I know, I know....I've been a bad bad blogger! Sorry guys...life has been crazy busy! Sooooo many orders & so little time! I GUESS THAT'S A GOOD THING! I'M DEFINATELY NOT COMPLAINING! I will however be checking on all of you more often so stay tuned :)
Hey All, How's life treatin ya? I've been away too long... Life has been hectic to say the least!!! NEVER EVER BORING! Been keepin busy making new wedding signs....check out my new stuff...If ya know any brides send them my way! Hope all is well with all of you....drop me a line I'd love to hear from you!
Nothing says comfort like a piping hot bowl of Chicken & Dumplings. I came up with this recipe and after a couple of tweaks I'm pretty sure I perfected it....at least that's what my other half says. His Father just raves about it too! It's not great for the waistline...but what the heck...it sure pleases the palette & your guests will thank you again & again. Enjoy!
Anne's Old Fashioned Chicken & Dumpling Recipe
3 or 4 boneless Chicken Breasts
1 tbs olive oil
5 tbs real butter
2 med carrots, peeled & diced
1 med onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 stalk celery, diced
1-2 Bay Leaves
pinch of parsley
1 tsp poultry seasoning
5 tbs flour
6 cups of chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
Dice chicken breasts into bite size pieces set aside
There is just nothing like a good cup of Joe! It's just one of those small pleasures in life that brings a smile to my face. I think I'm in love with the whole concept. Although I just adore coffee especially with flavored cream....I think it's when I drink it that makes it such a treat! This is a list of my favorite scenarios that compliment my favorite non alcoholic beverage....
Evenings with Paul (Nothing like a sweet treat & a cup of hot bliss
At work (my vice that gets me through:)
Early morning walks to the beach with Rocky
While Crafting - Joe is my creative assistant
Visits with my Sis Sharon - always at least a pot....or two! Yikes!
On the phone with one of my many Buds or Sisters
In the Garden
On the computer
Joe always keeps me company while hunting for antiques & garage sale treasures
Yes....just nothing like a cup of Java!
What is your favorite time to have Joe around??? Please let me know
http://www.monakayathome.etsy.com/ Hey All, Here is my pick for exceptional woman of the week. Mona Kay of Mona Kay at home. I suppose you are all wondering Mona Kay who is she???? I know none of you have ever heard me mention her name.... that is probably because I have never had the pleasure of meeting her-well at least not in person. I don't know her family, her favorite movie, book or even what she looks like. All I know is that she contacted my shop & requested a custom sign be made for her shop. She was my very first sale!!!
Now your probably thinking.....oh, she bought something from you....so that's why you elected her. Well I hope you know me better than that by now :) Although I am completely thankful for my 1st sale....ironically it really has nothing to do with her purchase.
Rather it has everything to with the fact that she has been a kind human being. She has chosen to be kind not because she had to..... but because she wanted to. Although, I am very blessed to have many wonderful people in my circle. Lately I admit, I have found myself doubting the level of goodness in strangers. I know this sounds terrible.....but it's the truth....I just don't feel the majority of people take enough time or put enough effort in extending goodness to others.
Although Mona Kay is located on the other side of the country & really has nothing to gain from me personally. She has taken time out of her day to not only be nice to a stranger but also be supportive of a stranger. She has sent me several inspiration messages, joined my blog, has left me nice compliments on my creations & placed wonderful feedback in my shop. She has done all of this & she has never even met me!
I just all thought we could learn a little lesson from her. The moral of the story is.....what comes around goes around. Take time to be kind to others....hold the door open, help an old lady cross the street, donate your time to a good cause, be supportive of friends & strangers. Goodness will come back to you. Karma is real. It really does wonders for the soul & you might even meet a friend in the process :)
So my favorite Exceptional Woman of the Week....goes out to Mona Kay. Thank you Mona Kay for putting your good energy out into the atmosphere. During these trying times we can all use a little kindness.
I'd like to pay it forward a bit...so please spread the word & visit MonaKayathome on etsy she has wonderful vintage treasures....her link can be found above or always on the left side of my blog. Thank you in advance & thank you Mona Kay! Peace to all, A
I found this special little shop on www.etsy.com I thought it would be nice to share with all of you. Leksi Designs is filled with original hand stamped creations. Brooke the creator of these little treasures has incorporated inspirational quotes and personalization into her pieces. Some of them remind me of Tiffany's. She can even customize your pendants with names of your loved one's. Great items for gifts for Mom. So original!
Hey All, UV Vodka just put out a new flavored coconut vodka....it's soooo good! It even tastes good straight! Makes me want to hop on a plane straight for the blue waters of the caribbean! A great alternative to those of us that can't handle coconut flavored rum. It's the only white coconut vodka on the market. I can't wait to see what cocktails I can dream up. I'm thinking Coconut Cream Pie Martini. Maybe even mix it with Banana liquer...a little Baileys Irish Creme.....yummmmm! I just have to try it with Patron Coffee liquer & Dark Chocolate Godiva liquer. Great for an Luau themed party. Or hanging out on a warm summer day with a little calypso music in the hammock :)
Once again my bro John being the giving soul he is..... invited & treated Joe & I to dinner last night! Thanks brother Bonzai! John & I usually try to meet for dinner somewhere in the middle between our old stomping grounds on the Southside & John's current residence in the the boondocks. We choose Pappadeaux, 921 Pasquineli Drive, Westmont, IL, 60559. Just Northwest of rt 83 & Ogden. Now I'm not sure how this place came to be, my guess it's Greek owned & somewhere in there they threw in the New Orleans flair. For me ....Greeks have the it in the food department it has always been #1 in my book. Now, John & I have met here before & the experience has been wonderful, but last night was beyond outstanding! Maybe it was the dinner company, our server or the new dishes I sampled...but I walked away or rather rolled away, extremely pleased with a delightful evening. We met at the bar, even though we had a reservation for 8pm & the dining room was full, the host had no problem holding our reservation for over 1/2 an hour. When we decided to head on over for dinner we were promptly seated. The atmosphere is upscale casual, with a warm bustling interior. They also have a nice outdoor area for dining alfresco in warmer weather.
We were greeted immediately by our server & new found friend who introduced himself as "Bill." Now being in the service industry for what seems an eternity & coming from a family who spent years in the restaurant business.... I must say that I have always seemed to immediately support anyone who elects to wait on patrons for a living. A sort of secret guardian of servers. I pride myself on making sure that I, as well as the people that accompany me are at the very least cordial to employees of these establishments. Even though I usually keep my thoughts to myself, I have also caught myself critiquing these employees on occasion.
My first impression of "Bill" was that he went to extra lengths to make us feel welcome. Friendly enough, he spent an extensive amount of time with us going over the selections & making recommendations on wine, appetizers & the main course. Now, while I know this is commonplace in most establishments, this guy went above & beyond the call of duty. Intricately describing in detail, every ounce of effort that went into preparing each dish. It was almost as if he truly was impressed by what he was selling. I thought to myself "Wow, this guy should be in the kitchen." I found it a bit ironic as my brother Joe almost immediately took the words out of my mouth & stated "Hey Bill, maybe you should be preparing the meals instead of serving them." Bill replied by admitting he had an affinity for cooking & eating in general, but especially for the dishes prepared at Pappadeaux.
He went on informing us that we would receive the freshest of ingredients.....that every item, sauce & dressing was prepared from scratch daily, down to the tarter sauce. That each offering had it's own special secret seasonings & rubs. That the kitchen staff regularly spends as much time in preparation & seasoning of the meal as they do actually cooking it. He also added that the restaurant permits guests to request a meal to be prepared in any way they offer other meals to be prepared! Nice I thought!
I could see the excitement in both my brothers eyes...John was starving & Joe couldn't wait to get his hands on some good ole creole grub. Joe has often told me of the wonderful food he enjoyed down in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Considering he spends the majority of his life traveling & feasting on meals from around the globe.... I figure we can take his word on it.
Bill suggested the appetizer platter of deep fried alligator, calamari & the fondeaux made with shrimp, crayfish, mushrooms, spinach, in a Yvette sauce topped with Monterey Jack cheese. While the thought of ordering alligator has never previously sounded very appetizing to me...I decided to give it a try. It arrived & we dove in....officially deciding that it was nothing short of spectacular! John "one of the picky eates I know, seemed to adore the calamari. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was squid. Shhhh! The alligator was to die for.... my favorite hands down, I found it surprisingly tasty! It had a spicy breading & had been deep fried to a golden perfection. It couldn't decide if it tasted of chicken, shrimp or somewhere in between. The fondeaux was excellent; served with garlic bread wedges & lemon sauce that was truly out of this world!
While waiting for our second course "Bill," once again came over to strike up conversation. Shortly thereafter he served up the main course. John seemed to scarf down his filet mignon & dirty rice (another item that I am amazed John seems to enjoy!) I had the Alaskan King crab legs, garlic mashed spuds & steamed broccoli with extra lemon.....scrumptious. Joe ordered the Blackened Mahi Yvette....which looked so good I couldn't help myself from stealing a taste! Everything was just wonderful.....excellent recommendations Bill!
Joe ordered another glass of wine & I just had to try one of John's drinks....a perfect Patron Margarita....which ended up tasting as good as it looked. Bill offered to hand out take home containers, as none of us could seem to put down the extreme portions on our plate. I really didn't think I could take another bite....when Bill came over to offer to buy us dessert. John who often displays a great ability of self-restrait...declined....but Joe & I took one look at each other & couldn't seem to deny our over indulgent ways. Besides at this point in the meal we knew without a doubt, that when Bill recommends the TRIO for dessert....it would be worth unnotching the top buttons on our waistbands. Bring on the TRIO.... as I thought to myself.....a couple of tastes won't hurt anybody.
Who was I tryin to kid??? A couple of tastes.... my rear. Who could resist? The trio was the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of a "out of this world, down home cooked meal," that seemed to come straight from the Bayou! The Trio was served up with fresh pecan pie ala mode with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, Rum Raisin Bread Pudding that melted in your mouth & a creme brulee of fascination!
Everything about last evening was wonderful....seeing my big brothers, the laughter we always seem to share & the memorable meal that will go down as one of my favorites. Thanks brother Bonzai!
Try to make it out to Pappadeaux.... your taste buds will thank you & so will your pocketbook! I guarantee you'll be impressed! Enjoy!
Business Websites of My Very Own Personal Friends Doing Exceptional Things
Hey all, Please refer to the column below for links of my favorite businesses owned & operated by some of my favorite personal friends & family members. Thank you in advance for helping them live the dream :) Peace!
I'm a romantic old soul who loves quiet mornings, fixing up my 100 yr old Victorian, puttering in the garden, hanging out with the pets, nature, drinking coffee with my other half, the blue blue caribbean water & beachcombing for hrs.