Friday, January 11, 2008

Pedicure Perfection

Can you tell what the Gaddis Girls like to do most? Something we all have in common? Something every girl deserves?
It is one of the luxuries that we took advantage of in Asia because it was so affordable. It is a luxury we refuse to compromise with Dave.
We have yet to find a Nail Salon that can compare to Hansen Nails in Penang. We would get the most wonderful massages and scrubs and the nail art was beyond compare. Alas. We pay double the price for 1/2 the service.... Woe, woe woe to us.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


This is probably the best cookbook of 2007. Reserve it from the library, or

Sherry Yard is Wolfgang Puck' s executive pastry chef. She grew up in Brooklyn and this is as much a biography as it is a cookbook. It has great recipes from her fabulous childhood such as pretzels and bagels. It even playfully makes fun of her mother's lack of culinary skills. Sherry includes a recipe for "Mom's Cuisinart Chocolate Mousse" that her mother inspired and she refers to it as "the most exciting culinary event that had ever occurred in our kitchen."

Okay, so here is the most exciting culinary event that is occurring in my kitchen. It ain't low fat , but it is loaded with vitamin A.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups canned pumpkin puree (one large can)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
number of stars


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9x5 inch loaf pans. Or one Bundt pan and 1 large loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together by hand, the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.
  4. Can add chocolate chips. I like the Ghiridelli 60 % Cocoa chips from Sam's Club.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Green Dreams

I am busy ordering and planning my first garden in 3 summers. I am so happy. I cannot wait to get my hands dirty! I am going to try Biker Billy Peppers, a stunningly hot jalapeno, and Thai Dragon Hybrid, an extra hot chile that can be dried. I will be planting many herbs also. My family cannot get enough fresh basil, and I buy it in bulk at Albertson's ,but, at a premium price. I cannot wait to get that to grow.

We have fallen in love with Sugar peas too, and those great little green beans that are referred to as haricot verts. I am going to build a tee-pee for the vines to grow on.

I always plant way too much for my own family and I love giving and sharing the bounty of the garden with my neighbors. There is something really satisfying about growing and eating your own food. I really get enjoyment out of making jams and salsas too. I found a great recipe for a red hot pepper jam that my next door neighbor Brad cannot get enough of. It is so fun to garden. I am not the greatest gardener but I try.