Category Archives: Misc.

Energy Bites


I’m back from a wonderful vacation!  It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things, especially work.  My job has been rather crazy, so what better way to boost my energy than with these Energy Bites.  These energy bites are so delicious, you’ll want to eat the entire batch.  You can add whatever type of nut butter you like.  I used peanut butter, but sunflower butter or almond butter would be tasty too.  You can also add whatever type of baking chips you like.  I love to eat a few of these bites on my way to work or for an afternoon snack.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Method:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into 1″ balls and store in the refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Yield:  About 20 balls

*Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

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It’s Almost Time for Vacation!

 

Top 10 Things on my Maine To-Do List:

  1. Eat lobster – Lobster is $3.99 a pound right now.  Enough said!
  2. Sleep in – No more setting the alarm for 5:40.  I’m going to sleep until my heart desires!
  3. Climb a lighthouse – There’s a famous one within walking distance to our house, so I’m planning on making at least 1 trip.
  4. Antiquing – Maine is supposed to have some cool antique spots.  Would love to find a few gems while I’m up there.
  5. Ride a bike – The house we’re staying at has 1 bike divided by 12 people.  I’m going to put my name on the wait-list now.
  6. Read a book or 5 – I am bringing 5 books with me.  I’m old school and still love checking books out from the library.
  7. Games – I plan on playing lots of board games with my family.  Let the competition begin!
  8. Dance parties – My 12-month old niece loves to dance while holding my i-phone.  A lot of dance parties are going to happen next week.
  9. Enjoy a sunset over the ocean – no explanation necessary!
  10. And last but certainly not least…. Relax and enjoy time with my family! 🙂
Will be back soon!

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Raspberry Limoncello Spritzer & a Kodak Photo Book


I was recently contacted by KODAK, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, to create a hardcover photo book for free!  My two year wedding anniversary is coming up in September, and I realized that my hubby and I never bought ourselves a wedding album; we gave one to my parents and to my in-laws, but we never got around to getting one for ourselves!  I figured this was the perfect opportunity to bust out my wedding photos and take a stroll down memory lane.  I thought it would be a great idea to create this photo book while sipping on the signature cocktail that we served at our wedding…. Raspberry Limoncello Spritzer.  Since my hubby and I met in Italy and became engaged there a few years later, we wanted to have a signature drink at our wedding that was reminiscent of our time spent in Florence.  This drink is light, refreshing, and delicious!

What is more, KODAK Gallery is providing an exclusive offer for you; 40% off a medium hardcover or a large Photo Book. Simply go to www.kodakgallery.com/creativity to redeem.  The offer is only available through this URL until 8/31/11 so get started!

Here are some of my favorite photos that I included in our Kodak photo book.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle limoncello, chilled
  • 1 cup sparkling water, chilled
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 5 fresh mint sprigs, lightly crushed, plus extra for garnish
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

  1. In a pitcher, combine the limoncello, sparkling water, raspberries, and mint sprigs.
  2. Fill glasses halfway with crushed ice. Pour about 1/2 cup of the limoncello mixture over the ice in each glass.
  3. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

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Filed under Misc., Side Dishes

Homemade Dill Pickles


Here’s a fun fact for my readers out there… my first baby word (besides Mama and Dada) was pickle.  No joke!  What’s even more amazing is that my sister’s first “word” was Tom Brokaw, Roger Mudd.  Apparently, since I was not even conceptualized yet, my grandmother was sitting on the couch with my sister watching the nightly news and my sister busted out two of the news anchors’ names.  Ok, so pickle isn’t that great compared to my sister’s first 4 words, but it’s pretty cool right?  Anyways, I do love pickles and depending on what mood I’m in, will go for either dill spears, bread and butter chips, or baby gherkins.  After our trip to the farmer’s market last weekend, you may recall that the hubs and I did not end up buying the cheese bread, but bought some goat cheese and some pickle cucumbers instead.  I decided I was going to make some dill pickles.  It was my first time making pickles, so I looked at quite a few different recipes to get an idea of what I wanted.  I definitely love onions and garlic, so I knew I wanted to add some of those babies to the mix.  I also found some pickling spice at the grocery store which saved me time and money from having to buy all those spices separately.

What about you… do you like pickles?  If so, what kinds?  Have you ever made your own before?  Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 3 quart-sized mason jars and lids
  • 8-10 pickle cucumbers (depending on the size)
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly in rings
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp pickling spice
  • 2 tsp dill seeds

Directions:

  1. Boil mason jars and lids in water and allow to air dry.
  2. Clean and cut cucumbers into quarters and divide between mason jars.
  3. Scatter onion rings and garlic over cucumbers.
  4. In a large stock pot, combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar, pickling spice, and dill seed and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and fill each mason jar with vinegar mixture.
  5. Allow jars to cool for 15 minutes before placing tops on and sealing.
  6. If refrigerating, allow jars to cool completely before placing in refrigerator.  If canning jars for future use, boil jars in a hot water bath for at least 20 minutes until the top of the seal is pressed down securely.  Allow jars to cool completely before storing in a dark, cool place.

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World Nutella Day!

February 5th is World Nutella Day which means “Nutella lovers unite for one day!”    In 2007, two food bloggers and lovers of Nutella (Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso) gave this heavenly spread its very own holiday.  It’s a way for the food blogging community to pay homage to this delicious hazelnut spread by sharing their favorite recipes with each other and of course, by eating Nutella.  Here’s a few of my favorite Nutella recipes for you guys to enjoy on this special day!

Nutella & Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Butter Cream

Nutella Mousse

Shortbread Nutella Sandwiches

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Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts, Misc.

Christmas 2010 Recap!

This year my hubby and I went to Long Island for Christmas to celebrate with his family.  We have been having a great time at home eating a ton of food, relaxing, laughing, making fun of each other, etc.  I received so many wonderful Christmas presents from my family including new Saucony sneakers, the Culinary Institute of America’s Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft, a beautiful, white Fossil watch, an eco-friendly travel mug, and a delicious smelling, gigantic cinnamon candle that I’ll probably burn in 2 weeks.  My hubby and I also exchanged gifts and he definitely outdid his self this year.  My hubby bought me a new Canon S95.  It’s amazing!!!!  There are so many features on this camera that I don’t even know about, so I’ll definitely have to go through the tutorial.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

P.S. These photos were NOT taken with my new camera.  Hoping you guys will see a big change when I start using my new one!

(All my cookies)

(Tray of my cookies)

(Hubby, Me, Sister-in-Law, Brother-in-Law)

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Stylish Blogger Award

I recently received the Stylish Blogger Award from one of my fellow food bloggers Kitchenarian.  This is a fun Award that allows bloggers to recognize and honor their fellow bloggers who they deem possess “great style” and have contributed to the blogging community.  I’m honored that I was one of the bloggers who Kitchenarian chose to give this Award too.

Kitchenarian has a beautiful blog that discusses “all things pertaining to the kitchen.”  Her writing style conveys her genuine love of food and of all things food-related.  She’s even passed her love of food and enthusiasm for writing on to her daughter as she is one of her contributing writers.  Her photos are amazing and will literally make your mouth water.  Just check out her post for Pumpkin Doughnuts and tell me that you’re not drooling right now!  I’m always excited to receive one of Kitchenarian’s new posts because you never know what fun and exciting recipe you’re going to have waiting for you.  Thank you again to Kitchenarian!

In order to accept this Award, there are a few things that I have to do.  The first thing is that I have to share 7 things about myself.  Here it goes!

  1. I don’t like chocolate, but I love to drink chocolate milk after I workout.
  2. I am tall, 5’10 tall.
  3. I ran a marathon once and loved it so much I will never run another one again.
  4. My least favorite baking thing to do is to cut butter into a recipe. I hate it!
  5. My husband and I met in Florence, Italy while we were studying abroad in college.
  6. I love the snow.
  7. I’m obsessed with my Kitchen Aid and my Henckles knife block.

I’m also going to pass this Award on to some of my fellow bloggers who I read on a daily basis and who have inspired me to become a better cook, a better writer, and/or a better photographer.  Thank you to the following blogs:

Amy Bakes Everything

Beth’s Journey

Black Book Kitchen Diaries

Cream Puffs in Venice

Garlic and Sea Salt

Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Awardees ― Accepting this award is based on the following criteria:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the Award on to other bloggers you follow and who have inspired you.
4. Copy the award from my blog and then you may display it on your own blog.
5. Notify your selected recipients.

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