Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fast Track to His Heart

The fastest way to a man’s heart is through the stomach – or so they say. I am sure that by this time, your man already knows whether or not you can cook. And whether or not you CAN cook, it's nice to be able to impress him with a dinner that evokes some “oohs”, “aahhs”, and “mmms”. For a meal that is sure to impress, check out Rachael Ray’s recipe, “You won’t be single for long Vodka Cream Pasta”. It’s quick and easy, so you can put it together after a long day, and it’s sure to get the reaction that you are looking for! Give it a try!
You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
This recipe will make enough for 2 couples. If you plan a romantic evening where more than two's a crowd, reserve half the sauce to freeze for another supper before the addition of basil, and only cook 1/2 to 2/3 pound of penne.

Prep Time: 5 min, Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy Serves: 4

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 shallots, minced
* 1 cup vodka
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
* Coarse salt and pepper
* 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
* Crusty bread, for passing

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.

Printed from on Thu Apr 30 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

If money were not an object

What inspired me to eventually start Starry Night Design Studio, was an article in a magazine that I read while planning my wedding, that had a list of things to do if money were not an object. At the time, hand painted aisle runners were unheard of, so the extravagant idea was to hire an artist to hand paint the aisle runner.
Since I was an artist, I immediately started my search for a blank aisle runner that I could paint. And then I didn’t stop there. I painted my invitations, table cards, paper cones, and place cards with the same design – EACH one was individually drawn and painted by hand with the same motif.
So that was 11 years ago, and I am wondering today, what would you do to make your wedding really special, as if money were not an object? Please comment!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I am inspired this week by a customer who requested work to be done in fuschias and greens, for a summer wedding. As I imagined the large blooms in the bouquet like hydrangeas and peonies that inspired such a beautiful palette, I couldn't tone down my excitement. I am so anxious to start on this project.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I recently joined Etsy and set up shop there. It's such a wonderful place full of such talented people. From a seller's point of view, they make it super easy to sell, and inexpensive too. The advertising that they do attracts many people that you would not be able to find on your own. The administration there is just wonderful and knowledgeable, and they truly want you to be successful.
From a buyer's point of view, you can find these amazing, talented and creative people to buy from all in one place with just a simple click.
Every day I find something new and amazing. Have you been there yet? Check it out at, and please also be sure to visit my shop for beautiful hand painted wedding aisle runners at See you there!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Days With My Father

I just read the most amazing story.... please view the essay at to see what I mean. The story was very touching, and I was very moved by it. The photograpy is wonderful. It reminds me very much of the time spent with my father in the last few years. Although I had a very hard time looking at him while he was ill, I wish that I had captured more of him - more photos, more thoughts, more conversation, when I had the chance.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rose colored glasses

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. It's easy to get scared and feel powerless. When things happen that you have no control over, and can't do anything about, I think it's best to look at the world through rose colored glasses. It may even help your situation by putting a positive outlook forward, which usually always brings about a good change. So try to think of the glass as "half full" rather than "half empty" and get out there in the sun!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting ready for Springtime!

Ahh Springtime... the season of renewal. A feeling of starting over, starting fresh. A new beginning. It captures my thoughts exactly as I begin down a new path on my journey. Of course the unknown is always scary, but if you don't embrace these forks in the road that life sometimes brings, you just might wind up missing a whole lot of good stuff. So hold on for the ride, and get ready for new experiences, new friendships and new routines.

This Spring, we celebrate the start of our new shop on Etsy where we are proud to present our glorious designs! Our wedding aisle runners are hand painted for the most spectacular walk down the aisle you have ever seen! You can choose one of our original designs, or we can custom design one for you.

They are the perfect pathway for the start of YOUR new journey.

Happy Spring!


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