Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting Ready...

Happy New Year, Friends!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ooh yeah, cold weather? Check this out.

The brrr factor has finally arrived. And I forgot all about it and it's nasty bite. Luckily one of my favorite Christmas presents arrived just in time!

Highly recommend this comfy, extremely warm lil' number.  From Land's End Canvas.


ps: I'm stealing that lipstick!

America Runs on Dunkin

Well, Boston does anyway. Turns out the original DD is in Quincy, MA, just a few miles from Jeff's parents' house! It's like a national landmark!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

There is absolutely nothing... Bergdorf's windows.

Do it

I read that Nars' "Heatwave" lipstick is the perfect, on trend color for all complexions. This fair face balked at Sephora when I first saw it, but I got it in my stocking and sure enough, it's gorgeous! You gotta get it!!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Photo of the Day by Blythe

Lunch at New Hampshire's favorite: The Red Arrow Diner. Homemade twinkies! Yum.

Christmas Part Deux

Off to the shore!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Impressive Wines for $20 Part Two

Hooray for Baby Abigail! That is so exciting and what a beautiful name. Glad to hear that everyone is healthy and happy!

So, juuuuust before the holidays you might be thinking -- WHAT can I get that random person I barely know but occasionally happy hour with? Or WHAT am I going to bring to tonight's holiday party? Or HOW am I going to get through the holidays?  If so, this post is your answer.  It's Part Duex (french cause wine is fancy) of my list of Impressive Wines for $20. Part one is from my dear friend Jon, who is pretty darn awesome. Part two comes from my dad, who is also awesome!

Yup. That's my dad. Aka the guy who kept asking me on the sailboat: "is this blog worthy? is that blog worthy?"  And, let me tell you: he knows his wines! But is also low key about it and wouldn't blink an eye if you served him Yellow Tail, which I love about him. Well, maybe not Yellow Tail. I don't know. Here ya go!

Here are some that are just over $20, but just slightly and tend to go on sale: 

Dad's final note: There are various rating systems for wine, but the best is what you have tasted and like yourself! 

Thanks, Dad! See you soon!

Happiest of holidays, D and everyone else reading this here blog. We are so happy you are here! A note: D and I are officially Christmas-ing starting now through the weekend, but we will be back starting on Monday for a week of "Photo-of-the-Days"!

With good cheer and great eating (and drinking!),

The Pregliascos Make Lasagna


That trip looks insane! Like, ridiculous and not real. Like you were on a movie set actually. So glad you all had such a wonderful time and what looks like terrific weather! Happy Birthday, Mrs. G! 

Still a little upset that you didn't like the first Sherlock Holmes... why do you hate America?

I want to share with you one of my favorite family holiday traditions that I've never actually been a part of...

Here's the jest: On my father's side of the family (The Pregliascos), we have a tradition of gathering on Christmas Eve and eating lasagna and exchanging gifts. This started when my dad's generation were just weeeee little things.

Wait, we're Italian, why don't we eat like 56 kinds of fish on Christmas? 

Well, the only actual Italian in our family was my Great Grandfather and he died when my Grandfather was very young, so although the oh so Italian last name has carried through the generations, real Italian traditions, not so much. SO we've made up our own! (I'll get into Columbus day another time). 

The original lasagna recipe called for Velveeta cheese and cottage cheese. Ick, squared.  Money was tight and with 6 kids running around, you can bet my Grandmother wasn't making Bechamel sauce. It sounds gross, but when it's what you know, it's just as delicious as fancy lasagna, I swear. A few years ago a new and, shall we say, fancier and more updated recipe was introduced, but a dollop of cottage cheese and Velveeta still go in each casserole in honor of my grandparents. 

These days, the whole family gets together at my parents house in Louisville a few weeks before Christmas (I've yet to make this particular pilgrimage) to make the lasagna for Christmas Eve. Each family takes a dish home, freezes it, and then heats it up before coming back to my parents house for the party on the 24th.

The recipe below makes 4 to 5 casseroles and is not exactly scientific.

  • 5 onions, finely chopped
  • 18 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 carrots, shaved or finely chopped
  • 7 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 12 tablespoons of thyme
  • 11 28 oz cans of plum tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 2 cups of butter
  • 8 cups of milk
  • 8 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • Nutmeg
  • 6 boxes of lasagna noodles
  • 5 pounds of ground sirloin, browned
  • 5 pound pot roast, shredded (braised and cooked in red wine)
  • 3 pounds mozzarella or provolone cheese, sliced
  • 4 containers ricotta cheese

  • Heat a heavy sauce pan over medium heat
  • Cover the bottom of the pan with 1/4" of olive oil
  • Add onion and garlic, cook until golden brown (about 8-10 minutes)
  • Add thyme, celery and carrots. Cook until carrots are soft
  • Add tomatoes (with juice)
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Bring to a boil, stirring frequently
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce is the consistency of oatmeal
  • Add the sirloin and roast
  • Add Italian red wine to taste

  • Melt butter in large sauce pan over medium heat
  • Whisk in flour (Mom insists on Wondra)
  • Pour in milk and heavy cream, whisking continuously
  • Season with salt
  • Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes
  • Remove the pan from heat, season with salt and nutmeg to taste 

*If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk
*If the sauce is too thin, return to heat and add a pat of butter and an equal amount of flour


Layer the casserole dishes in the following order:

  • Tomato/Meat sauce
  • Noodles
  • Tomato/Meat sauce
  • Bechamel sauce
  • Ricotta
  • Noodle
  • Repeat

*The meat and tomato sauce will be a little runny since it didn't cook for hours and hours. So use a  
  strainer spoon to put the sauce into the casserole.
*Last layer is mozzarella or provolone on top
*Be sure to save some thyme to mark your initials on top of the casserole you made, obvi.

Here are some photos of the party this past Sunday. Apologies for the picture quality. They were taken by Lil' Q on her phone and obviously photo quality takes a back seat to stirring the bechamel.

AND... my cousin Anna just had her baby last night! Abigail. I can't wait to squeeze her while we're in Louisville for the holidays! Yay, Anna and Jay! Another lasagna eater!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Blythe's Sailing Trip!

Hello D! 

But what if I didn't like the first Sherlock? Will I like this one? I will definitely be sure to add Homeland to the ol' TiVo.  Thanks!

So, yes, indeed. I am BACK. Here is where I was. Can you believe I came back? 

I highly recommend that everyone go there if ya get the chance! And this is coming from a motion-sickness prone scaredy cat!


Let's go to the movies!


WELCOME HOME! So glad you had such a fantastic trip and can't wait to see the pictures!

Not too much to report here. Jeff and I saw some movies this weekend and nearly completed our Christmas shopping. We went to three stores on Saturday and only one of them was a national retailer. So far so good!

We saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows which we (especially me) loved. I think Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are such good actors and have terrific chemistry. Much to my surprise, the movie also stars Noomi Rapace of Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tatoo fame AND Lane Pryce from Mad Men as the EVIL villain. It's awesome.

On Saturday night, we FINALLY saw Bill Cunninghams New York which you recommended AGES ago. It was fantastic. What a fascinating character!

And then we rounded out the weekend with the Homeland season finale last night. If you haven't been watching this, you reallllly should. It's fantastic. Like, The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights good. Plus it stars Angela Chase and Major Winters, so it was probably a given that I would like it. I think Damian Lewis is one fine actor. For real, check it out once it comes out on DVD.

A successful media-filled weekend! What's on your holiday movie list this year?


PS... The woman who won Survivor last night (yes, it's still on), is the daughter of one of Jeff's colleagues. No big deal. Just $1M.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

Hi D!

I'm back.

It. Was. Amazing.

I can't wait to tell you all about it, but I am too tired to do so today. So I will leave you with this:


It was so nice to come back and see what you've been up to. Thank you for such great photo documentation. This weekend I am excited to do the same thing you and Jeff did last weekend: decorate for the holidays. Also, I am so happy that you posted pics of Dukester's trip!! What a treat.  It made me miss all of you so, so much.  I gotta hug that little lovebug. STAT!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lil' Miss in DC!


Can't wait to hear about your trip! I've missed you so this week. I've had to pick out two outfits for Jeff's TWO office holiday parties without your consultation. Seriously, when are you coming home? Also, still dying over the pictures of your Momma. I know a lot of people say you look so much like your Dad, but you've got alotta Ann in you too. Gorge.

Sooooo, since you've been gone, I got to see Lil' Miss!!!!!!!!! Dukester and Sarge were in DC for the Patriots/Redskins game this past Sunday and while the boys were at the game, I got Court and Lil' Miss all to myself. I have to say, one of the best days of the last year. The ladies came over to our apartment where we played a bit. Went out for lunch and then to the Zoo to catch up with some friends (elephants and monkeys mostly). It was so fun just to hang with Dukester and Lil' Miss, with no agenda or anything. I didn't even have to share them!

Not suprisingly, Lil' Miss is still perfect and those cheeks are full of more sugar than ever. And of course Dukester continues to be the most amazing mother. I hope she'll organize some Mom workshops for us when we have kids. She's unbelievable at this stuff.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the day...

 Doesn't she look all grown up! She'll be in college soon!

Okay, okay, so this is how Lil' Miss took in most of the Zoo.

But she did wake up in time for the monkeys. Can you see the gorilla hand in the window? I kept wondering what Lil' Miss thought of this. Did she just think we were making her stare at an ugly old man? And check out those cheeks full o' sugar.

She loved the Christmas tree, and didn't mention that it was fake (she's so polite), but instead studied all of the ornaments and picked out her faves. The glittery gold ball seemed to win, she's so naturally fancy!

And then this happened. Lil' Miss chased Atty around the apartment and to be honest, they both seemed to like it. She just giggled the whole time, and Atty didn't exactly go into hiding, he kept coming back for more. Can you see the joy on my face? Lil' Miss and Atty in a photo together. Dying.

Atty was suprisingly receptive to Lil' Miss' kisses.

Welcome home, Blythe! We missed you! 

+ Lil' Miss + Dukester too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Momma before I was born (part two).

Hi D,

Hope you are having a great week!  I scheduled this post for Wednesday, which means my trip is almost over! As I mentioned in Monday's post, in honor of my mom's birthday, I'm posting some photos from her life before kids.  Now it's time for part two: a glimpse into her life as a twenty-something! 


As you can see in the second picture, which is of my dad's college graduation, their style changed quite a bit after my mom graduated high school.  The third photo is of her trip in 1979 to Italy with my dad to visit their good friend who was living there at the time (he's the dude she is standing with). This trip was the biggest she had ever made in her life to date. I love her high waist-ed jeans and plaid top! Finally, the last picture is my current favorite. Could she be any cuter as an excited mama-to-be?  She was 29 at the time. And really, could those glasses be any bigger?

Happy Birthday, Mom!