Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween Is Back On!


It is a new day in The Pocono Mountains today. A day of joy, peace and relief. Children in all townships can Trick or Treat tonight because Eric Frein, the 31-year-old accused of killing one state trooper and wounding another outside the police barracks has been captured. He was found at an abandoned airport Thursday, they shackled him with handcuffs belonging to Cpl. Bryon Dickson, the state trooper he allegedly fatally shot on September 12. Frein was taken away in the slain officer’s car.

It has been a nightmare that has lasted weeks which included heavy police presence, lockdowns and canceled events including a Halloween Parade that was supposed to celebrate its 50th year.

Last night, after Frein’s capture we heard the familiar sounds of helicopters above that all of us in this area have grown so accustomed to. It took a moment to sink in that it was not because they were searching for him, the search was over.

My children said it was a great feeling that they could trick or treat tonight without worrying. I have to say they are not alone with that sentiment.

Bejeweled Punch

This is a festive drink to take you from Halloween straight into the New Year. If you want to make it alcohol free for your little Goblins replace the alcohol with orange juice.


1 liter chilled gingerale

Thee 12 ounce bags- frozen cherries

3 cups puple grape juice

1 1/2 cups vodka

1/4 cup Cointreau or triple sec

Ice, for serving

Combine, gingerale, cherries ,grape juice, vodka and Cointreau in a punch bowl or large pitcher and stir well. Pou



My father-in-law died suddenly last month…it was sad and shocking and everything death is expected to be. My parents have been gone for years now, and my children never did get the chance to meet my dad.

As I sat this morning with my sweet little 2-year-old girl Lula she said “Mommy, See-Saw” I began to sing and she rocked back and forth ” See saw, knock on the door who’s there?”and Lula said the next word…”Grandpa”. The word startled me…it made me feel so completely sad and empty. Sadder than I was when I found out he passed or at his funeral.

There are no more Grandpa’s left for my children. My 2-year-old will never know him as my older children did. The loving, funny, big, strong Grandpa. The one that had all of the goodies to eat in the house even though Grandma prefered that they remain on the shelf at the store. The man who sang so beautifully to Harry Chapin songs and looked straight into your eyes when you told a story. The heartbeat of our family was gone.

I looked at my little girl and I felt so very sad for her that she would not remember him…we continued on with our rhyme and she giggled and laughed and when we were done she said “Again, mommy again.”

So, again and again, we sang..and each time that we said “Grandpa” It became easier…I could feel the sadness leaving replaced by warmth. The warmth I would feel when I saw his gentle smile and sparkling eyes.

And then I said ” Lula…again?”

Mexican Wedding Cakes


These are actually not cakes at all, but a delectable little cookie. I am requested to make my version each year during the holiday season.


These cookies do not replace the traditional wedding cake in a Mexican wedding reception but they do appear at either the dessert bar or among the buffet. They are made either in a ball or crescent shape.



1/4 pound butter…softened

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

extra powdered sugar to roll cookies in


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F In a mixer mix all ingredients just until the dough comes together. Put two teaspoons of dough at a time between the palms of your hand and form into balls. Arrange balls on baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and pale golden on top. Gently roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and then transfer to cooling rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container. Best if eaten within the week but it is doubtful they will last that long…these are seriously addicting.


Note: My little girl has a dairy and nut allergy I make these for her with Vegan, non-dairy “butter” and I omit the nuts.

Creamy Parsnip Soup


  • 2-1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, divided
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thirds
  • 1/2 medium-size onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper, plus extra to taste
  • 2 cups heavy cream


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss parsnips with oil, salt, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Spread on a baking sheet and roast about 30 minutes, or until parsnips are golden brown and softened. As parsnips are roasting, bring water to a boil. Place carrot, onion, and bay leaves, on a double layer of cheesecloth. Wrap and tie securely, and add to water. Bring to a boil; then lower to simmer 30 minutes.

Remove parsnips from oven and add to vegetable-infused water. Add remaining maple syrup, white pepper, and salt to taste. Simmer 20-30 minutes. Discard cheesecloth bundle.

Using a food processor or immersion blender, puree parsnips and broth. Add cream and simmer another 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Hot Buttered Rum

 1 cup of sugar

 1 cup of brown sugar

 1 cup of butter

2 cups of vanilla ice cream



 Cook sugar, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Mix the warm concoction with the ice cream, pour one quarter in a mug, add some rum (be generous) and fill the rest with boiling water.


Do You Ever Feel Like You Are Screwing It All Up?

Do you ever feel like you are screwing it all up? This parenting thing…this being a good wife thing? I am pretty sure most days that I am. It starts in the morning when I come to find there are no clean school approved pants for my son. The ones that I remembered the night before to throw in the wash but they never made it to the dryer. Or, how about the mornings when we miss the bus and I need to drive my children to school… The morning when I am wearing my leopard pajama bottoms and I do not have a bra on and the male gym teacher decides this morning is the perfect morning to approach my car and chat. Or maybe it is a cold winter day and I am having a meaningful conversation with a mom at the bus stop only to find that I have a half eaten lollipop stuck to my hat? Yes this is me…humble, authentic, dorky me…but the best part of it all is that I do not take myself too seriously and I roll with it. I am doing my best. It is very true that most days my husbands socks do not match and my childrens carved pumpkins do not look like anything that remotely resembles the ones that I have seen on the cover of a magazine. And that damned Elf…I dread his return and I almost always forget to move him and need to make up some far fetched story. But regardless of all these things my husband and children think I am pretty great…and that’s enough for me!

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