Author Archives: aries041158

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

2015-02-17 18.12.15 - CENTERPIECE

Hi Everyone. 

I am still, a little bit under the weather but I wanted to let you how to make

 Mardi Gras cupcakes.

If you don’t want to order a King Cake and want something you can do with the kids, I saw this on Pinterest years ago and thought this would be a great project. I have been making them each year at my house for Mardi Gras.

You can make or buy cupcakes, some white frosting, and colored sugar.

(Wilton brand colored sugar is great and it is sold at Michael’s Arts & Crafts or Party City ) and create your own Mardi Gras designed cupcakes.

(great for class moms or extracurricular after school groups).

Remember the Mardi Gras colors:

Purple for Justice,

Green for Faith and

Gold for Power

mardi-gras-cupcakes - mardi gras cupcakes

See you soon, with a new tablescape. 

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

 

One Year Heart Transplant Anniversary

Anniv Card 2 - Bob pg1

Hi Everyone,

Well, here we are…. I can’t believe that 365 days ago today, I received the call to go to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital to accept the greatest gift of all- the gift of life from a total stranger. What a miracle for me to have a donor and his or her family that decided in their time of grief to think of someone else and be beyond generous, loving and caring and allow their loved one’s legacy to live on in someone they don’t even know. I am still overwhelmed and I don’t think I will ever get over their generosity or be able to put my gratitude into words.

It has been a long tough year with more ups and downs than I care to remember and I want to thank my beloved husband, cherished son and all my extra special prayer warriors for being by my side through good and bad times and never giving up on me. Your strength carried me through my darkest days and my happiest moments.

I made a promise to take care of my new heart in every way I can and I have been trying to do my best this past year no matter what obstacle was thrown in front of me. I have to be honest and tell you that it hasn’t been easy and things popped up that I never expected, but I was determined to make it through. The doctors and my transplant team told me that the first year is the hardest because there are so many side effects to the medications (such as my hair loss, a striking blow to all women) to adjust to and in addition, I had to get used to a laundry list of restrictions and essentially change everything about my life and how I have to live it.

It isn’t just about getting a heart and moving on, there are so many precautions that you have to take and tests that need to be done and constantly try to avoid illness because you no longer have an immune system on board to help you. There are so many things I took for granted that I had to give up (especially some of my favorite foods that I had to say good-bye to forever) and drastically change my daily life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am still the most grateful person on this Earth for this gift of life and gift of having the opportunity to share many more years with friends and family and make more memories.

My biggest take away to share with all of you is to enjoy every day as best you can and really “don’t sweat the small stuff”. It’s not worth it. Go out and have fun, tell the people you love just how much you love them, laugh, experience new things, live, enjoy, make new memories, eat the cake and appreciate what you have. I am happy to say that after 27 years of heart disease I can now take a walk where I don’t have to stop every 5 minutes to catch my breath and I can walk up a flight of stairs or dance to a favorite song. All the things I missed and longed for that so many people did, without even thinking twice about it. Chalk off those things you want to do off your bucket list and be happy, be kind and be thankful. There is always something to be grateful for and always a silver lining to things that don’t go as planned.

So tonight, I am giving my new heart a gift. A “Celebration of Life” with a long-awaited dinner and celebration (in a restaurant and not confined to home) with my honey and better half, Bob (aka known as the best husband, best father, best friend, caregiver, nurse, angel on earth, love of my life and not a bad journalist either with all his updates). Bob has been through it all with me every step of the way and never complained about taking me to doctor appointments, hospitals or any of the demanding caregiver responsibilities- we are a team. We took our wedding vows quite seriously and made a new vow to continue to celebrate life every chance we get. Not many people get a second chance at life and we are not taking anything for granted. I LOVE him beyond words.

My only wish this year is that my donor family gets in touch with me so I can thank them in person for what they did for me and find out if my donor was a male or female, what they loved, their hobbies, their birthday, their name and if they had children  – and if they did have children, I want to show their children how much I cherish their mother or father and how committed I am to take good care of my new heart in their honor.

And to my prayer warriors, I love you all, more than I can say…

Thank you for your support, caring, encouragement, cards, phone calls to check in on me, constant prayers and most of all, your love. I felt you with me and it gave me the strength to keep going… Your prayers and just being in my life made such a positive difference in this long journey of healing.

So, I’ll continue to kick ass (my sister Linda would be so proud, family joke) and continue crossing things off my bucket list as I enter my second post-transplant year (hopefully less medically eventful) and take you along for the ride. We still have a lot to do.

Sending you all my love, warm hugs, and kisses,

Always & forever,

Diane 2.0

P.S. To start my anniversary on the right foot, my Transplant team called with all of my recent test results.  It seems my heart likes its new home and there are no blockages in my arteries, no narrowing of my arteries, no inflammation in my veins, no internal bleeding, and best of all…NO signs of rejection!

DishingwithDiane will be back in full swing posting tablescapes and recipes and once again would like to thank you for keeping me in your prayers and holding on an waiting for me to return. Thank you and God Bless all of my members aka my extended family.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

 

Pistachio Torrone

Photo Jan 07, 12 26 05 AM PISTACHIO TORRONE FOR BLOG

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Hi Everyone

Happy New Year!

I hope you are all well and everyone enjoyed their New Year’s Eve. I wish you many blessings along with good health, prosperity, lots of love & laughter and the making of terrific memories in 2020. Let’s start the decade off with all good things.

Today is a special DishingwithDiane post for me because I want to honor one of my dearest friends; my friend Roseanne.

Roseanne is selfless. She always puts other people first and has the kindest and most genuine heart. I am very fortunate to have her in my life and I just love her.

In addition to being the perfect friend, she is also the perfect baker and there isn’t anything she can’t bake. Every bite is so delicious, it could put you in a trance. 

When I had my “false alarm” call for the heart transplant, Roseanne sent me her famous brownies with a note that brownies make things better and she was right. A perfect brownie does take away all sadness.

Well, Roseanne has done it again. And just when you thought you couldn’t possibly look at another dessert after the holidays, I have the ultimate dessert I have to share with you.

Roseanne sent Bob & I a special gift of her pistachio torrone to enjoy on New Year’s Eve and it was fabulous. For those of you not familiar with torrone, it is an Italian nut and nougat confection.

You have probably seen the original version with the paper wafers and not covered in chocolate.

Ferrara Torrone - 6.35oz

I posted the photo of Roseanne’s torrone on Facebook and the reaction was overwhelming. Roseanne was very gracious and offered to share her recipe, so here it is. I hope you try it and enjoy.

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Roseanne’s homemade Pistachio Torrone.

Photo Jan 07, 12 28 00 AM pistachio TORRONE

Chocolate Pistachio Torrone

1. Melt approximately 5 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Put some of the melted chocolate in base of a silicon loaf pan (a ¼
layer or less.) Roll pan to coat sides of the pan up to about one inch.
3. Freeze or refrigerate until hard.
4. Melt 7 ounces of white chocolate in a double boiler. Add 1 jar of
Pistachio paste (7 ounces) Then add 4+ ounces of pistachios. Stir
well.
5. Spread on top of the chocolate base. Freeze or refrigerate until hard.
6. Leave out on the counter until it is room temperature.
7. Melt some more dark chocolate to spread on the pistachio layer. This
actually becomes the bottom.
8. Freeze or refrigerate.
9. Remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Then
with a sharp knife, trim the excess chocolate. Turn over on a plate.
The silicone pan will let you bend it to remove the Torrone.
Keep refrigerated.

Easier method:
1. Put melted dark chocolate in the base of the pan. Do not roll. Refrigerate.
2. Pour pistachio mixture over top. Refrigerate.
3. Put one more layer of chocolate on top. Refrigerate.
This wouldn’t look as good but will taste the same. You can also do it with
one layer of chocolate for a nice pistachio candy which will save time.

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I hope all you bakers out there, give this recipe a try. You will absolutely love it as much as we do.  PS- it freezes well too.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

Photo Jan 01, 1 52 14 AM PISTACHIO TORRONE 1

Happy New Year!

NEW YEAR 2020

To all my Prayer Warriors, Friends, Family, and Members…

Hi Everyone,

I want to take this time to wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with love, health, happiness, laughter, and prosperity and also to thank you for all your love, caring and support that you have shown me this past year.

2019 has been a bittersweet year for me… I am elated and blessed to receive a new heart and the gift of life but also sad to think of my donor’s family and their grief. I wonder about my donor every day and hopefully, I will get some answers this year.

It has been a hard year of recovery with many ups and downs but all of you stayed by my side and gave me the strength to carry on and move forward. You all mean the world to me and I thank you for patience while DishingwithDiane was on hold.

I will continue to move on with your love and support and every day I pray that all of you receive many blessings for your kindness.

I feel that this new year, new month, a new decade and a new heart will bring many blessed days ahead and I hope that we continue to share this journey together. 

I will be back shortly with all of my tablescapes and more recipes. You are the best group of members anyone can ask for and I feel as if you all have become extended family.

Stay tuned for DishingwithDiane’s comeback. 

With warm hugs and love,
Diane 2.0

Holiday Nougat Candy …

Photo Dec 20, 7 24 10 PM Holiday nougat

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Hi Everyone, 

I hope you are all wrapped, ready and waiting for the holidays.

That’s not the case for me. I am so far behind, it should be October on my calendar. I thought that I was able to do it all this year but my body doesn’t want to cooperate. I am not at 100% healing yet and my stamina (or lack thereof) reminds me at every turn.

I am almost done wrapping my gifts. I put on Christmas music and tried to get in the holiday mood and the more I wrapped, the more I realized that it would be so much easier if everyone got gift cards. Something to think about for next year.

Bob and I were going to have a mellow Christmas this year because I am just not up to all the preparation. We didn’t send Christmas cards because other than a picture of me in a hospital gown after surgery (not my best look) there are no 2019 family photos for a card, so we made a donation to the Mayo Clinic Heart Transplant Center instead.

I didn’t even want to put up the Christmas tree or have a big Christmas Day dinner. I wanted to just celebrate with the Christmas Eve Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes  (my all-time favorite meal) and have leftovers the next day and relax. Then we got the call…

It was from Michael, all excited that he was able to take four days off and come home for Christmas. After this call, I sprung into action like Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve. As soon as I hung up the phone, we took down the Christmas tree and decorations from the attic and decorated the house. I was exhausted. And as any devoted and loving mother would do, I promised I would bake all of his favorite Christmas cookies.

After all, having Michael come home is the best gift I could ask for; and I want this holiday to be special for him.

I am even preparing a mini Thanksgiving dinner one night that he is home because he missed Thanksgiving and had to work.

I am starting off slow and I will post as I go along. To start me off, my dear friend Elise Feiner, who manages Foodfanataholics on Facebook, passed along a recipe that is the new trend on Facebook…

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Holiday Nougat Candy

Very festive candy made with simple ingredients that looks great in a candy dish or as a filler addition to a cookie tray.

I wanted to share Elise’s recipe with all of you.

For all who know me well, you know I have to tweak a recipe (I can’t help myself), so I added marshmallow flavoring to the batter. I hope you try the nougat and enjoy it. 

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Nougat Candy by Elise Feiner

2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 (283 gram) bags Kraft mini marshmallows
2 (312 gram) bags Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chips
2 cups gumdrops or I used 4 (6.5 ounces -184 gram) boxes of Dots It was more than 2 cups but it worked well and you don’t have to measure

COOKS NOTE: I added 1/2 tsp of marshmallow flavoring

Note: Once you start the actual process of making the nougat, you must work very quickly so have everything prepped and ready to go.

Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan with a flat bottom. First I put a layer of aluminum foil so it would stay clean because I am lazy. Then, lay a double layer of parchment paper on each half of the width of the pan and one double layer right down the middle of the pan to form parchment slings. Then lay a piece of parchment paper over the slings, see the photos below. Spray the parchment and the sides of the pan with PAM. Open all your bags and boxes. I slit them down the middle to work faster.

You can either do this in a large pot or in a large glass bowl over a pot of boing water to form a double boiler. Whichever method you choose. Make sure you spray your pan or bowl very well with PAM or another non-stick spray. Spray your spoon that you will stir the mix with on both sides with Pam and spray a spatula with PAM as well.

Melt the butter and then white chocolate chips stir until they are just about melted. Add the marshmallows and stir until almost melted. Carefully move the glass bowl (use potholders it is very hot) if you are using that to the microwave and microwave at 30-second intervals until completely smooth (it took me 2 minutes.) first together until smooth. Fold in gumdrops or Dots. Spread on a parchment-lined 9 x 13 pan, using a spatula to pat it down. It is thick and you have to work fast. I used my hands in the end, it was warm but not hot but check the temperature so you don’t get burned… Chill overnight in the refrigerator. Cut into squares. You may store this is in the freezer.

I packaged the nougat in small ( 4 X 3 ) bags from Amazon. 

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I love hearing from you. 

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

Apple Cake

Photo Nov 29, 10 32 57 PM (1) APPLE CAKE

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Hi Everyone,

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

I posted a picture of my apple cake to Facebook and I have been receiving so many requests to post the recipe.
 I just had to share it with all of my members.
It has to be the easiest cake recipe I ever made.
This was my go-to cake for every bake sale when my son was in school back in the day (he is 29 years old now. I won’t do the math, the number of years fly by too quickly).
Anyway, simple ingredients and tastes great every time. I made it as part of my Thanksgiving desserts and Bob was beyond happy. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

APPLE CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup OJ
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt

_______________________________

  • 3 medium-size Macintosh apples (peeled and sliced)

_______________________________

  • ¼ cup sugar & 1 tsp. Cinnamon – blended

PROCEDURE:

  1. Beat the first 8 ingredients until smooth
  2. Pour ½ the batter into a greased and floured tube pan
  3. Layer with half of the apples
  4. Sprinkle with the sugar/cinnamon mixture
  5. Add remaining batter
  6. Add remaining apples
  7. Add remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour
  9. Cool on a rack and serve with a coating of powdered sugar

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

Photo Nov 29, 10 38 53 PM (1) DESSERT

Since I am sharing, I wanted to share this slideshow of my

Thanksgiving meal for 2019.

If there is a recipe that interests you, please let me know….

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