September 30, 2011

Fresh & Healthy...from Costco

We've all been at Costco, or Sam's Club, or BJ's, depending on your region during sample hour. Dips, cheeses, cakes, pizza, meatballs on a toothpick, pretzel crisps, frozen hors d'oeuvres are yours for the sampling at the end of each aisle. It's a grazers paradise. I can also say that my facebook status has a few times been.."Damn, I missed sample hour at Costco!" It makes it too easy for making poor decisions. This is just a little idea from me to you on purchasing and eating healthy from Costco.
You will need a bag of frozen tilapia filets and a frozen bag of asian stir-fry veggies. Coat the tilapia with a mixture of honey, soy sauce, chopped green onions, red paper flakes, sesame seeds and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. While the fish is baking, stir fry your frozen veggies in hot oil (I use olive) and a few spritz's of soy or teriyaki sauce until crisp cooked. And that's it...a quick, healthy meal from Costco that will save you from eating half a box of spanakopita (you know what I am talking about fellow Costco-ers!)
While not an true recipe, I am still going to link up for some recipe swaps. I gotta break out some recent Southern Living and conduct my test kitchen again. Remember this gem:

Thank you for dropping by ~ I appreciate your visit! xoxox Traci


September 28, 2011

No Purchase Necessary...

So the Publishers Clearinghouse has sucked me in. I've been completing the entry processes for over a year now, in hopes that they will park that van in front of my house (while I unknowingly answer the door in curlers and a muu-muu) and present me with a very large cardboard check for 10 million dollars. While no purchase is necessary, multiple times per week I am forced to page down through tons of stuff & magazines to complete my entry process (anyone else?? Only me...ok). Here is a sampling of the the temptations I am offered:
There is no family more patriotic than ours, but I'm afraid this would give the kids nightmares.
A close-up of the accessories. All this could be yours for $23.96.
Who wouldn't want this in their display cabinet/curio/hutch, etc...This colorful DAGGER will run you about the same as the set above...
There was a guy I went to high school with the nickname "belt buckle", he would LOVE this.
Who needs to drop a ton of cash at Brookstone on a Tranquil Moments Sound Therapy machine/clock when you can get this for the low price of $29.96? Although, it is SO colorful, I may have trouble darkening the room...

All joking aside, if you have any of these products, I apologize. I'm just a bit more subdued when it comes to decorating and my style. Confession: I actually have purchased something from the PCH folks in hopes that it will better my chances of winning. I received 8 microfiber washcloth sized cleaning rags...for $17.96. It will be so worth it when my winning commercial is aired during the Super Bowl next year.

Thanks for dropping by xoxo Traci

September 27, 2011

Summer Winds

are apparently still around, cause it's downright sultry around here! my foray back into Semi~Wordless Wednesdays is not wordless at all, but they aren't my words, they're Franks.
The summer wind, came blowin' in - from across the seaIt lingered there, to touch your hair- and walk with meAll summer long, we sang a song - and then we strolled that golden sandTwo sweethearts, and the summer wind
Like painted kites, those days and nights - they went flyin' byThe world was new, beneath a blue - umbrella skyThen softer than, a piper man - one day it called to youAnd I lost you, i lost you to the summer wind
The autumn wind, and the winter winds - they have come and goneAnd still the days, those lonely days - they go on and onAnd guess who sighs his lullabies - through nights that never endMy fickle friend, the summer wind

the summer wind
warm summer wind mmm the summer wind

Photos courtesy of my In-Laws back yard (at the beach lucky ducks!) and lyrics courtesy of Frank Sinatra (but then you knew that...)


Halloween around the Hutton Home ~ Part One

It's a bit rough to get motivated to start decorating for the Autumn/Halloween season, when we still have walls and ceiling torn open from Irene. Still, it's all about the kids and for them I'll do anything. So while it's a bit more subdued than my norm, the warm holiday touches have put me in a better mood. Above you can see my black rose, crow and spider arrangement illuminated by candlelite...
Most of my Halloween decor came right from Dollar Stores, including the pumpkinhead plaque and autumn garland.
Miniature heirloom rocker adorned with a spooky skeleton lantern and pillow.
Miniature pumpkins and gourds fill a wire basket that I the GARBAGE!
Black cat candy bags embellish dining room chairs. If my things weren't purchased at a Dollar Store, they were bought here: Good Times!!

Keep an eye out for Part Two and as always ~ thank you for visiting my blog!! xoxo Traci

Linking up to:

September 23, 2011

The Chocolate Belles

I'm lucky enough to live near a fabulous candy & cake craft shop, The Chocolate Belles. The store has been a fixture in our area for as long as I can remember. They are now online for your shopping pleasure. Not only do they offer TONS of products, they have instructional videos. If you're nearby, they offer candy-making and cake-decorating classes. They made the favors for my baby Brennans baby shower and they came out beautifully. Wish I had a pic of the caramel, butterscotch and chocolate safari animals beautifully packaged.
Last nite I made a batch of *fall leaves* chocolate lollipops for Collins Birthday this weekend to distribute during his soccer game on Saturday.
Of course my pictures are loaded backwards....I'm a lil' rusty...

You just melt the chocolate (they sell chocolate in almost every color, too!) in the micro for about 1 minute at 40% power. Affix the sticks in the molds, spoon in the melted chocolate and stick in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Repeat.
Here is my "artistic" photo. Lollipops in a gravy boat...not so much. I cellophane bagged the pops and tied them with ribbon. Going to do a batch of Halloween pops for Brennans birthday at school as well...

I know not exactly a "foodie" post, but I wanted to share this fabulous project and site. Please visit The Chocolate Belles for more information and ideas:

September 22, 2011

I did not fall off the face of the earth...

Just kinda had the wind knocked out of me (pun intended)
We prepped the house and yard for the storm, knowing full well that storms that pass near the Jersey Shore never cause much damage. Winter Nor'Easters are more dangerous to us. So away went the outdoor furniture, plants & pots, ice was made, flashlights and lanterns were gathered. Hurricane party food & drinks were being planned...I almost want to say it was festive?!
My in-laws live on a thin strip of barrier island between the Barnegat Bay and the mighty Atlantic...they were under a mandatory evacuation, so they came to us about 5 miles inland. When all was said & done, they lost a screen off a window.
On the other hand....We lost 3 trees, a shed (that was atrocious anyway), fence, our flag pole. The storm winds dislodged our chimney off of the house allowing water to seep in and flood our living room. We also have a leakage issue in our dining room...not sure what caused that one.
My former house was a 1915 bungalow about 400 feet from the bay and with ancient trees, was spared during every above-mentioned Nor'Easter and/or trop storm. This newer home (30 years), not so lucky (they don't make em' like they used to...)

But, everyone was ok and that is all that counts. "stuff" can be fixed & replaced. So we are going through that process now. We are still dealing with insurance claims & adjusters, but when all is said and done, I will have some projects to plan. That makes me happy :)
My neighbors home was under contract when this tree fell on it. Thank the lord it was vacant. Needless to say, it is back on the market.

PS ~ I miss blogging. I miss my blog friends. I have lots to share over the next few weeks...just trying to get my groove back. Thank you for stopping by xoxox Traci