Wednesday, November 30, 2011

POST THANKSGIVING TREAT - Cranberry Sauce and Yogurt

Second shelf of fridge.  Half empty container of Fage Greek yogurt.  Half empty container of Trader Joe's Fresh Cranberry Sauce. Hmmm, wouldn't that be a good pairing?

Why, yes, it would be very good.  Sweet, tart, creamy, no fat, not too many calories (ok, yes, there is sugar in that sauce). Breakfast? Afternoon pick-me-up? Dessert? Yep.  It can be whatever you need it to be.

Head to Trader Joe's before the cranberry sauce is gone--it is seasonal.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

LATEST OBSESSION - MZ Wallace Navy Bedford Bianca

I love bags.  Actually, that is an understatement.  I obsess about bags.  All sorts.  Clutches, satchels,  totes, shoulder bags, cross body, you name it, I love it.

I first heard about MZ Wallace from my friends Kathleen and Liz.  They heard about it from Liz's sister, Diane. I tell you this because I haven't been able to find this brand in AZ.  Nylon bags with leather trim--really? Yes.  Lightweight when empty.  Super for travel.  Cleans up beautifully.  Fun colors with--Yes!--contrasting interior lining.  Not black.  Doesn't it drive you crazy to dig around the bottom of a black interior bag?  It does me.  I love a light to medium color on the inside--much easier to find that lipstick that jumped out into the depths of my bag from the safety of my cosmetic pouch.

The bag pictured to the left is my latest obsession. It is a rich navy blue, with black leather straps, and a bit of red peeking out of the leather seams.  The interior is a light taupe color.  And it comes with a nice strap to wear it as a cross body bag which is perfect for traveling. The photo does not do it justice.  I've seen it in person in the teeny tiny upper east side shop in New York.  Loved it in the light tan color but wanted it in something a bit more rich looking.  This navy should do it.

So, since I absolutely can't justify a new bag. Well, a full-priced bag, I should say (I can pretty much rationalize anything), I will have to wait until I find a decent discount on this one.  But I'm dreaming of taking it on my next out-of-the-country trip knowing it will be the perfect bag.  How long can I wait?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD - Alan Bradley - Book Review

Flavia de Luce is a smart little chickadee.  A Red Herring without Mustard is the third in the Flavia de Luce novels and I find the stories to be a treat.  I want to swoop in and tell her bratty sisters to stop it and play nice.  I would like to smack her detached Father and tell him to wake up! Yes, your wife has moved on to the next life but, really, get a grip and start paying attention to these three girls you have.  In other words, I become an engaged reader and that is usually a good sign.

You don't have to read the books in order but I do think it helps since 11 year old Flavia looks back a few times at previous incidents.  She snoops around on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, solving crimes in her little village of Bishop's Lacey and spends time in her laboratory at her ancestral home, Buckshaw, plotting ways to seek revenge on her two older sisters. Anyway, Alan Bradley has written a fine series that I recommend.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Another yummy shredded pork dish.  Not too saucy but I think that's because I should have doubled the ingredients since I practically doubled the amount of pork used.  But, it was delicious and not too spicy.

Spicy Pulled Pork - Pioneer Woman Cooks


  • 4 pounds (up To 7 Pounds) Pork Shoulder (I used a 12 pound Pork Shoulder, had tons of leftovers)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Salt
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 whole Onion
  • Lime Wedges

Preparation Instructions

Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder.
Add dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. 
Cut one onion into quarters and put it in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour it over the pork shoulder.
Rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, tucking it under folds an in crevices.
Place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and roast pork at 300º for several hours, turning once every hour.
When it is fork tender, crank up the heat, remove the lid, and roast it, skin side up for another 15 to 20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.
Shred the pork shoulder (two forks work well). When it’s all shredded be sure to pour the juices all over the meat.

The broccoli wasn't quite the hit I had hoped for.  It was waaaay too lemony.  Next time I would skip the lemons altogether.  Garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and basil were enough of a pick me up to the broccoli and the lemon was just too tart.  If I make it again without the lemon, I'll let you know.

4 to 5 pounds broccoli 
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 
olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons
kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon 
freshly ground black pepper 
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (too much lemon zest for my family)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (too much lemon juice for my family)
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)  

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. 
Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
 Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 
5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. 
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.Remove the broccoli from the oven and 
immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.