Tom & I are off to Costa Rica, in case you didn't know. The car service will be here in 15 minutes, so I'll be brief. I hope everyone has a good week. I don't know if I'll have access to a computer, but, I'll tell you all about our trip when I get back. Please keep your fingers crossed that we will get to play with monkeys!! And to Paul Raff; Costa Rican monkeys are beautiful, gentle animals that do not throw poo!
We had such a great Thanksgiving with Roxanne, Owen, & friends. The food was great & so was the company. We ate, drank & played musical instruments. I know it sounds bizarre, but, Roxanne is a musician & she has quite a collection of instruments. The jam session happened quite organically after some drinks.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I know that food is the big focus today, but I wanted to include some things that Tom & I are grateful for.
So, here's Tom's list.
* positive & loving people in my life.
* being able to be creative for a living.
* George W. Bush by law can not run for President of the USA again.
I'm grateful for-
* My big, loud,& sometimes crazy, family. We may not always agree but, they are always there for me.
* Friends, old & new who really add to the quality of my life.
* Finding my life passion & sharing it with others whole-heartedly.
And of course we are both grateful for all the fabulous food we will wolf down today!
Tom found this recipe a couple of years ago & we love it. It serves 6-8 people so double it if you're having a large gathering.
1 lb fresh cranberries
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/ pint orange juice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup of water
Place cranberries & all of the other ingredients in a saucepan. Make sure there is enough water to cover the cranberries. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat & simmer for an hour or until the sauce has thickened. Taste for sweetness, more sugar can be added if needed. Make sure the sauce has a good, thick consistency. Let cool slightly before serving.
This is a big hit. I never have any scraps leftover. You can modify the recipe by using less white & brown sugar. It still will taste great.
6 sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter & 1/3 cup melted butter
1 teas. vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teas. salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
* Preheat oven to 350. Grease large casserole dish.
* In large pot, cover potatoes with water & boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
* Place potatoes in mixing bowl & beat on low until they break apart. Increase the speed & blend till smooth.
* Reduce speed & add white sugar, milk, 1/2 cup butter, vanilla, eggs & salt. Mix well.
* Allow potato fiber to remain on beater & remove. Pour mixture into casserole dish.
* In small bowl whisk together brown sugar, flour, pecans, & 1/3 cup butter. Sprinkle mixture over potatoes & bake for 40 minutes.
Tom & I have been staying in NYC for Thanksgiving for the past few years. We've been flying Kyle out here & cooking for him & our friends. This year we are not cooking or flying Kyle here. We leave for Costa Rica Saturday at 5 a.m. so, it doesn't make sense to make a big turkey dinner. We won't be home to eat the leftovers. We were going out to dinner until my friend Roxanne invited us to her house. She has what she calls an orphan Thanksgiving. She invites people who don't have any other place to go or don't want to travel. She is going to let me set the table & put together the centerpiece. I'm psyched. I'm also going to make my Aunt Maria's cheesecake cause the crust didn't come out right the last time I made it. I'm going to pass on some of our favorite Turkey Day recipes to you throughout the week.
I've been shopping for a bathing suit for my trip & now I'm so depressed. I don't hate my body. I went through all of that angst during my teens & early twenties. I'm also not a self conscious person. I walk around in my apartment & even sleep naked, but I hate bathing suits. I need an athletic suit for Costa Rican adventures. Have you ever tried those things on? They are suppose to fit like a glove so you don't get a wedgey while swimming, well they also accentuate any slight bit of fat that you may have. Even my back looked blubbery in the thing. So, I'm at a loss. I need a suit, but don't think I can handle another day of standing in front of a mirror while the fluorescent lights make my cellulite thighs glow. YUCK! I'm going to see if they have nude beaches there. If the monkeys are going to be naked then so shall I.
I have not been able to post a picture of the centerpieces/favors I made for my sister's baby shower. I brain farted & forgot to take my digital camera & taking a picture of a picture doesn't work. So, I'll walk you through it.
* Start with a large deep wicker type basket. We used a pumpkin one.
* Buy individual potted plants in different varieties & colors. Home Depot or your local nursery carry them for $1.99 - 3.99.
* Wrap the plastic pots in decorative foil. We used gold.
* Place plants in the bottom of the basket. Use plants of lower height for the base(ivy, etc). 4-5 should fit depending of the size of the basket.
* Layer a second level of plants using different heights & colors. 5-6 should fit depending on basket size.
At the end of your party/event tell your guests to take a plant of their choice from the basket. This is their favor.
Tom & I leave for Costa Rica next Saturday & we need to drop a few pounds, so we're both on the SB diet. I'm hoping that my cottage cheese ass will look less cheesy in 10 days. I'll be making my grandmother's manicotti for the Food Network audition & of course that's not part of phase 1 of the diet, so I'll freeze them. Well, maybe I'll have just one.
I googled my name Dawn Falcone, last night & I actually showed up on the 1st page of Google! How cool is that? My website also shows up, but you have to string all of the words together.
I received emails about the Food Network gig & everyone thinks I should just go for it, so Tom will film me this weekend. Hey guys, you don't have to email your comments, just post them right on the site.
Well, I guess I didn't get the WE TV gig, since they are taping it today. Tom & friends want me to submit myself for a Food Network contest. They are looking for an unknown to host their own cooking show. I'm a good cook not a chef & don't want to sell myself as one. Yes, I'm writing a cookbook, but my strength is the decorating, designing & organizing aspect of the lifestyle arts. What do you guys think I should do? The deadline for this thing is Nov. 30th.
The baby shower went well. People really liked the centerpieces & favors. They were my mom's idea & I executed them. I took pictures, but not with a digital camera. I'll try to get the pics out to you. Someone offered to buy wine biscuits from me. I'm not sure what I should charge for a decorated tin full of them. I also visited a friend this weekend & walked through her house & gave her decorating ideas for her trim a tree party. She said that decorating peoples' homes for the holidays is becoming big business in R.I. I would love to do that!! I'm available to trim trees!!
My nephew Robert Amalio Olobri is doing well. He's breathing on his own & has started to take a small amount of the bottle. He is 4lbs & 13 ounces & 16 1/2 inches long. He would have been huge if he was carried full term. And of course, he's the most beautiful baby ever. Well, I didn't actually see his face, since he was sleeping & his head was turned away, but I think he's perfect.
My nephew was born yesterday at 1:30 pm. I do not have all of the details yet, but, he was 6 weeks early & weighed around 4 & 1/2 lbs. I'm going to R.I. to meet him. I'm an auntie!!! Have a good weekend.
I wanted to show you some pictures from Saturday's party. I didn't take many since I was the chef & hostess.
Everyone is smiling for the camera except Paul who is staring at the meatballs & sausage.
Norman making tea for us with the authentic Chinese tea set he gave me.
Tom & his cannoli
My sister was placed in the hospital again, but this time they are keeping her until the baby is born. It looks as though he will be here some time next week, 6 weeks early. My family & I are scared & frustrated. Frustrated because my sis hasn't been listening to the doctors about her diet or bed rest. And of course we're worried about the little guy coming so soon. Hopefully, everything will turn out fine. I will wait to let my sis have it after my nephew is here. So, now I'm going to take her place at the baby shower this weekend. I'll be greeting the guests & opening the gifts. My goal is to have everyone out of there in 2 hours!
I had an audition on Monday for Women's Entertainment Television. They are looking for a decorating expert to film short tip vignettes. You know, like the tips at the end of Queer Eye. I have no idea how it went. I brought some samples of my work & we chatted. The casting person liked my site & even mentioned Tom & my Halloween costumes. So, I'll let you know if I get the gig. Hey, can all of you call or email We TV & tell them; "We Want Dawn, We Want Dawn. We Want Dawn, We Want.........
Things went well last night. Everyone loved the dinner & dessert was a hit. I decided to serve lasagna as the third course. The lasagna took so long to cook, so there was quite a time gap between the 2nd & 3rd course . I definitely should have put it in while we were eating the antipasto(1st course). The cheesecake tasted great, but the crust stuck to the bottom of the pie plate. I think I used too much butter in the crust. I'll call Auntie Maria & see what she thinks. Overall, I learned a lot & perfected 3 new recipes. I'll have to make the cheesecake again. I'm not sure my thighs can handle it.
Tomorrow is the big party & I still have much to do. The cheesecake & wine biscuits are done. I finished making the napkin rings and vases for the centerpiece. I still have to put together the lasagna & get the stuff for the 3rd course. I'm making some kind of scallop dish, I haven't quite figured out what, yet. And I have to go to the Italian Deli for the stuff for the antipasto. And finish the flower arranging for the centerpiece. And go to the liquor store for sambuca. And go pick up some Italian pastries. Oh, & I have to leave for work in an hour!! Having a dinner party is a bit stressful! Wish me luck tomorrow.
Today is Tom & my anniversary. We both have been so busy with work, side projects and Saturday's dinner party that it kind of slipped our minds. So, I'm officially wishing my man a Happy Anniversary. We'll celebrate on Saturday with our friends!! I love you sweetie!! I know that's kind of corny, but I'm allowed on this special day.
I'm very sad today & in a bit of shock. It looks like W is going to win again. I honestly don't understand it. Since he took office, the economy, environment, deficit have all gotten worse. And we are involved in a senseless war. I think the saddest thing of all is how he has divided our country. W is not a "uniter".
I'm glad I have my dinner party to focus on. Tomorrow I will make wine biscuits & hopefully, Auntie Maria's cheesecake. I still have to get the recipe from her. I'm off to work & I'm feeling a bit weepy, so I'll have to treat myself today. I'll be eating lots of Italian bread & twizzlers!
I tried to keep busy today. I made my sauce for the lasagna, shopped, went to Brooklyn, all to avoid the exit polls. I don't want to get my hopes up. Now I'm going to make napkin rings & put the malork (evil eye) on W.
We went to the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village last night. It was extremely political, as were our costumes. Tom & I were stopped constantly to have our pictures taken. We were a hit, as least in NYC, I'm sure we wouldn't have gone over well in Texas. I was going to post a picture, but Tom thinks that some people wouldn't be able to have a sense of humor about it & trouble could ensue. So, I'll tell you what we were & decide about the picture later. I was a femme fatale, assassin & Tom was my target. Tom was dressed as W, hopefully, former Pres. Of the USA. He wore a full suit with a very presidential tie & his mask was great. I wore a black catsuit & had lots of artillery (fake of course).