Friday, August 29, 2008

Linguine with Fresh NO COOK Tomato-Olive Sauce

Aaah, it has been far too long since I made this dish but I loved it so! I like the fact that the sauce needs no cooking, that you just throw the ingredients in a bowl & let the room temperature do its magic. Perfect with a piece of crusty bread & a glass of your favorite wine.

Photo borrowed from Google

2 lbs seeded diced plum tomatoes
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup pitted & chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup diced yellow pepper
1/2 cup + 2 tblsp slivered fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tblsp lemon juice
1 lb linguine
8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2in cubes
Salt & Pepper

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, olives, yellow pepper, 1/2 cup basil, green onions, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir & let stand at room temp for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Toss cooked pasta with mixture & add mozzarella. Garnish with basil & parmesan.


Have a great weekend everyone!  I am entertaining tomorrow for Labor Day. On the menu will be bacon cheddar burger sliders on sweet Hawaiian rolls with horseradish mayo, artichoke dip, some chicken sausage with peppers & onions & some homemade sweet tea. I'll be spiking a little on the side for myself!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spongebob Want a Chicken Sausage?

Check out the pictures from our one night stay at the Nickelodeon Hotel here in Orlando. My sister is in town with my niece Jordan & nephew Adam. We don't have too many cousins & ALL of them live a plane ride away so when these kids get together it's extra special. They all adore each other!

Click to enlarge

While we weren't crazy about our room except for the painted mural in the kids room (middle right) the pool area is the main attraction with their huge slide complex. As a local, one day was good enough for me! Don't miss the slime that pours out of the Spongebob bucket (middle left). People actually wait in line to get slimed!

We also enjoyed a show in one of the studios that evening where families dual one another & loser gets either slimed or pie thrown in their face.

And because I am all about the food, check out the awesome open faced omelet I made night before last for dinner. It looks like a pizza!

I sauteed 1/2 of a chicken apple sausage by Aidells, with spinach & tomato. I then poured 3 egg whites over the top & let it sit for a few minutes on low heat to cook through. Sprinkle on a little mozzarella with salt, pepper & my new fav in eggs - garlic powder. It was delicious. Check out the sausages here. The first 2 ingredients are chicken & diced apple. They sure are better than hot dogs & I only used half of one for this very healthy dish!

Wordful Wednesdays

Angie at 7 Clown Circus just launched Wordful Wednesdays. This is my first time participating in something like this. I thought it would be a good idea because while my shtick is mostly recipes I often find myself putting off things I want to document, especially about my bigger love than cooking - family. I had already posted my recipe below for Calzones & I'm sorry to double up on you today but I don't want to miss Angie's 1st day. Check her out & participate if you would like.

On this 2nd pic I wrote his name 1st so he would have a guideline:

Tristan is 4yo & in pre-k, getting ready for kindergarten next year. We recently started practicing his writing for 15 minutes each night. I always LOVED school & writing when I was younger & I'm just super excited to get to sit down & spend this kind of time with him. I often picture the future as he is sitting at the kitchen table asking me questions re: his homework while I get dinner on the table.

On his 2nd day he says to me, "Mommy, let's circle my best part, because I didn't do so well over there." Do you remember when you used to use these sheets? They bring back sweet memories.

Yo Tony, Can I Get a Calzone Ovah Heaya???

Why yes, you can! These were delicious!! I was so excited to make them because I never had before, so I have Angela at Hello Dahrlin' to thank for these. Here is the link Angela uses for Roasted Chicken-Artichoke Calzones.

These did inspire me to try another variation the very next day which is what I want to share here. These were a hit, anyone can do them! While the oven is heating you get your filling together & bam, they're in baking for only 12 minutes. Go make them!!!!!!!!!!!!

SMOC Calzones (Spinach, Mushroom, Onion, Chicken)

Mushrooms & onion, lightly sautéed & cooled
(I sauteed these in Pam on high heat for just a few minutes so it wasn't a wet mixture)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic clove, minced
2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach leaves
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (about 5 ounces)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine mushrooms, onions, salt, pepper & garlic in a large bowl. Add spinach, cheese & chicken. Toss gently to combine.

Brush oil over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll dough onto prepared baking sheet. Cut into 6 equal portions. Cover & let rest 5 minutes. Pat each portion into a 6 x 5-inch rectangle. Spoon 2/3 cup spinach mixture into center of each dough portion. Fold one corner of each dough portion over spinach mixture to form a triangle. Press edges together with fingers to seal. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden. Throw under broiler for 45 seconds to brown on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Cut in half. Serve with marinara sauce. Makes 6 calzones.

My Thoughts:

The original artichoke calzones were great but we did feel the artichokes were a little too overpowering so next time I will cut it in half. If you use the original recipe I recommend doubling the garlic, using more cheese & throwing under the broiler.

The variation I made above was outstanding & we all loved them. Some dipped in sauce but I didn't feel the need. Also, the cornmeal I feel is a must. Not only does it prevent sticking but it adds a nice texture to the outside of the calzones. I sprinkled some on my counter & patted the calzones out there.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The 5 Ingredients You Meet In Heaven

Bacon. Egg. Cheese. Bagel. Butter.

Breakfast Sunday morning. One of my favorite sandwiches of all time.

This was a trimmed down version as it was a mini whole wheat bagel with turkey bacon!!!!

Update: This was supposed to post yesterday while I spent the day at the Nickelodeon Hotel but there were was an error. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I will be back later with a recipe for a delicious calzone I made over the weekend so we can get back to our regularly scheduled recipes!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Creativity Out of the Kitch?

It's early so grab a cup of coffee & sit with me for a few minutes. After all, if you're like me, that's what I wish I could do more often, sit down with my friends & gURLfriends, gabbing over a hot cup o' joe.

I wanted to share a cute little idea I came up with during my Mothers Day Extravaganza. And then it hit me that I really wanted to share that day with you as well since, when I wrote the post back in May, I didn't have many visitors. In fact, I had two comments & one was from me. Hah! So, I would love it if you went back & checked out the very special day & how we celebrated Mother's Day. It has a bunch of pictures that really captured the day & a couple ideas you might want to use for your next party!

I was a bit proud of myself around this time because while I do have a creative side I don't use it a lot outside of the kitchen. But when I do get inspired, I usually can't be stopped. That reminds me to show you the invitation for my son's bday party I made 2 years ago. With his 5th bday coming up next month I am sure I'll get the chance. Anyway, this is what I did to some store bought candles for the Mother's Day party. So simple.

I take off all the stickers & then I use rub on words &/or adhesive fabric that I have bought from the crafts store. It takes just minutes & really makes a difference. They're great for around the house or for last minute gift bag ideas. I gave one to each Mom at the party.

While this one wasn't my favorite it still worked. The green is actually prettier in real life. The backside of the candle says "forever."

You can forget about the fabric & use just the words to make a difference as well. I have two candles, one on each side of my stove. On one I have simply put the word "adventure" and on the other "together."

Soggy Biscuits

Yep, that's what I feel like. Biscuits in gravy - good. Biscuits drenched in gravy for 3 days - no good. Been raining for 24 hours straight!!! No power last night for a bit so I couldn't cook or watch a chick flick. But I'm not complaining because we're only getting the rain, nothing's damaged so I'm thankful.

Here are a few pics I found that I just love:

This is Tristan & his girlfriend Emily. They had been going to the same daycare/school since they were crawling, up until this year. She is such a sweet, beautiful girl. We live close so I know we'll be getting together throughout the years until they marry. Hah..

I also decided to compile a list, to the right here below My Morsels, which shows the dishes I would like to make. I have a box full of them at home but the ones listed here are mostly the ones I find through blogs as well as online sources. Up until now I had been bookmarking them and/or copying & pasting them into a word document, & also marking from whose blog I got it from to give credit once I made it. But my list of favorites at work was getting too long & is not accessible from home.

And finally, I received some blog love I wanted to share. This was very appreciated & came from Bobbi at Rightmyers's
. Thank you Bobbi. Go visit her, she has some mighty fine recipes to share.

I'll pass this on soon.
Until then, have a great weekend! Stay safe & dry!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Swiss Mushroom Chicken Bake

I made that name up & I think I'll keep it. The original was fancy fast chicken. I made this new dish last night & it was super easy & super delish. I will definitely make this again! Ya see, you're inspiring me!!! I have this long list of new dishes to try but I have an equally large collection of old favorites.


Anyhoo, this my Haitu (2 words, 2 words, 2 words.....) to express just how easy this was. And for a weeknight when I start dinner at 6 that's exactly what I need: Preheat oven. Prepare everything. 10 minutes. Pop in. Haitu done. Now, I loved that I was done prepping by the time the preheating was done. And when I popped it in the oven I went on the treadmill.

Swiss Mushroom Chicken Bake (adapted from
4 thin chicken cutlets
4 slices Baby Swiss cheese
4 oz pkg of fresh gourmet mushrooms
1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup white wine plus a little more
1 cup Pepperide Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing
A little melted buttah!

Pre-heat oven. Place chicken in lightly greased (I used Pam) glass baking dish. Top each chicken with slice of cheese. Lay mushrooms on top. I used 1/2 of a 4oz package but next time I plan to use the whole pkg. Mix cream of mushroom with wine & spoon over each piece of chicken. Spread stuffing mix & drizzle melted butter on top. I took a little extra wine & lightly poured a little around the edges of the dish, for steaming purposes of course. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

My Thoughts:

I don't use canned goods too much but I am starting to become a little more flexible with the cream of's because, as in this dish, I only used 1/2 can. It was more than enough especially when mixed with the wine & I only spooned a bit over each piece of chicken rather than the dish being completely drenched in sauce/cream.

As I was prepping, I thought this would be enough mushrooms but they weren't. Use entire 4 oz package next time if you love 'em.

I love meals like this where I can enjoy a glass of wine that was also used in the cooking of the dish! Notice there were NO leftovers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Martini Prizes & Caribbean Rice, Oh My!

Last night I fixed a recipe for Caribbean rice I found at Deanna's Corner Cooking, as a side dish to some store bought rotisserie chicken. While Terry didn't love it, I did enjoy it. It called for Jasmine rice which I really love & can eat on its own. While I don't rate it as high as most of the recipes I post, I do feel that one person's 6 is another person's 10. It certainly beats making the same rice dishes all the time & keeps me away from the sodium filled prepared boxes. Plus, it has veggies in it. So, it is worth a try because it's so simple, you have nothing to lose!

Caribbean Rice with Black Beans & Coconut Milk
5-6 cups cooked jasmine rice (2 cups uncooked rice)
1 tsp dried thyme (or one Tblsp fresh)
1-2 Tb canola oil
4-5 small sweet peppers of red, orange and yellow
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of green onions, sliced thinly
4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed1 can coconut milk
While the rice is cooking, saute the peppers & garlic in the oil until soft. Add the thyme to the rice before covering to simmer. Add the green onions & saute 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the black beans and warm through then add the rice and coconut milk. Stir over med-low heat until well combined and heated through. Serve hot.

I halved this recipe & it still can serve at least 4-5 people. However, I still only used 1 can of beans which was more than enough although halving calls for 2 cans. And I still used about 4 small sweet peppers anyway.

___________________________ *** ___________________________

And here's a couple shots of what my account of the most perfect Martini party won me.

I used my new cocktail shaker to mix up some mojitos Monday night. This is where some of the magic happens - blogging that is. Here at home on Terry's Mac. Most of it though is done at work, naturally!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hurricane Tuesday/Weekend Update

Just came into work for a few hours while we all wait for this hurricane & want to post a few more pictures from the wonderful weekend. I can promise tomorrow that I will have some yummy recipes because I plan on cooking tonight since I'll be home early. So, we will be back to our regularly scheduled food program. I also received my wonderful martini set & took quite a few photos of that last night while I made mojitos.
Another couple pics of Peanut. You can really see how small he is in
the pic above as I am holding the bowl for him to eat out of.

Below is one of my favorite beach bars, the Patio Bar & Grille in
Deerfield Beach, FL. This place just recently experienced a major makeover & it is beautiful. I loved it before when it was just a hole in the wall.

My new profile picture. Very appropo I think. I love the Blue Moon.
The 4 of us: Terry, Me, Tom & Tara. I would have fun with them in a cardboard box.
Me & Terry

Above: One of my all time favorite beach side lunches. Light & delicious & most importantly, leaves lotsa room for the drinks.
Below: I LOVED the way our drinks were served at our late night dinner. Anyone in the Boca area should visit Abe & Louie's Steakhouse. It was outstanding!

The appetizers were to die for. Stone Crab out of the shell served with a mustard sauce, and ahi tuna. We were all in heaven!

It's easy to see why I wasn't so disappointed we didn't make it to Islamorada. It was a weekend of best friends, delicious food, great cocktails (I never even mentioned Tom makes the best cappucinos), the salty air & the beautiful beach. Good times, good times!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

MOnkey MOnday!

Because of the weather threat to the Keys, we decided to stay at our friend's house in Boca Raton for the weekend. Tara has been my best friend since 7th grade in New York, so spending the whole weekend with her & her husband was a blast. The weather was beautiful as we knew it would be the calm before the storm. We were more concerned with traffic, gas shortages, pending Keys evacuation & just thought it best not to go TOWARD the issue.

Tara & Tom are huge animal lovers so in addition to two dogs & a few sugar gliders, they have a pet monkey I was so excited to meet. In addition to monkeying around with Peanut, we had a delicious breakfast at an outside cafe, went to the beach, ate at one of my favorite open air beachside bars, napped, tried a couple martinis, laughed until I cried, enjoyed an outstanding late night steak dinner (first time having a bone-in filet mignon & dinner at 9pm) & realized just how much I missed Tara. The weekend ended up being just as fantastic as we had set it out to be, it was just in a different locale.

Here's Peanut sporting her diaper. She is actually much smaller than she appears in this photo. She won't ever get to be more than 1 lb. So small in fact that she sits comfortably on the bill of my husband's baseball hat. We know!
Tomorrow, I will post photos of our weekend including my
new profile picture!
Happy Monday all!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Islamorada & French Fries

Hello, this is Stephanie, I can't come to the phone right now so please leave me a message & I'll get back to you just as soon as I come back from here...
Islamorada, FL is one of my favorite places because I always feel like I am in the Bahamas yet it's just a short drive away especially when the drive is broken up by stops to my best friend, Tara or my sister Lauren, who are also coming along with their guys. This weekend will be my 5th time there but just my 2nd time at the Full Moon party below & the 1st going as a couples weekend.

Islamorada means feeling laid back with a boat ride to the sandbar, visits to the tiki bar, breakfast on the water, seafood.......
Every Full Moon, Pierre's Restaurant (above) hosts a large beach party with multiple bonfires in the sand & many different specialty drinks available at indoor & outdoor bars. You can find couples as well as families relaxing on adirondack chairs, tropical colored tiki tables & stools, or on blankets, enjoying the Reggae band in the center of the beach, while DJ's maintain the dance & party vibe. There's also Brazilian Capoeira dancers, Bahamian Junkanoo Parade, a circus thru the beach (stilt walkers, fireblowers, acrobats, etc.), face painters, balloon artists, giant screen TV’s & fireworks.
I bought these red baskets at a restaurant supply store along with the waxed paper which I no longer have. They're perfect for hot dogs & french fries.
Just as I like to always have a cocktail while cooking, it's the same for when I am packing for a trip. So, last night while having my solo night & before watching the last bits of Serendipity, I put the iPod on high, poured a nice cold Blue Moon. Then, I noticed 2 lonely potatoes on the counter & felt the need to make french fries. It's been years since I've made french fries at home. French fries are my chocolate....if I could have them everyday I would. I'm almost regretful they came out so good because now I am going to want to do it again. So simple:
Potatoes, skin on
Vegetable Oil
Peanut Oil

Heat oil in a deep pan. I only put an inch or so of oil & since I ran out of veggie oil I added some peanut oil. I really think it contributed to the taste so next time I will purposely do the same. Cut the potatoes into uniform ¼ inch sticks. Place in oil & fry for 10 minutes, turning periodically. Drain on paper towel & sprinkle with sea salt, pepper & a tiny bit of garlic powder.
The good news is there was sooo much oil left in the pan so how much could have really gotten into the french fries ?
Happy Weekend All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chicken & Spinach Bruschetta Bake

I don't often throw together an original dinner that is worthy of putting down on paper. But last night I made something, inspired by one item I bought from our local seafood market, so I must record it for future use. If you can get this bruschetta shown here, or something very close in your neighborhood store, I highly recommend making this "simple enough for a weeknight but delicious enough for a weekend meal."
Although the jar lists tomatoes first, the pepper taste is more prominent. It lists the ingredients on the Roland website as: Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Eggplants, Sunflower Seed Oil, Sugar, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Garlic, Hot Peppers, Parsley.

Bruschetta Sauce
4 Chicken cutlets or filets
Salt, pepper, garlic
Olive oil
Fresh Baby Spinach
Shredded Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375. In a casserole dish, spread some sauce across the bottom. Lay your chicken fillets or cutlets on top. Spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic & breadcrumbs. Add a heaping tablespoon of sauce on each. Top with fresh baby spinach leaves and shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with a little more salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with garlic olive oil spaghetti.
A quick & easy garlic olive oil: heat 1/4 cup olive oil in pan. Roughly chop 1 large clove garlic & sauté in oil. Cook until fragrant, only 2-3 minutes. Take off heat & stir in a little butter. Toss with spaghetti & parmesan cheese.
Similar enough to a chicken parmesan without the added work of dipping the chicken in egg & breadcrumbs, but with added benefit of the spinach.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Broiled Coconut-Lime Chicken Thighs

I long to make these again because they were soooo delicious & outside the norm of what I cook. Usually, I wouldn't make chicken thighs for a Sunday night dinner with my parents & in laws but because of the uniqueness of & effort put into this marinade, I made it the center of attention & it did not disappoint!!!! Between the peanuts, coconut & lime it felt very Caribbean-esque. You want something different? Check these out.

Picture taken from Food Network since I made this dish during my pre-blog era.
Actual coating will be much thicker & crispier than these appear.

2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 Tsp. coriander seeds
Pinch turmeric
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp cayenne
3 scallions, coarsely chopped
Grated zest of one lime
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/3 cup coconut milk
¼ cup raw peanuts
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ Tsp. salt
8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, excess fat removed
Lime wedges for garnish

In a blender, puree the first 14 ingredients (up to & including salt) until smooth. Pour the marinade over the thighs & mix well. Marinate for 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Position racks in the middle & top of the oven, & heat oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange chicken thighs, skin side up, in a single layer. Bake the chicken in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes for small thighs, 20 minutes for larger.

Turn on the broiler & broil thighs 5-6 inches from the heat source until the chicken is golden brown on the outside, about 10 minutes (I’d have to do this on low because they would burn at this point. I may have done it for only 5 minutes. Just keep checking).

My thoughts:
The marinade is very thick & is what really makes the dish, so when you put the chicken on the baking sheet make sure to rub some more marinade on top of the thighs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's in a Name.....

Sure, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. But a martini? Ah, everything lies in the name. Apple Thyme, Vampire Kiss, Chocolate Espresso. It's all about what you're in the mood for, & sometimes when you're not even sure, the name might make the decision for you.

Good golly Ms. Molly over at Rockapoodle Martini Company worked her tush off this past weekend making a Pear Martini & she is now holding a contest to find the perfect name for it. If you read her description on how she made it, it's evident she probably really needed a good martini when finished. Instead of the calm before the storm, I imagine she was feeling quite the opposite once she was done. So, I dub the Pear Martini:

The Pearfect Storm
because the calm will come after!

Swank Martini is giving away these beautiful glasses to the winner:

Wish me luck!

The Crockpot Chronicles - Pork Tenderloin Creole

This 2nd installment of the Crockpot Chronicles was enjoyed this past Friday evening & was perfect for a family supper.  What I loved was being able to pull some of the tenderloin pieces out of the whole mix for Tristan to eat since he doesn't go for the rest. If you don't like creole you could still enjoy this dish since I didn't find it very Creole-ish.

2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs total
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp Creole seasoning
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 small green or red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (or a mixture of both)
1 rib celery, sliced
1 package chicken gravy mix (I bought 1 jar)
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

Cut tenderloins in half. Dredge in a mixture of flour & the Creole seasoning. Place tenderloins in crock pot. Scatter onion, pepper, & celery over the pork. Cover & cook on low for 7 to 9 hours (I would not do for more than 7 hours). The last 30 minutes, add the dry gravy mix or jarred gravy & tomatoes. Continue cooking on high for about 30 more minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

I highly recommend red beans & rice as a side. I stood in front of the rices for 10 minutes to see which would really complement the dish. Terry & I both agreed the red beans & rice was perfect!

My Thoughts:

I tasted the sauce when I got home & felt it was too bland so I added more creole seasoning to the crockpot as well as garlic powder & salt & pepper. I also added just a little cornstarch/water mixture to thicken it up a bit. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Swirl Bread Pudding

I discovered this deliciousness from Deanna's Corner Cooking last week & knew I had to make it this weekend. In fact, they were the inspiration for a little after dinner dessert gathering at my house Saturday evening. Here's the recipe plus a few pictures.

1 lb loaf Cinnamon Swirl Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
(I used Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread & will next time as well)
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups 1% lowfat milk
3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
2 tblspns packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 tblspns 1% lowfat milk
1 tblspns pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350F. Place bread cubes & chocolate chips into a large mixing bowl. In a medium bowl whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar & salt. Pour over bread cubes. Stir to combine. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray & spoon bread pudding mixture evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of pudding. Remove & let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk & syrup until well combined. Drizzle over bread pudding & serve warm.

And just for giggles, I had to post this picture especially since someone asked me what my shoe size was (5) after they saw the pic of my closet. BF Tam came over with her girls Tiffy & Tori. Tori is 7 years old & was sporting her Hanna Montana shoes. This is us exchanging shoes. And they fit!!!!!!!

My feet are with the painted toenails.......

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Love.....

Fridays!!!!!!!!!!! So in the spirit of that, here are a few other things I love!

I am loving a new website I discovered called where you can upload one photo or even a bunch, & then have fun with them, adding rounded corners, text, or even make a sketch out of a photo. This is perfect for someone like me who doesn't "do" photo editing because I'm just not good with it but I do like to play. There's no software involved & it's free! Here are some of the little things I did with photos of people or things that I LOVE!

I had posted the above pic previously but I was able to "posterize" it & add some text.

Here, I was able to give it a polaroid effect. Tristan's cousins Adam & Jordan are coming into town this month from New York & we're really looking forward to seeing them. We try to get the kids on the phone every week or so. This was a few days ago....

Tammy & I met here for lunch a few days ago, a nice treat for both of us since we don't get to meet for lunch during the week. It meant a 2 hour lunch for me since it was further from the office!

The ambience was awesome: urbanesque, artsy, casual, colorful where they serve a light menu such as a tortilla filled with black & white beans w/ tomatoes, sweet corn, red onion, peppers feta, cilantro with a ginger dressing. They also serve a wide variety of organic beers & wine.

Everything they use is organic & locally grown. We split two tortillas as well as some tonics (not the vodka kind) where they mix herbs & berries for different effects such as increased energy or vitality.

We plan to go back at night sometime to listen to some music & sample their ecclectic menu of adult beverages. Click on the pics to see the text larger. I'm learnin'.

I wrote the other day about Starfruit which I LOVE, so I thought I would try Dragon Fruit. Ah, notlovingitsomuch!!!! I scooped out the inside, which has the consistency of a kiwi, but the taste is blander than I expected for such an exotic fruit. Pretty but not worth the price.

And I LOVE the weekends so I hope you & yours have a great one!!! I have some pork tenderloin creole brewin' in the crockpot right now for tonight's dinner so I will certainly share that on Monday. And although I don't usually post on Sundays, it's my best friend Jen's birthday so I will be combining an idea I have had for a while with a tribute to her.