Eggplant parmigiano, on the menu

A friend shared her homegrown eggplant. So, parmigiano is what was cooking in my kitchen this weekend.


 Italian tomato sauce

2, 16 oz. can of tomato puree

1.5 cup of water

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, minced

1 large bayleaf

Small bunch of fresh basil (reserve some to garnish final dish)

Large pinch of dried oregano

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 t. Salt

Simmer on medium for 45-60 minutes.

Once done add 1/4 cup of Parmesean cheese to hot sauce. Add 1/4 cup of Ricotta cheese. Reserve both mozzarella & ricotta for assembling the eggplant.


1 sliced (med-thick) eggplant

Soak in salt water for 10 minutes, rinse off and pat dry.

Add 1 tab of Olive oil to a cast iron pan. Do in batches. Cook for 1-2 min, flipping as it browns.

Set aside eggplant

Shred mozzarella cheese

Assemble like you would lasagna layering sauce, eggplant, cheese.

Bake 30-45 minutes.

Let the entire dish sit for at least 30 minutes to soak up the sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

Scrubby Yarn…

This is the my first time using scrubby yarn. I wasn’t sure if I should knit or crochet it. I decided to crochet using a single crochet stitch with an H hook. I like the look of a circular scrubby. The yarn is obviously a bit rough to stitch but, I had no problem finding the stitches. It is %100 polyester. Cost: $3.50 a ball. The yarn comes in a variety of bright colors.  It was a toss between this ocean blue and lime. They also had a multi-colored which was pretty too.

I made pot scrubbies and a veggie/fruit scrubby. The loop for easy hanging & drying.

I like it and recommend Scrubby Yarn.


“Extreme Crocheting”

Calling this “extreme crocheting” with an R hook. Next to my I hook the R is huge! This Bernat blanket yarn (acrylic) is super soft and perfect for the ‘throws’ I’m making for charity.





Colorful Summer score…

As we near the end of Summer I am enjoying the bountiful fresh fruits & veggies found at our local Farmer’s Market. 20160824_130624.jpg

I tried fresh figs…ah, not as tasty as I was hoping they’d be – that’s OK.

The nectarines, peaches, tomatoes, cukes, chives, fresh garlic, kiwi, melons are amazing. The variety of fresh flowers are always beautiful!

Making a lot of large salads with all the goodies and then some. I added cheese and deli meat roll-ups making this a full meal.



Fav beauty items…

I don’t want to waste my time and certainly not my money on lousy beauty products.

Some of these are my favorite. I’m impressed at how well they work, and are reasonably priced. All can be easily found at Target, etc.

Sally Hansen – Complete Salon Manicure “clear for take off” works better than a salon manicure. I am always using my hands & my nails can take a beating. So, the fact that this lasted  and looked good for 10 days is amazing!!! It does not peel/wear off. I have worn it plain as well as one coat, on top of OPI polish. THUMBS UP!!! Can be found for under $8.

Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel, color #170 lasted longer than I expected. The only downfall is that you need to use the acetone nail polish remover to take it off. It only requires one coat too.

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lip Color – Has a nice variety of shades. This one is a dark Red, goes on smoothly and lasting. Can be found for $6 – 10.

Hard Candy Plumping Serum volumizing lip gloss – has a nice Pink color (for the Summer) but not sure about any plumping going on! Super reasonable at $6.

CoverGirl Lashblast Mascara – my go-to, best Mascara on the market. Can be found for under $8.

Rimmel EXAGGERATE waterproof eye definer – I do love my dark eyeliner! It goes on smooth, dark and lasts. Can be found for under $7.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock pf 70 – I like the smaller tubes – easy to carry in my bag.  Larger tubes can be purchased for under $14.

Yummy find…


In downtown,White Plains, NY… Via Veneto 26 –  “Finest Italian Restaurant in Westchester” – it certainly is! 20160816_183454.jpg

It’s one of those places I pass by several times a day and mean to try… some day. I’m glad a few friends went last night. Everything is delicious! The brick oven pizza, thin crust is the best – the “Antonella” had fresh basil,  tomato & prosciutto. They serve garlic & spices  olive oil with the bread that was out of this world yum – I poured it on my pizza! My friends also enjoyed the pasta and a chicken caesar wrap.

The restaurant is clean, friendly, good service and offers enough reasonably priced dishes. They also offer a nice Wine list.


In celebration…

Turning what was a painful day (the day my mom went to be with the Lord) into a day celebrating life. A day well spent at the ocean helped cleansed the sadness.

Summer, 2016

We enjoyed an outdoor concert, “Dancing Under the Stars the other evening – the temps were gorgeous, it was breezy and everything felt magical.


We’re having our first real heatwave (expected to last a week) here in NY. Fortunately, the humidity is not bad – I could breathe! 🙂

Me and hubby enjoyed shopping (mainly window shopping) today. We visited K-Mart, I was in search of beauty items (nail polish, eyeliner, etc.).  I always enjoy HomeGoods and love seeing their ever changing items. The baskets, pillows and large glass floor vases were calling me name.  I picked up some of their amazing bottles of spice and some new cloth dinner napkins.

We enjoyed an early dinner at Applebee’s and shared a full rack of ribs…mmm. There is nothing like ribs to knock me off my vegetarian The frozen strawberry margarita was (and is always) refreshing.


Keeping it together, stitch by stitch…

With all the craziness going on in this world I’m grateful for my hobby of Crocheting/ Knitting …it helps keep my restless hands busy and anxious tendencies in check.

I also use some of the helpful practices given (below).

Working on a few charity projects, these prayer hearts will be sent to women who are grieving the lost of an infant (2nd and 3rd trimester).

This turquoise baby blanket is for friend’s newborn baby boy. I love working with this cheerful color.

Simple practices that help:

Headbands for Craniosynostosis

With a lot of craziness going on in our country, and the world, I gladly turn to my hooks and needles to create inner peace.

Summertime = more colorful ☺ cotton on my hooks & needles. I’m still whipping up cute girlie headbands. I’ve added another charity cause for girls with Craniosynostosis.  One of my friends sends care packages, a few times a year that will be added to care boxes they send to families. So, I have decided to do some of these for them as well.




Confetti = Summer fun

Looking forward to Summer outings and working on smaller projects – easy to carry around  and in bright colors. Today, while sipping on rich iced coffee and working on a few hairbands for my 10 y/o niece – she rocks headbands! I love this cheerful  ‘confetti’ cotton yarn with single crochet stitch and a matching flower.


Happening this weekend: Outdoor Art Festival weekend


We lucked out with beautiful weather today (rain expected tomorrow though). A lot of people and many families came out to enjoy. I brought a small WIP with me and “crocheted in public” while listening to the folksy/jazz band play.

The art work is exquisite – paintings, handbags, jewelry, stained glass, accessories, etc. I came home with these studs. Just a small birthday gift for me as I start the month off celebrating my special day.



Memorial Day 2016


Grateful for and in memory of those who served and gave their lives for our freedom, in the US.

Rye Playland and the Veterans  Administration celebrated and honored all of the service members with a tremendous picnic, entertainment & air show by the Marines. Included was a free day of rides at the amusement park.
The weather was perfect, and being by the water (tye soubd) we had a lovely breeze all day.





Dollar Tree – Grand Opening

Finally, White Plains gets a Dollar Tree store today!!
I had high expectations since every DT I’ve ever been too (out of NY) is a large well stocked and varied discount store. So, I was excited & anxious to see what ‘freebies’ might be offered to the first guests.

Well, the grand opening was delayed 2 hours as they waited for the “money man”…really people!? Ugh. Meantime, a dozen or so customers waited outside. Finally, the guy arrives, loads the cash registers. The employees gather outside for the obligatory group shot. Doors open!!

Inside is clean, stocked well but wait, it’s not a very large store!! 😦  Why didn’t they use the entire existing space that the previous retail store had!? YGBK (you gotta be kidding). It looks like they’re using it for inventory – how bizarre! Oh, no freebies or coupons for the guests! *Sigh* Wow, no ‘whoop di-do’ here!

So, it’s not a large store. They have the usual dedicated aisles for cards, helium balloons & gift wrap, toys, stationary items, spices/food items, a large frozen food area, bath and cleansers, etc. Some sections are smaller than others. I was expecting a larger area for decorations/holiday stuff. I hope the seasonal section of supplies expands. It makes changing it up for the holidays easy on the pocket. I found this cute RW&B scarf for the upcoming USA holidays. #score I also picked up some cleaning supplies. Compared to other local ‘discount’ stores this is the best place for cleaning supplies – some other places charge over $3 for the same cleanser. So, that’s all, for now.

‘Canoes’ on the menu…


I made the first (of many to come) Summer squash dishes tonight.

Thinking of my mom and how she made these with the pounds and pounds of squash the neighbors up at our Summer cottage would share with us every year. She had to get creative and these were always a hit with all of us although, the squash she used were 10″+ (not like the ‘babies’ I used).

We call them ‘canoes’.

Slice each squash/zucchini lengthwise, scoop out the center. That extra squash gets chopped up and added to the meat filling. Use any ground meat, I used Turkey, which I sautéed with green pepper, onions, garlic & Sazon seasoning – does not contain MSG – unlike other brands. Once the meat filling is done, scoop it into the ‘canoes’ and place in a baking dish coated with olive oil.
Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 25-40 minutes, you can sprinkle with your favorite cheese during the last few minutes of cooking. The squash should be fork tender and roasted.

The ‘canoes’ can also be filled with a savory rice, like the side dish (arroz con gandules) I made (above). I served with a side of cukes and plantain chips.


Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s day in heaven, mom.

Love and miss you on this first Mother’s day in heaven.

I’m glad you are at peace…


Can’t beat free!!


Reaping the rewards of “sweeping” (entering sweepstakes). I won a nice freebie: Rollerball fragrance, “bombshell” from Victoria Secret.  – $18.00 value
Has a light floral fragrance = perfect for Spring. 🙂

Yarn on the menu…

Started the weekend off with a trip out to two NJ yarns shops with a bunch of friends. We visited, Yarn De Vous & the Lion Brand Outlet. I saved my yarn purchases for the outlet store where I’d get serious deals. I also picked up two circular knitting needles: #8, 24″ & #10, 32″…for the throws I intend on making ☺



WIP on my H hook…

Newborn size vs teeny preemie size…

Crocheting using Caron one pound yarn & Bernat for accent stripes.


So much smaller than this newborn baby hat

Making a dozen of these for the preemie hat project of my Stitch & Bitch.


On my hooks…


I laid down my knitting needles for the weekend to crochet some newborn hats for our hospital project. Using Caron One Pound yarn. A lot of Pink & Mint!!

I’m still knitting the wash clothes …halfway done for my 30 count goal.