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2022 in Review

Hi Everyone,

Click on photos to ENLARGE and then hit the back arrow to return to the post.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and the beginning of a year filled with love, health, happiness, and many, many blessings in 2023.

May the new year be your best year yet and thank you for being a member and extended family of my blog. And thank you for your support in my health journey as well.

Your comments make my day and you are all so special to me. Let’s enjoy many more days together in 2023

Below is a recap of 2022…..

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Christmas Eve menu

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post a recap of the 2022 Christmas Eve dinner at my home and if you are interested in any of the photos below, all the recipes are in the files.

I hope you had a fabulous, safe, and wonderful Christmas with your loved ones, family, and friends.

Now we prepare for 2023 and I hope all of your goals and dreams come true.

Thank you for being a part of my blog and I plan on posting more fun tablescapes and recipes in the new year…

Please ask your family and friends to join and they will never miss a post.

One more week to the end of the year- hard to believe how fast time is passing us by and I wish all of us a prosperous and happy, healthy future

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Now on to the menu recap:

I changed up the ordinary shrimp cocktail appetizer by putting both shrimp cocktail and some fried calamari in a paper French fry cup that I had in the house and made it a charcuterie cup and added a mini bottle of tabasco sauce. The cocktail sauce was served tableside with lemon wedges.

Our next course is always linguine with seafood sauce

This year’s seafood sauce was made with crab, clams, tuna and stuffed calamari…

The finished 2nd-course dinner plate

Now the additional seafood dishes to complete all seven required fishes. We had 1. shrimp, 2. clams, 3. mussels, 4. calamari, 5. scungilli, 6. crabs, 7. tuna in the stuffing, and a bonus of #8. anchovies in the seafood sauce.

Stuffed shrimp with crabmeat.

Seafood salad served chilled with calamari, shrimp, scungilli, celery, and olives in a lemon and olive oil dressing.

Mussels and Clams Fra Diavolo with a spicy Calabrian chili addition.

Baked clams oreganata

Fried Calamari

I did not take a pic of our vegetable side dishes and they were cold broccoli salad with garlic and lemon & fried artichoke hearts.

I hope your Christmas Weekend was all you thought it would be and you made some treasured new memories.

Memorial Day 2022

Hi Everyone.

I just wanted to wish everyone a very safe

Memorial Day 2022!

Enjoy the beautiful weather and never forget the men and women who bravely served our country.

Bob and I started our day with USA waffles, berries, whipped cream, and maple syrup – not a bad start…

The rest of our day was going to the cemetery to bring flowers and flags to honor our dads who served in the military and home to a barbeque to celebrate our freedom.

I did find a great new condiment I wanted to share with all of you especially if you like the combination of relish & mustard on your hot dogs. It is the “dill pickle mustard” from Trader Joe’s- worth a try.

Of course, no al fresco meal is complete without dessert, and Bob and I had one of my favorites, Spumoni.

It wasn’t the original from Brooklyn but it was a great runner-up and so refreshing on an 80-degree day.

I hope you all had a wonderful day and made some beautiful memories with your friends and family.

More recipes coming this week.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” “share” and JOIN  DishingwithDiane.com 

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

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

Just Stopping By To Say Hello……

Hi Everyone,

I am just stopping by to say hello and wish everyone a great summer weekend.

Here in the northeast we were “not so blessed” with the remnants of Hurricane Elsa, some of us lost power and flooded streets but we are drying out and getting back to normal. I hope any of you that experienced Elsa are doing well and didn’t have any storm damage.

There wasn’t much cooking going on in the kitchen during the storm but today Bob and I visited a few farm stands and bought my favorite July treat – zucchini flowers. ( I’ll post the link to last years recipe for now to remind you what they are and for any new members to see the fried flowers). They are the edible male flowers from the zucchini plant. Sometimes stuffed with ricotta or fried plain in a flour/seltzer batter- absolutely delicious.

The flowers always reminds me of my grandmother’s garden when I was a child. Grandma would go out in the early morning when the flowers are open wide to pick the flowers. She would fry some and serve it with a scrambled egg for me. Great memories!

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2020/07/30/grandmas-fried-zucchini-flowers/

Zucchini Flowers

In addition we purchased a summer snake squash also know in Italian as ” Cucuzza” and I will post a recipe for that as well.

I will post all final dishes once I fry some flowers and make some a frittata, and the snake squash; just not today, I am tired.

Bob did run out and brought home another special treat for me today and that is gelato. He ordered my favorite flavor, pistachio – made with real Italian pistachios from Bronte, Sicily and another flavor- Amarena cherries.

So, I will cook the flowers & squash tomorrow and post the end results but like I said, I just wanted to stop by and say hello.

Sending you all my best wishes!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Happy Chinese New Year- The Year of the Ox.

Hi Everyone,

As always, sending you good wishes for you every day but today is the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Ox.

I was reading a few fun tips from China Highlights.com and wanted to share them with you below. It is a very interesting read and it will give you a little insight to the Chinese customs for this holiday and help you if you feel like celebrating this holiday….

The main Chinese New Year activities include 1) putting up decorations, 2) eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, 3) firecrackers and fireworks,  and 4) giving red envelopes and other gifts. 

Chinese New Year Show

Public celebrations: In many Chinese cities, from New Year’s Day, traditional performances can be seen: dragon dances, lion dances, and imperial performances like an emperor’s wedding. A great variety of traditional Chinese products are on offer, and rarely seen Chinese snacks. City parks and temple fairs are the places to go for this.

Chinese New Year 2021

Chinese New Year 2021

By FercilityUpdate Feb.08.2021

2021 Chinese New Year Animal is the Ox

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival,is China’s most important festival. It is time for families to be together and a week of an official public holiday.

Chinese New Year Quick Facts

Chinese New Year Facts

Chinese New Year falls on Friday, February 12 in 2021.

Chinese New Year 2021 is a Year of the Ox

Chinese Zodiac Years

1. Chinese New Year Decorations — Lucky Red Items

Every street, building, and house where Spring Festival is celebrated is decorated with red. Red is the main color for the festival, as red is believed to be an auspicious color.

Red Chinese lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity.

2. Chinese New Year’s Eve — Family Time

Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) is a time for families to be together. Chinese New Year’s Eve is the most important time. Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families.

The Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner‘, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year.

Chinese New Year's Eve Date

3. Firecrackers and Fireworks at Chinese New Year

It has long been a Chinese tradition to set off firecrackers from the first minute of their new year. Fireworks have increasingly been added to the cacophony. From public displays in major cities to millions of private celebrations in China’s rural areas, setting off firecrackers and fireworks is an indispensable festivity.

Chinese New Year Activities

4. Chinese New Year Gifts and Red Envelopes

Like at Christmas in other countries, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. In rural areas and for older people the New Year gift giving tradition is still strong, but increasingly younger people prefer just to receive red envelopes (by hand or electronically).Chinese New Year GiftsAt New Year red envelopes are customary in China.

The most common New Year gifts are red envelopes. Red envelopes have money in, and are believed to bring good luck because they are red. They are given to children and retirees. Customarily only employers give red envelopes to working adults.

Chinese New Year 2021 celebration

What Chinese Eat for New Year’s Eve — Foods with Lucky Meanings

Chinese lunar New Year 2021 Date

Food for the New Year emphasizes lucky symbolic meanings such as fish, which sounds like the Chinese word for ‘surplus’. These foods are eaten during the 16-day festive season, and particularly for the New Year’s Eve family reunion dinner.

The luckiest Chinese New Year foods (and their symbolic meanings) are:

  • Fish (an increase in prosperity)
  • Chinese dumplings (great wealth)
  • Glutinous rice cake (a higher income or position)

The Luckiest Things to Do at Chinese New Year

  • Giving money/gifts in lucky numbers and lucky red packaging with lucky greetings.
  • Eating lucky food like fish on New Year’s Eve, especially carp or catfish with some left over for New Year’s Day.
  • Lighting lots of red firecrackers and fireworks to scare away evil and bring good luck.

The Unlucky Things to Do at Chinese New Year

  • Having an accident, especially if it means hospital visits, crying, and breakages: all bad omens.
  • Giving gifts with unlucky meanings, colors, words, or numbers, or even saying something inauspicious.
  • Sweeping up on New Year’s Day: don’t “sweep all your luck away”.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!!!

Stay well,

Diane

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

Update from Diane…

Hi Everyone!

I hope this post finds you all well. I have missed posting and missed all of my members.

It’s been seven weeks since my heart transplant operation and I am so grateful for the gift of life.

I just want to say on a personal note how much I appreciate all the e-mails and comments regarding my medical condition. I appreciate your kind words, care, love and concern. I am getting stronger each day, although some days are harder than others.

I feel that all my members have become my extended family and I can’t wait to get back to writing the blog on a regular basis again. I might even come up with a few new recipes for organ recipients like myself that have a restricted diet.

Thank you once again for all of your love, I LOVE you all!

Although I am still too weak to start lifting dishes to set a tablescape or get back in the kitchen to cook, I wanted to share a few tips that I have learned in the hospital that I think would be good for all my members to follow.

Since the new “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists came out this week listing all the foods that have the most & least pesticides, and the recalls for listeria and E-coli; I have to share this with you.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen 2019                   

  1. Avocados     *unfortunately, this week avocados have been recalled
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Sweet Peas Frozen
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbage
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melons

EWG’s Dirty Dozen 2019

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

As you can imagine, not only do I have a lot of food restrictions post op, but I have to try and remain as healthy as possible and clean all my food thoroughly since I no longer have an immune system to rely on.

Rinsing fruits and vegetables in a colander under water is just not enough, washing with organic dish detergent is not enough and produce sprays that you can buy in a grocery store are basically citrus extracts that aren’t strong enough to clean the pesticides. In addition, most of the produce sprays contain grapefruit extract which interferes with some medications, especially cardiac medication.

So what can you do? After many studies, it turns out that the best pesticide cleaner is good old baking soda. In a bowl of water add a tbsp. of baking soda and soak your fruits and vegetables for 10-15 minutes. Remove the food from the bowl and into a colander to rinse by using tongs or a glove. DO NOT pour the water from the bowl directly in the colander or you will be pouring the pesticide sediment back on to your food. Rinse with water and then cook. I could definitely feel the difference with the fruits and vegetables once washed this way.

Tip # 2

Many of the doctor’s were very concerned about the proper temperature of the food once cooked. Every oven is calibrated differently and sometimes looks alone can’t determine if the food is cooked to the proper temperature. 

  • chicken and turkey- 165 degrees
  • fish – 145 degrees
  • beef, roasts – rare (130 degrees) & well done (155 degrees)
  • pork, veal, fresh ham -rare ( 130 degrees) & well done (155 degrees)
  • pre cooked ham, hot dogs, sausages -140 degrees

To solve the mystery, Bob and I bought an instant read meat thermometer. I bought a separate thermometer for my hand bag for when we are allowed to eat in a restaurant again (which won’t be after a year of healing for me, but I am prepared). The thermometer is instant read and lifetime warranty. We purchased it on Amazon for $18.95 and it gives me peace of mind to know the food is cooked properly.


 

I hope you try at least one of these tips and find it helpful. Food safety is so important for all of us.

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 emailsI Love hearing from you.