Wednesday, August 15, 2018

One-Pan Pasta

Hard to believe how good this One-Pan-Pasta is. Chef recommended. We're back from a wonderful vacation in Maine, and I wanted something easy for our first dinner back home. I saw this in Martha Stewart Living magazine in 2013 and we really enjoyed it so I had to share again. Once I get the laundry done, mail opened, and vacation photos uploaded, I will share some vacation photos with you.  


12 ounces linguine

12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

4 1/2 cups water

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

2.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Que Sera Silk Salad

I almost hesitated to make this salad from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook from the late 80's, but I had a head of cabbage and red onions that I wanted to use from my CSA veggie box. I'm so glad I made this!  

This is the introduction to the recipe as listed in the cookbook. I knew we would like this just from the description.

"Salting cabbage brings out a silklike texture without cooking. Enriched with fresh ginger, mint and pink peppercorns, this is a beautiful and unusual salad".

Que Sera Silk Salad
1 large green cabbage, finely shredded (I used the food processor)
3 TB coarse (kosher) salt
1 red onion, cut into thin rings
2 TB finely minced fresh ginger root
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 TB pink peppercorns
Salt, to taste

1.  Sprinkle the cabbage with 2 TB of the coarse salt in a large bowl. Let stand for 4 hours. (I let it sit outdoors) Cover with ice water and let stand for 1 more hour. Rinse and drain the cabbage.

2.  When the cabbage has been standing for 3 hours, sprinkle the onion with the remaining 1 TB coarse salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Cover with ice water and let stand for 1 more hour. Rinse and drain.

3.  Combine the cabbage and onion in a large mixing bowl.

4.  Whisk the ginger, lemon juice and oil together. Pour over the cabbage and onion and toss.

5.  Stir in the mint and peppercorns. Taste and add salt if needed.

6.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Makes 10 to 12 portions

I am going to nickname this ALL DAY SALAD. But I was home multi-tasking so I didn't mind :-)
Mr. Mountain Breaths is not a fan of cole slaw or anything cabbage, and he  really enjoyed this.

Thank you for stopping by!


Saturday, August 4, 2018

What I've Been Up To

I recently had one of the best customer service experiences and will share it with you. In the photo above, I ordered the outfit pictured for our trip to Italy in September. I placed the order with Soft Surroundings in early July, and was told the pants would be delivered on September 12 which was too late for our trip. I really wanted the pants so I sent an email to the founder of Soft Surroundings asking if there was anything that could be done to expedite my pants. I probably picked the only item in the catalog that was on backorder until September. lol

Here's the response I received. Very impressive!
Subject: FW: Is there anything that be done 
Hello Ms. Cantales,

My name is Michele Dando, I’m the Technical Design Director here at Soft Surroundings.  I’ve been working with Robin and Christy McKey her Administrative Assistant on finding you the Super Stretch Lattice Capri in time for your trip to Italy.

I contacted our supplier and had a special pair made in size Small, color Black.  I’ll be sending them to you tomorrow.  Since this is a sample there are no labels or tags on the pant.  The care is as follows:  Machine Wash Cold, Separately, Gentle Cycle; Only Non-Chlorine Bleach when Needed.  Hang to Dry, Cool Iron if Needed or May be Dry Cleaned.

These pants are our gift to you to enjoy during your time in Italy!

I sincerely hope you love these pants.  Thank you so much for contacting us to let us know about the delay – these are perfect pants for travel so understand they are a must have for your trip! Buon Viaggio!

Michele Dando

Michele L. Dando | Technical Design Director1100 N. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis MO 63132 | T: (314) 812-6167
The entire month of July kept me hopping. Our summer has been sunshiney, and it finally rained and my lawn and garden are lush and green again. I make time each Tuesday evening while Joe is at yoga to set a pretty table. Martha Stewart, my grandmother and mom taught me the love of cooking and how to beautify my environment. My blogging friends do the same for me :-)

Xavier is getting too big, too fast! He is very lucky to have wonderful parents and grandparents :-) 

Family and musician friends made Joe's retirement party very special. 

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what is going on in my world :-)



Friday, August 3, 2018

Tables Through The Seasons

 This is a repost from January 2013. I have always enjoyed setting a pretty table since I was a little girl. Each time I use this chickadee platter, it makes me smile. 

In January 2012, Joyful Chickadees made an appearance.
In February we went to Lake Placid for a Ski Party at a cozy inn.
At the end of March, we were hanging out in our "Lodge Room" enjoying some Winter Plaiditude.

Come April, the colors started to pop. Mom was enjoying helping me prepare our table for Easter, and thus the Easter Gift.
Cuisine Kathleen planted a seed, and in mid-April I put together The Great Earth table.
In May, we honored our moms with I'm A Little Teapot.
In June, the wait was finally over. The peony buds finally opened, and we were celebrated the Peonies.
July is one of my favorite months since we spend most of our time with our toes in the water at our camp. I was home long enough to put together Star Spangled.

I also love July because of the annual Barn Sale at Mackenzie-Childs in Aurora, NY. Help yourself to a blueberry muffin from the Mackenzie-Childs muffin bouquet.
By August, I am very relaxed. But Joe starts to get antsy because he knows that September is just around the corner, and that he'll have to trade in his bathing suit for a shirt and tie and head back to teaching. August is also my birth month, so I set a Birthday table
I adore Sunflowers. When my husband sends me flowers, it is always sunflowers ;o)
Who doesn't love a Lobster Palooza. Especially when I didn't have to plan it ;o)
We had fun with this "His" and "Mine" table in the Fall.
The first snowfall is always magical, so in November I built a Vietri Snowman.
In December, I set a table with my new forest of mercury glass trees and candle holders. Then I got busy, and didn't post the table on my blog. Joe gifts me with Vietri dishes and I now have 10 place settings. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Neiman Marcus Popovers

This is a repost, and popovers are one of my favorite things to make. I would rather eat a popover with jam, than a cupcake any day. I know some of you make strawberry jam each year, and this recipe called for Strawberry Butter, but I had some wonderful Christmas Jam that I received as a gift from Kitty at Kitty's Kozy Kitchen. I mixed the Christmas Jam with a little butter and spread it on the popover and it was wonderful. My co-worker Rick gives me eggs so I used six of his pretty eggs for this recipe. Joe and I both agree that these popovers are excellent, and they are super easy to make if you have the popover pan. Thumbs up folks! 

Popovers Recipe from Neiman Marcus Cookbook

Makes 12 

3 1/2 C. milk
4 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
6 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 450°F

Place the milk in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until warm to the touch. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.

Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until foamy and pale in color. Turn down the mixer to low and add the warm milk. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Spray a popover tin generously with nonstick spray. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with the batter and place the popover tin on a cookie sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, until the popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside and airy on the inside.

Turn out the popovers and serve hot with strawberry butter.

Note: The key to making great popovers is having the eggs and milk warm before mixing. It is also important to let the batter sit for an hour before baking it.

Strawberry butter (optional)

3/4 C. Strawberry Preserves
1/2 C. Butter

Place the butter in the work bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy. Add the preserves and beat until well combined. To serve, spoon or pipe the flavored butter into 2-tablespoon ramekins or onto side plates. Note: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. This spread will last for two to three days.


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