Monday, September 30, 2013

Junior had a great bday, this past week.  We have been celebrating since last thursday, when I prepared his favourite meal of Fall Harvest Soup and Tiramisu.  My only personal income comes from doing surveys and reviews for different companies, so I had built up $30 on my paypal, and I sat with him at the computer and told him that we could go shopping on ebay for whatever he wanted, using my paypal money.  That way I could get him some real nice things.  So, he got two wrestling figures he had been wanting, and he got two wrestlers dog tags, (one of which he knew I wanted and he got for me LOL).  Yup, we are a family of wrestling and racing fans. 

Friday after school we picked Junior up from school and we all went out to Sushi King for dinner, where our friends there, all celebrated his bday by bringing him a wonderful delicate ice cream dessert topped with whipped cream.  We had a wonderful dinner of some fantastic sushi, and a great salad that was brought to us, made by our dear friends there...THANK YOU ALL, IF YOU ARE READING THIS!!

After dinner, we went over to the theatre and watched "RUSH", the new racing film by Ron Howard, it was AWESOME!!  The movie was supposed to be in motion action seating in a special theatre inside the the regular theatre, well the seating didnt work so we didnt get to experience it that way, which was sad, I wanted Jr to be able to experience it but maybe they will get the seating fixed...Either way, the movie was spectacular, it is about the life and rivalry of Niki Lauda and James Hunt, and the near fatal crash of Niki Lauda in 1976. 

If you are a fan of racing, especially F1, this is a great movie for you...a definite must see.  Upon coming home from the movie, I delved into some online investigation of Niki Lauda and James Hunt.  I found a very recent interview with Niki Lauda on YOUTUBE, and was so happy to hear that he is alive and well and that he (Niki Lauda) helped with the screenplay of this movie, and upon its completion, he said the movie was fantastic and very well done. That Ron Howard did not "hollywoodize" the movie, and that it was very accurate, and that he and James Hunt were very accurately portrayed in the movie.  That made it even more worthwhile.  I only have one negative thing to say, and that is that Ron Howard did not need to put the graphic sexual scenes in the movie...they did not contribute to the movie in any way, and could have been cut from the film without losing any of the fantastic storyline and footage.  I do think that they could have included the fact that Lauda and Hunt had been roommates early on in their careers, which was left out of the movie.

Anyway, I was going to post another recipe here for you, but the recipe didnt work, so will have to tweak it and make it work before I post it, I will, in fact, post more recipes later tonight.

Have a great day, y'all!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Here is a recipe I promised to post for a friend...it was a mistake that turned out to be an even better turn out !!

This recipe is listed as jello marshmallows, but I couldnt get this to really turn out the way the recipe specified, but I am listing it anyway, because it turns out to be a fat free dessert, cheap, fast and easy.

I am changing the title to Jello Fluff

2 large package jello, any complementing flavours ( i used a package of peach and a package of mango)
3 cups boiling water
1 cup light corn syrup

Pour the contents of each jello package into separate bowls.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into each bowl and mix till all the contents are totally dissolved.  Put 1/2 cup of light corn syrup into each bowl, and stir till mixed.  Refrigerate until just thickened.  Whip with electric mixer until light and fluffy, like you were making meringue.  Put back in the refrigerator for about another hour.  dish into bowls, you have a decadent, light, fluffy dessert.  My family loved it!!  I will be making this again.

Note: 
After you whip the jello, you can add in your favourite fruit if you wish, mangoes, mandarin oranges, pineapple, etc. 

Enjoy!

Monday, September 23, 2013

This is a pretty good bbq sauce recipe in a pinch. Jr. wanted some bbq sauce, but I had used it all up making sloppy joe mix (recipe to follow later).  It isnt my best, but it was pretty good.  This will work if you need bbq sauce for a recipe and you go to the fridge and find out someone has used it all and didnt tell you!

2cups ketchup
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1/4 tbsp black pepper

Mix it all up, and there you have it...thats called thinking on your feet.  You can probably add some apple cider vinegar and minced garlic to give it extra flavour as well.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sorry for not getting this out to you yesterday, but my knee had me in so much pain, I ended up going to bed much earlier than I had planned on doing.  But I am here bright and early and I will gladly post a few recipes today to make up for yesterday.  I created a recipe that is my version of "sloppy joes"...it was made in a slow cooker and tasted fantastic!  I will post that recipe as well.

Here goes, this is my updated/upgraded version of that Fall harvest/pumpkin soup from the other day.  This is even better than the recipe I posted before.

Fall Harvest Soup:

Salsa:
2 crisp apples (preferably Granny Smith or Red Delicious)
1/2 large onion, diced
3tbsp honey
1/2 c dried cranberries (or a mix of cranberries/blueberries/pineapple, etc.)
1tsp chili powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1tbsp brown sugar

Mix all together in a small bowl, cover and set aside.

Soup:
1pkg bacon, rendered, drained, crumbled. (or 1pkg of your favourite johnsonville brats, diced)
2tbsp olive oil (to coat bottom of pan)
2tbsp butter or margarine
1 bay leaf
2 ribs of celery with green tops, finely chopped( or 2 leeks)
1 1/2 lg onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
salt and pepper to taste
3tbsp flour, to thicken. (can be omitted, depending on how thick/thin you want your soup)
2tsp poultry seasoning (or a mix of thyme/basil/finely chopped rosemary and sage)
2 cups potatoes, parboiled and diced
1tbsp sriracha sauce (or your favourite hot sauce to taste)
1tbsp ground cinnamon
1tsp allspice or mix of ground clove/nutmeg and ginger
6-8 cups chicken stock(I make enough prepared low sodium chicken bouillion for this step)
2 cups heavy cream, i have used lowfat evap milk for this step(this can be omitted and the soup will still be wonderful)
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder(or more to taste)
2tbsp honey
2tbsp brown sugar

Heat a stock pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add the bay, celery/leeks, bell pepper and onion.
Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, herbs, spices and hot sauce, to taste. Then cook for another minute.  Whisk in stock and honey, bring to a boil. Whisk in pumpkin, by large spoonfuls.  Add the potatoes, at this point. Simmer soup for ten minutes to thicken a bit.  Add cream (evap milk) if you are including this ingredient.  Reduce heat to medium low. and let soup simmer for about a half hour, covered.  Serve topped with the apple cranberry salsa, bacon and sour cream.

Soup can be left chunky or can be pureed at this point in time.

Note:  I cooked the soup in a large crock pot, and let cook on high for 5-6 hours.  It seemed to give it an even better flavour!



Saturday, September 21, 2013

I will be posting an update to that pumpkin soup recipe...I made it two days ago and I want to give you all the new things i did to the soup that made it even better than before!

I will also be posting a full on homemade tiramisu recipe, that uses homemade mascarpone, homemade lady fingers and homemade kahlua...the result is an awesome dessert that floored everyone in the especially the birthday boy!

I hope this message keeps you drooling till a little later today.  I have to put it all from memory onto paper and then from paper to blog!

Keep those tastebuds dancing till we meet again later today!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Junior's bday celebration meal recipes

Another year has come and gone, and my little boy is growing up right before my very eyes.  Seems like just yesterday, I held him in my arms for the first time, and now he is about to turn 12 years old, a perfect little gentleman who always makes me smile.

I couldn't be happier.  So, to show him how happy I am with him, I am treating him to his all time favourite dishes, and as I promised, I am going to share the recipes with you:

First off is the drink:

Green tea frappachinos

Make two trays of ice cubes made with your favourite flavour of green tea
1/3 can of sweetened condensed milk (preferably low fat)
1 cup regular milk (I used 1%)

Put into a blender one tray of the ice cubes, the condensed milk and regular milk and blend.  Add more milk if you like a thinner consistency or less if you like it thick. And you can add more condensed milk if you like it sweeter.

Next is the main course:

Pumpkin soup with apple cranberry salsa

Salsa:
2 crisp apples (any apples will do...depends on your preference)finely diced
1/2 large onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup dried cranberry (or mix of any combination of dried fruits like pineapple, blueberries, etc)
1 tsp chili powder (or more based on your heat level)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp lemon juice

Mix all together in a small bowl and set aside.

Soup:
1 lb bacon, browned and crumbled
2 tbsp olive oil (to coat the bottom of a pan)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 bay leaf
2 ribs of celery with greens, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
salt and pepper
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp poultry seasoning or a mix of thyme/basil/finely chopped rosemary, etc.
2 cups parboiled potatoes, diced
1 tbsp sriracha sauce (or your favourite hot sauce to taste)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice or mix ground clove/nutmeg and ginger
6 cups chicken stock (i make enough prepared low sodium chicken bouillion)
2-28oz cans of cooked pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups heavy cream (I use lowfat evap. milk)
1/2 tsp chili powder (more if you like it a little spicier)
2 tbsp honey

Directions:

Heat a large soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add the bay, celery, bell pepper and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, herbs, spices and hot sauce, to taste, then cook for another minute.  Whisk in stock and honey, bring liquid to a boil. Whisk in pumpkin, by large spoonfuls. Add the potatoes at this point. Simmer soup for ten minutes to thicken a bit.  Add in cream (or milk). Reduce heat to medium or medium low, and let soup simmer for about a half hour (covered).  Serve topped with apple cranberry salsa, bacon and sour cream (if you wish).

Enjoy!

Recipe for the tiramisu will come later tonight!




Monday, September 16, 2013

Well, readers,

I have a LOAD of new recipes for you, but give me just a little bit of time to go thru these to see which you would like the best...trust me, it will be worth the wait.  I have soups, desserts, crockpot, meats, and other goodies coming your way, that I have just tried from past and from recent days.  I am sure you will like them all...but let me get back to you tomorrow.  (Tuesday) I think I will start off with the recipes that I am planning to use for my son's birthday next week, here is a teaser, Gourmet pumpkin soup with spicy cranberry apple garnish, homemade tiramisu (and i do mean homemade...right down to the homemade kahlua, homemade ladyfingers and homemade mascarpone) yup, you guessed it, I can get downright creative!  I told you it would be worth the wait!

Friday, September 13, 2013

It is another week until the start of fall, but sitting here in the dark, you would think it was already here!  2am, with the door to my backyard open, I hear the torrential rainstorm and the constant dripping off the roof, and the whooshing sound of the water going down the drainpipe...nice and peaceful and quiet inside, just the cool air drifting in from outside, it is a cool 62 degrees, a lot more comfortable than the 100 + degree days we have been having thru the summer.

I am sitting here reading over last nights post on facebook and meetme and reading my email on aol...oh boy, my son is really dumbstruck over this new girl in his life.  I am not worried. He is almost 12 years old, and he has had more girlfriends than I care to even think about.  He has been so interested in girls all his life, that when he was 5 years old, in kindergarten, he went all around his school asking all the girls to marry him!!

But there was one girl, a beautiful child, with ebony black hair and pearl white skin, and eyes you could only dream of...that captured my son's heart.  They were in the same Kindergarten class, and they were together all thru first grade, inseperable. They spent time together at school and again after school, at her house.  Then, the heartbreaking news came that her and her family were being shipped off to another state, because of her father being in the military.  My son was heartbroken.  It was crazy. At that age, you think, it's nothing but puppy love...but this was different.  I mean, he wholeheartedly was head over heels for her.  He would bend over backwards for her and do anything she asked...They moved away during the summer after first grade.  My son was devastated all that summer and beyond... Their 1st grade teacher had received a letter from them, and in that letter, they shared their new address, wanting her to give the address to her friends...sadly that day never came. the teacher lost the letter and address, therein, over that summer...My son was inconsolable.  I contacted the teacher many times, hoping she would find that letter, but she never did, somehow, I don't think she felt it was important, I really don't think she even tried to find it.  I even searched facebook and all over the internet, with no luck at all.

Maybe, someday, she will turn up.  My son is 12 years old now, and still thinks about her often, still sheds a tear on occasion when we talk about her.  Puppy love? I don't think so..it goes way deeper than that.  But he is moving on with his life.  He has a new girl that he has his eyes on now.  Also in 7th grade with him.  I haven't met her yet, but how odd that she has dark hair and he has fallen madly in love with her. 

I got on Facebook this morning, and all I saw were posts from my son, all about how he has fallen for this dark haired girl, and how madly in love he is over her, and how he hopes she will accept him.  I won't lie, and I am not just saying this because I am his mother and I am biased...but he is a cute little boy, with a wonderful sense of humour, a smile that would brighten the darkest room, and he could make the girls melt with just a look...( no wonder he had 16 girls falling all over him last year).  He is a little overweight, but he is working on that, we work out together, we swim, bicycle, walk together, etc.  I am sure I will hear more about this girl that is just beyond his reach right now? Will she become his conquest or just another dream?  Stay tuned readers, I will post more on the development as this story progresses.....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Good morning my dear friends and family members...

Today I will be posting tried and true recipes. I think, from now on, I will be posting recipes on Saturdays and Sundays. The rest of the week will be a hodge podge of reviews, recipes, crafts, pictures (yes I am going to start sharing pictures as well, and whatever else comes to me.

Cake Mix cookies...version 1 (yes I have several versions of this)

You can make these cookies all your own based on what you add to them. 

1pkg cake mix, any flavour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup oil (or those who are health conscious like I am, you can substitute with any pureed fruit such as apple sauce, pumpkin -not the pumpkin pie mix-, pear, peach, etc.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease your cookie sheet (or use silpats)

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two, before removing them to wire racks to cool completely.

These variations work well:

Add a capful of coconut flavouring and a half cup (or more) of shredded coconut to your mix.  They will end up tasting (and looking) like macaroons!

Double Chocolate: add one or two cups chocolate chips to a chocolate cake mix

Peanut Butter Dreams: add 1 or 2 cups peanut butter chips to white or yellow cake mix.

Chocolate Peanut Butter: add 1 or 2 cups peanut butter chips to a chocolate cake mix.

Mixed up Elvis cookies: Add 1 cup nutella hazelnut spread, 1 cup chopped banana, and 1/2 cup marshmallow cream to any cake mix. (You could conceivably leave the oil out of this batch completely, especially if you puree the bananas instead of chopping them).

double chocolate chip: Add 1 or 2 cups chocolate chips to white, yellow or chocolate chip cake mix

coconut almond: add 1 cup coconut, 1 cup almonds(optional) and one teaspoon almond extract to white cake mix

Banana spice:  add 1/2 cup mashed banana and 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup cinnamon chips to a spice cake mix.

M and M mix up: add 1/2 cup peanut m and m's, 1/2 cup regular m and m's 1/2 cup peanut butter m and m's to a white or chocolate cake mix.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Good morning, everyone!!  Sorry I have been on hiatus the past few days, this week I have been majorly working out at physical therapy, and guess what? I GRADUATED!!!!  No more struggling, I made a huge improvement from when I started.  What an incredible group of people that are associated with Rio Rancho Physical Therapy.  God knows I have been thru a lot of physical therapy in my life, knees, back, ankles, etc...and in those days, in California, they believe in the old addage, "No pain, no gain" and "Do it till it hurts."  Those were the old days...that is not how Rio Rancho Physical Therapy works.  They are very professional, very down to earth, basic, well rounded, intensive and all encompassing.  The big thing is, you are never alone. 

Your first trip in, you fill out your typical paperwork, and then you meet your therapist.  I had the immense pleasure of being paired with Don Hoover, MSPT.  He is incredible.  I think he was a little surprised when he met me, when he saw that I had such a wide range of motion and that I was fairly strong going into this.  I am dedicated to getting back to where I should be.  I don't let a day go by that I stagnate, I am constantly walking, bending, stooping, lifting, etc., and I need to have that strenght and flexibility.  And with this back injury, that I have dealt with since I was 16, it hasn't been easy. When your back is damaged, the rest of your body suffers, and in my case, not only did I have the back issue, I had two damaged knees as well.  Even tho I have always been physically active, always worked out, I had to "favour" certain areas because of the pain...but I still forced myself to work out those areas.

Don helped me back on the road to where I should be, and he sees my dedication, and the fact that I refuse to give up.  He gave me so much positive reinforcement, kudos, and a lot of "hand holding" thru the whole work out regimen from start to finish. I worked out every part of my body, not just the back, but my shoulders, neck, hips, knees, ankles, etc.  If you strengthen all that, then your back benefits as well.  I feel a lot better since I started going to physical therapy, sure, there were a couple of days that I was so sore I could barely move, but if you keep working out, not just in the studio, but at home as well, you will reach your goals and you won't be so sore. Each day that I work out, I feel more secure, less pained, stronger, more flexible, and I feel my whole attitude improving.  I don't even think about my back half the time anymore, it used to be my focal point and I used to be afraid of doing certain things, that it may make my back hurt more, now, thanks to Don, I don't have that fear anymore.

Although I don't have to go to PT any more, I will continue my workouts at home and at the gym, I will get stronger and even more free and confident in my movement.  And this will also help me be that much farther ahead when I have to have my knees operated on again, or if I ever have to go for another back surgery...I will already be strong going in, and I will be that much stronger coming out!  I used to dread the thought of PT, but thanks to Don and the rest of the staff, that I had the pleasure of working with, I actually looked forward to PT. It no longer reminds me of the dungeon and torture chambers that I endured growing up in California.

I want to thank Don and the staff of Rio Rancho Physical Therapy for putting me on the right track, and the graduation shirt, I was given upon my completion, was a nice touch as well. 

I would highly recommend this group, and should you need physical therapy, and you have several choices available to you, let me help you make an educated decision, I highly recommend Rio Rancho Physical Therapy,  They are located at 4516 Arrowhead Ridge Drive SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124 and their phone number is 505 896-4978.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Good morning, readers!

I will be posting more recipes and reviews a little later.  Got some more mouth watering recipes that I hope you all will love.  I have quite a bit to do today, I will be going to our gym to workout, I have some baking to do, dishes to do, figure out what I am going to eat for dinner, get some craft stuff into the closet and arrange it  properly, etc...got lots to do lol  But I have not forgotten you, I will get to the recipes a little later today and that is a promise.