Monday, April 30, 2012

New Old Chair

This was my grandma's chair.  My dad bought it for her after WWII.  I was given the chair after my grandma passed away.  I always liked it - it has a neat curved shape that is perfect to curl up in and those curved wooden arms were so cool.  But the chair had seen better days - the upholstery was pretty frayed, thus the green throw to cover up the holes.

My dad has a friend who reupholsters items as a hobby, so for Christmas he got the chair recovered for  me.  Here is what it looks like now:

Not only did he recover the fabric, but he refinished the wood and replaced the dozens of brass tacks.

Here is the back - love the tacks!

There even was fabric left over, so he made two matching pillows with piping and buttons.

So wonderful to have this piece of family history have restored!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crispellis - Berkley


Can you believe that this hip looking restaurant was a Denny's in a former life? I've been watching the transformation of this building on Woodward near 12 Mile for the past few months and was excited to check it out when it finally was open. It didn't disappoint - Crispelli's has become my new favorite local restaurant!

Once inside, you are greeted and directed to a line of stations where you can order pizza, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and more. It is a bit confusing the first time you visit, but once you understand where to order, where to get a ticket, and where to pay you will have no problems.  The dining room has lots of tables and always seems to be busy. They also have a couple outdoor areas for seating that are pleasant when the weather is nice.

The pizza is cooked in a wood fired oven and is wonderful - both the thin crispy crust and the square "Detroit" style. Good sauce!  Above is the "Red Pie" with fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions, and Italian sausage.

The salads are huge and come with a hunk of their homemade baguette!   This is the Michigan salad which comes with poached apples and pears and yummy candied walnuts.  A small salad and a small round pizza are plenty for two people.  They also have soup and salad combos.

The sandwiches come on homemade bread and are delicious. The only disappointment was the chips (homemade, I think?) that weren't very crispy.

Be sure to save room for dessert!

Three Berry Galette - so yummy with a touch of almond paste

Pot au Chocolate

The final temptation is the desserts! Everything I have tried has been great, but I especially like the white chocolate pistachio brownie (sorry, no picture, scarfed it down).  If you want whipped cream on your desserts, I suggest that you order them at the counter after your meal is done so it doesn't melt away.

I've also stopped in for take out.  Here is the deep dish Detroit style square pizza.  It really is delicious - cheesy, great sauce, fresh mushrooms, good Italian sausage!

The prices on most selections are under $10.  Be warned though that everything looks so good that you will want to order more than one thing, especially dessert, so your bill can add up!  Portions are generous, so you likely may have a bit extra to take home and enjoy the next day.

As you can tell from this post, I have had several meals at Crispellis and have gotten take out as well.  I am so glad to have a fresh new restaurant in the neighborhood!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Whole Wheat Pasta with Romano, Pine Nuts, and Arugula

This totally has become my quick pasta addiction. No measuring required.

Cook whole wheat pasta. Reserve a half cup pasta water before draining. Do not rinse the pasta!

Return the pasta to the pan. Add a big handful of arugula, another handful of grated romano cheese, a bit of chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste, pine nuts, and a drizzle of good tasting olive oil. Toss and heat for about a 1/2 minute. Add a bit of the pasta water if it seems a bit dry.

Healthy and yummy and fast to make!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lemon Tortelloni Salad with Arugula and Green Apples

This spring I have been eating a lot of baby arugula. I like tossing it into salads and pastas - it adds a crisp peppery taste to recipes. Over spring vacation, I played around with mixing argula with several other items to make a lemony pasta salad that was great!

Lemon Tortelloni Salad with Arugula and Green Apples

1 package of frozen cheese tortelloni, cooked and rinsed
1 - 2 green apples, chopped in bite sized chunks
4 celery stalks, chopped into bite sized pieces
4 - 5 green onions, snipped into pieces
3 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup feta cheese (I used low fat)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Note: I didn't measure all the ingredients exactly. This is a recipe that you can easily adjust amounts according to personal preference and what you have on hand.

Cook the tortelloni in salted water for about 10 minutes (according to package directions). Rinse under cool water and let drain and cool for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile chop the apple. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the apple and toss to prevent browning. Put the apple into a large salad bowl along with the chopped celery, green onions, 3/4 cup parsley, and arugula.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Use a microplane grater to grate the lemon peel into a container. Add the remaining juice from 1 and 1/2 lemons and the remaining 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Add about a 1/3 cup good olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Use an imersion blender or food processor to give a quick blend to the dressing. Set aside.

Right before serving, toss the tortelloni with the other ingredients and add the dressing (drizzle with a small amount and add to taste so it doesn't get too soggy). Top with the cheese and walnuts.

I think you will like the fresh taste of this pasta. I think you could easily add in some grilled chicken and it would make a great meal!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Travel Magnets - Best Hotels

Two of the loveliest hotels ever - The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and the stunning Bellagio in Las Vegas. Both places I wanted to stay at once in my life.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunrise

Easter Sunrise from Karen Bosch on Vimeo.

I created this video using artwork that my first graders created in computer lab using Kidpix. Wishing everyone a most blessed Easter day.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Travel Magnets - More of Europe

I loved the rooftops of Amsterdam. These magnets remind me of wandering the canals.

Brugges - prettiest town ever! best chocolate truffles ever!
Luxembourg - just a train ride and a short stop to transfer trains

Germany - the beautiful cathedral in Cologne and several days along the Rhine enjoying the castles.

All of these came from a trip several summers ago.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Travel Magnets - England

Two of my favorite places to visit while in London.
The Evensong service at Westminster Abbey is amazing (and free)!

Who doesn't love a cute thatched Cotswold cottage?
Had an awful bus day tour to visit the area - hope someday to go again with more time to explore.

Travel Magnets - Paris

For a number of years I have collected travel magnets on my various trips. It is a inexpensive reminder of that many places I have visited. These magnets from Paris are some of the first ones I collected over 10 years ago. They are made from plaster and in a bit chipped from where they have fallen on the kitchen floor. I thought I would present a little series of travelogue posts via my travel magnets. Stay tuned for more posts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

I love pencil thin spring asparagus! Here is the easy no measure way that I prepared it over the weekend:

First, I took an 8 x 8 pan and covered it in foil (for a no mess clean up). I tossed in a package of cherry tomatoes cut in half, added about a quarter of an onion chopped in large pieces, and drizzled the entire thing with a bit of olive oil. I seasoned it with some salt and Italian seasoning. Then I roasted it for about an hour at 450 degrees. The onions and tomatoes will get a golden caramelized edge when they are almost done. Toss in a spoonful or so of chopped garlic and return to the oven for about 10 minutes more.

Take a cookie sheet and cover it with foil. Lay out the cleaned asparagus in a neat row and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and roast for about 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and plate using a spatula to keep it in a neat row. Add the tomato mixture on top.

This is my new secret weapon - the Pecorino Romano cheese from Trader Joes. I sprinkle it on almost everything (except chocolate)! Sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus. I have an abundance of fresh parsley in my garden, so I chopped some of that and added it over the top. A bit of fresh ground pepper was the final touch.

I'm not a big fan of vegetables, but I could eat this like candy!


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