Wednesday, July 29, 2009

30 Days of [Blank]

I was reading a blog today (Room 704) and decided to join Mrs. Flinger in her 30 Days of [blank] quest. Starting on August first, I will do something for 30 straight days. Now, if I were a sane and sensible person, I would workout for thirty days or only eat vegetables for thirty days or read a Bible for thirty days. Maybe I might even give up the computer or my iphone or sassy shoes for 30 straight days. But let's face it - I'm not sane and I'm certainly not sensible and over-my-dead-body am I giving up sassy shoes for 30 straight days (you might remember this little adventure and that I only got my sassy shoes back recently)!

I won't do anything illegal, immoral or just plain wrong for 30 days, no matter how tempting it is. Maybe I should drink enough water for 30 days or clean out a small corner of my house each day for 30 days. I dunno. Make my bed for 30 days? Keep up with the laundry for 30 days? Drink vodka for 30 days? Yep, so far that's the most likely. Play a game with the weeone each day for 30 days? Hmmmm....

I don't know what I'll do yet...I have a few days to decide, but over the course of 30 days I'll keep you posted on my 30 days of [blank]. You can join me if you'd like!

If you have suggestions for what I should do....let's hear 'em!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's 2 Post Tuesday!!!! 10 Reasons I'm ready for Summer to be Over!!!!

I think I'll start having a 2 Post Tuesday every week....sounds like a fun idea to me! =)

I'm done with summer. It's true. I'm sick of it. I'm ready for the craziness that is the school year. And I'm not even a stay-at-home mom that's been with my kid all summer!!! Those of you who hang with them all day -day in and day out....bless you!!!

10 Reasons I'm Ready to for Summer to be Over

1. I'm ready for cooler weather!!! I don't want 30 degrees, but a nice 70 would put a smile on my face and a spring in my step!

2. I'm ready for the long daylight hours to start to fade. I'm not the best sleeper in the world. I mentioned to my friend Staci that my sleep schedule was all messed up and she replied, "Do you HAVE a sleep schedule?" And she's right, I don't, but I have something that more closely resembles a sleep pattern when it gets dark earlier.

3. I want to use my oven more. I guess this technically goes along with the cooler temps, but I just want to make my menu for the week and not have to worry about it if a recipe uses the oven.

4. I love the smell of sharpened pencils. I do. I love everything about back-t0-school - the clothes shopping, the SHOE shopping, but most importantly, there are piles atop piles of shiny, new, pretty school supplies waiting to come live at my house. I love it. Ellen - are you with me??? I know you're a school supply junkie too!!!! Maybe we should form a club. Wait, I think we have that's a happy hour support group...because you should support your friends when they want to have happy hour.

5. My hair color can't take the chlorine anymore!!! My hair dude is ready for my color to last and frankly, so am I!!! I don't have major hair color...I'm blessed to have not found a grey hair yet (I'm sure I will now that I've said that), but getting your hair colored is expensive and I want it to last as long as it can. Plus the chlorine makes my hair feel odd.

6. I read more during the school year. I don't know why this is and it's not like we don't read at ALL during the summer....just not as much. And for the record, the weeone and I are reading the first Harry Potter together right now...totally cool and fun thing to read with a 7 year old!!!

7. Friday Night Happy Hours. For the past 5 years or so my house has played host to more Friday evening happy hours than I can count. It's a family affair - bring a snack, I have hotdogs or something similar for the kids and we all just hang out and let the kids run until the collapse. The kids love it. The adults love it. I am ready for it....but again, it all comes down to needing cooler temperatures. I love every minute of these Friday nights and I'm already counting down to the first'll be in September - I'll keep you posted in case you'd like to come!

8. I don't like sunscreen. Yes, yes, yes, I know that you should wear sunscreen year round and I do put it on my face every day, but I'm ready to be done with the cans of sport sunscreen spray and the sticky, icky face sticks and the whining of the weeone wanting it to be dry when she's just had it sprayed.

9. Television. Yep, I said it. You can all spear me now and tell me about all the fascinating things I could be doing while I'm wasting my brain on the drivel that is television. I don't care. I like it. I even like a few of those really guilty pleasure reality shows. And everyone knows that when the Fall TV schedules is good. Can.Hardly.Wait. (As a secondary to this reason....I also get the great joy of watching football, love, love it!)

10. I am a nerd. At heart, I am a geek. A total dweeb at the core, I love everything about school. So since I'm not in school, I live vicariously through the weeone. Oh, I'm sure there will posts in the fall where I complain to you about homework, but for months I'll adore it. I'll love watching the weeone figure it out, be creative, and be proud of herself when she feels she's succeeded. Yippee for school!!!!

There are 26 days until school starts....and then just around the corner will come Fall, that time of year that I miss during the other three seasons....I can't wait!

Nothing like hot soup in the heat....

I know, I know...I live in Houston and it's summer and it's like a bajillion degrees outside, but I just can't help it. I love soup. And, frankly, I don't care what time of year it is...I'll eat it anytime! Fortunately, I'm passing on this little freakiness to the weeone.

Last night I wanted to make a corn chowder that I found on my friend, Joe's blog - Culinary in the Desert, but I didn't have any potatoes so I had to come up with something else. The weeone with soup already in mind, suggested Tortilla Soup. It's her fave - but I wanted something with shrimp....the result? Tortilla Soup - Cabo Style! =)

It was quick, easy, made with things I had on hand and totally tasty! I hightly recommend you break the rules and make some immediately - no matter how hot it is at your house!

Tortilla Soup - Cabo Style
brought to you by Terri the crazy soup-in-the-summer lady

16 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined then sauteed any way you like
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder ( use more if you don't have weeone you have to curb the spices for)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
32 ounces stock - chicken or vegetable ( I used chicked this time )
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
tortilla chips
grated cheddar or monterrey cheese
sour cream

Saute the shrimp in whatever seasonings you'd like then set aside. In a heated soup pot, add the olive then the onions. Saute until they're transluscent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes being sure not to burn the garlic. Add all the spices then the cilantro and mix thoroughly. Pour in the diced tomatoes and the stock (also had diced jalapenos here if you like things spicy). Let the soup come to a boil, then turn to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes. When the spices are well blended and the taste is making your tongue happy, add the corn and black beans to heat through. Just before serving, add the shrimp. Served with tortilla chips to crush into the soup and top with grated cheese and sour cream. Yum.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just who are they talking to???

During the summer, the weeone tends to watch more television than normal. Go ahead, call me a bad mom. I've braced for it. It's okay. I'm here to take your wrath. I let my 7 year old sit on a comfy couch, completely zoned out and watch True Jackson, VP or The Suite Life or Endurance. I should be hung by my toenails! =)

So, in the course of all of this evil tv-watching, she also watches a lot of commercials. I expect to hear about the kids' toys. For example, last fall just before Christmas she would run from the room, completely excited and breathless to tell me all about Bend-a-roos and how if we would just "act now" we could get the supersized set! Sometimes she tells me I need those bra strap adjusters that she sees on the commercials on tv.

But the past few weeks have really put the cherry on top of the sundae in terms of how kids are influenced by commercials on tv. You see, the weeone has been tossing out a new phrase as of late. Perhaps you've heard it? "Power to the people!!!" I couldn't for the life of me figure out where she heard it. But then I was watching tv last week - live tv - a novel thing since the beginning of DVRs. But I digress...

Have you seen any Progressive Insurance tv ads lately? Power to the People!!! Congratulations Progressive, you have managed to influence a 7 year old who does not have the ability to buy your services. I suppose those are advertising dollars well spent. =)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

1+1 = Way more than 2!!!

So, what I've learned this week is that although having my nephew in town for a visit is a blast, 1 kid + 1 kid = a lot more than 2. The sound level is more than twice as high, the energy level is more than twice as high and the fun is more than twice as high!

Here are some fun photos from the week so far...tomorrow we'll hit Schlitterbahn in Galveston - should add to the fun-o-meter!

By the way, cuteness apparently runs in our family...these kids are downright loveable!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey Cuz....glad to see you!

The weeone has one of her cousins in town. AJ is my brother's youngest son. He arrived this afternoon and all the weeone has done since he got to our fair town is laugh. It's going to be a GREAT week! (forgive the iPhone high-quality photograph please!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fast Food, Schmast Food....

Fast food is popular because it's easy, right? I know that is the sole reason for it when we hit a drive thru. Okay, okay - not the sole reason - I sometimes just really crave a good McD's french fry. Admit do too!!! food is easy. I've been on a quest for a few months now to cook at home more and I think I've finally figured out how to have "Fast Food" at home - and I'm not talking about chicken nuggets and onion rings, just the fast part. The key to easy and quick meals is a well stocked pantry. If I have all the staples on hand, there are a ton of recipes that can be made with a little digging through my freezer for the right proteins or my regular and rotating fresh veggies in the crisper.

It's a matter of cooking for a while and determining what the "staples" are for and your family. Do you eat a lot of shrimp? Keep it on hand in the freezer. Your kids love broccoli? Put it on the grocery list every week (and kuddos to those great kids - wanna swap? I kid, I kid). Love Asian food? Soy, teryaki and hoisin should be staples you keep on hand. Get the idea? It seems simple enough, but I wonder how many people really practice it?

So, here's an example of a meal that I made a few days ago. It took less time to make this from start to finish than it would have to order a pizza or go pick up food somewhere, and it was definitely tastier! I didn't have ground pork on hand on this particular day, but ground beef was a great substitute. Also, be forwarned that if you don't like spicy, cut back on the crushed red pepper as this one packed quite a kick!

Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork
Cooking Light, April 2006

4 servings (serving size: 1 cup pork mixture and 1/2 cup rice)

  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups hot cooked white rice

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.

Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I have funny friends...

It's true. Take my friend, Staci. She is SO funny that she felt I was worthy of an entire blogpost. Dying to know what I'm really like? You can read what Staci thinks - She's at 3 Monkeys Jumping. Go show her some blog love, will ya'?

And for the record....I am NOT like an old blanket. =)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'd love you to love me...

...feelin' all alone without a friend you know you'd feel like dyin'.....I love love love old Cheap Trick. I woke up this morning with it in my head for some reason. Can't shake it now and don't really want to. But it's made me think of things I love, that I wouldn't want to get rid here goes -

The weeone, of course. But let's just be clear now, I'm talking about THINGs, not people...the list of people I love would fill many a blog post....of course the list of things might be long as well....

Starbucks Iced Tea Lemonade with Passion Tea, unsweetened please! I used to be a Chai Tea Latte Girl, but then I gave up dairy and they're just not the same with soymilk. So, this has become my new SB them!

My razor, yes, my razor. After I found the Schick Intuition razor, nicks and razor burn were a thing of the past. I love it.

Revlon lip gloss. I'm not a lipstick girl. I'm a gloss girl and this gloss is boss! I have it in about a gazillion different colors and I love them all...except 1, but I can never remember which one I don't like and then I put it on and think, "Why haven't I thrown that one out?" as I put it back into the drawer!

I also love Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation...minimal coverage and soft and light. It's perfect for my world and has it's own built in brush. That's a makeup that knows that my bathroom drawer is where makeup brushes go to die!

My Vera Bradley Clutch Wallet. I was never a "Vera Bradley" fan. I was sort of apathetic to the VB way of life. But my friend Staci got a this wallet in a different fabric last year and I knew it was a great wallet. Setup perfectly for my world, this wallet had to be mine! And now that I've had it for a while - I LOVE it!!!

My iPhone. My friends and family would tell you that I am in a close and intense relationship with my phone. They would be right. I love this phone more than any phone I've ever had and that's saying something because back in the day? I loved my big old brick phone!

My Tiffany & Co. Elsa Perreti Small Cross Necklace - this was a birthday gift from my parents this past year. I've never owned anything from Tiffany & Co. - it wasn't that important to me, but I love love love this cross!

I'm sure there are lots of other things that I love, but those are a few....and they're not kitchen related....aren't you proud of me. One whole post that has nothing to do with food!

Okay, so I'm dying to hear what things you LOVE and can't live without!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On a night when I don't want to cook...

...I often still do! Sunday evening the weeone had returned from a weekend of fun with her dad and she'd already eaten dinner. Often times, the nights I have to fend for just myself end up with me driving through a fast food retaurant or eating some other junk out of my fridge or my cabinets. I know, I know....Sarah G. (my dietician) would die! But, it's the sad truth. You do that too, right? =)

Well, Sunday I didn't want to leave the house and there was nothing quick, easy and completely void of nutritional value available for me to stuff my face! The result? I started going through the house looking for something to cook up easily and quickly that would put a smile on my face. The sight of a frozen bag of already peeled and deveined shrimp got my brain moving a bit.

I love a white wine butter sauce...who doesn't!!! So, I thought I'd take some of my Earth Balance butter-ish non-butter and try to create one. There was zucchini in the crisper and it never takes convincing to get me to add zucchini to anything, so I pulled that out as well and then put a pot of water on to boil for pasta. 10-15 minutes later.... Shrimp and Zucchini Pasta! I really liked this (so did the weeone who kept coming and stealing my shrimp - crazy little girl!).

Shrimp and Zucchini Pasta

  • ¼ cups Butter
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Favorite Vegetable Seasoning ( I Used Penzey's Foxpoint Blend)
  • 1 pound Shrimp
  • 1 whole Zucchini, Diced ( You Can Add More!)
  • 8 ounces Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta

1. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Once melted add the white wine and garlic, stirring to incorporate well. Let the mixture come to a boil for a minute.

2. Boil water for the pasta and cook as directed on the package.

3. Remove a 1/4 cup of the wine/butter mixture and in a small bowl combine it with the tablespoon of flour. Mix until you have a good slurry and add back into the pan to thicken the sauce.

4. Add the seasonings, shrimp and zucchini to the sauce and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

5. Serve the shrimp and zucchini with sauce over the pasta.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer homecookin' on a plate!

Hey Look! It's a 2 Post Tuesday!

In my kitchen nothing says summer like corn on the cob. It's a love that I seem to have passed on to my daughter as well. And now that she has her 2 front teeth again she's game to eat it! As soon as summer corn hits the produce section we start eating it on a ridiculously regular basis. Yellow and crisp and sweet - it's just a little party in your mouth. I had some in the fridge, prime for shucking and cooking and ready to eat. But...what to have along with it? How about some good down home cooked food...something like.....meatloaf!

Now, I cheat a bit on meatloaf. A few years ago I found a meatloaf seasoning mix that makes meatloaf simple, mindless and quite tasty. It's the Old Fashioned Meatloaf Mix from Homemade Gourmet. I follow their directions, subbing barbecue sauce in place of ketchup. My other meatloaf secret? Yes, I have more than one meatloaf confession for you, is that I make my meatloaf in a muffin pan. Why, you may ask? Well, it's already perfectly portioned and makes it so much easier to save the leftovers for later meals!

The last addition to this dinner is a fave of the weeone - smashed potatoes. I take the little itty bitty red potatoes, wash them, boil them whole then slightly smash them on a flat stone, add some butter and garlic and toss them under the broiler for about 5 minutes or so. yum.

So, no real recipe...but a great meal!

Summer...she's having a blast!

Summer is a time of year that we LOVE in this house. The rush, rush, race pace of the school year comes to a grinding halt and a little more fun comes into our lives. Maybe it's the evenings at the pool, maybe it's the lack of homework, maybe it's the later bedtimes, but whatever it is - I like it!

The weeone has been spending her summer days at a GREAT activities Day Camp here in Houston called Kids Fun Camp. This is her 3rd summer there and she loves it. They go nonstop all summer long. The highlights this week on the schedule??? Dance Dance Revolution, Swimming, Mechanical Bull-Riding (yes, it's true!), Cotton Candy, Inflatable Water Slides and Swimming. I sort of wish I could go to Kids Fun Camp instead of work!!! KFC is where we met my awesome, wonderful, loveable babysitter, Melissa. She's a counselor at the camp and was with the group the weeone was in the 1st year. They're not together anymore, but nothing can keep these two apart!

Here's Melissa with the weeone on a waterslide day at camp this year. These 2 are like 2 peas in a pod. When they're together, it's best I just leave the house!

What else is great about summer? All those "it's a school night" rules get thrown out the window! For example, last Sunday evening the weeone and her friend, Little Mama (who you can find out more about on 3 Monkeys Jumping) decided they wanted to have a sleepover. Now, you've got to understand that Little Mama is a year younger than the weeone and we tried this about a year ago and around 9:30, Staci, Little Mama's mom, had to come retrieve her. This year the girls were certain it would be a success.

So, since it's summer....OF COURSE you can have a sleepover on a school night....there's no school!!!! It was a hit. Those of you who are on facebook helped me get through by enjoying a virtual glass of wine with me and laughing along!

Seriously, some of my fondest memories are of sleepovers as a kid. Night spent laughing, dancing and performing to our favorite albums, talking about our favorite things, talking about scary things. Sleepovers are what being a little girl is all about!!!

They watched High School Musical 2- with popcorn and everything -

We had some "spa treatments" with unlimited nail polish colors!

They refused to both look at the camera at the same time so I could capture this moment forever!

And my favorite part of the night happened around 9:10pm....silent, sleeping beauties.

Had they stayed up giggling any later, my glass of wine would have certainly turned into a bottle... =)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

She just needs to breathe.....

The weeone can't always breathe. She, like 8.9 million other children in the United States and 30.2 million children and adults, has asthma. She was diagnosed about 3 years ago when her pediatrician thought that her allergies bothered her often enough that I should take her to an allergist and have her screened for asthma. "Oh, heavens," I protested at the time, "she doesn't wheeze and rarely coughs and well, I talk about asthma ALL day long for work. I'd KNOW if she has asthma, and I'm certain that she doesn't!"

It's a good thing that I'm not the one responsible for diagnosing asthma in this country!

A trip to the allergist and a few lung flows later, I learned that I was wrong. My sweet, adorable, perfect little girl couldn't breathe the same way her friends could. I was stunned. I was amazed. But luckily, I was already educated about the disease. For example, I knew already that it wasn't a "harmless thing" that you grow out of. I knew that 3,000 people in the US die from asthma each year and a 1/3 of those have "mild asthma". I knew all of this because of my job, but I never expected work and home to collide in this manner.

You'll notice that not even asthma can keep her off a softball field!

The good news was and still is, that there are amazing treatment options these days for kids and adults alike with asthma. The weeone is followed carefully, takes maintenance medication every day to keep her lungs and airways open and going strong, and there's always a rescue canister of medication close by in case she every gets into a breathing emergency. She's in good shape.

I worry a little when she's not with me. If she's on a field trip or at camp or with someone who isn't me....what if? So, I've decided that I'm going to order her a medical alert bracelet. The good news about that? I found some CUTE ones!!! My next door neighbor's sister has a company that makes really great medical alert bracelets. Ones that you won't want to hide. Ones that are cool...even if you're 7. =) So, if you need a medical alert bracelet, check out Fiddledee-IDs. This is the one that the weeone wants -

I wanted to talk about this today really because there are a lot of misconceptions about this illness. If you have asthma, listen to your doctor, do what he/she tells you and take your medicine!!! If you have asthma you can do anything anyone else does - swim, play softball, and run faster than your mom....just ask the weeone.

For information on asthma or other pulmonary illnesses visit one of these websites-

Okay, now I PROMISE no more serious posts for a while...we'll be all back to cute kids stuff, frustrated mommy stuff and great food!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The latest cakes....

I have a side business as a cake decorator. Did you know that? I'm guessing since really only Staci and my Mom read this blog, that the two of you do know that (and yes, I know there are a few others of you out there!)! I thought I'd share a few of the latest cakes that I've done. I should mention that I haven't edited these photos yet to get rid of my breakfast room in the background, but you can still see the cakes. To see more photos of cakes I've done you can visit the Sugar High Cakes website although I have to admit I haven't updated that in about a month of Sundays. I guess it's time for some website updating soon!!!

For My Mother's Birthday

For the Middle McG Boy's Birthday

For a little one's 1st Birthday

For a 30something's Birthday who loves Twilight

For the weeone's softball team party

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What do you think?

Inquiring minds want to you like the new facelift of the blog?

Stuffed Hot and Yummy Goodness!

What's a cookout without a few good appetizers? Well, it's not nearly as good a cookout! Spicy is one of my all time favorite flavors. Is spicy a flavor? It is now! If it's a spicy food, I probably like. So it's only natural that would be a connoisseur of stuffed jalapenos. I've never been a fan of the ones only stuffed with cheeses, but cheese is a critical ingredient in the stuffing of peppers! I love when they're stuffed with some sort of meat or bread stuffing or something similar.

So early in the morning on the 4th of July, I had an idea - Stuffed Jalapenos, Poppers, whatever we call them these days!!! So, how to do it dairy-free so that I could enjoy them too? Dairy-free cream cheese. But I was crazy scared that tofu based cream cheese would be crazy gross, so mixing other flavors in was a must!

Here's what I had on hand -

So I sliced the jalapenos in half, scraped the seeds and ribs out using that handy dandy tool in the photo above. I think it's meant to destem strawberries and it's made by The Pampered Chef, but it's a great jalapeno pepper innard-cleaner!

I mixed the whole tub of fake cream cheese, 8 oz of lump crab meat, about 1 cup (although I didn't measure it) of plain unseasoned bread crumbs and about 2-3 tablespoons of Old Bay. I used this mixture to fill the pepper halves then baked them at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

And VOILA! They were great - fake cream cheese and all! I will make these again, that's for certain. Next time I may stuff the peppers whole from the tops and put them on the grill....wrapped in bacon, of course, because everything is better with bacon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Berry Sorbet...with a little somethin' somethin'

I've never been a big ice cream fan *gasp*. It's true. As a kid the frozen treat I went to first at Baskin-Robbins was either rainbow sherbet or daiquiri ice (which BR has done away with in recent years - shame on you BR!!!). I don't know what it is about ice cream versus a sherbet or an ice -ooooh....that just made me remember the Italian Water Ice that I also loved as a kid...I wonder where a Houston gal can't a bit of that!- but the cream is not my preference.

I suppose the fact that ice cream's not a big draw for me has been useful during my transition to dairy-free life (the why on that is explained in this post). But I do love a sweet frozen treat during the summer. And this summer in particular I've been craving the cold things. It's been blazingly hot in Houston this June. The temps are soaring to ridiculous numbers that have 3 digits and we're all resorting to anything cold to try to stay comfortable. I've been wondering if those water bras freeze well? It's a thought.

I knew it would be hot on the 4th of July and since I was not in control of the menu I offered to make a sorbet for one the desserts. Problem there? I have only made sorbet like once, ever. And it was no raving success to write home about. It was average. It was okay. But it wasn't great. I wanted something yuuuuuummy and perfect if I was taking it to a cookout!!! So, where did I turn? My trusty friends over on the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards. Those folks are a wealth of great information and recipes (as well as all sorts of advice if you're having trouble with your mother-in-law or your nosey neighbor or what sort of digital slr camera you should buy or....okay let's just say Lots of Things!).

The CLBB crowd rallied with my cry for help with non-dairy frozen treats. I was amazed at the options. But I settled on a couple that I would try. The first of which is a Berry Sorbet( with a little somethin' somethin' )- thanks sneezles for the recipe! This was super easy to make. It came together quickly and froze really nicely. It was pretty in the dish (soooo important!) and it tasted really good. Overall, this was a success! I would have liked a little more of the somethin' somethin', so I might increase it the next time I make it and see if it freezes the same because it had a GREAT texture that I wouldn't want to ruin.

So if you're in the mood for something cold and something with a little zing and something to lift your mood, go find yourself some Berries and bottle of Grey Goose and make yourself a treat...and then invite me over!

It is not the Sorbet's fault that this is a poor photo....please don't hold it against the sorbet!

Berry Sorbet
(with a little somethin' somethin')
compliments of sneezles on the CLBB

5 cup raspberries or strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/3 cup fresh lime juice divided
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Chambord (raspberry-flavored liqueur) or Kirsch

Place berries in a blender; process until smooth. Press blackberry puree through a sieve into a medium bowl; discard seeds. Add sugar, syrup, lime juice, 1/4 cup vodka, lemon juice and liqueur to black berry puree; stir well.

Pour berry mixture into the freezer can of an ice cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze until firm.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm a Yankee-Doodle-Dandy...

I love the 4th of July. There are three main reasons I love the 4th of July and I got to experience all of them again this year.

#1 - I adore deviled eggs - everything about them; the making, the eating and the eating. Did I say that twice? Well, yeah, I meant it. They're good. No doubt about it.

This year the weeone lent a hand in the deviled egg-making. She helped peel the eggs after they were cooked and she did some mixing while making the devilish parts. It was fun. We had a great time in the kitchen.

My secrets to great deviled eggs? No recipe. It's true. This is one thing that doesn't need a recipe - it's an eyeballin' thang. To the egg yolks I add: Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard, Dill Relish, and Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning. I also sprinkle some of that Tony's on top when they're done. It adds a nice little kick that I love! Of course, the love of the weeone is sprinkled in as well to make your day all sunshine and lollipops-like. =)

#2 - I think my dad is a great grillmaster. He did a great job as always. This year it was burgers and dogs, accompanied by Tutu's great bbq'd beans, my mom's broccoli salad...yummy!

#3 - I love setting off fireworks. It's true. I suppose I'm a bit of a closet pyromaniac. I love the bright lights, the load noises, the element of surprise - all of it. As it turns out, the weeone has inherited this trait (to be fair, her father is like that too!) so we had WAY too much fun in the Fireworks Warehouse! I could have bought them out.

My pyrotechnic handiwork...

I hope you all had a very safe and very happy and very explosive 4th of July!!!!