Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yard Sale

We are having a yard sale next Friday and Saturday, March 30 & 31.  We'll be working on digging-out and pricing a lot more stuff all next week. It feels good to let it go . . . 

I've been holding on to the supplies from Tracy and Luke's wedding for awhile and ready to sell them too. If you know someone getting married or having a big event and they are local, send them by.
white coffee mugs - lots of them

jelly jars are perfect to fill - for party favors

we used big punch bowls for salad - have a 8 or more to sell

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome Spring

Welcome Spring! I have been posting mostly recipes this week, so why stop now? Here is another Rossipe - one of my favorite meals for early spring . . . Pasta Primavera. Enjoy!

Pasta Primavera

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 pound asparagus, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup broccoli florets
2 small or 1 large zucchini, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 red pepper, sliced in strips
1 cup frozen peas
5 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup vegetable stock (a nice clear stock, not too heavy)
2 tablespoons fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 pound pasta (fettuccine, linguini, or ziti) cooked al dente
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large, deep skillet or wok over med-high heat, melt butter and cook onion and garlic until soft. Add broccoli, carrots and red pepper and stir-fry until almost cooked.  Add asparagus, mushrooms, and zucchini and continue to stir-fry until all veggies are tender. Add peas.  Increase heat and add cream, stock and basil. Gently boil mixture until liquid is slightly reduced. Add green onions, if desired, and cook another minute. Season to taste with S&P.  Add cooked pasta and parmesan and toss gently until combined. Serve with hot crushed red pepper and extra parm cheese.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Yesterday, the Irish in everyone celebrated St. Patrick's Day, and tomorrow some Italians will celebrate St. Joseph's Day by making Zeppole. These delicate little morsels are simply deep-fried dough balls. It's an Italian tradition to eat them as part of the feast on this day.

They can be filled with a cream, or drizzled with honey, sugar, or chocolate. According to Wikipedia: "Sweets are popular because St. Joseph is the patron saint of pastry chefs."  The site also mentions, "Foods are traditionally served containing bread crumbs to represent sawdust since St. Joseph was a carpenter."  I did not know this!

While putting together Rossipes I discovered at least 4 or 5 handwritten recipe cards with different spellings. The recipes were almost the same and most likely handed down from my grandmother, Grace Rossi.  


1 package dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

In large bowl dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water for 10 minutes.  Add the rest of ingredients and mix until smooth.  Cover and let rest in warm place for 1 1/2 hours or longer.

Heat oil to 375˚and drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil (use a second spoon to push the dough off into the oil) – turn once until brown.  Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Part Two - Olive's 1st Birthday Party

In December I hosted a 1st birthday party for my granddaughter, Olive. It was so much fun to decorate for this party and add a bit of holiday cheer to the design. 
You can see the cute party hat I made (above Olive's head) that we forgot to put on her!

The tables were set for lunch. Menus on the tables noted that we were serving tomato soup shots, oven-warmed spiced potato chips, and panini's. Guests could create their own panini with lots of options.

We selected the color scheme before any other decorations. Bright orange, hot pink, and cream looked beautiful together. I had no plans to have Christmas trees at the party, but when I found a couple of little bright pink trees, they became a fun part of the design.

paper filled glass ornaments 

Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Rossipe

St. Patrick's Day is Saturday. Do you cook a traditional Irish meal once a year? My Italian mother married an Irish man. She was the only one of the five Rossi sisters who did not marry another Italian. My dad loved her family recipes, but he missed the Irish fare his mother served. So, my mom learned how to make corned beef early in her marriage and it became a staple on St. Patrick's Day in our home.

A New England Boiled Dinner is another term my mom used for "Corned Beef and Cabbage." But my favorite part of the meal is using the leftover meat the next day in a Reuben Sandwich.

My mom and dad on their wedding day in the late 30s

In Rossipes (along with how to make corned beef) is my recipe for a simple 1000 Island Dressing,
a must-have for a good reuben.

1000 Island Salad Dressing

1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup and relish until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Use now or store covered in the refrigerator for several days.

To make a reuben sandwich:

corned beef slices
Swiss cheese
good sauerkraut
1000 dressing
rye bread: seeded, seedless, or marble* (I prefer seedless)

Butter two slices of bread, add dressing, swiss cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut - Grill and Enjoy!

*Speaking of marble rye - one of the funniest episodes ever of Seinfeld was called "The Rye" - do you remember that one?  Good Stuff!
St. Patrick's Day
Created on Polyvore . . . 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Don't Lose Any Sleep . . .

We all value our sleep and the quality is important. Although it is almost spring, nights will be cool for months to come - and that poses a unique problem in our house. I do not like the heat on at night, so it gets very chilly. On a cold morning a few months ago when my husband complained to me, “I can’t take it any more,” I knew I had a problem to solve.

I am a restless sleeper, tossing and turning all night. My husband pretty much stays in one spot, with maybe a turn or two. I kick up the duvet when I toss about - It lets in cold air and my husband wakes up from the chill. He basically told me he couldn’t handle it one night more and after 32 winters together, he has taken it long enough.

My Valentine's Day card kind of sums it up . . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flea Markets & Spring Baby Shower

Sunday morning I went to the Great Park Antique Market in Irvine, CA. They call it an "antique" market, but it is really more of a vintage flea market. Lots of old stuff, some new stuff, but all kinds of fun stuff to be found. It is held the first Sunday of each month.

I was on the hunt for items to use for a spring-time baby shower. The mommy-to-be is artsy and a bit edgy, but with a super soft side too. She is having a girl and I am so excited to be designing this shower for her. She knows some of my ideas, but not every design detail, and she could peek-in here, so I am just sharing a few of the items I have collected. I want her to be somewhat surprised.

I will be making something special with all of the doilies I am collecting for the shower.  I've found several baby baskets to use and will paint them. Old time clothes pins were a fun thrift find as well. Everything in this photo was found except the burlap, which is new.
This pile was from one vendor at the market that had great prices - I had a hard time stopping. This big pile was just $5. - which was nice compared to a single small doily I saw at a thrift store the other day for $3.50 (which I did not purchase!)
Some of the pieces in this pile were thrifted from an Orange County store called SAVERS. Their prices are very fair compared to some stores in San Diego.
These pieces have already been tea-stained. To do this I make a strong brew of black tea in a large pot on the stove (then turn off heat) and let the doilies soak for as long as it takes to get the color I want - maybe an hour or two. Some of them were white and some other shades of ecru, but they all came out the same after their tea bath. I saved the tea solution and will warm it up and soak all the new pieces.

My daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter Olive, came along with me to the market.  See that big orange ball in the photo? That is a helium balloon that you can take a ride in. It stays tethered and holds 25-30 people at one time. We wanted to go up and see the great view, but Olive needed a nap, so we decided to do it another time. Can't wait for that.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1st Birthday Parties

Oh My! Who knew having 1st birthday parties for little ones could be so much fun. I have two granddaughters born seven weeks apart, so we had two parties in two months. I will share the decoration and crafting ideas in another blog soon. This time I wanted to show the girls in their special birthday outfits and how cute they looked with their cakes.

Olive in a pile of balloons

Olive in her top, pants and t-shirt
Olive (in orange and fuchsia) is wearing an outfit I made mainly with recycled fabrics from other clothing. Baby and toddler clothes do not require too much fabric, so it is the perfect option. I like to start with a pattern and take it from there to customize. I also deconstructed a cotton baby nightgown to for the shirt and part of the pants. My cousin Joanne crocheted three cute little flowers for the dress.