Monday, January 30, 2012

For my first trick . . .

Yesterday (Sunday) was a fun food day . . . because I made something yummy on Saturday and baked it up yesterday.  I had the following ingredients in my house which usually aren't there - whole milk ricotta, baby zucchinies (that word looks kinda like that word you call your bottom - HA!) and a block of pretty tasty organic mozzarella.  I also had garlic cloves (I keep a ton of it in my freezer - buy the big container of peeled garlic in your monster-mart's cold produce section and pop it into your freezer when you get home - I swear is cooks up white and garlic-y looking), mushrooms (white button and cremini - which are marketed as 'baby portabellos''), an egg and grated parmesan cheese.

It went something like this - for an 8 in square pan . . .

Combine and set aside:
  • 1 8oz container ricotta cheese - whole or part skim
  • 1 egg
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Hearty dash / grind of pepper
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c shredded/grated mozzarella (or cheddar or your favorite cheese to serve with veggies)

Next step:
  • 1 pound mushrooms (of your choice - white button, cremini, portabello, etc)
  • 7 - 10 cloves garlic - depending on your tastebuds
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Grind or two of pepper
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Slice the mushrooms about 1/8 inch thick
Mince garlic
Heat non-stick pan over medium high with butter and olive oil in the pan
Add mushrooms and garlic when butter is melted and pan is hot
Toss and cook with salt and pepper until mushrooms are golden
Set aside

Rinse zucchini, trim stem and blossom ends and slice length-wise as thin as you can (I used a mandolin slicer)
NOTE: How much zucchini depends on how thick your slices are - mine were paper thin and I would have used about 2 - 6"ones.  "Would have" because the pan in the picture is smaller and I only used one zucchini . . .

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil an 8" square pan and layer the bottom with zucchini slices.  Top with about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture.  Top with 1/3 of the mushroom garlic mixture.  Continue to layer and end with zucchini.  Cover with foil and bake covered for about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking another 25 - 30 minutes or until the casserole starts to puff up but is not golden brown.  Remove from oven and top with about 1/2 c shredded mozzarella, return to oven and bake until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let sit about 10 minutes to cool and set before serving.  Mine fell slightly as it cooled and was somewhat wet so I recommended the additional uncovered cooking time above.

This is kind of a lasagna with zucchini instead of lasagna noodles.  You can top with sliced tomatoes, add some artichoke hearts or spinach or onions or any other favorite veg to the mushroom layer, or perhaps throw in some black olives.  The possibilities, as they say, are endless.  This would also be good with chopped broccoli and cheddar in place of the zucchini and mozzarella.

And so you have my first go at sharing a 'recipe'.  Hope you enjoy it!  See below for additional shots of deliciousness.  And yes - I'm working on my food photography skills.

Peace out, ya'll!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Showe curtain liners are NOT hot dog buns . . .

I believe that I am the victim of mid-term memory lapse.  Not to be confused with short term - can't remember what I ate for breakfast that morning - or long term - what I ate for breakfast on my 5th birthday - memory lapses. Those I can handle.  Its the mid-term that gets me.

By "mid-term" I mean those things that you know you've done before but not very often and at the time you possibly thought things would turn out one way and then they turned out differently than you had thought - or at least you kind of remember that they did.  Consider it to be similar to those times in your youth when you practiced in your head so many times the asking your parents if you could borrow the car / go to that party / get those jeans that you absolutely had to have.  You rehearsed it so many times you couldn't quite remember if you had actually articulated the question in their parental presence . . . or if they had answered.  Kind of the same thing here.

I bought (splurged?) on a new shower curtain liner the other day (moisture resistant polyester rather than that smelly and hard to clean and probably not good for you vinyl) and took a moment to install it.  As I was removing the old liner, I thought "Hmmm . . . exactly the same number of holes for hooks in the liner as in the shower curtain . . .  wonder if the new one will match up too?)  Now those of you who know how the world works will certainly consider this rather odd as, of course, the liners will have the same number of holes as the shower curtains.  Why wouldn't they?

Ahh . . . now we take a thought detour into the world of hot dogs and hot dog buns.  10 dogs and 8 buns.  They match up not!!  And some folks have suggested that its a corporate conspiracy to make you buy more dogs.  Me?  I consider it an invitation from the universe to make beanie weenies. 

So - in my defense - there are things out there in the world besides hot dogs and buns that don't match up so its not inconceivable that one might wonder about the day to day numbered items.  And I will continue to go "Hmmm".

BTW - Many brands' "jumbo" dogs come 8 to a pack . . .

Peace out, ya'll!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thanks to Sister for admonishing me last evening . . . my well intentioned habit of blogging every day (or so) has apparently gone by the wayside.  So much for 'conscious living' as it hasn't seemed all that long to me. Where does the time go??

As a result, today was what one might call a 'taking measure' kind of day for me.  I woke up early and realized that a number of other things in my life, in addition to this here blog, have fallen by the wayside.  So I took matters into my own capable hands and rectified several of those malingering things and have set myself a "to do" list of remaining items that will be resolved shortly.  I have to say, its rather freeing.

See, I am not a habitual 'completion animal' like some of my revered friends.  You know the ones . . . they actually follow that recommendation that comes out every few months in an email from some magazine newsletter that they've e-subscribed to because it promised to share the 'secrets of the professionals' and all you have to do to organize your life is straighten up your entire home before tripping off to sleep each night . . . or they sit down and write the check the same day that the bill comes in and and either mail it off to be early or set it in a special place where they will surely remember to mail it on the appropriate day to avoid late fees . . . or they start cleaning out the coat closet and actually put stuff in a bag that they actually take to their car and they actually drop off at the local thrift store on their way to work on Monday rather than taking stopping halfway through the coat closet clean out (with everything strewn about the hallway floor) to take that one item that should really go in the upstairs hall closet up to said hall closet and then realize that said hallway closet needs a good clean out / reorganization and proceed to take every item out of that closet (and yes - leave those item strewn upon what used to be the floor) only to realize that there are items that should really go into storage in the basement and diligently take those newly liberated items down to storage hell and again start the rectification of all disorganization only to find that its time to make supper and now three areas of the homefront are neither organized nor passable by any but the most fleet footed mountain goat.  Whew!  We all know them.  And I, again, am sadly not one of them. 

Since I am of the latter and not the former, I will not set lofty goals.  But I shall take steps to insure that all my payments are received on the date due, that closets in my home are beaten into submission one at a time and that, with Sister as my witness, I will blog . . . every other day, at least.

Peace out, ya'll!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I have learned so far . . .

Who would have thought that blogging would teach me (remind me of??) so much so quickly . . . .

Number 1 - Just because you say you're going to do something every day does not mean that doing it will contribute to your life . . . or the lives of others.  Namely - if I have nothing exciting to write about, then perhaps I shouldn't write about anything.  Hence the last two days of incommunicado-ness in the blog universe.

Number 2 - It is my humble opinion that adding things to pancakes makes them tastier.  This was a hard learned lesson when growing up with Sister who is a purist in the food world - aka . . . do not add things to my perfectly good plain things.  That being said - pancakes for breakfast yesterday were more delightful than usual with the addition of a finely diced Gala apple that was sauteed in a bit of butter with cinnamon with some chopped pecans thrown in when the apples were still firm.  Poured the batter in the pan and sprinkled the apple/pecan deliciousness over the top.  Flipped those bad boys over when the bubbles popped and slid them out of the pan when their bottoms were golden brown.  G agreed that very little additional embellishment was needed thought I did indulge in a light drizzle of maple syrup.  A resounding YUM was shared by all.

Number 3 - It is amazing how things show up in one's world when one puts the time and energy into encouraging them to appear.  I truly believe that our thoughts and words have energy to shape our worlds - both collectively and individually.  And I am reminded on a daily basis that the 'power of prayer' often lies in the spoken and unspoken intention that eminates from those who are doing the praying.  And that God /The Universe / The Powers that Be responds to the energy of those intentions to bring about the results that most benefit all involved.  And sometimes we may not see it because we're looking for something else.

Number 4 - The number of things you want to get done in a week is in direct proportion to the number of pairs of clean underwear that you have left - the fewer the drawers left in your drawer . . . the greater the chores that  appear on your agenda.  I'm just saying . . .

Have a great one, Ya'll!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I had the greatest inspiration today for a new craft project using the scraps from my canvas floor cloths.  I will post some photos tomorrow after I have . . . well . . . taken and uploaded some photos.  I know you're jonesing to know what it is . . . as "they" say, Good things come to those who wait . . .

Ya'll have a most splendid evening!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A visit with the Luna-tic

So I used to have two dogs - Mettie and Cooter.  They joined me in Conshohocken and moved with me to Nashville.  As they got older (nigh on to 14 years each), my dear friend MP would often comment that I needed to consider bringing a puppy into my life to keep me company when my dogs made the 'big move'. 
Now - I am a confirmed animal lover.  I freely admit that I will stop and pet almost any animal.  And putting a puppy in front of me?  Heck - why not just shoot me full of 'warm and fuzzy' and leave me a drooling mess?!?  But adding a puppy to my already hectic life?  I wasn't sure that was for me.
Anhew - one day MP was driving down the road just minding his own business when what does he come upon but a brazen little puppy who had stationed herself in front of  a truck at a stop light.  As no one else was making a move, MP leaped from his car, scooped up the pup and firmly deposited her in the passenger seat.  And proceeded to break out in hives.  See - MP is allergic to "dog" - dander, saliva, breath.  Just about any dog part touching one of MP's parts will bring it on.  As he couldn't keep the little bundle of love, he scooted her over to his friends' house.  These friends were obviously dog lovers as they themselves were the happy parents of a year old Great Pyrenees.  A mighty good dog who was mighty well house trained.  The puppy was not.  Oh - and Momma Bear was pregnant and ready to have her own bundle of joy at any moment.  So . . . Yep - you guessed it.  Puppy needed a home and Sucker Aunt Michelle was roped in to just go and see the cute little thing.  Maybe take her for a few days so that our friends would remain our friends.  Well - you know the routine.  Once you get 'em home - they're yours!!
So that's how Luna and I met.  Which was a much smoother process than picking a name.  See - I wanted it to be a super cool and hip name that retained it's appeal after years of repetition.  And I was danged if I could come up with anything that she responded to.  Finally, out of desperation, I turned to the folks at work for suggestions and was rewarded with a winner.  "How about Luna?" the one lady asked.  "It works with your last name (Mooney) and golly, didn't you all find her on the day of the eclipse?"  Sometimes, folks, it's right there in front of you . . .
So Luna it was.  And as predicted, Luna helped me through the transition of my two sweet pups when it was time for them to move on.  (Part of me wonders if Mettie and Cooter weren't just the tiniest bid glad to leave her behind . . . )  Luna was great fun at the dog park in Nashville where I learned to embrace my new identity as "Luna's Mom" and made many a new friend as she chewed on their dogs.  She earned her nickname of Luna-tic and learned to answer to "The Tic" as well as "Miss Tuna" (aka Luna-Tuna).
The move back East (October 2010) brought long hours at work for me and a long-term temporary visit for Luna with Sister and The Boy out in Harrisburg.  Luna joined me in the Spring of 2011 and brought hours of fun and daily walks back into my life.  Then came Labor Day Weekend.  I went to visit my friends at Flowing Springs Farm in  Chester Springs and brought Miss Luna along for the ride.  It was her first time and golly but she LOVED it!!  10 acres to run over, a dozen horses to touch noses with, a 9 year old chocolate lab (Bean) to pester the bejezus out of and at least 3 cats to stalk around the barn/house/yard.  What more could a pup ask for?  Yep - right again.  A loving family who was looking to add a well-behaved-yet-curiously-alert-to-the-presence-of-strangers dog to their happy menagerie.  These folks had lost a pup over the summer and were kinda-maybe-mostly looking to add someone to their troupe.  Can you say "match made in heaven"?
So this all brings us to tonight when I am again visiting my Flowing Springs Farm friends and this time, getting in some quality time with "our" dog, Luna.  She met me at the door, stood and waited until I put down my bag so I could lavish some love on her and then led me upstairs to see the kids.  The Tic then grabbed her stuffed animal (her "baby" - which is a story for another post) and looked over her shoulder at me to make sure it was ok that she climb up on the sofa with the kiddos to watch Gilligan's Island rather than sit at my feet.  Bittersweet for me - to say the least - but I do believe that Luna has found her home. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beautiful day in the basement

Hey Ya'll!  Had a great time in the basement today.  You're wondering why, aren't you?  Well . . . the corporate world and I parted ways in October and I have been pursuing some creative endeavors since.  Part of my day was enjoyed in the basement where I have a great setup to paint canvas floor cloths.  You may have seen some examples on our Facebook fan page for We Paint Floor Cloths (  You can also find us on eBay through Umeboshi Dress (  I will be posting photos here as I complete more cloths.

Oh - and please be sure to check out my friend Geri Lyn's new blog as well -  We both started to fulfill a New Year's resolution.  Whoo hoo - let's go, girl!

The theory is that it takes 31 days to make a habit and just a few days to break it.  I'm on day two of my blog habit - your comments and encouragement will help me keep going.  Musings to come . . .

Have yourself a happy tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A big "Hey" out to all Ya'll!  

I know - I'm not in Tennessee anymore but I love that Southern welcome because it includes one and all.  And that's what I hope to do on this blog - share my musings on food, fun tidbits and life in general with one and all and make you feel welcome to share your comments.  Hopefully once you have found me you will find my little ol' blog to be entertaining, educational and edifying and choose to tell your friends to come on over and "join" me too.    : )