Sunday, January 31, 2010

Things I love - the 2nd Edition

So, there are soooo many things that I truly love, aside from friends and family and I really like to share, so here you go - another 10 things that I truly love! You can see a few things I listed last summer at THIS post. ( I should say that I do NOT get free products or payment from anyone, this is really just a list of things that I'm lovin' in life right now and want to share!)

1. Boots Hand Cream - Apparently it's a UK thing. I was introduced by my friend Rhiannon and now I think I have to keep a tube with me at ALL times! You can find it at Target and it's inexpensive, smells divine and feels amazing!

2. Aquaphor Ointment - I discovered this after my last foot surgery. It was an amazing moisturizer for skin that had lived in a cast for far too long. I still use it on my feet with socks at night to keep a pedicured foot nice and smooth and I was just given the tip the other day to use it in place of chapstick or carmex for smooth and supple lips as well! This one you can find at any drugstore.

3. Sweatshirt Blanket - Now, the picture is not the one I have, but I love, love, love a sweatshirt blanket and suggest you RUN to get yourself one. the one I have was a promotional giveaway for a product that I sell, so I'm not sure where you can get them, but they're so comfy and cozy and perfect for curling up on the couch. Search your heart and soul out for this - it'll be worth it, I promise!

4. Water Mix-ins - I hated drinking water and I'm trying so hard to get more into me each day. I used to think these flavor packets were a pretty stupid idea and then I started using them. I have to say that I use about 1/2 the amount they say to use per bottle of water and that's plenty of flavor for me, but they truly help me get all the water down each day. And yes, I know that I'm slow and the rest of America was already in love with these! =)

5. Huggable Hangers- What's not to love about this hanger? It's covered in velvet so even a spaghetti strap top will not slide off. It's thin and I SWEAR makes your closet bigger. You can buy clips to turn any of them into a skirt hanger. They're really lightweight but have no problem with a heavy winter coat. I'm a complete convert and love, love, love these hangers! You can buy these at Target or at the Container Store as well as many places online.

6. Tazo Chai Concentrate - Okay, I have NOT, repeat NOT abandoned Starbucks. However, every now and then I like to make a Chai Latte at home and this Tazo Chai Concentrate makes it a snap and sooooo close to a Starbucks one that I am rendered speechless and happy. I buy it at the super cool HEB that is not near my house, but I venture out to from time to time.

7. Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara - Oh My Goodness!!! I really can have full eyelashes with the help of this Mascara. It does clump a little, so you have to be careful putting it on, but OH MY, it's worth the effort because the results are divine! I buy it at Target, like most things I own!

8. Grocery IQ App for iPhone or iTouch - So it's the app I probably use the most of everything I have (other than twitterific!). This is the grocery list app to beat all grocery list apps. It let's you have lists for different stores ( I have grocery, Target, penzey's and Spec's on mine!). It categorizes your list by aisles and lets you organize the aisles in the order they are in the store YOU shop in! Makes a grocery trip easy-peasy! Find it in the app store for $0.99 - best buck you'll spend this year!

9.'s Kindle 2 - I know it was one of the hottest gifts for Christmas this year. It's got some more competition now, with the Barnes and Noble Nook, but I still love, love, love my Kindle. I got it last summer and find that I read more. I read faster. I enjoy reading more (if that's even possible!). Download the Classics for free. Download a newly released best seller for about $9.99 or download a book that's been around for a while even less. It's my friend. It goes with me everywhere. It also communicate with Kindle software on your iPhone or Computer to keep your last read location in a book up to date! Buy it from

10. iSymphony Wireless Micro Speaker System with built-in iPod Dock - I bought this for myself at Costco, but it's available on as well. It's a little stereo that has an iPod dock, slot for cds as well as usb connection and sd card slots. The speakers are wireless - that's the best part, so you can easily move them based on what you're doing. It comes with 2 speakers but you can buy additional pairs of speakers and one system can have up to 20 speakers connected to it. For someone like me that doesn't like to run wires and figure all that out - it's perfect. Plus, it sounds great!!!

So, there you have it. There are about 10 other things that I'm loving right now, but I'll save those for another time...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Feeling Crabby?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I've never met a crustacean that I didn't love. Lobster, shrimp, crab, clams, name it, and I'll eat it! Crab, however, is probably my favorite of all the crustaceans.

Growing up, I remember spending weekends at my Aunt and Uncle's house in Maryland and having Crab Feasts! We'd sit around in the sun all day eating bushels of crabs - going between the tables of food and the swimming pool in my childhood version of heaven!

So, crab is a delight that I adore. I don't cook with crab particularly often at home, mainly because it can be pricey, but when I find lump crabmeat on sale, I jump at the chance to spend some quality time in the kitchen with my favorite crustacean.

So, the next time you find crab on sale - try out the crab cake below...put it on a bun as a sandwich, or on a salad like I did, or as an entree with a some yummy side dishes!

Crab Cakes
My own recipe -

1 pound of crab
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Old Bay (or other seafood or cajun seasoning)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 scallions, diced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup breadcrumbs ( divided into 1/2 cup increments )
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients other than 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs gently in a bowl. Form into 8 balls. Flatten each ball into a patty and press each side of the patty into the remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. Spray each side with cooking spray. Bake for about 12 minutes, turn over and bake another 5-10 minutes or until the crab cakes are golden brown.

Serving = 2 crab cakes

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So, I know I JUST came back, but...

...there's a little thing that might keep me from cooking for a few days. =)

Do you remember THIS? It was icky and painful and awful and involved crutches and wheelchairs and .... ick. It makes me nauseous to think about it!

Anyway...when I had that surgery, they put 2 screws in my foot. Most normal people would live happily ever after at that point. Well, my life hasn't resembled Cinderella before, so is it really so surprising that there wasn't a happily ever after for me and the screws?

So, tomorrow morning my orthopedic surgeon will go back in, remove the screws, stitch me up and shove me out the door. Fortunately, I already have the pain pills ready and waiting. =) My momma didn't raise no fool!

This should be easy-peasy in comparison to last time, but if its a couple of days before you hear from me, that's why...I promise it won't be a long hiatus again -

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sloppy Dinner...

Yep. Sloppy Joe's. Remember them? When I was kid (just a couple of years ago), my mom would brown some ground beef and mix in a can of Manwich sauce and voila! Happy kids. I grew up. Manwich didn't. So it's time to reinvent a classic. I made a version of a Sloppy Joe last year from Ellie Krieger and really liked it, but thought it was a bit too complicated and had a bit too many ingredients for a quick, school night meal.

So, I did what I love to do.

What I wasn't allowed to do as a kid.

I played with my food! (Shhhhhh! Don't tell my Dad or I'll end up in trouble!)

Into my cast iron skillet - did I tell you that I got one FINALLY? It was a Christmas gift from my parents and I love, love, love it! - I tossed about 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper and 1/2 cup chopped onions and 1 pound of lean ground beef. They all swam around nicely together until the beef was good and brown. Then I drained. I used to not drain my ground beef, but I figure my arse has enough fat...the excess can go down the drain!

Next, I added a can of Rotel tomatoes (with green chiles), a can of red kidney beans, 1 cup of defrosted frozen corn kernels and about a 1/2 cup of ketchup. And I stirred. And I stirred again. I let it all get comfy and cozy together and make friends in the pan. It's important for ingredients to hang out and get to know each other in the pan.

Finally, I piled about 1 cup of the mixture onto a Whole Wheat Hamburger Bun (I like the Sara Lee ones because they're not so big) and added some baked barbecue potato chips to the plate and sat down to sit and giggle while the weeone tried to eat her Sloppy Joe without making a mess. This might be the best.entertainment.ever!!!

By the way, while she was struggling to eat her "sandwich" the weeone mentioned that this filling would be good in a tortilla too! I think she's right.

Sloppy Dinner

Serves 6 (1 cup of filling on a whole wheat bun)

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 pound ground beef, lean
1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
6 whole wheat hamburger buns

Over medium high heat add the onion, bell pepper and ground beef to a skillet. Cook until the ground beef is brown, about 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, tomatoes and ketchup and mix well. Continue to mix until well heated. Serve about 1 cup of filling on each bun.

Nutritional Information per Serving

• Calories 248, Carbohydrates 37 grams,Total Fat4 grams, Saturated Fat 1.1 gram, Protein 18 grams, Fiber 7 grams, Sodium 535 milligrams

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hiatus: OVER!!!

I'm a procrastinator. Well, that's not really true. I'm the QUEEN of procrastination. As soon as I start to get behind at all on something, I get almost paralyzed and have a very hard time getting going again. So, I guess that's my lame and sad explanation for why I haven't been blogging. I've started about a dozen blog posts and none have been finished and none posted.

But that all stops tonight.

Let's talk pork.

I'm not the biggest pork fan on earth. I'm not particularly talented when it comes to cooking pork. And let's face it, pork that is underdone is gross. And pork that is overdone is gross. So there's a small window of perfect that I often have a hard time finding. But when you find it....pork is divine.

New Years Day in our family = pork + sauerkraut + potato pancakes + applesauce. I know I live in Texas and should probably be eating black eyed peas that day, but, well, my father's German Pittsburgh upbringing overshadows all local traditions for me. I love the pork, potato pancakes and the applesauce. The sauerkraut...hmmmm....not so much. I choke down one bite and call it a day. =) Sorry, Dad, but that's the truth!

So, the pork I made this year was divine and tasty. It was moist and cooked perfectly (thanks to an in-meat digital thermometer). The seasonings that I painted on prior to cooking sung in my mouth....a definite keeper!

Maple-Mustard Pork Tenderloin With Caramelized Apples

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and 1/2 cup apples)


  • 2 (1/2-pound) pork tenderloins
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium Granny Smith apples, each peeled and cut into 16 wedges (about 2 1/2 pounds)


Preheat oven to 425°.

Trim fat from pork. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Combine mustard, 2 tablespoons syrup, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; brush over pork. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of pork. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink).

While pork is baking, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add apples, and saute 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to low, and add 4 tablespoons maple syrup. Simmer 10 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Cut pork crosswise into slices; spoon cooked apples over pork.

Nutritional Information

301 (13% from fat)
4.3g (sat 1.1g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.5g)
Cooking Light, JANUARY 1998