Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Suppose I Just Have to Accept It

Summer is gone. Today is Halloween. I can no longer pretend that winter is isn't on it's way. Most of the leaves have left the trees and the possibility of 60 degree weather is behind us. Coming are the days of blowing snow, icy roads and frigid temps.

I'm mourning summer today. I've been in denial long enough.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finding Focus

I love music. I think everyone loves music, so that is no profound thing to say. Since I was in seventh or eight grade, my favorite band has been a-ha. Yes, the group who sang "Take On Me". Did you know that is not the only thing they have done? They have had a long career with several hits in Europe and other parts of the world. If you happen to read my blog and you aren't from the USA, you might even know that already.

They have put out 13 CDs/Albums over their career. On top of that they have done other things. Morten Harket has put out several great solo recordings along with doing humanitarian work. Magne F has a great solo career as well as being an amazing artist. Paul Waakaatar-Savoy and his wife Lauren have their own band, Savoy. They have done a lot over the last 30 years.

Remember what they looked like in the mid 1980's?

And here they are now:
Still look like they are enjoying themselves, don't they? I know I have enjoyed their music over the years.

So what does this have to do with finding focus you ask? I'll tell you. It has to do with the announcement that they are planning a farewell tour and that at the end of 2010 they will no longer be a-ha collectively. I'm over my sadness for the moment and am just hoping that they will continue to do things as individuals.

Recently it was announced that they plan to take their tour to North America for two weeks in May. Since they have only come to the USA once in my adult life, I've never had the chance to see them in concert. My loving husband, who has seen his favorite band (Rush) in concert numerous times, has promised that he will take me to see them next spring.

Still wondering what has to do with finding focus? I'm almost there. I told my husband that I plan to act like a drooling teenage girl at the concert. He's fine with that. About two days after I told him that, I realized that I'm not a teenage girl. I haven't been for a very long time. Not only am I not a teenage girl, I'm a good 100 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenage girl. While I don't see me loosing 100 pounds, I do see myself loosing the vast majority of that 100 pounds before May. I don't want to act like a teenage girl AND be this fat.

I've been trying to find my motivation for a long time now. Being a mom of three with a growing hobby farm wears a person out and makes it really hard to focus on myself at all. I'm just plain TIRED all the time. However, just the idea of seeing a-ha live has me excited and I'm keeping that as my focus. I want to feel thin and pretty again when I go to this concert. For the foreseeable future, I will have my iPod loaded with nothing but a-ha songs. I will be subjecting my children to a-ha whenever they ride in the car, and I will be watching many You Tube videos.

I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hello readers! Here it is, the fourth Saturday of October. Yes, it's two weeks later than we had originally planned to post our Food Networkers recipes. As it turns out, four new recipes in two weeks was a bit too much for us and we have changed it to a once a month thing. The fourth Saturday of every month is when we will be posting our recipes.

Clorie chose our recipes this month. The recipes were from Rachel Ray. I always have mixed results with Rachel Ray recipes. But I always love them because they are never exact. I love to experiment in the kitchen and change around the flavors. That makes her recipes perfect for trying again and again.

Appetizer: Monster Snack: Open-Faced Calzone with Spinach and ArtichokeThis recipe was very easy to make and is a great starting point for future meals in our family. I didn't care for the combination of ingredients. I would have liked more sauce and different toppings. That being said, I did enjoy it. The rest of the family hated it. It's not the most kid friendly of flavors. I will let this be the inspiration for the future. I'm thinking it would be really good with an alfredo sauce, replace the spinach and artichokes with caramelized onions and add chopped leftover beef roast. Also, less ricotta cheese.

Main Course: Stretch a Buck Turkey and Bean Burrito Burgers
This was a great burger. The only problem I had was the beans not wanting to stay in the mix while forming the patties. I think I would slightly mash the beans in the future. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing. And the Guac. Mayo is TO-DIE-FOR. I could have eaten that with a spoon. If you tell anyone that I licked the bowl, I'll deny it.

Side Dish: Crispy Mashed Potato CakesI have never had much luck with potato cakes. They just don't like to stay together for me. I was expecting the same with these. I was pleasantly surprised when they not only stayed together, but came out somewhat crispy for me. They were very good. However, in the future I don't think I would go through the trouble of making the potato cakes with them. I will just serve them as mashed potatoes. In fact, I will probably do that for Thanksgiving.

Dessert: Super Stuffed Baked Apples a la Mode
My husband works third shift. He asked me if I had a plan for "those mackintosh apples over there". I told him yes, that I was going to be making something with them that day. His response was "Cool!" and off to bed he went. When he woke up I told him that I made stuffed apples. This was met with a responsive "Oh, really? I was hoping for apple crisp." I refrained form beating him and told him to make sure to heat it before he ate it. I couldn't send the ice cream to work with him, so he had to eat it without. When he came home he said "That apple was amazing! Forget whatever I said when I woke up." He was also very sweet and extra loving to me. I guess the old saying is true, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. The kids and I loved this too and we did have the ice cream and redi whip on top. I did substitute cookies and cream ice cream because I didn't have the right kind on hand. But I don't think that mattered at all. It was the best apple dessert I have ever had. And I don't care for baked apples at all. This would work good with the apples cut up and the filling put on top as well. I might try that for Thanksgiving as well.

Steena is taking a break right now. But be sure to check out Laurie's blog and Clorie's blog for Their take on the recipes. And remember to come back in November to see what we make. All I'm saying is Paula Deen.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More POM Goodness

So I played around with the POM Wonderful some more. What fun! I just love it when I get to experiment in the kitchen with new flavors. (I have no idea why all my text is underlined. How odd.)

First up was the Pork Chops. I bought thin cut boneless center cut chops. They were seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. I fried them in just a bit of oil. Since they are so lean, I find I need that to keep them from sticking too much. When the chops were done, I added a pat of butter and some finely minced garlic to the pan. When the garlic was soft, I put about 6oz of the POM Wonderful in and let it reduce. It turned very dark, almost black, in color. The flavor was amazing. It had a slight tartness that added a new dimension to the pork chops. This is something I would make again and again.

Secondly are the cupcakes. I was really looking forward to this one. I love paring fruity flavors with chocolate. The cupcakes are just from a boxed devils food cake mix. (Eeek! How could I when I have such great from scratch recipes at my fingertips.) All I did for the frosting is use powdered sugar, salt vanilla and POM Wonderful. I just added the juice in until it was the consistency that I wanted. Again, the juice made it tart. But not unpleasantly so. It was actually very good. When paired with the rich chocolate of devils food cake, it was wonderful. Jade has even asked to have this frosting on her birthday cake in December.
So there you have it. Two more recipes with POM Wonderful. Next up will be the roast. I'm really looking forward to that.

Friday, October 9, 2009

POM is Wonderful

A couple weeks a go I got an email from someone named Kristen at POM Wonderful. The email said she had come across my blog and wondered if I might be interested in trying some of their product. Once I was pretty sure it wasn't a scam, I emailed back and said I would love to try it. I mean really, who doesn't want FREE stuff. And I know I love pomegranates, so I was pretty sure I would like the juice.

Well, it got here and I was sooo excited. Unfortunately, life got super busy and I didn't have time to do anything with it. I have wanted to use it in some recipes. Sure, I drank a couple bottles of it. It tastes great. It's sort of like a rich red wine, without the alcohol.

The other night, I decided a cocktail was in order. So I got out a champagne glass (because they look pretty) and put some POM Wonderful and vodka in it. It was good, but since the POM is rather tart, it was not as palatable as I had hoped. Add in a little sure and BAM it was GREAT. It was a simple, tasty cocktail that was perfect for sipping. One was plenty and it lasted me a good hour without feeling like I had too much or too little.

Once a gain I have misplaced my camera, so I had to use my phone. But here is a picture of the drink in question.

I have a few other things I am hoping to try with this juice. As I said, it has a flavor that reminds me of a rich red wine. I will be trying in the crock pot with a beef roast. After that, I plan to fry pork chops and use the POM to deglaze the pan making a sauce to put over the chops. The last plan I have (which I will really probably do first) is to make some rich chocolate cup cakes, then use the juice to make a powdered sugar frosting.

Oh, and I also am about 1/2 a cup short on the juice I need to make wild grape and autumn olive jelly. I think I may add some POM juice for that too. Who knows what else I may think up.

Anyone else have ideas? Maybe you'll suggest something that I'll try and blog about.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin