Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"I know I can't trust her."

I am not an ultra-religious person, spiritual yes, uber-religious no.  While I don't consider myself religious, I enjoy participating in Lent.  I think spring is the perfect time for me to evaluate my spirituality. Am I honoring my spirit and beliefs? Am I treating people how I want to be treated? Am I being fair? Am I being kind to myself, etc.? 

Instead of giving up something tangible for Lent, I decided to reach out to people that I felt had treated me unfairly or people who I knew were being malicious towards me.  I decided to practice being more forgiving instead of saying I would try.  I also decided to be way nicer to myself, to cut myself some much needed slack.

While my intentions were good and just, I am not Jesus, Muhammad nor The Pope.  However, I did give everything an honest and for real try. I had lunches and dinners and phone calls with people that I knew I didn't care for and who I knew didn't care for me.  Some of those conversations went very well and the beef, whether real or imagined, was squashed and forgotten.  Others not so much.

You ever have a conversation with someone and your spirit just won't settle about it. I mean you just know in your gut that the entire exchange is pure BS from the other person?  That's how a couple of my conversations went.  One conversation stood out the most because I actually liked the person before whatever happened with us happened. Truthfully, I am still not sure what that 'thing' was that happened.  I asked and got a two-step full of BS. *shrug*  I know I can't trust her; that was made loud and clear.  I am fully aware of where I stand with this person and how our interactions should be handled going forward. I'm good on that and will never again put forth the effort to make things better.  We are not meant to be friends with or like everybody we interact with and that is OK. Seriously!

This Lenten season has also been a lesson in trusting my instincts again.  My first reaction or feeling towards a person or situation is 99.99% of the time the right one; the one I should pay attention to.  Whether it's meeting someone for the first time or dealing with a medical situation, my first mind is my right mind as the old folks say!

To celebrate the end of another enlightening Lenten season I prepared a simple, yet non-traditional Easter Sunday meal:  Blackened Fresh Snapper, Bacon Wrapped Fresh Shrimp, Grilled Squash and Parmesan Orzo (I was out of risotto!)  For dessert we had Fresh Lemon Cheesecake Tarts, post coming soon.  The rub for the snapper can be found here on my Chili-Rubbed Fish Tacos post!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easy Italian Style Meatballs

I was preparing my menu last week and realized I hadn't made meatballs in a really long time.  This is the recipe I use for spaghetti and meatballs subs. They can be made into whatever size you want just adjust the cooking time. They are flavorful and easy to throw together for a weeknight meal.

What you need:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon each parsley, oregano basil
  • 1 teaspoon each salt, black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1.5 - 2 lbs ground beef

What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Mix all of the ingredients, except the ground beef
  • Add the ground beef to the seasoning mixture. 
  • Using your hands gently mix the ground beef into the seasoning mix. Be careful not to over mix
  • Take about two tablespoons of the meat mixture and shape into a ball. Do this until you have shaped all of the meat mixture
  • Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Flat Ironed and Trimmed

I am itching for a new hair look for spring.  I've thought about a sew-in, coloring it a really lovely brown with highlights; even relaxing it and getting a shorter cut. I've even entertained going back to my TWA. 
For now, however, I love this cut

Right before I snapped this, B said: So you really gon take a selfie in church!? LOLOLOL

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fan Girl Friday: Fancy Coffee Brewers


Hello Luvah!

I have turned E into a coffee snob.  When we first met, many, many, moons ago, he was drinking *gasp* INSTANT coffee!  I. Know. The horror!  It did not take long for E to love, and perfect, freshly ground coffee making.  I may choose the beans but E is the number one coffee making stunna in our home!  When Keurigs first came on the market I wanted one badly but I couldn't justify the expense, especially since our little ten cup drip one was working just fine. 

Well, I am not sure I care whether the cost is justified for this beauty because momma wants!
I saw this is a doctor's office recently and I, without shame, took pictures and asked the receptionist questions!  This baby would be great for us during the week. No need to brew an entire pot when all we'd have time for is a cup or two. Plus, the k-cup varieties are deep in these streets, coffee, tea, hot chocolate! YES!! I want it all!!!

Sadly, I may have to put this on my Birthmas list for E cause I legit can't justify the cost...I want this stove in my life waaaaaay more than I want this fancy coffee making machine!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fan Girl Friday: Dishwasher upgrade!!

Several months ago our dishwasher gave up the ghost.  I mean it hissed, booed and died right before the completion of a full load of dishes! Luckily there were no leaks but the nerve!  We decided to hold off on getting a new, because we had other things going on. And if I'm being serious, a dishwasher is not a necessity or emergency purchase, per se. Besides, the old dishwasher was original to the house so it was time for it to go on to glory!

Since E and B typically handle the dishes I never gave hand washing the dishes a second thought. Well I was home for two weeks and I was over that hand washing business after two days! OVER IT!  I cook too much for that mess!  So I headed over to Lowe's, where I had the best customer service, and got a SUPER great deal on our new appliance. I can't wait for it to be installed!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Iced Cinnamon Roll Scones

This recipe was a total accident!  It started out as actual cinnamon roll dough. I failed to warm the buttermilk to activate the yeast before adding it to the flour.  When I realized it, I'd already poured the cold buttermilk into the flour. So I improvised.

I am happy to report these babies were a delicious mistake! I hate waste so much and just couldn't bare throwing away all of that flour and buttermilk! The dough was moist and full of so much cinnamon flavor. It seriously tasted like a cinnamon roll! Can't wait to make these again! Hope you enjoy!

Iced Cinnamon Roll Scones
Adapted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/iced-cinnamon-bun-scones

What you need for the dough:
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, diced 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

What you need for the icing:
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

What to do:
  • Preheat the oven to 425°. 
  • Line a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a small bowl mix the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (remember my dough started as cinnamon rolls) combine the remaining dough ingredients and mix just until the dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough.  Gently knead it into the dough.
  • Pat or roll the dough into an 8-inch round, about 1 inch thick disk. 
  • Cut into 8 wedges (like you would a pie), then transfer the scones to the baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until browned. 
  • Let cool slightly on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with the lemon juice. Beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread the icing over the warm scones.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Coconut Milk Lemon Pound Cake

This post was going to be about an apology I gave someone.  I changed my mind.  After I apologized, I talked to E about it and the first thing he asked was, "Well when was the last time she called you? You're beating yourself up communicating with someone who doesn't reach out to you."

I, for real, had to think about the last time she sent a text OR called and COULD NOT remember.  And here it is four months into the new year and she has not so much as sent me a text.  The same thing she was upset with me about, not calling enough, is the same thing she has been doing to me since the inception of our friendship.  If I am the only one initiating contact what kind of friendship is that?

So instead I am going to write about a good girlfriend who stopped by a couple of weekends ago.  She is ALWAYS a blessing to me and she gives the most awesome hugs. The BEST.  She also has one of the most handsome little boys I have ever seen and he is as sweet as pie too!  I don't get to see her as often as I'd like but when we get together we never miss a beat! 

She is struggling with following her heart or remaining complacent.  Tuh! Y'all know encouraging people is one of my most favorite things to do! We talked about it and I encouraged her to FOLLOW HER HEART because it wouldn't be as hard as she thinks it would be.  She would be award winning if she did what her heart is calling her to do.

You just need to step out on faith
Leap without seeing the stairs
Trust that God will keep you
Follow your dream

Stop wasting your time and JUST DO IT!  I will cheer you on from the sidelines!

During our visit she mentioned how she hadn't been able to find a good pound cake recipe.  Well here's one of my favorites! I hope you enjoy them! Love you lots "RD."

Coconut Milk Lemon Pound Cake

What you need:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated lemon zest (10-12 large lemons)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans 
  • Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time. A the lemon zest.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  • In another bowl, combine the lemon juice, the coconut milk and vanilla. Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.