One appy down, ??? to go...

Last night, while watching "THS: Hulk Hogan and the Hogan Family" [p.s. - Hulk Hogan and I share a birthday and a middle name, weird, huh?] I began to make our pre-Thanksgiving party menu. I cuddled up on the couch with the Joy of Cooking and Come On Inn...the St. Ignatius Loyola Church cook books and started researching.

As learned in grad school, the first step of any project is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! I have a list of about 15 items I would like to make for our party [not including store bought dip/chips/etc.]. That list will dwindle down to about five [maybe six or seven]. My mind will change on a daily basis, as I obsess.

So far there are two definitive menu items: crab quarters (a cheesy-crabby spread on English muffins) and cocomoka (an alcoholic latte-esque hot cocktail).

I decided to make the crab quarters this morning. It's a beautiful fall morning and the local Acme is an exact straight-shot 2.0 miles down the road - so I grabbed a reusable shopping bag, tied my sneaks and went on my way. A quick stop at D&D [you MUST try the pumpkin coffee - SOO good] and an iTunes mix including Coldplay, the Killers, Frankie Sinatra and Kings of Leon made the trip go fast.

I have to tell you - these community cook books are second to none. After my mom gave me this one from our family parish for Christmas a few years ago, I don't think I have ever made a recipe that didn't get raving reviews. Plus, the fact that you know there is probably a good family story or two is behind it - makes whatever you're making taste that much more yummy.

Well, appy #1 is in the freezer setting into place before I can cut it into quarters and save until party day.

Here's the recipe for the Crab quarters (compliments of Nancy Plummer and Clare Flechsig/St. Ignatius Loyola Church Cookbook)

1/4 lb. butter
1 jar Old English cheese spread
1 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise
garlic salt (to taste)
7 oz. can crab meat
seasoned salt(optional)
6 English muffins, split

Blend first 6 ingredients. Spread on muffin halves. Place in freezer for one hour. Cut into quarters and freeze until ready to use. Bake frozen 15-20 minutes at 350. Serve hot.


A diamond in the rough...

Many times after either telling a colleague I'm going shopping at Michael's or showing him/her my purchase, the reaction is very similar "what are you making" or "you put that together?" I know that Michael's marketing department even dubbed it "the arts and crafts store" but there is just so much more. Please believe me when I tell you how fabulous it is. Sure, when you first walk in the doors, you may be overwhelmed with the beads and craft glue and fake flower arrangements but don't walk out the door just yet. Continuing to the back of the story and the back corner is where you can find quality home decor products for way less than you'll find in the more up-scale stores.

Since there are no fancy displays - it's going to take some imagination. If you don't feel your home decorating creative juices flowing, fear not, my friend - that's what subscribing to the up-scale catalogs and window shopping is for. [Actually, rather than subscribing to magazines just to waste all that paper peruse the on-line catalog..the displays are mostly the same and sometimes they have interactive set-ups, where you can rearrange the room you'd like! Cool, huh?]

So here is my weekend challenge to you - buy a Sunday paper, clip out the Michael's 40% off coupon and venture on. Roll-up those sleeves and dig a little deeper, explore a little further and you too, may find a great deal and scratch off someone on your Christmas list!


Our first party...

3M and I moved into our humble abode mid-June and just now are having our first bash. We live in a small, one-bedroom apartment and I never wanted to have an open ended party with fear that it would get stuffy and uncomfortable. [Ok, maybe it was selfish thinking because I get so worked up when company is over and am running here and filling a dish there and picking up trash and dropping off more hor'dourves and I needed room to breathe.]

So...knowing that one of the biggest party days of the year was just around the corner, we decided to have our apartment christening party the eve of Thanksgiving. We live in a fun, hip town with lots of bars that we actually can walk to from our house. The idea is that our friends will come over, park their cars here, have a few drinks [save a couple bucks that would have been otherwise spent at the Walt Street] and we can go out and paint the town its namesake color before calling cabs for the ride home. It's a win-win situation.

...and so, we embark on the planning phase.



Hello! Welcome to my second blog. Fact is, I started my first blog Sparkle Meets Sporty over the summer and have since realized that I did not want to be pigeon-holed in the sports genre, but rather broaden my horizons to include home decorating, cooking, organizing and the like.

So sit back, grab a nice cup of International Cafes Sugar-Free Chai Latte and enjoy. Hopefully you can learn a tip or two and please feel free to let me know your thoughts and weigh-in on your favorite things too!

Spurred by a letter to Santa...

Dear Santa,

Due to the nature of the corrupt leaders, businesses and people in recent times, I am led to believe that my own, personal actions over the past year qualify me to be a viable candidate for the "nice" list. Please consider my Christmas list, which can be found below. The items are in no particular order.

Should you have any problems with the files or have trouble locating any of the items, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much for your time and enjoy your day!

...updated for 2009, of course...