- Nestle's Push Up Pops - I've loved these since I was a kid and something about them just says summer to me. We have a pack in the freezer right now. They also have cherry and grape flavors too which are awesome. They remind me of the Air Head flavors that we use to get at local ballgames when we were little.
- Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion in Lime Coolada - This stuff smells so yummy and it helps you keep your tan and not peel. It's not sticky like all that green aloe vera stuff (although I do turn to that if I get really burnt).
- Miami Vice - This is my all time favorite drink. It's Pina Colada mix and Strawberry Daiquiri mix topped with rum. Absolutely delicious. While were were in Jamaica I had another version which was just as great called a Jamaican Smile where they topped it with Baileys instead of the rum. It made it taste more smoothie like.
- Fireflies - I love seeing fireflies there is just something that seems magical about them flying up out of the ground and lighting the night sky. I used to catch them as a little kid in a jar with holes on top and watch them light up all night. A couple of years ago we went to the Smokey Mountains where they have a special type of fire fly. They all light up in sequence. There were thousands of them. It was truly amazing.
- June Bugs - Speaking of bugs....another fun summer one is the June Bug. We used to tie a string around there leg as a kid and you would have a flying bug kite. Cruel yes, but it was so cool!
- Sundresses - Pants have never been my favorite. I just love dresses and don't get to wear them as often as I like. They are so comfy and pretty all at the same time.
- Crab Legs - My favorite summertime meal. I only eat them when I'm near the sea though. I'm a little strange about seafood being flown in and all that jazz. Although I am getting a little more open to it, I just never think it tastes quite as good away from the ocean.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Posted at 8:25 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
- 12 ounces Montrachet goat cheese, with garlic and herbs
- Fresh basil leaves
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached.. Cut 12 thick slices of the Montrachet and place 2 slices plus a large basil leaf under the skin of each chicken breast. Rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.
It was super easy, minus the fact that our Kroger's does not have boneless chicken breasts with skin. My husband did end up butchering that himself without too much of a problem though. Also, my husband isn't a fan of goat cheese, but really didn't seem to mind it in this particular recipe. Definitely give it a try! I didn't change a thing except for the brand of goat cheese.
The Miss: Southern Living's Summer Squash Stacks with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
- 1 medium-size yellow squash, cut diagonally into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices (about 3/4 lb.)
- 2 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices (about 1 lb.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (8.8-oz.) package fresh mozzarella cheese
- 16 basil leaves
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
- Garnish: freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush squash and zucchini with oil; place in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
2. Cut mozzarella into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices. Cut each slice in half. Place half of zucchini on a serving platter. Layer with half each of mozzarella and basil. Top with yellow squash. Layer with remaining mozzarella, basil, and zucchini. Top with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce. Garnish, if desired.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
- 1 (7-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
1. Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
I wasn't impressed with this one and I love squash and zucchini. I believe really I was disappointed with the cheese. It just didn't have any taste to it all. They did turn out pretty though and would be great for entertaining if I could just find the right ingredients to suit my taste. The only thing I changed here was that I didn't have ALL the basil required.
Posted at 8:29 AM
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
1. Pick a pretty day to go out on the lake, preferably at dusk and of course, on a boat.
2. Bring along some noodles that are rigged up for cat-fishing purposes....Cut noodle in 4th's. Tie fishing line to a golf tee. Push golf tee into the top of the noodle. Tie a hook and weights to fishing line. Put reflector tape around noodle for nighttime vision. Do this about 20 times.
3. Use gross bait to lure the fish to the "noodle pole". Squiggly worms went on the blue noodles and slimy chicken livers went on the orange and yellow noodles. Color code so you know which bait is the best.
4. Bring sexy husband to bait the hooks for you! It's okay if he calls you a wimp. At least your hands are clean.
5. Scatter all the baited noodles across the lake.
6. Put on your flashlight necklace (aka flashlight tied to a rope around your neck) because things might get exciting and you don't want to be the one responsible for losing said flashlight. Periodically check on noodles to see if any have mysteriously moved down the river or are bobbing straight up. Sure signs that there is a catfish attached.
7. Once a stray noodle is spotted. Pull the boat around and give the noodle a good yank. Roll up the fishing line to collect your prize.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I can't tell you how excited I am to have more time in my life. I now have time to job search and to spend time with my husband. I can't tell you the last time I actually was able to prepare a meal on a weeknight. It is something I miss a lot. As well as time to clean my house!
In order to keep my mind off of the fact that I now have no job, I have decided to reorganize my house from top to bottom.
This actually just came in the mail. Perfect timing.
I will be keeping you guys updated on all my progress!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My Julia Child Experiment
By now I’m sure you have all seen that there is a movie coming out about a woman who blogged about her experience of cooking through the Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook.
I have always been interested in Julia Child mostly due to the classic SNL skits…
Anyways, I saw a preview for this movie and decided to check out the book on Amazon and read some fabulous reviews. I immediately ordered it because I’m a sucker for cookbooks anyways and am completely pleased. It’s really more like a text book to be honest. She details out exactly what to look for and what steps to take to get the perfect results - something that I usually relied on my mom for.
The first recipe that I was dying to try out was the Artichauts Au Naturel (Whole Boiled Artichokes) with Hollandaise Sauce. I have always found artichokes to be very pretty and wondered what it would be like to eat a whole one. Let’s just say Julia uses a lot of butter and unfortunately it ended up tasting a little bit too buttery for our tastes.
Pretty though. Maybe another sauce or recipe would be best to try.
The Saute de Boeuf a la Bourguignonne (Beef Saute with Red Wine, Mushrooms, Bacon and Onions) did turn out great though (especially the onion part). I would suggest it more for a winter meal because it does make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (ok so maybe the warm part was the wine).
I should also mention that due to my new “no planning” vow, I did not adequately time out the meal so we ate at 12:30 A.M., which could also have led to the fuzzy feeling. New rule is when it comes to food – I can plan. Yay!
Now it's your turn...post something about food (anything!) and put your link down here on Mr. Linky!
Posted at 7:00 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A few weeks ago my husband and I finally upgraded our basic cable to HD. Our best man won us a flat screen for our wedding gift a year ago through a poker tournament (yeah, we have a separate savings account set aside for his future wedding gift) and we had never actually set up the HD service.
I’m not a huge techy, so I probably don’t appreciate the HD part as much as I should, but what I do love is the TV Guide and the DVR. I know, I’m behind the times, but here’s my spill anyways…
TV Guide is awesome! I no longer have to put it on that guide channel and patiently wait for it to scroll. It never failed that I always got sucked into whatever show they were playing on the top half of the screen and missed what I was looking for in the first place. One complaint on the TV Guide thingy though….why do they have to show ALL the channels including the ones you don’t get? I always pick something to watch that just happens to be on a channel that I don’t have! Well, on second thought – I guess that’s exactly the point. (*Sigh* I always fall for marketing)
Anyways, on to the point…
DVR has really made our TV watching more efficient. I can now record every series I like and watch it whenever I want AND without commercials! I LOVE IT! Before we were limited by our bedtimes and having to make special arrangements to watch the “can’t miss” episodes. Not anymore! Now we can go happily living our lives without being restricted to the house at whatever time our shows demand. Now that’s power right there!
** I will be starting “What’s to Eat? Wednesday” tomorrow so get excited and join in if you want! Anything to do with food counts! Oh, I'll attempt to do that Mr. Linky thing :) **
Posted at 9:46 AM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I never remember dreams so I have always assumed I just don’t dream or I have a crappy memory (one of the two). This week has been a completely different story. In fact, I’ve been having such involved dreams that it is causing me to wake up extremely late.
Monday night I dreamt that I was at a fancy dinner party with green table linens and white flowers (I swear I dream in color). It was held at a huge house which in dream world I figured must have been the Duggar family household from 18 kids and counting. The next thing I know I’m running through the house with an Ina Garten Back to Basics cookbook that I am apparently stealing. I get outside and what do you know their home backs right up to Dollywood in true Duggar style. Suddenly I jolt back into reality realizing I am waking up 40 minutes later than normal. Crap.
This morning I woke up an hour later than normal! This was due to me dreaming that I was back in college. All I remember is that I was wandering around campus in the rain trying to get from class to my friend’s dorm room while carrying a basket of dirty laundry, a cake, my lunch and an umbrella. For whatever reason, I remember being frustrated because I would have to set everything down to put on my cowboy boots and open my umbrella.
Point is, as interesting and random as these dreams might be; I’m ready to go back to normal. I’m tired of getting ready in speed demon mode. It is quite stressful! Somehow by means unbeknownst to me I have made it to work on time! Which makes me wonder…could I sleep in more?
***Don’t forget about the poll to the right. Click here for more info!***
Posted at 11:22 AM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Lipton Sparkling Green Tea - Berry Flavor - Awesome new drink. It successfully combines the health benefits of green tea with the bubbliness of carbonated drinks. Yum.
Clinique - Long Pretty Lashes in black - This is my absolute favorite mascara. No spider eyes here!
*** Don't forget about the poll on the right! Click here for more info. ***
Posted at 4:57 PM
Monday, July 13, 2009
I want people to be able to share recipes as well as food stories (good or bad) and restaurant reviews. It could be about cooking disasters or pleasant surprises. You don't have to be someone who loves to cook just someone who likes to eat and has an opinion!
So I'm reaching out to you guys....are you interested? Is it something you would participate in? Comment below and give me your thoughts or simply vote on the nice little poll to your right!
Oh yeah - ideas on the name are also welcomed....
Thanks so much!
Posted at 8:46 AM
Friday, July 10, 2009
I was relaxed.
I just let things go.
The food was prepared easily and without stress. Dad even surprised me by bringing up his ice cream maker so I ended up not preparing my dessert I had picked out, but I didn't let it bother me. I was proud of myself. I'm usually not good with changing plans.
FYI- low fat cheese doesn't melt (lesson learned!)
This recipe surprised me as a definite winner and super easy to make. I actually made it mostly for me and my dad because we like tomatoes but I was pleased to find out that everyone declared it a keeper. By the time I got to take a picture of it, half of it was already gone. It would make a great brunch item as well, it's an anytime meal really.
· 1 (8-oz.) package diced cooked ham
· 1/2 cup sliced green onions (about 4 onions)
· 1 (9-inch) frozen unbaked pie shell
· 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
· 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
· 2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
· 1 large egg
· 1/3 cup half-and-half
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
· 1/8 teaspoon pepper
· Garnishes: fresh basil sprigs, tomato slices
1. Sauté ham and green onions in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until ham is brown and any liquid evaporates.
2. Brush bottom of pie shell evenly with mustard; sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon ham mixture evenly over cheese, and top with single layer of sliced tomatoes.
3. Beat egg and half-and-half with a fork until blended; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with basil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
4. Bake on lowest oven rack at 425° for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve; garnish, if desired.
Layered Cornbread and Turkey Salad
FYI this make a ginourmous salad so be prepared to feed plenty as a side or perhaps a few as a full meal. I decided to the southwestern version and loved it! It does take a while to get everything chopped but that might be because I'm an extremely slow chopper. I need to take some knife classes.
· 1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix
· 1 (12-ounce) bottle Parmesan-peppercorn dressing
· 1/2 cup mayonnaise
· 1/4 cup buttermilk
· 1 (9-ounce) package romaine lettuce, shredded
· 2 1/2 cups chopped smoked turkey (about 3/4 pound)
· 2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped
· 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
· 1 red onion, chopped
· 1 cup diced celery (about 3 celery ribs)
· 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
· 10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
· 2 green onions, sliced
Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and crumble. Set aside.
Stir together dressing, mayonnaise, and buttermilk until blended.
Layer crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients evenly into 6 (3- to 4-cup) glass containers; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over tops. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle with green onions just before serving. Serve with remaining half of dressing mixture on the side.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Martha White Buttermilk Cornbread Mix and Girard's Parmesan-Peppercorn Dressing. We used 3-cup marquis-shaped canning jars with lid and screw ring. To find a retailer, visit http://www.leifheitusa.com/, or call toll-free 1-866-695-3434.
To make 1 large salad: Layer half each of crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients in a large glass bowl; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers ending with dressing mixture. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle top with green onions just before serving. Prep: 45 min., Chill: 8 hrs.
Layered Southwest Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad: Substitute 1 (6-ounce) package Mexican cornbread mix for 1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix; 1 (16-ounce) bottle buttermilk-Ranch dressing for Parmesan-peppercorn dressing; 1 (8-ounce) package finely shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses with jalapeño peppers for shredded Swiss cheese; and 1 (11-ounce) can sweet whole kernel corn, drained, and 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, for yellow bell peppers. Prepare recipe as directed, omitting mayonnaise.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Gladiola Mexican style cornbread mix and Ken's Steak House Buttermilk Ranch dressing.
Give them a try and let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Posted at 7:22 AM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I guess my paranoia actually started young. My dad loved to let us watch scary movies when we were probably too young to watch them. There are four movies in particular that left a lasting impression on me and they are the reasons for most of my fear...let me just list (yes, there are that many).
Stephen King's IT
· This movie is the number one reason I am scared of clowns. Well I guess I wouldn’t say scared exactly, but they sure do freak me out!
· I also will never walk over street grates – I always walk around them.
· The drain in shower still freaks me out, honestly it does.
· Michael constantly torments me by saying in his creepy voice “They all float down here!” Aggghhh! Gives me chill bumps every time!
· I’m pretty sure I hated spiders before I saw this movie, but let’s just say it didn’t help. Michael is my spider killer now…if he’s not there, I just trap them under a glass and wait.
· Again, another shower fear (I’m surprised I even bathe now)…you remember that part in the movie where the girl is in the shower and she can’t feel all the spiders crawling on her because she thinks its water? Yeah, that’s what I think about EVERY time.
Ernest Scared Stupid
· This movie made me scared to turn over in bed at night in fear that there would be some big, scary troll lying in bed beside me.
· Oh yeah, I don’t like trolls either. I also consider them creepy.
· I ran and jumped in my bed for years because of this movie. I was always afraid that something was going to come out and grab me from underneath the bed.
I’m pretty sure all of these movies have lead to my dislike of hairy bodies come to think of it. All of them involve hairy stuff. Huh…I learned something about myself today.
What movies left a lasting impression on you?
Posted at 1:15 PM
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Let me know what you guys are reading now so I can find my next good read or if you have read any of these books let me know your thoughts!
Posted at 12:06 PM
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The mystery must be solved because this yellowish, bluish, black stuff isn't so hot in dresses and sleeveless tops. I've come up with a couple of scenarios...
Scenario #1: My body has some crazy disease that I probably need to get checked out. Considering that I hate going to the doctor because I can't stand needles (and it seems that no matter what they have to do, it always involves needles) so I will never go. I'll end up dying of the unknown bruise disease. Maybe they will name it after me...
Scenario #2: Lola is walking all over my body while I sleep. Amazingly her small paws can cause major pain when she jumps on you. So maybe she is treating my body like a trampoline while I sleep, which could explain why she is always too tired to get out of bed in the morning.
Scenario #3: Michael is beating me up in my sleep. Just to clarify, my husband would never lay a hand on me, but he does do crazy things at night while he sleeps. Maybe he thinks I'm a pallet and he throws me around at night trying to get a job done. You never know.
**Side Story** Last night, Lola was suckling our sheets on the bed, which is really strange because she hasn't done that since we first got her, and I woke Michael up to tell him about it. He told me in all seriousness that she was drinking Pepsi in the drink aisle at the grocery store. What???
So which scenario do you think is the most likely? Anyone else having this experience with the mysterious bruise disease. Maybe it's a new epidemic that I don't know about like the H1N1?
Posted at 12:19 PM
Monday, July 6, 2009
I'm going to do my best to make things a little more interesting around here. I've decided to stop complaining and do something about my little problems!
Let me know what you think!
**Disclaimer** Don't get too upset...I'm sure I'll still have some rants every now and then. Let's face it - they are my speciality.
Posted at 9:36 PM
Friday, July 3, 2009
There is enjoyment though, there is. It's in the food that I feel I must prepare. Maybe it's because it's the southern way of hospitality, or maybe it's just that I feel it's important to be able to sit down and share a meal at the home table.
I spend the week (or more) plotting and planning which dishes would be good to try. I pour through recipes and make my plan of attack. I pick out the dishes I will place the food in and meticulously plan out in what order everything should be prepared.
One thing I often forget is just to sit back and relax and enjoy the time when everyone shows up. It's not about them thinking my house is clean enough or not. It's not about the food I have prepared. In the end it is simply about the time I get to spend with them.
My goal for this weekend is just to sit back and relax. Yes, the house is clean but maybe not so white glove approved. And yes, there is food in the works. But I won't stress this time. I won't. I'm just going to enjoy.
Posted at 1:59 PM
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Day 3 of no planning is going......I guess well. I'm less disappointed you could say. Maybe even a little bit more relaxed. I do still make lists. Is this a violation of the no planning plan? I can't imagine not making lists. Anyways, this new lifestyle is still in test mode.
I am about to go into super organizational mode. I want to throw everything out and start out fresh. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to do anything really. I started collecting clothes to go to Goodwill, but nothing extensive. It's time though. It's time.
The mosquitoes here are terrible. Sadly due to budget cuts my city will no longer be spraying to help eliminate them either. I told Michael I could no longer take Lola out due to the crazy little blood suckers. He of course thought I was just trying to get out of my puppy mom duties until I showed him the 10 bite marks I had all over my body. Freaking ridiculous. I'm like a magnet.
Sorry for the randomness. I hope you at least got something out of it. I believe I have had way to much caffeine today. It's inhibited my ability to stay on topic. Have a good 4th!!!
Posted at 1:14 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We had an amazing time doing absolutely nothing. I have to say that I couldn't really tell you anything about Jamaica. The culture I experienced was from the view of a bus window on the hour trip from the airport to the hotel. I know that's sad, but we just wanted to relax and that's exactly what we did. We ate well, slept a lot, and read several books.
We stayed at Sandal's Ocho's Rios. I have to admit that it wasn't nearly as nice as the La Toc in St. Lucia although that may have to do with the fact that it was 3 times less on the price. It suited our needs though - beautiful pools, nice beach area, plenty of easily accessible bars to get my new found favorite Jamaican Smile (Miami Vice with Baileys instead of Rum), and wonderful food.
Oh, and just in case you guys were curious...we did make it on the plane this time! However, we did see several sad souls that had been hit with the overbooking deal that happened to us on our honeymoon. One girl was having a full blown temper tantrum. Tears aren't going to get you anywhere with Delta!
We ended our vacay with a trip to Atlanta for a friend's wedding. It was beautiful. I got to see a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time and spent time with a good friend that has moved way too far away. Good times were had by all!
Posted at 3:45 PM
All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.