Friday, September 30, 2011

Unforgotten Birthday

Today's a difficult day, as we lost his grandpa last year, and today is his birthday.  Joe is very close to his family and anyone could see, him and grandpa have a special bond.

I know he watches over us from up above. 


He was an amazing man and I am so fortunate to have met him.  We are so thankful that we got married summer 2010; if we waited, he wouldn't have been there to celebrate. 

Life is so crazy, and short.  

Love unconditionally.

To see the kind of love grandpa Frank had for his wife, Joey's grandma, makes us wish to be just like them someday.  That kind of love never dies; it was real & pure. Honest & forever.

We miss him dearly and think of him all of the time.  Love you grandpa and happy birthday.  

*Raise a glass of red vino*

Photos by:

Acorn Squash

If you love fall foods, you'll love this simple recipe!! I recommend doubling the recipe, or more.  I couldn't even  wait for Joe, I dove right into this sucker and seriously did some damage. It was like candy-ok, not really, but I loved it!  

Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash~cut in half & remove seeds
butter & brown sugar

  • Place the squash upside down and bake on a foil lined cookie sheet for about 40 mins at 350.  
  • Remove it from the oven and place a good-sized pat of butter and a tablespoon (or 2...) in the cavity. Put the squash back together and place into another dish with sides, so as to not allow it to move around.  
  • Return to the oven for another 25ish minutes.
 It will literally fall apart. 

Yummy sugary crystals!


xo Jenn

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blissful Biscotti


3 free-range organic eggs, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 3/4 cups of organic flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar to knead with

1. Pre-heat oven for 350 (middle rack) & line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. In a mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, in a large bowl. Beat on high until it's thick and yellow 2-3 mins. In another bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add it to the egg mixture; this will make a stiff and sticky dough. Stir in almonds.
3. Dust confectioners' sugar over work surface and put the dough onto this surface and knead slightly until it loses its stickiness and is cohesive. Shape into a 9 inch log and place on baking sheet. Press down to flatten slightly, creating a 12 inch long log.
4. Bake until lightly baked and it begins cracking. {about 30 minutes}
-can let cool now for 30 mins- I ws impatient, and did not wait...
5. Reduced oven temp to 325 degrees and place onto a cutting board. Using a bread knife, diagonally slice bread into 1/2 inch thick slices. Bake for 10 mins, flat side down, flip over and bake 10 more minutes.

They will harden more upon cooling! Enjoy with a nice espresso, tea, or latte

Awkward & Awesome

Just stumbled upon this cool little blog~check it out on my side button!


  • People asking me how school is going, since they don't know I took a leave. 
  • The confusion and weird moment of silence as they try to contemplate why I'd leave a job making $ to just "stay home & just be a housewife" 
  • The look on their faces when I say how truly happy I am, cooking, cleaning, & taking care of my home & family
  •  Our min-pin Holly running across the street barking her little head off, and reassuring other people she's really harmless....we think!
  • 'Dancing' with a stranger at a store walking towards you: you step right, she steps left, you step left, she steps right, & you both mumble sorry! and scurry away
  • Swiping my key tag at Zumba and walking away, forgetting to pay $8 for class...& running right back to pay oops!! Just yell at me already! :)
  • Making the PERFECT EGG
  • Having the Food Network or Cooking Channel on pretty much 24/7...I seem to live in our kitchen and it's great company
  • Figuring out how to make this awesome blog!
  • Curling up with some hot apple cider and a good book
  • Acorn squash w/ a little butter & brown sugar mmmmmmm
  • The changing of the leaves
  • Time for boots & sweaters
  • Zumbaaaaaaaa

Oh wow, a panini maker!!

I was born in July and for my 30th birthday, my husband went nuts. Literally. He must have lost his mind, with all the crazy and wonderful gifts that he came up with for me.  Among my favorites, he had one of my closest friends fly in from NYC to surprise me, 
 my Norm!

arranged for all of my dear friends & sister to go out for the night in style {limo} 

and on my actual birthday (since we partied a few nights before on Saturday) he took me out to eat at a fabulous little restaurant, where my family awaited to once again, surprise me.

woo hoo bring on 30!

One of my tangible gifts, which I did ask for, I'll admit, was a red Dutch Oven from the Giada collection at Target.  Joey knows that I love to cook, which is always a gift to him, and since he was there picking up this pot, he figured he'd get the panini maker too.  It was not something I ever thought of getting, so when I opened it, I believe it went something like..."Oh wow, a panini maker...I've always wanted one!" with a puzzled and excited smile.

Needless to say, one of his early birthday gifts was a set of nice steak knives (since we were throwing a dinner and didn't have any, I figured it was equivalent to a panini maker.  A nice needed, yet awkward gift, to give the one you love so dear. :) 

Roast Beef Paninis~ left over from our big Sunday dinner

  • Sliced/cut up pieces of roast beef (a small handful)
  • 1/2 of an avocado sliced
  • Thinly sliced tomatoes (I love Romas)
  • Thick bread~I love making my own, but if not mine, I buy freshly made at a store. Lately I've been loving BJ's organic wheat
  • Mayo (I prefer the one made with olive oil)
  • Cheese (we had Gruyere leftover, so I used that!
Pile it on the bread & throw it on the panini maker! I use a knife to hold the sandwhich back while I close the lid on the huge beast of a sandwhich.  Toast until it all melts together.

Served with homemade Tomato Basil soup:
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes (Roma~chunks)
  • 1 box of organic chicken broth
  • 1 sliced sauteed onion
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • basil to garnish
In a large pot, saute onion until soft.  Add a little salt to help it along. Throw in garlic.  Add tomatoes, broth and allow to simmer on med-low for 20+ mins.  Use an immersion blender to puree.  I prefer mine a bit thicker, so I use a can of paste.  Add salt/pepper & basil.  Serve warm.

~If you use big beefsteak tomatoes, you will probably need to strain, or use a food mill.  I just strained the seeds out so it tasted better.  With Romas, you don't need to strain.

I married an Italian, so yes, most of my meals will be centered around Italy!! Ciao~

xox Jenn

You know it's going to be a wonderful day when...

Hubby always likes his eggs scrambled. 3 of them and a dash of milk.  I on the other hand, enjoy my egg sunny side up. I like the yolk to be dunk-able, but not too runny.  Some mornings I break the yolk and sigh of disappointment, and sit down to an over-done egg.  It still feeds me, but it's not ideal.

This morning, however, I walked away from my egg, only to return to this:

Are you kidding me?!  I dream of this and today, it happened!

My mornings are not crazy, but I do get up and iron Joe's work shirt and pants.  I run down the stairs to start the bacon, if I remember to have it on hand, (lately I feel like we have put bacon on everything, so I forgot to take it out of the freezer!) and get out our vitamins, pour the OJ, scramble his eggs, let the dogs out, feed them breakfast, serve breakfast and start my coffee.  This routine used to only happen in the summer, but this year I decided to take a leave from teaching.  As much as I loved the kids and the curriculum, there were some downfalls and leaving my family, (yes, a husband and two furbabies count!) and house were the biggest.  

So now my wake up is not a 4:30/5:00 am alarm clock.  There is no 45 minute commute and a barrage of stress that came along with all that.  I am a lucky girl, to have married a man whose values and ideals are similar to mine.  It doesn't work for everyone, I know.  Perhaps I won't love that I am "just a housewife" come winter or spring...but for now, I can speak for my family, it more than works for us.  I can cook full meals for my husband who needs proper nutrition more than most.  I can let the dogs out of their crates, take them on walks, play with them and tire them out, instead of leaving them alone for hours on end.

 Sadie & Holly, my little furry loves

I'm very aware of how fortunate we are to be able to do this. It's so nice to have a happy home with happy beings in it! I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom and I look at this as a step towards that.  The kids will come; for now, I'll master the arts of cleaning, cooking, and caring for my current loved ones. 

Oh, and I promise to always thoroughly enjoy my eggs, perfect or not, instead of my rushed, grabbed at the last moment toast, yogurt or oatmeal that I inhaled while driving, because I was always running late. Also, I don't miss my plastic travel mug of coffee...that I spilled more than once on a new work blouse or pants.  I enjoy living in my home, instead of in my Envoy.  

Thank you Joe!

Peace, indeed!! 

Make it a great day today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Here we are: 3-2-1 Blog!

I've been wanting to try this for awhile.  You know how it goes, never enough time in our busy lives to do everything on our 'to do lists'.  Well, enough with excuses, it's time to blog!   

While the rain gently taps outside on our sad blue deck, leaves have begun to fall, the breeze has an autumn chill, and my hot green tea with a small Bliss dark chocolate warms my belly.  Fall truly is the essence of change; it's all around us here in upstate New York. 
 I just love Yogi tea w/ their nifty little sayings...

 Even if you don't take time out to meditate, you can at least allow yourself a few moments of solace, truly thinking about what a 'silly' little tea tag says...Go ahead and try it. It does wonders for your soul.

I used to hate fall.  I'm not sure if it's because I loved summer so much, I was sad to see it go, or if it was because I never stopped to smell the falling leaves?  I do believe a large portion of my life was wasted on worrying and wanting the next thing to happen.  I didn't realize how to be in the now and to truly appreciate this gift called life.  

A perfect time to put fingers to the keyboard and begin my journey here in the blogging world.  

~ooo look at my new fall nails~ LOVE
Hello & welcome!