Celebrating a milestone

Today marks a great moment for me. In just over two weeks, I’ve reached 100 ‘likes’ on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/goodateverything.net). In all the growth that I hope to achieve with this blog, this first 100 will always be the growth I’ll be most proud of. You all are family, friends, friends of friends who believe in me and are willing to take a chance on this little endeavor. I appreciate all of you!!

Remember a few years ago, when Facebook was relatively new and the trend went around to create a list of 25 Random Things about yourself? Well, I came across mine today and found that it all is still pretty relevant and gives a pretty good window into who I am. It also speaks to the many passions that I have and feel like I can finally explore through this blog.

So, to celebrate my first 100, I thought I’d share it with you all.

  1. I love being a mom – my two kids are the best things that ever happened to me, they make me laugh every day.
  2. I’ve realized that as long as you have a handful of really good friends, who you can trust with anything, you’re pretty much set.
  3. I’ve also realized that not everyone on this earth is going to like me – and that’s ok. As long as I like me and my friends and family like me, I’m good.
  4. I love Dunkin Donuts coffee.
  5. I could survive on cheese, potatoes, bread, red meat and red wine (and DD coffee)
  6. I do not forgive easily. I’m working on it.
  7. My first concert was the Jackson 5, Victory Tour.
  8. I celebrated the Millennium at the Pyramids in Egypt.
  9. I love to sing, but have crippling stage fright.
  10. My favorite herb is thyme.
  11. Everyone thinks my husband eats like a king because I love to cook – the truth is that he only eats like a king when we have company.
  12. A long time ago, I wrote a letter to Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) I wanted to be her protégé. She wrote me a nice personal email – I still have it. I love Ina Garten and hope to meet her some day.
  13. I was first in line for the open casting call in Providence, RI for Martha Stewart’s Apprentice.
  14. I was a Karaoke DJ in college – and I miss it today!
  15. I still get sad in the fall when I realize I’m not going back to school. (GW, that is)
  16. I believe you get what you give.
  17. If I had unlimited resources, I would buy homes all over the world, spare no expense decorating them and have a private plane at the ready to go to any of them at a moments notice. 
  18. I wish I was more organized. I am jealous of people who have a home for everything they own.
  19. I usually go through 3 Kleenex within the first 10 minutes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
  20. As I get older, I take myself and others much less seriously. 
  21. I believe that people are inherently good.
  22. I try to be green.
  23. I believe in God and God doesn’t want me to go to France. I’ve tried three times and each time, something bad has happened right before I am scheduled to leave. I can’t even go to French territories – went to Bora Bora and our cat died, ouch.
  24. I believe there are angels all around us.
  25. I am married to the most loyal, gentle, kind man I have ever known. He is my best friend and I am lucky to be married to him.

Thanks for the support – sending virtual hugs to you all!

Lots of love,

Carrie

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What I bring to a potluck

This past weekend, we gathered with all the families in my son’s preschool class for an end-of-the-year potluck. While most people brought lovely salads, fruit, juice boxes, etc. I brought sangria. Now, one might argue that sangria might not be appropriate for a school potluck. I don’t need to argue with you, because you are wrong. Want to know how I know this? Because it was gone. Not a drop left. And I only had 1.5 glasses.

This recipe is for a classic red wine sangria and is divine. I have been making it for years and have perfected my recipe over time. I rarely share it. Mainly because I’ve only written it down once to send to my friend Marcy and I lost that email long ago. I always have to email her for it. Thankfully, she is very organized and can send it back to me quickly. I’m sure she’ll be relieved to know she will never have to send it to me, ever again.

The key to this recipe is using freshly squeezed orange and lime juice. Also, try to find Valencia oranges, they are much sweeter. If you cannot find Valencia, you may need more sugar. I ended up making a double batch, but the recipe below is for a single batch. My apologies if this is confusing…

Here’s what you’ll need:

ingredients

A dry red wine – this one is a Pinot Noir. Don’t spend too much on it – there are lots of great options under $10. You’ll also need sparkling water, Valencia oranges, limes and a pear. Not pictured, granulated sugar.

To start, place the sugar and wine into a pitcher or beverage dispenser and stir to dissolve the sugar. Next, get working on the limes. You’ll need to juice some and slice some – a total of seven to eight limes.

lime juice sliced limes

Pour the juice and drop the lime slices into the pitcher. The next step is the oranges. You’ll need a total of seven to eight oranges, some to juice and some to slice.

  orange juice 8SC_4062

Pour the juice and drop the orange slices into the pitcher. Onto the final step – the pear (there will be two in the picture, since I doubled the recipe, plus, I thought the pears made a nice pair…hee hee). Slice and throw it into the pitcher.

  pears sliced pears

Refrigerate overnight. Add one cup sparkling water right before serving.

sparkling water  

Enjoy!

Sangria
Serves 6
A classic rendition of an all-time favorite.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
18 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
18 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 sliced limes
  2. 2 sliced Valencia oranges
  3. 1 sliced pear
  4. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (approx. 4 limes)
  6. 1 cup fresh orange juice (approx. 5 oranges, preferably Valencia)
  7. 1 bottle dry red wine
  8. 1 cup carbonated water
Instructions
  1. Put sugar and wine in a pitcher and stir to dissolve. Add limes, oranges, pear, sugar, lime juice and orange juice into pitcher. Refrigerate overnight. Add carbonated water just before serving.
Notes
  1. (double batch pictured)
Good at Everything http://goodateverything.net/
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A happy ending to a rough afternoon…

For most of us, Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Pools across the land open and kids are chomping at the bit to get their little bodies in the water. Never mind the frigid temperatures – all that matters is that the pool is open. Everyone is best friends and is loving life. Visions of hot dogs and hamburgers, popsicles and ice cream dance in their heads. For a little 7 year-old, opening day at the pool is a magical day. Filled with the promise of summer – relaxed days, doing arts and crafts, swimming, riding bikes, lemonade stands…

izzie thumbs

That is, until, said 7 year old slips jumping into the pool and cuts herself badly enough that it all comes crashing down. The BEST. DAY. EVER. quickly becomes the most horrible day, disappointment, anger, embarrassment and devastation flood the system and is released through sobs and tears.

Poor Iz. Off to the ER we went, hoping that she didn’t need stitches. She was so patient and brave, the promise of ice cream keeping her spirits up throughout our whole visit. She was examined by several teams who finally determined that she did not need stitches and that it would heal on it’s own. By that time, seven hours had passed since the incident and we were all famished. Ice cream was assumed, but, being good parents, we knew we needed to first start with some substance. Iz suggested burgers – that counts as substance, right? Thank goodness for Yelp! I did a quick area search and, to my great delight, found this place called Bobby’s Burger Palace within a mile!

What I didn’t know, is that this wonderful place belongs to the one and only Bobby Flay. The interior is cool, you can sit at a communal table, or at the counter, where you can watch the open kitchen (I love an open kitchen). Iz chose the counter. However, we were not going for the ambiance. We were going for a burger. Now, truth be told, I’m more of a Michael Chiarello kinda gal, but, Bobby may have won me over. With this:

burger up close

I introduce to you, the ‘Bobby Blue Burger.’ Good Lord, this was good. Bleu cheese, bacon, and a bleu cheese sauce (which is what took it over the top). The hubs got the Santa Fe burger, which I’ll have to describe because he ate it so fast, I didn’t get a chance to photograph it. The Santa Fe Burger comes with queso sauce, pickled jalapenos and blue corn chips. That’s right, blue corn chips, ON the burger. One has the option of ‘crunchifing’ their burger. This is where they place a heaping pile of potato chips on top of the burger, for a little extra crunch. Genius, right? Why isn’t my Bobby Blue crunchified, you ask? Because I got overexcited about ordering this:

sp fries

That’s why. These are sweet potato fries. And they are freaking delicious. The dipping sauce is a honey mustard horseradish sauce. SO GOOD! Also not pictured, because we ate them too fast: onion rings. Really yummy onion rings. Which I dipped in Chipotle Ketchup. Iz chose standard ketchup and the hubs chose the jalapeno sauce, which made his eyeballs bulge out of his head (that’s a good thing, apparently).

Iz got her ice cream in the form of a milkshake, which was lovely. Another selling point, they sell beer. After the day we had, a beer was in order. As was fried food. All was right in the world.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Lots of love, Carrie

 

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Farmer’s Market Inspiration

When most people go to their local farmer’s market, they are inspired by the bounty of fruits and vegetables. While I did enjoy perusing the lettuces, early strawberries, rhubarb, etc, the one thing at the market that jumped out at me was this:

pasta close up

I am a total sucker for fresh pasta. When I returned home, I took to the interwebs to find the right recipe. One that the kids would like and something that would do this beautiful pasta justice. That’s when I found Creamy Pappardelle with Leeks and Bacon on epicurious.com. Perfection!

I will warn you – this is NOT health food. It is, however, super easy and makes a great impact. Here’s what you’ll need:

ingredients

Heavy cream, parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, bacon, leeks and a thick pasta. Not pictured – olive oil, butter, salt and pepper – I figure you have these items laying around, right? Ok, let’s get started!

Get a pot of water on the stove so it’s boiling when you’re ready to cook the pasta. Now, get you leeks prepped. Leeks are a luscious vegetable, with a mild onion flavor. You’ll want to cut the ends off and cut them in half length-wise. Leeks can carry a lot of sand and dirt in their layers, so, give them a good rinse to make sure they are clean. Once they are clean, cut the halves in 1/2 inch slices.

3leeks

Onto the bacon! I love to get the Trader Joe’s Apple Smoked Bacon, because it is delicious, but it also comes stacked, not fanned out, so I can easily cut it down the middle, to make uniform squares, which you need to do here. You need to chop 4 slices of bacon, into 1/2 inch squares.

8SC_4004

Start to heat your pan over medium heat, add two tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon butter. The combination of olive oil and butter gives an added layer of flavor and depth. For your pan, you want it to be large enough to give the leeks and bacon room to cook. You will also toss the pasta in the pan at the very end – so you want some room! I have a giant All-Clad frying pan that was perfect for this task.

8SC_4006

When the pan is warm, add the bacon, let it cook for about 8 minutes, or until it is nicely brown and crisp. Once the bacon is brown, add the leeks and toss with the bacon. Add a little salt to the leeks. Let it cook an additional 8 minutes, or until the leeks have browned. The key to this phase is to not fuss with it too much. Let the butter and oil do their job – stir only occasionally.

cooking

While all this is cooking, get your thyme ready. Thyme is one of my favorite herbs, but it’s a pain to get all those tiny leaves off the stem. One trick –  hold the stem with one hand at the top, while pinching the stem with two fingers of your other hand and run your two fingers, pinched, down the stem. That motion will release the leaves from the tough stem. If it breaks, it means the stem is tender enough and won’t impact the texture of your dish, so don’t sweat it if you get some tiny stems mixed in. You’ll need two teaspoons, roughly chopped.

Add the thyme, 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water to the leek and bacon mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer the sauce for 5 – 8 minutes, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

sauce

If you are using fresh pasta, it will cook within three to five minutes, so, don’t drop it until the sauce is ready to go (turn the heat off, so it doesn’t get any thicker). If you are using dried pasta, drop it in the salted, boiling water when you add the liquids to the bacon and leek mixture.

Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a little of the cooking liquid, just in case you need to loosen the sauce a little. Drain the pasta and toss it in the sauce with one cup grated parmesan cheese. Once the pasta is evenly coated, plate it up, sprinkle some extra parmesan on top and enjoy! According to my daughter – it’s a keeper!

final dish

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Strawberry season is upon us!

Ahh, how I love strawberry season! When I was a little girl, I used to go strawberry picking with my beloved grandmother. I looked forward to it every year. We would have so much fun. Grammy’s not doing much strawberry picking these days, but it’s something I now share with my kids and they are already looking forward to getting out there.

8SC_2650

Once we have finished picking our strawberries, we stop by the farm’s market and buy enough to actually make something… I’ll post soon about our annual jam-making session – the whole family is involved, we usually make close to 75 jars of strawberry jam.

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Something I’m not so good at…

Apparently, I’m not so good at setting up a blog… I read up on how to do it, had a tutorial open the whole time and it still took a call to customer support and total hand-holding to get this page up and running. Of course, I feel like a total idiot, because every single article about starting a blog tells you it’s “SO easy to do.” Hmm.

Additionally, since I want my page to be pretty, I’ve found a template that I’d like to use, which will be customized for my needs. I’ve emailed with the designer, and she might as well be speaking a different language. I think we’re talking about the same thing, but she uses some really fancy words. Man, do I feel old!

Blogging = humbling so far. That is all.

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Welcome to my new blog!

Carrie PATRIZIO0912_324txt

Hello everyone!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to be when I grow up. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, two beautiful kids, two cats and an amazing pooch. I have also been lucky enough to have a career in marketing which has kept me continuously employed for ‘ahem’ seventeen years. I’ve met some amazing people, learned a lot, and traveled much of the U.S. I have had success and I have had challenges. At this moment, I can say that I love the people that I work with, but am losing a bit of my mojo for the actual work.

Everyone talks about ‘doing what you love’ and being passionate about your job. Passion is not the word I would use to describe what I do every day. So, I think to myself, what am I passionate about? Here’s where it gets a little complicated. I’m passionate about a lot of things. I love to cook. I love to eat and drink wine (or beer, or mojitos, or margaritas – you get the idea) I love to craft. I love to watch useless television. I dream of flipping houses, and having a vineyard in Tuscany, and redecorating houses. I fantasize about being a restaurant critic (getting paid to eat out – sign me up), or opening a restaurant, or an event planning business, or a nano-brewery with my homebrewer husband. I dream of working in my garden for hours with the sun on my back while my docile children frolic in the yard (haha – my lovelies are far from docile, in fact, I can hear them yelling at my husband about some terrible injustice right now).

The point is, I’m all over the place. I’m a dreamer. I’ve got lots of big ideas. Execution, not so much. Next logical step? Start a blog, of course! I’ve got a lot to learn, so please be patient. I may stick my foot in it from time to time and I apologize in advance. I hope you enjoy this journey – it will be all over the place – but I’m hoping that’s what will make it interesting!!

Lots of love! Carrie

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