Friday, August 31, 2007

What would salad be without the toppings?

Is anyone doing anything fun this weekend...maybe having a party and stuck for ideas on what to serve? It is Labor Day you know. That means 3 whole days off! How about inviting some friends over and doing something simple like Hamburgers on the grill? Maybe a choice of Hamburgers or Hot dogs? My husband is convinced that you can serve people just about anything as long as you have lots of toppings! About a year ago we were making some Black Beans and Rice. Pretty simple meal but we ended up inviting some of our friends over and we had about 10 people for a real simple dinner but everyone agreed it was all in the toppings! For toppings we had crumbled Mexican cheese, jalapenos, onions, hot sauce, sour cream, tomatoes, and avocado. It sure makes the meal. What would salad be without the toppings? A bowl full of lettuce!

I guess in all of my rambling what I am trying to say is be a little creative with your toppings. If you are serving Hamburgers try putting out some sliced avocado, BBQ sauce, different types of cheeses (blue cheese burgers are big right now), different types of mustard, tomatoes, maybe bell peppers sliced. Just try something different. Your guests will just really appreciate being invited and all the special attention to toppings will truly make the meal!

Happy Entertaining!!!


P.S. My FREE monthly newsletter will be going out the first week of September. You don't want to miss it! Sign up now at

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Almost Done!!!

I am almost done my 1st newsletter!!! It will be going out to all my subscribers the first week of September. If you haven't checked out my website yet at go there now and be sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter. It has a menu, recipes, shopping list, hints, tips and much, much more! Don't miss the 1st issue!

Anyone who knows Tony and I know that we are pretty health conscious and have both lost a significant amount of weight. Usually the first questions is "how did you do it?" No big secret there. We are always willing to spout out how we did it! We have taken on a low carb lifestyle. I was just reading in a Consumer Reports, On Health magazine that there is now a new rule for Carbs: If it's white, don't bite.

" "Bad" carbs are generally white in color. Think: Sugar, white flour, white bread. If you avoid bad carbs you may reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain."Good" Carbs come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat "good" Carbs to keep your cholesterol level healthy...your blood pressure and blood sugar stable...and extra pounds off. It's as simple as that."

We never quit eating carbs totally. We have a salad with every meal and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Another thing that we did was to start taking high doses of pharmaceutical grade Fish Oil and daily multivitamins. Click on link to learn more. If you have been following any health news at all you will know about fish oil. The key is though that you need to be taking pharmaceutical grade fish oil so that you are not getting all of the heavy metals (mercury etc.) and toxins that are in the fish and regular fish oil. They are ultra purified so that even if you were to bite into them they don't taste fishy. No fish burps (I know you know what I am talking about) or anything! For more info on fish oil email me through my website at

To your health!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Want a fun thing to do?

I have to tell you that I am so incredibly excited about my website ( I am so proud of myself for being able to build and get it out there on the web! I have new people looking at it every single day. What a huge accomplishment for me. Also for trying blogging which has turned out to be very therapeutic. I thought that I would really miss the people contact that I had while working in an office but through blogging I am able to keep it up! All of my accomplishment can be pointed to one thing though and that is The Faster Webmaster! If I had not gotten that product there is no way that I would have been able to do what I have done. I am now making more money than I was when I was going to work every single day and my site has only been up for less than a month!

Anyone can do this. I had no technical experience at all. Yes I could figure out how to email and search for things I wanted on the web but beyond that I had nothing. The Faster Webmaster will walk you through everything step by step. It is like having someone holding your hand throughout the whole process. I was directed on how to choose a domain name, where to buy it from, how to set up hosting and where to set it up, then I was shown how to create the website itself using a free product!!! Way too cool! You owe it to yourself to check it out. All you need is an idea for a website and the product can be bought for a one time fee of less than $50.

The Faster Webmaster

Happy Entertaining!


Can you see the fear in my eyes???

So we have about 4 days until our party on Sunday. Am I afraid? Can you see fear in my eyes? Not a chance! We have decided on a menu. Started shopping and gathering all of the supplies we will need. It is nice to have this head start. Sometimes we decide to do this just a couple of days before and we don't get all of this extra time!

We will be serving Smoked Pork Butt, Baked BBQ Lima Beans, Dirty Rice, Italian Salad and Golden Margaritas (and Beer) as the beverage. For the children we will have PB & J roll ups and juice. Sounds pretty good huh? Almost all of these items can be made ahead so we aren't having to cook while everyone is here. We have over 30 people (children are included) coming. I ordered some extra chairs from our local party rental company. You can get these for about $1.50 a piece and I figured seeing as we are in SW Florida and the temperature is about 100 degrees come late afternoon I needed to give people a spot to plop their bottoms. We have a water slide and a bounce house as well as the pool to keep the kids going. It should be a good time for everyone! I will be featuring these recipes in my October Newsletter. Sign up now at

Check back for new posts to see how we are doing as we get closer and closer to party day!

Happy Entertaining!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

High Fructose Corn Syrup?

I just read an article about High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS that I think everyone should read. I stopped having anything in my house with HFCS about a year ago because everything that I read kept saying how horrible it was. They have now found that it is linked to Diabetes in children. To think that something that is in so many products can harm a child for life is so sad. If you have any interest the article was on the Fox News Website ( I have included a link below.,2933,294882,00.html


The preparation has begun!

This is when it starts to get so exciting. Labor Day is just around the corner and I am already starting to prepare for our party. You do not have to start as early as I have but I like to know what I have and what I am going to need. Once you have your menu figured out you can then start figuring out what you will need. Here are the steps that I usually go through to get all of my supplies:

  • I make a master list of all items that I am going to need.
  • Go through that list and cross of all of the things that I already have on hand.
  • Make a new list of the things that I know I don't have from the other list.
  • Separate that list by store (I know what I can buy at Costco and what I will have to get at Publix)

My Monthly Newsletter (sign up now at will have all of this information figured out for you. Each recipe has a shopping list and then there is a master list of all the items you will need for the menu of the month. This Shopping List is separated into a Shopping List and then a separate Pantry list which is items that you may already have on hand.

Today was the day that I normally go grocery shopping so I was able to buy all of the non perishable items that I needed from there. I will wait until Saturday to get all of the perishable items. I will also get lots of ice so I can fill up coolers that I will use to hold the food until the party on Sunday.

I also called out local rental center today to order some extra folding chairs. If you are having a lot of people over this is something that I would recommend. I was able to get as many extra chairs as I wanted for less than $2 a piece! I never worry about there being enough table space but most people like to it when they eat.

Keeping checking back for more updates and tips!

Happy Entertaining!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Are you running out of getting together time?

I was at my children's school this morning and I was fortunate enough to run into a very smart woman that I have known for several years and talk to whenever I can but we never really seem to have as much time as I had today. I wasn't very rushed and she didn't seem to be very rushed so we were able to chat for a few minutes. While we were chatting I told her what I had been doing (building a website etc.). I told her that my website was about entertaining and how I wished that more people would do it but it seemed that most people thought of it as too much work or they were too busy to do it. She brought up a very good point and that is that we are all say to our friends "let's get together soon" but very rarely do we ever follow through with it. Is it because we are afraid that it would take too much time, too much effort etc.? We have all done this...but what if we found out that our friends were leaving and moving out of state and that we have run out of getting together time! It happens to all of us that live in Florida. People move away ALOT! I would be very sad to think that I had run out of getting together time with one of my friends.

Cooking for your friends can be very simple. I love hamburgers cooked on the grill! What I am saying is that it doesn't have to be spectacular. It can just be a very simple afternoon by the pool with some burgers and a couple of drinks. As long as you are sharing this with friends you can't go wrong!

This weekend is Labor Day and there is no better time to call up your friends and invite them over for an afternoon or evening. Most of us have 3 days off so you can't make the excuse that there isn't enough time to do all the preparations! Keep it simple! Your friends will appreciate it I'm sure!

Happy Entertaining,


Wow...It's Monday Already!

I find it absolutely amazing how quickly time passes on the weekend! Saturday we went to a birthday party and just hung out with some friends. My girlfriend always does such an excellent job at entertaining. Nice and casual, plenty of stuff for the kids to do as well as the parents. This party was a birthday party for her daughter who turned 5. She always has the parties at her house and she always makes the cake. I have to admit that when it comes to parties for my children I always do it away from my house (less clean up, more structure, faster and I really hate to say this but easier!), so I really respect that she has them in her home and the children love them as well. It reminds me of the parties we always had when we were growing up. Very special memories!

We spent Sunday hanging out at the beach with a bunch of our friends. Hot, sunny, nice breeze off of the water. Everything you could ask for on a day at the beach!

The really exciting thing that we did though was to buy a fruit and vegetable juicer and we have been playing around with it all weekend! Boy oh Boy does fresh juice taste great! As of now we have only done fruit juices and it works wonderfully for them. I will let you know about the vegetables as I get more into it. So far we have juiced grapes, watermelon, blueberries, pineapple, apples, pears, and cherries. The best combination we have found has been grape, cherry, blueberry, apple and pear all done together. Yummy and a ton of fun to play with!!! I have found it very easy to clean which I was worried about because we had one when I was a little girl and I still remember the dreaded cleaning!

Maybe you want to buy one for yourself. I will be putting out more recipes and combinations of juices in the next few days!

This is the one that we bought
Jack LaLanne Stainless Steel Power Juicer

This one sounds very close but it isn't stainless.
Jack LaLanne's JFPJ-B Power Juicer Juicing Machine

Have a great Monday!!!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Love the Weekend!

Okay, I know that I work from home but the weekend coming is still pretty significant for me. It means that the children are home for 2 whole days and life just slows down a little bit. Last night after dinner we decided to go to one of our new malls here (Coconut Point in Estero). We spent the evening just walking into stores and people watching. It is set up like one of the smaller villages that you usually find in a large city. In Toronto it would be like Yorkville maybe. We stopped at one of the restaurants outdoor patios and had a cocktail and then took the girls for some yummy ice cream. Everyone left happy and relaxed. On Saturday mornings we go to the Ice Skating rink for the girls skating lessons and then in the afternoon we have a birthday party to go to for one of our family friends little girl. Just hanging out with our friends is good enough for me. Sundays we usually set aside for the family "beach day". This has become sort of a tradition for us. It gets us away from the computers so we can't work at all.

All in all we have pretty great weekends as I am sure you will agree. What makes all of this possible is that I was able to build a website and work from home. I know you will be saying "that's all well and good for her but I don't know how to build a website!" Well I am going to let you in on a little secret. Neither did I. Until just over month ago neither did I!!! I was able to make a website from buying the domain name, setting up a hosting account, figuring out email accounts and building the site by using a a product that walks you through each step. It is like having someone along holding your hand through the whole process. The product is called
The Faster Webmaster and it is truly amazing. It has the step by step directions with pictures and diagrams but it also has video which takes you through everything! This product can be yours for under $50 which I found out is a crazy low price! To have a website made for you is between $2000 and $5000. If you have a product or idea that you would like to market on the internet this is your chance to get it done. You will not be disappointed. Check out the website that I was able to build!

Click on link to learn more,
The Faster Webmaster

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Am I in A Panic? No Way!

If you have been following my Blog you will know that I am in the midst of planning a party during the Labor Day weekend. I now have a guest list of over 30 people. Am I freaked out? Am I suffering from "fear of entertaining"? No Way!!! I love this. I follow the "7 Golden Rules of No Fear Entertaining". By following these rules I am able to save myself a lot of time, energy and money! You can get these FREE by going to my website at and signing up for my FREE monthly newsletter (which I am currently working on and it is going to be GREAT) and automatically you will receive the "7 Golden Rules of No Fear Entertaining" as an added bonus!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Can you use this?

We were just on line hunting for a really large crockpot to make a huge batch of Dirty Rice. We found this one by Nesco and thought we should share it with you as well. Crock pots are indispensable when you are cooking or entertaining large groups as you can free up your stove by using it!

Check it out here..
Nesco 18-Qt. Roaster Oven Silver Non-Stick

Nesco 4808-25-30PR professional roaster oven, 18 quart.

Nesco American Harvest 4808-25-30PR Non-Stick 18-Quart Roaster Oven

Yeah, I found it!!!

I am pretty excited today. I have been looking for a while now for this cookbook. I owned it once before and it became my Cookbook Bible (I know you have one of your own). We lost our house to Hurricane Charley about 3 years ago and I lost a bunch of cookbooks and am slowly replacing the ones that I loved. This one is so handy because it has easy to use recipes and can actually help you feed yor family the "dreaded chicken meal" one more time. To buy it now click on the link below and it will take you right to it. That step is almost as easy as some of the recipes. Be sure to check out the Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks. This one is a family favorite.

Betty Crocker's Best Chicken Cookbook

Happy Entertaining,

Judy (

Stumped for Lunch Ideas Already?

My children started back to school on Monday and they are already tired of lunches so we are having to shake it up a bit already. Here are some ideas that we have found that have helped already...

Bagel Sandwiches - My oldest daughter (Kyra) loves Peanut Butter and Jelly but has become bored with just a regular sandwich. Adding a Bagel for the bread changed everything.

Wraps - My younges daughter (Lauren) likes Turkey. One day she just had Turkey, American Cheese and Mayo rolled up together. She didn't want any bread at all. Today though she is having a whole wheat wrap with Turkey, Baby salad greens and mayo.

These are all healthy options and it gives them a bit of variety and control over what they eat.

If they like something a little off the wall like Blue Cheese (Kyra loves it) give them a slice in a small Ziploc bag.

Sign up for my FREE Newsletter at for more ideas and tips.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Deciding on a Menu

We have pretty much decided what we are going to serve for our Labor Day party. Now we have to figure out where to get the items from. I have found some really good online sources for some of our menu. I have put some of those links on my website at on Our Favorite Links page. Check them out!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Let's have them over!

It looks like it's going to happen on Labor I get to plan a menu. I am so excited. This is the first time since I have had my website up that we can actually plan and do a menu for people that are coming over. We still have to hash out all of the details but I will keep you informed and maybe you can duplicate it for the Labor Day weekend as well.

Check out and sign up for the emails that I am sending out for helpful hints, tips, advice as well as menus and recipes.

Happy Entertaining!


Maybe Labor Day?

I have been trying for days now to get my husband, Tony, to commit to having a party during the Labor Day weekend. It would be just perfect...3 days long. I have a Partylite party to go to on Friday but then the rest of the weekend is empty! I think why he is hesitating is that in just our regular invitees we are up to 22 people. Not really a big deal for us but then there are always others that we want to include at as well. I can see this being a 30 person party. My moto is the more the merrier. Lots of good food, plenty to drink and great friends to share it all with. This would be kind of the last hurrah for the summer. Our children started back at school yesterday so it wouldn't be a back to school thing but Labor Day always sort of signifies the "official" end of summer. Now, coming up with a menu will be no problem at all seeing as my website is which has a newsletter that is full of recipes, tips, and ideas. We have been having parties like these for about 15 years and each one is better than the last!
Maybe I can get him to commit to a date today...wish me luck!

Monday, August 20, 2007

No Fear Entertaining

Does the idea of a house full of family, friends and colleagues send waves of terror rippling through your body? Do you really want to entertain in your home, but have nightmares that you would run out of food and beverages? Do you worry that if you finally did decide on a menu, how much food would be enough? How do you figure out how much for each person?
How many people can I comfortably have in my home?
Is my house too small?
Will the weather be good for an outdoor party?

Well...we are The Chiappinis and we can help you take all of the guess work out of entertaining. We have been feeding our friends and family in both large and small groups (20-60 people) for about 15 years! We know what works. We will show you our mistakes and successes. We follow what we call "The 7 Golden Rules of No Fear Entertaining".
And in case you are thinking that we have a huge house that makes entertaining easy, I want you to be assured that we have a normal size house with a rather small kitchen, probably no different than what you have in your house.

If you want to see more of what I am offering go to and sign up for my free monthly newletter and fun, informative emails.