Friday, July 27, 2012

In the Name of Fashion

Love during initial sight
image credit

While I'm not a makeup snob, I am particular about a few products, brands I've come to love over the years.  The trouble is, our smallish city doesn't carry the brands I've come to love and I just don't think I'm ready to find replacements.  I don't like a lot of change so sticking with what I love and know comes naturally to me even if it means me hopping on the web and making an online purchase (which I'm not comfortable with.)
image credit

Maybe you've experienced this with some product...doesn't have to be makeup; you love it, but can't find it anywhere.  Of course, the internet has solved so much of this for us, mostly, but every once in awhile you come across those shady sites.
No, not shady sites!
image source

This particular product, an eyebrow pencil of all things, is no longer made so most companies have only a few unpopular shades left in stock, save one company that had what I was searching for in just my shade!  Oh, happy day!
Doing the Happy Dance

Except the little package never arrived.
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I waited a month.  I called.  A girl answered from what sounded like her home, well, at least with no professionalism to her response.  I told her my problem...order never arrived.  She asked me my name and number, no order number to reference, no inquiry as to what product(s) I'd ordered.  She hung up.  I waited three days for a call (I know, I'm nice) which I never received.  I called my credit card company and explained and told them I had an emailed receipt that referenced no tracking number.  I've had this card for a decade and never had an issue like this.  They reversed the charge right away.  
I felt better, but that company is still on the internet highway.  It seemed like a legit company. Maybe my order just got lost, maybe not.  I'll likely never know, but I do know I'll never purchase from them again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Girls, Family and Feathered Alike

Did Bitsy lay a super, blue egg?  Nope, it's just Bebe's bouncy ball. ; )
After a lull in egg laying, (hey, who wants to lay in 103 degree heat?) sweet Ruby has begun laying.  Yea!
Bebe thought Shelby might enjoy some music from her bubble machine.  Shelby's curiosity won.  We've been enjoying our girls.  What have you been enjoying, lately?

Monday, July 23, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites

Forever searching for snack ideas for the fam, I stumbled across this recipe and was instantly attracted.  Simple ingredients, no prepackaging mystery ingredients, easy, and did I say easy?

This recipe is from Smashed Peas and Carrots blog.

No-Bake Energy Bites

(makes 18-20 bites)

1 cup oatmeal (I used old fashioned oats)
1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes (I used unsweetened shredded coconut and the bites were still perfectly sweet)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Be sure to check out other recipes by Maggie on her blog and thank her for sharing this recipe if you enjoy them as much as we do. : )

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cilantro Lime Sauce for Shrimp or Fish Tacos

The other night we made shrimp tacos.  The shrimp were local and plump and screaming to be turned into tacos.  Yes, the really screamed that to me.  "Turn me into Tacos, Tawanda!" they said.  I don't know why the shrimp call me Tawanda, but I kinda liked it. ; )

I blackened a pound of shrimp and heated corn tortillas in our cast iron skillet.  We shredded a little bit of fresh cabbage and diced our homegrown tomatoes to top the tacos.  We used the cilantro lime sauce as the base to build on, as you can see in the image.  Black beans and yellow rice accompanied these tasty tacos.

Cilantro Lime Sauce
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
a pinch of red pepper
Kosher salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and serve.

It's that simple, folks.  This sauce was a change from our usual shrimp tacos and really added a nice fresh zing.  I hope you give it a try the next time you make shrimp tacos...would be equally good on fish tacos, I do believe.

Take care, y'all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

Every once in awhile new social media crops up and I jump on the band wagon (hello Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr, and Pintrest).  Inevitably I grow bored, quickly (goodbye Myspace and Tumblr, you are not missed, and FB you are on a fast track to getting the boot).  These outlets really don't do much for me, but Pintrest has become a right-handy tool.  I pin recipes often, and I make them!  GASP!!!  I know you wouldn't know it by my lack of blogging, lately (blame that on taking two classes this summer), but you have to believe me.

Here's proof.  I pinned this yummy recipe for salmon from How Sweet It Is blog, and truly, it is sooo sweet.  Just look up at that gorgeous piece of fish.  Thank you, Hubby, for grilling it to perfection and thank you, Jessica, for sharing the recipe on your blog.

Here's Jessica's recipe, please click on this link to check out her beautiful pics.

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon, serves 2-4
1 1/2 pounds raw salmon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (I used ginger powder since that's what I had on hand)
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. (Here we decided to grill the fish after it marinated.)
In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler in your oven. (Or preheat your grill, etc if you prefer to use something else.)
Remove salmon with kitchen tongs and place directly on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness (our’s was just about an inch thick), until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.
Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, green onions and the glaze below.
 Sesame Ginger Honey Glaze
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.
How awesome is that?  This was a simple, healthy recipe that I know we will make again.  We ALL loved it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Daughter...

Wants me to order her the Brazilian Butt Videos.  She's 13.  Lord, help me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

We are in a homegrown tomato overload situation, here...not complaining.  I love our tomatoes.  This year a Brandywine Heirloom tomato plant has been the star producer.  It's loaded and shows no signs of ceasing, even in our triple digit heat.  Our parsley is still hanging on, too.

With our bounty we created this salad to accompany our dinner, the other night.

Here's what you will need to put this fresh and healthy salad together.

Tomatoes, as many as you see fit to serve your family (I used between 8-10 smallish tomatoes), seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped in large chunks
a handful of fresh parsley, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
6 pats of soft goat cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
2 to 3 lugs olive oil, I use extra virgin

Combine all ingredients up to oil.  Drizzle olive oil over the salad and toss to coat.  You may add green onion and/or Kalamata olives; if you have them, each would be a nice addition.

Sharing on  Foodie Friday  at Rattlebridge Farm.  Be sure to check out all the other great recipes shared their.

Also sharing @  Ms. enPlace  and @ Southern Sundays at A Slice of Southern Blog.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Smothered Pork Chops

4 center-cut thick pork chops (bone-in optional)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 medium sweet onion, cut in half and thin into strips
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups beef broth
1 packet brown gravy mix

Heat oil in skillet.  In a large Zip-loc bag, add flour, salt, and pepper], seal and shake to combine.  Add pork chops to bag, one at a time, to coat and place each in the hot oil.  Sear for a minute or two on each side.  This isn't cooking through, just getting color on the chops.

Chop onion and place in the bottom of a crockpot.  Place browned pork chops onto bed of onions.  Pour can of Cream of Mushroom soup on top of chops.  I smeared the soup around with a spoon.  In a small mixing bowl, combine gravy mix and broth, then pour the 2 cups of broth mixture on top of the soup covered pork chops.  Close the lid and cook on high for three hours.  **If you buy thin cut pork chops, you may reduce the cooking time in half. 

The onions and pork chops should be very tender.  We served our smothered pork chops over white rice and had pea salad and skillet corn on the side.

This recipe was adapted from Paula Deen's Old Fashioned Smothered Pork Chops.

Peach Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Mrs. Crocker, you've done it again.  I'm in supreme bliss due in part to this Betty Crocker recipe I found online.    I'd purchased blueberries from my local grocery at a bargain and I was given two buckets of peaches that came from my Mom's trees; lucky me!  I thought for days about what to do with my bounty, jams or jellies, cobblers, crisps or crumbles?

While I sat, undecided, my peaches were ripening.  I admit, I almost waited too long.  Then I found this link for freezing fresh peaches, which is what I did, and bought myself more decision making time.

Alas, the skies parted (literally) and the rain came down...and I found myself in the mood for comfort food.  What's more comforting than an upside down cake?

So here we go-

2 Tbsp. Butter (I used unsalted butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. orange peel (I skipped this ingredient)
2 cups frozen peach slices, thawed and patted dry
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

1 cup All Purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites or 1/3 cup egg whites from a  carton
2 Tbsp. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup skim milk

1/2 cup whipped topping (the recipe calls for frozen, but I make mine from freshly whipped heavy cream sweetened with powdered sugar)

  • 1Heat oven to 350°F. Place 2 tablespoons butter in 9-inch round cake pan; heat in oven until butter is melted. Sprinkle brown sugar and orange peel over melted butter. Arrange peaches over top; sprinkle with blueberries.
  • 2In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • 3In medium bowl, beat 3 tablespoons butter and the granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg whites, applesauce and vanilla until smooth. Alternately add flour mixture and milk in 2 additions. Spoon batter over fruit mixture in pan; spread evenly.
  • 4Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Turn cake upside down onto heatproof serving plate. Serve warm with whipped topping.
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

As you can see from my image, the cake doesn't rise much, but the taste is nice.  I may have to play with the recipe a bit further...possibly substitute the cake recipe I use for Pineapple Upside Down Cake which rises nicely.

Sharing at  Ms. enPlace  & at A Slice of Southern's Southern Sundays