Blog number two.... it might explain my current lack of enthusiasm for blog number 1

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Put a smile on your plate

I know I saw this on some one's blog.... who saw it in some one's magazine..... but that is all I remember.

Breakfast quesadilla! It was easy to make and fun to eat, a great spin on the ordinary breakfast burrito.

I cooked bacon in the microwave, scrambled 3 eggs, and stuffed the two into flour tortillas and sprinkled the inside with cheese before folding it over and browning it in the toaster oven.

I dunked mine in homemade ranch from our local Italian dive... it was awesome! That is coming from someone who isn't really a breakfast fan much less a scrambled egg fan.

How to tell if you grew up in the country....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Attention Carb Lovers

You're gonna love THESE!

They bake up super crispy on the outside.... but the inside... oh man the inside... it's like mashed potatoes in there!

It is by far one of the best frozen foods I have purchased in quite some time.

Not to mention, when I googled them to get a picture for this post, I discovered they make all sorts of frozen foods. Can't wait to try some of their other stuff!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall Dinner

The ultimate fall dinner to me is a great soup with an equally great something to dip in it. Usually that is my cream of mushroom soup, but on a week night.... that doesn't work for me. Although I did use to do it while Bradley and I were dating. But I was trying to impress him and there were a lot of things I did while we were dating. Things that are now biting me in the butt. "Oh I love to clean" "No, don't you move a muscle!" "I will cook, serve you, refill your drink, take your plate away, clean the kitchen, make your lunch for tomorrow. I AM super girl"


I'm off track as usual. Back to the point. This week some weird things have been happening to me. Right when I am cooking dinner, I start feeling bad. By the time it is ready, I can't even eat. I tried to eat last night and all of it tasted really weird to me. Bradley ate all his and the other half of mine, so it was definitely just me. I thought long and hard about what I was doing different and I have been drinking a LOT of coffee now that its chilly outside and not so much water, if any. So today I am going to change that and hopefully be able to enjoy dinner tonight.

The soup was campbell's tomato - once again, wanted to make my own, time was not on my side - and the sandwich (which is really why I'm blogging this dinner) was a ham and cheese on rosemary focaccia. But the cheese was something the two of us had never eaten, it was havarti. It was really good, the package said to pair it with something sweet. The tomato soup was a little sweet but I think they meant apples or grapes. Either way it was pretty good and I'm glad I have some for sandwiches now.

I made them with just meat and cheese, I forgot to add mustard, and popped them into the toaster oven. Very easy dinner!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Fall, y'all!

Which means it it my absolute faaaaavorite time of year!

Pumpkins, hay, cider, apples, soup, cool weather, scarfs, boots....... oh yeah, count me in.

I buy for fall all year round. I bought harvest place mats back in the summer and broke them out at the first hint of cooler weather. Don't even get me stared on all the pumpkin pie and mulled cider candles littered around the house, either.

These are so cute and versatile for the season. Because the pumpkin is just a pumpkin and not a jack o lantern, the mats can be used from mid September until Thanksgiving! And I love that they are made from a very rugged khaki linen.

Hmm.... but I don't have any Christmas place mats.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baptist versus Presbyterian

I have always considered myself to be a covered dish baptist. Meaning that my church is a tiny church where everybody knows everybody and we look for any excuse to have everyone bring a covered dish and stay after the sermon for some good fellowship. We also don't care if you wear jeans and cowboy boots to church.

So when Bradley and I got serious and he asked me to go to his church with him.... I was a little apprehensive. What is a presbyterian? Will my church be mad? Will it un-do all my covered dish teachings?!?!

He explained to me that there were two things that made them different from my church - 1. they have chairs instead of pews. 2. there is a band in the choir loft.

So I went and he was right it was pretty much the same thing. There were bulletins, people singing hymns off key, prayer, the occasional old man nodding off and his equally old wife jabbing him in the ribs. Church is church people, I think naming them should be done away with.

But the longer we've been together and the more I've met people from his church and visited his church, I found out that there were an additional two differences he left out.

1. they don't bring covered dishes, they caravan down the road to guadalahara

2. a lot of the guys.... make their own beer. they even meet up every so often to taste each others creations.

Now I'm not implying they're meeting up and getting sloshed for Jesus. They're just good guys fellow shipping around a common hobby. What's wrong with that? Nothing.

Bradley's first attempt at making his own beer ended up as an alcohol free beer that tasted like apple juice. His second attempt worked just fine and we now are the proud owners of two cases of a "sam adams" knock off. The whole process is very interesting and it's fun to drink something that you actually brewed.

When I saw a recipe for Cheddar Ale Spread I thought of his latest creation and how neat it would be to make an appetizer that included it. This stuff is really good, addictingly good. I used spicy brown mustard instead of dijon, and actually think it could use a little more than just 2 teaspoons.

So, Jason - give Anne Marie this recipe and tell her to make it for your next get together of "sips and sermons" or "pale ales and parables"..... I could go on all night :D

I heart chips n salsa

So much that I'm going to have them for dessert!!!

While the above statement is somewhat true, I put a spin on the traditional chips n salsa to make it more dessert friendly. Because only a special breed of people would actually want salty chips and spicy salsa for dessert, and just because I fall into that category doesn't mean the guests coming to my house last night would.

Last night there was a mexican theme in the Webb household. Instead of making soapapilla's for dessert, I wanted something that could be prepared ahead of time.

I took 5 taco size flour tortillas and sprayed the tops of them with a non stick cooking spray, and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the spray. From there I cut them into triangles and spread them out on a baking stone.

They almost look like grill marks, huh?

Now they go into a preheated 350* oven for 15 minutes.

For the salsa part, I chopped kiwis and strawberries, sprinkled with sugar and let them chill in the fridge. I actually did them the night before to save time, and the kiwis lost their color. So if I were you I would chop just the strawberries ahead of time and sprinkle with sugar and right before serving, add the chopped kiwi.

Either way it plated so cute! Looked just like chips n salsa!

It tasted equally as good, just in a totally different direction!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's official!

I have taken the plunge and once again I am working two jobs. I really never thought it would happen again. But as everyone knows, the economy isn't at it's best right now, especially for those of us in the real estate industry.

However, I don't really see this new job as being a hassle. I think it is going to be awesome because I am combining two things I love most.... cooking and people!

I am now a Pampered Chef consultant!!!

I have to do 4 shows in my first thirty days. If you are reading this and you are even some what close to my area (Odenville, AL) and would like to book a party, please contact me! My email is and I would love to do a show for you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Caribbean Queen

Ha ha now you're gonna sing it all day!

I love to order things "jerked". I love jerk seasoning! But do you ever notice that the jerk seasoning used in restaurants is not the same thing as the jerk seasoning sold in stores? I have. I probably have 7 jerk seasonings in my cabinet searching for that one that isn't sugary but that is spicy! Haven't found it, short of making my own. Which for some reason emits high quantities of smoke while cooking.

The other day I was out working with another girl from work when she admitted to needing to stop by target for something. "Oh, me too!" I said. So we went. Now we are both big in the kitchen and are constantly swapping recipes and saying "you gotta try this". So of course we travelled over to the grocery side of target. I can honestly say that was my first time to be on that side, and I loved it! I want to redo my spice racks in their brand of spices, because of the cute little jars they come in. Not to mention they practically had a spice AISLE. I was in heaven. She was scouring the McCormick section for something. "You've just got to try it" she said, "Try what?". "It's this jerk seasoning. It's great!". I then informed her of my hunt for a spicy jerk seasoning and all of its dead ends. She assured me this one would not let me down and even though we couldn't find it in Target, I needed to find it and she would look at her local grocery for me a bottle as well.

I found it. She was right! I rubbed it on pork chops and let them hang out in the fridge for a while before Bradley threw them onto the smoker. It was spicy not sweet (even though there is sugar in the mix, it doesn't stand out as much as the heat) and I can't wait to try it out on fish! She said that if you visit McCormick's website, they have all kinds of recipes including it.

I actually just had a thought for what to do with my other too sweet jerk seasonings..... Check back this time next week to see what it was!

What is it??

Mother in law and Father in law just recently spent a week in the mountains for their birthdays. They brought me back some good wine and this...

She was so excited to give it to me, saying things like "I hope y'all don't already have one". I looked at it.... and everyone waited for me to say something...

"OH!.....Is.....Is it a biscuit cutter?"

short pause

"Noooo it's to chop meat up!"

Boy, was she right! This thing is SO handy to have in the kitchen, especially since we now have a commercial barbecue pit in the back yard. You gather your cooked meat in a pile and shove this thing into it with a twisting motion. At first it doesn't really tackle the heap like expected, then out of no where, you've got a pile of perfectly chopped meat. It is such a time saver! It makes it look just like if you went to your local bbq joint and ordered a "chopped sandwich/platter". Love it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Run for your thighs!! Its.... GRILLZILLA!

Bradley's newest bob the builder escapade lead him to assist a friend in building what I like to refer to as "the biggest flippin' grill I ever did see", more affectionately known as..... GRILLZILLA.

Yes it is obnoxiously huge and yes he did have to build a new deck specifically for housing the flavor injecting beast. But that's ok because now my covered deck is going to be turned into a "tropical getaway".

I'm always trying to turn places into tropical getaways, seriously, can one of y'all just move me to the beach and call it good?? Please? My birthday is soon!!

This tropical get away isn't going to happen overnight, as patio furniture is DANG EXPENSIVE even in the off season when it is on clearance. Not to mention no where has it in the store anymore so I'm having to order it offline and pay for shipping and cross my fingers that nothing is damaged in the process. So I'm saving my pennies and if you would like to donate yours... please see me after the show. (ahem birthday soon ahem)

Where was I? Oh yeah, the big black thing in my backyard....

Anyway it came to us late Thursday night and we left a football party early on Saturday because Bradley was itching to go to the grocery store and buy large pieces of various animals to throw into its big steel belly. FEED THE BEAST! FEED THE BEAST!

Let the marination process commence!

And it was good. Sunday was spent "smoking" and not the wacky tabacky kind. (can you tell its past my bedtime?) He cooked a slab of ribs that looked like they were from a rhino.... or maybe an elephant, pork chops (that I rubbed with a new spice mix a friend told me about, don't worry I'll show you later) and an entire chicken. En......tire.....chicken. Remember Magda from There's Something About Mary? hehe That's what Mr Chicken looked like when he checked out of Hotel Grill-ifornia.

Of course we couldn't eat all that Sunday night, so we've spent this week finding new ways to enjoy smoky food. All jokes aside that thing makes some great food! The chicken was turned into chicken tacos last night and chicken nachos tonight. Both equally amazing.

Nothing special, just chips, chicken, rotel, corn, cheese and a spicy sour cream sauce I made up.

Take sour cream, mix in taco seasoning (to taste), mix in juice from rotel until it is a little runny and you are able to "drizzle" it on things like tacos and nachos.


i love ya to (center)pieces!

Last week I hosted a girls night in, with my two best friends. One I've known since kindergarten and beyond, the other stepped into my life around 8th grade. Both changed me for the better.

We had salad, bread sticks, chicken and pasta with tomato cream sauce, brownie sundaes, good wine, LOTS of laughter and some great catching up.

I wanted something girly and fun for our centerpiece that included fresh flowers. I'm addicted to glassware (I'll have to show you sometime) so I chose three pretty glasses and floated flower buds in them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

from my kitchen to your.... computer screen!

My blog has been in the operating room and has emerged with a face lift. I kinda like it, but at first thought it was giving everything a yellow tint. So I decided to do some back reading to see if other posts/pictures looked yellow.

I stumbled across posts from when we had just moved in (January '08) and lots of empty house pictures. I then saw where I had promised pictures of my unpacked kitchen.... and never came through.

I'm glad I didn't though because it is just now to my standards. The only thing else I might want for it is a rooster picture, and I have been shopping carefully for the perfect one. I look everywhere I go.

My "theme" is warm neutral colors accented with fire engine red and black, peppered with roosters. I don't want my kitchen to turn into a junk haven, I just want a few rooster pieces. Right now I have a hanging iron rooster, a candle holder rooster for the table (which matched my place mats perfectly, accidentally!), a platter from belk that was marked down - put on sale - and I had a coupon for grand totaling a whopping 8 bucks and lastly, a statue rooster I found at Ross that was on clearance. I'm through with roosters, except for the picture. It will go where the fleur de lis "clock" is that never worked and I'm going to try and convert the "clock" into a trivet.

Yes, it is always this clean. Except for Sunday mornings during football season. After 12+ straight hours of football and snacks, all I want to do is go to bed while visions of Arenas and Tebow dance in my head. "I'll do it in the morning" I say.... every time.

For before pics, please visit here.

trying to be healthy....

Doesn't always work out like you want it to.

I bake a lot of things that Bradley would fry, around here. Frozen french fries, frozen chicken fingers, frozen hush puppies. So when I decided to make chicken fingers myself and bake them I figured they would turn out like the frozen ones do.

Not exactly. They were good, but they didn't brown and had a very dry crust. I love to eat chicken fingers without needing to dip them in something, and these required a dip. All we had was ranch, but I would of preferred a parmesan based dressing for these "Italian Chicken Fingers".

Basically I used the pork chop recipe but replaced the chops with chicken tenders. I want to do it again because it was something new and tasty to perk up boring old chicken, but I guess I will have to shallow fry them.

And yes I admitted to Bradley that I was wrong and he was right in asking me to fry them.

See this picture? It's of three chicken fingers and they just look like one big blob. There is no definition of color. No browning around the edges.

I served it alongside my presto pasta entry and it made for a good dinner. Good not great.

feels like home to me

I'm getting more and more comfortable in this new house. It was hard, even though I griped that our old house was too small, I loved it. It felt like home. There were tall tall trees in the yard, a back deck that looked straight into more tall tall trees and the inside was just like I wanted it. Except for the whole no dishwasher thing.

Even though now that we have one, I still find myself handing washing the dishes because I forget I have one.

We, like I'm sure most people who move do, still have boxes that need to be unpacked. Mostly picture frames. I'm not big on displaying portraits all over the house, especially if they are of people in a studio, yeck. Go outside for pete's sake, it's free out there!!!

But there was one picture I missed seeing around the house and that was our wedding signature picture. Or whatever they are called. I missed reading all the cute things it said. I missed seeing that picture of us just hours after we said "I do" and the glowing smiles we had. I can look at that picture and relive that night. I'll never forget it. I remember every detail, right down to the wine glasses of Jane and Greg's that they were sipping from. Love like that is what truly makes a house a home.

So Bradley bought me a little black shelf, hung it in the hall and I set the picture and our cake topper on it(It's a "W" I'm in love with them, they are everywhere here). Perfect!

I have a bad addiction to design shows, and when the "Top 20 design mistakes" came on.... I was front and center. When they get to the number about "no fake flowers" I thought to myself, "Yeah why don't people just buy their favorite flower, plant it and have an endless supply of fresh flowers to display??".

Then it hit me..... I have four big flower bushes overflowing with big orange and pink blooms. I've had them all summer but it never occurred to me to showcase them around the house. So outside I went to collect the prettiest 8 blooms (4 of each color). I battled a weird looking green spider that we won't discuss.... and ended up with 4 pretty little bowls of flowers. One for the kitchen table, one for the coffee table, one for the guest bath and one for my pretty new shelf.

This house isn't so bad, after all :D

Oh and now that I realized you could bring flowers inside.... and summer is over.... what kind of flowers do best during the fall months?

Don't even get me started on fall either..... fall really feels like home to me. Open windows.... billowing curtains.... pumpkins.... apples.... football and the voice of Eli Gold.... hay rides.... and my new harvest theme place mats I bought over the summer!!! I can't WAIT to use them!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My "Presto Pasta Nights" Entry

When I saw this fun little blog-test I didn't scour my arsenal looking for the best recipe. I didn't stay up late thinking about ingredients. I didn't do any of the weird obsessive things I usually do when I am submitting a recipe for the world to see.


Because this summer I accidentally created my new comfort food recipe. It's nothing fancy. It's not gourmet. It is simply a way to use up all those awesome veggies from the farmer's market. There are no measurements, because you can make it for one or for one hundred and one (Dalmatians).

But it is something that you need to try, and therefore, I'm sending it in.

Presto Pasta Nights was the idea of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast. It started in March of 07 and now here I am, over a year later, entering a dish.

Summer Pasta
recipe by me

ready cut macaroni - or whichever pasta you are currently in love with
zucchini - cut into half moons
yellow squash - cut into whole moons
vidalia onions - i cut mine into rings
minced garlic

boil the pasta in salted water. drain. while it's still hot toss with butter and parmesan.
heat evoo in a large skillet. add veggies. saute until they reach your favorite stage of done-ness.
add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds to a minute.
toss with pasta.
sprinkle top with parmesan.

So there you go. A very simple, very versatile, but still very delicious summer pasta dish.

(sauteed onions not pictured. please refer to the "chick food" post)

po'kchop po'kchop greasay greasay.......

we think yo (fill in the blank)'s E-ZZZY E-ZZZY

The above chant is all the more reason why children should be home schooled. I learned that in first grade.... and we put "mama" in the blank.

But for real I just figured out WHY a first grader should not be singing it. Innocent mind...... hmm hm hmm...... where's that halo....

No really, I'm just blonde.

Now.... much, much later.... I sing it every time we have pork chops. Bradley even quit looking at me weird, he is use to it.

This is a very easy yet VERY scrumptious Giada recipe that I discovered a while back and we have it a lot for dinner. Might I add, you want to shallow fry in evoo. Your canola oils and veggie oils collect under the crust and that is just no fun at all. Evoo gives you a drier fry.

I made that up, but it's true!

Giada's pork chop recipe can be found HERE and it is tried and true! I usually buy butterflied pork chops and then finish splitting them, but any ol' chop will do!

What I really wanted to talk to you about was my new favorite side dish. Grits! They're not just for breakfast people. You can mix anything in there. Treat them like you would mashed potatoes. Wanna mix in corn, cumin, cilantro and a lil lime juice? You can. Wanna mix in cheese and bacon? You can. Wanna mix in sardines and anchovies? You can, I won't judge you.

I won't come near you..... but I won't judge you.

For this meal, I added in mozzarella cheese. Some halved cherry tomatoes and parsley would of been great mixed in, but you know what? I'm married and that's chick food. So... there you go.

My other side dish was canned asparagus (love!) tossed with lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and fresh ground black pepper. This, apparently, is not chick food.

Take note.

Friday, September 5, 2008

becoming a home....

This is my guest room

I want to make it into a "guest suite"

I do not know why. We've been living together for almost three years and so far we've had two people stay the night at the old house (that ended up falling asleep in the floor watching movies) and one stay the night here (and hes young and was just happy to spend the night away from home).

But maybe it is because we never had a guest suite to sweeten the deal.

I can see it now.......

*que harp*

*computer screen goes hazy and clears up to two people sitting at their kitchen table enjoying morning coffee and planning their holiday visiting*

"you know honey we should really go visit all our family in St Clair county."

"i do miss them so, but with gas so high we cant afford to drive all the way there and then stay in a hotel and eat out at expensive restaurants just to be near family"

"well i heard that deLa and bradley just finished their guest suite. you know they love to cook so we wouldn't go hungry"

"oh honey that is an excellent idea! i love you! let's never stay in a hotel again!!!!"

*back to reality*

SEE! This is what I'm missing out on with my messy guest room. No house guests!

I know what I want to do.... it is just putting it into action. The bedding is taken care of, it will be our old bedding ensemble:

So that is taken care of. Then I want a little reading area with a comfy chair and a small table and lamp. That will be in front of the window. I also want a bookshelf to put a tv/dvd player and house lots of DVDs and books if the guests need some time to themselves.

I also want one of those things in hotels that you set your suitcase on.

But I have one problem...... the room needs to be painted. I want it to be a color that is VERY calming and soothing. Something that will make them feel at home.

What color makes you feel comfortable and relaxed?? Please tell me!

Our bedroom is painted a grayish brownish blueish color. It was supposed to be chocolate milk color. I already know it goes with the bedding, should I just use that?

What amenities would you want to have while you were away from home? Anything else I need to add to my guest suite?

I need to know what you think, and you need to tell me.... because, who knows... YOU may be my first house guest!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Can't leave well enough alone....

Every couple of months I go on grocery shopping frenzies. It usually starts out with good intentions, just going to the store for a few things totalling under $20 dollars. Then I see something I like.... and something else.... and then it is all over.

See I can't knowingly spend lots of money on groceries. It hurts me. I know we have to eat, but I would much rather spend my money on fun stuff, like clothes or shoes. So I have to trick my self into accidentally grocery shopping. In between those times I drop under $20 dollars a week on stuff we run out of and desperately need (read: cheese and bacon and coke zero) at the grocery. This goes on for months.

Well this weekend I had one of "those" shopping trips. I found a new product I wanted to try and it was all down hill from there. I was meal planning like crazy. The product was a macaroni grill chicken helper type thing. I thought, "Yum macaroni grill how bad can it be?!"

I was right! But was it their fault.... or mine??

I tried the above version first. It was a basil alfredo sauce with chicken, noodles and sun dried tomatoes. Ok Bradley is not going to eat sun dried tomatoes. So I omitted those. Plus I only like them on salads, so tata matoes. Then I read the directions. "Brown chicken in butter". That's it? No seasoning?

No no no. Step back macaroni grill... let me handle this.

I chunked up chicken tenderloins and tossed them with a generous amount of italian seasoning. Heated up a few tablespoons of butter with some evoo and cooked my chicken.... all the way through because it wanted you to finish cooking them in the sauce and that's just gross. I also sauteed some onions and baby bella mushrooms in evoo and italian seasonings, and fried some bacon. I mixed the mushrooms and onions with the chicken, sauce and noodles, and topped the dish with crumbled bacon and parmesan cheese.

It was SO good! I guess I can't take any credit for the sauce, I mean right out of the box it was good. It was almost like a pesto alfredo sauce. I asked bradley if he thought it would of been just as good if I had of just made it like the box wanted me to and he said, "I don't want to think about it!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Smells Like Fall....

After buying a lot of granny smith apples, even though I knew I have a slight allergy to them (in "raw" form), and eating two and my bottom lip swelling way up.... I knew I had to find a good recipe to use the rest of them.

My favorite accompaniment to a granny smith apple is caramel. I thought back to my caramel apple pie and thought about making one of those, but wanted something easier, with ingredients found in my kitchen and a little lighter!!

My original baking experiment was with this recipe. Don't get me wrong.... GREAT recipe! But you need to make them with cupcake liners, because the heavy caramel chunks sink to the bottom and glue the muffins to the pan. Ok.... plan B.....

I modified and halved the recipe to make 24 mini muffins - sans caramel.

"Fall is So Close" Apple Muffins
adapted from the recipe above

1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 & 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/8 cup butter, melted
1 & 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 small granny smith apple, peeled and diced (i used a hand chopper)

preheat your oven to 350*

mix the first 4 ingredients and set aside. in a new bowl mix the milk and egg, add the butter and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl and mix. Stir in apples. Pour into mini muffin tin and bake for 16 minutes or until bottoms are golden.


The batter is soupy and doesn't do a lot of rising, so fill the hollows up! The end result is very good and reminds you of being outside at Halloween and smelling fresh apples. Or it does me anyway!

party party party

My kitchen has not recovered from hosting 2 parties this weekend. One Friday night and another Saturday night. Sunday it was ignored as we shopped for labor day sales and it was again ignored on Monday as we played with the toys we bought on Sunday. Tuesday was another off day and I used it to clean up. But then I baked and Bradley took over cooking up a batch of home brewed Samuel Adams. Then of course we made dinner. So I began tackling the project again today and started cleaning out the fridge. I found a few leftover cupcake truffles from Friday night's party and just as I was throwing them away I thought, "they're too cute not to blog!"

So here they are. An incredibly easy, but very impressive, dessert.

I got my idea from Cara's Cravings only I didn't spear mine. I also used a red hot for the "cherry" and the inside was made with a fun fetti cake mix. It's my fave box cake mix.

Sorry for the bad quality camera phone picture... this is the week where I don't know what I did with my camera!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Summer Time

Tonight we are going to an outdoor dinner and were asked to bring "something". I racked my brain over what to bring, I read recipes, I went through cook books and finally it hit me. I wanted something cool, summery and refreshing. I'm making a fruit trifle.

Everthing about this trifle screams summer. From its airy pudding and easy preperation to its chilled trifle dish and sweet fruits.... ahhh yes - SUMMER!

Summer Trifle
recipe by me

one store bought angel food cake
7 kiwis
1 mango
1 package of strawberries
1 small pack of Jello instant pudding, white chocolate
1 small container cool whip
mini chocolate chips

cut all of the fruit into little bite size pieces, sprinkle with sugar, toss and put into the fridge so they can make a syrup amongst themselves. make the pudding and put it in the fridge to "pudding up". go play on the internet or watch tv or accidently fall asleep. wake up - cube the angel food cake into bite size pieces into the bottom of a trifle dish and gently press them into an even layer. top with the fruit salad and make that layer even as well. top with a thin layer of mini chocolate chips. now whisk in about half the cool whip with the pudding and pour over the top, smoothing out with a rubber spatula. decorate with a ring of mini chocolate chips an a sprig of mint if desired. cover with plastic wrap and chill until you are ready to enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'm Sick

But not as sick as I was.

Friday night we had a girls night and I stayed out later than I have in a LONG time. The night started out around the pool. I had two drinks and then turned to ice water around 9 or 10 o'clock.Then around midnight someone called "the dew".... which means this TINY tiny bar near my neighborhood where..... "country" people go to karaoke and dance with the lights on. I love it because you dont have to worry about guys hitting on you and then getting pissed off when you decline their offer. Theyre just a bunch of country guys and would rather sit and laugh with you about everyone dancing this physically hitting on you. That AND you know everyone when you walk in the door so no one would even dare hit on you out of respect for your - father, mother, husband, sister, brother......

Wow Im getting off track here. My point is that once we got to the bar, I was still drinking ice water and did the entire night. I was having so much fun no one even noticed. Someone even "complimented" me on the way I was putting my drinks away and I just smiled. So after we shut it down and I'm climbed into bed, I couldn't go to sleep for coughing. I blamed it on the smoke and just made myself sleep. I woke up at 8:30 and cleaned house and just felt like crap. My initial thought was "gah im hungover, im getting old" but then I remembered that I hadn't drank anything. That's when my ears started ringing and my throat started closing. OH no..... I'm sick!!!! I rolled around in bed all day waiting on Bradley to get home, come to find out he was sick in another region so he couldn't baby me. In fact I even went to the store to get stuff to try to make him feel better. We ordered pizza and went to bed early. Sunday morning he got up early and made breakfast and I ate half a biscuit and a few bites of eggs. I was just worthless.

He had to go do some stuff so I stayed in the bed and moved to the couch later on. Actually just in time for a huge black cloud to move in front of the window and forewarn me to let the dogs in now lest they be soaked rats in a few seconds. So I did. Daisy immediately went to the window and stared out, like she always does, nosy thing. Then I heard a "pop" and another "pop" and I yelled at her for hitting the window..... but was it her? Then I saw it... a golf ball bouncing in my yard. Who the crap is throwing golf balls at my windows.... wait.... that's not a golf ball... THATS HAIL!!!

Yes, it hailed in JUNE in Alabama. I am stunned. I thought it had to be cold. It was more like quarter sized once I got up and looked. This went on for about 30 minutes and I cringed every time one hit a window, just waiting for it to bust.

Bradley finally made it home and I was just rolling around in pain and congestion. The cough syrup I had was just laughing at me and my throat was killing me. So he decided to make me up his own special cough syrup. Oh boy.

Actually it was really good and we dubbed it, "The Sweet Jimmy". Rub a lime around the top of a shot glass and then dip the rim in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Fill it a little less than half way up with a mix of lemon/lime juice and honey and then top it with Jim Beam. Stir. Sip or shoot.... I sipped. I had two and it really did stop the coughing and kinda numbed my throat from the pain.

Monday was doctor but I got some bad news.... my doctor was out of the office and I could either wait until Tuesday or see the other doctor in the office. Great... shes gonna be PACKED, but I needed something now so I got an appointment for 2:30. Which meant I was gonna work up until time to go. A few of my customers called me and said "Oh Im sorry I was trying to reach DeLa" I was like its me I just sound like a man. Oh and did I mention that on Monday "work" consisted of building a Habitat for Humanity and it was sheet rock day?! The doctor yelled at me for that. Then she gave me a shot in the hip and like usual I almost passed out and my back really did have convulsing pain for about 5 minutes. It was weird, I hate shots. All this was after I set in the waiting room coughing on the magazines for 45 minutes. Then I had to make the long journey from Pelham to Moody and wait in CVS for my 3 rx's. I did find a cute little cordless tranquility water fountain to the day wasn't a complete loss. Got the drugs and then headed another 20 minutes east to HOME. I got an allergy medicine, horse pill antibiotics and home codeine cough syrup. She said not to take it during work or I would be loopy. I needed some NOW so I did something stupid that we both thought would be a good idea - take more than it said to. I went and jumped in the shower and by the time i got out.... Bradley had to help me to the bed so I could lay down and keep from hurling. I lied there for about an hour and finally set up and drank a coke then tip toed into the kitchen and set in a bar stool and told him how to cook dinner. I wanted to cook SO BAD that I got him to put me a chair by the grill so I could baste my corn as he turned it while laying down. I don't think the charcoal grill got hot enough to cook the corn or maybe I'm just use to canned corn or maybe I had a medicine mouth and nothing tasted right. But I'm saving it and plan on making a hash with it and some potatoes and bacon. Which I thought of last night when the cough syrup had worn off and I was laying in bed wide awake.

I also learned that if you are so doped up that you can't ring your mouth to eat dinner and need your husband to help you eat it - don't hang on to his right side if he is right handed and expect it to go much better. He was REALLY sweet and helpful though and I did get my fill.

Today I still feel dopey with waves of nausea. But life must go on.... so I'm off to eat breakfast, take medicine and start my day. Getting out of the house always makes me feel better.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mother's Day... continued!!

We had a great summery lunch and when women get together, you know dessert will be involved! I wanted something fun and light but I wanted it to be something that mama loved. Jaime at Burnt Toast blogged about making Turtles for her mother because it was her favorite. That's so funny because turtles are also one of my mother's favorites!! But her first favorite is key lime pie! I was off to find a recipe....

If you recall me talking about my grocery shopping mishaps in the Platinum Chef post, I'm just going to pick up where I left off -

They did not have key limes. Which made me so mad because I saw key limes at the dang Wal Mart just the week before and Publix didn't have any. Is that weird or what!? So I had to settle for a bottled key lime juice that I think may have altered the flavor of the dish. When I made the strawberry sauce, it had a medicine taste to it. The dish itself wasn't the best thing I've ever made. But I'm hoping it was the bottled key lime juice, because I don't see how you can go wrong with key lime mousse and strawberries.

The original recipe can be found on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

**pictures to come, although they look really close to the ones peabody posted (and yes that is her first name, isn't that cool!?)

Look what I made!

Jaime at Burnt Toast tagged me to blog about recipes I have made that I found on other foodie blogs.


1. List the names of 2-5 recipes you tried from other blogs. Provide a direct link to the recipe. If not available, give the blog link and let the reader search for the recipe by name.

2. Shortly describe your experience with the recipe.

3. Tag 3-5 other bloggers or the authors of the recipes you listed to post the links to the recipes they have tried from other bloggers. Note: If you are new to the blogging world and haven’t had a chance to try any recipes from your fellow foodies, just pass the tag on to someone else.

4. Notify the tagged bloggers about the tag either by leaving a comment on their blogs or by emailing them.

Here they are (in no specific order because they were all amazing and I couldn't rank them if my life depended on it) :

Chocolate Pie - Can you believe I don't even like this pie? Too much chocolate for me. I just love to make it because it is SO easy and the looks on peoples faces when they take the first bite makes me want to make it over and over again. Plus it is John Evan's favorite. Pioneer Woman get all the credit for the chocolate part, but I'm taking the credit for the cheesecake topping I created for it.

Savory Mini Muffins - I love fresh hot bread and these little bites of love did not let me down, thanks to Amber from Amber's Delectable Delights. I've made them 3 times since I found the recipe at the first of this month. The chedder dill are still my favorite of the two! But I have been running my brain trying to think of new herb/cheese mixes.

Jalapeno Poppers - Holy flippin crap! These things are the best thing I've eaten in a long time, Bradley and I made a meal out of them one Friday night. I added ranch powder to the plain cream cheese the recipe calls for, but they would be good no matter what you added to the recipe! Pioneer Woman wins another one!

Key Lime Mousse and Strawberries Parfait - These were good, but I wish I would of had access to fresh key limes! Peabody makes everything look so easy, and I have to admit I was intimidated by the recipe, but once I got started - it was a breeze!

I'm glad I was tagged to do this because it made me realize that I haven't really tried a lot of other blogger's recipes... I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. But I will make an effort to try your recipes, even if I don't blog about them :D

I tag.... The "other" Jaime, Leslie, and Celeste


Nicole @ Art and Aioli loved me enough to give me an "I love you this much" award. How sweet!!!

It is up to me to now pick ten other blogs that I love and pass the award on to them. This is going to be hard! I hope it is not just cooking blogs, because I love some people that don't post recipes.

Number 1 - My ever so sweet brother in law. I love him and I love reading his blog, so John Evan.... please have this award. His blog is located HERE

Number 2 - A good friend I met through work, Jaime. She is quite the multi tasking mama these days. With a new husband and a new marriage and there is almost a new baby here, she still finds time to scour the internet and find recipes to go home and cook after spending alllllll day in the office. She also has a great ability to create original recipes. She is located at Burnt Toast

Number 3 - Amanda is a friend I made when I got married. My husband's family and her family have apparently been life long pals. So I had no choice but to make a new friend and I'm glad I did! She is so funny and stylish! I just love her! She is located at A Day in the Life of a Bama Girl

Number 4 - Madison is another friend I made when I got married. She is Amanda's niece and new to the blogging world. Everyone loves a little traffic on their page when it is new. Plus she rocks, takes amazing pictures and I love her hair! She is located at Fun Sized

Number 5 - Amber from Amber's Delectable Delights. She is one of the reasons I bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, her bread recipes make me DROOL! And, believe it or not, I still haven't made bread with my stand mixer. But I plan on it and the first one I'm going to make is her Garlic Herb Swirl Bread

Number 6 - Annie from Annie's Eats also has great bread recipes I want to try out. She is also pregnant and I just recently found out that she has lived through Hodgkin’s lymphoma. All that said, I think she is awesome and has great recipes that I plan on trying my hand at.

Number 7 - Lori from The Recipe Girl is author of a blog I just recently became fond of. But with her scrumptious sounding recipes and mouthwatering photos, I know she will become a new must have in my daily blog browsing.

Number 8 - Paige from the Webb family! I love my Webb's and am so glad I was welcomed into the family with open arms. Her blog is a hoot to read and she has even posted about a belated Thanksgiving feast she put together for friends and family. She can be found at Days of Our Uninteresting Lives

Number 9 - Cynthia at Tastes Like Home is a true southern cook! I love to read about her southern dishes and can't wait to see if I can make them!

Number 10 - Danielle at Make No Little Meals. Her blog looks like something out of Food and Wine. The pictures, the recipes, the descriptions..... oh my gosh! This girl is something else!!!

Everyone remember - I LOVE YOU!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Platinum Chef, Challenge 7.... Mother's Day Edition

I actually dubbed it mother's day edition because the recipe I came up with that used the five ingredients I considered to be "girly" and even though my husband would of probably eaten it..... it was more fun to have a girls luncheon.

Ok - down to business....

Platinum Chef was started by Cara @ Cara's Cravings. It is a spin off from the Food Network show "Iron Chef" where the chefs are given one secret ingredient and have to come up with multiple dishes all featuring that one ingredient.... and they only have one hour. You try making dessert out of shrimp!!! Or whatever the secret ingredient is that day. Cara made it a little easier for us bloggers. She set out 5 ingredients and gave a couple of weeks for everyone who wanted to play, perfect their dish(es) and submit it (them). The most recent winner is Danielle @ Make No Little Meals. That means that she gets a turn to host the event which entails picking the ingredients, having the dishes submitted to her and then the most important part, selecting the winner.

Her five ingredients were -

Bok Choy

Side note - I had a bad shopping experience that thankfully didn't affect my meal too much. My mint was a little wilty, I wanted really small shrimp and all they had was 21/30 count (which ended up being perfect), the mango wasn't fully ripe on one side and the bean sprouts had turned into a wormy mush. I could salvage the mint and mango but the bean sprouts were trash.

My first thought when reading the ingredients was "lamb" because mint and lamb go together so well. But I had never cooked lamb and it is rather expensive to buy around here. So I went back to the drawing board. Since the bok choy is a popular Chinese vegetable and panko is a Japanese bread flake, I chose an Asian theme. But.... that just helped me with the theme. I needed an actual dish. After much thought, I decided to go the summery route and make a salad.

I present to you, my Platinum Chef submission:

Bok Choy Salad with Mango Mint Dressing and Shrimp "Croutons"

Let's start with the dressing. Which by the way I think would be excellent to dip chicken fingers in. It was so summery and light and sweet but with a tiny kick of spice. I honestly was not expecting it to be as great as it was.

the ingredients are -

1 cup plain yogurt
juice and flesh of one mango
1 oz of mint leaves (about half a cup)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sweet hot mustard

Dump everything into a blender and use the "liquefy" button to turn it into a dressing. I did this the night before and let all the flavors party in the fridge.

See how delicious this dressing looks!!!

For the shrimp, I used a store bought Sesame Ginger marinade and let them soak overnight (peels and tails removed). I must say that I am not too fond of Asian marinades that contain mandarin orange, and actually did not know this one even contained it until I got home. I was a little apprehensive to use it, but after I tasted it, I must say this is my new favorite marinade for shrimp. It really compliments the taste of shrimp!

To turn the shrimp into croutons, I toasted one teaspoon of sesame seeds.

I combined the toasted sesame seeds with 1/2 cup panko, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper.

From there, take the shrimp straight out of the marinade and dredge them in the panko mixture. Really press it into the shrimp.

Drop them one by one into hot vegetable oil and fry for about 30 seconds each. It really does not take long at all to fry shrimp! You don't want them to be overcooked and chewy.

Now the fun part - putting it all together!!! I plated up one head of chopped bok choy leaves, which perfectly served two people.

Topped that with fun asian inspired ingredients such as - chopped water chestnuts, diced red, green and yellow bell peppers, chopped carrots, enoki mushrooms, and crunchy rice noodles.

And for the finishing touch on my Platinum Chef submission, I spooned the dressing onto the salad and topped with the shrimp croutons. It looked amazing and the taste was equally amazing!