Friday, January 24, 2014

Orange You Glad ...

orange frank sinatra quote







We are in the deepest depths of winter here in PA. The weather has been brutal. We seem to get some snow every couple of days and the temperature has been in the single digits, hitting negatives at night and early mornings.  Personally, I do not like winter. Its long and seems never-ending in the midst of it. BUT, I've been trying to not let it get me down. I'm trying hard not to focus on it too much. I've been trying to exercise more regularly and eat better. Its a slower time for photos, so I've been reading and studying photography more. I planted a small rosemary plant as well as some rosemary seeds - having green, living plants indoors can help reduce stress and provide a feeling of well-being.  I'm all for that! I'm catching up on my nursing CEUs - I have to earn 30 credits every two years to renew my license, and have only earned 3 so far (due in October) - you could say I'm slacking a little bit in that department.  Finally, I'm trying to keep my family healthy through this winter season ... so far, so good. (knock on wood).

I've also been eating lots of clementines. They are about as sweet as candy with a little bit of a tang to them. They are juicy and a decent source of vitamin C. Also, they are orange; nice, bright orange. It's such a cheerful color ... "the happiest color", as Frank Sinatra said.

Looking on the bright side, January is almost over. February is a short month and my daughter's spring (yes, spring) track starts in March. That means warmer weather should be soon to follow. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

So here's to trying to focus on the brighter side!  :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

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I'm a little late on this post, but as promised, I'm sharing the French Onion Soup recipe I used last week. I adapted the recipe from  This recipe was easy and the soup was fantastic!! It makes a mild, somewhat sweet broth, not quite as dark as a traditional Onion Soup. We loved it, as it reminded us of the French Onion soup at one of our favorite little French Restaurants in NYC, Parigot, located in SoHo.

The ingredients I used include:
4 Tablespoons butter                                
1 teaspoon salt                                          
2 large red onions, thinly sliced                
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced          
48 oz organic chicken broth                      
14 oz organic beef broth                            
1/2 cup red wine                                      
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce          
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
 salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 thick slices French or Italian bread
8 slices Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced, room temp
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese, room temp
4 pinches paprika


First, melt the butter in a large pot over med-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. (I used a mandolin to slice my onions thin enough). Cook 35 minutes until the onions caramelize and form somewhat of a syrup, continue to stir.



Next, mix in the chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and worcestershire sauce. Bundle the fresh herbs, the parsley, thyme and bay leaf, together with twine and place in the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, continuing to stir. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce heat to low, add vinegar as well as salt and pepper. Cover and simmer while bread is prepared.



Preheat broiler. Arranged bread slices on a baking sheet and broil for three minutes, turning once, until toasted on both sides. Remove from heat, leaving broiler on.


Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each 2/3 full with soup and top with a slice of toasted bread.


Thinly slice Gruyere cheese and place on top of toasted bread. Sprinkle 1/4 of the asiago over it. Sprinkle each with paprika.


Broil for 5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve hot.


My crocks are small, so there was quite a bit of soup left over. I toasted extra slices of bread and stored them in an airtight container for the next day. I reheated the soup, placed the toast on top and added the cheese. I then placed them under the broiler and it made for an awesome lunch the next day! I hope you give it a try!!

have a fantastic weekend!
xo, tish

Friday, January 10, 2014

Staying Warm & Cozy

The Polka-Dotted Coffee Mug

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen this photo this week. I received this most adorable red polka-dotted mug from my bestie for Christmas. I love mugs, pottery and anything with polkadots, so she completely nailed it! :) 

Anyway, we are slowly warming up from the effects of the Polar Vortex. It's been a bitter week here in PA. We've done everything in our power to stay warm including bumping up the temperature in the house, dressing in layers, wearing scarves to keep our necks warm, drinking warm beverages and eating soup for dinner. My husband isn't exactly a soup-lover and even he was on-board with soup for dinner! We made homemade French Onion soup for the first time ever. I did document the process, so hopefully there will be a post coming early next week. Last night I made a version of the Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. That is one of our all-time favorites around here. I've made it several times over the last few years. You can find the recipe I used at

Anyway, we are finally on an upswing. Today is actually suppose to hit 35-degrees which seems much more bearable and temps are suppose to be up in the mid 40s tomorrow! It will be a nice reprieve from all this bone-chilling cold we've had lately. Sending warm thoughts your way! 


Linking up With:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year

Happy New Year to you all!

Our family likes to ring in the New Year at home with our girls. For several years now too, 
we've celebrated with our besties. It makes for some fun times and great memories. 

This year, I had the idea to use my black backdrop and create a photo booth. I am so
glad I did too! We had a blast!! I found these adorable New Years Printables over at I Heart Naptime by Erin of Strawberry Mommycakes. I printed them and the girls did an 
awesome job of cutting them out and adding that extra touch of sparkle with glitter.

The photo booth added a new level of excitement to our NYE celebration. As an added bonus, we captured some great memories. I think we found ourselves a new NYE tradition!  













I used my tripod and remote to capture a group shot as we rang in the new year. What I didn't expect to see was Miley Cyrus photo bombing our picture!! We laughed hysterically and still find this so crazy!  


A NYE must: Ringing in the new year with a family kiss. 


So, from me to you: I wish you a happy, healthy & safe New Year. May it be full of joy and all the best for you and your families. 


“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” 
— Oprah Winfrey

Happy New Year, 
xo, tish
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