Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pasta Para Duros Again

It is Mojito night at Casa Flaurella.

To go with the drinks, I nuked some of those little orange pasta wheels, pasta para duros. Happened to find them in the market a year or two ago and they make an attractive and clever little munchie as well as a cute garnish with Mexican food.

Pasta Para Duros
Before microwaving

Put these little spoked things in the microwave arranged on a plate in a circle and nuke them for 30 to 45 seconds depending upon the mighty nukability of your microwave.

Nuked Para Duros
Pasta Para Duros... ready to eat

They are like eating spicy, flavored hot air. They are so light they don't even have any calories. Dip them in salsa for a low cal snack or into hot cheese dip if you are feeling deprived of calories. One bag is enough to serve at least 20 times for appetizers or garnish and costs less than two bucks. Such a deal.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mangia Magazine Cover

I am still swamped with business (Thank you New York Times and columnist Ms. Slatalla!) so this week, all you get is pictures but they are all photos that I took of things I have pruned, coddled, fluffed, cooked or have about the house.

Here's the mussels I made the other day. I adore mussels and when I can buy them inexpensively, I will eat them at least once a week. This is my Mussels Marinara. I think I posted this recipe on this blog last year. I used a FLICKR toy to make my photo into a magazine cover I have called Mangia. Click on the picture to view it full size.

My Magazine Cover
Flaurella's Mussels Marinara makes magazine cover!

Yes, I am a star, if only in my own mind but I am a damned good cook, too.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Looking forward to a warm spring weekend here in North Florida.

Dogwood Buds
Dogwood blooms stunted by freezing
back so many times this year.

Time to scoop out the pool. Not that we can or would swim in it yet but it's full of leaves. This is leaf dropping season for all the huge old oaks. We'll be raking and cleaning up the yard for the next few weekends. As long as it's warm, there will be no complaints.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bottom of the Bird Cage

Today, my vintage jewelry dot com was featured in an article in the Online Shopper in the Fashion and Style section of the New York Times. Woo-Hoo!

By this time tomorrow, I'll be in the bottom of the bird cage.

Sure was nice while it lasted.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


After a cold start, it was a beautiful day. Another frost last night (but not another hard freeze again) that turned plants and tender blossoms to mush, but whatever... they will survive since it wasn't that cold for that long.

Here's a pic of our redbuds against the silver Spanish moss.

Redbuds with Spanish Moss

After 34 degrees this morning (not that bad compared to the last few weeks here), it got up to 70 perfect degrees this afternoon. It was glorious! I love Spring.

W4D, I hope you are having fun in Tallahassee. I am eating airline food. Details later.


Monday, February 19, 2007

We Are the Web

The web is us.

This is about as techie as I get these days.
I remember back in the early 90's learning how to write HTML. While I still find it easier to type certain commands and set up spacing and tables myself, I gave up most of the grunt work when style sheets came out.

W4D is in Tallahassee this week and I am all alone (sorta) drinking those lovely Peartini's. In a while, DD and I are going to go get chicken sandwiches and Caesar salads from the quickie place over by the highway. I think she'll have to be the designated driver. Hey, come to think, that's why I call her DD.

It's President's Day so here are some cherries I photo'd and fiddled with:

Cherries - President's Day

Friday, February 16, 2007

Absolutely Intoxicating

It is supposed to be so cold tonight that it will break the record set in 1920 for this date. We are expecting lows between 21 and 24 degrees. The record is 25. Already, it is getting so cold that I may have to put on socks.

To keep the house warmer, I cooked a pork tenderloin this afternoon seasoned with lots of lemon pepper, garlic and fresh rosemary from my herb garden. Using the oven on cold days keeps the kitchen on the north side of the house warm and makes the house smell yummy.

To add comfort on this cold day. I made Absolut Peartinis. I've decided that a peartini is the most wonderful way to become aromatically intoxicated. I didn't follow the Absolut recipe since I am not a fan of simple syrup unless I am drinking mint juleps. Here's how I made our Absolut Peartinis. For each peartini, pour the following into a cocktail shaker that is loaded with ice:

3 parts Absolut Pear Vodka
1 part Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 part unsweetened apple juice
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Fresh rosemary sprig for garnish

Shake well, strain and pour straight up into martini glass. Add a sprig of rosemary for the garnish

Rosemary Peartini

I have to tell you that this is the most delish aperitif to grace my palate in years! I bruised the rosemary and made it into a sort of cocktail stirrer and the fragrance of fresh rosemary with the pears and apples is divine. I can't even begin to tell you how good it smells mingled with the oven baked scent of lemon and herb roast pork tenderloin. Try this drink! If you like pears, you will not be disappointed. I can't wait to get to the market and buy some fresh pears to experiment some more with this delicious flavored vodka.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cooking with Care - an Act of Love

Pretty Camellias on the table.
Big as saucers, from my yard.

Valentine Camellias

It was a nice Valentine's dinner even if the cook did get bombed before she made the meal.
(The Cosmopolitans and Shiraz did me in - never got to the champagne.)

Valentine Dinner in the Kitchen

Underneath that glob of fruit and cream and balsamic berry reduction is a little round cake saturated in Amaretto. By the time I assembled the desserts, I was having trouble focusing so it became fruit blobs. Whatever. It tasted good.

And then...
There was basketball.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Roll Over

I collect vintage Valentines and other old post cards. Here's one that looks like DH and I when we were babies.


Click the link to view a
slide show of more vintage Valentines from my collection.

Hope you are spending the evening with someone you love. I also hope you are as happily bombed as I and are about to receive what I am about to enjoy.

Damn. It's a week day, too.


(Pictures tomorrow)


Monday, February 12, 2007

Two for a Dollar

This weekend, W4D gave me an early Valentine's gift.

I received 4 of the largest Peep hearts ever. Each is about 3.5 inches across. I didn't even know they made them that big. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I have a thing for Peeps, those icky, sticky seasonal sugared marshmallow candies that will practically smack you right into diabetic shock. Generous friends have gifted me with Peep mouse pads and official Peep hats, genuine Peep factories and more. Everyone knows I not only like to eat seasonal Peeps but I like to nuke 'em and blow 'em up. I even have a collection of petrified Peeps from holidays of years past but I'll save that for another day.

So, W4D gave me pink heart Peeps on the porch.

My Outdoor Valentine Gift
But before you think he's cheap...
There was more.

This was sitting nearby!

Came with the Peeps!

Another Valentine gift.

Valentine SUV before Tags
How cool is that?

I've been wanting a Highlander for several years and now I have one. Everyone says it matches my hair color. 4 giant Peeps and a blonde Highlander!

Two for a Dollar!

Good hubbie.

Happy wife.

... And it's not even Valentine's Day yet.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Azaleas and Wrought Iron

Azaleas and Wrought Iron
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Spring is here. The azaleas are already in bloom. This weekend, many flowers should really POP! Spring is good since pink is my fave color.

I posted this directly from FLICKR so we'll see how it goes.
Is it Tuesday already??