Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

K-K-K-Katie & Hubbell

"The Way We Were" will forever remain my favorite movie; nothing has ever threatened its Number One spot. At least one time each winter, I treat myself to a repeat performance. After viewing the video last year, I guess the decision was made to purchase a new DVD copy of this classic. Memories of the movie remained intact; but I had forgotten about the replacement. What a surprise to discover it early this morning, still sealed and brand, spanking new!

I've never been out of love with Katie and Hubbell... Hubbell and Katie... and their story. It makes me wonder how many lonely people are out there, having found a true soulmate, but simply unable to bend this principle or that to find common ground. Ah, the poignancy of true love lost... an age-old story. Yes, after thirty-six years, I'm still in love with the way they were.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We're Aglow...


'Tis time for a new look in Gran's bowl. Poinsettias have been on display since Hallowe'en; they are wilting. There is something seriously wrong with this mercenary rush to each holiday. I PROTEST and will not purchase plants to include with this year's decorations. Instead, I called upon the baby Norfolk Island Pine that summered on my front porch. The simple arrangement is enhanced by the beautiful shade, gifted to me by Joe's Grandpop over forty years ago (before our home was even built!). We are privileged and pleased to cherish and harbor the memories of our loved ones.

My Bambi vs. His Bambi

Keeping Bambi safe and sound, while great white hunters search for the elusive whitetail.
This hunter? Skunked again!

My Crazy Heart Can't Wait

This is SO exciting! Jeff Bridges vies for top spot as an all-time favorite actor of mine! YIPPEE! Link:

It Is Inspiring...


Black Or Red?

Red, red, red
for us...
for sure!
We always enjoy a peaceful day of decorating on the Friday after Thanksgiving, leaving the insanity to others.
Is there not something wrong with the picture and caption below??

Friday, November 27, 2009

Degrees Of Separation

We shared space in the sixties, when I still lived in Massapequa, where I spent the best of my childhood years. Is it any wonder he's my all-time favorite? Gotta luv Neil; please read this article and then listen for yourself!

The Gift Of Kim... Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

We Love You!

Aunt Nick & The God-

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Tantalizing Aromas... Woof, Woof!"

Every Day A Brand New Baby Born!

Jane, CONGRATULATIONS on the healthy arrival of Logan Elizabeth. You've turned me into goose bumps! Please accept our LOVE and BEST WISHES for JOY and THANKSGIVING, extended to all your family!


Sometimes, you just have to gamble. In spite of the gloomy prognosis for Ike, we thought he'd like to spend a couple more holidays with us. After all, Little Guy has been a family member for eleven years. So, we blew the budget and aimed for his comfort. He seems happy! He's not demonstrating any signs of pain, such as crying or trembling. His surgical wound is healing nicely. He's contented and will surely give Mambo a run for his money, when leftovers are being put away.

The fruits of my own kitchen labor over the past few weeks are also paying off. I'm free to relax, just carefully timing the feast and anticipating its presentation... a guest in my own dining room.

Gobble, Gobble!

The Count

Though H1N1 has been the culprit in causing our long-distance kids and grands to miss today's family gathering and feast, we are blessed in that our littlest Grandchild is finally on the road to recovery. This flu is nothing to fool with, and at 2-1/2, she falls into the danger zone of the hardest hit. So, there we begin in being thankful... she is on the mend... but we'll surely miss having all of our babies together!

It is so true that the holidays have a way of magnifying the absence or loss of our loved ones. Those who can never again be in our physical presence are certainly resting on our shoulders and in our hearts. With this thought in mind, and since we are blessed to have our Matriarch with us today, I thought this song appropriate, as sung by Rosemary Clooney. Ronnie and I grew up listening to George Clooney's Aunt Rosie, a favorite of our parents. Once again, there we have the few degrees of separation in the master quilt of life.

Happy Thanksgiving... may your blessings hold the riches of love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just One

Okay, okay, I'm really not a purist, after all; I lied. My brother gets frustrated with me when I spout the virtues, or lack thereof, of certain foods. He once told me that he dreads the day I give up air, 'cause then I'll be ".... telling everyone to stop breathing!" Ha, ha. So, in my one concession to junk food (actually, junk drink), I get my one dose of aspartame per day. Just can't quit my can of Fresca. I think it's the color that I find so alluring; reminds me of the deep blue sea. Is there a patch to help me quit?

So there... are you happy, Ron? XOXO

Macs Of Different Varieties

As I type away on my Apple Mac, I'm thinking that the sweet, symbolic Mac Apple and its relatives are must-have "participants" at our Thanksgiving feast. Did you know that there are over a thousand varieties of apples in this country, all descendants of the wild crab apple? It's hard to choose a favorite; so, I don't try. With baking in mind, I take huge bags and stroll through many bins at our local farm stand. Grannies, Gala, Braeburn, Delicious - yellow and red, Macs, Rome and whatever others are available make it into my eclectic pies.

As though to confirm my thoughts, my littlest Grandson phoned me this morning, happening to mention that "his favorite is apple pie." Thought I, "Ask, Sweetheart, and you shall receive." Hey, it's not my prettiest pie, but it dripped all over my oven. That means it shall be delicious. You might notice my lame attempt to inscribe a "G" into the crust... just for my little four-year-old.

Already planned was an apple stuffing, after the rejection of over-priced, under-sized chestnuts that were available. There went tradition, with scalper prices! In preparation...

... we had boiled chicken for dinner last night, saving the broth. I cooked a bag of fresh cranberries in a light sugar syrup for just a couple minutes, till they began to pop; then drained them, saving the syrup (it will flavor something else). I also removed crusts from a loaf of potato bread and cubed it; baked on 150 for about an hour. There won't be too much bread in this stuffing.

This morning, I diced lots of onion and celery, added some carrot peel and sautéed in a couple tablespoons of light veggie oil. After it softened for a while, I tossed in peeled, cut-up apples, seasoning with thyme and pepper. A couple minutes later, in went fresh parsley, cranberries, bread cubes and slivered almonds. I added just enough broth to moisten, allowing it to blend together for a couple minutes. Tomorrow, I'll add some drippings from the turkey and heat in the oven, crisping it a tad. Use the rest of the broth, combined with turkey stock and drippings, for fantastic gravy. I cook the stuffing outside of the turkey; less risky for spoilage. The individual portions look great for presentation, placed around the bird.

Wishing all sweetness, good health and love, as you offer thanks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No Matter The Winner An Hour From Now...

This endearing pair defined a fantastic season, for me. What a success story!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Going Back...Does It Work?

Well, my enthusiasm has been slightly curbed. You might recall my post about the (link) SeinfeldReunion, with all of its excitement. We watched "Curb..." for the season, with great anticipation; we had a few good, "dirty" laughs. It all ended last night, with the "airing" of the fictitious reunion show. We found the grand finale to be disappointing... unfunny... tiresome... old. Frankly, I think the goal of the show was to put Michael Richards in front of the camera again, affording him an opportunity to redeem himself (remembering his huge, racial faux pas). If so, I'm just fine with that; and I acknowledge the efforts of his good friends.


I kind of saw it coming, recalling my October post about (link) Adam Lambert. He had made his point: he's gay; who cares? I had visions of a Freddie Mercury or David Bowie on the horizon. Now, though, my liberal toes have been crushed by his vulgar performance on the AMA's last night. Wassup, Adam? Are you looking to totally annihilate your mainstream audience, with comments such as the following?

"You know honestly, if I offended some people... it's apples and oranges. I'm not an artist that does things for every single person," Adam told Access' Shaun backstage following his racy performance of "For Your Entertainment," where he kissed male keyboardist Tommy Ratliff, who is straight.

Added 11/24 - Link to excellent review in the "Arts" section of the

Sage Advice

Let's talk "sage"; not of the herbal variety, though.

As I cook away, memories of my childhood kitchen prevail. Though small, we all fit nicely, enveloped in its warm love and delicious aromas. I can picture my Gran, patiently frying the veggies for the Fritto Misto; Dad pounding the olives for the special salad; Mom concocting something from her imagination that would be spectacular; myself and Ronnie, learning to cook in a fun way... and constantly taste-testing!

No Dr. Spock necessary in those days; my family members knew well how to come together in the creation of indelible memories to cherish for a lifetime. I remain forever indebted to them.


Our local farm stand is chock full of fresh veggies, so colorful as to inspire art! Treating them properly allows for the retention of their brilliance and crunch. I never know what the plan is when purchasing; here's what I ended up with today.

First step was to clean everything. Each small spaghetti squash was pierced and microwaved for six minutes; then split apart to cool quickly. The peppers were cleaned and nuked for two minutes in an open baggie, with just the water that remained on them, after washing... same treatment for the asparagus. A tip: Undercook and they'll finish as they cool, still remaining crisp; you won't need to cold-water dunk to stop cooking.

The decision was to first mix the squash with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, lots of parsley, freshly ground pepper, and my very best EVOO. I then stuffed the peppers and froze in freezer baggies. When ready to heat and serve, I plan to top with a creamy pumpkin-béchamel sauce, as follows:

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan; add two tablespoons of flour and whisk together; cook for a minute. Then, carefully whisk in one cup of milk, bringing to a slow boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low; add a dollop of pumpkin purée; season with a pinch of salt and a dash or two of nutmeg.

The asparagus are for today. Hmmm; I'm thinking an egg-white omelette with lots of parsley and some of that grated cheese. Excuse me, please; I'm salivating and it's time for the chef's reward!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A New Old Bowl

Still lovin' my old bowls, as I wonder what stories they hold from their use in the preparation of celebratory meals.... just some random holiday thoughts from my kitchen!


While the pie (previous post) was baking, I tossed a mess of yams into the oven. When the aromas in my kitchen were sweet beyond belief, I knew everything was done. Skins peel right off well-baked yams, rendering them ready to mash with just a little low-fat evaporated milk, and then mold around halved marshmallows. Next is a quick roll in Special K, crushed together with walnuts, and spiced with cinnamon... then, onto a cookie sheet to freeze, uncovered. When solid, I'll toss them into baggies. As the bird cools down a tad, these will quickly heat for serving to kids of all ages!

Leftover mashed potatoes from this recipe have been combined with the remaining pumpkin and the last of the canned milk. Blended and put into a baggie to freeze, the concoction will end up in my pot of turkey soup, G-d willing, to be started as we put the food away on Thursday. Yes, I'm pouring my own thanks into each dish I prepare for my beautiful family.

Outrageous Alternatives

Press your favorite pie crust dough into a 10-inch quiche dish. Thinly slice apples onto the bottom. Fill with a thoroughly combined mixture of:

3 beaten eggs
2 cups pumpkin
1 1/2 cups plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (OR a mixture of your own cinnamon and spices)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes; reduce to 350 degrees. Continue baking till custard sets... approximately one hour. In spite of instructions to refrain from freezing pumpkin pie, I've never had a problem with the filling separating from the crust. I simply cannot leave everything till the last minute.

2 cups plain, low-fat yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 cup honey OR pure maple syrup
1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
a dollop of pumpkin
cinnamon to taste

Churn in your frozen yogurt maker, according to directions. Add chopped almonds and semisweet chocolate chips during the last five minutes of freezing. YUM!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Modern Day Hunt.....

.... with cell phones:

B to J.. Buck in the field. But not legal.

J.. Nothing here.

B.. Sounds like Iraq over by Fallsburg.

J.. Someone shot here at 5:45.

B.. Wow. Legal sunrise was 7 today. (ColorMeInspired heard first shot at 5:00 AM)

J.. It was dark.

B.. Nothing since the spike..lots of shots.

J.. 2 does 1 hawk

B.. Anything?

J.. I'm freezing. Nothing.

B.. Better warm up. It's only 9.

J.. Time 4 lunch

B.. Just ate. Heading back now.

B.. K. I'm back. Nothing yet.

J.. Heading back.

B.. Anything?

J.. A crow.

B.. Getting dark now.. maybe.

J.. Hope

J to N.. (After ColorMeInspired called woods) Anything wrong?

N.. Ambulance down So. Woods.

J.. Not me

N.. OK

J to B.. I'm home. Nothing.

B.. Just got in the truck.

The Creative Mind

Just yesterday, Bri and I had a conversation about the workings of an artistic mind, as related to someone we know. We discussed the consideration that such minds are always active, observing all avenues for the constant expression of creative thoughts and ideas. When G-d designated talent, MJ sure received a lion's share.

Just Back Out...

... of the Outback, before dessert!
Please left double-click to read and be sure to check out the entire Yahoo article online:

Friday, November 20, 2009

There's Some Serious Thunder...

...On The Mountain... it's hunting season... ugh!

"Afterglow" - For Jason

Summer '09 - Cape Cod Sunset "Afterglow"
(please left double-click to read poem)

When Jason's G'ma passed away last July, it was not before she defined how she chose to be memorialized. Shunning the traditional Catholic wake and funeral, Nana chose to be remembered as she loved to live; more specifically, at the casinos, where she loved to gamble, eat, laugh and play with 60-year-husband, Al, and her friends.

Yesterday, the family obliged her by arranging for a beautiful, musical Mass. While "How Great Thou Art" was not quite up to Elvis's standards, I must say, it was exquisitely delivered; I found myself singing along.

Following this uplifting (no pun intended) send-off to Heaven's gates, everyone was invited to lunch. Where? Why, at the track, of course... home to the casino. Fantastic! I must say, everyone enjoyed her echo of laughter.

Now, not to think for one moment that this woman lived frivolously. She raised Jason, who is an astounding human being. He and my Brian became good friends at a very young age, over a quarter of a century ago. He quickly became an extended family member to us. There are lots of stories to tell; but for now, suffice it to say that Cecile and Al did a helluva job. We are smiling and hoping that she'll rest in peace, her wishes fulfilled.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Knock 'Em Into Order

Trivial com-
plaints have no place in a world where a child is

fighting cancer. My new friend, pen pal Michelle, casually updated me on her status, in her latest letter. She sent along part of my Fabulous Flippers order, as well as this pin; the "gold" represents childhood cancer. Of course, I wear it every day, with the hope that it sends heart vibes over the miles and straight to her.

This girl, at thirteen, is so funny and bright AND demanding of return mail!! She's good for the soul... and for the lesson in knocking those priorities into order.

Pictured are her friends, Benjamen and Callie... soooo cute!


Rachael Ray has this blogger's admiration on yet another level. Already a fan of her show, her style, and her down-to-earth recipes, I find myself in total admiration of her courteous confidence in handling unnecessary comments from Queen Bee (so she thinks) Martha Stewart. Have you heard the news? Here's a link:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm In Awe...

... of the five thousand hits on my little blog, reached as of today.
MyThanks x 5,000 = ColorMeInspired

Abso..blankin'..lutely *A Great Choice*

PLEASE left double-click above article for a better read.

What A Thrill!

Ask me how much I love the Bee Gees and I'll ramble for-ev-ah! OMG, it was so nice to see them last night on "Dancing With The Stars"! Once again, bittersweet emotions tugged at my heartstrings, as I imagined Maurice onstage. It must be brutal for the two brothers, but this fan says, "Thank you for fifty fabulous years!" I'm so happy they took the stage again.

Of course, the icing on the cake was to see "My Girl" Kelly remain on the show. With Joe complaining about the "unfairness-according-to-skill factor," I just cheered her on. What a ray of sunshine she has been this year. Now, it's on to the grand finale.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lovable-Peaceful-Intriguing Investment

We retrieved our little buddy, Ike, from his new vet's office last night. Ike's story is one I'm not quite ready to speak to. That said, total frustration with our uncaring local vet led us to this new place and these new people. I'm pleased on more levels than I can count; there are compassionate people out there... not mercenary in any sense of the word.

The immaculate waiting room looks like someone's living room, with its coordinated wallpapers, live plants, lovely furniture and a big, friendly Blue Pit Bull greeter. That is one happy pooch, defying everything "bad" I've ever heard about the breed.

On one of the pretty couches sat a middle-aged woman, holding a stunning, jet black baby Alpaca, only one month old. We had seen Alpacas at Bethel Woods; our grandkids were intrigued. So was I, admitting here that a lot of my fascination was with the magnificent products made from their silky fleece... all displayed in a tent that adjoined the pen. Ahhh!

With no "product" available last night, my intrigue stayed focused on this little animal; I just had to know more about it. This (link) is what I found: Alpaca. Consider farming without killing; full-grown to about 130 pounds, the size of Mambo; low maintenance; friendly; smart; harmless; exquisite to observe and touch; profitable; soothing......


Monday, November 16, 2009

A Product With A Story

Should my feelings be hurt? You be the judge:

Let it be known that I'm a scratch-baker. Why? Well, because I'm also a control freak, especially when it comes to ingredients in the foods I consume. If it doesn't have healthful, nutritional value, I'm inclined to avoid it. The problem is, I want my family to avoid the unhealthy, too. My too-firm approach can sometimes backfire.

In yet another connection to my wonderful, child-rearing past, I show here a favorite photo-of-a-photo of my beautiful sons, sharing an ice cream soda at Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco. We had somewhat eaten our way through the Pier; thus, the sharing. That was an incredible vacation; not to mention that we all became fans of Ghiradelli. I sought their chocolate chips and baked many a cookie, with the Big G as a standard ingredient.
Now, back to the present. I baked cupcakes for Aubrey's party. My intent was to do so from scratch, till I heard the numbers. So, thought I, I'd use mixes and "doctor them up" to somewhat approach my standards.... you know, yogurt in place of oil, egg whites without as many yolks, no extra sugar in the icing... blah, blah, blah. That thought lasted until Joe and I were browsing through Sam's Club one day. There on an end display, I spotted the product below. Talk about Pennies From Heaven, even for somewhat of a "purist".
Everything from foil cups to chips in the cake mix was included in the box. I breezed through the baking of dozens of cupcakes in no time at all. Okay, okay; I worked a little on the presentation.
Party day arrived; the Ghiradellis got rave reviews. My psyche can take this; but the biggest rave came from Joe. He just can't stop telling me how delicious the cupcakes were. All that sugar never tasted so good; all that chocolate was never smoother. Poor Baby; was he suffering from sweetness deprivation? So, as I said, you be the judge. Not to worry, though... Joe can stay; I'm still finding sunshine and flowers.

Fiona Says...

"My humans just don't understand me. Woof!"

Rainin' Fire In The Sky

Our Colorado friends might have an advantage tomorrow morning, in viewing the (link) MeteorShower that is to occur. I think I'm jealous! Oh, to be a skywatcher on the snow, high in the Rocky Mountains.

We sure do have the fondest of family memories rooted in those Rockies. The highlights of wonder and awe experienced there are forever embedded in my brain. JD's song brings them back, detail for detail.

In lieu of a quick trip out west, though, I just might don winter clothes and drag my lawn chair out to our highest, most desolate vantage point. It would be something to capture just a bit of this light show, as it affords us more stars upon the land...