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Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

In the last couple of years I seem to be making more recipes that call for lemon zest or orange zest and so a couple of years ago I bought a Zester and then went on to buy another microplane with slightly larger holes and blades and is best used for grating cheese and chocolate.  

I don’t have a kitchen filled with lots of gadgets and expensive knives, quite the contrary actually.  However, when I find a kitchen tool that makes putting together and cooking a meal easier, I’m all for it.  I love using my zester and using it when  you can zest a whole lemon over a bowl or pot is so easy.  BUT when I have to measure out a tablespoon or two and am zesting the lemon over a small plate, the zest ends up on the counter and elsewhere.  Then you have to scrape up the zest and scoop it into a measuring spoon.  

Well LOOKY HERE! Edgeware Better Zester is a creative new product that has taken zesting to a new level.  This handy tool has  little zester teeth that are coated with a food-safe nonstick coating, similar to the popular brightly-colored Kuhn Rikon knives. Also, it has a plastic attachment on the back that catches all the zest.  

Where this really shines, though, is in that zest catcher. It has measurement markings, so you can shake the zest into the bottom and see how much you’ve collected so far. Then, when you’re ready to get your zest, you can slide the zest catcher off and it sort of squeegees everything off the zester, leaving you with clean blades and all the zest neatly caught in the little attachment. Works perfectly, every time. 

Add A Little Zest To Your Life

Add A Little Zest To Your Life

This super kitchen aid  is available online through several stores and Amazon.  The average price is $14.95

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There are literally a couple thousand gifts, gift ideas, and/or catalogs devoted to gifts for Foodies on your Christmas gift list.  So every night I surf the net looking for the next  new and better thing out there and feature it in my count-down to Christmas posts.

I just came across a very cute and practical item.  I often serve olives as an appetizer before dinner or as an hors d’ouevre with drinks.   Eating olives can be a messy event if you use your fingers and I dare say most of do.  TOOTHPICKS are the answer.  You can always put the olives in one dish, then put out a small little bowl for the pits and place a whiskey shot glass filled with toothpicks alongside the bowl.  My main problem with this set-up is real estate.  Never enough room to put much out on my coffee table.

HEDGEHOGS to the rescue!  This little guy will hold the toothpicks for you, perched on the rim of the bowl of your choice.

Don't Worry - No Quills

Don’t Worry – No Quills

KLpik Toothpick Holder available at MOMA gift shop – $25.00

MOMA is short for The Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan NY.  You can buy online!

 

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I almost always increase the number of garlic cloves any recipe calls for.  I’m Italian and many dishes I make are of that ethnicity and with garlic.  I’ve had a couple of garlic presses and hated trying to poke all of the residual garlic out of the holes.   Then I had one of those that switch the head back and forth and it pushes the last of the garlic out;  Unfortunately I broke two of those – not sure how or why.

When the rubber tube garlic peeler came out, I bought one of them and one for my daughter.  At first it seemed like the ideal way to peel garlic and I used it hundreds of times.  Lately I’ve been peeling cloves sans tools because, because I have no idea why lol.  

LOOK what I found!  A new garlic tool and it looks like a winner.  It is called Joseph Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher. It looks like this:

It ROCKS!

It ROCKS!

By using downward pressure and a ‘rocking’ motion, this stylish tool breaks up garlic cloves quickly and easily, forcing the pieces up through the array of small holes in its base. The crushed pieces are then held in the curved design, allowing them to be spooned or scraped conveniently into a pan or bowl. Additional cloves can also be crushed at this stage before emptying. Continue rocking for a finer texture. Rocker™ is easy to clean under running water but is also dishwasher safe. 

It was designed by Goodwin Hartshorn and is available through Yellow Octopus for $12.95

 

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I’m a chocoholic, I admit it, however, I am particular.  I mean there’s chocolate and there’s chocolate! I like dark chocolate, bitter and at least 75% cacao.  You can keep the milky soft sweet stuff and the calories that go with it.  

I also collect some chocolate-related items and probably should do  a post featuring my collection of chocolate candy molds and vintage chocolate bar labels.  I have several chocolate cookbooks and few odd chocolate nostalgia pieces.  But I don’t have this – it isn’t quite my style.

However, you might have just the Foodie on your list who also appreciates funky gifts and loves chocolate too.  If so, check this out:

"ADD" Me to Your List

“ADD” Me to Your List

This is a big calculator that looks and *drumroll* .. smells, like chocolate! And it is solar powered. A great stocking filler.

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I wish I had started this countdown on the first but somehow I forgot/got bogged down/was obsessing  over my granddaughter’s missing Elf on the Shelf.  Add a couple of nights devoted to movie going, a few hours at the office and all the other daily/weekly things that fill up your time.  All that and playing Scrabble online and Words With Friends lol.

Alright so I didn’t make this into an Advent Blog month, probably you don’t care one way or the other.  Well I decided to do it tonight (even though it is actually tomorrow -2am!).

Gift choices  for the Foodies on your list are almost endless.  You can go the imported wine route or single-malt Scotch, or the fancy small specialties such as caviar or truffles or choose from the myriad sources of artisanal cheeses, salamis, or smoked salmon.  Catalogs offering overnight delivery for every foodstuff imaginable are clogging the mailboxes. I really didn’t know which item to feature (Mmmm I may have an idea here about doing 2o days of gifts for Foodies), so I just picked one that sort of jumped off the page at me.

That’s it, I’m changing the name of the post, I’m going for 20 days of food and drink gift ideas.  WHY? Because I had almost forgotten the rule we have about receiving gifts;  If we can’t eat it, drink it or attend it, then please keep it for yourself because we have way too much stuff now!!

#20 – GOAT MILK CARAMELS

Want to spoil someone you love? Goat ahead. These caramels, made with goat milk, sea salt and bourbon vanilla, come in a lovely wooden gift box.  Caramels seem to be a hot item this year, I wonder if they pushed French Macaroons into second place?  You can purchase this tasty sweet treat from  bigpicturefarm.com. Cost is $50.

Sea Salt and Bourbon  OH BOY!

Sea Salt and Bourbon
OH BOY!

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Anyone who knows us, knows that we are collectors.  And we don’t collect new things, only old things.  Our home is filled with vintage furniture, turn-of-the-century games, antique books, collectibles from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  Sometimes I think we are recreating our childhood, sometimes I think we are archiving our generation, sometimes I think we are frustrated dealers.   But most of the time when I look around the apartment I see beautifully designed objects, relics of my youth, and also some obsolete objects which I believe makes them all that more collectible.  Luckily this concept pertains to “smalls” as they are known in the trade.  As I said, we collect things that I see on the website Old Dusty Things.  In fact I think we could be their poster child.

I don’t want to collect obsolete new things, I’ll leave that to  Gen X and Y.   I guess they might collect a Nokia cell phone from 20 years ago  or a 1st generation Kindle,  an early MAC. and a Pac Man game cartridge.  I’ve done a couple of blogs about words and phrases that have fallen from our vocabulary or rather not our vocabulary but their vocabulary.  I hear these phrases in old movies and I remember homilies my mother used to say to me.  They’re gone really, and won’t return.

This blog  came about when my husband showed me something he had squirreled away someplace and he asked me if I knew what it was.  How silly, of course I know what it is but do you?

More than a pencil

More than a pencil

I would love to hear from my readers;  what do you think this is?  If you are over the age of 55, you probably know so don’t post the answer right away.  I do have some Generation X and Y followers, we want to hear from you!

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I’m going to start with the back story….

Living near the ocean does have a few drawbacks, really very, very few;  in fact the only one I’m talking about is the dampness.  Not the kind that seeps in through the screen door and windows and makes the furniture feel damp and cool  – no, not that kind.  But living near the ocean, things like snails and slugs tend to appear unwelcome on my porch or sidewalk now and again.  I have abhorrent fear and anxiety about slugs in particular.

I mean they are so slimy and icky looking – like some kind of spineless blob from outer space that seems to traverse without legs.  I literally can’t stand the sight of them.  We’ve come home a couple of evenings over the years and found a long slug on the sidewalk and I got the willies whatever they are!!  I make Peter pick up the slug on a piece of cardboard or newspaper and insist that he toss it over the fence into our neighbor’s yard.  They (slugs) are SO GROSS.

Two days ago, my contact lens was bothering me and those of you who know me, know that I have a history of problems with the lens in my eye because I have some scarring on my cornea, but that’s another story.  I’ve been giving the eye a vacation from the lens and trying to use glasses.  However, my glasses are not prescription, just readers and since they are really only good for close up reading or work, I didn’t have them on when I went upstairs to change my clothes.  It was dark and the door to the porch was open and our neighbors across the backyard were home – thank God their doors were shut, they must have had their air conditioners on.  I took off my clothes and put on pajamas and hung up my pants and I was barefoot.   I moved the door to a more open position now that I was dressed and stepped away.  When I looked back and down, this is what I saw…..

OMG!!!!

OMG!!!!

 Needless to say I screamed, “Peter, Peter, PETER!”  Still no answer;  The TV was on upstairs and downstairs and he was in the kitchen.  I grabbed the remote, hit mute, went to the top of the stairs and screamed again, Peter! You better come up here NOW”!  He came flying up the stairs, out of breath and said, “What is it? What? Is there a bat”?  I pointed to the floor and said, “LOOK! You better get it out of here, OMG how did it get in the house? OMG I could have stepped on it” 

With wife on the verge of hysteria, my husband runs downstairs and grabs paper towels while noting OUT LOUD that there were no more paper towels!!  He returned and got on his hands and knees while I fretted and fumed and worried sitting on the bed.  He stood up quickly with paper towel crumpled in his fist and I said, “What did you do with it?” He showed me……

A Hair Clip ! REALLY??

A Hair Clip ! REALLY??

I laughed so hard I thought I would either cry or pee in my pants!  I mean, “Really, really?”  All in the life and times of living with Lori.

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I’ve been checking my blog stats and have noticed a really strong uptick in the number of people visiting the blog that are looking at a previous blog post about Easter Hats.  In New York City, every Easter Sunday the Easter Parade takes place on Fifth Avenue and hundreds and hundreds of people come out to walk (parade) along the Avenue.

It is a day of colorful, creative, beautiful, outrageous, big, small, funny and fabulous hats. chapeaus, bonnets, derbies, top hats and straw hats!  I make my own creations, sometimes re-cycle them with new flowers and ribbons.  You have no ideas how difficult it is to store these broad-brimmed hats in an apartment!!

As Easter is literally around the corner and if you’re going to make your own Easter bonnet, the time would be NOW!  So here are some inspirational creations for you look at and if you’re successful, you’ll be all set for a Kentucky Derby Day party.

Lavender Lady

Lavender Lady

Red Roses

Red Roses

Sun Flower Sue

Sun Flower Sue

Black & Cream Dream

Black & Cream Dream

Pink on Pink on...

Pink on Pink on…

Dramatic Plume

Dramatic Plume

Aren’t these stunning? Hats can be so flattering. For more Easter Hat photos click on the link below.

https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/crazycreativec…ky-easter-hats

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Cocktail Glass (Martini): The traditional cock...

Last Night’s Martini Glass

Walking into the living room, she was assaulted with the visual cacophony of his clothes, his mail, his magazines, his shoes, jacket and tie and last night’s martini glass!  How many times had she asked him to put his stuff away? A hundred, a thousand? Nagging and yelling didn’t work.  Threatening to toss the stuff out fell on deaf ears. 

She began to pick up various articles of clothing, grimacing at this relentless never-ending chore.  If only he would just clean up after himself, if only I didn’t give a shit the way he obviously doesn’t! Ridiculous! It’s enough already!

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SUNDAY – This could be one of the grossest things I have ever written about but I am going to try to keep my PG rating!  Actually I probably don’t have to get too graphic because I’m pretty sure most of my readers will get the story line real quick.

It’s sunny Sunday morning and the family is going out for breakfast!  I mean what could be more fun than sitting in a public restaurant with two kids under the age of  5 ?  And while you are still waiting for your Eggs Benedict, they have already eaten their scrambled eggs with cheese and now want to get up from the table and although permission denied, they do…  I thought about that familial scenario and  then thought better of it after all. “See y’all later”.

About 2 hours later, I received a phone call from Chiara and she told me there was an art show in town that she and Tom were going to and did I want to come along?  It is sunny and not too hot so sounds like a plan to me. As soon as we debark from the vehicle and take a few steps towards the art exhibits, Chiara notices that there’s a playground and I held my breath – surely they didn’t come back and pick me up so I could watch the kids at the playground while they walked  around the Art Show! NO, of course not, had you going there for a minute, huh?

Tom took the girls to the playground and Chiara and I moved through the tents of rather uninspiring paintings and mediocre pottery.  There were shockingly bright acrylic flowers, pastel beach with palm trees and flamingoes, dark abstracts done in oils, and some jewelry.  Out of nowhere this woman jumps in front of us and screams, “I LOVE that bag!  Where did you get it”?  Chiara was carrying NOT one of her designer bags but rather a gold-studded handbag, hobo style.  This exchange brought us into her jewelry booth.  Very unusual pieces;  I liked two of the original-design bracelets and Chiara was taken with some stacking rings.

And then the text came dinging in….She pooped!!  Everybody poops or so the book says.  There are so many books out now for toddlers all about pooping and peeing and the potty.  Whatever happened to The Saggy Baggy Puppy?  Anyway, Frankie has a habit of NOT pooping for days on end.  This time she was out to set a record fighting against all odds to hold onto her poop.  Chiara has been pumping her full of Miralax everyday and yet Frankie prevailed.  That was, until today.  Chiara raced out of the booth with me on her heels.  There stood Frankie with a big smile on her face and greeted us with “I poop”.  GREAT, WONDERFUL BUT no diaper, no wipes, no public bathroom.  What’s a mom to do? What all mothers do, she pulled down the pamper, wiped her with as many tissues as I had and when it was apparent that we could not put this child in the car (yet), Chiara walked over to the boardwalk, cupped her hand in the water and splashed Frankie’s tooshie with some water.  Not exactly the circumstances one would hope for in this situation but you do what you gotta do.

Everyone Poops

Everyone Poops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Frankie was happy, Mommy would be happy when she could wash her hands and so with the windows open we drove home.

The End

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