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Mmmm Soup…

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Everybody in the hot tub

Nothing is better than homemade soup on a cold winter day.  So this week I decided to make one of my Mom’s recipes, Ham and Navy Bean Soup.  It is something she created from a couple of recipes and has been making my entire life.  Usually after Christmas, since she uses the leftover ham and ham bone.

This is one of my favorite soups that I make.  It is a perfect mix of smokey, salty, sweet, and hearty.  The ham and beans give you tons of protein and the vegetables offer a nice balance.  I just ate my first bowl and I can not wait for seconds.

As far as the recipe, like I said my Mother had combined 2 recipes to create her soup.  The great thing is this is another crock-pot recipe so you can make it then leave it.

Ingredients:

7 cups of water, 1 pound dried navy beans, ham on ham bone, medium onion chopped, 1 clove garlic chopped, 1 bay leaf,2 stalks celery chopped, 2 medium carrots chopped, 2 cans beef stock, salt and pepper

Directions:

Boil navy beans in water and 1 tsp olive oil for 2 minutes then take off heat and leave covered for an hour to hydrate the beans.

Pour the beans and water into the crock-pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients. 

Cook on high for 6 hours.  When the soup is done remove the ham on the bone and chop up the ham.  Replace the ham into the crock-pot and toss the bone.  When complete serve. 

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Smells and looks so good

Until next week.  Bon Appetit!

 

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In the hot tub

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Smells so good

Since the Italian chicken came out so well I wanted to give BBQ chicken a try.  So I took out my crock-pot and started to just toss things in it.  Main ingredient is your favorite BBQ sauce, then I added a little honey, red wine vinegar, chicken stock, and some seasonings (rosemary, pepper, salt, garlic powder).  I put this all together with a few frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts and one medium onion chopped.  I kept it cooking on low for about 6 hours but it was done after 5.

BBQ chicken is easily paired with any side dishes.  Today I chose fresh green beans and a rice dish.  There is nothing like juicy chicken that just falls apart when you put your fork on it.  I think next time I could try pork.

Until next time… Bon Apettite!

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Dinner Time!

Smells sooo good

Ready to cook

Ready to cook

Recipe #2 of my year of Pinterest recipes, was a success.  The first time I read it I didn’t think it would come out this flavorful.  I found the recipe for Crock-pot Italian chicken the other day.  I was looking for something I could throw together quickly since I had a long day ahead of me and what better than a crock-pot meal.

It is as simple as

taking

chicken breasts out of the freezer and combining them with potatoes, carrots, Italian dressing, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese.  Who knew you could put frozen chicken into a crock-pot

Looks good

Looks good

for 5 hours and have a meal where the chicken literally melts in your mouth.

Take 4 frozen chicken breasts (I cut them into 3rds) and layer them staring at bottom of the crock-pot.  So 2 layers of chicken, then a bag of baby carrots, then 6 potatoes cut into halves or quarters.   Between each layer put Italian dressing, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Cook on low for 5 hours.

When I put everything in the pot I had no idea I would come home a few hours later to a bubbling pot of delicious dinner.  The potatoes were perfectly seasoned and the chicken just fell apart when you touched it.  I will definitely be making this meal again.

Until next week. Bon Appetite!

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

A year in food…

So for one of my New Year’s Resolutions I have decided that I will cook 1 new meal a week.  I want to broaden my cooking abilities.  I figure if I at least make something once it will be that much easier the next time.  Also cooking makes me happy, will keep me healthier, and will save me money since I will probably have leftovers for work lunches.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole with veggies

So last night I  made my first new dish.  I kept it simple.  I made a tuna noodle casserole with broccoli and mushrooms.  I switched up the recipe a little bit depending on what I had for ingredients.  But I think it came out pretty well, and so did my guinea pig.

Ingredients: 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can tuna, pasta, fresh mushrooms chopped, 1 med onion chopped, milk, 1 pkg frozen broccoli, and a few seasonings like garlic & pepper (it calls for dill but I didn’t have any).

A few tips for next time.  Cook pasta until aldente, boil broccoli & onion & mushrooms for 3-5 minutes.  Mix mushroom soup with milk and seasonings then add tuna, mushrooms, broccoli & onion.  Pour on top of the pasta that is now in a casserole dish.

I am really excited about my year with food… until next time Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

The reason I wanted to be a TV producer was to change people’s lives. I wanted to have a positive impact on the world. And when you work in the news business, reporting sad controversial stories every day you sometimes believe you have lost your focus, or soul. 
Since April I have been working on a project that has finally let me feel like I have made a positive impact on someone’s life. I finally had my Oprah moment. 
Fox & Friends teamed up with GAF and Ply Gem to give 3 deserving families an exterior home makeover. We chose winners from 3 categories: illness, weather related damage, and military member.
At first, I have to admit, I was not thrilled that this project was put on my plate.  It was just another thing I had to add to my mountain of work.  But slowly as the contest started to take shape and people were submitting their stories I realized that this was probably one of the most heart-warming stories I have covered and been a part of in my 6 year career.  
It was so difficult to pick 3 families from the hundreds that entered. But in the end GAF, Ply Gem, and Fox & Friends picked the Peek Family, Phipps Family, and Kurtz Family to be the first ever winners of the GAF Homeliest Home Contest. 
At the end of June, I joined the GAF and Ply Gem teams, in true publisher clearing house style, as we walked up to the front doors of the homeliest homes and announced to these very deserving families that their lives would be changing forever.  
Michelle and Dave Peek moved into their first home just thinking it would be a great start up home.  They never thought they would want to stay there forever.   You see all of their memories of their daughter Sarah, who passed away from Pulmonary Hypertension in 2010, and her 2 siblings, are within those walls.  Sarah was diagnosed at the age of 3 with PH and lived until she was 7 ½ when her heart gave out.  If you saw her bright smile and her curly blonde hair you would never have thought that she was fighting daily for her life. 
All of the Peeks time and effort went into Sarah.  They never had a moment to spare to fix their failing roof, their drafty old windows, or paint their home.  GAF and Ply Gem gave them a beautiful, welcoming, energy sufficient new home.  Now Michelle and Dave can raise their 2 other children in the home where Sarah grew up and around the corner from her final resting place. (Home Reveal)
Steve Phipps spent 23 years on submarines with the United States Navy.  He spent a lot of his time away from his wife & 3 children. In 2004 they bought a home that they thought would be perfect for them.  But unforeseen expenses with the furnace breaking, Steve getting sick, and Hurricane Irene causing damage to the house has kept the Phipps from making their house a home to be proud of.  Steve had to take an early retirement from the Navy because he has severe rheumatoid arthritis.  His disease has stopped him from being able to take care of the house and giving, as he puts it, his wife a home she deserves. (Home Reveal)
Rusty Kurtz spent 34 years in the military.  He was sent overseas countless times, his last tour was to Iraq where he was injured and developed PTSD.  Both Mr. & Mrs. Kurtz have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years but that never stopped them from opening the doors of their home to others.  Their most recent house guests have been living with them for 3 years, their nieces, Alex & Robin.  When we met this family it was obvious they deserved some TLC and so did their home.  A Warrior deserves better than broken pink cedar siding. (Home Reveal)
The transformations that these homes went through were absolutely amazing.  When I pulled up to the finished homes the morning of our live reveals there were tears in my eyes.  Ply Gem and GAF really out did themselves when creating beautiful, energy efficient homes that even reflected the personalities of the homeowners.   I would like to thank them for all that they did, and to the families… Thank you for welcoming me into your lives and giving me a chance to give back.
 

GO TEAM U.S.A.

 

If you thought the Purple People Eater did not exist, you have been wrong, he has just been disguised as Wenlock, the mascot for the 2012 Olympics in London.  You know the song… One Eyed, One horned… anyway.  It is that time again when the world gathers around their televisions to cheer on their home nation.  And Americans are no different.  It is time to show the world that we are top dog again. 

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Wenlock

 

The U.S. out shown over every country in Beijing, winning 110 medals overall (36 were gold). Makes you proud to be an American.  But personally I am hoping for more goosebump moments like when Michael Phelps broke the World Record during the Men’s 400m Medley.  And when the team broke the World Record for the Men’s 4 x 100m Free. 

The games have not even started and they have been full of firsts and controversy.  For the first time Saudi Arabia is sending women to the Olympics, but some may not compete because judo officials say head scarf is a safety concern.  A Malaysian women who will compete in the 10m Air Rifle is the first Olympic athlete to compete while pregnant.  And of course our U.S. Team Uniforms (courtesy of Ralph Lauren) were made in China.  

But just remember while you are watching the opening ceremony tonight, GO U.S.A. And I hope all Americans remember to honor and be respectful to all of the athletes from across the world. My next stop… my TV!

It amazes me how much of my day I plan around eating.  I mean have you ever stopped to think about it?  When you wake up in the morning as you are getting ready for work don’t you think… ok what am I going to make for dinner tonight?  It goes the same when I have company visit.  I always want to take them to the best places but on the best budget.  I believe the best part of visiting New York City is the food.  So you plan your site-seeing around just that… want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, sure let’s do it around lunch time so we can grab pizza in Brooklyn.  Want to go to niche restaurants…. everything from BBQ, to emapanadas to peanut butter sandwiches… well I guess we should go to the Village.  Me and my brother and sister

This past week my brother and sister came to visit me.  Thankfully they are like me… yep they love food.  So I have to plan their visit around my brothers endless stomach.  Sometimes I think he is part hobbit with their multiple stomachs.  Needless to say I eat more when I have company than when I am just alone.  Sunday our evening started with Mexican take out, Monday lunch was at a restaurant in Little Italy, followed by Pizza.  I even took them to Bronx Ale House to widen their taste buds when it comes to beer.

All in all I think this week was one of my favorites because it combined food and family.  Honestly what else is there in life.

Bon Apetit!

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