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First time mom to twins. With a love for traveling, reading, yoga, politics and good coffee.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Free speech, and all that.

The people at Westboro Baptist "Church" are bat shit crazy. They are coming to my neck of the woods today to protest a high school play, seriously! Article here.

So here are some of my favorite protest their protest signs:



Click on the image above to make it bigger.

(if any of the pictures are yours and you want them removed or identified please contact me)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chili

(picture here)
Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb steak - cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans tomatoes, undrained, cut up
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp of parsley
  • 1 green chilly pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained

Directions:

In a Dutch oven or large soup kettle, brown beef; drain. Add green pepper, onions and celery until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add beans. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer.

*Variations*
Substitute 1lb of ground turkey for the ground beef.
Substitute 1 can of tomatoes and the green chilly pepper, for a can of tomatoes with the chilly peppers in it already.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Travel Bucket List

In order of most to least important:
  • Paris (2006)
  • Italy (2009)
  • Egypt (2010)
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • London, Berlin, Amsterdam
  • Australia
  • Tanzania, Serengeti 
  • Turkey
  • Maldives
  • French Polynesia
  • India
  • Costa Rica
  • Thailand
  • Dubai
  • Japan




Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NJ Restaurants

These are some of my favorite restaurants in NJ, they range from tacos to true foodie experiences.


Monmouth/Ocean
  • Carmen's Pizzeria (Pete & Elda's), Neptune (website)
  • Serena, Pier Village, Long Branch (website)
  • Avenue, Pier Village, Long Branch (website)
  • Buona Sera, Red Bank (website)
  • Nicholas, Red Bank (website) (my review)
  • David Burke's Fromagerie, Rumson (website)
  • Pilot House, Brick (website)
  • Moonstruck, Asbury Park (website)
  • Doris and Ed’s, Highlands (website)
  • Surf Taco, Point Pleasant Beach (website)
  • Bobby's Burger Palace, Eatontown (website)
  • Sawa, Eatontown & Pier Village (website)
  • Legends, Wall (website)
  • Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park (website) (my review)
  • Pearl of Lisbon, Long Branch (website)
  • Joe Leone's (Deli), Point Pleasant Beach (website)
  • Mulberry Street (Deli), Brick (website)
  • Spike's Fish Market & Restaurant, Point Pleasant (info)
  • Trinity & the Pope, Asbury Park (website)
  • Tandoor e India - Ocean (info)
Others NJ Restaurants

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lasagna

World's Best Lasagna Recipe
Based on the recipe here. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (divided)
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 Directions: 
In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Season with basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. (I used a ladle, about 3 full ones in the bottom) Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Going Green(ish)

  •  Avalon Organics Lavender Conditioner
First of all it's not fully organic, it does not have most of the harsh chemicals other conditioners have, but the name is deceptive. Also, it doesn't condition as much as it greases your hair. It's horrible! 
  • Giovanni Organic Root 66 Max Volume Shampoo & Conditioner 

Finally and organic shampoo and conditioner team that works as well, if not better, than their chemically filled cousins. It smells amazing, it cleans really well, leave my hair moisturized and soft. 



  • Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Pacs
Love it! Washes really well, no residue, and it's not hurting the environment. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
 
(image from here)
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup spinach (frozen)
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (1 can)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • dash pepper

 Directions:

Finely chop spinach and artichoke. Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup water on medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain well.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cream cheese for one minute or enough to soften. Add all ingredients together and serve.

I serve with Nonni's Panetini Italian Toast and/or Tortilla Chips. 

This is my surprise guests snack, I always have all the ingredients at home and I can throw it together in a very short time.