Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sauteed Chicken breasts with mustard sauce

It was unbelievable when I happened to pick up boneless skinless chicken breasts NOT ON SALE for $1.99/lb at my local supermarket.  Totally unbelievable since I haven't seen boneless skinless chicken breasts for under $2.79/lb in a long time.  So, of course I jumped on it and grabbed a few packages.

I made this the other night on a whim after I saw something similar in an email that I had received and of course didn't print the recipe so I kinda just went along with what I thought would taste good.. and O M G they were Fantastic!

1-2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
cooking spray
2 Tbs Dijon mustard (the good stuff, not the yellow stuff)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
tiny pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. lemon juice

Heat your pan until it's hot, but not smoking (to test that your pan is hot enough splash a little water in it and if the water sizzles and evaporates you're good to go).

Lightly spray with pan with cooking spray (I use Pam professional high heat) and place the chicken breasts in the pan.  Cook the chicken over med-high heat for 7-9 minutes per side turning once more if they're not done inside (I use the really thick breasts, not the thin sliced ones, if you're using thin ones, cook 3-4 minutes per side, until they're no longer pink in the middle)

Remove the chicken from the pan and pour the broth into the pan and scrape all the bits from the bottom.  We don't want those little bits of goodness to go to waste :) Add the mustard and with a fork or a whisk give it a good stir until it's fully incorporated, add in the garlic powder and red pepper flakes.

Let the sauce cook down for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat until it begins to thicken and add the chicken back into the pan along with all the juices that escaped while it was resting. Let it all cook together for another 3-5 minutes, turning the chicken once to coat all sides with the sauce.

Finish with the lemon juice and serve with rice, pasta or veggies.  I served this with some steamed broccoli and it was amazing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are you willing to join the Revolution?

The FOOD Revolution People.  Have you been watching Jamie Oliver’s show Food Revolution?  He’s trying to help schools feed the kids healthier lunches.  He did it in Huntington Va, last year and this year he’s in California in LA County and I’m Really, unbelievably stunned at the antics of this school district.  As of last week’s show Jamie wasn’t even able to go into the lunchroom of this school and he wasn’t even able to talk to the students about what they’re eating at school.

After watching last season it’s pretty disturbing to me what is actually in some school lunches.  After watching the first episode this season, the “washing”of the “pink slime” really gave new meaning to the term  “mystery meat” =/ Gross.  Really, that totally made me sick and I can’t believe that this is legal in this country.  Our kids are our future!

Teaching kids good eating habits is something that will stay with them for life.  It’s so important to teach kids how to prepare healthy foods and it’s not always complicated.  The Kid has started to show increasing interest in helping me cook and to cook along with me.  I love every second of it though.  I learned to cook by watching my grandmas cook and helping out when I was allowed.  

My kid doesn’t eat school lunch unless he’s really really hungry and didn’t bring lunch with him.  If he forgets to bring lunch more often than not he will go until he gets home to eat.  Now, I know that’s not the best thing but that’s what he does.  The last time he ate school lunch he got sick, not sure if it was what he ate or a bug or whatever.. But he just tends to steer clear of the crap.

I cook dinner almost every single night.. It’s the very rare occasion that I pick up something for dinner or have a pizza delivered.  I like to know what’s going into the food that I eat and what the kid eats.  I make sure we’ve got 2 veggies with dinner every night and Milk is more often than not the drink of choice for both of us at dinnertime.  Soda is NEVER in my house and we don’t even drink juice as often as we used to.  I buy a lot of flavored water, and we go through Gallons of milk a week in my house.

When The Kid was little I taught him to eat his veggies and he’s never been a picky eater.  He’s a lover of Veggie Sushi and sushi without the raw fish, I won’t touch the stuff.  I often, by force of habit ask The Kid what he wants for dinner.. More often that not he will respond with “whatever you want to make or it doesn’t matter.” He explained it to be bluntly this morning when I asked him what he wanted for Breakfast “Mom, it doesn’t matter, just as long as I have food in my belly I’m happy, I’m not picky”

Alrighty then.

He will undoubtedly drive a woman insane in the future with his indecisiveness.. Or, well.. Maybe not, lol.

Point is here that it’s really important to pay attention to what our kids are eating.  I’m one of the lucky ones wherein my kid isn’t a big candy eater, he’s never been a fast food junkie and snacks that you eat in my house are never out of a box or bag.

Join the Revolution, Sign the Petition and make sure that our kids are eating healthy meals in school.  These kids are our future, if we don’t make sure they’re going to grow up healthy.. Then who will?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

That's one Saucy little cookie (Peruvian Alfajores)

The day after Thanksgiving last year I babysat for my cousin's then 3 month old baby so she &; her hubby could do the Black Friday shopping thing and after they got home that night they treated me & the kid to dinner from a local Spanish restaurant... wonderfully roasted chicken and veggies & stuffs and for dessert there were Alfajores.  I had never tried them before and they were so good, light and sweet buttery cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche in between.. Heavenly.

When I set my mind to make something I can almost always go ahead and make it with no problem and these cookies were no exception.  They are incredibly light due to the fact that most of the dry ingredient part of this recipe consists of cornstarch and very little flour.  They are Amazing!!  I made the cookies really small, for no particular reason other than my large round cookie cutter is no longer so round anymore and I wanted these to look perfect.

I think I did pretty darn well if I could say so myself.. Next up to test them on the Peruvian relatives and see what they say :)


1 2/3 cups cornstarch
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup sugar
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. cognac or brandy
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
4 egg yolks
dulce de leche, for filling cookies (I used canned because it's readily available or you can make it yourself, recipe following)

Preheat oven to 350°

 In a large bowl, sift together cornstarch, flour, and baking powder; set aside. 

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. 

Add cognac and zest; beat. 

Add yolks one at a time; beat well until each is fully incorporated.

 Add dry ingredients; mix until fully incorporated

Transfer dough to a floured surface, knead briefly and divide into 3 pieces. 

Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough to 1/4″ thickness. 

Using a 2 1/2″ round cookie cutter, cut out cookies; transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheets, spaced 1″ apart. 

Re-roll scraps and repeat. 

Bake until golden, 10–12 minutes. 

Let cool. Flip half the cookies over and top each with 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche. 

Top with remaining cookies.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Dulce de leche:
 In a heavy 4-quart saucepan mix together the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and baking soda and bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. 

As it begins to thicken, stir constantly and cook until caramel-colored and very thick that you can see the bottom of the pan as you stir; this will take about 1 hour. 

If using vanilla extract, add it at this point. 

Remove from heat and let cool. 

Cover and refrigerate.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wanna see my buns? Hot Cross Buns

I was SO excited to make hot cross buns, I haven't had them in ages and my mom always bought them for Easter.  I browsed Foodgawker and found a recipe that looked good.  

They came out beautifully

But, in all honesty, to me they're pretty bland.  They needed a little more sweetness, a little more spice and they would have been perfect.

I got the recipe here if you're interested in trying it.

I have to go through my cookbooks and see if I've got one in there and I'll try again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I made coleslaw, and it didn't suck

I'll be honest with y'all, I am not great at making everything.  I have yet to prefect meatballs and I've never been able to make good coleslaw.

I've tried a few recipes but none (to me) were ever really good.  I frown upon anything with poppyseeds because, they are EVIL.  My wisdom teeth and I have a mutual understanding... I don't eat poppyseeds and my wisdom teeth don't give me any crap.

Yesterday as I ran into the grocery store to get milk I stopped and bought a bag of coleslaw mix, ya know... the pre-shredded cabbage with carrots, fully intent on just dressing it with ranch dressing and having it with dinner.  Then I got home and I had other ideas.  I just wasn't in the mood for that... so I went about a search for coleslaw.

Many used Miracle whip.  I don't eat that crap.

A few had onions and other things that I wasn't interested in putting in my slaw.

then I saw one that looked good.. but it had a launcry list of stuff that I didn't have in my pantry.. so I decided to just tweak it and make a barebones coleslaw and pray that it came out good.

And I did! Even the Kid ate it, and he's not a fan of coleslaw at all.

Ashley's barebones coleslaw

1 bag prepared coleslaw mix

2 Tbs Cider vinegar
1/2 cup mayo (regular or lite, I use lite mayo)

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yellow mustard

Dump the slaw into a big bowl and add the vinegar, toss the vinegar and slaw together squeezing it a bit as you go along to break down the cabbage a bit.

Add the mayo & salt and stir together really well.

Let it sit in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Stir in the mustard right before serving.

Lemonade cookies

I am still in shock that Easter is this Sunday.  Even though it's later than usual this year I'm still kinda stunned, lol. It doesn't quite feel like spring here in NY yet, let alone the fact that it's almost May.

I bought up a bag of lemons at the grocery store on Friday for the Chicken with Lemons & Olives (which to me was a great lesson in paying attention while shopping as 3 loose lemons were $4 and a bag of 6 lemons was $3.49.)  I took the lemons home, washed them and they're sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for me to use the rest of them up. (yea, you read that right, I washed them.  I always wash all my produce before I use it or put it in the fridge... don't you ever wonder where the fruit flies come from? *shudder*)

I wanted to make lemon bars, but I'll save that for another day when I have a little more time.  I'm taking off work towards the end of the week so The Kid can get a break from coming to the office with me and I can get a break from the madness too.

I knew I had this recipe somewhere and it turned out to be in the recipe binder (which I will also be going through and tabbing this weekend)  I'm so glad I found it because I've been thinking of these cookies all.week!

I'm making these tonight.. Pictures will follow :)

Lemonade Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar + ½ cup for dusting the cooled cookies
 1tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350̊. F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine flour, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest.

 Add butter and vanilla and beat together until a soft dough forms.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet leaving about an inch in between each one.

 Bake one sheet at a time for 12-15 minutes, until cookie bottoms are golden brown.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

After the cookies have completely cooled you can move on to the next step:

Place the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar in a quart or gallon-sized zip-top bag.

Carefully drop 12 cookies at a time into the sugar and shake to coat.

Store cookies in an airtight container or zip-top bag.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken with Lemon & Olives

I did something on Saturday night that I rarely do.. and should really do more often.

I get a lot of cooking magazines and I love to read them and ooh and ahh over the recipes and beautiful pictures.. and then I don't look back.  Way back when I started dating the BF he was horrified by my stacks of cooking mags that I had hidden under the coffee table in my living room.  The next time he came over he brought over these gigantic binders and told me to go through all the magazines, pull out the recipes I wanted and to please toss the rest.

and I did.  I was very good with it and I still have that binder... and I still haven't made more than half the recipes in there.. *GUILTY*  I can be such a recipe hoarder.  But in my own defense, since the BF and I started dating I moved and unfortunately my kitchen considerably downsized and therefore my kitchen adventures have been not as adventurous as I would like.  My kitchen is so small I don't even have a kitchen table... I have a .... hell, I don't even know what to call it other than sort of another counter that's roughly a foot wide and 3 feet long.  we could sit there and eat if I had stools, but I didn't want to shell out $$ for bar stools when I moved in and they weren't supplied.

Anyway....I digress.

Lets get back on track here.

Last week while The kid was on my computer doing his homework and there was absolutely nothing on TV I started to go to through the latest batch of cooking mags and wondering to myself.. WTF Ashley?  Why don't you make some of these recipes?  They look great, you know what you're doing just make a shopping list and go with it."

See, there's my problem.  I do my grocery trip on Fridays after work and more often than not I go without a list, which is bad bad bad.  I have to stick to a grocery budget of $50/week which isn't all that easy but it's still workable and I manage to do pretty well keeping within the budget buying only fresh foods and nothing prepackaged. (OMG I watched that show extreme couponing on TLC last week and was totally shocked at the amount of prepackaged foods these people consume. Gross!)

When I went grocery shopping on Friday armed with my list I got everything I needed and was happy that I would be sitting around going "hmm, what am I making for dinner tonight?" which I do more often than I'm willing to admit.

I made these Saturday night and wow, they were so good.  The only thing I was missing was honey because I was positive that I had a jar, but it turns out I didn't.  They were still fantastic though!

Chicken with Lemon and Olives

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine

YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 leg quarter and 2 tablespoons sauce)


1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 chicken leg quarters, skinned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
16 pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


1. Preheat oven to 400°f.
2. Combine first 7 ingredients; marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.
3. Pour marinade into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange chicken in dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with olives and lemon slices. Bake at 400°f for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°f.
4. Remove chicken from dish; keep warm. Strain sauce over a saucepan, reserving solids. Bring sauce to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in olives and garlic; serve with chicken and lemons. Top with parsley.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Soft Pretzel Bites

While I was browsing through Foodgawker the other morning at work on one of the days I was there at 7 (yea, I was at work at 7am 3 days last week.. kid has review classes for math and science) I saw a pic of these little pretzels and I couldn't wait to make them!  I'm not a huge pretzel lover, but every once in a while I like a good soft pretzel with some cheese or some good mustard.

These were really pretty easy to make and The coolest thing happened while I was waiting for the yeast to bloom.. there was a just a minute or two left and I peeked into the bowl and was all "hmm, it's not bloomed yet, I hope the yeast is good"  when BAM!! it started to bloom right before my eyes.  I've never seen that before and it really was cool. (Yes, I'm a dork... so?)

The Original recipe that I sorta followed called for Much more salt than the one I'm going to post here.. and these IMHO are just salty enough before being overly salty.

Soft Pretzel Bites

Ingredients:2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 T light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
Vegetable Oil (for the bowl)

10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda

coarse sea salt

Combine the yeast, brown sugar and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let it sit for 5 minutes until foamy.

Add the melted butter and salt to the mixture and combine. Add the All Purpose Flour while the dough hook is going then add the Whole Wheat flour and mix until the dough has formed a large ball.

Remove from the bowl and let rest in an oiled bowl for an hour, covered with a kitchen towel.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Place a large pot with 10 cups water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the baking soda. Be careful because it looks like it's almost going to bubble over, and it WILL if your pot isn't big enough.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 12" long. Cut the rope of dough into little bite sizes pieces about 1" long.

Using a slotted spoon, add about 10 to the boiling water at a time. Once they rise to the top of the water, about 30 seconds, remove with your slotted spoon to a paper towel to dry. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Transfer the bites to parchment lined baking sheets.

Sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

I stuffed a few with cheese, by The Kid's request I used Pepperjack cheese and it was.. ok, but I probably will use another cheese next time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They look pretty.. And they taste ok.. But it’s not what I wanted

I’m a big girl and can admit to my mistakes.  I wanted to make cinnamon rolls with raisins, but I got ahead of myself and screwed them up somewhat.  I’m new to using the stand mixer with the dough hook to knead dough and if I was kneading the dough by hand I would  have realized that the dough was a little too wet... but I didn’t.  It seemed fine to me as I rolled the dough out and rolled them up full of cinnamon-y goodness.

They looked Fantastic when I took them out of the oven... see?

hot out of the oven & iced
But it wasn’t until I took the first bite that they weren’t quite right.  They were slightly dry/slightly tough.. Not quite right at all.

I made the mistake in where I had soaked the raisins in vanilla extract to plump them up and then instead of adding them to the filling like I should have, I added them to the dough as it was kneading and I’m guessing that’s where I screwed it up.

I’m not even going to bother posting the recipe here because it’s not worth sharing since I screwed it up.

I never said I was perfect.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Landlord is a complete moron...

But y'all already kinda had a hunch about that.. right?

Remember Friday when I mentioned in the flips that I had complained to the landlord's kid about water on my kitchen floor and landlord proceeded to ignore my complaint?

Well.. yesterday morning when I got up to make my coffee there was so much water on my kitchen floor it went up over my toes I called the landlord again on his cell.. and he was at work. Me: Um, hi, sorry to bother you but there is a lot of water on my kitchen floor. Him: it's probably just ice in your freezer, it's not a big deal Me: I have a self defrosting freezer and this is more water than just general water from the fridge. Him: well, I'm at work now so I'll just send my kid down to see what the problem is. Me: Ok, fine.

About 5 minutes later his younger kid knocks on my door with his mother and he asks me where the water is coming from and I show him the puddle by the fridge and he goes "Oh" and proceeds to pull out the fridge.. and says "Um .. uh oh, there's a Lot of water back here" and then he calls the LL and speaks to him in Spanish so I have absofreakinglutely no idea what he's saying, just a lot of Yes sir's and water is all I understand. So he goes and gets the shop-vac and cleans up the visible water and then his mom opened up the door to the furnace room... and the floor was covered in about an inch of water, shit. That means that the water went under the wall. Lovely. So the kid gets back on the phone with the LL and he’s telling him that there’s a piece of the wall by my “linen closet” that comes apart but his kid can’t find it and calls LL again.

I was then instructed to please remove everything off my kitchen counter and when LL gets home from work he was going to poke around the walls to find out exactly where this water was coming from. Around 8:20 last night LL rings my doorbell and goes about cutting holes in the wall in my kitchen.. First behind the fridge and there’s a massive amount of water behind the wall.. So he’s vacuuming up the water for around 30 minutes, then he’s looking under the sink to see if there’s any water (nope) then asks his wife to go upstairs and turn on the water in the kitchen sink.. And he hears water pouring out inside the wall.

More cutting commences until he finds this
This is how LL left the pipe until he can fix it tonight
 and he says “oh, I know what happened” Turns out he had a slow drain in the kitchen sink so he tried to clear it with a pipe snake & when that didn’t work he thought it would be a good idea to shoot some compressed air down the drain and the pipe busted apart. Why he didn’t just go and get some draino or call a plumber I don’t know.. But he’s a real jackass.. That I do know.

So now I have a HUGE hole in the wall behind the fridge, a hole in the wall right over my kitchen counter and he’s going to cut another big hole in the wall behind my linen closet today to make sure there are no more breaks in the pipes. Yay. Not.

So now my biggest concern is that there’s going to be mold growing behind this wall because it was wet for who knows how many days and the water was seeping under the wall and into the drywall.. And... shit.

So yeah.

So now as if I haven’t been searching like a crazywoman looking for an apartment I can afford but now I really need to get out of this place just because it’s a potential health hazard for myself and The Kid.

Update: 4/12/11

My Landlord is still a complete jackass.  He never bothered to fix the broken pipe or the holes he made in my wall after he came home from work yesterday.  The only good thing about that was I was able to cook dinner and bake without being bothered.  The bad thing about that is I’m still really worried about mold growing in the walls and if there’s another pipe broken somewhere else in the wall.

This morning when I left for work my Landlord was still home (judging by the fact that his car was still in the driveway) Which most likely means he will be in my apartment today without me being there. I have issues with this, because the last time he was in my apartment without telling me he left a HUGE mess and I really don’t like people in my apartment without me being there.

Update 4/13/11

My LL wasn't in my apartment yesterday.. so when I got home, of course nothing was fixed.  LL made an appearance around 8:30 to bring down some gigantic pipe snake machine thing.. then told me he had to go back to work so he would get the problem fixed tonight when he got home from work.  This guy doesn't get home from work until around 8pm.. so it's really a pain in my ass, because by that time I'm done with dinner, showered and winding down.. I can't do that with people fussing around in my apartment.. and then tomorrow is kid's early day at school (Yay for being to school at 6:45am for mandatory review classes.... NOT!) so I would really like to relax tonight.. but I"m hoping that this crap doesn't take hours tonight... here's to hoping.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

And the Buitoni Giveaway WINNERS are....

Since I needed to pick 2 winners for this contest I had to use a different method.. so I used Research Randomizer to pick the winners.

Research Randomizer Results
2 Sets of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 27 -- Unsorted
Set #1:

Set #2:

Congrats MommaKiss and Jaydee!!! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Flip Off's 4/8/11

Well, this week's been interesting  to say the least

But lets not waste any time and get the flipping commence

My Jackass landlord and his assface kid, Flip off.  Wednesday night I came home to a HUGE puddle of water on my kitchen floor coming from under my fridge.. so I ran upstairs and rang the bell, and the older kid answers the door (mind you, these aren't really kids... I think the older one is going to be 21 in June and the younger one graduated high school last summer) I asked if LL was home and he said no, not yet and so I told him well can you tell him that there's a huge puddle of water on my kitchen floor and I have no idea where the water is coming from.  He said yea, sure I'll call him right now. I grabbed my 5 gallon bucket and 2 ShamWows (don't knock it, those things are AWESOME!!)  2 buckets of water later my back & knees were killing me and I gave up trying to soak up all the water and just threw an old towel on the floor to soak up the rest and went about making dinner and doing the other crap that needed to be done.  As of right now I still haven't heard from my LL and he wasn't in my apt yesterday either because the towel I left on the floor to prevent the water from spreading was still there when I got home last night.. soaked completely through and replaced with another towel.

Lets flip off Homeowners who ask too much for rent and real estate agents who are leeches because I'm Still looking for an apartment.


I've had it with homeowners that won't give me a chance because I have a kid.  Without even meeting him, once I mention I have a teenager it's oh, sorry, no kids, the apartment is for one person only or want to charge me $100 MORE because of him.  And don't even get me started with what people are asking for rents in my area either.  It's OUTRAGEOUS!! No wonder I see the same apartments listed for weeks, even months on end. The last place I went to see was nice, but the lady wanted too much and the neighborhood was less than wonderful.  I'm not shocked that it's still listed.

My main goal right now is to get out of this place I'm in by the time school's out in June. .. I just can't go another summer with no A/C or deal with the parties they have all summer long either.


Work deserves a flip too.. mostly I don't hate my job, but now that the Nazi is here 3-4 days a week and feels the need to go through my desk and see what I'm doing on my computer every time I go to the ladies room or leave for lunch I'm hating it.  I started logging myself off when I leave and closing all my windows when I get up from my desk. I hate nosy people.

The USPS and Customs can Flip the Hell off too...

Back in December I sent the Bestie & her son Christmas gifts, I sent it EXPRESS MAIL so it would be there in time for Christmas & it should have made it to Portugal within 7 days, 10 days Max and then her hubs family would send it over to Mozambique with someone so it didn't go missing.  But no, this package was lost in the mail system somewhere along the way and despite my many, many calls to the USPS to find out WTF was going on I never got a straight answer.

Finally the package made it to Portugal on 12/29 and was sent to customs and so we waited... and waited.... and waited. I got a call from USPS on February 4th who said that the package was missing a page of documentation and if I had it to please fax it to them, which I did and thought Ok, good.  Problem solved, right?


I spoke to the bestie & we both kept tabs on this box when finally she got pissed and contacted customs in Portugal who told her that the package was preparing to be shipped out to her.  Ok.  Fine.

Well,  Customs in Portugal is seriously Farked because.. they sent out a card saying the package was ready for pickup and THE NEXT DAY they sent the box back to the US. .. OVER 3 months later!!!  I got the package back on Saturday.  Now I'm getting the runaround because I want my $$ refunded.

I will Never, Ever mail anything International Ever, ever again.  I feel bad that peanut never got his Christmas present from us but they'll just have to wait until they come home to visit in June to get it.

And the winner is... (Pickles Bake Shop Giveaway)

True Random Number Generator  32Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The things that constantly amaze me

I know my kid is huge but when I went to buy my 1 year old nephew a pair of sneakers I had to take a picture of these teeny little size 4 sneakers beside my son’s immensely huge size 13½ sneakers. You can fit about 3 of those little sneakers inside that big one, lol.

Funny thing is... my kid’s still growing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Buitoni Refrigerated pasta/sauce review & GIVEAWAY!! Ends 4/8 - 2 winners!

I know.. ANOTHER Giveaway!?!?  Really, this is awesome!!!

Here we have a chance to give away not one but TWO VIP full-value coupons and TWO $25 gift cards!!!

About Buitoni: Buitoni believes in using simple, high-quality ingredients to create extraordinary meals. Buitoni has more than 40 varieties of all-natural pastas and sauces. With a commitment to simple preparation, the brand recently added a new line of premium frozen meals for two. Check out the wide variety of products at

I like to go grocery shopping on Fridays after work, I find the supermarket is less crowded than on the weekend and most sales around here start on either Thursday or Friday so I'm good with that too.  Last Friday I went and picked up the kid from Lacrosse practice and headed to Stop & shop (which is my favorite grocery store in my area.. it's clean and the prices are really good)

I told The kid to pick out a pasta & sauce from the Buitoni selection and that's what I would prepare for dinner.  He picked out Whole wheat 3 cheese tortellini and the reduced fat pesto with basil.  Dinner was ready in less than 10 minutes.. served with a salad and it was so delicious! The Tortellini cooked up in about 7 minutes and were perfect, the filling was creamy and not too salty and the pasta was just right, not too tough like many whole wheat pastas tend to be.

 Now, I'll be honest, I was skeptical.  I don't buy prepackaged food because I have an allergy to certain preservatives so I have to be careful. But I have been pleasantly surprised with Buitoni pastas and sauces.  Next up I'm going to try one of the frozen meals!

Now, for the giveaway details:
Just leave a comment and you're entered to win 1 of 2 GC's !!
 I want to know:
Does your family eat dinner together every night?  
What would you choose from the Buitoni collection to make for your family?

Giveaway over, comments are now closed.  
Congratulations to the winners & Thanks to all who entered. Stay tuned for more great giveaways to come!