Stop the madness…

Still buying spaghetti sauce??
Stop right now! It’s zippity do dah easy to make your own. Sauté some garlic and basil and other Italian herbs in EVOO, stir in tomato paste and a can of crushed Roma tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I added fresh crushed red pepper and about 1/2 tsp of sugar to take the bite out and then finish with a pat of butter. Start to finish, less than 15 minutes!

Macarons….the Magnificent Obsession 2015 series

See, they started out white, really they did. And so they kind of qualify for the color challenge, but not really.
So January’s macaron is a tiramisu macaron. The coffee flavor is in the wafer because I used espresso powder, one of the few flavorings you can actual put in macaron batter because it’s dry and mixes well with the almond flour and confectioner sugar. Then I mixed mascarpone and heavy cream and vanilla bean paste for the cream filling.

Then I dusted them with cocoa powder! Delicioso!


Movie Nite….”The Catered Affair”

Wow! I can’t believe I had never seen this movie until last week! I started out to do a Movie Nite post about “Singing in the “Rain because I love it and it was on AMC during the Debbie Reynolds retrospective they did. But “The Catered Affair” followed “Singin in the Rain” and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

The cast is stellar. In addition to Reynolds, Bette Davis stars as the bitter, disillusioned mother, Rod Taylor is the fiancée, Barry Fitzgerald plays the bachelor uncle, and Ernest Borgnine has a tour de force role as the taxi driving father who stands by helplessly as his taxi medallion life savings seem to be vanishing in front of his eyes,
The engaged couple start out wanting just a simple ceremony and then get sucked into a game of “can you top this?” , that the two sets of parents play to make up for all sorts of slights, real or imagined. The maid of honor and best man have financial struggles and the neighborhood women believe (of course) that pregnancy can be the only reason for such haste.


The lessons resonate today.

The Color Challenge #3

What to do with …..

A head of cauliflower, close to being around the bend? Cauliflower cheese of course! The cauliflower is white when I started so I get points on the color challenge….)
Cut the cauliflower up into florets and cook in 1/2 milk and 1/2 water until al dente. Meanwhile, grease a pan, turn the oven on to 375 and brown some panko or fresh bread crumbs in a dry skillet. Make a roux with 2 Tbsp of butter and 3 Tbsp of flour by browning the butter and whisking in the flour until cooked. It will be kind of dry and will smell nutty and sweet. Add a cup of milk, and a cup of shredded cheese and mix with drained cauliflower until cheese is evenly distributed. Into the oven for half an hour and you can give it 7 minutes or so under the broiler if it doesn’t get brown enough while baking or if you want it to be extra bubbly!
Excellent for leftovers with some crumbled bacon!

Dinner a la Hubs via Lidia…

Before we became flu fighters we were having a regular type weekend last Saturday, and the Hubs was surfing the channels to fill the void that the end of college football had left in his life. ( It should be noted vociferously, that I am not a football widow)
Anyway, he found Lidia Bastianich on PBS and tonight while I took a pre dinner nap in the chair, the Hubs conjured up the recipes that Lidia made on Saturday.

First this YUMMY salad of very thinly sliced yellow delicious apples and shredded carrots. Very simply dressed with orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and some flat parsley, chopped very fine. Tossed everything together and let sit for about an hour.

Next the entree of pan roasted salmon with Prosecco and cornichons on a bed of potato galettes.
First he sliced potatoes very thin and roasted them with Italian seasoning, cherry tomatoes, and sliced onions and roasted in a 375 oven until slightly crispy. Set aside. While the potatoes roast, place salmon in hot pan and cook until just pink inside. Remove from pan, turn up the flame and add 1.5 cups of Prosecco and deglaze the pan. Add the whites of 4 chopped green onions along with 1/2 cup chopped cornichons (available in your local grocer relish aisle) and swirl until soft with about 2 tbsp of butter. Spread the potato slices on plates and top with salmon. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and add the chopped green parts of the green onions.
Normally, there would be more pictures, but I snoozed through that part….

Well, it makes a statement….


Remember this? My mother’s loveseat?

IMG_2192And now it looks like this? And it’s in my “get ready room” as my nephew PJ says, but it’s also known as a dressing room.

Nice, sedate, classic right?

Well, this weekend, it’s Auntie Mame came to stay…..on the wall…


She’s pink, she’s showy, she doesn’t care what people think of her, she’s having a great time…..

So here’s the story. I always loved the pictures in design magazines and on Pinterest and stuff of these really cool single flower photos that are giant sized. The problem is that they cost a boatload of money. But 2 weeks off at Christmas allow for enormous amounts of research and I found a place that had reasonably priced wallpaper that you could buy. And what made it even better is that you could use your own photo! So I did! It’s a photo of a rose that I took last summer in the front of the house one morning on my way to work. It’s the perfect pink, with the perfect little amount of apricot on inside!

Here’s a little perspective…


To make your own “fathead” rose or anything else really check out Pixers ! I almost fell off the loveseat when I saw this rose came from Poland! I suppose I can say I have imported European wallpaper in my home!

Big Sandwich for a Big Game

I’ve rounded the corner on this Influenza thing, and need to pick up where I left off last weekend. Before Deflategate….

718First you take a loaf of soft Italian style bread, the closer to a sub roll in consistency the better. Then you slice it cross wise like so…

719Then you mix some mayonnaise ( about 3/4 cup) with Italian seasoning, about a teaspoon of liquid from the jar of pepperoncini, crushed red pepper, a little black pepper. But no salt, you won’t need salt…


Then you spread the mayo inside the slices of the bread and because it’s not bad enough for you yet ( white bread, white mayo…)


Then you add white cheese ( or yellow..we’re not fussy) and then because it’s still not bad enough for you….724

Then you add the cold cuts. See why you don’t need salt. Cappicola, mortadella, salami and provolone….

(what happened to that picture, kind of fuzzy like my flu ridden brain)

726Then you add pepperoncini slices and julienne red onion and wrap up tight in tin foil and bake in a 350º oven for about 45 minutes. Totally worth it’s salt!



Pardon the Interruption

flu def


You know it’s never a good sign when your doctor and nurse practitioner enter the exam room already wearing their masks….

We are a family fighting flu here so far it’s Flu 2/Millers 0.

So pardon us while we cough up a lung, and we’ll be back shortly…



Market Basket sells these little lamb riblets almost all the time. They’re great for an appetizer portion and way less expensive than lollipop lamb chops!

Roses from Violet

I haven’t put up any Valentine decos for a few years but after last weeks purge in honor of New Years I organized and sorted and once again, have some pink and red items to set the tone for the February classic.
I found these little roses with my decorations. They used to belong to my mother in law, Violet (although everyone called her Smiley) and she probably got them in France when she lived there just after WWII.
Such a nice remembrance and a nice ornament for my hutch!
Thought I’d share!