Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry (Almost) Christmas


Sorry, sorry.. I know.. MIA again.

It's been a strange few weeks.. I didn't think Christmas was going to happen in my house. I know it's not about the gifts, but it still has meaning to me in that field.. and even though it's going to be a meager Christmas under my tree this year I got my kid gifts of things that he both needed and wanted, not any useless junk that he'll see and never use.  I knitted scarves for almost all my friends and that makes me tremendously happy.

Christmas eve with the bestie's family tomorrow (even though she is in Africa and we all miss her like crazy!) Then to hang with my family on Sunday.. New years eve with my friends.. new years day with my family :) I get to see my sister and my niece and nephews and my new baby Godson :)

I did all my shopping yesterday.  It was INSANE! But I started early in the day and was home  by 1 (with a massive migraine)

I did my grocery shopping this morning and wrapped all The Kid's gifts before he got home from school.. I just have scarves and some toys to wrap tonight after I finish baking.

I have ALL of next week off.. which is bliss to me, I never take time off work like that.. usually it's just a day or two at a time, or I give myself a long weekend.  I'll be getting an extra week of vacation this year, which makes me happy because I'm actually going to make sure to actually DO something with my time instead of just staying home or whatever.. this year I'm gonna make it happen.. because, well.. because I have someone that makes me want to :)

I will try to pop in tomorrow to wish y'all a Merry Christmas.. if not please have a safe and Happy Christmas.

For now.. I must get to the cookies in my oven :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No, I haven't disappeared

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long.. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.. If you Tweet with me you know I’ve been around.  I just have been busy with stuff.. Most of my free time has been spent knitting and learning to crochet (which is a Pain in the ass, I still can’t seem to get it quite right).  I work, I come home & make dinner, have dinner with The Kid and then I knit until my eyes are about to close.

To say I’m broke this year is an understatement.  When I moved I knew it was going to put a strain on my wallet but I really honestly thought I was going to be able to swing it with just a minor inconvenience.


While my paycheck has stayed the same, my cost of living went up by over $200/month

My usual grocery budget of $50/week has gone down to $25-30/week

I’m now holding off as long as I possibly can without having to get gas.. My truck is old and I don’t really like doing that.. But I have to.  It costs more than $50 to fill the tank.. If I just manage to drive as minimally as possible a tank of gas can last me 2 weeks.  I got totally screwed by my bank last month when my account went into overdraft and they didn’t notify me, so it just kept going and in the end I wound up having to hand over an entire paycheck to cover the fees.  That killed me, that was present money.

The Kid wants an X-Box for Christmas.. I already told him that’s not happening.. His birthday is in Feb, he’ll get it then, that’s just money that no matter what I will not have for Christmas this year.  Usually by now I would have most, if not all of my Christmas shopping done.  This year I’ve managed to only get him a gift with my staples rewards (yay, free $! It Does pay to bring in those empty ink cartridges) it’s something he’ll use every day, so it’s cool :) I know he wants a few games for the Wii, and I’m really hoping that we get our Christmas bonus this year. I’m depending on that to be able to get gifts for my kid and for the niece and nephews. Forget getting something for myself, that rarely happens anyway.

I've told the adults they’re getting scarves.. And cookies.  That’s all I can manage for them this year.  I was lucky enough to get a stash of very nice yarn for less than $20 and I've been knitting like mad.  I know the kid won’t wear a scarf no matter how nice the yarn so I've skipped over him in that department.
I know Christmas isn’t about the presents.. I grew up with very little and had a lot of extended family that are no longer close like they used to be.. So it’s just The kid and immediate family now.   I don’t expect anything from anyone but I always try to make it the best Christmas for the kid.  I’m hoping I can manage to swing it this year.. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Thanksgiving baking plan...

I really wanted to take today off so I could get everything done.. But the pile of stuff on my desk and the knowledge that I’d have at least 2 nasty notes on my desk on Monday morning if it was all still sitting there was motivation enough to just come in and get it done so it’s not hanging over my head.

The marshmallows are done, they just need to get stuck on sticks, dipped and sprinkled.

I’m going to get dough made tonight.. A whole LOT of dough so that tomorrow morning I can run and get some shopping done and then come home and bake like a fiend, lol.

I’ll be making a double batch of each of Italian Anis cookies, Chocolate Caramel Bars, Chocolate surprise cookies (which I’ll be filling with Nestle chocolate chips), and a batch of Original Nestle chocolate chip cookies since I never make any “normal” cookies according to one family member.  Not sure if the pumpkin pie will be happening this year, but I’ll also be making a batch of apple pie tartlets since they’re easier to travel with and I can easily spread them across 3 cookie trays.

It’s going to be a LOT of baking and chances I’ll be up till midnight, but it’s all good just for the smiles on the faces of all my family and friends that are going to enjoy them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

and my holiday confection making has begun...

Yesterday in my marshmallow making frenzy I went and whipped the marshmallows a bit longer than I did the last time.. And it made a LOT of marshmallows.

boiling the sugar syrup to 240°f

adding the sugar syrup to the gelatin

about 3 minutes into the process

Marshmallow "batter"
I wound up making a 13X9 inch pan as well as an 8x8 with the remainder.  After I poured most of the marshmallow “batter” into the 13x9 I went and stirred in about half a cup of frozen Nestle Toll House mini morsels into the marshmallow, gave it a good stir and spread it into the 8x8 pan.  Most of the chips stayed intact.. A few melted resulting in a nice swirl effect.  As you see here in the first picture.

They weren’t particularly big, which I’m glad for because they’re seriously sweet (but then again, I’m not a marshmallow fan, I make them purely for the enjoyment of others.

Most of the vanilla marshmallows will be put on lollipop sticks and dipped in chocolate, some will be stuck on top of the chocolate caramel bars and I’ll probably leave some as they are.

I have a plan in my head, but I fear I’m getting ahead of myself and taking tomorrow off work is starting to look like a better and better idea.  I’m sure if I go and make some dough tonight and keep it in the fridge I’ll be able to work tomorrow and then just bake most of Wednesday.  I just really need to find the motivation.  Sleep eluded me last night, and I feel it rapidly catching up with me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies & Baking with The Kid

Baking is something I love to do.  I grew up baking with my grandma and my kid has grown up baking with me.  He’s not so little anymore (who am I kidding, he’s not little at all anymore unless he’s standing next to Shaq).  It’s still something that he enjoys doing with me though.  There’s nothing like the sweet satisfaction of a home baked goodie and the smiles that ensue while enjoying them.

Last week I got a Nestle baking kit from Foodbuzz and last night The Kid and I baked up some mini chocolate chip cookies using the Nestle Tollhouse Mini chocolate chip cookie dough.  Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 12 minutes and viola, cookies!  No mess to clean up, no measuring, just take straight from the fridge to the oven and you’re all set.

I was pretty impressed with the way these mini cookies turned out, from solid little squares on the baking sheet into perfect little round cookies.  Yum!

I'll really be getting my bake on this weekend to prepare for thanksgiving, because what's a holiday without fresh baked home made goodies?  I will be posting pictures to this post later and more this weekend when the baking extravaganza in my kitchen begins :)

I Will be getting this dough again, to use for the bottom of a cookie crusted cheesecake or cheesecake bites (I'm not sure yet) and I'm considering flattening out an entire brick of this dough to fit into an 8x10 cake pan and topping with brownie batter! Yeahhhhhh! Yummy!  There are so many things you can do with this dough.  Whether it's the basic cookie, or you're looking to jazz it up, the possibilities are infinite just use your imagination!

Just be careful.. I like raw cookie dough as much as the next gal, but it's not safe to eat because of the raw eggs in the dough.  I was surprised but you can't eat this stuff raw.. says it right on the package:

Bummer.. I baked just 6 cookies for myself and the kid though and it was just what I needed to shut that sweet tooth up ;)

With the assistance of coupons from Foodbuzz I also got 2 bags of Nestle Toll House Morsels.  Since I'm going to be a baking fiend this weekend, some of those will go towards baking the ever popular Chocolate Caramel Bars
and coating the marshmallows my friend doesn't believe I can make... ya know, these:

and possibly making an attempt at stirring some mini chips into a batch of marshmallows before they set.

The possibilties in my head are endless and once I get myself to the grocery store and sit myself down with a list and a plan I'll know exactly what I'm going to be creating.. since on Thanksgiving I have 3 stops to make and a few people I want to send some goodies to also I have to be sure to make plenty :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

a healthy lunch, for less than $3! Believe it!

To say I'm broke this week is an understatement.  I have learned to stretch my grocery budget when times are tough and today I made a really healthy lunch for myself and the kid that was filling, delicious and really inexpensive.

Pasta with lentil "meat" sauce.

1 cup Lentils
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can tomato paste
2-3 cups water
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp oil
dry parsley
dry oregano

Cook 1 cup lentils in 3 cups water with the bay leaf for 25 minutes, drain and set aside

In a saucepan saute onion with a pinch of salt in the oil until soft and translucent, add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste, parsley and oregano to the pan and cook together for 2-3 minutes

Add water and stir well to combine.

Cook for 20 minutes and add lentils.

Cook lentils and tomatoes for 20 minutes.

While the lentils and tomatoes are cooking prepare the pasta according to directions.

Add pasta to lentil mixture and serve with grated cheese.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Biscuits ... and more...

Sometimes I'm at a loss of what to cook around here.. not because I don't know what to cook, not that the kid is a picky eater... sometimes I just.don't.know.

The last few weeks money's been really tight and my usual $50/week grocery budget has had to be pinched a bit to make ends meet.  It happens, I manage to make it work.  It's not always easy, but I can always manage to make it work.  Yesterday I went online and scoped all the circulars for all the grocery stores around here to see which had the best deals to make the most meals for a week and then armed with some coupons and a solid list in my head I went in, grabbed just what was on my list and was out of there with a week's worth of groceries for $26.94.

I don't often buy breakfast sausage.. sometimes the list of ingredients really creeps me the hell out.. but at $1 a box I went and grabbed two boxes because, well.. makes for an easy addition to a meal.  Eggs were $1.69 for 18 eggs.. I usually spend $2.19 for a dozen so that was a great deal.   Breakfast is often a challenge around here since I'm not a big breakfast eater and kiddo here isn't either unless he can just grab it and go.  So this morning I went ahead and made some biscuits with scrambled eggs and sausage mixed right in.  No muss, no fuss.  but really tasty.  All it was missing was cheese.. I'll remember that next time.  About 1/2 shredded cheese would have made them super!

These biscuits are So easy and really light, fluffy and delicious!

Drop biscuits

2 C All purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°f  & Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set baking sheet aside

In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Mix with your hands to incorporate the dry ingredients together and then add the butter.

With your hands, incorporate the butter until it's the texture of a coarse meal*(see note about mix-ins).

Add the milk and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to get it combined.


You want this a little lumpy, it's OK.

I use an ice cream scoop to drop even amounts of dough on the parchment lined sheet.

Bake 15-20 minutes and viola!

If you are adding mix-ins to the biscuits like meat, egg, cheese or all of the above add them to the dry ingredients and toss to coat them before adding the milk, this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the biscuits.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One of those days..

You know when you’re having one of those days, where everything in your world seems to be honky-dorey and then all of a sudden all the balls that you’ve got up in the air drop?



Welcome to my life today... or at least for the past 30 minutes or so.

I knew today was my dad’s birthday...

in heaven.

Daddy would have been 61 today.

It wasn’t until I put that down into words that it really hit me that he’ll be gone 20 years this coming February.

And it hit me HARD.

Like I’m about to have a nervous breakdown at my desk, hard.

Deep breath, sip of cold water.

Text with a good friend.. Let it out without freaking out....

Nope, pain’s still there.. Like my heart is breaking all over again.

The loss of a parent never goes away.  You can push it back, way back, the pain eases, but never goes away.

When it wants to be remembered, it will be remembered.

When it wants to hurt, Dammit does it hurt.

The day/year I knew I had spent more than half my life without my dad.. It was weird.  It was hard to deal with.. It’s still hard to deal with.

Isn’t this supposed to ever get better?

In my opinion it depends on the relationship you had with your parents.
For me, it’s never going to ever get better.. It will come up and bite me on the ass and I have to just cry.  Just let it out and be thankful for the years I did have with my parents and grieve for the years of my life I’ve spent and will spend without them.

The memory remains.. the pain never truly goes away.

It's a hard fact to come to terms with and honestly, I may never truly come to terms with it.

Right now I can’t wait to just go home.. Run the shower and have a breakdown.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Well hey, look at that...

It’s November 1st.. NOVEMBER People.. What the heck is going on here?  Time is going way too fast lately.

We had 3 inches of snow on Saturday. SNOW in October.  First time in my lifetime (and hopefully the last, I hate snow and cold... and well, winter in general really.)  I had to make a run to the grocery store in that stupid snow because we were out of milk and y’all know I can’t go without milk in my coffee or heads will roll.  We had a very disgusting day Saturday that started with sleet, snow, rain and ended with more snow.  Gross.

Yesterday I actually had to scrape the ice off the windows of my truck.. That was less than pleasant giving that my ice scraper is buried somewhere in the trunk under a pile of stuff that needs to get donated which I just haven’t gotten around to dropping off yet.

Thanksgiving is in 3 weeks... I need to get my act together and get to making some marshmallows.. Some cookie dough.. And planning Christmas presents (with what money I don’t know yet but like every year it’ll happen...)  I’ve already told my family (the adults at least) that they’re getting scarves from me for Christmas.  I can manage to knock out an entire scarf in a few days.. It’s just a matter of getting the right yarn (and enough of it) for each person and personality (because if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it right)

I plan to make marshmallows sometime this coming weekend.  I want to play with some flavors and since they freeze easily they’re no trouble to make in advance.

I promise to blog more, I’ve been slacking and I know it.. But there will be many cookies and goodies and stuff being baked soon for the upcoming holidays.. So hang tight and stay tuned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Well, it's been an interesting week...

I am So glad it's Friday.. I have a few flips.. ok.. I have ONE flip and one happy announcement.

Good news First:
 Monday night I got a text from my sister "Hi, I'm going to the hospital"  no, really this is good news.

My sister, pregnant with baby #5 who was 14 days past his due date (as all her babies have been more or less) was finally ready.  I got a text at 5:20am Tuesday with the news he was here. My nephew Ellias, my very first Godson was born on Tuesday morning at 4:30am at a whopping 7 lb 15 oz.  :)  I haven't met him yet.. but I will as soon as I can :)

Now, onto the rest:

Last Saturday I had my muffler replaced after a um, fallout. Tuesday I get to work and there was white smoke coming out of the hood of my truck.  I had a slight panic attack, popped the hood and realized there was coolant leaking from somewhere.  I originally thought it was coming from the lower radiator hose which meant I couldn't drive all the way to my uncle who lives about 15 miles away.  My uncle told me to find someone local to do it for me.  This was NOT what I needed the week I was totally broke, so my poor truck sat in the street for 2 days while I took the train to work (which really wasn't too bad considering the train ride from here is only 2 stops.  I just had to hop on the bus since it's about 30 blocks away, but even that wasn't too bad considering what I used to deal with).

Yesterday while I was walking home I stopped at a little repair shop and spoke with the owner, I told him my situation and asked roughly how much it would cost, of course he couldn't tell me an exact price until I brought the truck in for him to take a look.  I walked home and got my truck and then drove over there and it turns out it was the heater hose.  Ok, so what's the damage?  about $50 Ok, fine I can handle that.  I'm due for an oil change so ya might as well go on and take care of that too since the truck is there.

Finally went and picked my truck up.. .$120 later and yea, my truck is all fixed, but it was WAY more than I had planned for. *sigh*  Not happy about this.. considering I didn't think it was going to be more than $100 tops with the oil change. Apparently they needed a special hose because there's a tight bend where it goes. OK, so fine.  I'm just glad I had the money to fix it.. it's just gonna be another fiercely frugal week around here.  Just happy the truck is running fine and no more smoke.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cooking on a budget

I quickly realized yesterday after paying my rent and getting my muffler and tailpipe replaced that this was going to be budget cooking week.

Fortunately I have enough in my pantry and fridge to get us through the next few days without having to run to the grocery store for anything except milk.. and I hopefully I can make that last until payday too... but the chances of that are slim.

On the upside my truck is no longer growling or even roaring.. which I had grown accustomed to over the last few years that I've had her... I just thought it was attributed to the V8 engine.  Little did I know that the muffler  was slowly rotting until my muffler just went and dropped out on me last Saturday, leaving me with the loudest car in the neighborhood... much to the dismay of my neighbors, I'm sure.  Now after having the parts replaced it's like I'm driving another truck altogether.. as now, she purrs.. no noise at.all.  It's lovely.  Now maybe The Kid won't tell me I listen to music too loud (he really does)... but probably not.

Anyway... I managed to score a family pack of chicken leg quarters at the grocery store yesterday for $3.25 and I used one to make Chicken soup last night.

Today I'll be making a pot of tomato sauce with some of the sausage that I bought on Friday (mix of hot & sweet @1.99/lb) pasta was on sale for 5/$5 and I've got rice and lentils and more tomatoes in the pantry and veggies in the fridge.

Good thing I'm only cooking for 2.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just a note before the weekend

I may or not be around this weekend.. After a fallout (literally) with my muffler the other day I have to go tomorrow to get it replaced, then laundry and usual weekend errands.  Nothing exciting except finishing the scarf that I’ve been knitting for days.  Yeah, I started knitting, something to keep me busy and take my mind off stuff.

But.. I wanted to leave y’all with this...:
If I cook anything blog worthy I will let y'all know.. as well as show a pic of the finished scarf.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Last time it was the kid's sneaker next to a sneaker for my 1 year old nephew.. now it's his Giant men's size 14 sneaker next to my women's size 8.  it looks like a child's sneaker next to his..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bauducco Panettone

I was lucky enough to be chosen by foodbuzz to try Bauducco Panettone and, ultimately blog about it.  I received 2 loaves of Panettone, one with Hershey's Chocolate and the other was Original Panettone. 

I got the Panettone on Friday night, so Saturday morning using a few hearty slices of the original Panettone I made French toast.  I Love french toast and OMG this was fantastic!  I make French toast like my grandma did so the recipe is pretty basic and absolutely delicious!

4 thick slices of Original Bauducco Panettone
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Canola oil 

In a bowl beat together the egg, sugar, Vanilla and Nutmeg.

Heat your pan and add about 1 Tsp canola oil, or just enough to spread across the bottom of the pan.

When the pan is hot dip the Panettone, one slice at a time into the egg wash and then place into the pan.

Toast in the pan for 1-2 minutes per side until it's as toasty as you like.

Serve with your choice of condiments.. I like Butter and syrup, but honey is just as good with this with a bit of marmalade.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I can admit to my mistakes

I made such a stupid mistake on Sunday.

I really should have known better.. And it hit me just at the wrong moment that sheer fear and Noooooooo!!

But it was already too late and as I backpedaled to try and fix it I kinda threw my hands up in a que sera sera moment and let it be in hopes it would rectify itself.

So, here's the story.

I make kick ass cinnamon rolls.  Really, they’re amazing.

Last week at the farmers market I went and picked up some honeycrisp apples and I managed to save one from being devoured by the kid for baking and wanted to fill the cinnamon rolls up with chopped apple. It sounded like the perfect idea.  And it would have been had I not 1. Diced the apples so fine and 2.  Added them to the cinnamon sugar in the bowl.  The apples hit the sugar and immediately turned to liquid.

I started to panic and tossed in a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it up and then quickly rolled out the dough as fast as I could and spread the mixture on and started to roll it up...with the apple sugar mix oozing out of the ends I was so mad at myself for being such a dumbass.  I set them to rise and just prayed it would be ok.

They turned out Okay.. But with barely any filling in them.  Next time I’m going to add the apples right before rolling it up.. BIG slices of apple, like for pie.. No tiny diced pieces, that was my downfall, that and adding the cornstarch which turned them dry and the insides a little chewey.  Yuck.

The kid still likes them, he actually put one in a mug of milk this morning and ate it with a spoon, lol.  I guess it was the best way to eat it when you’ve literally got 5 minutes to eat, get your shoes on and get outta the house before you’re late for school.

I will post up some pics as well as the new recipe for icing that I started using.  Less fat but Tons of flavor!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chicken ranch mac & cheese

I got this recipe off Pinterest which linked it back to One Ordinary Day, so I can't take credit for it.. it's one of the many recipes that I've gotten off Pinterest and has, obviously piqued my interest to make.

Sorry I didn't get around to doing this yesterday as I had planned.. I was on day 3 of a migraine from hell with the worst nausea just the thought of cooking anything had me queasy.

Today (Thankfully) I'm feeling better, at least no killer migraine.

Thanks Michelle for the great recipe.

Recipe:  Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese
16 oz. dried pasta, elbow macaroni or shells
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 package of bacon
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 c. milk, any fat content
1 pkg. Italian blend shredded cheese; divided
1 c. Monterey Jack shredded cheese or Colby-Jack blend, divided
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, leaving some drippings in the pan.  Drain bacon on a paper towel.  Add chicken to drippings, increase heat to medium-high and saute for until no longer pink.  Set aside.
Melt butter in the same pot you made the pasta in.  Whisk in flour.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.  Add milk to saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Stir in most of the cheese.  (Reserve a handful of each cheese blend to sprinkle on top of casserole.)  Add spices and chicken and stir to combine.
Spray 9×13″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Transfer pasta to baking pan.  Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and reserved cheeses.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese: Shopping list

The winner of this week's recipe of the week poll is Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese.

I'll post the shopping list now and we'll cook tomorrow or Friday, if you'd like to cook along with me.  If you don't cook along with me and make the recipe in the future, let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments section.

Shopping list: 

16 oz. dried pasta, elbow macaroni or shells work best

unsalted butter

all-purpose flour

1/2 package of bacon

1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

milk, any fat content

1 pkg. Italian blend shredded cheese; divided

1 c. Monterey Jack shredded cheese or Colby-Jack blend, divided


onion powder, garlic powder, dill, salt, pepper

Friday, September 16, 2011

Recipe of the week.. Poll What are we cooking this week?

  • Pork Tenderloin stuffed with spinach, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese
  • Braised Chicken in White Wine, Mustard & Tarragon
  • Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese
More polls: Best all inclusive

The poll will run until Tuesday, then I'll make a shopping list and post it for us to all cook on Thursday or Friday night.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cookie Dough Brownies

I've been seeing these brownies flash around Pinterest the past week or so.. so of course I had to try them.

Now, I make ass kickingly amazing brownies (not to toot my own horn or anything here, but really, they're freaking fantastic brownies) so I went ahead and made those and I topped them with some Eggless cookie dough.. and Viola! Cookie dough brownies.

The Brownie:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon sal

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease an 8 inch square pan or line with foil.
In a medium bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved.
Add sugar and mix well.
Add eggs one at a time and stir until well combined.
Stir in vanilla, flour and salt until you no longer see any flour (do not overmix).
Spread in pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes.

DO NOT OVER-BAKE -- your brownies will come out dry. Adjust time/temp accordingly for your oven. If you do the knife/toothpick test, it should come out with moist crumbs, not clean.

For the cookie dough:
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 C butter
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Tbs milk
1 C mini chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Add vanilla and milk and stir well.

Add chocolate chips.

Spread evenly over cooled cookie dough.

Let the brownies chill in the fridge until the cookie dough sets up, about an hour (or in the freezer for half an hour)

Cut into squares and keep covered in the fridge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I got a pair of Heely's in August courtesy of Business to Blogger.  I posted a quick post that day just to let y'all know about them and I've worn them pretty much every day since.

I had originally planned on making a video, but then life happened, and I realized my driveway is on a slope which really isn't the best way to learn how to use these things since stopping on my butt in the middle of the street is never a good idea... so instead one morning when there was nobody here in the office I decided to try out the skate part on my own.  I knew that I wouldn't be publicly humiliated if I fell on my ass (which I did) or have my kid crack jokes for the rest of my life about it either.

Heelys are Incredibly comfortable.  They're good sturdy sneakers with a good sole (no pun intended).  Taking the wheel out does take some practice though and ladies, don't try to use your fingernail.. I learned this the hard way.  You've gotta push really hard in and up to get it to release and snap out.   Heelys take practice to use and it took me a while to feel at ease enough to actually "glide" along without the fear of falling.  I'll admit it, I'm kind of a klutz.  But I eventually got the hang of it enough to skate down the hallway without falling.  I'm pretty confident that I can walk to the park with The Kid and not fall and make a fool of myself.

Check out the Heely's Guide here
General Heely's Info here
and the Very important Heely's safety playbook here

I Originally wanted to get the Heely's for The Kid, but they only come in sizes up to Men's 12 and since Sasquatch here is a Men's 14 that wasn't happening, but would have been very cool and fun for him (ya here that Heely's?  the kids with the big feet wanna play too)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Banana scones with brown sugar glaze

I love banana bread, but I wanted something a little diffferent.  I saw a recipe for banana scones the other day, but I didn't have a few key ingredients to make that specific recipe so I decided to wing it and try one on my own.. they came out Fantastic!

Banana Scones

2 1/4 Cups + 1 tablespoon All purpose Flour
1/3 C Brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Tbs Unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Large banana
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs milk

Preheat oven to 400°f

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice.  

Cut in the butter until it becomes fine crumbs and set aside.

In a small bowl mash the banana and add the egg, milk and Vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixing until just combined.  Knead dough 12-14 times until smooth and pat into about a 7 inch round about 1 inch high on parchment lined baking sheet.  with a serrated knife cut into 8 slices and separate slightly.

Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Brown Sugar Glaze:

In a small bowl combine 1/3 C powdered sugar, 1 Tbs brown sugar, 2 Tbs milk and 1/2 Tsp vanilla.  stir to combine and drizzle over scones.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lentils & rice or, Mujaddara

This was just about the easiest dish that I've ever made.  Lentils, rice, caramelized onions, ground coriander salt and pepper.  

That's it, easy peasy and filling too!  

I've made this twice so far and find it easiest if you cook the rice and lentils separately otherwise you end up with mushy lentils (yuck)

1 cup Lentils, cooked 
1 cup rice, cooked  
1 onion, thinly sliced
2-3 Tbs oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Ground coriander

I always cook my lentils with a bay leaf, it gives them a nice flavor and smells wonderful too.

Sautee the onion with about 1/2 tsp salt in 203 Tbs oil.  Cook over low heat until golden and soft.

In a large bowl mix together the lentils and rice, add salt & pepper to taste and then add coriander.  Mix in the onions and serve.

Last night for dinner I served this with lemon chicken and it was fantastic.

I Don’t like lentils, I don’t like Lentils... Oh hey, Lentils are good

I can be a stubborn ass..

Ok.. I Am a stubborn ass, I’ll admit it.

For the longest time I swore up and down I didn’t like lentils.  I just thought they looked gross, they smelled weird and I really didn’t want anything to do with them.

But... Lentils are cheap.

And... Lentils are really, really good for you with only 230 cal, 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein per cup they're a great addition to almost any meal.

So I manned up and bought some lentils one day at the grocery store at $.79/lb Yeah.. Like I said, they're cheap.

The lentils sat in my pantry for 2 weeks.. I sorta forgot about them... Wasn’t really sure what to make with them, so one day when it was really slow here in the office I decided to head on over to foodgawker and do a little recipe research.

When I got home that night I decided to just go with what I had in the pantry and if it came out good then I was one up.. If not I’d just have to try again.  I wasn’t even sure if The Kid was going to like it... so I was apprehensive when I called him to dinner but... he loved it.  I almost fell over.  I mean, I thought it was good, and he’s my toughest critic so I was really happy that it was good.

Since that day I’ve incorporated lentils into dinner a few nights a week and over the weekend something really awesome happened.  I decided to try on a pair of jeans that have been taunting me for months... I bought them on clearance months ago.. 2 sizes smaller than my regular size and I tried them on occasionally.. Knowing that eventually I would fit into them.  Sunday morning I saw them sitting there and I figured what the hell... they pulled right up.. They zipped and they buttoned with ease.   I almost cried.

I haven’t changed the way I exercise.. But I have incorporated more protein into my diet with the addition of lentils and that’s the only change I’ve made.  So yeah.. I’ll be sticking with it.

When I get home tonight I will have a recipe with pics to add here too.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Flip off’s 8/26/11

 Um.. it's been an interesting week to say the least here: 
 My bestie’s back in Africa, we had an earthquake on Tuesday and we’re in for a hurricane this weekend.

And WTF?  This is the LAST Friday of August.  Frak.

 I’m not ready for school to start.. (and to be honest, I don’t even know when school starts exactly.. I guess I’d better go find out)  My kid is going into 10th grade.. TENTH GRADE.  I'm not ready for this.  Next year it's gonna be all about finding a college and preparing for a career.... AHH!!

(Ok.. just checked and obviously whoever is supposed to be in charge of the school's website is slacking off because it has't been updated since the end of the school year)

Summer’s almost over and I made it to the beach once.

Flip off August.. My summer went way too damn fast.

 I have big plans this weekend... to rearrange my room and cook.  Yeah.. Big plans.  I suspect with the way they’re saying the weather is gonna be, most of Saturday and all of Sunday will be spent in pajamas with at least one thing cooking for a good portion of the day.  And God help me if I don’t make something sweet.. That will then be brought to work on Monday so it’s not sitting around for me to eat.

I had Really good intentions of doing a recipe of the week this week.. Until Blogpolls decided to die leaving me with no poll on my blog... so.. Yeah.  Sorry about that guys. =/ I guess next week I’ll just stick a standard poll over in the sidebar since I can’t find a reliable one within the post.

So.. Flip off for sucking and messing with my weekly poll.

This week has been riddled with insomnia filled nights.  I’m either up for hours in the middle of the night or I’m up as soon as I see daylight breaking.  It’s the most annoying thing ever.  Usually I can deal with a night or 2 of it.. But this has been all week so flip off Insomnia.. This chick needs some sleep, dark circles under my eyes are so not sexy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Recipe of the week.. Poll What are we cooking this week?

Sorry about the Hiatus last week.. it was totally unplanned and totally uncalled for, lol. Damn stove. But, I've got a shiny new stove so I'm ready to get cookin' This week's poll runs until Thursday when I'll take the winner and make up a list and we'll get cooking on Friday night :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I rent from the nicest people

So my stove decided to start playing the ticking game again on Thursday and I unplugged it.. and it was unplugged from then until about an hour ago... when my Landlord's son came over.


He called me this afternoon and said that instead of spending $150 every time to have the guy come over to try and figure out WTF was wrong with that other stove he just bought a new one.  Totally made sense considering that the repairman was here 3 times and could never really get to the root of the problem.

I really really got lucky this time with the people that I rent from.  I ♥ the whole family.

Cooking will commence tomorrow night... Thankfully!  Last night the kid had a sandwich from the supermarket and I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. =/  Not exactly a fulfilling dinner.

I have some recipes to go through for the recipe of the week and I'll get the poll up tomorrow morning so we can get cooking once again.

Six word Sunday

Sleep eludes me constantly.
Insomnia Sucks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Flip off’s 8/19/11

To follow up on yesterday's post.. Actually.. it is the stove.

My stove is still broken...  I came home last night to a ticking stove. (like when you're just lighting a gas stove.. tick tick tick...)


No clue what the problem is.  I didn’t cook anything yesterday morning.. God only knows how long it was ticking for too since I was gone all day too, so I unplugged it and called my LL’s son.. Who didn’t call me back until this morning (he didn’t recognize the # so I’ll let it go this time).  He said he was going to make a phone call.. I’m still waiting to hear back from him.

I’m supposed to cook something to bring to my cousin’s party tomorrow.. So far, this ain’t happening.  This has been all.damn.week.

So.. Flip off you stupid stove for being a POS

My bestie, she’s leaving today.. Back to Mozambique (really, not everyone gets to say that, so in theory it’s cool, but Damn!) I won’t see her, in the flesh until next summer :(  but in between I’m thankful for Skype.  I didn’t spend nearly as much time with her as I hoped. But I’m still thankful for the time we did get to spend while she was “on vacation back home” My kid tries to put things in perspective for me “well mom, it’s not like you’re NEVER going to see her again.. She will be back next year and you have skype” He just doesn’t get it.  But I do admire him for trying to soothe my craziness.

I had to make a Target run before work this morning.. My cousin is having a 1st birthday party for her son tomorrow and in the craziness that’s been my life I hadn’t gotten him a gift yet... Now, I love target first thing in the morning because I love shopping when there’s nobody else there, I was in and out in 10 minutes but the jackass that decided it would be a good idea to repaint the lines on the highway the normally 5 minute drive back to my office from target took me almost 15 minutes.  I walked into my office at 9:00 on the dot.

The rain.. this crazy ass wicked lightning filled storm that came around last night scared the freaking Hell out of me... Thunderstorms I can deal with.. I actually like them and find them soothing.  But this storm that hit last night was pretty scary.. and as I'm looking out the window now it looks like we're in for more today.  yay  I'm fine with it.. but just as long as the bestie & her son get to Newark ok I'll be alright Less crazed stressed.  yeah.. a little less stressed.. at least until her plane lands in Portugal (for 4 days) then on to Mozambique.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So it wasn't the stove after all

I had the repairman to my house last night to figure out exactly what was wrong with my stove, but it was a faulty outlet where the stove was plugged in... yeah.  pretty damn scary when you think about it.  Luckily son #1 (which is the last one for me to meet) came to oversee the repairs and along with the repairman helped get to the bottom of the issue and the outlet was changed and now it's all good.


So now I have a working stove with no worries of it starting to click in the middle of the night or other strange intervals.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My stove is broken

Remember last Sunday when I mentioned that my stove was being weird?  If not read on here.

Well just this past Sunday hours after I cooked dinner the damn stove started ticking again.  I waited 5 minutes to see if it would shut off by itself and when it didn't I just went and unplugged the stove like the LL did last week. I knew my LL's son would be over yesterday to pick up his mail & stuff (they're away on vacation for the next 2 weeks) I figured I'd just wait until he got to the house instead of calling him at 9:30 PM and disturbing him.  I knew there was no gas coming from the stove.. it just seems to be an ignition problem.

LL's so gets to the house around 8pm and I tell him what's going on we plug it back in and still tick tick tick and he's like "I absolutely have no idea what the problem could be, but my dad's going to call me tomorrow and I'll let him know so he can tell me who to call and what to do." So we just unplugged it again and left it at that.

I was very thankful that there were leftovers so we made sandwiches with the leftover pork and I guess if I can't get it fixed today we'll be having pizza for dinner, lol.

Very frustrating since I Need to cook and even more frustrating because my LL is away when this crap has to go and happen.  I'm confident it'll be fixed soon though.

As for right now the recipe of the week is on hold until I know what's going on with my stove... but I'll keep y'all posted.

**Repairman is coming tonight so we'll take it from there, but as of right now it doesn't look like a recipe of the week will be done this week. **

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chimichurri stuffed pork tenderloin

I bought this tenderloin with a completely different recipe in mind... but I'm missing 2 key ingredients and it's pouring rain and stormy here in NY so I decided I'll just make another recipe and just stay in my jammies instead today.  Hey it's Sunday, it's stormy.. why not be lazy?

Chimichurri stuffed pork tenderloin

2-1/2- to 3-lb. boneless pork loin roast
1 cup loosely-packed fresh Italian parsley leaves chopped
1 Tbsp. finely grated lime peel
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°

In small bowl combine herbs with 1/2 teaspoon of the lime peel, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/3 of the garlic and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the remaining garlic, pepper, parsley,  lime peel and oil..

Butterfly pork loin (for directions click here)

Spread the parsley garlic mixture evenly on the meat.
Roll roast to original shape and Tie at 2-inch intervals with kitchen string.

Spread reserved parsley garlic mixture over outside of roast. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Roast for 40-60 minutes.

Remove roast from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

 It was Really good.  I served it with rosemary smashed potatoes and salad.

Six word Sunday


Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe of the week: Grilled Chicken with Chermoula sauce and chili lime corn Part 2, lets cook

If I my head wasn't in the clouds today I would have posted this all earlier.. but as I was in the grocery store picking up the necessary ingredients after work I realized *facepalm* that I forgot to post the recipe earlier...


Sorry guys.

Ok so here's the plan.

First we're going to whip up the chermoula sauce, because it's best after it's had a chance to hang around for a little while and let all the ingredients meld together

Garlic Chermoula sauce
1/2 cup plain Greek style yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Or Parsley if you don't like Cilantro like me)

In a food processor or blender mix together the garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice & cilantro until smooth.  Add in the yogurt and set aside.


In a bowl, mix together the paprika, brown sugar, lemon peel, salt and pepper. Rub into chicken on both sides.

Brush chicken with olive oil. Grill chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

Roasted Corn with Chili Lime Butter

6 ears fresh corn, unhusked
1/4 pound butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 lime, zested
1 lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the corn in its husks directly on the oven rack and roast until the corn is soft when you press on it, 30 to 40 minutes.

While the corn is roasting, combine the butter with the chili powder and lime zest.

Rub the corn with soft butter mixture, and garnish with a lime wedge.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recipe of the week: Grilled Chicken with Chermoula sauce and chili lime corn Part 1: Ingredients

For our first installment of Cooking with Ashley we’re making Grilled Chicken with Chermoula sauce and roasted chili lime corn.

Back in my restaurant days I worked at a place that made the most fantastic chermoula sauce, they’ve been closed for a few years now and since the recipe that I had from there is long since gone it’s taken me a while and a few trials to get it just right.. Here we have it.. (in my eyes) the perfect garlic chermoula sauce.

Garlic Chermoula sauce

1/2 cup plain Greek style yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Or Parsley which is what I’m using since I HATE cilantro)


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 1 ½ pounds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper            

The corn recipe is by Tyler Florence (who is my #1 favorite Italian TV chef  *swoon*)

Roasted Corn with Chili Lime Butter

6 ears fresh corn, unhusked
1/4 pound butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 lime, zested
1 lime, cut into wedges                        

So here’s the list of what y’all are going to need and tomorrow, we cook.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Monday, August 8, 2011


I got a pair of heelys courtesy of Business 2 Blogger

This may or may not mean I will be busting my ass in the near future.

A video may be on here.. Maybe.. if I can manage to at least skate down the driveway without getting a concussion.. or worse.  In a strange turn of events my kid will be supervising me in this little adventure... for the main fact that they Don't make Heelys larger than a men's size 12 and Sasquatch here is a men's size 14.

They're really cute sneakers though.. I got these

I"ll be trying them out soon.. so.. keep on the lookout for some silly shenanigans here with the Heelys

Poll: Recipe of the week

I figured if I'm gonna be doing a recipe of the week the least I could do is give you guys a choice of what you want to cook along with me.   I'll run the poll for 3 days hopefully by then I have a working stove.

Just let me know what y'all want to cook and we'll take it from there.  If anyone has any questions please feel free to let me know in the comments and I'll get back to you asap.

The stove is all fixed so I'm gonna run the poll until Wednesday, Thursday I'll make a shopping list and Friday we'll cook. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ya know what sucks?

I had the perfect meal planned out in my head.  I was going to brine the pork chops I bought the other night and then sear them in a pan with onions and serve with a really nice bowl of fresh corn with lime and chile and a nice salad.

But instead, about 5 minutes after I got the brine boiled up and sitting on the stove to cool down.. my oven started ticking like someone turned it on and was trying to get the burner lit.  But I was standing in the bathroom putting on some makeup and the kid was in the living room playing Wii.... sooooooo I first turned on every burner and they all worked, then off again.. still ticking.

So, clad in my jammies and no makeup I went and rang my landlord's doorbell.  I told him what was up and he came right away.  After much fiddling, unplugging and plugging the stove back in it was still happening.  Tick tick tick.. Fark!  My landlord is a genuinely nice guy so he said that tomorrow he's gonna have someone look at it and repair it... if it can't be repaired he'll have to get a new stove.

So now.. I have a non working stove in my kitchen and I'm really hoping this doesn't last more than a few days... because if I can't cook I will panic.   We're having sandwiches for dinner tonight and since the chops were gonna go bad if I didn't cook them and I didn't want to freeze them they're sitting in the fridge in the brine that I lovingly made for them this morning and I'll cook them in the crock pot with potatoes overnight and we'll have that tomorrow for dinner.

If my brine is as delicious as I hope.. I will post the recipe.   This is the first time I'm attempting to brine anything so, well... ya know.

Stay tuned this week because I'm going to start doing a recipe of the week.. hopefully starting tomorrow and I'll make up a grocery list and on Thursdays we'll all cook together.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Funnel Cakes!!

Last weekend was the big feast at my church and The Kid and I finally made it over there on Sunday.  I saw all the concession stands but what I really wanted was a funnel cake.. I saw so many people walking by with them it  had me craving one like crazy.  Until I got to the stand that was selling the most and realized that not only was the funnel cake $5, but in teeny print to the right it said that it was $2 extra for topping.. for powdered sugar that's like $1/lb.  Ha!  Like that was gonna happen.  I got a few Zeppoles instead @6/$3 to hold me over on my fried dough craving until I could get around to making them myself.  I went and bought a squeeze bottle at the $1 store to make this a little less messy and it worked perfectly.

I finally got around to making them today... a week later.

Totally worth the wait.

Funnel Cakes


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1-2 cups oil for frying
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
confectioners' sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl, beat together egg and milk. Beat in flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar until smooth.

Heat about 1 inch cooking oil in frying pan to 375° F 

Pour 1/2 cup batter through funnel into oil with a circular motion to form a spiral (I didn't have the right size funnel so I went and bought a squeeze bottle from the $1 store which makes it Much easier to do this without a huge mess).

 Fry until lightly brown; turn over to brown the other side. Cook to golden brown, and remove to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar while still warm.

You can’t come unless you bring cookies

These are the words uttered by the bestie’s nephew last Saturday.. “Ashley can’t come over unless she brings cookies” Well... had I have been properly prepared, it wasn't 110° in the shade and had I not just moved I would have.. But now I will bake a special batch just for him.. Ya know, because I’m cool like that.

I can’t just make any cookies though.. I have to make Chocolate-Caramel Bars.  These have been highly coveted cookies since the first time I baked them with the bestie.  I make them for every special occasion and holiday now. No cookie tray goes without them, because they really are that good (So good that I've never brought them into the office to share).  The last time I made them instead of using prepackaged caramels I used caramel sauce that I made and OMG they were So incredibly amazing.

Just for kicks I might make a batch of Whoopie pies too for the main fact that you can’t help but smile when you say the name and they’re unbelievably good too.

The bestie's only here for 2 more weeks.. I must break in my new oven and share the goods before she goes back to Africa.  Plus.. what's better for the soul than some home baked goodies?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Flip Off's 8/5/11

ok y'all.. it's Friday and it's time for some Flip Off's.. and I've got a few this week.. and for the first time Ever you'll see what I look like.. sorta.

I color my hair. I'm not gonna lie about it.  I was born blonde, I was blonde into my teens when I decided I didn't want to be blonde anymore... and I dyed my hair jet black.... like Elvira (or Wednesday Aadams depending on the day, lol).  It was great.. until this little blonde baby came along.. and then I looked like the babysitter or something, so I changed it up and went red.  I've been various shades of red over the past 15 years.. most great, some horrible.  

That being said My first flip goes to Clairol. I went ahead last Sunday to redo my color.. yea, I'm still under 35 but I get a few whites and I don't like 'em not to mention the blonde-ish roots that grow in.  Armed with 2 boxes of Nice 'n Easy foam (my hair is thick and long) in Medium Reddish brown (a color that I've used before) I went about the ritual and did my hair.. and it was all fine... until it was time to dry it...and my hair was the same color dry as it was wet. Dark.  Really, really dark.  It's like a really deep mahogany... and not at all what I wanted.
This is what I'm used to
This is what I've got now
Yeah, Not happy at all.. so I called Clairol on Monday morning and asked for some help... so after a game of 20 questions with one of their "Color Experts"  I get "Well Miss, I'm sorry but you're going to have to go to a salon to get the color corrected"  So my response was "well Miss, if I could afford to go to a salon I wouldn't be buying the $10 stuff from CVS now would I?"  Thanks a lot for Nothing.  so... Flip off Clairol for Not being able to help me with this dilemma.  Now I'm adding baking soda to my shampoo to help strip the color and it's gradually becoming redder and less black.. unfortunately I'm probably going to have to eventually make a call to the salon I go to get my hair cut if I can't fix it good enough. *sigh*

I am OFFICIALLY all moved into the new place and yesterday afternoon the Ex-Landlord called my cell saying I owe him $150 because the deposit was short.  HA HA HA!! Seriously this guy must be on some serious Colombian drugs if he thinks I owe him anything.. besides it was $75 short if anything, but regardless I haven't been living there since the 16th of July and really he owes me half my deposit back.  I wasn't going to call him back and when he kept calling I got technology on my side, so now when he calls me he gets the standard "this number has been disconnected" message. Fucktard.  Flip the hell off and leave me the hell alone.

The bestie is here for another 2 weeks which totally sucks.. time flies =( She won't be back until next summer which totally sucks, but I'm very thankful for Skype when she's a million miles away in Mozambique.  Flip off time for going bye too fast when I just need a little more time.  I swear when I win the lottery I'm bringing this girl home for good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Cupboards are bare

Seriously people.. yeah yeah, I moved in 2 weeks ago.. but I'm Officially All.Moved.In.  Now it's time to get to business and get these shelves stocked.. especially since now I know I can do it right and I have Lots of space to put my stuff.. not just one cabinet to stash all the goods.  I've got one shelf of a kitchen cabinet just for spices! Yikes.. yea, I really need to work on that.... or get a spice rack or something..  but I'm working on that.

Lets talk about a well stocked Pantry because, I've actually Got a pantry.. sweet :)  My mom's mom had a pantry in her kitchen and my dad's mom's version of a pantry was shelves in her basement where she kept the canned goods that never ran out.  I've got a pantry in the kitchen.. and so far it's pretty bare with the exception of a few boxes of pasta, some tomatoes and all my cooking paraphernalia that needs to be stored away (the stand mixer, mini prep, popcorn popper, crock pot, etc.

I've been searching online for the best list for a well stocked pantry and it hasn't been easy.  Many lists are full of non essential stuff and it's a pain in the ass to go through all the lists just to weed out what I really need.. until I found this list over @ Mommy Matters and it's just right.

 The Essentials for a well-stocked pantry

Baking Powder
All-Purpose Flour
Baking Soda
Sugar (granulated)
Confectioners' Sugar
Brown Sugar
Chocolate Chips

Dry Cereal

Bread (sandwich, pita, hot dog, hamburger)
Worcestershire Sauce
White vinegar
Red Wine vinegar
Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
Maple syrup
Non-stick cooking spray

Chicken broth
Vegetable Broth
Beef Broth

Nut Butter (Peanut, almond, coconut, Sunflower butter)

Tomato sauce
Canned Tomatoes
Tomato Paste
Canned Beans (Or dried if you prefer)
Canned Tuna
Salad Dressing

Bay Leaves
Garlic Powder
Onion powder or flakes
Black Pepper
Sea Salt
Vanilla Extract


Additional tips for creating your own Well-Stocked Pantry:

1 Determine what your favorite 5 family meals are and try to have those ingredients on hand at all times.

2 Look over your grocery lists for the past month. Do you see any repeating patterns? Consider those items for your own well-stocked pantry list.

3 Always arrange your pantry shelves so that the newly purchased items are in the back.

You can add and omit things as you wish.. but this is a good basic list to start with.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chickpea burgers

Ever have one of those days when you open your fridge and realize that you have absolutely nothing to feed your starving 15 year old? No?  OK.. well, that might just be me, but really.. This is one of those weeks when I think.. Did I really go grocery shopping on Friday? WTF did I buy?

Luckily I had a can of chickpeas in the pantry and instead of making a salad with them I decided I'd get a little crazy and make some burgers with them.. so I did a little research online... Ugh.. every recipe I found had stuff I didn't have.. rice.. nope, tofu.. nope.. Quinoa?  nope, none of that either... so I decided to just wing it and go with what I had.

1 14oz can chickpeas
1/4 sweet onion chopped
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
about 2 Tbs olive oil

In a food processor add the onion and process it until it's finely chopped.  Add the chickpeas and pulse 2/3 times until fully incorporated with the onion.  Pour this mixture into a bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt and coriander.  Pour in the olive oil and stir well to combine.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat while you make the patties.

Cook the patties over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

I served mine with mayo and a dash of Tabasco on whole wheat bread, lettuce and  a cucumber tomato salad on the side.

This dinner was less than $2 to throw together.