October 29, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Three Bean Salad

For those of you in the path of hurricane Sandy - I hope you're safe and have electricity.  Honestly, I prepped this post on Sunday night, expecting that I don't have electricity/internet.  I can't complain - the Northeast doesn't get hit with that many storms.  (No, Mother Nature - I'm NOT setting a challenge for you!)


While I love a good bean salad - I particularly like this one because it requires no electricity or cooking.  Open your cans, mix and eat!

Three Bean Salad

1 can(s) (16-oz.) dark kidney beans
1 can(s) (16-oz.) white or cannellini beans
1 can(s) ( 16-oz.) black beans
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 bottle Italian dressing
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Rinse and drain beans. Place beans in large bowl with onions, peppers, dressing and balsamic vinegar; toss to mix well and serve.

What's cooking in your kitchen?


Toy & Treat Swap Reveal

Thank you to EVERYONE that participated in the toy and treat swap with Nola & I!!!  I think we're still waiting for a few packages to arrive (For instance, I sent poor Ashley a second package.  We think her neighbor stole the first one.)...but we'll leave the link open for a week so everyone can link up at their convenience.  :-)

Ashley sent me crew these goodies. 
The boys are so excited to play with the hard toys.  Hopefully it will keep them entertained if we lose power!

I hope everyone had fun and that Nola & I can host this swap again next year!


P.S. The power company and my town have sent out notifications that "Frankenstorm" could mean that we lose power for 2-7 days.  I hope this is a wild exageration...but have a few posts pre-scheduled just in case.  If you're in the storm path - BE SAFE!

October 25, 2012


I have to admit that I laughed when I heard the term "frankenstorm" come out of the meteorologists mouth.  All I could think of was Herman Munster!

When she proceeded to detail the likelihood that Hurricane Sandy would be giving a close to direct hit to the NYC/Boston areas, then dragging a low pressure system that could dump snow on us - I woke and and realize that would majorly stink.

I mean...meteorologist sensationalize even the smallest of storms.  So we're getting some wind, a little rain and a dusting of snow.  Right?!?! (If they aren't exaggerating and you're in the storm path, please stay safe!)


October 24, 2012

Halloween Costumes - The Good, The Bad and The WTF

Halloween is next week - which for a lot of people means trick-or-treating with the kids, perhaps a party or two and maybe a theme night at a local bar.

I don't know about you...but I think that Halloween costumers fall into a few categories.

The Good: Where some really creative people show their talents and their sense of humor to their friends and neighbors.

fergie as child pageant queen for halloween
Fergie as Honey Boo Boo
Gather some friends for Game of Thrones.
I love this owl costume for a little kid!

The Bad:  Perhaps you had good intentions...but just couldn't pull off the costume.

halloween pics 13 Halloween costumes: The good, the bad and the ugly (32 photos)
I'm guessing that she's trying her own version of Lady Gaga's meat dress.  Quite unsuccessfully.
hooters costume for men
I have no words. 
Potty training gone WAY wrong.
The WTF:  Pretty self-explanatory.  I don't know WHAT they were thinking, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to ask.  (Note: I apologize if you're offended by any of these costumes.)

Best case scenario - this causes some parents to have "the talk" with kids earlier than scheduled.

How does a parent think this is even slightly appropriate?!?!

What's the best/worst costume you've seen in recent years?


October 22, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Baked Onion Rings

Little secret - I love onion rings.  I don't indulge in them often...but I've finally found a recipe that makes baked onion rings taste just as yummy (if not more) than the fried kind.


Baked Onion Rings

4 cups Ritz crackers or Panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 to 2 large Vidalia onions, peeled

Place Ritz crackers into a food processor and process into crumbs, or place in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. (If you use Panko bread crumbs, move directly to the next step.)  Transfer to a shallow bowl, add cayenne, and set aside. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper and set aside. Slice onions into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings.

Place the remaining flour in a sealable plastic bag, then add onions, and shake to coat. Dip onions 1 at a time into the buttermilk mixture, then into cracker/panko crumbs and place on baking sheet.

Place onion rings on a cookie/baking sheet that has been coated in cooking spray and then spritz cooking spray evenly over rings and bake at 450 for 20 minutes, or until coating is crisp.

What's cooking in your kitchen?


Frosty Paws Winners

My house got invaded by almost a dozen "Frosty" stuffed mascots.  Beckett really seemed to enjoy seeing them on display.

Now a mascot and two coupons will be on their way out the door to the following ten winners:
Mrs. Jones

If I don't have your address, please email me here so I can get your prize mailed!

A big "THANK YOU" to Purina/Frosty Paws for letting me host this giveaway! A huge "THANK YOU" to everyone that entered too.  I loved hearing about your fur-babies! :-) It was great fun!


October 20, 2012

Prepping For Hallo-weenie & A Swap Update

I think I'm ready for the potential ridicule.... I admit it.  I dress my dogs up for Halloween! 

You're not surprised?!?!

CRAP!  You all know me too well. :-)

More pictures coming soon...but here's my little pumpkin, Beckett.

And...I've heard from a handful of people that they either got their packages in the mail late or their package is currently MIA.  To make life a little less stressful (and to allow USPS to do their jobs!) we're going to push back our reveal link-up to NEXT Monday - 10/29.

(Quick reminder - the Frosty Paws giveaway ends Saturday at midnight!  Ten lucky winners!)


October 15, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Apple Streusel Muffins

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Between the blog re-design, two giveaways running this week, and the swap that Nola and I are hosting - this blog is hopping lately!  I hope you'll all participate in both the Frosty Paws and Think Pink giveaways.  :-)  Quick reminder - if you're participating in the treat and toy swap, please get your packages in the mail!


My crockpot is at my friend's house, so my playing in the kitchen lately has been mostly baking.  I love fresh apples in New England!

Apple Streusel Muffins

2 apples, peeled and cored, finely diced
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
In a large bowl, mix together wet and dry ingredients (except for apples) for the muffins until well combined.  Gently stir in chopped apple.  Scoop about 1/4 cup batter into each cupcake liner, about 2/3 full. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together ingredients for streusel topping.  Spoon streusel topping on top of the batter in each muffin cup.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.
What's cooking in your kitchen?


Think Pink & A Giveaway

We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I love being able to support a good cause, and this year is no different - scroll down and see what cute stuff I'm giving away.

On a personal level - Breast Cancer Awareness Month means a lot to me.  Three years ago, just as October was starting, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The irony of her being diagnosed with stage 2, grade 3 cancer during "awareness" month certainly wasn't lost on me. 

I stood by my mom as she soldiered through three lumpectomies...and ultimately a mastectomy.  Following that was radiation and chemotherapy, in a dose so strong that it put her in the hospital for a week with a pulmonary embolism.  She never once complained!  I'm so happy that she's come out the other side with a clean bill of health!

My request to you - PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get your yearly mammogram and do your monthly self-check.  Especially if you're high risk.  I want you all around for a long, long, time.

This year's giveaway: A KitchenAid grater, aroma therapy eye mask, Bath & BodyWorks lotion and Burt's Bee's lip balm.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 13, 2012

Frosty Paws Giveaway!

Did you know that October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month?!  It is! 

You all know what dogs mean to me!  I mean, I'm renaming/redesigning my blog in my little munchkins' honor.  :-)  Dogs have been a part of my life since birth.  I have no major memories in my life that I didn't have at least one dog by my side.  I'm so lucky to be on the board of directors of Furever Dachshund Rescue.  My heart leaps with joy every time we pull a dog out of a shelter and find them a new home.

Frosty Paws is celebrating National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month by sponsoring a giveaway for your precious fur-kids.  They are letting me give away TEN Frosty Paws gift packs (A"Frosty" plush toy and 2 Frosty Paws coupons).  I should add that the plushy is not suitable for dogs to chew on.

The rules:
  • You must be following my blog.
  • Leave me a comment telling me either: A. How you and your dog(s) met. or B. Your favorite thing about your dog(s).
  • All entries must be submitted by midnight EST on October 20, 2012.
The Fine Print: These materials have been provided to me, free of charge, to use in this giveaway which is only open to people in the U.S. due to the fact that Frosty paws are only available in the U.S.


October 11, 2012

Just Add Color Fall Swap Reveal

The fabulous Jessica and Ashlee hosted their fall scarf and nail polish swap again this year!  Such a fun swap!

I got paired with Heather of Lawless Life.  She is such a sweetheart!  Go visit her - her blog is great!

Here's the cool loot that Heather sent me:

I love, love, love the lace detail on this scarf! 

Can I tell you that both Meadow and Paisley follow me around just *sniffing* after I use the Scentsy room spray?!  It's so cute.  Heather sent me Essie's Skirting The Issue, and I can't wait to use it.  Such a fun color.  :-)

Thank you Jessica & Ashlee for hosting AND Heather for such great swap gifts!


October 08, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - BBQ Meatloaf

Happy Tuesday!  If you haven't dropped by in a few days - I hope you're enjoying the new blog look.  :-)  It's still under construction, but will be finished up soon.  Stay tuned!


Cool weather is finally arriving and I'm craving meatloaf!  I make a few versions, but BBQ meatloaf gives a good "bang for the buck" presentation if you have company.  :-)

BBQ Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup French's fried onions
1 cup (or so) BBQ sauce of your choice
5-6 slices of bacon, uncooked
2 eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
6 slices provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan/Romano
Salt & pepper, to taste

Make meatloaf as normal - combining the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Place half your meatloaf in a loaf pan or baking dish, spreading evenly.  Pour a thin layer of BBQ sauce, then 1/4 cup of fried onions and the sliced cheese.  Spread the remaining meatloaf over the top.  Interlace the slices of bacon, covering the top of the meatloaf and pour remaining BBQ sauce over the top.  Bake at 350 for approximately one hour.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining fried onions over the top and let crisp for 5 minutes at 375.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Toy & Treat Swap Partners

Happy Monday!  Welcome to my little construction zone.  I apologize if anything looks a little wonky today...but it will all be pretty soon!

Below are your swap partners!  I will be sending each pair an email with the names & ages of your fur-kids and any allergies/special info that you noted.

Now, go have some fun!  Please visit your swap partner's blog, get to know them a little and start shopping.  :-)  Reminder - the budget for this swap is $10- $15 dollars (not including shipping) and you'll need to email your partner for their shipping address! Packages need to be in the mail by Monday the 15th and reveal day is Monday the 23rd.  :-)

Please let Nola (and her mom) and I know if you run into any problems!

October 05, 2012

Introducing Tucker!

A little over two years ago, I shared with you the heartbreak my cousin Erin and her husband Scott endured as their little boy, Jaxson was born early and his subsequent passing.

I'm so amazingly happy to share with you now - that they have just welcomed another gorgeous little man!

Welcome Tucker!!!! 

Born 9/28
6 lb., 12 oz.
20 inches
Here are my two favorites from his professional newborn pictures:


October 04, 2012

Mid-Atlantic Dachshund Phest

Today I should be on a road trip from New England down to Manassas, VA for the Mid-Atlantic Dachshund Phest.  Unfortunately, I'm not going to be going...and I'm kinda bummed about it.  Next year though...  DEFINITELY!!

If you're in VA (or quasi local and are up for some free fun, drop by the Doxie Phest and go visit all my Furever Dachshund Rescue friends.  Tell them I sent you.  :-)  With weiner dog races, a Hallo-weenie costume parade, raffles, vendors and a kissing booth or two - you're in for a great day!

And while you're there... pick up some yummy dog treats that I baked for the phest!  (I'm fairly sure that I'll be selling them on Etsy soon too.)

*Have you signed up for the toy and treat swap yet?  There's still time.  Click here!*

October 01, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Pain Au Chocolat

One of my favorite parts of How to Bake A Perfect Life (review coming soon, I promise) is that there are recipes built into the book.  Of course, I had to try one!  I'll work my way through all the bread recipes, but started easy with these babies.  It's like Paris on a plate.  Really!


Pain Au Chocolat

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), thawed, each sheet cut into 12 squares
1 large egg beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze)
12 oz. semisweet or milk chocolate chips

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush top of each puff pastry square with egg glaze. Place about 1/2 once of chips on the edge of a pastry square. Roll up dough tightly, enclosing chocolate. Repeat with remaining pastry and chocolate. Place pastry rolls on baking sheet, seam side down. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover pastries with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate remaining egg glaze.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush tops of pastry rolls with remaining egg glaze. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until pastries are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Toy and Treat Swap

I'm so happy to announce that Nola the gorgeous dachshund (with an able assist from her mom) and I are kicking off our toy and treat swap!

We would love if you would join in on the fun!  Sign up will be open until Sunday 10/7 at midnight EST and partners will be matched up on Monday.  :-)

Nola and I ask that you reach out to your swap partner as quickly as possible and learn more about the awesome canines in the house!  The budget for this swap is $10-15 dollars (ie, please spend no less than $10, but no more than $15) not including shipping, and that you ship your swap packages by Monday, October 15th.  Reveal day will be Monday, October 22nd!

*Remember to scroll down and hit "submit" on the entry form!*

The ONLY rule to this swap is that you must be following at least one of us.  Knowing our participants means that we are less likely to have swap partner disappointed or not get their package.

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