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30 Weeks - Nursery Progress

Painting the Nursery - Silver Drop - Behr

From Etsy

Baby Mod - Parklane Crib 

My little project.

Exhibit A:

the reason for being blog absent! Our girl is due around Christmas!



I have not the time or energy latley to update my blog or read any others. Life has just been too busy! Will return shortly with updates!

Happy Heart Day!

If you have it [Love], you don't need to have anything else, and if you don't have it, it doesn't matter much what else you have. ~ Sir James M. Barrie

I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary. ~ Margaret Atwood

Love is a slippery eel that bites like hell. ~ Bertrand Russell

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop. ~ Anonymous

All you need is love - The Beatles

A Valentine's Day Dinner

On the menu for the one I love:

Rachael Ray's Minestrone
Gina's Collard Greens
Ina's Bay Scallop Gratin

Rachael Ray's Minestrone
Serves 4
4 Roasted Tomatoes, chopped,
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 (1/8-inch thick) slice prosciutto di Parma, about 1/4 lb, optional
1 onion, chopped
2 to 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves roasted garlic (from roasted tomato recipe), recipe follows
1 red chili pepper, finely chopped or thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb small potatoes, chopped or 1 cup small pasta
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained
1 (15 to 15.5 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
5 oz. fresh, thin green beans, cut into thirds
1 small head escarole or small bundle chard, shredded
Lemon zest
Parmesan cheese, shredded, for topping
Hot, crusty bread for mopping

Set aside or prepare the stock and roasted tomatoes.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat, add extra-virgin olive oil, a couple of turns of the pan. Add the prosciutto and stir a couple of minutes. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and chili pepper, season with salt, and pepper. If you are using potatoes, add them here. If you are using pasta, heat a second medium pot of water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Cool the pasta and drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Cover and store separately from the soup.

Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, prepared stock and prepared tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil and add the green beans. Bring the soup back to a bubble, then turn off the heat and cool the soup. Store the soup in the refrigerator for a make-ahead meal.

To reheat the soup: Place the soup over medium-high heat. Crisp up the bread in a warm oven. When the soup comes to a boil, stir in the cooked pasta, escarole, and a little lemon zest. Turn off the heat when pasta is warmed through. Serve the soup in shallow bowls and top with cheese, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and crusty bread alongside for mopping.

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Intermediate

Gina's Best Collard Greens


  • 5 bundles collard greens
  • 4 cups salted water
  • 3 large smoked ham hocks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Thoroughly wash collard greens. Be sure to pull leaves apart and remove any sand. Chop collard greens.
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to a simmer. Place smoked ham hocks in salted water and cover for about 90 minutes. Cook ham hocks until slightly tender. In the same saucepan, add remaining ingredients and collard greens.
Cover and cook greens for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
*Cook's Note: Make sure at least half of ham hocks are covered with water. If not, add additional water.

Bay Scallop Gratin


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, minced
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 pound fresh bay scallops
  • Lemon, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place 6 (6-inch round) gratin dishes on a sheet pan.
To make the topping, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the garlic, shallot, prosciutto, parsley, lemon juice, Pernod, salt, and pepper and mix until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the olive oil slowly as though making mayonnaise, until combined. Fold the panko in with a rubber spatula and set aside.
Preheat the broiler, if it's separate from your oven.
Place 1 tablespoon of the wine in the bottom of each gratin scallop and discard. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and distribute them among the 3 dishes. Spoon the garlic butter evenly over the top of the scallops. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the topping is golden and sizzling and the scallops are barely done. If you want the top crustier, place the dishes under the broiler for 2 minutes, until browned. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley and serve immediately with crusty French bread dish. With a small sharp knife, remove the white muscle and membrane from the side of each