Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve Menu

We're a small group this year, so I'm keeping it simple with comfort food (read: lots of cheese) and endless glasses of wine!

Shrimp Cocktail
Baked Brie
Mixed Nuts

Mixed Greens w/ Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Baked Ziti w/ Meatballs

Brownie Sundaes

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting Ready for 2010!

We made it out to WH late last night and we have a busy day ahead of us. Lots of errands to do, including a trip to Michael's to pick up 6 framing projects and food shopping for the week. I need New Year's Eve menu ideas! Anyone?!?

Speaking of, with the New Year on the horizon, we're also making our annual house wish-list that ranges from DIY projects to "if we win the lottery, we'll tackle ____." I'm eyeing the Waverly Chocolate Garden Lattice fabric for a bar stool project. It's online only and pretty pricey at $20.99/yard, but my 40% coupon might justify the purchase.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope you're enjoying the day with family or friends! We're ready to head to bed soon here in VA. It's been a relaxing, fun day with too many good things to eat.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

T-minus One Day!

I have a really exciting day ahead of me, I can hardly control myself!
  • Gym
  • Pack for VA
  • Laundry
  • Clean the oven
  • Take Vella to the dog park
  • Give Vella a bath

I think there might be a stop at Banana Republic in here to break up the day. They have an additional 30% off sale items right now and I have my eye on a pair of gray wool flannel trousers.

In other news, I'll also be called furniture repair shops today. Vella chewed the corner of our coffee table about 6-8 months ago when she was a puppy, and has apparently been tap dancing on the top of it since mysterious scratches appear about once a week. To add insult to injury, while I was out yesterday, she somehow found her way on top of the dining room table. Scratches and a few gauges from one end to the other. Since we have a dog and plan to have children (someday, don't go getting any ideas)!, should I just give up now?!? Ha!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

F for Preparedness

We quickly realized on Saturday morning that all of our snow "stuff" was at the house in WH, including my LL Bean wellies (crucial for walking through the sludge puddles that collect on the corners). We put on our coats, got Vella all suited up in her coat, and headed out to see if we could find anything. I say that because things sell out SO fast in NYC. We lucked out and I found some Hunter boots, even scoring the fleece inserts for them too. I know they're really popular this season, so I thought I'd give a word of advice. I've worn them every day and they've gotten the job done, but save yourself $50+ and buy the LL Bean version!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Beginning to look a Lot like Christmas!

I'm officially on Holiday for the Holidays! I'm still tying up a few looses ends at work through the end of the week, but I'm looking forward to the break. We'll head to VA on Thursday, swing back through NYC Sunday/Monday, then head out to WH for some R&R. The best part is that we have NO plans the next few weeks other than spending time with my family over Christmas.

We had about 10" of snow in NYC on Saturday. Vella had a blast in Central Park yesterday. Today, not so much. It's slushy and dirty. I think she'll be going to doggy daycare tomorrow!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Coming up for air, will post over the weekend while we're snowed in here in the Northeast!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Going Crazy w/out a Home Computer!

Our home computer has come down with the flu, so I'm offline until this weekend (fingers crossed!).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paula Deen's Beef Stroganoff

This is a really easy one for this busy Holiday season! You could make it ahead of time and it's great for leftovers. Even Matt liked it...he didn't grow up with condensed soup or casseroles. Deprived life, right?!?

1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips
House Seasoning, recipe follows
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and black pepper
1 cup sour cream
Cooked egg noodles

Season the steak strips with House Seasoning, then dust with flour. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter. Remove the steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

House Seasoning
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Doggy Daycare

Dropped off the fur child at 7:45am for her first day of Doggy Daycare! It was time. It's getting colder out, which makes trips to the dog park miserable for all of us. And next to eating, playing with her canine friends is her favorite past time. I'm a mess of course, but let's be serious...she's at a place called The New York Dog Spa & Hotel. How bad that can be? She'll play, get treats and two walks outside today. If all goes well, we'll add this to our regularly scheduled Wednesday program. I'll pick her around 6, and she'll either be exhausted and happy as a clam, or totally ticked off at me.