deux filles

The Adventures and Musings of 2 BFFs Separated by a Continent

Can’t We All Just Get Along? 31 December 2012

Filed under: Denise,Pop Culture — deniselouise13 @ 2:49 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Enough of these shenanigans!  Surely someone in DC has a marker and a t-shirt – get sewin’!


(Image from Pinterest; Meme created by me and Deb)


Scotch Tape Manicure 3 June 2012

When Maud came to visit from France last summer, she brought all kinds of cool manicure tools with her.  Then she showed us all these websites she uses for ideas, and we were hooked.  It took me a little longer to catch on since my nails were always breaking and splitting, but since starting a B Vitamin supplement a few months ago, they are long and strong!  And now that we’re all on Pinterest, inspiration abounds!

I saw really cool manicure on Pinterest and couldn’t imagine how she made the design. I followed the link and had to click around the website, but eventually found out she uses Scotch Tape of all kinds of designs from French tips to sunburst rays! So. Very. Cool.

Of course you know I had to try it. Here’s how mine turned out:

Scotch Tape Manicure!

I even went out and bought Seche Vite top coat. Or SV as it’s known in the Nail World. Can’t wait to try another design!


Almond Poppy Seed Muffins 22 January 2012

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins


What To Do With Potato Leftovers… 25 November 2011

I made Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes again for Thanksgiving, and I got to keep the leftovers. Yum! But what to do with them?

Poached egg, cottage cheese and cheddar jack shredded cheese on top of Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

Use them instead of an English Muffin with poached eggs!


Grits-and-Eggs Casserole 10 April 2011

I found this yesterday while reading Rachel Ray’s magazine at the hair salon. It looked so good – and simple! – that I copied the recipe onto my BlackBerry. (40 minutes is a long time to sit while hair color processes its magic, gotta find something to do!)

This morning I tried it, and it’s quite delicious!

My tips:
* Don’t forget the salt when you boil the water for the grits. 😉
* Raw veggies added après baking is just as good! (Even better IMHO.)
* A dollop of cottage cheese on top of each serving adds a little something extra, and adds calcium!

Grits-and-Eggs Casserole
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 Cups quick-cooking grits
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons butter
8 eggs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
Hot Sauce, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the grits, lower the heat and cook, stirring, until very thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and butter until melted. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth with a spatula.

2. Using the back of a spoon, make 8 evenly spaced wells in the grits. Crack 1 egg at a time into a small bowl and pour into each well. Bake the casserole until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still jiggly, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to low and cook until the peppers are softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Serve the grits casserole with the peppers and onions; sprinkle with hot sauce.

From the March 2011 issue of Every Day with Rachel Ray


Denise: Threes of Me 5 December 2010

This is going around Facebook as a note. We thought it’d be fun to post it here, too. 😀

Three Nicknames
(That’s it, and only a few people call me that. Never had a nickname.)

Three Jobs I’ve had in my Life
Bookseller @BN
Grocery store Cashier

Three Places I have Lived
Philadelphia, PA
Tempe, AZ
Phoenix, AZ

Three Favorite Drinks
Sweet Tea
Margarita – on the rocks, no salt
Pinot Noir

Three TV Shows that I Watch
Law & Order (original, LA, SVU)
The Big Bang Theory
Blue Bloods
(I miss LOST!)

Three Places I have Been (only 3?)
Paris, France
California and 35 other states

Three of My Favorite Foods
Mom’s spaghetti sauce
Maggio’s pizza
French Toast

Three Things I am looking forward to
Going back to France
Publishing a book
Being able to retire

Three Things that are ALWAYS by my side
The book I’m reading
A pen and paper


Western Mac 28 November 2010

Not sure when this turned into a cooking blog 😉 , but remember this?

Western Mac

1 package of Velveeta Shells and Cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 16-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup water
Dash of pepper

Prepare mac and cheese following directions on package.

Brown the meat, green pepper and onion; cook until tender.

Stir in tomato paste, water and pepper; mix well. Stir in corn.

Add macaroni dinner.

Pour into 2-quart casserole; bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

Of course, I do a few things differently. I prefer raw vegetables, so I don’t sauté them with the meat. I also love peppers and onions, so I put in a whole pepper and half of a red onion.

Side note: Did you know there are male and female peppers, and they taste better for different things? Male peppers have three feet on the bottom and are good for slicing to eat raw or cook in stuff. Female peppers have four feet and are good for stuffing. (Thanks, Pampered Chef demonstration lady!)

I also don’t usually bake it in the oven; if it needs to be warmed up, I just nuke it in a bowl for 30 seconds.

And thank you to whoever told me about buttering crescent rolls before rolling and baking them!


finally… 27 November 2010

Filed under: Blogging,Denise,Let Them Eat Cake,Writing — deniselouise13 @ 2:50 pm

I finally published that post about Sweet Tea that I wrote on the airplane to Seattle.


Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes 25 November 2010

My mom’s friend used to make these when we were little, and now they’ve turned into what I bring to Thanksgiving dinner every year. (Otherwise I get turkey and corn. That’s it. So I thought I should make something I actually like!) They are quite delicious and easy enough to make.

Start by boiling four pounds of potatoes for 20 minutes. (I leave the skin on because I’m too lazy to peel the potatoes, and it practically falls off after they’re boiled, anyway. And aren’t all the vitamins in the skin? ;-))

Pull the skin off and cut the potatoes into smaller pieces…

… making it easier to mash!

Then add eight ounces of cream cheese and one cup of sour cream. I mix these up first to make sure they melt and spread evenly throughout before adding the spices.

For spices, you need two teaspoons of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 cup of chopped chives. (I don’t have anything that measures 1/8 tsp so I just use a quarter. Just don’t tell my dad because he doesn’t like garlic. ;-))

Mix it all up, put it in a 13×9 glass dish, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate, then bake again before dinner at 350 for 45 minutes. (This is nice because you can make it the day before and just heat it up before dinner!)

It smells wonderful!!!

Here’s the recipe:

Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes
4 pounds potatoes
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped chives

Boil potatoes for 20 minutes; mash.

Add cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Stir in chopped chives.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. The next day, bake for 45 minutes only.

Enjoy! 😀


Denise’s Egg McMuffin 21 November 2010

Here’s my version of an Egg McMuffin:

First, drizzle some olive oil on an English Muffin before toasting. (This adds some flavor and gets you some “good” fat.)

When they’re done, cover with shredded Cheddar Jack cheese. Then pile on some cottage cheese.

On top, add a poached egg, seasoned to taste.