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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review - CSN Online Stores

CSN Stores approached me to do a review. I selected an item from their over 200 websites. I checked out Accent Furniture and Home Decor, kids beds, bar stools, dining rooms Swingsets And More, and cookware.

I love my Fiestaware and took this opportunity to expand my set. Since Fiestaware is generally quite expensive, I've been adding to it a little at a time.

Ordering online was fast and easy. The product was delivered on fast.

The prices at CSN Stores are excellent, as are the prices at the other over 200 CSN Stores websites. The 4 pack of Fiesta cereal bowls, normally $51.96, on sale for $39.96. The 9 5/8" Fiesta Oval Platter, normally $26.99, on sale for $19.99.

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given product to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2010

Mom...why do people get their lips pierced?

Taking the writing prompt from Mama's Losin' It...Describe an awkward conversation you had with someone recently.

Whoa! Yeah! Umm, that was awkward. We were in the car Monday night driving home from open gym night and both kids are talking about lip piercings. My daughter, ever the rule follower and announcer of rule breakers pipes in with "you have to remove piercings at our school. They aren't allowed because you could like get hurt in gym class. It could get caught on something." To which my son replies, "so and so had one and I remember he was playing basketball and got his ripped out, it was gross". Now normally I would reply that he was making that up, because he often makes up stuff (I really don't think piercings are allowed at his school, other than ear piercings), but there was no way I was heading into this conversation because the next thing I heard was "Why do people get their lips pierced?" And there was no way I was tackling that question. Of course my mind was distracted with the reasons. Lol! I pretty much let them talk amongst themselves and pretended I was engrossed in the song on the radio and pretended I wasn't paying attention. What was that song? I have no idea.

Talk amongst yourselves. Lol!

Lola's Diner ©2008-2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bookazine Review - Light & Delish: 400 Calories or Less

Recently I received a copy of Light & Delish: 400 Calories or Less, a special “bookazine” based on its successful food Web site, which launched in September 2008 in partnership with MSN and quickly became a top 10 food destination online, according to ComScore. The Fall 2010 issue features 138 quick, easy and healthy recipes at 400 calories or less, inspired by popular restaurant dishes.
This "bookazine" is chock full of healthful recipes with lots and lots of photos. In fact, every single recipe has a photo! There are so many good recipes to choose from, it's hard to pick what to try first. And all of them are 400 calories or less! Who could ask for more?

There are healthy makeovers for Pasta, Mac 'n' Cheese, Chinese Food, Mexican Food, Desserts. And even wine pairings are offered.
Hearst Magazines Digital Media, has launched a new bookazine featuring quick and easy recipes at 400 calories or less. 138 recipes in all, many of the items are inspired by popular restaurant dishes. The bookazine will hit newsstands on September 7 and will be on sale until December 13. The cost is $9.99.This marks the second Light & Delish: 400 Calories or Less bookazine that Hearst has published and features recipes developed and tested by the editors of Country Living, Good Housekeeping, and Redbook. The Fall 2010 issue includes meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner, created in healthy portion sizes, with flavorful, wholesome ingredients, and divided in categories such as Family Style, Trattoria Tonight, Mexican Fiesta, and Guilt-Free Desserts.

The magazine highlights healthy makeovers, offering easy, low-calorie recipes for family-style classics, mouth-watering Italian dishes, Mexican favorites, Asian buffet staples, and Bistro courses, as well as delicious desserts. Also included are healthy cooking tips, advice for eating smart when dining out, and a guide to wine and cheese, with pairing suggestions.

Throughout the pages of Light & Delish, readers are driven to for more recipes, tips, and how-to videos. In addition, readers can create their own online recipe book, access the advanced recipe finder tool, sign up for the free weekly newsletter, and get coupons."
The "bookazine", Light & Delish 400 Calories or Less will hit newsstands on September 7 and will be on sale until December 13. The cost is $9.99.

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given this "bookazine" to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cookbook Review - Two For Tonight - Pure Romance From L'Auberge Chez Francois, By Jacques E. Haeringer

I was so excited when I was contacted about reviewing Jacques E. Haeringer's new book, Two For Tonight - Pure Romance From L'Auberge Chez Francois. Soon after starting through the book, excitement turned into intimidation. That was until I tried 2 recipes. Then intimidation turned back into excitement.

What was the first recipe I tried? Expresso Mousse. I've never tried to make mousse from a recipe before. I've bought the package mix mousse that you can buy at the grocery store. The brand name rhymes with "hello". I've never used plain gelatin before. I had some instant chocolate putting on hand to cap off my romantic dinner just in case the mousse didn't turn out. I prepared the mousse in advance and put it in the refrigerator for later that night. It tasted great! The only complaint I have is my fault. I was not fast enough preparing the gelatin portion. I got side-tracked with something. (Note to self: don't walk away from gelling gelatin.) Thus the gelatin got a bit clumpy when I mixed in the chilled expresso. (And yes, I brewed up some expresso. Again, I got side-tracked while reducing the expresso and needed to brew a second cup.) I've never whipped cream before this and I was really concerned that it wouldn't whip, but my KitchenAid stand mixer performed the job admirably. When I folded in the expresso/gelatin mixture I noticed teeny, tiny bits of gelatin. Nothing I could do at that point, but it still tasted fabulous. I dusted the tops of the Expresso Mousse with Cocoa Powder. (I actually got about 3 ramekin servings because my ramekins were small.)
The second recipe was Bearnaise Sauce for the 2 steaks I purchased for our romantic dinner. My girlfriend and I love Bearnaise Sauce. Looking at the recipe, I was really intimidated. I flip flopped between giving it a shot and buying the packaged mix at the store. I decided to go all the way and try the recipe, and I have to say it was delicious! I can't wait to make it again. And I can't wait to try the Hollandaise Sauce recipe. (We love Eggs Benedict!)

While there are very few photos in the book, there are some really helpful tips in some of the recipes. For the Bearnaise Sauce recipe it said to beat the yolk mixture vigorously in a figure 8 pattern to incorporate more air. Good tip, I wouldn't have known to do that otherwise.

While my sauce is a bit chunky (I was hurried and did not finely chop the parsley), the taste was perfect, and it still looked good. Next time though, I will make a double batch, as we barely had enough sauce to cover the 2 steaks.
(The plate next to the steak is my girlfriend's version of Tempura Fried Green Beans. She was attempting to duplicate something she tried at a restaurant the day before. She made a sauce with Soy Sauce and Wasabi Paste that was delicious with the beans.

Next time I cook a romantic dinner at my house we'll try the Champagne Mousse. Can't wait!

Two For Tonight - Pure Romance From L'Auberge Chez Francois is available at, Barnes And, and your local bookstore.

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given this cookbook to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2010

August Top Commenter Winners!

Another close one. Harriet edged out Lin by 2 comments.

August's Winners:1st Place - 3 Week Ad2nd Place - 2 Week Ad
3rd Place - 1 Week Ad
1st Place

2nd Place

Duck and Wheel with String

3rd Place

Join in, COMMENT, and come back October 1st to find out the winners!
Play nice Harriet and Lin!
You gals rock!

Lola's Diner ©2008-2010
Lola's Diner Was recently updated by by copyright 2009 ©