Friday, July 25, 2014

Selfies!



1. These are pictures from the past 6 months or so.  I can see the weight loss from when I took the first picture until this most recent one.  When you are losing weight, you can't always see what others see.  Never mind my foundation garments stay having me looked nipped and tucked! LOL

2.  Many of these outfits are now too big!!

3. Doesn't everybody take bathroom selfies? No? Oh...carry on!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Alon's Lemon-Lime Pound Cake




So, if you’ve been reading me for any amount of time you know that baking is really not my thing. I mean I have some things that I can successfully bang out but a pastry chef I will never be! I’m good on that...lol.

One of my sister's friends, is honing her housewifery skills by cooking more meals at home. My sister and her friend kept bragging about how great this cake was and how I needed to make it. So I did and hated I waited so long to prepare it.  This cake is junk in your trunk delicious! It is moist and flavorful; yet light and airy.  It would be great with a cup of coffee, glass of milk or spot of tea!


Alon's Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

What you need:
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 2 sticks room temperature butter
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 8 ounces of regular lemon lime soda
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract


What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter and oil
  • Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly after each addition
  • Add cake flour and lemon lime soda to cream mixture. Mix until just combined
  • Add the lemon and coconut extracts to the batter and mix for about a minute
  • Pour cake batter into a prepared Bundt cake pan or two prepared loaf pans
  • Bake cake for 1½ hours at 325 degrees or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.


Originally posted February 1, 2011 on my old site. Updated with new pictures.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's For Dinner?


I started posting our weekly menu on the fridge so the family would always know what to expect come dinner time.  It also aids in giving me an idea of what to actually cook!  I freeze everything so once I have decided on a menu I place all of the meat that I will be using on a tray at the top of the fridge to defrost.  If there is some prep involved I tend to do that over the weekend like cutting up chicken, making pizza dough or even cooking rice. 

Here's what our menu looks like this week:


Kung Pao Chicken – Tender chicken tossed in a delicious vinegar brown sugar sauce, honey roasted peanuts and green onions; served over stir fried rice and fried okra

Ginger and Orange Sticky Wings – Spicy roasted wings tossed in a ginger and orange peel marmalade sauce; served with House Potatoes and a fresh green salad and a homemade Asian style dressing

Barbeque Ranch Chicken Salad – Grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, fresh roasted corn and black beans over fresh greens, served with a semi-homemade BBQ ranch dressing and topped with crispy onion strings

Homemade Cheeseburger Pizza – Sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, tomatoes, romaine and seasoned ground beef piled on a homemade pizza crust and served with a fresh green salad and homemade creamy Italian dressing

This week's ice cream will be: Peanut Butter Cup! Rich peanut butter ice cream with chunks of honey roasted peanuts and semi-sweet chocolate



 Yes. Yes, I do put the meal descriptions on the menu.  I'm a tad bit extra! LOL

What's on your menu this week?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Now Churning: Double Chocolate CHUNK!



This week's ice cream was rich chocolate ice cream, semi-sweet chocolate chunks mixed with creamy vanilla bean white chocolate chunks! So good!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Italian Herb Mix



Italian Herb Mix

What you need:
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary. Rosemary is very pungent so adjust as necessary
One Tablespoon each:
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried sage
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried parsley
  • Granulated garlic, optional

What to do:
  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Currently...



Enjoying – Summer weather.  Weather in the city has been rather mild this year! We've gotten decent rain and, as of this writing, have not gotten above 95 degrees!

Loving – Lane Bryant’s buy two bras get two free sale.  A new, well-fitting bra will change your life perspective OK!! LOLOL

Feeling – Tired. I have not been sleeping well…Boo insomnia Boo!

Reading - Maid to Love by Marie Force

Thinking about – Thrifting for the shelf d├ęcor. I want eclectic family funk on those shelves!

Listening to – Old School Prince, i.e. Controversy, 1999, Dirty Mind…classics!

Watching – House of Cards.  I started watching earlier this year but it didn’t pull me in. So I am going to give it another try since I am a Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright fan.  Haven't started The West Wing yet...

Making me happy – Doing more of the things that I love!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Everybody didn't get a letter."



During the end of the school year and there are many recitals and programs and end of year celebrations going on.  There was the orchestra recital, the “smart people party”, and the orchestra year end field trip.  B comes home with her letter inviting all of the parents to the awards ceremony at the high school.  I tell B that this is great that they are moving the ceremonies to the high school to accommodate all of the award recipients and families.  Plus, the kids will get to see their future high school!

B: “Well everybody didn’t get a letter.”
Me: “What do you mean?”
B: “Well, this is not elementary school Ma.  You don’t get an award for just showing up. You get rewarded for hard work.” 

My kid has NEVER been a fan of receiving ‘I Showed Up’ awards.  When she first started playing sports we placed her in a league that wasn’t competitive so she could learn the rules of the game, learn how to play on a team, etc.  That did not last long AT ALL!  When she found out they didn’t keep score she was done!  She did not see the point! When we finally placed her in competitive sports she had a bunch of little sayings about winning and being first place:  Only winners win”, “If you’re not first you’re last” “Second place doesn’t count. It just means you didn’t work hard enough for first place.”  She was so serious y’all!

To that end she has always cared about her grades and always works really hard at school.  Remind me to tell y’all about the time in 3rd grade she got a B on her report card, cried all weekend and then petitioned the teacher (I am sure I still have the letter) to make it right.  While she knows that getting good grades is her job and doesn’t warrant a reward, we like to show her how proud we are of her with a special end of school year gift and dinner.  We always offer dinner out but it never fails that she’d rather I cook for her.

Her latest favorite is Mongolian Pork, or rather any Asian inspired meal.   This is a recipe that is fairly easy to put together and packs really great flavor.  The most time consuming part is slicing and frying the pork pieces!



Mongolian Pork (or Beef or Chicken!)

What you need:
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½-¾ cup water
  • ½-¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Vegetable oil for frying, you want enough to fry but not deep fry your pork
  • 1 lb. sliced pork (I used sliced pork steak)
  • ½-¾ cup cornstarch
  • Chopped green onions for garnish

What to do:

Make the sauce:
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the vegetable oil
  • Add the garlic, soy sauce and water. Let this warm up for about a minute
  • Add the brown sugar and the ginger, whisking to dissolve the sugar
  • Bring the sauce to a boil for 3-5 minutes, sauce should slightly thicken
  • Remove from the heat until ready to fry pork

Fry the pork:
  • Lightly coat the pork with the cornstarch. Allow the pork to rest for a few minutes to allow the cornstarch to stick 
  • While the pork is resting turn the sauce back on under low heat
  • Heat the oil for the pork in a skillet over medium heat. You want the skillet hot but not smoking
  • Add the pork to the oil and cook until browned on both sides, 5-7 minutes.  Use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and drain onto paper towels
  • Add the crispy pork to the simmering sauce. Stir to make sure you get an even coating of sauce on the meat.
  • Serve over rice or Asian noodles, top with green onions







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