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Savory and seaworthy

Judy (above) and Ray Dintino use a toaster oven to cook meals aboard their docked boat, Cloud IX. Their home away from home is what I write about in today's Home & Style section.

 Here is one of her favorite recipes. It is SO simple, and there are many variations. Let's call it:

1. Start with a couple slices of garlic/herb Naan flatbread, available in packages at supermarkets.
2. Brush on some olive oil (Judy uses Wegmans Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil.)
3. Sprinkle with Romano cheese.

4. Add slices of fresh tomato and fresh basil leaves.

5. Top with a little shredded Parmesan.

6. Bake for 10 or 15 minutes at 350 degrees in toaster oven (or conventional oven). You also can grill it.

Cut into strips and serve.


Althea Harper trunk show

13381961H6474866[1]   Althea Harper, who made it to the finals during the sixth season of "Project Runway," is having a trunk show featuring her spring/summer dresses and separates from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Clothes Bar, 4401 Transit Road, Williamsville. There is no admission charge.

  The designer, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, and has family ties to Buffalo, will answer questions about her "Project Runway" experience and also her design career.

 For information call 565-0194.

Flower Power


See the flowers on the cover of this new book? I love them!

I saw the book, "Emily Post's Great Get-Togethers" around the same time a friend of mine gave me a similar arrangement for my birthday last month. She told me she bought them at Wegmans. I didn't ask the price.

Anyway, this is my new favorite way to arrange flowers: Small rectangular vase. Big buds. Short stems. Simple but spectacular! And, as seen on the book cover, several of them down the center of a table looks great.

Book info: "Emily Post's Great Get-Togethers: Casual Gatherings & Elegant Parties at  Home" (HarperCollins, $25.99 paperback) is by Anna Post and Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughters of Emily Post.

Tour time!

X00018_9[1]   It's May, and that means Tour Season! For starters, the Parkside Community Association will present its 12th annual Tour of Homes from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The tour features 10 homes and begins at Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway. A mini-tour of several buildings on the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin complex, including the Gardener's Cottage (shown here), is included in the ticket price.
   Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 tour day and $13 for PCA members. Advance tickets can be obtained at the PCA offfice, 2318 Main St., or by calling the office at 838-1240 during regular business hours. No children under age 12. You can find out more at the Web site:

   The local garden tours will begin before you know it as well, so keep your eyes on upcoming Friday Home & Style sections for all the details!

Talking furniture

 Outdoor210_lvI wrote about outdoor furniture trends in today's Home & Style section, and one of the resources I used was the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), a trade association representing more than 220 leading manufacturers and distributors.

In addition to being a helpful resource to the media, the AHFA, based in High Point, N.C., also offers a consumer Web site,

Among the features you will find here: the "Style Profiler" to help you determine your style preferences, the "Furniture Finder" (with furniture catalog and dealer locator) and "Trend Watch," where this lounge chair from Laneventure is shown.

There's also a room planner, shopping tips, safety information and more. Check it out.

Brunch favorite

X00043_9[1] Asparagus will be showing up on many buffet and dinner tables this weekend. Here is one of my favorite recipes that I have made for years. I especially like it for brunch. It came from designer Carolyne Roehm's book "Spring Notebook" (HarperCollins, $25):

Asparagus Fontina Tart

    What you need: 8 ounces frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator; 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese; 16 to 20 asparagus stalks, cut to 3 1/2 inch lengths; 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 

    What you do: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap puff pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Using a saucepan lid (or plate) as a template, cut out an 8-inch circle of dough. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet. Chill in fridge 10 minutes. Lightly prick dough all over with a fork.

Cover pastry with grated fontina up to 1/2-inch from  the pastry edge. Place asparagus spears in spokes, with three or four more asparagus tips arranged in the center. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden (about 20 minutes). Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake five more minutes. Serve warm. Serves four. 

Trash talk


"I accidentally threw it away!"
These are words no one wants to hear. Toss-out mishaps is the topic of my "From the Home Front" column today.
When I was telling a friend about it, she turned sad and told me how her husband accidentally threw away an envelope that contained a clipping of their son's baby hair from his first haircut. (This isn't a photo of their son, but it sure is cute!).
Books of stamps, important receipts, unsigned permission slips from school, unplanted tulip bulbs in a bag in the garage, kids' retainers (wrapped in a tissue or napkin, no doubt) -- all so easy to toss in the trash or recycling bin.

What have you accidentally thrown away?

For Fiesta fans!

Fiesta Paprika
Paprika is the newest color for Fiesta. The Homer Laughlin China Company, makers of Fiesta dinnerware, introduced it at the recent International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago. Last year's color was lemongrass. A shade called chocolate debuted in 2008.

I don't collect Fiesta -- not yet, anyway -- but I love these colors. And it's made in America. The company is headquartered in Newell, W.Va.

Paprika dinnerware will be available this summer. For a store list visit

Sparkle and shine

13169262H6127036[1] I've taken a hiatus from blogging, but what better time to get back at it than Oscar Night? I was at the office writing about Red Carpet fashion, but one friend I know hosts a party each year.

 And it's all about critiquing the dresses.

Sounds fun - and no newspaper deadline to meet! Bet there's good food, too.

But we're here to talk about the gowns. Did you have a favorite? One you thought was horribly wrong? And if you got together with friends for the Oscar bash - or gown-bashing - tell us about it.

Open houses

Looking for a fun holiday gift for a family member or friend? How about a ticket to a local holiday home tour? There are several coming up very soon, as I write about in today's Home & Style section.

Of course, you'll have to present the gift early, but why not?

Earlier this week, we photographed this setup at the home of Steven Cavallo, who is part of the Sixth Annual Christmas Tour of Homes in Hamburg, Dec. 6, presented by the Hamburg United Methodist Church.

It shows several pieces from his collection of Bennington Pottery, which is so great-looking and perfect for holiday entertaining - or any time of the year.

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