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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Picnic in the Park

Took a container of the pasta salad and some other goodies for a picnic in our local park yesterday. It was a beautiful day and so fun to just lay around on a blanket eating, chatting, people watching, etc. 

So this is my list of what to pack for a picnic
  •  your 'main course' in this case the pasta salad
  • a snack to munch on - we had a nut, cranberry & raisin mix from Stop & Shop
  • something sweet for dessert - grapefruit cups, which we didn't end up eating anyway
Don't forget your utensils & plenty of napkins. It's also good to have a cold pack if you'll be traveling a long distance to keep the food fresh. 

Here are two great sites with picnic related items: 

Red  - Wine Picnic Set. A table that sticks into the ground and holders for glasses/bottles. Can be purchased as a set or on their own. - an awesome site with lots of baskets, dish sets, etc etc all for your picnic, tailgating, etc needs. This Metro basket collapses for easy storage at home.

Happy Picnicing! 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I did it!

I cooked this week! Yum Pasta Salad! 

I may have gone a little overboard tho - I made a whole pound of pasta! Eek! Hello leftovers. 
I added 1 cucumber, 2 tomatoes, 1 yellow pepper and half a bag of frozen peas (semi-defrosted)
As a dressing I used some bottled Italian dressing in one batch and my homemade vinaigrette in a batch I took to work yesterday. 
Add cheese too if you like - feta tastes really good with this salad. 
Salads are a great dish to bring to a bbq or your own picnic in the park! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Repeat After Me...

I will cook this week, I will cook this week...

Making our PeaPod order now....let's see if I can get back in the cooking groove. I've had enough of frozen pizza and chicken finger dinners! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Produce Market

There's word that there will be a Produce Market coming to Marble Hill, a neighborhood here in the BX. I hope it happens! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I haven't made dinner since....ummm...last week sometime. 
Tuesday is usually PeaPod grocery delivery day but I forgot to place the order Sunday night. Oops.
Must be one of those weeks....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A friend at work couldn't come out for birthday drinks last week so she gave me a yumy bottle of Pinot Grigio from Stellina di Notte. The wine shoppe packaged it super cute in silver foil with ribbons. Wine the gift that keeps on giving!! Cheers!


A student gave these chocolates to my co-teacher and I recently. Her mom works as a waitress for a hall here in NYC, I think they were from an event she worked. So glad I saved them, I'm in the mood for sweets tonite!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What Mom has Taught Me

Here I am with Mom - she not only cooked lots of great food but look at the costumes she sewed for the two of us one year! I had a small obsession with Garfield and made her hold him 

Happy Mother's Day! 

I have been blessed in my life to not only have an amazing mother but also 2 fabulous grandmas. These 3 women taught me all I know about cooking - ok that's not true because I don't know a whole lot and they are/were amazing in the kitchen. I would not be The Urban Whisk had it not been for many many many meals and baking sessions spent standing up on a kitchen chair watching one of them cook. I wouldn't love baking had it not been for the draw full of cookie cutters in our kitchen growing up. The recipes not written down. The stylish way a Sunday lunch was prepared and presented at our dining room table. The adorable upstate NY farmhouse kitchen, with 2nd freezer & sink in the backroom. Tea time. Lick the bowl. Eat your veggies. Mallomars & Bon Bons. Elegant china. Sunday Waffle Nights. Wooden Salad Bowls, Rice in the Salt Shaker. And oh yes - a wide assortment of dishtowels, tupperware, tommy tippie cups, and of course whisks. 

 Ladies - thank you for everything! Grandma P and Grandmother B - miss you both so so much.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

a little memory

my facebook photo this week - we loved to go on the swings together!

Yesterday would have been my grandfather's birthday. I don't have many memories of him or my grandma that don't include food hehe. Grandpa loved Tootsie Rolls. Rye Bread. Any kind of Fish. Lingonberry jam. Swedish Meatballs. He loved to read and often read There's a Wocket in my Pocket to me at bedtime. My very last memory of us together is at breakfast. He was very sick but bc it was my last morning home that weekend he got to the table so we could have our bowl of cornflakes together :) He was so romantic and treated my grandma like a queen always. 

I was super lucky when I was little that his birthday was the day before mine - that meant 2 cakes in 2 days!! And 4 days later another cake for Grandma's birthday. I suppose only having 1 cake is all part of being a grown up but it's no fun - I miss my grandparents! And the extra cake :) 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pretty Flower

How can you not love the scene from Bambi when Thumper is teaching Bambi words? He learns what a flower is and then calls the Skunk "pretty flower" awww. Possibly one of only a few funny scenes in an otherwise cry fest of an animated kids movie. 

My daddy and my husband both sent me flowers today, a day early for my birthday. Tom sent a great bouquet of red roses to work :) When I finally got them opened up at home I could not believe how many roses were wrapped up! Thanks honey xoxo  Daddy sent me gardenias. In the mail. I kid you not. He wrapped a few stems up in wet paper and then put them all in a ziplock bag. They arrived a little squished but are perking up quiet nicely. They smell amazing - so strong. I may have to move them around a bit to keep them from getting too strong in one room.  I almost didn't get them since the Post Office was convinced Mrs. Tom so and so and I are not the same person I should have Tom so and so's ID next time I pick up HIS package. Hello?? It says Mrs!! Anway, I'm such a lucky almost birthday girl! :)

Don't let this picture fool you - I promise I own real vases but these stems are too short!  

On the subject of birthdays and gardenias I am lucky to share the week with my grandpa and grandma. My grandpa would have had his today and grandma on Sunday.  3 ice cream cakes in one week - growing up it was an awesome week :) Gardenias were grandma's favorite and my grandpa always got her a corsage of gardenias when her birthday fell on Mother's Day (as it does this year) She had a beautiful bush in the backyard where these are from - I'm so happy I'm tearing up a little.  

Friday, May 1, 2009


Last night's dinner was another great success. Recipes from Great Food Fast - so quick and easy. I  did have a few pots going at once which was a little hectic (and makes for a messy clean up) but everything was so easy and simple to prepare it's ok. Steak with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus (steamed and in a simple olive oil/salt/pepper drizzle).  GFF separates recipes by season, I used the steaks & mushroom from the same spring recipe and the asparagus from a summer. Mix and match it's fun :) The book has great pairings if you just want to stick with those too. 

Steaks: drizzle with oil, coat with salt and pepper. That's it, so easy! I cooked them on a grill pan till medium/well done. I bought strip steaks as the recipe suggests when I was planning my grocery list earlier in the week. 

Mushrooms: recipe called for some fancy mushrooms but all I had were baby bellas. Trim into small slices. I cooked them in olive oil, salt, pepper and 3 cloves of garlic. Recipe called for shallots didn't have those either. I heated them for a few minutes than transfered to the steaks. 

Asparagus: Wash and trim ends, cut in half. Toss in a large bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Bring water to boil, places asparagus in steamer basket and cooked till semi-tender. I made them not raw but still with a small crunch. Whatever you like. 

Rice Pilaf: so much of this on my plate, should have had more veggies, oh well. I like to make this quick and easy so I buy it in a box. Shocked? :) I believe this was a mushroom and herb flavor so it went well with the steaks. Since these boxed foods can sometimes be high in sodium, etc I try to read the labels and by the healthiest - Near East is usually what I buy. 

I didn't make it to the wine tasting earlier in the week so the tiny bit of the wine bottle you see in the pic is the Chardonnay. It was a great wine! I know we usually think of reds with steaks and other red meats but it was very refreshing to have a white wine with a steak.