Saturday, July 24, 2010

Healthy Yummy Summer Snack

I found this recipe last night and I like it because I am not normally crazy about zucchini, but cooked this way I really enjoy it. The other great thing is that it requires ingredients most people already have, and it's easy (and inexpensive) enough to swing by the store and grab the occasional zucchinis. So here goes...

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

1 cup whole wheat flour (or white flour)

2 tsp. cornmeal

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1 1/2 lbs. zucchini peeled and cut into 1/2in. x 3in. sticks

2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 475°. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a large sealable bag. Dip the zucchini sticks in the egg whites and then place in the bag with the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to thoroughly coat the zucchini sticks. Place the zucchini on the baking sheet and spray with cooking spray making sure to evenly coat the sticks. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate and bake for 5 more minutes. Enjoy while hot with warm marinara sauce or a lemon aioli. Yum!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Exploring Boston

North End

Have you ever explored the North End? It is incredibly beautiful!! Hanover Street was alive and well last night (Weds) as Josh and I found a nice little Italian place call Bricco to grab a bite.

Between exploring Little Italy and writing this article I have had two job interviews, both of which are very interesting. So it has been a busy couple of days! The apartment building I am staying at is just perfect, located right on top of North Station and within walking distance to so much. The concierge has been amazingly helpful (I think I'll write him a thank you note) making copies for me and helping me to find parking. I've planned to shop a bit every day since I got here and haven't had a chance so hopefully tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Favorite Quote

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." -Winnie the Pooh

Monday, May 31, 2010

2 New Things on Memorial Day

1) WolframAlpha: Huge online database of the world's statistics and facts. All you do is type in what you're looking for and WolframAlpha finds it. Today we searched, "How many people on Earth are named Gertrude?" Turns out there are 44,535 people, and the most common age of people with that name is 86. How cute!!

It's that easy, give it a shot!

2) Bleu Brie Cheese: I made a cheese platter for our Memorial Day BBQ and included this recent discovery on the plate. It's the perfect combo for anyone who loves the creamy consistency of brie but the sharp taste of bleu cheese. Try it on whole grain melba toast or crackers. It's also great to follow the cheese with some fruit to break up the strong flavor between bites (we served ours with blackberries, but apples, pears or strawberries work well too!)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

No-bake Cookies

We all try our best to maintain a healthy diet, right? Having found out 2 summers ago that my cholesterol is on the high side, I do my best to stick to egg whites, olive oil, skim milk, etc.... but every now and then (ok, more than just every now and then) I get a serious sweet tooth. This cookie recipe is quick, chocolatey, allows for some cholesterol-conscious recipe tweaking, and involves zero baking. It's a family favorite, discovered at a small general store in my grandparents hometown of Shanksville, PA some ten or fifteen years ago. I've taken the liberty of substituting what healthier ingredients I can (and even my dad had to admit you can't tell the difference,) but regardless they're sure to satisfy your sweet tooth:

1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups plain instant oatmeal
wax paper

Mix margarine, sugar, milk, peanut butter and cocoa in saucepan and bring to boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla. Mix in the oatmeal one cup at a time. Lay wax paper out on flat surface and scoop tablespoon-full portions of the mix onto wax paper. Allow to cool 15-20 minutes before eating. Can be kept refrigerated for up to one week.

That's it. Now, enjoy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

coachella 2o1o

2010 was the first of many Coachella music festivals that I plan to attend in my lifetime. Between the "Temple of Trash," our lodgings at a stranger's apartment (amenities included: 3 screaming babies who NEVER [and by never I mean including the hours of 12am-5am] went to sleep, towels [not to shower with, but to sleep under,] and a pool,) the silent rave, wild fashions, many, ultra-talented musicians, and the 100 degree desert that is Indio, CA, the 3-day weekend was one for the records.

The pictures speak for themselves:

Lexie (one of the aforementioned "amenities")

Lauren & I arriving at Day 2

Sahara Tent

Temple of Trash

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas in Punta Cana

I know. It's been forever. But I want to share some beautiful pictures from our family (avec boyfriends) trip to the Dominican Republic for Christmas this year! The vacation was a blast, although it was a little strange to find myself in a tropical paradise on Christmas morning (and I, in fact, forgot it was Christmas morning.) Our secret santa exchange took place at the poolside cafe in our resort, and gifts included a handmade Republica Dominicana picture frame and a lime green Speedo. Our Christmas Eve dinner took place not at our annual Cerroni-home feast, but rather at the resort's Christmas Gala, and Josh and I spent Christmas Eve day riding doonbuggies around the Dominican countryside. It was all lovely, but different. I am not, however, complaining. I needed that tropical weather and stress-free lounging even more than I had thought (and so did Josh)! The absolute highlight was the white sand beach at our resort, lined with grass cabana after cabana facing the turquoise water. I spent almost the entire time there, armed with "The Road" and a Bahama Mama (mmm I'm craving one now!) Ok, now for the pictures:

Shops along the beach next to the resort

Josh's Secret Santa Gift

The beautiful water

Flamingos at the resort pond

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn

I was a little skeptical of Scarlett Johansson's crossover in the new album she and Pete Yorn put out, but her voice is great and really unique. It reminds me a little of Zooey Deschanel, who I also LOVE. Pete Yorn was probably the perfect person for her to work with. I can't wait to hear the rest of the album! Check it out:

"Relator" Scarlett Johansson, Pete Yorn

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bleu Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon

I read this is really great served with horseradish mashed potatoes. Here goes...

2 6oz. beef tenderloin filets
salt & pepper
olive oil
1 piece lightly toasted whole grain bread, minced into crumbs (or just buy breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
2 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan
1/8 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the filets. Sear filets for 1 minute on each side in a frying pan with some olive oil. Remove from heat. In mixing bowl combine bleu cheese, butter, parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. Pat mixture all over the top of each filet. Put on baking sheet in oven for about 8 minutes for med. rare or 10 for medium. To dress it up a bit there is also a sauce that can accompany the filet. The sauce is simply 1/2 cup of red wine and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream mixed in a frying pan and thickened into a saucey consistency. Enjoy!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

'Tis the season...

...Wedding season that is, and there have been some FABULOUS weddings this summer! I've been loving my job with the wedding planner! Weekends are packed with things to do and long hours but weekend after weekend I get to see a new finished product and really happy customers, not to mention my boss lets me have some creative license when it comes to set up so it's fun. I've been lucky enough that all of the weddings have been at gorgeous venues, and my boss and coworkers are all really young, smart and interesting.

Here are a few pictures of the weddings we've done this summer (the most recent are at the end):

view of Mt. Washington from reception tent

Escort table

Gorgeous centerpieces

Sunflower arch along path to ceremony

Sunflower table on the lake

In the lake lodge, romantic reception (my favorite so far!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just to liven things up a bit I will include a really great banana bread recipe I found while babysitting


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. In large bowl mix butter and sugar thoroughly. Mix in eggs, bananas, sour cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. In separate bowl combine salt, baking soda and flour. Slowly mix flour mix into wet mix until completely absorbed. At this point, if you're a chocaholic like me, stir in the chocolate chips. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick at the center comes out clean. I'm getting really hungry writing this! I hope I saved this post!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The secret.... amazing carrot cake.

This carrot cake recipe is certainly not for the weak-at-baking or the time-pressed BUT if you're willing to try it and have some time on your hands I promise it is absolutely worth it! Having experimented with several recipes for my favorite kind of cake, I have discovered the secret to the BEST carrot cake, and it is.. duh duh duh daahhh: pineapple. Canned crushed pineapple keeps the cake extremely moist, adds some sweetness and keeps the cake from crumbling apart!
A second secret to carrot cake success is homemade cream cheese frosting. It comes out much lighter than store-bought icing which balances out the heavy cake!

Tip 3: If you have the time to grate your own carrots, it really pays off. It keeps the carrot flavor intact, and the carrots are more finely shredded than if you bought them pre-grated at the store.

Carrot Cake Recipe (you can do it!):

6 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins (optional)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, partially drained
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine the carrots and brown sugar. Mix together and set aside for 1 hour, so that the carrots are fully marinated. After an hour, mix in the raisins if you're using them.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8-10" baking pans.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually add white sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix in pineapple. Add all the rest of the ingredients, saving the carrot mix for last. Pour mix into the two pans.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes, then frost with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting (this one's simple):

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix it all together (using an electric mixer is best because it will really whip the frosting into being light, plus it's a little tought to mix the cream cheese by hand.)

Frost your carrot cake and you're done! (This recipe is GREAT for cupcakes too!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I LOVE Rate My Space!

It's fun, check it out! It's a great place for interior design/decorating ideas from regular people.

"Welcome to Wedding Season!"

Wow being back has been hectic! The weather has been beautiful for the mostpart but when it's not beautiful it's horrendous, like right now.. drizzling rain, cold and dark. I've always been blown away by New England's ability to jump weather by such extremes: 90° and sunny, to rainy and 45° in 24 hours! On one of the sunny days I was inspired to be summer-y, so I headed to Home Depot and bought some flowers. I'm not too worried about the impatients I bought in this weather because I feel (for some reason) like they're a hardier plant than some, but I'm nervous about the hibiscus I got for the front step. It has these beautiful, delicate pink flowers and it grows as a vine so Im trying to train it up the brick wall right next to the front door (we'll see how that goes!) The tag said it needs to be in temp's 50 and up though and it's been just below that for 2 days.. I seem to somehow do OK with plants although the reality is I have NO CLUE what I'm doing with them, so we'll see how it goes. Anyone with a green thumb??

Speaking of flowers, I worked at my first wedding this past weekend! It was a short, small wedding of 65 people, at a historical building in town. The grounds were beautiful but small, and my boss didn't actually plan this wedding, she was hired to oversee the day-of to make sure everything ran smoothly. The centerpieces and floral decor around the tent were very simple, potted wildflowers in all different colors. The bride had chosen napkins that were all different patterns (JCrew?) and they were all colorful. It ended up looking pretty all together, simple but nice. The rest of the day went as it should I think, although it did get extremely chilly once the sun went down and the space heaters in the tent weren't quite cutting it (note to self to always bring a sweater or jacket for the evening.) Dinner was great (the caterer was awesome) and clean up was easy (again the caterer was awesome) and we were all out of there by 9:30 after some serious dessert eating! I am definitely looking forward to the next wedding but it's not for a little while so I think I'll be doing some office work for the company for a while. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There's No Place Like Home!

After a lonnngg day of flying, lugging bags around and eating pre-packaged, processed airplane food I am back at home.. Ok it's been 3 days I admit, I have been slacking on the blog front. But I've been back to my parents and I'm now at my apartment. I am verry excited about some immediate changes I made when I got home. I went over to Pier 1 Imports and got a super cute papasan chair with a really colorful embroidered cushion on it, it's so comfy & cozy! Merlin loves it. I also got a new piece of wall art for the living room and seat cushions for the kitchen chairs, ahh to be home!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great Song

I'm obsessed.

End of the Adventure

I really cant believe we leave in 3 days. Our landlord just came to "inspect" our apartment. The weather has been unbelievable the last few days, 80ish and sunny! Almost everyone has a tan at this point, but it's hard to sit out there in the heat with no water around to cool off. We've planned a going away party out on the terrace for Friday, all of our friends are coming and hopefully it'll be a potluck. Some people are worried about rain but I've got my fingers crossed! Today it's a little cooler out so I plan to clean the apt and PACK, ahh I cant believe this is happening! I've started making plans with people back at home for the next few days which is so exciting! We're all getting sad though, we went through a bunch of pictures the other day from when we first got here and throughout the trip. The entire thing has flown by and yet those pictures seem like aagggess ago. Lastnight we went to dinner at a place called Dante for Allie's 21st. The food was great. They let us take their free student drinks rule a little too far though when they learned it was her birthday. There were 5 of us and we went through 5 bottles of wine and a bottle of limoncello. We plan to go back tonight! After dinner we headed to Meccano for the Lil Jon concert. By the time he performed it was 230am and we were all getting sick of being there. It was a nice outdoor club, but it wasn't as nice as Central Park, and the music wasn't as good. When Lil Jon performed it was underwhelming to say the least. He just kind of bobbed up and down and his mic was turned down to the point that you couldn't really hear him over the music anyway, so he may as well have not been there. We had fun but certainly not the greatest of our nights here! Anyway I'm getting excited about summer plans now. I have a meeting with my new wedding-planner boss a few days after I get back, then the first wedding one week after I'm home! I can't wait for that. Ok, off to clean this hole of an apartment and enjoy Florence (and maybe some Millionaire Matchmaker shhhh!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hot Italian Nights


Does anyone know why it is that Italy still hasnt figured out screened in windows? or air conditioning for that matter? It's midnight here, I've got a final in the a.m. and for the LIFE of me I cant fall asleep because (even under just a sheet) is just TOO HOT to. Someone needs to clue them in... on the other hand there's certainly a fortune to be made for any entrepreneur of another nationality who'd like to take advantage of the idea!

Speaking of hot Italian nights however, my friends and I have been spending our nights at the outdoor nightclub Central Park, which seems to get hotter and hotter by the weekend! We're trying another club this week, Mecca. I was worried it wouldn't be warm enough for outdoor clubs at this point but I was wrong to say the least. Gotta love it though, mosquitoes and all, because in another week I'll be back in the U.S. without tanning weather, wishing I was burning up in my apt. watching Millionaire Matchmaker!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Cows named Molly seem to enjoy making news. There was a really cute story in the news today about Molly the cow who escaped from a Long Island slaughterhouse, causing a ruckus all over town. She is now being cared for on a private farm in NY, safe from ever facing another slaughterhouse. She also has a new friend named Wexley and the two have apparently hit it off. I love that Molly escaped and I love her little romance :)

The second Molly the cow story (from 2006) is equally happy and ten times as hilarious (not to mention ten times more badass.) My roommate and I literally were in tears from laughing so hard! Read it:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


where did this woman get this lemur? and how CUTE is it? Merlin move over! (only joking)