Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rimmel Scandeleyes Gel Eyeliner

Women are always looking for ways to make themselves look beautiful, right? Aren't we always looking for that perfect product?  Eyes, lips, hair, hands, nails, lips, etc?  Wouldn't it be great to find that one product to make our one target area look better?

As for me, I already found fabulous products for my lips, nails and hair, which I will reveal in later blog posts, but right now, I would love to talk about a wonderful little product I just discovered, that is amazing!

Yup, I was one of those women who was always looking for the ultimate eye liner.  I was stuck on this one eyeliner (who shall remain nameless) for years, it made my eyes look great, but it nearly always broke the bank for me, since it was much highter than anything else in my beauty regimen...and I wasn't making that much money at the time.  So, even tho I live differently now, and can get pretty much whatever I need, but I always look for that bargain.

You can always find me hanging out at the makeup area, checking out new products and whatever deals I can find.

Well, while on one of these little jaunts to the makeup counter, I was looking around for what was new for eyeliner.  So, I normally stick to the cheaper ends of the makeup area, but I decided to roam out of my comfort zone, and decided to heck out the Rimmel area, and something new caught my eye.  The young lady filling up the cosmetic aisles had just gotten done filling in the Rimmel area, and I looked up and saw a product I thought I would never use...gel eyeliner.

I had always been a liquid or pen eyeliner kinda girl but I figured, let's try something new...what a surprise! I was getting tired of my eyes looking like racoon eyes, but I wanted my eyes to look wide awake and not like Alice Cooper, ya know? The produt is alled Rimmel Scandeleyes Gel Eyeliner. It is a pretty decent sized pot of the gel eyeliner and a nice brush that has a great tip on it. Upon reading the back of the product, I also found out it was waterproof, it gives up to 24 hours of rich intense colour that doesnt flake, smear or run.

I couldn't believe it, it really did sound too good to believe. Needless to say, I took it home.  And I was truely amazed at how great this product really works.  Every one of it's claims were completely true. I have actually been complimented on how great my eyes look!!  And it was my first day out using the new product.
That was the sell point for me...can't wait to go and try the other colours.  I can say it is easy to use, goes on smoothe and clean, and I won't go back to the other products, now that I have tried this one!  Anyone want some used eyeliner?? lol  For the price, this brand is far less expensive than any other brand, and literally works incredibly well...you won't be sorry if you pick up this product, you will be saving money in more than one way!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A new day...

Another day of wondering what is going to happen.  There is a gentleman who is trying to get me to blog for him, but he is trying to get my readershjip/following up..And I am trying to get my friends to add/follow me.

I don't know what is going on, but when i looked at my readership a few days ago, I had over 60 readers and then today, after broadcasting on facebook and meetme, to get my friends to join, I come in here to find I actually lost three readers! What's up with that?

Come on, Guys, I need all the readers I can get!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homemade Churros

Here is a fantastic little recipe, that is simple and fantastic.

Homemade Churros
Ingredients:
4tbsp sugar
2tsp cinnamon
3 1/4 cups bisquick or home made version(I will post this later)
2 cups hot water
vegetable oil

Heat 2 or 3 inches of oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until a thermometer inserted into the oil reads 375degrees f.

While the oil is heating combine cinnamon and 3tbsp of the sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl combine the bisquick, sugar, and hot water, mixing till a soft dough forms.

Carefully spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch star tip.

Once the oil has reached the correct temperature, carefully pipe 3 inch strips of dough into the hot oil.  Cook until golden on all sides.

Remove from oil using a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towel or napkins. Roll the churros in cinnamon sugar.  Serve.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Here is a review for you: Tiger Balm, Ultra Strength

As many of you know, I have a lot of health issues.  Fibromyalgia, Knee replacement (and other knee issues), spinal reconstructions and various other health issues.  I have tried so many different muscle rubs, patches, and pills.  For me, not much works real well, and I am always looking for something new to try.

Well, years ago, I remember using TigerBalm, regular.  It worked pretty good, but, of course, if you use something too long, it just doesn't work very well anymore. So, I went back to trying out various other things, with no luck.

Now that I have all these new health issues, I mentioned, and the pain can be incredibly over the top.  When we went shopping, I made my usual trip to the analgesic aisle.  I saw several new things, but most too expensive to try.  But there on the shelf was my old favourite and stand by, "Tiger Balm", but right next to it was something new, "Tiger Balm Ultra Strength".

I brought it home, and gave it a try.  I put it on my knee which was screaming bloody murder at me by that time.  And after about fifteen minutes, I could feel that old familiar tingling start to set in.  Then it went beyond, and as time went on I started to feel a soothing warming sensation, and as more time went on, a cooling sensation moved in after the heat.  Let me tell you, my knee was, as Phil Robertson says, "happy, happy, happy" ...LOL.  I got some soothing relief that gave me some more freedom of motion, and pain relief than I had gotten from any other source.

The great thing about Tiger Balm, is that it is all natural.  It doesn't rely on capsaicin like all the other sources use.  Tiger Balm's main active ingredients are camphor and menthol.  But the other ingredients clove, mint, and such, also give it a very pleasant scent that goes well with the warming and cooling qualities it gives you when you massage it in.  The more you rub it in, the warmer/cooler the area becomes.  And you won't smell like you came out of the locker room!

All I can say, is wash your hands thoroughly after use, and don't rub your eyes.  This is a really great product and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  If you want something that actually works, then this is the product for you.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake WonTons

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Won Tons

Ingredients:
1-8oz block of neufchatel cream cheese
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 pkg won ton skins
egg wash(1 egg, 1tbsp water whisked together)
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar, for dusting


Directions:
Mix the first four ingredients till smooth (or as close to smoothe as you can get).
Lay wonton wrappers out on a clean surface and put about a teaspoon of the mix in the middle of each wonton wrapper.  Go over the edge of each wrapper with the egg wash and fold it into a triangle, sealing each edge and lay them out on the surface.
In a large, deep sauepan, over medium heat, bring about 1 1/2 inches of oil to 320 degrees f (use a deep fry or candy thermometer to measure temp.)  Drop 4-6 wontons at a time into he oil and cook 2-3 minutes, both sides till golden.
Remove wontons with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining wontons.
Dust wontons with powdered sugar.

Friday, October 3, 2014

No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars

Alright, folks, I know you all have been waiting for this one!  This one has turned out to be another family favourite, cheap and easy to make.

No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (crushed animal crackers, not finely crushed, it end up resembling crushed peanuts)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup +4 tbsp reduced fat creamy peanut butter.
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Instrutions:
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker or animal crumbs, powdered sugar,chili powder, cinnamon and peanut butter ::If it is too difficult to mix at this point, you may wish to put the bowl into the microwave for a minute and a half.  This should liquify the peanut butter enough to mix it easier.
Mix until well blended.
Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13" inch pan
In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips together with the peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until smoothe.
Spread over peanut butter layer.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ahhhh October!

Fall has begun, my favourite time of year!  I love all the pumpkin, apple and squash recipes that are coming out.  Be forewarned, my recipes are coming ...One of my recipes has become a true family favourite.  My pumpkin soup with cranberry apple salsa ...it gets better every year, and is requested for a birthday dinner, by my son.  Yup, my son could ask for anything he wants on his bday, and all he wants is that soup!!  I will definitely post the recipe here, so that you can make it for your family, and I have so many other recipes I am working on for you..

If there are recipes you are missing and you are looking to rediscover, let me know and I will find them.  If you have a recipe that is not so healthy and you are leading a healthy lifestyle, let me see the recipe and I will re work it and give you a healthier version...rest assured you wont lose any flavour...

Later today I will be starting to post these recipes, I will be posting a recipe for my version of tandoori/curried chicken and a few new and different devilled eggs...keep your eyes out for them tonight.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coming and goings

Wow, what a week!

Had a gall bladder flare up and had to figure out what triggered it, not real happy but it seems sausage is on my no no list (but i love sausage gravy too much to give it up, so we shall see).  Jr, my son was sick most of the week, right when we were trying to play catch up with his homework and testing.  But it hasnt stopped us from busting our can to get it all done.

Hubby hasnt felt good for the past week, I am kinda thinking the idea of another heart operation looming over him is really getting to him, even if he tries not to let it show.  We just have to deal with his ever changing emotions, perhaps the surgery will put him back on the right track.  I hate not knowing how to approach him and how he will react.

Jr turned into a teenager yesterday.  He says it is just another day, but its a special day since he is entering a different phase in his life.  He got a check from his grandmother yesterday, and he has decided that he will be buying pizzas for dinner tonight. Which that was awesome of him to share with his family...to make it even better and kick it up a notch, I told him my gift to him would be to add onto dinner...I am going to make garlic bread, cinnamon buns with that glaze, chocolate peanut butter bars and churros...I have never seen a smile so big in my life...I think I made his day.  And I had a pint of honey vanilla frozen yogurt in the freezer and to end the day we split that little carton of ice cream between us...made his night.

I will be doing something a little different on here starting today.  I came in contact with a gentleman from a company that produces a line of high end hair care products and skin care products.  We will start out with "before" selfies, and take selfies all during the testing phase...and then a final selfie to show how much our hair has changed because of using his products.  These products are used by some very well known individuals in hollywood...I will also review and describe each product that is used.  These products are all natural, all natural ingredients.

So, my dear readers, you have a lot to look forward to, because beyond that product trial, i will be posting some really great recipes that I have tried this past week...my version of devilled eggs, my version of curried tandoori chicken, etc....keep your eyes open and try not to drool on your keyboard lol.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fantastic Sale

Readers, I know it is early, but the holidays are right around the corner, or maybe you have a bday coming up and no idea of what to give? Well, come and check out my friend's sale she is having for a very limited time.  From now till Sept. 24th at midnight she is having a 25% off sale.

My friend is Ann Gray, she is celebrating hitting 23,00 likes on her facebook page! Check out her facebook page at:  Esther Destiny' s Jewelry@ www.facebook. com/EstherDestinysJewelry.  I love her jewelry so much that I agreed to post this bulletin/advertisement for her.  She has some of the most unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry you can't find anywhere else.  She has a unique way of wrapping wire that others could only dream of copying...Each piece is one of a kind, they are not mass produced.

Her jewelry is here on Http://www.etsy.com/shop/etherdestiny7.  Or just go to etsy and type in EstherDestiny7.

Please, check out this site...the pieces are classic, timeless, and beautiful.  There is something for everyone there.

I do hope you find what you like...Please hurry, time is limited, and you really dont want to miss this great deal.  Tell Ann that Annamarie sent you!

Good luck to one and all!

last night's dinner: Bacon and onion pasta salad

This has become a family favourite after trying it just one time:

Bacon and Onion Pasta Salad:

Ingredients:
12 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)
6 cups of your favourite pasta, cooked, drained and cooled.
2cups shredded zucchini or sliced cucumber
2cups mayo
3tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 large red onion (small dice)
2tbsp minced garlic
4tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups crema or sour cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan (green can is fine but fresh is better)
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
2 tbsp sriracha sauce
1 can jalapeno spam (diced small)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the bacon, zucchini or cucumber, mustard, mayo, onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar, pepper, crema/sour cream, parmesan, relish, sriracha and spam, mix thoroughly.  Toss in the cooled pasta, mix the dressing and other ingredients thru the pasta, till thoroughly combined.  Serve room temp or for more flavour, cover the bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

This is a great pasta salad, with a pleasant little kick.

Monday, September 15, 2014

life's craziness

Hello all my followers/readers and friends...

I am sorry I have been incognito for awhile but let me give you a little rundown, and you can see what's kept me off here for so long..

I went in for knee replacement surgery, during the last week of june, and that kept me flat on my back for at least 2 weeks.  No fun, let me tell ya, to be honest, in hindsite, had I known there was going to be this much hassle and pain, I would have never had the surgery to begin with.

I just found out today, 9/15, that I will be going back in for a follow up surgery, tomorrow...nothing like last minute planning.  I have been told it is a day procedure, not really surgery but they refer to it as such.  It is supposed to be a procedure that only lasts about 30 minutes, of course, the last time I went in for a day surgery I was put in ICU for a week.  So, we shall see.

About three weeks after having my knee surgery, I ended up back in the hospital.  I was sicker than a dog, and had to be taken in to the er, where I was put thru every imaginable test, including giving up nearly 15 or so vials of blood.  I was told, I now have to deal with gall stones, fibroids in my female parts, and blood clots stemming from my surgery.  I can never get a break...

Had a biopsy done a couple of weeks ago, all tests came out negative for cancer.  Thank God. That is the biggest break I could get.

So as you can see it has been extremely chaotic.

But, I am back, and I will be posting some fantastic recipes and reviews for you.   So this is the first in a long line of posts.  I hope to get some of these posts going today, if not by wednesday...and that is a promise.

If any of my readers out there have any ideas about what they would like to see me post, such as themes, recipe ideas, holiday ideas, etc...bring them on.  Have any of you been looking for a long lost recipe, or recipes from certain restaurants you would like a copycat recipe of, just drop me a line.

Be writing at you very soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review of Imperial Dragon's Coconut Milk

Alright readers, pay attention, I have another great product here for ya...

As you all know, I do a lot of cooking and baking. Well, I decided to do a West Indian dish that called for coconut milk. I haven't bought coconut milk since I left California.  But, looking around Walmart, I found a couple of different brands of coconut milk, but the one that caught my eye was Imperial Dragon's brand.

Imperial Dragon has a very eye catching label, it is the mid range pricing, not too cheap and not over the top expensive.  It is a good sized can (13.5 fluid ounces, to be precise).  So, I picked it up for the dish I was preparing.  Needless to say, I was exceptionally happy that I did pick up this brand of coconut milk...The first thing I noticed, beyond the brightly coloured packaging, was the wonderful natural coconut smell that blossomed from the can.  It smelled like fresh coconuts, not that artificial crap.  Anyway, it had a wonderful consistency, nearly that of coconut cream!  It was thick and luscious, silky.  Perfect for the dish I was making.  When I added it to my recipe, it blended well, and gave my dish a richness that I have not found in using other brands.  The flavour it added was amazing...!!  All I can say is that I can't wait to try other products from this company.  Because after trying just one product, you can imagine I am already sold on this brand!

Go out and grab yourself some of this coconut milk...put it in ice cube trays, freeze it up and use the cubes in smoothies, or in tea for added richness and health benefits.  It also works well if you are baking and want to add regular milk...use this coconut milk instead.  It adds incredible depth of flavour,  it's better for you than milk, and the health benefits are out of this world!

What more can I say?  Stock up and try it for yourself!          

Friday, June 6, 2014

Glee products...Make Your Own Chocolate Kit

I have a very unique product to review for you, from a very interesting company.  Most folks on the west coast and southwest (like me), have never heard of the Glee company or its products.  But let me tell you, this is a company you may want to learn more about...for your own knowledge, purchasing pleasure and a great place to go for gifts.

Are you looking for something to do with your kids now that school is out?  Are you looking at a gift for father's day?  Birthdays coming up?

Here is a unique item called the "Make Your Own Chocolate Kit"....and it is literally just that...it is nothing like going to the store and picking up a chocolate bar and enjoying the flavour, right?  Wouldn't you enjoy that chocolate a little more if you made it yourself, from fresh ingredients, so that you know exactly what goes into making your chocolate?

This kit takes you from the historical beginnings of the xolatl of the Aztecs to the chocolate we know today...

In this kit you get a brief historical tour of how chocolate begins and a very detailed instruction shee,
cocoa butter, confectioners sugar, paper candy liners, starter crystals, cocoa powder, temperature indicator, and whole cacao beans! It's all in there!  The instructions even tell you what mix ins work well with this kit!

This is an incredible kit to make alone or better yet, with your kids.  The simple instructions are easy enough for a child to follow, but mom and dad should always be with them because this does entail using the stove, and/or microwave and can cause burns if a child is not familiar with using this equipment properly.

Just to tell you a little more about this fantastic company...The idea for Verve, the makers of this fantastic kit, came about in 1992, when they visited an economically depressed, chicle producing community in Northern Guatemala.  In case you were wondering, chicle is what gives gum its chewy consistency.  Until their trip, they had never given any thought to what made gum chewy.  Nowadays your big gum companies use synthetic chicle, since it is easier to come by, and quicker and easier to make than using natural products.

The goal of Verve, Inc. was to purchase chicle and support chicle harvesting, since it is a sustainable practice that benefits both rainforest conservation and the local economy in forest regions.  Hence Verve was born and they have had a thriving company ever since.  Their first product was something called the "Make Your Own Chewing Gum kit.

Now to be perfectly honest, everyone is getting tired of being the throwaway society, we are all doing what we can to live "green", we do our best to live sustainably, and are more aware of our "footprints".  What better way to teach kids about such things than buying products from this amazing company!

And if this kit is any indication of how great their other products are, I am going to beat a path to the local store that sells their products (World Market, in my case) or online.  I can't wait to try their whole line of products...and rest assured, I am going to stock up on their products for upcoming holidays, and hand a box of their products over to Santa to put in the kid's stockings at christmas...as long as he puts some in my stocking too!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Back again!

Hello to all my friends, family and readers...

After issues with this site, now worked out again, I am back with loads of recipes and reviews...and maybe even some contests coming up.

I wanted to belatedly wish a happy Easter and Mothers Day to all of you and I sincerely hope you all had beautiful and blessed days...and for those who are missing their friends and relatives, just remember...they are with you always, in everything you do...sometimes I know it is hard to remember that, but I am here to remind you...

I have really been doing lots of cooking and baking lately, trying new things and new recipes.  So I will be blogging on some new recipes, new ingredients, new items in restaurants, etc...I even have a review on a fantastic chocolate making kit that my son and I worked on together.

Jr and Hubby are out of school for the summer.  It is nice to have them home.  Hubby is talking about maybe going back to Cielo Azul as a foster grandparent again this coming school year, and doing more in the way of substituting.  So he will be busy.  Jr has graduated 7th grade, and has been accepted into the k12 academy for next year.  So all his schooling will be done from home, online.  After he has been treated so poorly by the staff of the school, we saw no other way to make the learning process more attractive for our son at the present location and in school...and the only way to do that is take him out of the stressful location, and away from the staff who would rather see him fail.  He seems to be very happy about the news of being accepted.

Jr and the family are becoming a racing family once again. We were going to put him in a quarter midget, but we changed our mind and now he is going to be racing a legends car, we just have to save up the money.  He already has a full racing suit, helmet and safety equipment all ready to go...now just need the wheels lol.

Mom is just mom...nothing changes there, still very frustrating as some of you with alzheimers ridden parents living at home.  It is never easy.  It only gets worse.
                              
As for me, I will be going back into the hospital at the end of the month. Surgery is scheduled for June 24, 5 days before my bday, so i will probably be celebrating my bday in the hospital.  No fun! But it is long overdue.  The doctor is going to be replacing my right knee, and in three months or so after that is done, i will be having my left knee done.  I am not looking forward to it, but it is necessary.

Ok folks, thats all for the update for now, I am going to take a short break, and I will be back with some recipes and reviews....keep tuned in!!

love ya!
                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Here's a review for ya...

As you all probably know, I do all the cooking for the family and I do all the shopping as well...the family comes with me but I pick it all out.  Anyway, I try to make the most healthy, best tasting food for my family for the least amount of money, since we are on a very limited income. 

Where I shop, at Walmart, your products are limited.  If you go in looking for a particular item, you may not find several brands selling the same item.  So, I go to Walmart and buy the big 4lb bag of frozen tilapia...only one company's product is sold at Walmart, and it is distributed by Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc.

I have been buying that brand for years, usually it's a great brand, and offer great product. But, lately, the quality has gone downhill.  I have found bones, scales and fins in the bag, which is rather disgusting.  I buy my fish this way because I rely on it being cleaned, ready to go, no matter what my recipe, I just have to open the individually wrapped fish and then cook it and serve it up.

So, if you are going to buy this kind of fish from this company, be forewarned, check each sealed fish, upon opening, to make sure you arent serving your family (or guests) bones, fins or scales.  The fish is still incredible, but now I will just have to be a lot more careful.

It seems their quality assurance has gone out the window, which is really sad.  I hate seeing such a great product/company letting their quality sink, just to keep up with demand.  Quality should never suffer.

I will be posting some great recipes, using this fish...keep your eyes open for them...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trivia answer and first of several reviews

Your last trivia question was: Which U.S. President made the first telephone call to the moon?
Does anyone want to hazard a guess? The answer Richard M. Nixon on July 20, 1969.

I know, I know...Still having some issues with blogspot, so it makes it look like I am not being a very responsible poster, but I am keeping on top of them...

Generally, I absolutly love Banquet brands TV dinners.  You get the most bang for your buck, the best flavour, and great ingredients for the most part.  Everyone in my family loves them, on the days that I dont feel up to cooking, etc.  We noticed, lately, that they are venturing into the breakfast bowl area...

The picture on the box looks pretty appetizing, but this new "cheesy Potato Bake with Bacon" really falls flat.  It seems to be a pretty good size bowl, but when you open the box, you, like we were, will be sorely disappointed.  It shows a bowl of chunky potatoes, a good amount of bacon and broccoli in a cheese sauce.  Guess what?  You will soon see that there are about 5 chunks of potatoes, bacon pieces that are so small they are unrecognizeable as bacon, and the same goes for the broccoli, the pieces are so small, that if these pieces weren't green, you would never know they were broccoli!  Plenty of sauce, which was bland and soupy.  Very little flavour, very little seasoning.  To be honest, don't waste your money on this, you need about three of these to make a worthwhile breakfast.  You are better off buying the breakfast pot pies that are also available...sure the picture is not as gourmet looking when it comes to the pot pies, but they taste better, and are more filling!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Better than cinnamon rolls...

Luxe Cinnamon Sugar Biscuits

Get a tube of grands flakey layers biscuits, separate them out onto a cookie sheet, spread a light layer of margarine on the tops of each biscuit, sprinkle the tops liberally with cinnamon sugar. put into a 350 degree oven for 14 minutes. While they are baking take about half a cup of margarine/butter and mix in 1/3 cup brown sugar. take the biscuits out and let them cool for about ten minutes. split each biscuit open and spread liberally with the brown sugar margarine spread...and if you really want to "guild the lily", you can make a topping for these biscuits using 1 cup mexican crema, plain/vanilla greek yogurt or sour cream and mix in 1/4 cup honey...drizzle the biscuits liberally with this topping...fantastic!!

I created this recipe when I really didn't know what I wanted to make for a dessert, one night.  I looked in the fridge, it was at the end of the month so we hadn't gone shopping yet, so there wasn't much to choose from.  So, I had a wild idea, Jr. had been asking for cinnamon rolls, but that is such a time consuming endeavor, I wanted to really cut down on the time and effort...pretty much fix it and forget it!  And so was borne the Luxe Cinnamon Sugar Biscuit recipe...and now my family begs for these, and drools over them every time I mention the idea of making them !!

Busy busy busy

Alright my dear readers, I have been gone awhile because I have been researching products and recipes for you...some good, some not so good...I will be posting all that i have done these past couple of weeks, I am sure this will have been worth the wait!

How about a bit of trivia?  Which U.S. President made the first telephone call to the moon?
Does anyone want to hazard a guess?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thai Fried Chicken Wings with Hot-and-Sour Sauce and Salted Mango

Ingredients

1/4 cup corn oil,[for sauce] 1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots or onions [for sauce] 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic [for sauce] 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons chopped dried red finger chiles [for sauce] 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 fresh red Thai chile [for sauce] 2 fresh red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1 1/4-inch piece fresh galangal, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices or ginger[for sauce] 1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon shrimp paste [for sauce] 2 pounds chicken mini drumsticks from chicken wings or chicken wings, separated at joint
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar in the raw [for sauce] 1 ripe mango, cut into 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons tamarind paste [for sauce] 2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar [for sauce] corn oil for deep-frying
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice [for sauce] 1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon fish sauce [for sauce] 1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt [for sauce] 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

  • 1 To make the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until they become a deep golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • 2 Simmer, stirring, for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Purée carefully until smooth, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and set aside until ready to use.
  • 3 To make the wings: Put the soy sauce, lime juice, nam pla, garlic, chiles, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cool completely, then pour over the mini drumsticks in a shallow baking dish and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • 4 Meanwhile, toss the mango cubes with the salt in a small bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • 5 When ready to cook, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a heavy, deep pot and heat to 375°F. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade and pat dry. Combine the cornstarch and rice flour on a shallow plate. Dredge the chicken in the mixture, then carefully put in the pot. Do not overcrowd; work in batches if necessary. Cook until crisp, brown, and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the oil’s temperature.
  • 6 Drain on paper towels and transfer to the bowl of hot-and-sour sauce. Toss well to coat and transfer to the serving plates. Arrange the salted mango in a little mound next to the chicken, garnish with the mint leaves, and serve.

Emeril's Delmonico Crab Cakes with Mustard Creme Fraiche

Emeril's Delmonico Crab Cakes with Mustard Creme Fraiche

Ingredients

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 large egg
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives Vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 cup creme fraiche (sour cream or mexican crema works well also)
1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning breading 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne 1/2 cup bread and butter pickles, roughly chopped, for garnish
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/2 cup pickled onions, roughly chopped, for garnish

  • 1 In a mixing bowl combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, panko, green onions, chives, parsley, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon of the white pepper and stir gently to combine. Divide the crab mixture into 8 evenly sized cakes, about 1/4 cup each, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 20 minutes before proceeding.
  • 2 Place the flour into a shallow bowl and season lightly with salt. Place the egg and milk into a second shallow bowl and mix with a fork or small whisk. Season lightly with salt. Repeat with the breadcrumbs and a third bowl. Remove the crabcakes from the freezer and, one by one, dredge in the flour, then the eggwash, then finally in the breadcrumbs, shaking excess from the cakes after each step. Transfer to a clean parchment lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crabcakes and refrigerate until ready to cook, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours in advance.
  • 3 While the crabcakes are chilling, make the Mustard Crème Fraiche by combining the crème fraiche, lemon juice, mustard seeds, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside to allow the seeds to soften.
  • 4 When ready to cook the crabcakes, place enough vegetable oil in a large (12-inch) skillet to come about 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan and heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the crabcakes to the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper lined plate to drain briefly before serving. Serve hot, with the Mustard Crème Fraiche drizzled over the top and garnished with the chopped pickles and onions.

spotted dog scones

Spotted Dog Scones


Ingredients:


3 2/3 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup currants(or regular raisins)
1 large egg
1 2/3 cups buttermilk

Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the dried fruit.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Use one hand stretched like a claw to mix the dough and combine until all is moistened (don't try to knead it or it will be too heavy). The dough will be soft but not too wet and sticky.
4. Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together a little more, as needed. Transfer the dough to the floured baking sheet and form a long, flat rectangle- about 1-inch high. Cut into mini scones (triangles) using a pizza cutter or a knife. Pull each scone a little bit away from the others. Bake 12 to 15 minutes (or until golden and baked through). Let cool a bit, then serve warm with butter and jam. (re-heat as needed in the microwave)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

mini Pumpkin Spice Loaves

mini Pumpkin Spice Loaves (can be used in mini muffin pans also)

ingredients
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup butter/margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 12 mini loaf pans (or the appropriate number of mini/regular muffin pans).
In medium bowl, mix dry ingredients, pecans and raisins. Toss to coat, then set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter/margarine with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just till combined.  On low speed beat in flour mixture alternately with pumpkin.  Stir in vanilla.  Divide batter amongst loaf pans or about 3/4 of the way up the muffin pans.
Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  For muffins, check them after about 20 minutes...and add more time accordingly, as needed, till the toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spring Cleaning....OH NO!!

Ok, now that the family is finally well again after having a major case of the flu (so much for taking the flu shot)...It is time for spring cleaning...which I have been trying to do, but it isnt easy with all these sicklings underfoot.  But I am going to make this as painless, fast, easy and cheap for myself and all of you out there...Dont you hate having to waste so much money on cleaning products for the bathroom, kitchen, all purpose, toilet, etc??  I am going to tell you a cheap and easy solution so that you can eliminate all of that awful house full of harmful chemicals.

There are a lot of recipes for all purpose cleaners out there but the one that works, and doesnt make a mess, is.... first of all get one of those all purpose spray bottles, measure in 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup palmolive dishwashing liquid (original or anti bacterial)...it makes it more concentrated and you can add 1/2 cup of water if you wish, it depends on how concentrated you want it, I do add the water, because i cant use real harsh chemicals...at least this is pretty much natural, there is no chemicals to hurt small children or animals. shake it to mix it up. then this can be used in the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere that needs a clean up. just spray it on, walk away for about 15 minutes or so then come back and spray or wipe down...and yes, this can be used in the toilet as well, tho the best toilet bowl cleaner is actually efferdent denture cleaner..just drop two or three tablets into your toilet bowl and let it fizz...then just take a brush and get the little ring that may be left, it will wipe right off...no elbow grease needed...and a lot cheaper than buying all the fancy, expensive cleaners.

Hope this helps everyone that doesnt want to make room for a shopping cart full of cleaning products.

Back later today with some recipes for ya, and I will look around and see if I can do some reviews as well.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Avocado,Jicama, orange salad

Avocado, Jicama and Orange Salad

6 halo oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 tsp curry powder (or turmeric/garam masala)
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 c honey
1/2 c white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into french fry size "sticks"
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
2 firm ripe avacados, diced

Put the oranges, jicama, avocados and pineapple in a mixing bowl.  Mix together spices, salt, honey, oil and vinegar, toss in with the salad ingredients. Easy!!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello Readers!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend and a great valentine's day!  Had a great one here..the boys took me out to dinner, we went to the Route 66 Diner, it was fantastic as usual!

I am going to post some recipes that are a little special, I know Valentine's day is over, but these recipes would be great for an in home date night, or anniversary or anytime you want something a little special.  The recipes will all be fairly inexpensive, but they will make a great impression.

Crepes anyone?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Healthy, decadent, no bake chocolate oatmeal drops

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Drops
3 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (preferably 1% or nonfat)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
2 cups multi grain cheerios

Put all together in a microwave safe mixing bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute, remove from microwave and mix everything together.  If the mix is a little dry, add a bit more peanut butter, if it is too wet, add more oats or cheerios. 

Refrigerate mix for about an hour, to let it firm up slightly. 

Layer a baking sheet or tray with either foil or parchment paper.  Take a cookie scoop or a tablespoon and scoop out little balls of the mixture onto the sheet/tray.  Cover with Plastic wrap, and return tray to the refridgerator or freezer. When they have hardened up,  you can  store them in a zip lock bag in either the fridge or freezer.  These make great grab and go snacks...great for a little pick me up!  (they are real popular with all ages)

NOTE:  Originally this recipe asked for full fat milk, less oats, no cheerios, and triple the sugar...I healthified it up so most folks can keep their new years resolutions without feeling too guilty!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Anyone baking cookies???

I found this on the Betty Crocker facebook page...it sure shed some light on problems i had in the past:

Cookie-baking blunders making you feel crumby? Learn about 11 common conundrums, their likely causes and how to achieve the perfect batch of cookies every time.
Problem: My Cookies Are Too Tough
Why?
  • Overworked the dough (especially likely with cutouts).
  • Added too much flour.
  • Used flour with too high of a protein content (e.g. bread flour).
  • Didn't use enough fat or sugar in the dough.
  • Fix It
  • Use a light touch; work with dough as little as possible once flour is added to avoid having the dough stiffen up as it is worked.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Try substituting pastry flour for the all-purpose flour. Pastry flour has less protein, so it develops less gluten when worked.
  • Start by adding ¼ cup extra sugar or butter to the dough. Sugar and fat are the ingredients that make a cookie tender.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Hard and Dry
    Why?
  • Added too much flour.
  • Stored cookies improperly.
  • Overbaked the cookies.
  • Needed more fat or sugar.
  • Fix It
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container; freeze them for long-term storage.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy or bake a few minutes less.
  • Start by adding ¼ cup extra sugar or butter to the dough. Sugar and fat are the ingredients that make a cookie tender.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Pale
    Why?
  • Used an insulated cookie sheet.
  • Baked at low oven temperature.
  • Underbaked the cookies.
  • Needed more sugar.
  • Fix it
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum cookie sheet. It allows heat to melt the sugar and brown the cookie.
  • Increase temperature by 25 degrees. Extra heat helps cookies brown.
  • Bake a couple of minutes longer.
  • Start by adding ¼ cup extra sugar to the dough. Sugar is a key ingredient for browning cookies.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Crusty
    Why?
  • Added too much sugar.
  • Overbaked the cookies.
  • Used a dark cookie sheet.
  • Fix it
  • Cut back sugar by ¼ cup or use brown sugar (which has more moisture) as a substitute.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes less, or reduce temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum pan.

  • Problem: My Cookies/Bars Are Too Gummy
    Why?
  • Added too much liquid/moisture.
  • Underbaked the cookies/bars.
  • Used too small a pan.
  • Fix it
  • Decrease egg amount (use yolk instead of whole egg or use 1 less egg) or add some flour.
  • Bake a couple of minutes longer. Cookies are done when the edges are firm. Bar cookies typically are done when a toothpick inserted in to the center of the pan comes out clean.
  • Make sure you're using the pan size called for in the recipe. A smaller pan will make the batter too thick for the designated baking time.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Dark
    Why?
  • Used a dark pan.
  • Added too much sugar.
  • Overbaked the cookies

  • Fix it
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum pan.
  • Cut back by about ¼ cup sugar to prevent overbrowning.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes less, or reduce temperature by 25 degrees.

  • Problem: My Cookies/Bars Are Too Crumbly

    Why?
  • Added too much flour.
  • Dough needs more fat.
  • Didn't let cookies cool long enough.
  • Fix it
  • Cut back by ¼ cup flour to start.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Add 2 to 4 tablespoons more fat to the dough. Fat makes cookies tender.
  • Be patient and let bars cool completely before cutting, or cool cookies a couple of minutes longer.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Flat

    Why?
  • Added too much fat or sugar.
  • Used all butter.
  • Baked at a low oven temperature.
  • Used room temperature/soft dough
  • Used a warm pan.
  • Fix it
  • Use half butter and half shortening, or reduce sugar amount. Butter and sugar make cookies spread.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes more, or increase temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Chill dough before using.
  • Place dough on cooled, clean pans to prevent early spread of cookies.

  • Problem: My Cookies Brown Unevenly

    Why?
  • Made cookies with
    random, inconsistent
    sizes or thicknesses.
  • Baked cookies in an oven with inaccurate oven temperatures.
  • Fix it
  • Use a cookie scoop to help make sure all cookies are the same size. Make sure cut-out cookies are the same thickness.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer.

  • Problem: My Cookies Always Burn

    Why?
  • Overbaked the cookies.
  • Used a dark pan.
  • Added too much sugar.
  • Fix it
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes less, or reduce temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum pan.
  • Reduce sugar amount to prevent overbrowning.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Stuck to the Pan

    Why?
  • Forgot to grease/line
    the cookie sheet or pan.
  • The cookies are delicate and contain a lot of sugar.
  • Fix It
  • Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  • Line pans for bars with lightly greased or non-stick aluminum foil.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Stiff

    Why?
  • Added too much flour.
  • Baked dough immediately after it had removed from the refrigerator/freezer.
  • Fix It
  • Cut back by ¼ cup flour to start.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Bring the dough to room temperature before baking.
  • Thursday, February 6, 2014

    GRRRRR!!!

    I hate to keep apologizing to you all, but this time was no fault of my own.  Yup, I fell pray to a hacker.  I just got the site all straightened out so I AM BACK!!  No one can keep me down for long!  I have loads of new recipes for you...and now i can start my new year's resolutions since we are back on track.  I have some great main courses, desserts, sides and appetizers to spring on you...so I hope you are all ready.

    Keep your fingers crossed that we will get thru this together.

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Recipe: Special Occasion Banana Pudding

    Special Occasion Banana Pudding

    Ingredients:

    1 lg box of lowfat vanilla wafers or Cinnamon graham crackers
    6-8 bananas, sliced
    2 cups milk(lowfat or 1%)
    1 lg box french vanilla pudding or banana pudding
    2 (8oz) packages of lowfat cream cheese or neufchatel (at room temp)
    1 can low fat sweetened condensed milk
    1 (12oz) container of lowfat frozen whipped topping, thawed

    Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2inch dish with one layer of the vanilla wafers or grahams.  Layer a layer of sliced bananas on top of the cookies.

    In a bowl, combine the lowfat milk and pudding mix, blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix till smoothe.  Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.

    Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir till well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas.  Layer to the top of the baking dish...Refrigerate until ready to serve.