Unfortunately, or fortunately, for those of us who love our kitchen, it’s back to school, and that means back to regimen and the age-old question: “What’s for dinner?” Listen, even with my love affair with my pots and olive oil, I find the question itchingly irritating every time it comes up. It evokes the same irritation as “Mom, by tomorrow I need…” and “Can I have money for…”
Every season I struggle with bringing life, enjoyment and appreciation to fall cooking. I find fall depressing because as a true Cancerian, there should be no other freaking season but summer, OK? Messy buns and my grill…we hold hands in a summer romance from May to Labor Day. But, like a typical summer fling, it dries up with the leaves, cooler weather and pumpkin lattes. Bah Humbug until Thanksgiving.
This week marked the second full week of school and everything else, so I wanted to share a recipe or two that was not so bad and might help ease you back to weeknight meals.
If you want to destress yourself before you start stressing about dinner, always remember that something that can be made ahead, has few ingredients or can be made quickly is your best friend.
Last night, I did this, minus the bread bowls:
Easy, quick, and very yummy. Well, let’s face it, anything that has even a partial cream base is going to be good, even if it’s mixed with newspaper and crazy glue.
This is, oddly enough, not a Paula Deen penning, despite the dairy fat and the bacon. However, it was just as yummy. One pot, a side of bread and a salad, and poof…they can all shut up, cause this one is GOOOOOOOOD.
As I have gotten older, the thought of dying has become just a little too real. When I was a kid, I was like, “who dies? Only old people.” As I got older, and after losing my mother at 62, she still seemed old. I was 28, and although the most heinous and horrendous and unthinkable thing happened, I still thought my mother was old. But, now that I am 52 and I actually know people that are my contemporaries who have passed on, the thought becomes a stabbing one at least once a day. And, as a cancer survivor, the bite is an unescapable sting.
So, when I get the death thought in my head, I prepare a list of things that I want my family to bury with me so the congregation at my wake won’t weep, and just say, “Ok, so she was a weirdo after all. She thinks this stuff was important? “Yes, so next to the rosary beads from Mondo Cattolico, and montage of selfies with Al, and a portrait of me, Al, and the kids, I need the following:
PORELESS MATTIFYING PRIMER FROM TARTE:
I know what you’re thinking, but I want my girls to give this to my embalmer before they start the makeup process. It is the best out there. smoothing and spackling my middle-aged skin, still scarred by the war wounds of teenage cystic acne. I use it even without foundation to bring back, way back, the natural radiance of newborn skin. Then, keep the tube tucked to the liner of the box so everyone will know I was the only corpse without a cake face.
JERGENS WET SKIN TANNING MOISTURIZER:
This miracle stuff has saved me hours and dollars in spray tanning. I used to tan once every 10 days to minimize cellulite and varicosities. Now, I don’t even have to put a towel on my body after the shower. It gets slapped on (I slap because they say to pat dry, so I slap first), and then I dry off, and we look like paradise in Ibiza. This means I can wear a mini to the pearly gates. I want the tube tacked next to the floral rosaries that are cemented on the inside satin sheet covering the “hood.”
MY INSTACART ACCOUNT:
Not quite sure you could bury an account, but maybe for this one I’ll take a screenshot to throw on the “board.” Every day, my shopping savior cruises me virtually through the aisles of Wegman’s, Shop Rite, CVS, Petco, Acme, and Uncle Giuseppe’s. If I didn’t die from a heart attack, it’s probably because of Instacart. Out of paper towels? No problem. Razors? Easy. Basil? Sure thing. From the comfort of my car, my kitchen table, the bathroom or wherever…Julia Child! In as much time as it takes to say, “Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes,” my Instashopper is at my door, wrestling with my dogs, and I never had to get out of my workout gear. I mean, really, who can live, or die without that kind of service?
The thought of someone going through my texts and contacts is enough to bring myself back as an apparition and haunt the shit out of you. Not that I have anything to hide, but it’s like my security blanket…even in death. As I take my last breath, make sure my phone is in my left hand (I am a righty) …so when the rigor sets in, it’s in my grasp for all eternity.
MY STARBUCKS APP AND NITRO COLD BREW:
This might actually be a game changer. Nitro Cold Brew has awoken me from the depths of despair and naptime many a day. I only need 1-2 shots of caffeine a day, but this takes the place of any amount of caffeine I could possibly need. It might even counteract embalming.
KAT VON D EVERLASTING LIPSTICK (ANY SHADE) AND THE SHADE + LIGHT FACE CONTOUR BRUSH:
Her lipstick will stay put until a grave rising apocalypse or the next resurrection…whichever comes first. There are so many shades to choose from, and I’m sure Valentina will pick the right one from my collection, which would probably overwhelm even a Sephora sales associate. Her contour brush has two ends to it, one angled for bronzer and contour the other a puff ball for the apple of your cheek. What I will do at the pearly gates with this device I have no idea, but hey, looking good never hurt anyone. At all times.
ELASTIC HAIR TIES:
At 52, I am so lucky to still have good hair, so I am trying not to sound annoyed about this feature which, well, can be annoying at times. In the summer, I never have my hair down…it can be bulky, frizzy, and it’s curly. Whoever invented hair ties (in my day, hair elastics), you are probably dead, but I can’t wait to have a posthumous toast. You have kept me in good style, while just learning to throw up my hair in 15 seconds. I’ll make sure they thrown in a Wet Brush, and we can do up some dos.
Ok, I can’t take a company with me, but please refer to them in my eulogy as my materialistic, fashion mecca. Not much to say here except they have outfitted me now for many years, saving months and money of fashion magazine subscription cash.
MY WEIGHTS AND ELASTIC WORKOUT BANDS:
I can’t ask my trainer to come with me, because that’s selfish and unfair…he’s young and handsome with his whole life ahead of him. What I can ask for, though, are my weights and my bands. They were a major life changer for me during a midlife crisis and have sculpted my body back to a decent mold. I didn’t say Gladys Portuges sculpted, but good enough to show off some biceps, and if you press on my thigh, you can feel my quad. Very exciting for this chubby teenager to rock something at 52 that I couldn’t when I was 20.
I really hope I still have them when I expire. Not for the reasons you think. For the most part, I hated them my whole life. I had a little body, a tiny back, and these disproportionate monsters, that pissed me off every time I wanted to buy a top that may have looked snug, are now my buddies. When I realized God gave them to me to feed and bond with my children and pass that love and dedication of nursing to other moms who may have been more inclined to bottle feed, I knew why they were there. I have learned to love them more than I ever thought I would. It was scary when I was thirteen and the boys in school used to trash me as “Big Linda,” but now, I would be proud to say, “what’s the matter…your wife has ant hills and you are angry?” I hope God gives me the opportunity.
To those people I would like to take with me, it’s very, very simple. Believe me, it’s not going to be because I love you. I can’t wait to start penning that one.
Mr. Rogers: Henrietta Pussycat, can you say LIBEL?
Henrietta: Meow meow.
ODE TO HARRY THE TALKING DOG
I think sometimes, or actually, I know always, that when we choose to love an animal, to knit their little paws, or big ones into the needlework of our family, we put aside the macabre and untouchable thought that they will, with nature’s law intact, go before us.
This past week, my big brother, Steve lost his twelve-year companion, Harry, a snow white Golden Retriever who boxed himself in as an only child. Well, really, he was. Since puppydom, Harry was raised inside the hallowed halls of Perillo Tours, family owned and operated since 1945. So, it would only seem right, that Steve, now CEO, would raise his “dog son” surrounded by marble from Carrrara and authentic wood bannisters from Abruzzi. I mean, shouldn’t every puppy be raised the Italian way?
Harry loved his treats, and his humble and obedient servants always provided. His office traipse always lead him to those snackers who just happen to have dog treats, and he was relentless: don’t leave unless you come back with a treat. Almost like the Wizard demanding the witch’s broomstick. He would sit, and dance on his paws, and his message was clear, without speech…I need a yummie.
I “babysat” Harry for many years when Steve would go on business trips. I loved him because he was my brother’s dog, but with seven kids at the time, and two other dogs, he would come barreling in like “where is my room,” with his virtual suitcase and entourage of doggie supplies. He could care less about incorporating himself in the dog world of then Lello and Blitzen, and more about getting my attention as doggie mom. He reminded me a little of Stewie from Family Guy the way he would bark at me, and then just want me to say “WHAAAAT HARRY?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOLxQGLJouI. He would wait for me at the bottom of my stairs and growl at my own dogs like they had no place there.
Steve and I both have “canine fences” for our dogs since our properties are not hard fenced in. As Harry got older and knew his boundaries, when for whatever reasons his collar wasn’t on, he would appear at my front door, at any hour of the day or night, and just bark. I had to let him in, and he just wanted to hang, and bark. Steve would pick him up on his golf cart, (Harry’s favorite mode of transportation), and go back to doggie palace. Once, I was five months pregnant with Gianmarco, and I had to get Harry across the street at my brother’s house and bring him to mine. I drove the five seconds, because I knew…as predicted, Harry would be temperamental about going on his leash and coming. BINGO! There I was, ready for YouTube reality, pulling the shit out of this full grown Golden Retriever to get him into my car. I lifted him like a Volga boatman pushing cargo onto a ship, and he sat in the passenger’s seat. I felt my uterus dilating by the second. It was a 10 second ride to my house, and he would not exit. Ok, Harry, just sit there…and he did. Until he realized he was not getting chauffeured anywhere. He just came to the door and barked…he was done, now.
Kudos to my brother for walking Harry on every beautiful day to and from the office. He loved to journey back and forth, and was, for sure a faithful friend to my brother, who probably prefers dogs over people.
When a dog starts to deteriorate, there is no mistaking it. Harry survived a knee operation, a hip operation, and was strong like bull until recently. Lello, Blitzen then Stella and Harry used to bark at each other across the street for many years, every morning. At the crack of dawn, the Harry howls and choppy bark of my shepherd used to mimic the IPhone dog bark alarm. But recently, Stella would bark, and there would be no response from across the cul de sac. I knew Harry was slowing down.
So this past week, we said goodbye to Harry, who sadly passed away at the age of 12 after a short bout with pneumonia. The saddest part was that my brother was away with my son when his spirit crossed the rainbow bridge. But, you know, God has a plan, and if Steve had to make hard decisions for his buddy, that would have broken his heart even more. God made the choice, and Harry, a wonderful companion to my brother died in happiness. Steve buried him in the backyard Harry loved so much, with a cherry tree to shade him. He will forever be part of the Apple Ridge scenery, as my sister, Chris said.
I learned from Harry that animals need no voice to communicate. They can get their point across without knowing how to speak your language. But, alas, they have taught you theirs, which is one of the most beautiful to learn.
Here is my favorite tribute to Harry:
This was waaaay too easy. I guess Trisha Yearwood had a gig somewhere. No time to even bake.
I was dubious since it was a no-bake with five ingredients, but go figure. Whip it up fast and bring it to your next play-date or 'what do I bring' event.
Yummy to the end! Keep 'em in the fridge ... even better.
Check out the full recipe on Food Network here.
I often think about how much Catholic school bled into my life especially since I send my kids there, which really punctuates how much how much of those years formed so much of what I think and who I am, on both on a spiritual and indelible, impressionistic level. For those of you who attended Catholic schools. (I went through college), you can relate to the mint or vanilla covered cinder blocks that were the cornerstone of your brick home away from home.
UNIFORMS: Let’s talk plaid. Though very much a fashion statement now, plaid is still the fashion trend of every Catholic teaching institution. It has such an alluring come on that some public schools have adapted the concept as well. It could be tartan plaid with green over and undertones. Grey plaid with red threading. Heavy red with green, or many combinations. Either way, it was a symbol, much like an orange jumpsuit is today. “I am in prison. “ I go to Catholic school.” Not that I equate prison with Catholic school, but the similarity that everyone is equal, and fashion individuality is not allowed in these hallowed halls is evident. I remember my “jumper” in St. Margaret’s, which really could not accommodate my growing boobs, really, but first grade or eighth grade, we all wore the same. The first graders just looked like shrunken version of the eighth graders, with no boobs. I remember my side pocket housed dirty tissues, Halls cough drops, and maybe a pencil. I had these synthetically woven navy blue socks that I used to flick the elastic on my calif for entertainment in seventh grade social studies. I used to watch the dust and dry skin particles exfoliate and fly into the atmosphere. Good times. Our gym uniform was not a uniform. Unlike the sweats and logo paraphernalia of today, we separated into gender appropriate classrooms, and learned how to change our white Peter Pan collared blouses into our chosen gym shirt, using a contortionist movement similar to a Cirque De Soleil trapeze artist, so no one could see your bra. We put our pants on underneath our jumper, took that off and headed to Dodge Ball Mania.
As a parent, I understand now that uniforms are important. Not only for laundry purposes, but in pulling students down to a level playing field. “The clothes make the man,” but not in a Catholic school. They make us equal. Nothing to show off or promote envy. And with five of my eight children being girls, well, need I say more?
OOOOO…THAT SMELL. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but every Catholic school I have been in just smells the same: “Eau d’Rosary.” They say that smell is one of the strongest memories, both bad and fragrant that remain with you from baby to senior citizen. I’m not sure if it’s a combination of 1960 plaster, paint, or the cedar chips they throw on third grade vomit, but it never, ever changes. I visited my grammar school not that long ago, and just the first whiff when I walked in the door brought me back to Sr. T’s first grade classroom. As I perused the hallways, the emanation of the aroma of glossed over paint chips, just brought me back. And the gym always seemed to smell like flan. It must be the same generic hardwood gloss provided by the Archdiocese, because it’s in every Catholic school gym I’ve been in. Our cafeteria was also used for Sunday Mass back then, so in the middle of the cafeteria barracks, (Our lunches then were massive and similar to an army mess hall) was an altar…right..an altar. There was no sacristy or host present, but the combination of extinguished candle, frankincense (especially during Holy Week), peanut butter and jelly with a dash of bologna on Wonder Bread has cemented in my brain. Only occasionally on pizza day, and I could swear Fr. McKenna showed up with a thurible that housed a powdered version of burnt pizza crust, was there a change in cafeteria redolence to promote the next “Pizza Day: 2 slices and a can of Jamaica Cola for a dollar on the cheapest paper plate you can find east of Bethlehem.” Imagine 200 kids at one time drinking cartons of WHOLE milk, then chucking them in massive garbage pails. That was the dessert smell before we headed out on the “blacktop.”
TAKE ME TO HEAVEN: This is the title of one of the first tracks in the musical “SISTER ACT,” but, trust me, from 1974-1981, none of the nuns I had were singing. I think they were so confined in their habits with attachable headpiece that they got nodes on their vocal chords. They could yell, though. I was taught by Dominican nuns, and my aunt was an educator, principal and Franciscan nun, but their get-ups were different. My sisters were still donning penguin-like hues, and if you put them in a line up with their backs turned, well, literally, sorry sister, you are all going down. They seemed ageless…like Sister A.L. She taught third grade, and was actually very sweet with one of those wobbly nun singing voices three octaves above her actual key which sounded like she was crooning while riding a locomotive. She looked like she was about 106, but in retrospect, she was about 50. Sister A. taught the other first grade and was hip rebel of the group…no headgear…just the billowing white polyester a line habit.
She seemed really young to me then, but she could have been 73 for all I know. Unfortunately, having heard my principal, Sr. Anne Connolly just passed away, whom I loved, I realized our sisters must have been waaaay younger than originally predicted in seventh grade. I will say this, they had a devotion to our Lord that remained in me since I was six, and a devotion to Our Blessed Mother, drilling in the Mysteries of the Rosary into our little noggins like one of today’s rap ballads, with a monotonous cadence that sounded like we were marching into battle. But, it was this monotonous cadence that stuck with me my whole life and is glued to my soul as the anthem and gold standard for any Catholic prayer. When in doubt: Always pray the Rosary. And try not to have nightmares about the first sorrowful mystery: The Agony in the Garden.
NO FREE LUNCH…LIKE EVER. My kids have it so easy…the luxury of “ordering in” …in school…Catholic school. We have several lunch options and programs available for even the pickiest eaters, and yes, all with the swipe of Mommy’s credit card. I asked my second grader, Camilla, “What did Federica order you for lunch today?” She just looked at me with those huge brown eyes, with a matter of fact, Mom you are really dumb, look “the special.” The special. The special? Do you know what the “special” was in St. Margarets’s in 1976? Whatever my mother could negotiate shoving into a black Bamberger’s bag with a very neatly sliced orange. I wasn’t allowed crap like Wonder Bread and peanut butter and jelly from my very classy Italian born mother. But, that seemed to be the uniform lunch, just like the plaid uniform to match. Kids had uniform brown bags pulled from the 100 count multipack at Shop Rite …or then, Grand Union or Finast. They would have an old pill bottle filled to the brim with Nestle Quick powder to add to their uniform white milk. I used to drool at the processed foods, especially the bologna sandwiches, when I had a meatball from Sunday on Branola bread or “tonno in olio” on wheat. But no matter what you ate, it seemed to be an uninflected sundry of lunch options prepared by weary Catholic school moms who packed lunch the night before.
A DECORATOR’S WORST NIGHTMARE. I can recall my first grade classroom as clearly as my present bedroom. I think that’s because from first to eighth grade everything looked the same, except larger as the years went on to accommodate larger butts, legs and whatever else grew on you in eight years. Every classroom was equipped with the big wooden crucifix at center stage, with the copper plated Jesus hanging in the middle. The Lord is watching. At every angle…he is there. The Blessed Mother was usually perched on a plainly painted white pedestal to assist her son, and you with day to day tribulations. Her arms were open and giving, with never a sour look. This is why to this day, she is my surrogate mom. Today, it’s a very spiritual, warm concept. Then, it was like “Oh shit,” I better not cheat on this spelling test. There was bulletin board molding that decorated the upper edge of the wall, equipped with thumb tacks to hang up cardboard decorations announcing the seasons. Sometimes if you scored a 100 on a test, that might go up there too, heralding your elementary brilliance. But, that was the end of the glitz, or personality, if you could even call it that. Every room was the same…mint green or vanilla walls, institutional like desks made of probably very toxic metal, with the paint peeling from the book pocket from overuse. There was a very handy pencil holder carved right into the top of the formica topped faux wood finish…for modern convenience. There was a girl in my class who wrote in her notebooks and on her tests with the force of a jackhammer penetrating macadam. She would make holes in anything she could. She found her talent so compelling that she carved S-H-I-T into a fifth grade desk, and of course every kid prayed that would be their assigned seat. The teacher’s desk was a simple block of wood with four legs, and a block of wood called a chair to match, with a skinny cushion for comfort. I mean like how “blah.
SO WHY NOW? Anyone who attended Catholic grammar school can relate to even a modicum of my memories which is exactly why I send my kids to Catholic school…even Catholic college now. I consider most kids who can afford any private education at all, to be quite privileged. This generation as a whole is very privileged and the competition on the best highlight and Instagram posts alone is quite riveting and actually distressing as a parent. So , for the six hours of your learning life, stay simple. Stay equal. Stay fair. We start an end our day with a prayer to the Lord, and I know they are receiving Christ at every moment in those six hours when I’m not beating it into their head. Everyone is God’s masterpiece, and a parent’s masterpiece whether you are an honor student or struggling to stay afloat. Catholic school brings soon to be, burgeoning, judgmental adults to an even playing field, where we hope they see each other for what they are as friends and people before they graduate. The Kumbaya concept and hand holding doesn’t have to be so dramatic. You can’t connect with everyone. You don’t have to like them, but you have to love them as a creature of God.
This is a pretty tough concept when kids are innately cruel. Not that they won’t be cruel or taunting when they get home to their sibling,or make fun of the worst batter on their little league team or the chubby kid who wears a shirt boasting, “Eating pizza is my cardio,” but at least we can give them less to taunt about. We may lack the modern glitz of other educational facilities…but Jesus wasn’t exactly a flamboyant individual. He was as simple as a tunic woven from top to bottom in one piece, and handmade leather sandals. His message was not judgmental, critical, mean, boastful or self-serving. It was about the challenge of accepting one another for the imperfect beings we are, and remembering we were all created in the same image…that’s why we all wore plaid.
I just started baking more. Why? I don’t know. I love to cook as you
know, and I enjoy baking. (There is a difference, lol). I think I’m just
really into batter. And, no matter how healthy I cook during the week to maintain my new biceps, I can’t break up with my girl, Paula Deen. You have to make these, because truly, it doesn’t get any more “why did I just eat that,” than four sticks of “buttuh” and three other ingredients. One of them being potato chips. I am giving you full permission to cheat on these. They are quick, and melt in your mouth yummy. We don’t say fattening. If you can get past the batter and into the oven, well, impressive.
Click here to see the full recipe!
Growing up in an Italian household means a lot of things: lots of tomatoes, left over meatball sandwiches from Nonna’s Sunday sauce, smelly lunches, pasta with almost anything in it, stories of poor immigrants and how much polenta they consumed. The red, white and green list is endless. But, I do remember how magical Christmas always was. Christmas Eve was celebrated to the extent of a non-Italian’s New Year’s Eve, and it was just magical. Except for, well, all the fish.
As years went by, my tastebuds matured and I was not only able to stomach baccala’, but actually enjoy it, and Christmas miracle of Christmas miracle, cook it now for my family. Yet, I remember one dish I did eat, and that was fried spearing. What is a spearing? It looks like chum, or bait for a bluefish, but it’s cheap and when it’s fried, it’s as yummy as a McDonald’s fry.
And, in typical Italian fashion, it’s incredibly easy to prepare:
In a colander, throw a handful of clean fish, as dry as possible, with a handful of flour, salt and pepper.
Shake the fish and the flour until there is only a coating on the fish.
Have a VERY HOT deep fryer ready to go.
Fry the fish until golden brown and crunchy. Salt to taste.
These little babies were my seafood gateway. I still hate baccala’, but you can’t have everything! LOL. Buon Natale!!!!
As time marches on, I find myself digging very deeply into the depths of a magical time in my life, my childhood. And, as every child does from January 1st of the new year, until December 24th, 11 long months of the same year, I dreamed of Christmas. Italian Christmas is filled with a lot of fun and edible stuff, but mainly fish. However, my mother was an immigrant from Vasto, Italy and there is one Christmas season Sunday which will forever be embedded in my head just like sugar plums and the Polly Puff house I got when I was six, the making of the cicerchiata. (CHEE CHER KIATA).
It's actually a very simple dessert, similar to the more popular Italian recipe of struffoli.
Both are made of fried dough balls, glued together with epoxied honey and the cici with melted chocolate. The cici (as we so lovingly called it) could break off a denture or filling if it wasn’t made correctly, but Nonna, the Cici lieutenant, carabieniere, and overall supervisor made sure you didn’t make crap. She oversaw every ball dimension, every sprinkle, every drop of honey.
At the end of the process, it was formed into a wreath, and if you needed a trip to the burn unit while trying to form hot dough balls and honey into a perfectly frozen wreath, well, then you did your job.
As most Italian recipes go, the simple yet tasty combination of just a few simple ingredients epiphany themselves into something rather delicious.
Mix when frying dough:
Basically, the dough is refrigerated and then rolled into snake like tubes with your hands. Then you cut them into balls or little cushions.
Once they are at room temperature, heat the honey and the chocolate in a HUGE pot until boiling. Really boiling. Then add the dough balls, and with all your might, and a huge wooden spoon, you stir, stir, stir until it all makes a very sticky, large honey ball.
While it is still extremely hot, dump the pot’s contents onto a big table, preferable a kitchen island which is easily cleaned. Then, start making wreaths. Any size you like. Once the concoction is in the shape and size you prefer, decorate with Christmas sprinkles and let cool.
My memory, my favorite, which always brought my family together … every one of them, was more cherished than this delicacy. Make food … make memories, and always teach your kids to make both. Buon Natale!!
I had a great lady, Carol Weinberg, who I featured in my shop section because, well, she brought spray tanning into my home. Literally into my home. She showed up with her blow up tent, we went downstairs, and in 10 minutes it looked like I time warped and went from Saddle River to Ibiza. I love having a year round “glow.” For one thing, tanning makes your legs look thinner, which I’ll take any time of year, and the tan thigh and your thigh high boots don’t look like chicken cutlet against licorice. Covering a few varicosities didn’t hurt either.
But, Carol’s schedule got so hectic it became tough to keep up with regular bronzing sessions. I don’t want to look like that mom who 'over tanned' ... and although we share the same state, we don’t share the same thoughts on parenting or when tan looks like the side of a FRYE boot. So, in order to kick it up a step from natural winter, I found a new friend, JERGENS NATURAL GLOW MOISTURIZER (JNGM).
Now, nothing comes between me and my True Blue Moisturizer, except three or four days of JNGM. I look evenly tan without looking like a Cheeto. One thing I will tell you is to buy up a shade. I’m white girl and I purchase MEDIUM TO TAN skin tones, rather TAN to FAIR skin tones.
I am happy to say, my “sunny” disposition and white body still crave my summer sun, but we don’t look like we are.
So, a Gold Star to this Jergens Gem … give it an even rub on your need-a glow body, and I promise you will be in love with a new in-between moisturizer.
The night before last, my mother came to me in a dream. Usually she comes to me when she’s mad or upset, so in the 22 years she’s been gone, she only came to me twice … but one of them was two nights ago, and last night Jean Nidetch came to me, too. Now I know why.
If you know me at all, you know that as much as I am a “foodie”, I am also a “watchie”, and portion control is my greatest weapon against hip enlargement. But last night’s dinner, I mean come on Sunny Anderson, ravioli for the crust of a cheeseburger casserole? Swiss cheese and American … with heavy cream and beef? Holy shit. Yup, welcome to hog heaven, and boy was it good.
Now, I’m pretty quick on the draw when it comes to a weeknight meal. I did find this recipe a bit time consuming because it was step-heavy, but can I assure you, after you slobber all over it when it comes out of the oven, you will be happy you slaved a little. I had two casserole dissenters … but I consider this a worthy hit time wise and taste bud wise. I also loved the little pickle juice side salad.
Side salad … lol
Here’s the link!
Give it a sauté … I bet you will love it more than your Aunt Helen’s tuna casserole.