CUCINA CARA MIA.......Random thoughts from "my dear kitchen" about food, travel, Italy, San Diego and life!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I haven’t posted in a week or more – I have been kind of distracted. With what you ask? The election, the economy, the debate, the 700 billion dollar bail out. I never in my life have been so interested in politics...obsessed with watching the news, listening to the news, the commentaries, and of course, reading blogs about politics.

Without sharing with you who I would like to see President, all I can say is my mouth and my opinions have gotten me into trouble at our block party, our Bunco group and other social events. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker -in other words, I can’t keep my trap shut. But here is the interesting thing – its very stimulating and I feel like I am using my brain for something other than what new pillows should I buy today, or is the rug in the living room too small?? Believe me; ordinarily these are important decisions in my little life.

I guess my question for you dear readers is---is what is going on in these United States lately concerning you, bugging you, scaring you??

I can’t wait to till November 5th. I can get back to important things like what menu to serve for Thanksgiving this year. What new decorations I am going to buy for Christmas and what yummy home made treats I can give as gifts this year….Last year it was Italian cookies and home made Limoncello.

Please vote for the candidate of YOUR CHOICE!!!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


OK so what do you think? It came today, and I found this rug at Ballard Designs. I listened to your suggestions, I chose a light rug with yellow and green in a small pattern –I think it works well with the dark floors.

Did I make a good choice or should I return it????

Sunshine, the cat, took right to it!! I guess he was tired of laying on the wood floor…

Monday, September 8, 2008


In a recent post, I was discussing pumpkins and recipes. I went to TJ Maxx the other day and found a pumpkin spice cake mix by none other than Martha Stewart. Needing a quick recipe for our neighborhood block party, it was worth a try. You need to add butter and milk, so it’s not totally a mix. OK it is, just like Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines. With a cream cheese frosting, it actually turned out quite good.

Speaking of Martha, when my daughter Courtney was recovering from her bone marrow transplant, she would watch two Martha Stewart cooking videos over and over again. She memorized some of Martha’s little sayings and style of speaking. “Let’s get the bird” and “I’m putting my pheasant in the smokehouse” were a few of her favorite lines. We laughed all the time at this little 3 year old imitating Martha. So when Martha started publishing her magazine, I decided to send them a photo of Courtney with a Martha video in her hand. I explained her story and how she was probably Martha’s youngest fan.

Guess what we got in return –an 8 X 10 glossy photo of Martha signed by Martha….To Courtney-You’re a Good Thing!

Well, geez, at least they could have sent her a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living!!!

As I have said before, I find the best things at TJ Maxx!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I just realized that I have reached 25 posts!!!! It seems that a lot of bloggers like to have give-aways to celebrate these achievements. Ok, so it’s not 100 but I have to get rid of some of these books I have. I also would like to get rid of all of my decorating magazines from the last ten years, but I can’t part with them.

So, the first 2 people who comment get to pick one of these books for their very own. I will happily send them off to your beautiful homes.

Hopefully you actually might be interested in one of these:

Laura Ashley Complete Guide to Home Decorating
Laura Ashley at Home
Country Garden Planner
The Comfortable Home
The Romance of Country Inns
Home Landscaping
Easy Roses
Arbors & Trellises
Mary Engelbreit’s Outdoor Companion
Rachel Ashwell-Shabby Shic
Rachel Ashwell’s Treasure Hunting Guide
Mary Emmerling’s American Country Cottages
Decoratve Painting for the Home
Growing Herbs

Ready ---set---comment!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Imagine, - big, beautiful pumpkins growing by the sea in our little town. Actually the land is owned by the Self Realization Fellowship, featured in a previous post.

For years, they put on a big community Halloween Festival and they displayed amazingly decorated and carved pumpkins from their own pumpkin patch. It was a fun event to take the family to. I don’t know why, but it’s no longer done. The pumpkins still grow though. Imagine how many pumpkin pies, pumpkin cheese cakes, and pumpkin crumb cakes one could make. Hey, what about pumpkin ravioli????

If anyone has any great pumpkin recipes they would like to share, please send them my way because....

Maybe one night when it’s very dark, and the moon is bright, I will go to that pumpkin patch and steal one of those colossal pumpkins.

Just kiddin!!

Fall is upon us, even here in San Diego. Enjoy the harvest.