker machines.
-I CANNOT have a cup of tea out of Styrofoam.
-I need either 2% milk or whole milk with my PK Tips, Lipton,English or Irish Breakfast or Darjeeling tea.
-I can't stand Earl grey tea.
-I need sugar or honey in my tea.

There is nothing better than a cup of hot tea with all the above in a Bone China teacup.

And most important-it tastes best in one of my grandmother's treasures.

To make it The Most Perfect Tea - I have clotted cream, "Devonshire Cream"-imported from England, on a home- made Maple Walnut Scone from the Baker's Cafe Cookbook, which you can buy on Sloan Wainwright's website.

Maple Walnut Scones

Yield 12-15 scones

4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 lb butter-cubed
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup maple syrup1 cup chopped walnuts

1 beaten egg(used for "painting" tops)

In large bowl,sift together the flour,sugar,baking powder and baking soda with a wooden spoon. Cut butter with pastry cutter until mixture is well combined.
It will have a course texture. In a small bowl,whisk together the buttermilk,syrup,and walnuts. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and combine well. Add additional flour if dough is too sticky. Roll out to 1" thick on floured surface and cut into circles using a 3" cutter or an upside down glass. Re-roll dough as necessary. Place scones on well greased cookie sheet. Brush each with beaten egg. Bake at 400 f for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. I always make a double batch and freeze one. They are THAT GOOD....Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I was feeling like a blimp until this picture came in the mail on the cover of a magazine.It's by Sam Shaw, in 1957, the same photographer who took the famous picture of Marilyn in the white dress above the subway vent,makes me SO HAPPY.

Look at her body and take comfort in your curves girls...

Friday, November 7, 2008


This is one night I have been looking forward to for two years now.I went to Carnegie Hall two years ago and saw the show and patiently waited for it last year but,alas, they skipped last year.

It is NOT to be missed and will sell out soon.The concert feels as if you are part of a homespun Christmas party at the Wainwright/McGarrigle home, but you're not- you're in Carnegie Hall!!

The McGarrigle Christmas Hour featuring the one and only Rufus Wainwright and his sister, Martha Wainwright on December 10, 2008 at Carnegie Hall and there will be some very special guests. Kate and Anna McGarrigle are thrilled to welcome Emmylou Harris, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Jimmy Fallon, Teddy Thompson, Justin Bond, my pal Sloan Wainwright and more!
Click HERE for more info.

Hurry before it's too late and you have to buy the tickets on EBAY.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Historic Moment

I can't say I'm ecstatic about the results of the election. But I have to trust in GOD that this is the right man for our country.

So I'm going to make lemonade out of lemons.

I am so proud that our country has come so far since the 1960's- which was not really that long ago.

In President Obama's honor,especially those of you who voted for Obama, how bout spreading a little of the cheer upon two places close to my heart? Located right where President Obama's father was from- Kenya...

Faces of Kibera, started by my daughter, is an organization helping orphans in Kibera, the second largest slum in the world. Obama visited Kibera when he went to Kenya a few years back. Faces of Kibera's goal is to raise enough money to open up a new orphanage for the children of Mama Tunza's Children's Center and get them out of the horrific slum.Until then, the organization supports the orphanage by giving the place money for food, medical supplies and teachers salaries. Faces of Kibera has been able to provide for a water source , electricity and toilets for the children there.

Another place right in Kenya, and close to Mama Tunza's, is

Hekima Place was started by a woman in Pittsburgh, Kate Fletcher, after her husband died. She moved to Kenya and opened a home for girls who have been orphaned by AIDS. It is a happy, bright place- a real home for these girls. 5 of the girls from Mama Tunza's are now living there.

God Bless America and it's people. Let is continue to be the beacon of hope for all the world.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I found a show to help fill in the gap of Mad Men.

It's not anything like Mad Men.

It's pretty intense.

AMC is becoming the best network on TV.

Certainly makes you see GREY instead of black and white.

I didn't know what "Breaking Bad" meant so I looked on AMC to find out..
" Sometimes, life forces you to cross the line. You're going about your normal everyday routine, when suddenly something truly awful happens and all that pent-up rage you feel about your job, your marriage, your very existence, is released with unstoppable fury. Some call it "reaching the breaking point"; others call it "breaking bad."

Oh, so now I get it...

This is the show that has the MAN that stole the Best Acting Emmy nod from Jon Hamm- our love-able hate-able Don Draper of Mad Men.

His name is Bryan Cranston(Walt).

He is THAT good.

and that BAD.

His sidekick Aaron Paul(Jesse) holds his own next to the Emmy Award Winner.

It's WEEDS to the tenth degree- way better- way,way better.
Can't wait for Season Two.

Here's a treat- the first show....

After that you will have to itunes the other 7 shows for $1.99 each or wait til they repeat it again.

But you're gonna want to itunes it.

Thanks Bridgey for badgering me to watch it.

Anyone know when Season 2 starts?


Tomorrow is ALL COMFORT DAY.

Email me your recipes or shopping tips, drinks etc- so I can post them..I'll be posting ALL DAY- adding as the day goes on..So stop back often.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good Sport

Gotta love that SNL and John McCain, war hero, and THE man to lead our country the next 4 years.


Here's Tina Fey's premiere of 30 Rock this year.I know Im behind the times but I just started watching it.If you're like me then here it is...

Saturday, November 1, 2008



I should have realized that yesterday (HALLOWEEN) wasn't going too well-when my poor Betty Boop (who I'd been looking forward to going to the Parade with in the Village with Grand Girl) got attacked by Rosie "the Rivater" Brown. Rosie had been teased one too many times by Betty trying to "herd" her out to the back pasture and then KABOOM- Betty has a sprained front paw!!! So, no Halloween Parade this year for her as Piggly Wiggly.

Thank Goodness for the Pinch Hitter- Baby Oskar aka "baby Killer bee"- who was a big hit at the Parade- the ONLY dog there- I was so surprised..

Then to hear this...

My upstanding newspaper- The NY POST :) - along with others, has been kicked off BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA'S plane.

I have tried to be as unbiased as a Republican can be- but now IM FREAKED.

Did McCain kick the NY SLIMES off his plane after the horrible article about his wife? I think not.I wouldn't blame him if he did.

Now Im starting to believe the screams of Socialism and the stiffling of Freedom of Speech.

Ive heard their excuse is "not enough room on the plane."

What about their network infomercial over all the airwaves?? They can't get a big enough plane for the press- but they can have that?

...It will all be over soon, and then I can get back to musing about nothingness.

But for now..

If you're Catholic-or if you go to church or synagogue....this is an emotional, stirring little video.

...Just like my Catholic faith, I agree strongly with most things as far as being a Republican goes,but there are some things that I don't agree with. BUT it is my party and I'd much rather be a Republican than a Democrat-no ifs, ands or buts- there is much more I disagree with in the Democrat party than disagree with in the Republican.

And finally there's this too from a disabled Iraq War veteran -
one of the most watched videos on YOUTUBE...

I dont know how this is going to turn out-even though ABC,CBS.NBC,CNN,MSNBC- all seem to know- but I can sleep peacefully knowing who my candidate is and who SHOULD be the next president- not necessarily who WILL be the next one.

McCain was a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton longer than BHO has served this country of ours.

To my liberal/Democratic friends and family- please keep reading- I don't want my candle to be blown out from your view like the NY POST..

And soon Ill be back to my jibberish-

all COMFORT,all RECIPES, all FOOD, all SHOPPING, NO politics-


AND- the NIENIE EBAY event-starts today- my very own VINTAGE sale begins then as well.Look over to the right side of the screen for details.

Have a howling good weekend...

If you have any comforts you'd like me to add(food,shopping,wine,books,music- whatever your fav comforts)to my ALL-COMFORT DAY- email me- you know my email- and if not- put it in the commments below and Ill add it to that day's blog. Thanks!