Tuesday, June 26, 2012

100 YEARS OLD!!!

Today, June 26, is a very special day...

It's Aunt Hortense's 100th birthday!

You might remember my post last year, about this dynamic lady. She went kayaking for her 99th birthday.
This year's celebration was a bit quieter...but not by much.
All her family...her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren shared a very large beach house on Jax beach. Then on Saturday, all her extended family and friends who could make it, gathered at the beach house to celebrate.

Here's a photo of Aunt Hortense (100) with her sisters, Vic (95) and Helen ( mom), plus Alma (91), their sister-in-law.

We had a wonderful time, celebrating Hortense...and all the family. And we ate the most wonderful food...Cuban-style, of course! And it was quite tasty. Not bad for a caterer who had never prepared Cuban food...impressive!)
We had boliche, arroz con pollo, frijoles negros, plantains, and Cuban sandwich "sliders" (yummy!). There was also salad and chilled grilled veggies. It was a wonderful spread, enjoyed by all.

Gee...I wonder what we'll be doing for Aunt Hortense's 101st birthday...


btw...the Mayor of Jacksonville has declared that today is Hortense DelValle Morris honor of all the volunteering and community service Hortense and her late husband have done in their city and in their retirement home. They were an amazing couple... Hortense is still active in her retirement community, helping wherever there is a need. What an amazing woman!

PS...MacDaddy and I are celebrating our 36th anniversary today, too! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband...

Monday, June 25, 2012


SCENES AROUND TAMPA BAY...TROPICAL STORM DEBBY HAS MADE A MESS! (and she's still at it! Winds are coming though here with gust of 50 mph!) There were several tornadoes yesterday...and we are still under a threat of tornadoes and rain until Wednesday.

Bright House Field...the spring training home of the Phillies...and summer home of the Threshers. It's a beautiful totally underwater!

Major damage to this beach house on Pass-a-Grille...This area was hit by a tornado. There were several tornadoes and water spouts in the afternoon and evening.

Local boats...tossed up onto the docks.

Just north of us...

A lifeguard stand at Clearwater Beach...

One of 6 sailboats submerged just north of us in the Tarpon Springs area.
This is a travel park, just a couple of miles from my home...Most of these folks were here on vacation. I am amazed at the amount of water!

This is in Dunedin, FL...just a couple of miles from me. (We're on a flooding at our house.)
Dunedin had 10+ inches of rain, yesterday!

Floating along Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. The wave are in the bay...the people are floating along the sidewalk. The balustrade is all that "separates" the bay from the road, sidewalk, and beautiful homes.
Even with the moments of clear skies, today, the Skyway Bridge...the link between St. Petersburg and Sarasota/Bradenton (part of I-75) is still closed due to high winds.

These photos were found on the ABC Action News site.

Friday, June 15, 2012


In May, I began teaching cooking classes in peoples' homes...sharing easy to make dishes that can WOW families and guests. It's all a part of what I do with Demarle at Home. Our goal is to bring families and friends back to the table. We do so with the most amazing cookware...

Many of you are familiar with Silpat...the reusable silicone liner for baking sheets. BUT...I bet you don't know that there is a perforated baking sheet that goes with it...that makes everything cook BETTER. Why? Because the heat can circulate and evenly heat the underside of the Silpat. I have had a Silpat for many years, but was not particularly pleased with the way my cookies baked on it. I always felt the bottoms did not cook completely, and had to increase the oven time, hoping for them to crisp up. Since I discovered the Perforated Baking Sheet that is designed to work with the Silpat, my food has been so much better...and I use the Silpat (with the baking sheet) almost daily! Not only do I bake cookies on it, I make.....grilled cheese sandwiches (no turning), salmon, fries, roasted vegetables, pizza, nachos, coconut chicken and shrimp, freeze chocolate-covered bananas, frozen yogurt drops, and tonight...Chicken Parmesan Crostini.

Chicken baked on the Silpat (with the Perforated Baking Sheet) is so easy to do...

Chicken Parmesan Bites

1 boneless, chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup milk
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil
Bruschetta Sauce (I used Classico)
Mozzarella Cheese

Soak the chicken in milk...several minutes, up to overnight.  Put the Silpat on the Perforated Baking Sheet and set aside. Place the bread crumbs and Parmesan Cheese into a large zipper plastic bag.  Add the milk-soaked chicken and SHAKE until the chicken is covered in crumbs. Place each piece of chicken on the Silpat. Sprinkle additional crumbs over the top of the chicken and place in a preheated oven...375 degrees for 10-15 minutes (maybe more) until the chicken is browned. Remove from the oven and place the chicken on a plate.

Slice the baguette, diagonally, into thin slices. Brush each side with a little olive oil. Place in a single layer on the Silpat. Toast in a 375 degree oven for a few minutes, until lightly crisp. Remove from the oven and top each slice with a spoonful of Bruschetta sauce. Place one piece of chicken on top of sauce. Top with a slice of Mozzarella Cheese. Return the tray back to the oven and heat, until the cheese melts and it a little bubbly. (about 3-4 minutes)

Place Crostini on a platter and serve. Yum!

If you would like to know more about the Perforated Baking Sheet or about Demarle at Home, send me an email....

Saturday, June 2, 2012


On our way to dinner, we saw this beautiful egret walking into the Chinese restaurant...
Apparently, he wanted dinner, too....
According to the local merchants, this fellow shows up every evening, looking for tidbits...
He walks right into the doorway, gets his treat, then leaves...

Oh the things you see, if you just take the time to look...

Friday, June 1, 2012


I HATE BREAKFAST...unless it's brunch! I am not one of those get-up-and-get-going kind of gals. I move r...e.....a.....l.....l.....y  s....l.....o.....w most mornings, and the thought of fixing breakfast - and EATING breakfast early in the day - makes me queasy. But, as we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

So I have come up with a wonderful omelet cups.  I bake once, then bag to keep in the freezer, just waiting to be popped into the microwave for just a minute. The recipe is simple...and in my flexi-muffin pan, it's super easy cleanup! Best of all, I can eat when I want...and MacDaddy can have his EARLY breakfast with little fuss... You just pop the Omelet Cup into the microwave for a minute or so, and you're good to go...

Omelet Cups

6-8 eggs
swiss cheese (or any other cheese), grated
fresh spinach
a splash of milk
***You can add bacon, sausage or ham, if desired.

With a whisk, scramble the eggs in a mixing bowl. Set aside.  Put a little grated cheese in each muffin cup. (If you are not using a flexi-pan, be sure to oil or spray the muffin cups). Top with a little freshly chopped spinach. Pour egg mixture into each cup...about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Remove from the over, let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Remove from muffin tray and either eat, or cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy... 
If freezing, store in an airtight container or a freezer bag. (Put a little water into any empty protect your pan)

My other "new" breakfast - lunch - snack food is a whole grain English muffin with a little cream cheese, some sugarless strawberry preserves and sliced fresh strawberries. Not only is this delicious, it's HEALTHY!

For those of you who are not familiar with Flexi-pans....these are professional silicone and woven glass baking pans which require no oil, butter, non-stick sprays. Everything pops right out and clean up is a breeze.They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes...even decorative molds. If you want to know more, email me....

I am linking with Foodie Friday!