ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad!!

Happy Father's Day Robert! You're a great Daddy because you learned from the best! I'm very proud of you! Love you,


Allie and her Daddy!!!

Happy Father's day to the World's BEST Dad Grandpa and Husband! We love you!!

Grandpa and Dylan leaving cookies and milk for Santa

Dad, Nick, Timmy, and Dylan (Baby Jake was napping or he would have been crawling all over Grandpa too!)

They also sprinkled reindeer food on the front lawn to entice Rudolph!

Dad and number 1 son, Erick at Hanging Rock

Our Dad is SO strong!

Dylan and Grandpa getting ready for bed

Only Grandpa understands me!

He's training her early...

3 months old and she knows what a TV Guide is

She's almost 4 now and still looks at Grandpa the same way <3>

I can't believe I'm related to these people!

Happy Father's Day to all the special Dads out there!

Allie and Pattie

Friday, June 19, 2009

2 Summer Salads!!!

Hi all! It is going to be soooo hot this weekend here in NC- a perfect time for Summer Salad Saturdays! This little blog party is hosted by KD at Southern Whimsy. Make sure to check it out-we're sure there are going to be some yummy new recipes shared.

Pattie's summer salad:
So my contribution this week is a very refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad. As I plated it, I realized that it would be perfect to serve on the Fourth-check out the beautiful colors.

Here are the ingredients-VERY quick and easy:

1/2 a watermelon (for this pic I used some pre-packaged from Harris Teeter)

1 small onion (i like Vidalia or a sweet white), sliced into very thin rings

1/4 cup wine vinegar (my new favorite is infused with pomegranite-a gorgeous ruby color)
salt and pepper to taste

about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

a good handfull of chopped basil or mint

4 ounces or more (I like extra) crumbled feta cheese

garnish with a few whole mint or basil leaves
The chopped mint smells SOOOO good!

Okay-cut the melon in bite-size cubes and combine in a bowl with onion and feta.

Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over melon mix. Fold all together till everything is coated. To serve, use a slotted spoon to put a mound on top of a plate of mixed greens. You may sprinkle with more crumbled feta and garnish with mint or basil leaves.

This salad is best served very col-chill for 15 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Allie's summer salad:

ok, so my contribution to this post is a macaroni salad. It's my favorite salad. ^_^ My mom usually makes it for me but I made it this time so I could make it the way I like it. :]

The ingredients for my version of this summery macaroni salad are:
- red bell peppers (seeded and chopped)
- 1 can of large pitted black olives (sliced)
- a pound of elbow macaroni (cooked aldente or in other words, cooked but not mushy)
- a small bag of frozen peas (dumped in with the elbow macaroni during the last 3 minutes of cooking, drained together, and rinsed with well with cold water, then drained again)
- Cucumber (chopped)
- 1-2 pints of brape or cherry tomatoes
- mixture of mayo, Ranch dressing, a bit of milk, and pepper to taste
(my mom usually puts in red onions, but i Hate raw onions so i didnt include it in my version ;]
and we also didnt have any cucumbers so I just didnt include that in the salad)

okay, so when I started making my Summer salad. I started by boiling water for the elbow macaroni to cook and started to cut the red peppers.....

and slice the olives. i also put in the peas with the macaroni for the last 3 minutes

(this was especially hard, i loveeee olives ^_^ i wanted to eat them but my mom wouldnt let me :( )

by now, the peas and macaroni are done, once they are done being drained and rinsed, they vegetables all get mixed in with the macaroni and peas.

next, now we put mayo, ranch dressing, and a bit of milk in a bowl whisked together till it has the consistency of very soft whipped cream. (it should look kinda creamy) and add pepper to taste

after making that mixture, you want to add it to your salad and mix with a large spoon until the entire bowl of salad is completely covered in this mixture. then you add the cherry/grape tomatoes and mix until they are covered as well. and then you can put a few on top to look nice. when your done it should look something like this...

this salad is perfect for BBQs or picnics and is very summery. but remember, it has to be refrigerated if it isnt being served or the veggies will go bad.
So thanks, Mrs. Whimsy for hosting and everyone have a great summer weekend!
Allie and Pattie

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our first Post! ^_^

A blog. Oh my gosh- I don't even know where to start. I am a sometime lurker and reader of some wonderful blogs I found while trying to figure out this whole "internet thing". You see, I'm a total techno idiot and never expected to join the ranks of those wonderful, prolific men and women whose daily (or weekly, or monthly) posts I love to follow. I actually had to ask a client of mine exactly WHAT a "blog" was. Short for "web log"- imagine that!
So how did this happen? Well, school let out for the summer and it took exactly a day and a half for my 15 year old daughter to announce she was "bored". While I was sitting at the computer one day she wandered in and joined me in perusing some of the decor, lifestyle and food blogs I enjoy. The rest is history (or will be ). Within 20 minutes she was asking how one sets about starting a blog (she asked this of the person who asks her 10 year old for computer help!) and she was off. By that evening she had a template and a profile written and informed me that she wanted this to be a joint venture. Now, anyone of you who has ever raised a teenage daughter knows that wanting to do something with Mom is a RARE event. Sooooo.... even though I have no clue what this really entails, I'm not about to give up the opportunity to spend some extra time with a VERY special daughter.
A little about me and then I'll let Allie tell you about herself. I'm a mom to 6 wonderful kids-5 boys and Allie (guess who thinks she's in charge?. I'm of Italian descent and my wonderful hubby is from as Irish a family as there is. We"ve lived in N.C. for almost 4 years but were born and raised in N.Y. I guess you could say I'm a bit old-fashioned at heart as I've always loved the idea of being a wife and mom. Actually, I love anything that says home and family to me, but have a passion for decorating, design, and cooking. I am an avid sewer, and have always loved anything old or with history and provenance. I have a somewhat extensive collection of vintage and antique linens and laces (thanks Grandma for sharing that passion with me!) and I absolutely adore anything related to setting a beautiful table. I am a firm believer that we should make a conscious effort to surround ourselves with people and objects that make our hearts sing. Even morning coffee drunk from a beautiful cup or mug with a cloth napkin just makes the start of the day so much better than gulping it down over the kitchen sink or running to the car.
I am now working as a personal trainer/nutritionist, but spent many years doing design and staging work along with some catering. At age 43 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and life hasn't been the same since after 2 years of treatments, I am now 4 years into remission. My priorities have changed and I am determined to find beauty and joy wherever I can I find those pleasures daily in my children and grandchildren. Our lives are full and busy, but I will definitely make an effort to share some of it with you all. Allie and I are looking forward to joining in some of your fun Blog Parties and we hope you'll come visit our blog too. And please be sure to say hello!

Hi! I'm Allie. ^_^ I'm gonna keep this short because you got basically everything from the novel my mom wrote up there. I'm the fifteen year old daughter that came up with the idea to do a blog. My mom was looking at other people's blogs so I made one for her. She was reluctant at first, but she came around. I opened the blogger account and made the pretty header and found the pretty template. I did this so that her creative ideas could get out there, and then it turned into a partner deal. :] I can be creative sometimes and I like doing design type things so I thought it would be fun.

Now, for our first blog, we decided to participate in a blog event called "Tablescape Thursday" hosted by one of Mom's favorite bloggers-Susan at Between Naps on the Porch

 This was a last minute decision and was put together really fast-nothing like photographing breakfast at 9 p.m.! Dad isn't even going to ASK what we're doing!! So... Here are our tablescapes!

Pattie's 'Breakfast on the porch':

What better way to start the day?
Tuscan China-sooo pretty
Grandma's silver
Etched juice glass
Handmade linens

I love this china! Antique china belongs on handmade linens
Just imagine how many hours of work went into these napkins and the net lace. They complement each other so well

And don't forget the lovely, little clock-a quiet reminder not to linger too long- work awaits...

Allie's Saturday Breakfast:
Muahahahaha! My turn! >:D

Okey dokey then.....

So, for our blog post my mom suggested that we participate in a blog event called
"Tablescape Thursday"

well i learn something new just about every day. todays lesson:
"What in the world is a "tablescape"?

Once i found out what it was, with a little help from my mom, i found all the plates, glasses, and "flatware" (another new word....XD), i made my version of a saturday breakfast on the porch.

My recipe for my "tablescape":
a yellow plate, green and blue napkins with a white napkin ring, woven multicolor wood placemat, a bubbly blue glass, bamboo "flatware" and a polka dot icecream dish! :D (unfortunately it isn't for icecream at breakfast)

in this picture, you can see the napkins I used. I just put the blue napkin on top of the green napkin and put them in the white ring so the blue showed on top and the green stuck out at the bottom.

A pretty bubbly blue glass! ^_^

and bamboo "flatware" (i dont see why it needs a special name, why cant we call it all silverware? i dont know.....)

yummy fruit in an icecream dish! ^_^

Muhahahahaha! Fruit for Allie! >:D
Allie needs to learn to not eat the props during a photoshoot!

We have A LOT of learning to do, this took FOREVERRRRRRR to put into a post, but we hope you'll come back and visit! :D

Pattie and Allie