Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Wonderland

What a storm.... close to three feet of snow, no power, no heat nor hot water.  I ventured out the day after, even though the roads were pretty bad, lots of tree branches down and power lines, but, very still and beautiful! Enjoy.


 

 



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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter

 
View of my backyard from upstairs.

When it comes to snow, I'm like a "little kid in a candy store," I can't get enough of it!
It's been a very snowy couple of weeks, in my neck of the woods, and as I write this post today, we're expecting over a foot of snow by tomorrow maybe even close to two!! I say... bring it on!!!
These are a few of the photos I've taken so far and I will be posting more soon. Enjoy!

Gazebo at Cornwall Landing


 
Feathered Friends


 
Moodna Creek Viaduct


  
Barrels of Hay


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Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Anniversary












Twenty years ago on Feb. 14th 1990, I married the man of my dreams, my husband Stephen. We started dating in 1986; Friday, June 13 to be exact. Our first date was a blind date, set up by one of his closest friends. I was a single mom back then with a 4 year old daughter, working full time and going to school part time. 
At the time, we both lived in NJ, until 1989 when we decided to move up North, so that he could be closer to his new business. We got engaged and started planning a formal wedding but instead we decided to elope, with no regrets.
We have been through some challenging times, many happy times and some very sad times, but for the most part, life has been very good to us. I'm a very lucky girl!  Happy Anniversary to us!! ❤


We had a very small and private ceremony in Florida, I wore his Mom's wedding gown and his Nana made me the floral head wreath, with fresh flowers from her garden.






"There is only one happiness in life.... to love and be loved"
  George Sand

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dinner Party 'Big Night Style'

 


So.... I'm a big fan of Stanley Tucci and Chef Gianni Scappin! I love Mr. Tucci's movies and I love Chef Scappin's culinary skills! One of my favorite movies happens to be "Big Night" starring, you guessed it, Stanley Tucci, and one of my favorite local restaurants is "Cucina" in Woodstock, NY where Mr. Scappin is the executive chef and co-owner.
I hosted a "Big Night" themed dinner party a few years ago, it was a lot of fun, so I decided to  host another one again. This time though, would be a little different. My menu was based on the cookbook "Cucina & Famiglia" co-authored by Chef Scappin and Joan Tropiano Tucci, (Stanley Tucci's Mom); Chef Scappin was also the consulting chef for the film.
The signature dish for the movie was TIMPÁNO, which I made for the first dinner party. It's a fairly easy dish to make, but, very time consuming.

This was the menu:

BRUSCHETTA CON POMODORO
Brusschetta with Tomato

INSALATA DI RUCOLA, PROSCIUTTO, PERA E PARMIGIANO
Arugula with Prosciutto, Pears and Parmesan

TIMPÁNO ALLA BIG NIGHT
Drum of Ziti and Great Stuff

BRACIOLE
Stuffed Beef Rolls

INSALATA DI FAGIOLINI
String Bean Salad

PERE AL VINO CON ZABAGLIONE AL MOSCATO
Poached Pears in Red Wine with Muscat Sabayon

BISCOTTI CASARECCI DEL PONTICELLO
Ponticello's Orange Cookies


Invitations where mailed with the assigned recipes, I was making the Timpáno and  the Braciole, my guests where making the rest. I had invited five couples. Mother Nature on the other hand, did not cooperate; we got a snow storm of several inches that evening. Unfortunately because of it and driving distance, one couple had to cancel. I had assigned the Arugula, Prosciutto and Pear salad to them, but because of the circumstances, we did not have it. It all worked out, but we sadly missed them.


  
In the movie, the "big night" takes place in a restaurant, the tables are set with white linens and the centerpieces are bottles of wine. I was going to set my table that way, but being the flower lover that I am, I could not! It was after all a holiday dinner party, how could I not have flowers on my table.


  
Dendrobium Orchids


  
Making the Timpáno


  
The Timpáno


  
 "Yummy"


Poached Pears with Orange Cookies


Good friends, good food, interesting conversations along with Louis Prima singing in the background.... it was a great big night!

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