Wednesday, May 20, 2009

9 Years Ago Today...

I got married! I can't believe today is my 9 year anniversary. How did that happen?!?

We got married at a place down in the Village - it was a converted carriage house. I didn't want it to be very formal and I was on a budget. I opted for cocktail style seating because I didn't want everyone to be stuck at their table the whole time. Forget it! That went over real well. All the older folks were trying to find their little card with a table number and name on it. Was none. So, all the parents and the elders made a bee line straight to a table. They practically held them hostage for their friends. My mom even danced with my friend Billy as a way to get him out of his seat so one of her friends could snag it. Very tricky mom. Like your way of thinking!

Our friend Woody drew this caricature of us.


I thought it was hysterical and had it hanging on our fridge for years until we moved.

I think we both look pretty funny. The hubs has a striking resemblance to Bert....of Bert and Ernie. Don't ya think??

This is how we really looked...I think a bit better than his drawing.


The highlight for me was the dessert. As I mentioned I was on a budget so I opted to do a cupcake cake rather than a traditional wedding cake. That went over reeeeal well with Gloria my mother-in-law. I think in the end she liked it though. We had a small 6 in cake on top just so we'd have something to cut. The cupcakes came from The Cupcake Cafe in Manhattan.

Years before I had seen Ann Warren, the owner, on a segment of the Martha Stewart Show and thought if I ever got married, I would love for her to do my cake. And, she did! I made the cake stand with the help of my friend Karen. She was my right hand person throughout my wedding -really helping me with every detail. I got the stuff from NY Cake & Bake and the night before we stayed up late, making this cake stand and doing all the flower arrangements.


I think it came out great though, and back then, it was a real novelty.

Not sure what we'll be doing today to celebrate but I'm sure a cupcake will make an appearance!

At least I hope so.

And The Winner Is...

Well I did the fair on Sunday at the Riverdale Temple . It turned out to be more of a flea market style fair than a crafts fair. Not really the ideal setting for me but I still got to meet some nice people and sold some of my books and clips. Since most of my photo books are one of a kind, I get a little sad when I sell them. I get attached to these things! Crazy, I know.

As I mentioned, I was having a drawing for a dozen FREE personalized chocolate bars. With the aid of my personal assistant, we have a winner.
Drum roll please...

Congratulations Larry!!

There is a possibility that I will be doing another fair on May 30th at St. Gabriel's - also in Riverdale. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting Ready For The Fair

Tomorrow I'm going to have a table at the Spring Fair that the Riverdale Temple is having. I'm frantically trying to get all of my stuff ready.

I have my business cards, sign up sheets and order forms (which by the way I get through Design-her Gals - LOVE THEM!!!)


my accordion photo books,


"oh so cute" hair clips,


and personalized chocolate bars.


Just have to pack everything up and I should be ready!

If anyone is in the area, stop by to say hi. I'm going to have a drawing for a dozen free personalized chocolate bars!! Just in time for Graduations, Father's Day, Bridal Showers and Baby Showers.

Riverdale Temple
Sunday May 17th - 9am - 3pm
4545 Independence Avenue (246th Street at Independence Avenue)
Riverdale, NY

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pizzelle Cookies

A few holidays back, my Italian mother-in-law Gloria gave me a Cuisinart pizzelle press. I was so excited because I love pizzelles! They kind of look like flat round waffles:

Pizzelle Cookies - 32

I really like this cookie because it's thin and crispy and is not overpoweringly sweet. I usually make vanilla with a hint of lemon zest but this time I wanted to try something new so I came up with Orange Fennel Pizzelle Cookies. They came out pretty good but I think I like the lemon ones better. I don't think I used enough orange zest because I could barely taste it. The fennel was good though. Fennel seed has a kind of licorice taste, which normally I don't like. (was NEVER a fan of Good & Plenty)

It wasn't until I was halfway done that I decided to take pictures so I don't have any of the actual ingredients pictured. Next time I'll try to plan better!

So, here goes...

First you need the pizzelle machine - you need to heat it up a few minutes before you start making the cookies.

Pizzelle Maker

Sorry for the crumbs but as I mentioned, I didn't start taking pics until AFTER I started!

Spray the inside with Pam cooking spray for BAKING. This is so the cookies won't stick. The dough is kind of wet and sticky, but don't worry it works. You only need about a heaping teaspoonful for each cookie.

Pizzelle Cookie Dough - 1

You can see the orange zest in the dough.

Place the dough in the machine


Put the lid down for about a minute or so, and then they're done!


It's a little time consuming because you can only make 2 at a time.

Take them off with a plastic spatula so you won't scratch the surface of your machine. Then let them cool on a cooling rack. When they come out they are a bit soft, but they crisp up as they cool down.


Mmmm, nice and thin and crispy.


Once they cool, it's time for the powdered sugar. Could it get any better??

Powdered Sugar - 2

Sprinkle it over the cookies using a small strainer.

Pizzelle Cookie - 14

Pizzelle Cookies - 32

Load them up on a cake plate for a nice presentation. It also makes easy access for snacking!

Pizzelle Cookies - 29

Pizzelle Cookie - 38

Still looking for a Mother's Day Gift? These would make a great gift for the mom with a sweet tooth or for the mom that likes to bake. So, find your pizzelle machine and whip up a batch of these cookies and wrap them up with the cake plate. Or, if you're going to someone's house, you can make smaller hostess gifts by placing about 6 cookies in clear cello bags and tie with nice ribbon.

Pizzelle Cookie - 44

Pizzelle Cookie - 45

Does anyone else out there have one of these machines? Do you use it? What's your favorite pizzelle recipe?

Here's mine:

Orange Fennel Pizzelle Cookies (makes about 28 cookies)

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (I used unbleached)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
small pinch of kosher salt
zest of one orange (I used one but next time I would try 2 for more orange flavor)

1 - preheat the pizzelle machine
2 - melt the butter
3 - zest your orange(s) and set aside
4 - place eggs and sugar in mixer and beat for a minute or so until thickened
5 - in a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt
6 - once the butter has cooled down a bit, mix it up with the eggs and sugar. Also add your vanilla extract, fennell seed and orange zest. Mix for another minute.
7 - slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined
8 - Remember to spray the inside of the machine with a baking cooking spray and now you're ready to start making your cookies
9 - place a teaspoonful of batter on each side of the pizzelle machine. Put the lid down and cook for about a minute or so. You can check and if it's not dark enough, cook for another few seconds.
10 - place cookies on a cooling rack and when cooled down, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Monday, May 4, 2009

There's No Place LIke Home

Whoa - I can't believe the date of my last post was in August! What a slacker I've been. Well, I do have some excuses for at least a few of the months:

  • Sold our house in Florida
  • Moved back home PERMANENTLY to New York
  • Got a 3 bedroom apartment in Riverdale and had to unpack (still working on this one)
  • Got my kids settled in their new schools
  • Sold through an auction on - Boo Hoo! No actually, it was a good decision.
  • Been trying to think of what to write for my comeback post!!

See, I HAVE been busy!

Well, being back in NY has been so great for me. Although I would really love to be living back in the city on the upper west side, Riverdale will do for now. At least it's close so I can get in often. I have to say though, each time I am back there (which is at least once a week) I keep thinking I HAVE TO figure out how to get back in. I feel most comfortable and more myself as I am walking around the streets of Manhattan whether its meeting friends for lunch, shopping, or doing some fun activity, I just LOVE it!! The crowds and noise never bother me. I love the energy and it feels like there is always something going on. It's hard to explain. I know some people just can't stand it. My husband will probably never want to live there again. (hmm, that may be a problem) But there are others that feel the same way I do. There's just no other place that feels like home.

One thing I love about being back again is having more than one season. I especially love Fall and Spring. It's so hard to believe I lasted in Florida when the one season I really don't like (to put it mildly) is Summer.

I've been taking lots of pictures lately. I've taken pictures from my bedroom window each time the season changed. We face a courtyard and just beyond that is the Hudson River. Here you can see the changes.

So, from here on I will try to write something regularly - usually about my latest obsessions: photography, my hair (UH! don't get me started on that topic), cake decorating, cool crafts and of course, NEW YORK CITY living!!

It's great to be home again.
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