Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween!

My day has laready been full of festivites. I just returned home from co-organizing the girl's schools Halloween Parade. I have never seen so many princesses in one place before in my entire life!!! Itwas very cute and the children had a ton of fun. We were able to donate the remaining candy that we had (about 4 grocery bags full!) to our local Children's Hospital for their trick or treat festivites this afternoon. They do this every Halloween for the children that have to stay in the hospital over the holiday. So on top of everything else we have done our good deed for the day!

The pumpkin bread that I posted yesterday was a real hit with my youngest daughter's class. I have to go back to the school in a little bit for my older daughter's class party. Pretty exciting day for both of them!

As you can tell by the picture we have a pro pumkin carver in ourhome. T. has truly outdone himself this year. Kyra wanted the pumpkin to have squiggly eye brows and as always T. delivered! Amazing.

Well off to the school once again...

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Tomorrow - Pumpkin Bread

I had to make a choice tat I didn't want to but I just ran out of time! I had said that I was going to make some apple snacks that I had seen but I have been going all day and that one was going to be a little time consuming. We have Karate and Ice Skating tonight so that kind of eliminates the evening hours. As it is I can't even figure out dinner!!! Rotisserie chicken from Costco will have to cover that tonight! I went ahead and made Pumpkin Bread. Still Halloweenish and seasonal but not quite as labor intensive as the apple snacks.

No Fear Entertaining Pumpkin Bread (this will make 2 loaves)


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 of the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, pumpkin, milk eggs and butter.

Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Turn mixer to high and mix for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour and mix well. Stir in pecans and raisins.

batter into 2 greased loaf pans and bake in your preheated 350 degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in a wire rack.

Remove bread from pans and allow to cool completely on the rack.
Cool completely before slicing and for best results wrap and store overnight before slicing.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, October 29, 2007

We ate our way through the weekend!!!

What a great party we went to on Saturday night. We got to meet a some new people and to hang out with a bunch of old friends. It was nice, casual and comfortable! There was plenty of stuff to keep the children occupied and tons of food and drink to occupy the adults! What more could you ask for???

I took a hollowed out pumpkin filled with a roasted garlic, french onion dip. Very simple recipe...I cheated. I used the Lipton French Onion Soup and Dip Mix, but roasted 2 heads of garlic and added that to is. Made for a nice even blend.
One of my girlfriends made a pumpkin fruit platter which went over really well and was sooo cute! She took a cantaloupe and cleaned out the inside through a hole cut into the top. She then peeled all of the rind off to the orange color and carved a pumpkin face into it. Served with other fruit it was a real hit with everyone! Great job Lynn.

The host of the party contributed the best adult beverage! Patron Tequila. If you have never ventured beyond Jose Cuervo tequila you are missing out! We have been drinking Patron Silver and it is like a totally different drink. Smooth, warm, with just a slight bite. This has made me want to venture deeper into the world of tequila...I'll save that for a later post!

Yesterday (Sunday) we packed up the kids and took a road trip to Bradenton for our yearly pilgrimage to The Hunsader Farms annual Pumpkin Festival. You need to understand where we live. We are in Southwest Florida which is way, way down south. We don't have many pumpkin or apple festivals here. Nothing like that will grow here. It is way too hot. So when we found this pumpkin festival years ago we were so excited. Hay rides, pumpkin patch (pumpkins lined up under a big white tent), pony rides, craft fair, bands, great food, farmers market...what more could you want? Well, temperatures under 90 degrees would be great!!! The one downfall to living here is that it is very warm. I remember growing up in Canada and going trick or treating with winter coats stuffed under our costumes. Here you have to make sure that the child's costume is thin enough so they won't over heat!!! But despite all of that our children have never known any different and think this is all the norm!

The food was really amazing especially for the dreaded "festival or fair food". T. had a huge Smoked Turkey Leg that looked juicy and nice and smoky. I had a hamburger and some roasted corn on the cob. Yummmm. we don't get a lot of that here at our festivals!

This is set to be a crazy busy week. I have to make a bunch of things for the girls class parties on Wednesday. I know it will be Pumpkin Bread and Slobber Gobs but maybe something else as well. We have several appointments and I have a fundraiser in there somewhere as well.

Hope you weekend was great as well!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Party Tonight!

The children are all excited. The food is almost ready and I still have time to post this entry!

Thanks goodness the party is not here at our house this time. As much as I love entertaining at home I also really love it when we are invited to someone elses house for a party! I am taking some food with us though...can't arrive empty handed now can we? I made Apple Cheesecake Squares to take and also a roasted garlic, onion chip dip. I found the cutest little pumpkin that I am going to carve out to serve the dip in. Very cute idea isn't it? I am sneakingmy camera tonight so should have some fun pictures for you next week!
As Always...
Happy Entertaining!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

No bread today...but we have pie!

I think after my post yesterday about my bread making fiasco, I am going to circle the wagons and try and figure out how to make a better bread loaf! I guess the only real way to do it is to do it by hand...There is always next week.

Today I have to make a cheesecake and some chip dip for the Halloween Party tomorrow night but I want to tell you all about the amazing dinner we made the other night. I say we because it was both T. and I bumping around in the kitchen trying to get the girls fed by 8:00! We had an appt. in the aftenoon that ran us much later then we would have liked (but was it ever worth it!!!) so we scrambled home and decided to stay on track and make dinner. We are trying to make sure that the girls (and us) stay away from processed foods so cruising through a drive through on our way home was just not an option! I did take a huge shortcut when making this but only because I was very strapped for time!

Tortiere(This recipe is from one of my favorite Blogs - Janet is Hungry

Double 9" Pie Crust:

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
5-6 tbsp cold water

****I did not have time to make my own pie crust so I used one from the refridgerated section of the supermarket.

Meat Filling:

1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1 onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground summer savory
1/3 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
1 small potato, boiled and mashed
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

1. Prepare pastry: Cut cold shortening into cubes (TIP: In my pastry I always use a mixture of butter - for flavour, and shortening - for flakiness). Place butter/shortening in food processor with flour and salt. Pulse a few times.

2. Dump flour mixture out into a bowl and start adding water a tbsp at a time until mixture forms a dough that will hold together. Wrap with plastic wrap and refridgerate for about 30 minutes.

3. Make filling: In a non-stick skillet with a cover, cook pork, breaking up the larger chunks.

4. Add onion, celery, garlic and cook until the onions are tender.

5. Add salt, savory, pepper, allspice, bay leaf and water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and simmer 5 more minutes until most of the water is gone (it should still be quite moist).

6. Add mashed potato and remove bay leaf.

7. Roll out pastry (TIP: I roll my pastry out between two sheets of plastic wrap, when it is the right size, peel one sheet away and use the other to pick up the pastry and flip it over into the pie plate). Fill with meat mixture, cover with second half of pastry and seal edges. Cut a few vents in the top.

8. Brush top with a mixture of egg yolk and milk.

9. Bake at 425F for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

This was truly delicious and great for a hectic week night! We served it with some frozen mixed veggies on the side and it was a well rounded full meal. As T. say's "What could be bad about pork and pie?"

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Score: Bread Machine - 1, Me - 0

I posted earlier in the month that I have been trying to make some bread. I used to make it all the time when my oldest was an infant but sadly have gotten away from it. Now that we are trying to keep the family free of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which unfortunately, is in almost everything including whole grain breads, I need to get back to it. I used to make it with my Kitchen Aid mixer See all KitchenAid Countertop Appliance Special Rebate Offers available at! and then finished it by hand but then I got a bread machine. I hate it!!! I have the hardest time because I can't "read" the dough. When you work it by hand you can. I think after yesterdays attempt I am giving my bread machine to Goodwill. I need to get back to doing it by hand.

So yesterday I made bread:

I thought I did everything right. I even added more water during the second kneading cycle. Peeked at it through the little window on top and thought it was all good. Then I heard the beeper go off which tells me that it is going to start cooking the bread. So I ran over and looked through the little once again, fully expected to see a perfectly formed dough ball that will look like the perfect loaf of bread that I have envisioned. But, alas, it was not meant to be. I allowed the cooking cycle to complete but this is what I ended up with...


It got a lot of laughs and some more food for the compost pile at the girl's school but definitely not bread for their sandwiches for lunch!!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, do I ever love a great cookie!!!

I have been trying out a bunch of different cookie and muffin recipes lately and while they have all been very good I think I need to go back to my favorite ones. I absolutely love the taste of homemade Raisin Oatmeal Cookies! The taste combination is great. Cinnamon for a spicy taste, raisins for the sweet and the great texture of oats! I was checking out some healthier recipes and I came across a cookbook made by Sun-Maid (the raisin company). I am going to try their recipe for "Really Good Low-Fat Raisin Oatmeal Cookies"

Click here to download or order the Sun-Maid Fruit & Sunshine Recipe Book

Maybe I can take some of these cookies to the Halloween Party on Saturday night?

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

8 days til Halloween!

Halloween is such a fun holiday! The colors are great, no presents to buy and lots and lots of CANDY!!! I think that I can honestly say that there is not a candy in existence that I don't like. How sad is that???

We have a Halloween party to go to on Saturday night so I thought I would bring a cute little chip and dish thing.

This is an idea that I found on the Internet (I have no idea where...if anyone know let me know so I can give credit) with a sweet dip for graham cookies. I think around Halloween the very last thing that we need is more sweets so I am just going to steal this idea and fill 2 small pumpkin with some chip dip and some veggie dip and serve it with veggies and potato chips. I really liked the idea and it will look so cute on a table!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Monday!

Is it ever nice to finally be feeling a bit better. My throat is only mildly sore now. It feels tight like it is a little swollen but that is all. I finally got a good night sleep last night so all is good.

The other night I made the girls hamburgers. I am terrified of fire and the grill...we all have some silly fear don't we??? Too bad mine has to do with cooking food! Anyway because of this completely rational (LOL) fear, I have to make hamburgers on a griddle. They turn out every bit as good, maybe just a little bit greasier than if they were done on the grill but for as rarely as I do them no one seems to mind.

I really have no recipe other than to shape the ground beef into patty shape and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and anything else that you would like on your burger. Plop them on a preheated griddle or frying pan and cook to your desired doneness.

I also made them some Apple Crisp (click link for recipe and picture) as I still had a bunch of apples to get rid of before they went bad.

Have a great day!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yeah! I am feeling I made pancakes!

I guess the medicine has worked. I am feeling soooo much better. I got up this morning and made the girls pancakes. They were quite excited. Usually we have so much stuff going on that I don't have time to make them a nice hot breakfast but Sundays are the exception! We try to have a nice unstructured Sunday, football usually gets in the way, but the mornings are always nice and lazy!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Have a great Sunday!

Happy Entertaining!!!


Saturday, October 20, 2007

It just keeps geting better and better...

Yesterday morning I woke up and my throat felt very tight but not really sore and I was really tired. As the day went on I started to feel worse and worse. By the night my throat was so sore I couldn't swallow or eat and I was running a temp of 101.6. I helped my children get bathed and ready for bed and asked them to read to each other. Thank goodness they are older now and I can let them do this. They were so good for me!!! Later I got up off the couch just to check on them and my youngest had fallen asleep with her light on and my oldest was having a hard time getting to sleep so I let her read for a little bit.

This morning I got up and felt like I had been run over by a bus but life goes on in the Chiappini house. We got ready and went to the skating rink for skating lessons. I made arrangements for one of my bf's to watch my girls while I went to the doctor's. Well good thing I went...I have Strep Throat???!!! Isn't that what kids get??? Needless to say I am not cooking or blogging too much today. I had some recipes and pictures to post but those will have to wait. I am going to bed now.

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, October 19, 2007

I am so glad that this week is almost over!!! oh...and pizza dough too!


My oldest daughter was sick for the end part of last week and I fully expected everyone else in the house to end up with it. As it was I was the only one who got even a touch of it (I guess that happens when you are cleaning up after a sicky for most of a full day!) Thank you Dr Vince!!! I credit Dr Vince's vitamin regime to our ability to fight of most things!

The beginning of this week went smoothly enough and then along comes Wednesday. As luck would have it my oldest daughter (who had recovered nice and quick from the bug she had) woke up with a hive on her finger. We have been down this route before so I immediately gave her some Benadryl. That will stop any other hives from breaking out on her body. The Benadryl did it's job and she didn't end up with any more, so off we went to school. I dropped them off and spoke to her teacher and let her know that she had a hive and her finger was very swollen but it was not life threatening or contagious but could she please call me if it change in any way. I came home and started working for the day. At 11:30 I got the dreaded call from he school!!! "Your daughter's finger is really swollen, kind of purple and there is a line leading from her finger up her arm. I think you should come and get her". Off I went to go and get her. The teacher was right. Her finger was almost double in size and really ugly colors and there was a definite red line leading from her finger just up past her wrist. The red line could be a symptom of a blood infection. I got her in to see the Doctor right after lunch so I didn't have to take her to the emergency room. Unfortunately the doctor didn't really know what to do. He ended up giving her some antibiotics and sent us home. It seems to be getting better but she says it still hurts and is still pretty swollen. Needless to say this was definitely more drama than what I needed right now!!!

Onto some food related things...last night my youngest daughter and I made pizza. It is always a challenge to figure out something for all of us to eat when Daddy is away. I have a huge fear of the grill so I will never light it! Pizza was a good choice. They loved at and still had enough to take to school for lunch today. So that was a bonus. It turned out really good. I made the pizza dough during the day so It would be ready for a quick dinner around 5 or so. Now I don't knead my dough by hand I use my faithful Kitchen Aid mixer My youngest one helped grate the cheese and put it on the pizza. She opened the oven door and helped me put it in. Hard to believe what a good helper she is???!!!

Tonight I think it is going to be burgers. Easy and not too time consuming. Can't cook them on the grill though so will have to cook them on a griddle...LOL!

Pizza Dough
(adapted from the Kitchen Aid recipes & instruction book)


1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add salt, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups and mix using dough hook (or knead by hand)

Continue mixing or kneading and add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough clings to the hook or if kneading by hand has formed a nice smooth ball.

Place the dough ball in a greased bowl (olive oil to grease), turning to grease the top. Cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth and allow to rise in a warm place, free from draft until doubled in size. Usually about 1 hour. Punch the dough down.

Brush your pizza pan (I use a regular baking sheet) with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal (I think this step is optional as I never do it). Press dough along the bottom of the pan forming a collar around the edge to hold the filling. Top with you desired fillings and bake at 450 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until the edge is a golden brown and your toppings are all bubbly!

We just topped one side with olive oil, garlic powder and mozzarella cheese and the other side with sauce, garlic powder, oregano and cheese.

***We have done pizza parties before. You make a couple of batches of dough and make smaller pizzas and allow everyone to top their own pizza with a large assortment of items. This can't really be done with a large crowd but we have done this with 10 people. I use the convection setting on my over and place several pizzas in to cook at once.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who wants some cookies?

My youngest daughter's teacher is having a Birthday tomorrow. I always try and make something for them on their birthday and at Christmas time. I like to think that a gift from the heart is better than one from the store (although I did see some really nice things that I would like as a gift at the fundraiser the other night...LOL) I decided that I am going to stay with my seasonal theme and make her some pumpkin cookies. I posted this recipe last month and only got around to making them a couple of days ago and are they ever delicious!!! I really am on a pumpkin/apple kick right now aren't I? The recipe was super easy and takes no time at all to make! I did skip the browned butter icing but only because I don't like the girls to have too much sugar!

Pumpkin Cookies

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Becoming Cosmopolitan

Oh what a wonderful night I had!!! I attended a fundraiser event last night for one of our local charities. The location was absolutely breathtaking. It was at the Heitman House in Fort Myers, FL which is a beautiful historic house that sits on the river. The grounds and gardens are amazingly beautiful add to it some food and beverages and a houseful of women with one like minded purpose - to help raise money for a very special cause (read: shopping) - and you have a definite recipe for success! I really have no idea how much money was raised but I am sure that it will be put to excellent use. This event benefited CCMI, the umbrella agency for Meals on Wheels, the Soup Kitchen, Faith in Action, and the Hands & Hearts Montessori Preschool.

I wish I had pictures to show you but with my sexy little black purse there was no way to smuggle a camera in! Also I was having enough problems trying to bid on silent auction items, shop, drink and eat all at the same time so I am pretty sure that the pictures would not have been worth seeing!!!

Please support your local charities in any way you can. Even if you can't financially support them your time is valuable to them as well!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Muffins???!!!

Apple Muffins

I guess I thought that they liked them! The kids really never told me that they didn't like muffins so how would I know? I just kept making them. I guess yesterday ws the last batch though. I think they are such a great idea for a rushed morning. Give them a nice healthy muffn to start the day! Oh well back to the drawing board. Maybe I can come up with some type of muffin/cookie that they would eat???

Apple Muffins (adapted from


2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup apple juice (add a splash more if it seems to dry)
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup apples (peeled, cored and diced)


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ugar, baking powdr, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. In a small bowl combine apple juice, oil and egg. Blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy). Stir in chopped apples.
  3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centert somes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm or cover and store for a quick breakfast during the week!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Monday!

I am still trying to get all of my recipes from the Partylite party that I had last Thursday together and on here! Just bear with me though...I had a huge problem with my website over the weekend and that took a lot of time away from me. Sorry to anyone who was trying to check it out. All they got was a Halloween recipe!!! All fixed up now though or at least better than it was!

Here is the recipe for the Smoked Salmon Lollipop's:

Green onions (cleaned and all wilted outside leaves removed)
Plain or herbed cream cheese (block - not in a tub)
Good quality smoked salmon

Slice the cream cheese into thick slices and wrap carefully around each onion. Press the cream cheese together gently and it will seal right onto the onion. Wrap a slice of the salmon around the cream cheese and the onion and gently press together. Place nicely on a plate and serve! Can be made earlier in the day and covered and refrigerated until your guests arrive.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining,


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Party Fun on Saturday

We were lucky enough to be invited to a party yesterday! I really have not been feeling well, which I guess will happen when you are caring for your ill daughter for 2 days. But I have been taking Zinc and I seem to only have a little bit of what she has (I also think that the amazing vitamin program from Dr. Vince that we take will help you fight off anything). Anyway on to the party. It was at our friend, massage therapist, reiki - ist (is that a word?), and the list goes on and on! It was a really great time. Very casual which is key to holding a party here in balmy (read hot) SW Florida. Yesterday while up north everyone was freezing we were up in the upper 80's but really happy that it had "cooled off" a bit for us!!!

The food was good, huge variety and something for everyone! The best part though was the children. I have no idea what the age of the oldest ones were but it was just a bunch of very nice kids (mostly boys). My oldest daughter spent most of her time fishing in the canal and my youngest one was running around with everyone in the front yard playing lions and gazelles (they are from South Africa-is this how they play tag??)...anyway the children had a great time as did the adults. We left early when they party was just reaching it's momentum but I was tired and wanted to give the girls another early night after fighting sickness all week long!

Hope everyone has a great Sunday! Maybe invite some people over for dinner. It doesn't have to be fancy. Maybe hamburgers and a salad...whatever you decide will be great as long as you are sharing it with friends!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Make Ahead Marinated Shrimp

Had a great Partylite Candle Party last night. Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions for the drinks! And to everyone who came as well!

When it came right down to the last minute I decided I was going to use the huge bottle of rum from parties past. I made a mixed fruit juice type punch:

equal parts rum, pink grapefruit juice and orange juice. I added one small can of pineapple and some cranberry juice to taste. Went through 2 large pitchers of it. It was nicely balance - not too strong, sweet or bitter.
Onto the food. The Make Ahead Marinated Shrimp is the appetizer that everyone wanted the recipe for. It looked nice and colorful and the best part about it is that you have to make it the night before! No rushing to get it done that day.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Oh Nooo!!!

Yesterday I tried to make the Apple Cranberry Muffins. They taste really good but the pictures don't do them any justice...actually the pictures look better than they really look. My own fault though. I hate for the kids to have all purpose flour and white sugar. We believe that the closer o nature you stay the healthier it is. So I substituted all purpose flour for Wheat flour and white sugar for organic brown sugar. I know that there is something that I need to take into consideration when I do this (less whole wheat flour? more sugar? more liquid?) but I am always into a recipe when I realize that once again I forgot to look this up. If anyone has any ideas let me know!

Doesn't it just figure? I spent most of last night making food for my party tonight and then my oldest daughter woke up this morning sick!!! I think we will be able to quarantine her okay and there won't be any children here so on with the party we go!!!


Wild Mushroom Dip
Spinach Veggie Sandwiches - Done
Make Ahead Marinated Shrimp - Done
Cream Cheese Lollipops
Brownies - Done

So I am well under control. I just have to clean a bit and then I am all set.

Happy Entertaining!!!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cranberry Apple Muffins...yummm!

I am going to try out these muffins today! I like the girls to have something good to eat in the morning and I think some good homemade muffins may just make the morning run a wee bit smoother. I will Post a picture later and let you know how they turned out!

Cranberry Apple Muffins // TastebudDelights // Groups // BlogCatalog

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I feel like cookies!!!

I was searching blogs the other day and on one of my most favorite blogs, I found a recipe for banana oatmeal cookies. I'm not sure if it was the beautiful pictures or just the reminder that I needed to do something with the rotting bananas, that drove me to bake but what ever the reason was I am so happy that I did!

I had my youngest daughter help me and yeah, probably not the best helper but she really loves cooking. She does really well...she only broke one bowl yesterday. Unfortunately it was brand new one that I really, really liked! Oh well. They are all replaceable! But she really loves to cook and to help us which is really confusing to us...oh well more on that some other day!

The cookies turned out great despite everything that I did wrong...measured too much flour so had to add more banana and less oatmeal. I can only imagine how heavenly they would be if I followed the directions right!!!

Next time though I will substitute whole wheat flour for the regular and maybe try and figure out how to replace the white (refined) sugar with some organic or all natural cane or brown sugar! Any ideas?

Janet Is Hungry: Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Can you help me?

I am having a party on Thursday and I have no idea at all what to serve for an alcoholic beverage. I have red and white wine but I like to have a drink as well. We just served Margarita's on Labor Day and I don't want one of those again yet! I was thinking something fruity with Vodka or Rum. I would also like to be able to make it ahead and have it in pitcher's to serve through out the party. Any ideas? I think last year I did Vodka with pineapple juice, orange juice and cranberry.

Let me know if you have anything better than that for me!

Happy Entertaining!!!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Another crazy weekend!

I woke up yesterday just like every other morning, a little stiff, a little achy (we were in a serious car accident about 3 years ago and are still being treated so this is normal). Little did I know that within an hour I would hardly be able to move my head!!! I somehow ended up with a huge knot in my neck as have pain halfway down my back, through my chest and head!!! Not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Oh still goes on and I still have things to do!

I am in the midst of preparing for my Partylite Candle party which is gong to be on Thursday night. I am pretty excited. I have a bunch of new recipes that I can't wait to try out. I can't wait to give you the recipes and have pictures to show you as well!

Partylite Party Menu

Wild Mushroom Dip
Spinach Veggie Sandwiches
Make Ahead Marinated Shrimp
Cream Cheese Lollipops

I am kinda stumped on a drink to make. If anyone has any ideas that would help me greatly! I would like something that I can make a big batch of and have in pitchers to serve during the party. I should have about 15 or so people. Any ideas????

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, October 5, 2007

OMG...It's almost Halloween

Oh well...It's happened again! I got lost in the day-to-day and missed the fact that Halloween is going to happen whether I am ready or not, in just over 3 weeks! Do you have all of your stuff yet? I sure don't, but....when I was looking for some ideas for decorations ( really need to get that done) and goodies to hand out (we don't like to give out candy so we give out pencils, erasers etc.) I came across a site that will take all of the brain work out of it for me.

I signed up to bring plates and napkins to my daughter's class's. Well I found my source and I don't even have to go out and try to find it at Target or your other place of choice! They even have a really neat Halloween themed bowl that I just might take filled with Popcorn for the kids! This site has made it easier for me and maybe it can help you as well! Cool source for Pinatas as well!!!


Check it out at Party Supplies .

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pumpkin Tortellini - Yummmm!

I made the pumpkin tortellini recipe last night. The recipe is in my post from yesterday. It was incredibly delicious. Just an amazing blend of flavors that I would never have attempted to put together myself!!! Pumpkin, goat cheese, figs, hazelnuts....The only thing that I did change was not adding the honey. I really don't like my food to be real sweet (dessert yes, but dinner no). So I omitted the honey and I thought it turned out wonderful!

I just found another little Halloween or autumn party idea. I got it off of the website. Very simple but very cute! I might make it for my youngest daughter's Halloween Party!
1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.
As Always....
Happy Entertaining!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Janet Is Hungry: Pumpkin Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

I found this recipes last week and have just been dying to try it. The flavor combinations are incredibly intriguing. I have just been trying to find a day when all of us would be home together and tonight is the night! I have been all over town gathering the goods and I am now ready to go! Tony just bought me an All-Clad Pasta Pentola and can't wait to try it out! Maybe you NEED one too? Click here to check it out.

Janet Is Hungry: Pumpkin Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

Check back tomorrow so I can tell you how it went!

As Always....

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dinner for dessert?

Last night was a typical meal at the Chiappini house. We had grilled pork chops marinated in soy and garlic and a big huge salad.
It was the dessert that really made it special though. We have been buying Naan bread from Ada's which is similar to a Whole Foods (which we don't have here). So Tony plopped the bread on the grill and I got out the hummus that we had left over from the weekend and chopped up the Kalamata olives that we had and that was our dessert. Was it ever delicious!!! Maybe it isn't what you would think of as dessert but it was wonderful, delicious and fresh tasting. A perfect way to end a meal! Yummm! Even the children loved it.

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, October 1, 2007

October Newsletter!

Hope everyone had a great weekend? Ate well, played lots, slept in...!

I am busily working away on my newsletter. I should be putting the finishing touches on it tonight or tomorrow. It's gonna be a good one.

If you haven't already signed up there is still time! You can sign up here on my blog or on my website at . Either way is FREE!

Happy Entertaining!!!