This Christmas Eve dinner called for an appetizer. And, for some reason the first thing I thought of was stuffed mushrooms. I've enjoyed them many times, but have never made them before. So this holiday seemed as good a time as any.
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Each year I put together a Shutterfly calendar for the upcoming year. I include pictures from our annual Mother/Daughter trip. I like looking back on the previous year's trip evert time I turn the page to a new month. I just realized having just finished my 2024 calendar, that I never posted about this year's trip. So, here's the long overdue post.....
As I was doing my research on Greece, I realized the country really has a lot to offer. But as with all my trips, I was really going to have to decide how to get a "feel" for the country by picking and choosing my destinations wisely. I mean, it could take months to truly explore the country inside and out!
So, I finally landed on Nafplio, Delphi, Meteora, and Athens. In order to take this all in, I was going to need a rental car until we reached Athens, then I could travel by foot and/or the metro. I had reserved my rental car in advance, so as soon as we cleared customs, we picked up our car and began our 2 hour drive to the coastal town of Nafplio in the Peloponnese region of Greece. We stayed two nights in this quaint little town (the first Capital of Greece), right on the water. We stayed at a lovely B&B, with the most amazing host, who cooked the tastiest breakfasts. We trekked the 999 steps to the top of the hill to visit the Palamadi castle, and explored all the nooks and crannies of this city. It didn't take us long to try some souvlaki, and of course gelato. The second day we took a road trip to Epidaurus which was about one hour east.
Our next destination was Delphi. It was a four hour mountainous drive, through fog and some serious rain. We chose to stop by the Corinth canal, which was an amazing site to see. We dropped our bags at the hotel and quickly headed to the archaeological site of Delphi. It was absolutely amazing, and the museum is well worth the admission fee. Delphi is said to be founded by Zeus and is considered to be the "navel of the world". The site dates back to the 14th century. Delphi was a quick overnight for us, with Meteora being our next destination. We left right after breakfast since we had another 138 miles to drive. I knew when I read about Meteora, that I absolutely had to see it! The monasteries that sit atop these immense rock pillars were incredible to see.
At one time there were 24, today there are 6. It truly was a spiritual and amazing place to see. We arrived about 1130a and promptly headed up the hill to check out three that first day. Our hotel was right at the base of the cliffs and had a lovely patio that we sat at that first afternoon enjoying a glass of wine and the beautiful views. The second day we took in another two of the monasteries before heading to Athens. After our four hour drive to Athens, we dropped the car, caught the metro and met our host at the VRBO we were staying at for the next five days.
And that's a wrap on another epic Mother/Daughter adventure! We packed a lot in during the nine days we were on the ground in Greece and if you were to ask me if I would change anything, I would honestly say no. Oh, actually just one thing. Don't pay for a GPS for the rental car, it just doesn't work. Use google maps instead.
Monday, September 25, 2023
With family in town, I was looking for a recipe that could feed five people, that was super easy to put together, went with this beautiful fall weather that we're having and was on the "comfort food" end of the spectrum.
I began looking for pasta recipes of course.....The recipe I put together for baked ziti years ago has always been a favorite, but I wondered if there was something just as easy on the alfredo side. I found exactly what I was looking for and it was so yummy I just had to share!
Friday, September 15, 2023
With some out-of-time family coming to town I always plan out meals, snacks, goodies. So when I was thinking of goodies, homemade cookies came to mind. I decided to bake a variety I haven't made in quite some time.....and that's gingersnap cookies. I have to say, they tasted especially good having not had them for so long.
Friday, June 23, 2023
I landed on this recipe after looking for a simple dessert that also wouldn't be too heavy after an Italian meal. There's a bit of prep work involved, but it can all be done ahead of time and assembled quickly when you're ready.
Monday, May 1, 2023
Since this recipe was said to have the same flavors as that fabulous spinach artichoke dip we all love, I thought I'd give it a try! And....it did have a lovely flavor. The recipe calls for it to be served over rice, although I think I might perfer angel hair pasta next time.
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
I had the pleasure of working on another project that involved taking my Bride's Mother's wedding gown and re-styling it so that she could wear it. Originally she planned on wearing it on her big day, but after finding a gown at a bridal shop that just spoke to her, she decided she would like me to re-style Mom's gown for her rehearsal dinner.
This is Mom's circa 1980's wedding gown. Having gotten married in this same era myself, I knew when she told me the year her folks were married that I'd be getting a very large gown....large sleeves, large (and long) train and a large full skirt.
The majority of my workload was in the disassemby of the gown. I chose to start with the bodice. I removed the sleeves and the netting for the front and back bodice.
I had it easy from a fit perspective since Marissa and her Mom were virtually the same size. Other than adding some additional structure to the bodice due to the fact that it was strapless, the circumference was perfect! I chose to change the shape of the waistline by eliminating the deep point at the center front. The largest amount of workload came when I had to remove the ruffles and appliques from the back train....that literally took hours. Once that was finished, I created the pattern for the shape of my skirt and then laid that on top of the existing gown to cut the new skirt. As you can see, the skirt has the same layers as her Mom's....satin underlayer, chiffon overlay. There was a gorgeous lace on the train that truly was lost in all the ruffles. I showed Marissa that I wanted to use that at the hemline once I removed the ruffling and laid it flat you couldn't even recognize it.