Wednesday, June 29, 2011


All of a sudden, I am so crushing on all things ORANGE.  These are a few of my favorite orange items that I have picked up recently:
  • Cocktails on the Beach lipgloss from Sephora
  • It Girl lipstick from Sephora
  • Big Hair Big Nails OPI polish
  • orange beaded bracelet
  • these cute sandals (such a bargain!)
  • a great statement necklace from Stein Mart
Notice these are all accessories, not actual orange clothing.  I am envisioning adding the perfect pop of orange  to my basic black, white, or even turquoise outfits.  Orange you glad I shared this with you?  SORRY, I had to throw that in!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Iced version

I recently touted my new addiction to iced coffee on Facebook.  I was pointed in the direction of this iced coffee concentrate.  I wasn't familiar with this method of making iced coffee so I gave it a try.  It was good, but to be honest, it wasn't any better than my usual, less time consuming method.  We always have leftover coffee from our morning brew and that's perfect for this since it's had all day to sit and cool.  If you don't have cool coffee available, you can use instant.  I tried it with Starbucks Via and it was tasty.  Whatever you do, just please don't try to make iced coffee with hot coffee.  You will end up with a weak, watered down wannabe.  I like to use a jar with a tight fitting lid so I  can shake all the ingredients together to get it icy cold and extra creamy.  I just fill my jar about half way up with ice then add coffee to fill the jar about 3/4 of the way up.  I splash in heavy cream, you can use milk if you want to, but I'm telling you, the cream is where it's at.  You really only need a tiny bit so it's not as sinful as it sounds.  I sweeten with vanilla stevia drops, but use your sweetener of choice.  I put the lid on my jar and shake, shake, shake it.  There really is something to that shaken, not stirred, thing. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pinnable Me

One of the blogs I follow was participating in this Pinnable Me Party over at Pawprints and Pastrybags. Since I am totally addicted to Pinterest, I thought I would join in! Here are a few of the things I've pinned this week:

I just had to pin this because it is so my husband.  Me? Not so much.  I just get right to the screaming part, just ask my kids!  I'm not proud, just honest.

Don't these look scrumptious?!  Kind of an updated version of my Mam-Ma's fresh green beans slathered in bacon grease.

Sweet Tea Vodka, the sugar free version! These will be making an appearance at the lake this very weekend.

Change that 30 to a 40 and I am set for cute gift giving!  Except, so far, 40 soooo DOESN'T suck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is 40 Fabulous?

If the year ahead is anything like my birthday week (yes, I have birthday weeks), then, yes, I'd say it is fabulous! From baubles to books and everything in between, I have been spoiled beyond belief.  All of the gifts I received, parties I've had, dinners that I've been treated to and cake that I've eaten (GOD, have I eaten some cake!!!) are amazing, but they pale in comparison to the friends and family that I am so blessed with.  Cliche'?  Maybe.  True? Absolutely!  I have always heard that 40 is fab, so here's to my best year yet!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Dad requested meatloaf for Father's Day.  I used Pioneer Woman's recipe for Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf.  The bacon added such great flavor, I think this may be my new go to recipe.  I mean, have you seen anything like this? Ever? 

Waiting for the brown sugar glaze

The recipe called for 2 pounds of meat, I used 3.  It also called for 6 slices of bread.  Me thinks that's too much bread for me.  I used 3 pieces and it was fine.  I also cut the eggs from 4 to 3 and added a finely chopped onion. I have used bread crumbs in the past, but this soaked bread method was great for keeping the meat moist (I'm sure the bacon fat didn't hurt either).   
The other thing I would do next time is to not put the glaze on until at least halfway through the cooking time.  See how the bacon on that little end piece is nice and crispy?  Well, the rest, not so much.  The bacon never got a chance to crisp up because of the glaze.  I do not like floppy bacon, so I basically had to take the bacon off and that left me with none of that yummy sauce on top.  The bacon still served it's purpose even though I didn't eat it because that meatloaf had some FLAVA! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dad's Day

Today may be Father's Day, but I feel like it's MY lucky day.  I am so fortunate to have my daddy! I've always been a bit of a daddy's girl, and the older I get, that just doesn't seem to change.  So, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there...ESPECIALLY MINE!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Unlikely Pair

These 2 ingredients may seem an unlikely pairing.  But, if you like chocolaty, fudgy goodness minus the guilt, this here is a match made in heaven.  Simply stir these 2 together and plop the thick batter into muffin tins.  I lined my tins with papers and sprayed them lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  The batter is super thick so I used an ice cream scoop to make it easier to fill the tins; a couple of spoons would work just as well. Bake these at 400 for 15-20 minutes.  I like these even better the next day.  I think this method would be great with other cake mix flavors too, carrot cake or spice cake might be next on my list.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Gone Fishin'

If you believe that title, you don't know me very well. 
However, I am off to the lake for some:
sun tannin'
boat ridin'
wine drinkin'
fingernail paintin'
girl talkin'
Good Times!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What i Want Wednesday

Popsicle molds,  people. Popsicles are where it's at.

Mojito Pops from Erin Cooks
Strawberry Banana Pop from Williams-Sonoma

Fresh Watermelon Popsicles from The Family Kitchen
How cute are these Confetti Pops?
You can make popsicles with or without molds, but how cute are these?

Orka Ice Pop Molds

For now, I'm getting real fancy and using little paper cups and craft sticks instead of buying molds. I'm thinking of experimenting with tea and coffee pops too...MMMMM!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Random Finds

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago I was in Bath and Body Works and spotted something random.  It's a platter that was on clearance for super cheap.  I'm not really sure why BBW had a platter in the first place, but it was cute and it was cheap so I bought it.  It's got strawberries and blueberries on it, so it's seasonal but I get plenty of use out of it all summer.  My favorite thing about  it is that it's a metal tray, which I love.  My mom and dad have the coolest metal tray that they always use when they grill.  Mine isn't nearly as cool as theirs but I do think that's why I like mine so much.  It triggers a little nostalgia in me when I use it. 
So this was a total random find that I didn't fall instantly in love with, but that I have come to feel kind of strongly about.  Did I just say that I feel strongly about a platter? Yes, I believe I did. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hot Legs

We really like buffalo wings over here, I only like the little drumette pieces though.  I like 'em naked (not breaded), hot, and extra crispy.  That naked and hot part sounds kind of kinky, huh? We've taken to making buffalo chicken legs, legs are so cheap and they are so much meatier than wings.

Hot Legs
1 bottle of Frank's Red Hot (the original, not the wing sauce)
1/4 c vinegar
cayenne pepper to taste

Pour half the bottle of Frank's, the vinegar and  cayenne pepper in a large Ziploc bag.  Add the chicken legs and marinate for at least a couple of hours.  I usually do overnight, the longer the better. 

Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the chicken legs out without them touching.  Bake at 450 for approximately 40 minutes or until meat easily separates from the bone, use tongs to flip legs occasionally.
Broil chicken legs briefly until skin browns and crisps slightly.

While legs are cooking, melt half stick of butter and add the other half the bottle of hot sauce.  When the  legs come out of the oven put them into this yummy hot sauce and butter bath.  Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing. 
Next time you are craving wings, skip the sports bar and get yourself in the kitchen.  These are so easy and so much better.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Let's Party

I love a good party; the food, the friends, the fun! My favorite party foods are the snacky type appetizers. I'm a salty, savory snack girl all the way. I thought I'd link up to Kelly's appetizer party and share one of my favorites. Mushrooms are iffy, I know, you either love 'em or hate 'em.  If you love 'em, try these. 
Stuffed Mushrooms
12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic (or more if you love garlic like I do)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

2.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool. If you're feeling fancy, deglaze the pan with a little white wine-this gives an amazing flavor!

3.When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

4.Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are piping hot.

These are divine and who doesn't love a stuffed retro chic, no? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. The hubs HATES mushrooms. That's ok because that just means MORE FOR ME!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer?

Well, it's finally here.  For us teachers, summer starts the day school is out.  We don't bother with such pesky things as the actual first day of summer. This is the first time in a few years that I haven't taught summer school.  I'm looking forward to the lazy days of summer.  However, in looking at my calendar I am fairly booked.  I am substituting for one week of summer school, joined a professional book club, agreed to attend a professional development day to hear the author of the book being read for said professional book club, doctors appointments, and teeth cleanings. I've got birthday bashes, lake dates, a girls trip to Dallas...yada, yada, yada! YIKES, I need to schedule some of those lazy days. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mam-ma's Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad, it doesn't even really sound that good does it?  Trust me on this one, there is something about the way all these ingredients work together that makes this salad sing. Once you pick up a head of cauliflower, chances are you will have everything else on hand.  Let's make it, shall we?
What you will need:
1 large head cauliflower
green olives, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
sharp cheddar cheese, cut into bite sized cubes
2-3 T of mayo
1/2 teaspoon each of:
garlic powder
onion powder
celery salt
seasoned salt

You will want to cut your cauliflower into little florets.  The easiest way to break down a head of cauliflower is to remove the leaves and cut the entire head down the middle, from top to bottom.  You will see the thick stem running through the middle of both halves; just cut around that, it's no bueno for this salad. 
You want your cauliflower to look something like this.
Add all the other ingredients and mix well.  It doesn't look like a lot of dressing, but the moisture from the veggies will release over time and you don't want to over dress the salad.  If you are traveling with the salad, I suggest leaving it like the picture below and mixing it up about an hour or so before serving. 

This is great as a side dish or even as a light lunch for summer days.  So, if you're like me and are laying off the carbs as of late, use this as a pasta salad substitute. It might just become a new summer favorite!