Saturday, March 8, 2014

You're Eating Meatloaf on Your Lenten Fast?


Yes you can.  All you need is the mashed potatoes.   Except ours is a vegetable meat loaf ... no meat found here.(  And instead of a side of mashed potatoes, we're adding a side of mashed cauliflower.  These would make great dishes for your Lenten fast.  

Lenten Fast is #5 on our Spring To-Do-List.

Kiki here, miracles and blessings ... today's text-webisode is a tasty one.  With so many of our regulars partaking in the Lenten Fast, we decided to share a few tasty dishes that'll make you forget about the meat loaf and ribs you're passing up.

Vegetable Meat Loaf

  • Meat loaf:$
  • 1 large red bell pepper $
  • 1 large green bell pepper $
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped $
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch asparagus pieces $
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion $
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup $
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten $
  • Cooking spray $
  • Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup $
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1.  Preheat broiler to high.
  2. To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  4. Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
  6. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.
  7. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 6 slices.

Brown Butter Cauliflower Mash
  • 1 head medium cauliflower (about 2 lb.), chopped* $
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt $
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese $
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons butter $
  • Garnish: fresh chives


1. Fill a large Dutch oven with water to depth of 1/4 inch. Arrange cauliflower in Dutch oven. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. 
2. Process cauliflower, sour cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor 30 seconds to 1 minute or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chives. Place in a bowl. 
3. If desired, microwave mixture at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring at 1-minute intervals.
4. Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat, and immediately drizzle butter over cauliflower mixture. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
Jennifer Pinna, Raleigh, North Carolina,

What delicious recipes are you using for your Lenten Fast?  Hungry minds want to know. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is There a Craft Girl Hiding Inside?

 (Wearable Art Blog)

There was in me, and I'm so glad she's free.  
Why?  Because she found a great way to de-stress from the challenges of the day.  Since the New Millennium rolled into play, there has been a resurgence of knitting, crocheting, millinery, jewelry-making, sewing, needlepoint and paper crafts.

(Natural Maui)

If anyone had told me a few years ago, that I wouldn't able to pass an AC Moore store without going inside, I would've laughed in their face.  Now, there's not a day that goes by that I don't carve out ten minutes or an hour to crank out my current passion, knitting my Moderne Petite Purses. 

Enter this new creature with knitting needles in one hand, fabric scraps in the other and a desire to create things with my little old hands and oodles of imagination.  Oh yeah, I've become craft girl, say hello ...won't you.

Oh, it gets better. Not only have I become craft girl, I've also started the First Tuesday-Third Wednesday Knitting & Crocheting Club, a twice-monthly knitting group at two local libraries; created a blog and I'm thinking about producing a Google+ web show for passionate crafters.   


(First Tuesday - Karen's Entrelac Hat)

Day 5 
(Wearable Art Blog)

Miracles and Blessings, Kiki here... welcome to today's text-webisode:  "Is There a Craft Girl Hiding Inside?  Say hello and let her out. She's coming out.  Mark my words, it's just a matter of time.  You'll be glad she did, because the calm that accompanies her, makes all the difference in the world.  (The Cloche Project)

This is #4 on iCafe Woman Moderne's Spring To-Do-List.  Find the crafter inside of you, so you can bring more peace into your life.  What do you get for your search?  A calmer you, a new craft, self-confidence, joy, fun; and you meet a lot of interesting people.   

This new skill would not have been learned running on a treadmill for an hour with ear buds. Sure, running is great, but turning a piece of metal into a bracelet; or shaping straw and felt into a sharp cloche hat ... that's priceless. 

 (Wearable Art Blog)

(The Age - Spring Carnival - Australia)

When Did it Happened?

I had an inkling of this inner craft girl, when I whipped up a collage mural at my church that looked like Noah's ark.  It stayed up on the children's Sunday School wall for months.  Nevertheless, it took another five years before I picked up a pair of knitting needles, and I haven't put it down since that day.  I've even ventured back into the world of crocheting.  Well, I'm still treading slowly in that world.  I've almost got the rhythm down pact.

What Will You Discover?

You'll find:
1. Patience
2. A New Skill
3. Peace 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Who's Afraid of Victoria's Secret Swimwear?

(Above - Crop Rashguard and bikini bottom)
(Magicsuit Covertable One Piece)
(Middle - Teal Magicsuit Firm Control Romper)

Not me!  At last, 2014 has brought a new trend to Victoria's Secret swimwear collection that I've wished for years.  Swimsuits with cap sleeves, more keyhole necklines, and stylish rashgaurd suits, popular with the surfer set are now on the scene.

(Smocked Tankini and hipster)

(Long-sleeved rashgaurd and bikini bottom)

They all have arrived at Victoria's Secret (VS), and I'm no longer afraid to claim my swimsuit. Finally, iCafe Woman Moderne found 12 (yes, you read it right) VS swimsuit styles that are flattering for the average woman's body, which research says is a size 12.

(Magicsuit Firm Control Retro One-Piece)

(magicsuit plunge tankini and mid-rise bottom)

Day 4  of our 31-day Blogging Challenge

Swimsuit shopping is the third item on our Spring To-Do-List, because if you don't do it now, by May the pickings will be very slim.  These styles would look great on most shapes, but some you'll need a tighter middle.  

But hey, that's why we're doing our fun fitness--rebounding.  Did you order yours yet?  I hope you took advantage of the HSN special on the Urban Rebounder this past weekend.  If not, you can click the sidebar links.  And voila! ... Memorial day here we come.

I love the idea of Victoria's Secret, but it's often difficult to picture myself in their swimsuits.  Curvy women tend to shy away from their revealing suits, but this season's crop has given me renewed hope. At least they look great on the screen. 

Some like to make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise, soothe and heal.  Proverbs 12:18

Kiki here ... and Diane ... Miracles and Blessings ...welcome to today's iCafe Woman Moderne's text-webisode: 
"Who's Afraid of Victoria's Secret Swimwear?"  Not us, anymore.

I love the blouson swimsuits. They're great for hiding your middle. Here's another version of the one in the opening scene.  Now the Average Joanie can come out to play and look sharp.

 (Magicsuit Covertable One Piece)

Give me a sport swimsuit every time. They're comfortable and not too daring; and allow you to do some serious swimming and body surfing.  Rashguards have been around for decades and gained fashion credo over recent years. I'd prefer a rashguard tankini, but the crop rashguard keeps me on the rebounder a little longer.  That's okay, because it's fun and I'm usually watching my favorite show.  But I definitely wouldn't wear a string bottom.

 (Above - Crop Rashguard and bikini bottom)

That's the great part, you can match them up with a bottom that has more coverage.  I gravitate toward the skirts and the hipsters.

(Forever Sexy Tie-Front Tankini and skirted bottom)
Me too.  I also tend to wear boy short tankinis, which would go nice with a rashguard. 

(VS Boy Short)

I like that Victoria's Secret has kept some of the retro halter designs.  You can never go wrong with retro. But she also added a New Millennium twist it.  Can you say, unique?  Absolutely, and it tops the cute scale.

 (Strappy Halter and bikini bottom)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

See Jane Run on a Tablet?


See Macy Read on an Electronic Tablet?
See Dawson interact on an iPhone?
How can this be true?
Oh what to do ...what to do?
You mean ...there'll be no more finger turning pages of Green Eggs and Ham too ... in a paperback or hard cover to delight you?
How did we miss this digital clue?
Did it sneak up on us before we could say shoo?
Shall we save our trees and follow the digital light ...
to a land far away from Dick and Jane on New Millennium's fictional afterlife.

Kiki here with a quick infomercial on the new digital climate in children's literature.  

Who? What? Where? Why? How?

Sure, with technology comes a sleuth of questions?  What better way to ask them than in our beloved Dr. Seuss's poetic way. But a question still floats above our adult heads with giant question marks.  Is this the end of children reading bound books? Will we stop seeing kids carrying their favorite Dr. Seuss?

“You have brains in your head.  

You have feet in your shoes. 

You can steer yourself any direction you choose. 
You're on your own. 
And you know what you know. 
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” 

Will that decision be for kids to say goodbye to books for good, and hello to wearing computer glasses earlier than they should.   

It's Easy as 1,2,3..

The answer is simple for kids.  
They love tablets and they love losing themselves in a good story. But the smallest screen isn't playing fair.  Illustrated interactive books are taking the apps world by storm.  

Kids love spending hours on their tablets playing games, so why not get them reading?  Guess what, parents love them too.  This love grew when  Kindle Fire Tablet added parental controls that allow parents to decide when it's time for a child to stop.  So little Emma and little Ray can leave the electronics behind and enjoy an activity that let's them move their bodies.  Yes, it's grins all around.

What does Kiki say about the end to children reading bound books?  A resounding no way... IMHO! (In my humble opinion.) 

As long as  Kayla can play dress-up with Eloise in her Plaza Penthouse suite and Tyler can hide out from a bully with a journaling Wimpy Kid, there will be tangible books kids can drop ketchup mustard on like their parents and grandparents before them. 

But unlike their grandparents, they'll be able to click on a game to help the character escape from a bully and find a new adventure in a five star hotel.  The important thing is to keep children reading, especially boys.

(The Bug Barians)


1. Create a Summer Book Club

Start a summer book club with your child's friends, pint-sized relatives or neighbors 8 to 12.  This is the time period where boys often lose interest in reading books.

Pre-school to 2nd Graders
The Bug Barians

The Bug Barians® is an ensemble cast but if there’s one lead – it’s the jittery and accident prone ‘Clonk The Clonkerer’.  Think of him as the Gilligan of the bunch and you’ll be in the ball park.  Sure he causes things to happen, but Clonk means well and he’s as lovable and innocent as a clumsy six armed Viking Bug who winds up sitting on his horned helmet a lot – can be.  Plus…if it wasn’t for Clonk, the adventures wouldn’t be half as fun. He’s a Bug Barian through and through.

3rd to 4th Graders
Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett Krosoczka - Alfred a. Knopf, 2011

Superhero Lunch Lady and the Breakfast Bunch save the day from art thieves in this fun graphic novel set in an art museum. (Series)

By Kate Klise

Seymour Hope and his friend Wy Fye must expose the mysterious, troublesome individual who is determined to close the ghastly post office that will ultimately sever the connection of the mansion's ghostwriters with their fans. (series)

2.  Plan Movie Night of Book Adaptations

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Here are some fun movie adaptations that will never go out of style.

1. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
2. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
3. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events by 
Daniel Handler
4. Holes by Louis Sachar
5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
6. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
7. Hugo - The Invention of Hugo Calbret by Brian Selznick
8. Eloise by Kay Thompson

But only with the stipulation that they must read the book first, then rent a popcorn machine or do it the old fashioned way.  Buy movie candy from the dollar store, order pizza and make it a fun summer event, a couple times a month.

(Backyard Movie Night)

3. Find a Book Charity Program

 (children and seniors connecting over books)

Most children like to feel useful.  Find a program where they're reading to senior citizens in a nursing home, or to smaller children. They may resist it at first, but you'd be surprise the change that can occur once they volunteer their time. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bling in Spring with Office Glam or Office Spa...

Day 2

A season change always means changes to our lives in some way.  Why not change the place you spend many hours of the day in?  

That's right, we're taking our iCafe Woman Moderne, Spring-To-Do-List to the office with item number two on our second day of the 31-Day Blog Challenge.

If office glam isn't your personal taste, even though spring is a great time to leave your comfort zone, you can transform your office into a calm space with spa-like touches.  

Ah, I've got your attention.  Good.

Miracles and Blessings ... Kiki here.   You'll enjoy today's text-webisode:  "Bling in Spring with Office Glam or Office Spa."

Office Spa:  Stress Relief for the Working Week - Author Darrin Zeer taps into the healing principles behind aromatherapy, acupressure, meditation, reflexology, and even feng shui, creating quick and effective pampering treatments that are easy to do on your commute, at the computer, or in the conference room.  

Here's the million dollar question, do you want to glam things up, add some spice--or incorporate serene touches to your not-so-serene office environment, whether it's inside a high-rise or a kitchen pantry?

Defense Attorney Renee, an iCafe Woman Moderne regular, and host of our last visit to office glam, hosts today's text-webisode.


Thanks, Kiki.  Yes, those are the questions you need to answer before putting this on your Spring To-Do-List and making the change.  But I'm all for balance.  Here's a thought, why not have a little office glam and a little office spa.  I tend to sip a cup of coffee while eating a bowl of ice cream.

I LOVE that stiletto desk.  I'm in the process of hiring a carpenter to make a version of it for my home office, but in a glossy Tiffany blue.  Where there's a will, there's always a way.  I'm sure with a lot creativity and a trip to Ikea, you could make your own version of a stiletto desk.

Creativity Rocks!

You could even use a  modern style desk, take off two of the legs, and stack old hardcover out-of-print books and secure them with wood glue.  I saw this done on HGTV once, or maybe it was on TLC's Trading Spaces.   You could screw the books together with wooden dowels to form a desk leg or a stacked heel, if you're creating your own stiletto desk.  A waterfall desk is an even easier option for that stiletto desk look.  I may nix the carpenter and do that myself. 

(waterfall desk)

Feminine Touches for Your Corporate Office/Cubicle

Amp up your downtown office with a few items from home, like replacing that standard office chair with an upholstered chair and a shag run shaped like a cloud.  See, there's the spa already creeping into your glam design.  

The chair above and to the left looks like something you would sit on during a manicure.  I knew a woman from my last corporate job, who brought from home, a chrome floor lamp with long curved neck she used over her desk.  It was great at softening the florescent lighting.  

A couple of dollar store vases filled with A.C. Moore's silk pink roses and lilac hydrangeas, and glass beveled frames in different sizes along the wall helped relax her on the busiest days.  She admitted to getting more accomplished when she added more personality to her office.  There we go again with the calm and the glam side-by-side.

A Little Office Bling Here and There 
Goes a Long Way
Show off a little office bling with a pink zebra Post-it Pop Up-Note Purse and Stiletto Shoe Dispenser...

A tiffany blue stiletto shoe tape dispenser and clutch ... and a leopard iPad cover.  Remember those awful shoulder pads from the 1980s?  Nope, we're not trying to hide our feminine side.

True, not all women dig pink and rhinestones.  But, I'd be hard press to find a woman who doesn’t like diamonds. 


If your eyes light up when you see our office glam, then you'll know you have a girly side screaming to get out.  I’ve seen several of my crocodile purse Post-it dispensers in my department since I placed mine on my desk.  

Now for the Office Calm... with a Side of Glam

 (succulent garden - Pinterest)

Create your office calm with a succulent garden in a pretty ceramic pot.  Use soothing textures and colors, such as: grass cloth, a marble or quartz tile to set a lamp, plants or office accessories on.  If it's okay with company policy, you can add fabric to the inside cubicle walls that at times can feel like they're closing in.  

Office Cubicle Glam and Calm - Empirella)

(Decoration Ideas)

Try adding a small table next to your desk to hold a tea set.  That could be your office tea station.  I also saw this in another cubicle at my last job.  

Instead of going for that extra jolt of java, serve yourself a cup of herbal tea made from loose leaves.  Keep a small jar of honey and/or rock candy stirrers when you need special pampering as you close in on a deadline. 
(atmosphere interior design)

(shorty & Me)

More Office Spa Touches

A small waterfall placed on your desk will also have a calming effect. You can even include a small cherry tomato and pepper plant that you can enjoy with your salad at harvest time.