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


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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Now Churning: Coffee Toffee

This week's ice cream is also a family favorite!  I used my basic ice cream recipe and just changed the flavor profile.  Instead of the banana extract, diced bananas and cookies, I added two packets of instant coffee to the milk and cream mixture. I added the toffee during the last few minutes of churning.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen these pictures.  Y'all, they were so good. So very, very good that I decided not to remake them.  You can definitely easily make your own using store purchased ice cream and bakery style cookies and whatever toppings you have on hands. 

I used my Browned Butter Sugar Cookies recipe and homemade ice cream. 

You can also use my basic ice cream recipe to make your own flavor of ice cream. 

After making and eating these ice cream sandwiches, I am sure they are an instrument of the devil.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Enjoying – Not using the oven for all of July. That is what E and I are attempting.  If it can’t be grilled, smoked or prepared stove top…it does not need to get cooked!  Even our pizzas will be cooked over the grill!

Loving – the smell of our freshly cut grass.  This has always been a favorite smell of mine since I was little. It was a sure sign of summer and that the weather was warming up and that school was almost over!

Feeling – Thankful for a successful surgery. All went well with the pacemaker battery replacement.

ReadingOne Small Thing by Jessica Barksdale Inclan . I am trying to get through a chunk of my free e-books this summer.  I started out feeling sympathetic towards the wife and her unfulfilled desires but then she turns into whiny woman which is annoying.  There is an "outside child" thrown into the mix so we will see what happens.

Thinking about – posting every day in July. Seriously, it is only a thought right now! I have enough drafts…we’ll see.

Listening to – Classic Gorillaz. I introduced B to this band a while ago and she is a total Stan now! Listening to Gorillaz was her first intro to Bobby Womack (RIP); I mean you gotta be real grown to listen to old school Bobby! LOL

Watching – Nothing really.  Think I am going to start binge watching The West Wing.  I’ve never seen it but I constantly hear great things about the show. My sister has always raved about it.

Making me happy – Transforming our house to home…even if it is about eight years overdue! All of the sanding and painting and repairing…I love doing that stuff!