June 27, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - 1-2-3 Blackberry Sherbet

Happy Tuesday, ladies!! I haven't been this relaxed in...well...almost eight years.  I know it won't last long, but I'm enjoying these days of much needed freedom and relaxation.  I'm hanging with my mom, cuddling with the pups, crafting up a storm, monitoring my container garden & miniature fruit trees and have my DVR cleaned out for the first time since I moved.  Fun things are coming on ye olde blog.  Stay tuned.  :-)


This week I'm sharing a fun, easy, no bake dessert.  After all, it is summer.  Why make the house hotter than it needs to be?!

1-2-3 Blackberry Sherbet

4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed (feel free to substitute for any other berry)
2 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk

In a food processor, combine berries and sugar.  Cover and process until the mixture is smooth.  Strain and discard seeds and pulp.  Stir in buttermilk.

Transfer puree to a 13x9 dish.  Freeze for an hour (until edges begin to firm).  Stir and return to freezer.  Freeze until firm (about 2 more hours).

Just before serving, puree the mixture for a moment to create a smooth consistency.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

June 26, 2011

True Blood Countdown

Is anyone else as excited as me for True Blood's season premier tonight?!?!

If you're a super fan (like me), you should enter this contest. I'd all 60 clues in the 30 second commercial to win the chance for the ultimate fan experience. Approximately (from the stats I can find) only 4% of True Blood fans can complete the challenge. I did! Can you?

June 23, 2011

Sans Computer

It stinks to say this...but my computer was stolen.  Because my brother and I most often use his laptop (there generally isn't a need for both of us to be online at the same time), I didn't notice right away.

I'm horrified.  I'm sad.  I'm ANGRY!!

I'm angry at myself.  How did I not notice right away?!?!

I'm angry at whoever took my computer.  How dare you come into my home and do that?!?!  Did someone get in through a window that JC or I left unlocked?  Was it someone that we trusted to take care of my (still leaking) roof?  Was it a friend that we INVITED into our home?

I'm a little angry at Dell. Don't get me wrong.  I freaking love Dell.  Some people are an Apple...I'm a PC.  I painstakingly customized my computer.  I opted for bells and whistles that suited my blogging needs and the book I so desperately wanted to write.  It took me over a day to decide what cover design to use for my laptop.  I wanted something girlie...but not too girlie. (I went with abstract blue circles.) Oh, back from my little tangent.  I'm a smidge mad at Dell because they can't locate my computer.  Sure, lojack was installed.  But I only bought the plan for a year.  So, I'm sh*t out of luck.

Where does that leave me?  Well, that leaves me floating between the computers at my parents, my brother (which, isn't working so great - hence the reason for my recent discovery), and today, the lovely Kristin.  It also likely means that my plans for book writing are on hold.

(Dear Dell - If you read this...I'm open to reviewing any of your fine computers.  *hint, hint*)

June 20, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Black Bean Soup

Happy Tuesday, ladies!  I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend - and got to do something special for their dad and/or the father of your child(ren). :-)


I know it sounds crazy...but I still like soup during the summer.  Sure, it warms you up a little.  Which does make it perfect for the cold weather.  But I just can't say good-bye to soup for almost half the year.  How about you?

Black Bean Soup

10-12 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cup boiling water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tbsp. vegetable (or canola) oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup water
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (16 oz) cooked black beans, undrained
2 tsp. dried cilantro

Cut up your sun-dried tomatoes (I use kitchen shears).  In a small bowl, cover them with boiling water and set aside.

In a soup pot, saute the onions, garlic and cayenne in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent.  Add the cumin, water and crushed tomatoes.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the black beans (and their liquid) and cilantro and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Slightly drain the sun-dried tomatoes.  Add them to the soup, stir and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the onions are tender.  (Add more water if the soup is too thick for your liking.)

What's cooking in your kitchen?

June 19, 2011

For The Love of Amazon.com...

Today was Father's Day (duh!), and my mom decided to give dear old dad a Kindle as a present. (FYI...this was supposed to be his BIRTHDAY present, so I didn't have the accompanying cover delivered yet.)

*Before I complete this story, let me preface it by saying I LOVE them both.*

Like the dutiful daughter, I spend most of the day with my parents.  About 10 AM, my very flustered mom informs me that all the promos that came as part of Kindle "don't work".  What I didn't know is that my mom had already tried to force the promo codes into places they didn't go, and ended up accidentally buying a few gift cards in the process.

So, I step in.  Taking the Kindle, promo codes, and control of the computer.  What resulted was a hysterical conversation with Amazon's customer support team.  In the span of our 20 minute chat (cuz, I'd rather do that than call them), they let me know that "someone" has tried to input the promo codes over a dozen times - effectively locking my dad's Amazon account from using further codes FOR. A. WEEK!  At that point, I give up all pretense that I know what the heck my parents did before I took over.  I explain who I am, ask them to walk me through all the *interesting* buttons pushed, etc. and beg their help in undoing the damage.

All I can say is - Amazon.com is AWESOME!!!!  They applied a back-end credit for the promos that my dad won't be able to take advantage of on his own, as well as a "extra" credit to get his first book.  Single handedly, they made themselves and me look good!

What companies do you always have a good experience with?

June 17, 2011

The End....

Today is my last day at work.  It's not like it's a surprise or anything...but it still snuck up on me.  Or maybe, that's just denial.  It seems like yesterday that I walked into this office for the first time.  While here - I've had six different managers (and we won't even talk about the number of restructures that happened), watched people come and go...and some come back again, seen families grow, and people die.

I know that I'm going to be a freaking mess for part of the day.  I got two voicemail messages from customers on Thursday that brought me to tears, they were so nice.  I'm an emotion- based person.  I do NOT excel at saying good-bye.  Today will be full of good-byes.  From a few more customers.  Calls from far-away co-workers.  An email or two asking for my contact info. A last minute visitor dropping by while I pack the last of my stuff.

I warn people that don't like hugs...DO NOT COME NEAR ME!! I may hug you within an inch of your life.  And I'll probably cry while I do it.

But I'm hoping for a few moments of levity today too.  A chance for a few more sarcastic comments, jazz hands and talk of off-the-wall customers.

And...I'm holding my breath while I wait for the going away present that my old boss (still with the company) always joked about.  A brand, spanking new puppy to add to my herd. What?!?!  I shouldn't hold my breath?

June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Champions (Bruins Edition)

Champions!!!!! And, this Boston girl can go to bed now.  :-)

June 13, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Black Eyed Pea Salad

Happy Tuesday!!  I've been a bad blogger.  A very bad blogger!  I just realized that my last post was last week's recipe.  How did that happen?!?!

I promise to do better!  This is my last week at my current job.  If you all don't mind - think happy thoughts for me.  Just general "she'll find something fabulous, but in the meantime be terrifically entertaining on the blog" type of thoughts.  :-) 

Here's a little secret.... I have a SodaStream product review coming soon.  And *gasp* I might be giving one away too!


This week I'm sharing another summer-ish, fairly healthy salad. (You're welcome.  Unless you hate salad...  In which case, I'm sorry!)

Black Eyed Pea Salad

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 bell pepper (I like orange or red for sweetness and a pop of color), chopped thin
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard, vinegar and oil.  Add all your veggies.  Toss to combine and season to taste.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

June 06, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Primavera Salad

Happy Tuesday!!  Every week, I'm amazed by how many of you lovely ladies join in and share your recipes.  All I can say is "thank you".  Thank you for visiting; thank you for sharing; thank you for participating in one of my favorite parts of the week.  :-)

Memorial Day has passed.  The summer is upon us and BBQ season is in full swing.  This week I'm sharing a healthy (mostly) primavera salad.


Primavera Salad

1 lb. pasta (I like the whole wheat kind)
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp.  unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup zucchini (cubed or juilienne)
1 cup yellow squash (cubed or julienne)
1/2 cup tomato (chopped)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

Cook pasta until al dente.  Rinse with cool water to stop cooking and drain well.  In a large skillet, melt butter and when hot add olive oil.  Cook the onion over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Add minced garlic, stir well and let cook for about 30 seconds.  Add zucchini and squash - cooking for about 2 minutes. Add tomato, salt and pepper and stir well.  Remove from heat.

Pour vegetables over the pasta.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil adn toss to coat.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese and allow to cool.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

June 03, 2011

The Beginning Of The End...

I’ve been with my company for seven and a half years. Seriously – seven and a half years! But I won’t be hitting the eight year mark. Why, you ask?!?! Because I’m leaving.

My last day will be Friday, June 17th. The decision to go was both easier and harder than I thought it would be. (I know. Quite the contradiction.) The hardest part is walking away from some truly amazing people. On even the hardest of days – they made me laugh. They heard about my house-buying horrors, my crazy puppy stories, held me up while my brother went off to war and saw me walk into countless walls (But let’s not dwell on that…mmkay?! Especially since none of them were fast enough with their cameras).

I’m in a little bit of denial right now…but soon my customers will have to be transitioned to other team members. I am most definitely going to miss some of my customers!!

If I’m lucky, I’ll get out without a cake or any attention. I’m much better at drifting away quietly… Though, I have a running joke with my old manager. Every time I see someone else leave and have a party – I tell her I want a puppy as a going away gift instead. Let’s see her pull THAT one off! *giggle*

What comes next? Just stick around and I’ll tell you all about it.

(And a GINOURMOUS “thank you” goes to Kristin, Heather, Jane and Mrs. Jones. Whether they realize it or not, they helped me be brave enough to realize that it’s my time to go.)

June 01, 2011

Tornado In Massachusetts

All you ladies are going to laugh at me...but I'm a smidge worried.  We have the first tornado warning in quite a while here in the Boston area; and the first time in a LONG time that it looks to be something more than just a passing fancy.

I'm hearing that two tornadoes have already touched down in the western part of the state and one more south of Boston - two towns over from my house.

Torrential rain - I'm ready
Strong thunderstorms - (which we are also getting) Bring it on!
Blizzard - Sure!  It's part of the New England charm.
Tornado - Um...*stunned silence* Not so much

Any words of wisdom?

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