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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Easter Bread Part I

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things in life was to go to the local library and check out as many books as I could (24 was the max). I would always try to add in new ones, but I had the old favorites I would check out over and over! This book, by Tommy dePaola was one of those tried and true books for me. It had a great story to it and really made me wish I was Italian (I married one:). 

In the back of the book, there is a fabulous recipe for Italian Easter bread. Our good family friends were very Italian, and their mother would make this every year. We were lucky enough to live next door so I could stuff myself with this amazing bread. 

In 7th grade, we made the long and sad move to Houston. My mom and I tried to make the bread, but it wasn't the same. Mom was a fabulous cook, so that wasn't the problem. As I look back on it, I think the magic or holiday loving feeling of tradition was gone--still back in that Italian kitchen where the loaves of Easter bread piled high. So after one Easter of trying to make it, we gave up and went back to our own traditions. But over 15 years later, I still miss that amazing Italian Easter Bread. 

Well this Easter will be the first with our son, so we are starting all of those holiday traditions for the first time with kids. And guess what, I am going to make that wonderful bread! I will keep producing loaves of the bread until one would think I was an Italian housewife from the days of old! 

Behold the Italian Easter bread! 

I am going to prep everything and possibly get started tonight!!! I will keep you all posted and let you know how it turns out!! Wish me luck! And if you are one of the lucky friends, you just might get some Easter bread from the Mondello household!!! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Link Party!!!

Good Morning everyone!! Today I am having my very FIRST link party!!! I have been trying to think of a topic for sometime, but couldn't decide on just one. SO I decided that you can choose what to post from your blog! You could post anything that you are wanting to share with the world! Some examples could be a new craft, a new piece of furniture that you have made beautiful, an awesome recipe, a day in the life of what you do, cool vacation tips, a funny life story to make us all giggle, etc!!

Here are the bolgosphere guidelines!!!!

1.) Follow me if you are not already
2.) Pretty please add my link to the bottom of your post
3.) Visit some fellow blogger's posts and leave a comment or two!!
4.) The only things I ask that you don't link to are the usual---your store, a giveaway, or your link party!
5.) Make sure you link to a specific page in your blog, not the main page!!

HAVE FUN! This will be going on for a week, so check back to see all of the cool blogs!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Wreath!

After a long and fun weekend with the Mondello fam in New Orleans, it is nice to be back home! As we were unpacking, I looked up to see my newest creation that I hung up on the wall before we left for the weekend! It made me all fuzzy inside, like spring/summer was here in our house at 6:20 in the evening!!

So if you are wanting something a little springy for the house, here is a quick (and super easy) idea for you!

1.) Buy a wreath at Hob Lob or Michaels--check to see who has them on sale!! You can buy any type wreath you want, I just liked the look of this one (it also seemed like the flowers would go in there easily!)

2.) Buy about 4 stems of fake flowers. These can be whatever style and color you want! You could also use dried real flowers from your garden if you want!! So whatever you choose, stick the flowers in the wreath, staying with the shape of the wreath. THERE YOU ARE! Your very own piece of spring to brighten the house!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Letter M

I have been searching high and low for the PERFECT items to go on the entry wall above the buffet. When I flip through magazines it always looks like the "person living there" just threw some junk up on the wall that they had lying around. Well since I am not one of those lucky people who happen to have 19th century keys left to me by my great grandmother I am going to have to create that look!

 I am proud to debut my newest homemade item and my FIRST item for above the entry buffet! Here he is (not hung yet)---

I have seen the infamous moss letter in a ton of mags and on the blogosphere. I tried sheet moss and hot glue, which I think turned out pretty good!! 

Now here's how you can do it! Hopefully you have a super easy letter like I to work with! M was easy, but took some time!

1.) Here is what you will need:

Here is the green sheet moss I was referring to. It is on the same aisle as the other moss at the HOb LOB

2.) And here is a shot of how it should start to look at you are gluing the moss to the letter. Note that I used a golden letter from HOB LOB because I liked the shape better than the cardboard at the other stores. Not to mention that it is hang ready AND only $5!! 

3.) So after you cut and glue and then cut and glue some more...you come out with this!!! (hopefully)

So if you are ready to spring up your house, this is a great, easy and cheap place to start!!! 


Anne Taintor Anyone?!?

I love anything and everything Anne Taintor! Every time I come across her goodies in a store I have to pick out something! She started this line in the 1980's while she was a stay at home momma, which makes her line even cooler!! My favorite AT's could go on forever, but I will try to put the top ones on here! She has something for everyone--ENJOY!!

Have a fabulous Thursday! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tasty Chicken Tacos--from Casa de Mondello!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We had some fabulous friends in town and saw Brad Paisley at the rodeo!! We were also bust working on our hutch!! Hopefully I will be showing you the finished product soon! 

Isn't she CUTE?!?! 
So tonight I was in the mood for something tasty, but couldn't put my finger on what exactly I wanted. SO I started searching the interwebs and came across a chicken taco recipe! PERFECT! So I start skimming the recipe and see that while the idea is good, it is obviously written by a Yankee taco maker (I can say this as I am orig from NE myself). Oregano in tacos...really??!?!? YUCK!! So here is the doctored up version (with pics) that turned out to be AMAZING if I do say so myself! I will attach the orig recipe at the bottom for any oregano taco lovers out there!! 

Chicken Tacos Mondello Style

What You'll Need: \
(for the chicken)
-4 BS chicken breasts
-1/8 cup red wine vinegar
-Juice from 1 lime --that's 1.5 T of the juice from the bottle if you don't happen to have a lime lying around!
-1 t sugar
-1/2 t salt
-1/2 t ground black pepper
-cumin--two shakes, prob 1/2 t
-1/2 yellow onion
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 can of chicken broth

(for the toppings etc.)
-Tortillas --you can make your own with maseca or get some from the tortilleria at your grocery!
-1/2 green pepper
-1/2 red pepper
-1/2 yellow onion
-1 T of butter (you can sub olive oil for this)
-cojita cheese

1.) boil chicken, let it cool then shred it
2.) While chicken is cooking, prep pico, cut lettuce, onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro
3.) Put a teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan and sautee 1/2 yellow onion, green, and red pepper. Keep the heat at medium so they are cooking but not burning. 
I LOVE the smell of this combo of fresh veggies cooking!!

4.) Add all ingredients for chicken from above into pan and then add chicken. Bring to a boil, stir as needed, then turn down heat for about 10 mins.
This is all of the ingredients BEFORE adding the chicken
With chicken

5.) While your chicken mixture is cooking, heat up a cast iron skillet and coat with the one T butter. Then add  up to 4 tortillas at once to warm/crisp. Turn heat up to high. You can flip these after about 2 mins. 

6.) Set tortillas on plate and serve!! 

Oregano tacos below:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 10 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa


  1. Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.
  2. Heat an iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quick and Yummy dinner!!

We all have those nights where the last thing we feel like doing is putting a nice meal together. Well the next time you feel this way, you can whip up the Chicken I made last night!!

**I know most people feel exhausted and wiped out on Monday night, but I have always felt like this on Tuesday night. I think on Monday night I am still in shock that the week has really started again, and by Tuesday that feeling has worn off !

Here is the dinner: (just so you can see what I put it together with--the meal shows what I was in the mood for and what was easy to make. You could also make this with rice and steamed veggies etc)
-Easy Sauteed Chicken Breasts
-1/2 sweet potato each
-dinner salad
-Watermelon ( This was on sale and looked so pretty that it made it to the dinner table!)

-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can always make more for wraps in your lunch the next day, or if there are more than 2 of you eating)
-Onion Salt
-Seasoning Salt
-Garlic Powder
-Fresh Pepper
-About 3 T of butter or Olive oil

1.) Sprinkle the above seasoning on both sides of the chicken
2.)  Put butter OR oil into pan and let heat up
3.)  Put chicken into pan and sautee for about 12 minutes PER SIDE--trust me, you do not want to sit down and cut into raw chicken

And there you are!! You might be thinking, wow Libby, this isnt the healthiest option with all of the salt...ok so if you are not as tired as I was last night, then you can cut up some garlic and onion and then sprinkle a little pepper on the chicken and sautee that! You could even throw in some green pepper! Just make sure that you are not burning your garlic or the whole dish tastes yucky!!

**Make sure that you do not sprinkle on too much of the seasoning!! A little goes a long way esp since you are doing both sides and it will be sitting in the pan with the seasoning for a while.

SO while this isn't the best dish I have ever made, it is quick, easy, and yummy! You can also pair it with a ton of things! It is also 1,000 times better than going through a drive thru!!!

--If you are a fan of chic-fil-a like yours truly, then you will appreciate this. The rolls I made last night are ones you get from the freezer section of the grocery. They come in a pie tin and are called Sister Schubert's House Style yeast rolls. I SWEAR they are, or taste the same as, the chic-fil-a mini rolls!!!! Just try them and let me know what you think!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Show Some Chalkboard Love!!

I have been LOVING this chalkboard spray paint craze that has been going on lately! It seems like it is everywhere I look! So I have been pondering how I can get some of the chalkboard awesomeness into my abode!! I am a huge fan of framing everything right now (most likely because of my little one) so I decide I am going to make a chalkboard frame of sorts....

I head to THE craft store, Hobby Lobby,  and spy this beautiful wooden frame for ONE DOLLAR!! Yep, that's right, $1.00!! I am really starting to LOVE the wood aisle! First my coasters, now the frame!! So I of course get two because for $1.00,and now I can afford to make a mistake!! I also have to pick up some of the chalkboard spray paint! Can I tell you how long I have been wanting to purchase this!!! I am like a kid walking through toys R us as I approach the spray paint area. I also get some regular chalk. I figure that if I get serious about this chalkboard stuff I can always come back and get the new and improved liquid chalk pen that is wayyy more than my dusty old chalk!!

I head home and spray paint my $1.00 frame twice for good measure--( I am thinking to myself as I do this that I have surely read it somewhere that you MUST spray two coats. Or am I convincing myself of this so that I can use more of this awesome spray paint?!?!?) Either way, I do two coats and I think it looks PERFECT! I bring it in and already have a quote in mind!  Mason and I have been reading some fabulous books that I read as a child, which happen to have some fabulous quotes in them!!

So here is the final product!!!

TA-DA!! A Perfect pic for over my windowsill!! Please pardon my handwriting! Does this quote look familiar to anyone?!?! This book, The giving Tree, and the movie the Land before time all made me sooo sad as a kid and still do!!

I'm off to make my hubby's bday cake and prep for dinner!! Have a fun mon!!Talk to you soon!