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Joey's Style


Back to School with Yves St. Laurent

It was the beginning of the school year and I wanted to have a couple of new shirts to start seventh grade off right. I was attending a new school and wanted to make a good impression.

Mom thought it was a great idea that I start picking out my own clothes, giving her one less thing to worry about. She was a major magazine subscriber and quite the shopper. We were living in New Jersey outside New York, so we made the trip into the city often by train. For this shopping trip, I went by myself. I was comfortable with the city.

At that time discounted department stores had come into play and everyone was rushing to get designer clothes at a fraction of what boutiques and big department stores were charging. I knew where to go for those wonderful deals as soon as I hit the city.

My first stop was Century 21, a department store that had every designer name under the sun (they’re still in business). One of my all-time favorite name was Yves Saint Laurent. I remember seeing the ads with the YSL profile and finding a bottle of YSL cologne under the tree the Christmas before.

I rushed to the men’s department and eagerly asked the salesman if they had Yves Saint Laurent shirts. He pointed and I quickly followed his directions. I saw them from a distance and could not believe the colors. As I touched them, I was struck by their textures.

I asked for assistance with my size and picked out a few of them. I floated home and when I arrived mother wanted to see what I had purchased with my shopping budget. I showed her the three Yves Saint Laurent shirts and she looked at me and said “Are you going to wear these nice shirts with trousers”?

I think at that point I realized I had overspent. But then I did proudly wear those shirts to my new school.

Twelve Things I Can't Live Without (right now)

  1. I love candles during the dark months, especially fragrance ones — Capri Blue Candle - Volcano #6. (www.capribluecandles.com)
  2. Pumpkin! — I love anything pumpkin, especially pumpkin bread. (www.allrecipes.com)
  3. Steven Smith Tea. Big Hibiscus #24 tea sachets. This is great hot or cold. It also makes a great mixer for summer or winter mock-tails. (www.smithtea.com)
  4. Brie de Meaux — From the small town of Meaux. France. This cheese is great on crackers and bread, Very nutty and creamy. This is found in most cheese sections of your local market.
  5. YSL Pour Homme — It was one of my favorite fragrances coming of age and still a classic. (www.amazon.com)
  6. 2012 Mariosse, Bordeaux, French Red Wine 750m — I love this wine because it pairs with most of my Winter cooking.
  7. Perrier Water — I keep it stocked in the fridge. (www.amazon.com)
  8. Salmon — I eat it year around, it’s full of omega-3 and very healthy during the Winter months.
  9. Bow Ties — It’s become my passion to collect them. (www.nordstromrack.com)
  10. Fresh Air — enjoying the essence of Fall.
  11. Long walks and talks with friends.
  12. I would like to thank my family and friend for the love and support they give me. Yes, I know I’m crazy but someone has to do it. :)

Recommended Reading

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
by Julia Child
This book pioneered Americans to French cooking.

French Interiors: The Art of Elegance
by Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery
This is one of my favorite books on French Interior design.


Chicago Magic

I was in Chicago recently and this time I took extra time to admire the grandeur and big shoulder excitement that greets the visitor to this city.

I was there for just a few days this time, to attend a wedding, and in that short time I felt like I was seeing the city as a tourist again. I stayed downtown on Michigan Avenue, across from Millennium Park.

The park is the city’s Central Park, a spectacular gathering spot next to the Loop. Children waited, giddy and giggly, for the water to spout at Crown Fountain. There were fun reflections in the Cloud Gate “Bean”, symmetrical rows of white chairs in the concert lover’s Pritzker Pavilion, quiet and beautifully tended gardens to stroll, and a new footbridge that takes you directly into the magnificent Art Institute of Chicago.

The 19th century architectural masterworks are still there and glassy new towers are remaking the skyline. At night the city comes alive with piercing blue lights outlining the downtown towers, misty in the evening fog.

I saw again that Chicago doesn’t disappoint the tourist. Chicago is magical.

Seasonal Recipe

Veggie Veggie Lasagna

I love cooking and entertaining, as you know. My favorite go-to recipe for cool weather gatherings is my Veggie Veggie Lasagna.

Most people like lasagna and you can be creative in building your own recipe and taking ownership of your creation. Lasagna also gives you time to do other things in the kitchen while it’s baking.

I have many friends who are vegetarian and many who are not, so I have a fool-proof recipe to put smiles on the faces of everyone, even the meat eaters.

Veggie Veggie Lasagna

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (8oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 onion, cut into 8-10 wedges
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 2 (28oz) jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 (16oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange all vegetable (accept basil), sprinkle a little salt and pepper for favor.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until vegetables are slightly tender (10-20 minutes).
  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and place noodles in until cooked 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  5. Bring Pasta sauce to a simmer in a sauce pan over low medium heat.

Now we are going to build our lasagna in a 9x13 inch baking dish sprayed with a little olive oil.

  1. Place layer of pasta, place a handful of vegetables, sprinkle both with a handful of both cheeses, garlic and basil. Do this until you have successfully completed 3 or 4 layers, ending with cheese.
  2. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly (30-45 minutes).
  3. Allow lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing, don’t forget to use some of the chopped basil for garnish.


Tip: Salad and bread are always good with this. Don’t forget the wine :)