Archive for the ‘Holiday/Party/Entertain’ Category

Holiday Decorating-have some fun!

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Once you have found the “perfect” tree for your home, then the real fun begins, decorating! I switch between white lights and multi-colored lights.  It’s either all white or multi-colored for me!  If it’s multi year, then everything is multi including the window candles each having a different colored light. Then in white light years,  I usually go for a more traditional look with deep red or burgundy bows.  The tree also has the same theme.  So I have white crystal garland, jewel toned garland and garland that looks like rock candy.  We used to string popcorn and cranberries until the dog ate all the garland and almost knocked over the tree!  Our ornaments are a collection of over 25 years with quirky glass, paper and wood. The girls kindergarten homemade ones have the prominent spot in the front.  Shelby was always planning a craft day around the holidays, I think we kept Michaels in business. Whether you make your own or shop for decorations at Target, take care when packing your ornaments and lights so you can use them year after year.  Save the ornament boxes, tissue paper and wrap the lights and secure with twisty ties so they don’t tangle.  Set time aside to decorate with your friends or family and make it a party, have some fun with your decorating!

Talking Turkey Part 2

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

So you have followed the instructions on cooking a turkey.  Now what? Where do you put the knife in for white meat, how do you get the drumsticks and wings off this bird? Sharpen your knives and let Jamie Oliver show us the way to carve a roasted turkey.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Talking Turkey-Thanksgiving side dishes

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

This is my favorite part of preparing a Thanksgiving meal for my family.  It’s all about the veggies, so if you have a few non bird eaters, there is plenty of food for them. How about a Vermont classic, corn fritters, or a cold brussell sprout dish or a squash ratatouille?

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Start with you basic stuffing recipe and add cooked crumbled sausage, large chopped apples and pecan.  I take a classic green bean casserole and substitute the beans with broccoli (or maybe do both veggies). For the non meat eater, forget the sausage.

Classic Green Bean Casserole

Our everyones’ favorite, garlic mashed potatoes.  Saving calories, making mashed cauliflower gives you the creamy texture without the points.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Whatever your veggie cravings are, check out WWMS side and veggie dishes to add to your Thanksgiving meal.

Talking Turkey Part 1

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Thanksgiving is almost here and for some, cooking a turkey is a daunting task.  But in fact, it’s really one of the easiest holiday meal entrees. First, take a look at your oven and make sure it’s big enough for a whole turkey.  If it’s a small oven , you might consider cooking a whole turkey breast instead of the whole turkey.  If your oven is regular size, choose the turkey size according to the number of guest eating. The basic rule of thumb is 1-1 1/2 pounds per person. I usually go a little more since I like to have leftovers.  Survey the roasting pans for the correct size.  Now all you need is the turkey, small herbs and veggies.  Here’s a video from Chef John at Food Wishes that makes cooking a turkey pretty simple.

So, let’s get cooking.  Check out WWMS recipes for more holiday ideas and tips.

Summer Olympics… Inspiring

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

The opening ceremonies were full of tradition and surprises… Countryside scenes, traditional, historical music, British humor, British legends, and Royals. I thought the filmed scenes of the queen with the James Bond character was sensational. What fun and whimsy! Good for her to allow that and be part of a fun joke at her royal highness’ expense! Good show! Thank you Danny Boyle and England!

London is a fabulous city. It looks as though it was well planned. Good job! What was Mitt Romney so concerned about anyway? A city that moves people and a central location for all events. I have heard that they didn’t have the crowds of people they were hoping for. Evidently that is a recurring problem with the recent, past 10, 15 years of Olympiads. They plan for hoards of people to attend, even building new hotels and restaurants hoping for boosts in business and hiring more staff in anticipation and in the end the people stay away and the locals leave town fearing the discomfort and inconvenience. I guess now is the time to go. After the Olympics are done and everyone is leaving and the rush of the excitement is still present. Rooms are discounted and air fares are also low to encourage the end of summer travelers.

I miss the Olympics. It was great to have so many choices for entertainment in the evening. I love my Tivo and recorded the daily events and could go back to anything. The swimming and the gymnastics were exciting. The track held me amazed at the incredible feets in just second… A flash of time and records are broken. The human being at a physical peak takes their body to the edge… and then does it again…

The Beach Volley Ball….

To think that Beach Volley ball is an Olympic sport! This speaks to present times not the past. It was introduced at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, a demonstration event, and has been an official Olympic sport since 1996. We, the USA teams, have won gold in either men’s or women’s since 1996. Right on team.

I personally find the uniforms rather revealing, almost sexually exploitive for media purposes. I am sure there are those at home watching for reasons other than athletic interest now. They do look very containing, and supportive. I would say that of all the sports now. The athletic attire has become rather like extreme costuming. They were joking on TV about a man’s penis and whether he was aroused for the medal ceremony… Well so what if he was, or perhaps he just has a larger one… just like women’s breasts, they come in different sizes and shapes and these things are hard to hide in the skin tight minimal clothing specially designed for the teams… It was an exciting moment for him and with all the men and women in such evocative attire how could he help it in that moment, and with the snug fitting, form revealing uniforms how was he to hide it. Where? Really!

But then the Olympics of ancient Greece and Rome were done naked! The human body being celebrated and the athletic prowess rewarded.

Of course, I love to watch the sports that I have enjoyed doing myself. As a young girl in gymnastic class, didn’t we all imagine ourselves at the Olympics… Remembering Nadia, Kathy Rigby…

Cathy Rigby went on  to acting and you could find her guest staring in a role on a TV series for a while. Then she really blew up on stage with her teaching Peter and Wendy to FLY on Broadway in Peter Pan.

On the diving board when a child is asking her mom or brother and sister to rate their dive, we play at our own little competition with ourselves, wanting to do our best. The crazy fun I had with my sister when we would attempt the synchronized swimmers upside down movements or the apparent lack of above the water as they hold a pose gracefully never showing the manic paddling that it takes to keep a leg poised upward and then jut it up suddenly in synchronicity with others on the team. Wow! Remembering the old movies with the swimmer movie star, Esther Williams! I haven’t been to any of the Sea or Ocean amusement parks since I was young.. Oh no I forget the bay area Marine World  Africa USA in Vallejo, California. I think they call it something else now. Surely there is an ocean theme park that employs these amazing anonymous athletes that spend much of there performance time holding their breath. I am thinking in Florida.

While we play at our sports, some are taking the play seriously and making it a life passion, direction, and later profession. I do miss the days when the Olympic athletes could not be professionals. that when they would only become endorsed or advertised after they decided to leave the amateur status and that had to be a big decision whether to pursue another 4 years of intense Olympic aspiration driven training with out the financial backing of any large business. In history many Olympic athletes were working a day or night job while striving to find time to train. I am sure there are still many who do, but so many of the athletes today are supported by the sporting companies.  The rock stars of the Olympic games are able to support their training and have major contracts with their sponsors well ahead. I wonder what the past athletes would have accomplished if they were able to have an extra 3 to 4 hours in the pool, while their mother looked on, free to drive them and spectate because she didn’t have to take a job to support her gifted child’s pursuit of the coveted Gold, Silver, and Bronze. I am sure families still have a challenge to deal with the intensity and demands of supporting and encouraging the gifted athlete, but the ability to now have the financial support of commercial sponsors is powerful.

I do miss the simpler times of the amateur athlete at the Olympics. It seemed to be a more pure sense of competition. Just the athletes without the business and money behind the advertising. Many would retire from Olympic pursuits just so they could cash in while the offers were still there for them. Now we have Olympians who return for 3 even more games. Amazing that you can, but also wonderful to stand back and feel your success and open the door for others to experience the opportunity after you, the same glory.

I would list the names of all the US Olympians, but that would take more time and we know so many and we just watched them. I was amazed daily with the athletes from all over the world…. The swimmers, runners, vaulters, jumpers, racquet swinging, shot put hurling….You know who you are inspired by.

I imagine the work and skills that are developed by these athletes and in some way covet their incredible abilities… Their natural ability was a gift of birth and their dedication and perseverance to perfect their moves and pursue an excellence such that few will ever achieve at anything in life. Bravo… I admire and applaud you.

Simple Summer Birthday Fiesta

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Everyone loves a celebration especially birthdays.  There’s always a little pressure on how to celebrate to make it perfect for your friend.  Keep it simple (not necessarily the thing that happens in our house) but Sadie and Shelby seem to do it right.  Kelsey was having her 21st and the girls had a picnic in their backyard.  They decorated with paper lanterns, spread out blankets and played music. Everyone brought a snack of cupcakes and fruit and they served champagne and a fruit punch. Simple and easy preparation but the most important ingredient…friends!

Everything is Better With Guacamole

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Guacamole is one of those perfect foods.   When there is a party I often volunteer to make some quac as it is fast and easy and always a hit.  Often served as an appetizer with chips it is also fabulous on burgers.  The trick to good guacamole is the perfectly ripe avacado.  Guacamole does not store well as it turns brown quickly so making it fresh and serving immediately is always the best way.  Fresh avacadoes, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, onion and cilantro all mixed together for a delicious appetizer.    Good luck though not eating all the chips.

Memorial Day BBQ foods

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who lost their lives in national service.  It started with laying wreaths on the graves to honor the Confederate and Union Army members. We still honor these courageous people and celebrate their lives with food and family.Set a festive table for your BBQ celebrating the red, white and blue and bring on the food.  If super simple is where you’re going, bring on the grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, fresh corn and watermelon. The prep here is very easy. Make the classic hamburger patty, light the grill and open up a package of hot dogs. You can roast you corn on the grill by pulling back the husks, removing the silk, pull the husks back up and soak the cobs in water for 2-4 hours. Remove, drain, peel back again and spread butter and salt and pepper.  Place on the grill before the hamburgers and hot dogs and grill for about 15 minutes or until the kernels are tender.

If you’re looking to expand your culinary expertise and include some of the Moms’ favorite recipes then try BBQ Ribs, All American Baked Beans and Potato Salad with dill.  If you looking for a little more all-american, the boiled lobster is a good choice. Don’t forget to make Sal’s coleslaw in our cookbook to add color to your plate. And why not add a red, white and blue trifle to wow the crowd.  Have fun and let’s eat!

Don’t Act Like This On Mother’s Day

Friday, May 11th, 2012

This is a funny video my son Jack made as a parody of the TV show Super Sweet 16. The reality show gives you a glimpse on the spoiled brats of America and the way their parents try in vain to please them with over the top parties. The kids are generally impossible to please no matter what they are given, and we see brathood brought to an extreme and disturbing level. My son Jack finds the humor in this dynamic and made this playful video with me for a good laugh. Do not act like this!!!

It’s Mother’s Day and time to be mindful about the mothers of the world and the love we share. The lesson is gratitude and respect should be practiced everyday! Thanks Jack for the joke and the fun and being the opposite of the character in the video. Love is all you need.

Vermont Music Festival…The Frendly Gathering Official Video

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Get out the calendars for June 14th -16th, gather your music loving frends and family, dig out your tents, and buy your tickets for the time of your life at the Frendly gathering Music Festival in Timber Ridge, Vermont.  Watch the video for inspiration and details.