Friday, January 19, 2018

Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows 2017

I must say, I was quite disappointed in the holiday windows this year. Bergdorf Goodman and Lord and Taylor did not impress me, they were pretty but not what I have seen in prior years. I fought the crowds while in the city to see the Saks windows, and didn't realize they were Snow White. It was a bit disappointing. They are nice, but I do expect something more from them for the holiday season.  




It seems many of the windows this year were sponsored by companies which I felt altered the creativity. 



Love those little guys!  


I had many nightmares as a child thanks to this lady. Is she really a lady?  


I personally would have not taken that apple from her. I am now even quite nervous about apples as gifts in general. :) 



Thank god for the Prince Charming.  

Let's hope in 2018 they get back to their magical ways! 


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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday "My Milano Gift"

For some weird reason, I was thinking back to January 2012 when I sent a tweet to the Milano cookies people. Who doesn't love these cookies? They are so amazing, great with a cup of tea or coffee. Pepperidge Farm was so happy with my tweet, they sent me a HUGE box of Milano cookies! My Mom was just stunned! She couldn't believe that social media could do such a thing. Needless to say, she became a fan of Twitter! It was a fun time for sure and I gave lots of bags away to family and friends.  

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cooking with Botticelli Olive Oil

I was contacted by Botticelli to sample some of their products which was very exciting. Coming from an Italian family, I really miss all the cooking and baking that went on in my home. I found I am a much better cook than I thought after my Mom passed away and I started cooking more often. I was amazed that cooking by my Mom's side I did learn a few things or two! Olive Oil is one of the best oils you can use, for just about anything. It is the only oil I use in my home. 

Here is some info from the Botticelli website: 

Botticelli Organic Extra Virgin contains only the best olives that are carefully selected for their high quality and flavor, and they are also pesticide-free. This delectable olive oil is the natural unprocessed product of the first cold pressing of olives, giving it a green color that is full of olive fruit flavor and characteristic aroma.

Botticelli’s Organic Extra Virgin olive oil is crafted according to International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) Standards, and can be used for cooking, sautéing, and as a topping for any dish.

We used to have fried fish for Christmas Eve dinner, the feast of the 7 fishes, and I just LOVE homemade fried fish. You can control the salt ( I use salt free bread crumbs) and you use olive oil for frying, it is a bit healthier. I purchased some fresh cod to make the fish, and what I do is freeze them in packs of 2 for when I want to enjoy them. Cooking for one can be a challenge, but I wish we had thought of this when my Mom was still here. It makes the house smell amazing as well.  
In my egg wash I add parmesan cheese, italian seasoning, pepper and in my breadcrumbs I like to add tumeric. The tumeric doesn't really do much for the flavor, it makes the crust a nice yellow color and it is very healthy for you.  
You dip the fish in flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs. I can make oysters this way as well and they come out amazing!
The Botticelli olive oil was very nice to cook with, and I plan on purchasing more in the future.  
Totally yummy and so golden in color!  
Botticelli has wonderful pasta and sauces which the pasta makes a great side dish to the fried fish. You could also top the fish with some mozzarella cheese and sauce for a different taste! Choose from one of six sauces: Marinara, Tomato Basil, Alla Vodka, Roasted Garlic, Fra Diavolo and Vegan-friendly Bolognese Sauce. 

You can notice a difference when you use good Italian products for your cooking. When you use quality ingredients, with only a few items you can have a most tasty meal. I think that is what I love about Italian cooking, simple, high quality ingredients are so darn good!! If you have not tried any products from the Botticelli line, I suggest you give them a try. You will not be disappointed! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Martin's Snacks Factory Tour


I headed to York, Pa last year for some interesting food tours. York has many factories which make various snack items that offer tours. I never toured a potato chip factory so I was pretty excited. 

Martin’s Snacks was started in 1941 by Fairy Martin. The story goes that she grew tired of her son always buying chips from the Utz family stand at the local market and decided that she could make better potato chips. 

From their humble beginnings in the Martin family kitchen, Martin’s Potato Chips has grown into a huge operation, producing over 1 million bags of potato chips and popcorn each month. Martin’s Potato Chips have grown so popular, that the last three Presidents have had them served on Air Force One. Still family owned (though not by the Martin’s), Martin’s Potato Chips operates out of their factory in Thomasville, which is located in York County, just outside of York.

The Martin’s Potato Chip Factory Tour starts from the small on-site shop. Donning a hairnet to cover my head (it wasn't a great look!), I joined a group of other visitors & headed out for the tour. 


Once the potatoes are inside the factory, their journey to becoming a potato chip starts. Potatoes start off in the peeling machine. Instead of peeling the skin though, the skin is sanded off; a process that ensures that as little of the potato is lost to peeling as possible.


Once peeled, potatoes are sliced, fried, cooled, and salted before being packaged. The process for making potato chips hasn't changed too much in 70 years. The smell in the factory was just so wonderful, I think that was one of my favorite parts. It was neat being able to walk on the factory floor to see whole process.

The same could also be said for the popcorn that they manufacture on site. Popped in large air poppers, the process still requires an operator to measure out corn kernels, salt, and flavoring. He then dumps the bucket into the popper, waiting for a few minutes until the popcorn comes pouring out onto the conveyor belt, ready to be cooled and packaged. They started making the popcorn in 1994 and it smelled quite amazing as well. There is nothing like fresh snacks right after they are made to enjoy! 







The samples were the 2nd highlight of the tour. You cannot explain fresh potato chips and popcorn while they are still warm! They were totally yummy! 





We were able to purchase items at the end of the tour in the factory store and they were discounted which was nice. I did enjoy this tour, it was something I had never done before, and it was cool to see how they make some of my favorite snacks. It is also nice to see that this company is still in business and doing very well in 2018. I would highly recommend this tour! 

The Martin’s Potato Chip Factory Tour is conducted at their Thomasville factory just outside of York. Tours are conducted on Tuesdays only at 9am, 10am, and 11am.

Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 1-800-272-4477.

It’s a good idea to combine your trip to Martin’s with a visit to the Snyder’s of Hanover and Utz Potato Chip factories in nearby Hanover. A real foodie kind of day in Pennsylvania! 


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Monday, January 15, 2018

American Art at Christie's New York


I popped into Christie's in November for their American Art auction preview. It didn't disappoint in the least. I just love this place and there is no entrance fee to go in and view auctions prior to sale. 

Estimate $4,000,000 to $6,000,000 
Price Realised $7,287,500 US Dollars 

This was my first time seeing Norman Rockwell paintings in person, and I must say, they are really quite lovely. I am actually looking into taking an art history type class this year in the city since I see so many of these works in person. I would like to have an even better appreciation of this art. This one sold for well above the estimate, which I am not too surprised. 



Price realised $200,000 US Dollars 

I really loved this one, it was small in size but had so much beauty. I was not shocked it went over the estimate value. 


Price Realised $996,500 US Dollars 

This one was really just so lovely. I enjoyed looking at it for some time. 


Price realised $2,292,500 US Dollars 


Price realised $250,000 US Dollars 


How cool is this painting? I just loved it, it looks like they are going to move? I love the outfits on the people, the men's hat's and the newspapers over their heads. A truly wonderful piece of artwork. 

Price realised $50,000 US Dollars 


Price realised $106,250 US Dollars 


This was a really gorgeous painting and I LOVED the dress on the lady! Look at that waist! I love the neckline, the bows at the shoulders and waist. This dress could be worn today and it would look just wonderful! The painting was made in 1890-1891, that is quite a long time ago, but still oh so chic! 

I really think this is a young George Washington but I could be wrong. I couldn't find the info card that tells you who painted it and what it was. I still felt it is a marvelous painting and had to share it with you! 


Christie's Special Exhibition Gallery
20 Rockefeller Plaza, West Entrance is located at 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm
We are often open for weekend views, although the hours vary by sale. You can check the website for weekend viewing hours for each sale.


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