Friday, February 22, 2013

Crazy week!

Hello everyone!

  Sorry for the delay on posting! I've gotten back to work full time and I am trying to get everything back into balance. I cannot wait to start my volunteering! Also, school starts back relatively soon. I have many things getting ready to start soon, and I am only hoping for the best out of it all.
  I have been trying to get back into my artistic side of things, and hoping someone will soon approach me about custom things. I will be starting back on tutus, and hair accessories. I love doing these kind of things as they make me so happy and appreciate the little things.

A couple of pictures of things I've been working on:

Alright, well to finish off my post, I'm going to post a recipe. Today will be:

Grilled Chicken Skewers
(6 servings)

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 C of beer
2 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
1 t paprika
1 t oregano
1 t sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste

Combine beer, lemon juice  oil, paprika, oregano, salt  and pepper in a zip lock baggie; add the chicken chunks. Seal the bag, shake lightly and coat chicken, let marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally. Soak wooden skewers in hot water for at least 30 minutes. 

Place marinade in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Divide chicken on about 12 skewers. Grill or broil skewers until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, turn and brush with reduced marinade. cook until chicken is done, about 2 more minutes. Serve immediately. Also, this tastes great with brown rice. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's day!

Today has been quiet the productive day. I only have two more cards to make and send out! I think they turned out pretty well, considering I don't particularly care for drawing. I need to get more craft supplies. I've been considering trying to sell my cards again, but am kind of scared about if it's worth the price to list them and everything. Open to thoughts. On another note, I made a card for my love. I'm hoping he enjoys it, although I did mess up a tad bit. Ok, a big mess up on it. Thankfully it was just his, and I know he will love it either way. If it were anyone else's, I would have fixed it. I drew on the wrong side, so it open wrong, haha. Other than that, I love it! Now if only he would get home to see it! I hope everyone is having a great day today!

These are a few of the cards that I made for the 2013 Valentine's day. Some of them were edited more after the pictures were taken.

I hope that everyone one of you gets to meat someone special to you as well. I am now with the person I am certain I was meant to be with my entire life. He is my one, my only. No words could ever describe the way I feel about him. He is my best friend, my go to, for everything in my life. The only person I have ever been able to be completely myself around. No lying about my feelings at all. We were friends before we got together, and I feel that has been the best foundation to our relationship. He knew me. Who I was. No secrets. I feel incredibly blessed. (Did I also mention, he can cook and clean??) Happy Valentine's day to you all, and I hope you find your lifetime Valentine.

Now to finish my post, let us find a recipe to post.. Hmm... How about a different take on Pork Pot Roast? Feeling like putting your fancy pants on?  Maybe you like full-bodied rose? Perfect!! Keep in mind, the pork needs to refrigerate overnight with the dry rub on it!

Ok, we will start with the dry rub. (I make extra and store it, it's delightful)

Pork Rub
(enough for 4 lbs of pork shoulder also called pork butt)

  • 1/4 C Salt
  • 1/4 C Brown sugar
  • 1 t Crushed red pepper
  • 1 t  ground Cumin
  • 1 t ground Allspice

Pork Pot Roast with Clams & Chorizo
(serves about 6)

  • 4 lbs Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
  • 3 T Olive oil
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 2 Leeks (washed and diced)
  • 2 regular sized Carrots
  • 2 stalks of Celery
  • 5 cloves of Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 C golden Raisins
  • 1 bottle (750mL) of dry Rose
  • 1 C Vegetable broth
  • 1 link of Chorizo, cut into small pieces (this is the dried chorizo, not the soft kind)
  • 18 Littleneck clams, rinsed
  • 2 t fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 t fresh Oregano
  • 2 T flat leaf Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Alright, so to start, the night before, apply the dry rub to the pork, and refrigerate. 2 hours prior to cooking, pull the pork out. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Heat a large roasting pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the Olive oil and heat for a minute. Add the pork and brown it on all sides. Turn often, should take about 4 minutes. Remove the prok, and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and stir for 3 minutes. Add the leeks, carrots, and celery. cook for aobut 3 minutes. Next, add the garlic and raisins, cook for a minute. Now add the broth, rose, and chorizo. Then add the pork back to the pan. Now cover and bake for 3 1/2 hours. After the time is up, put the pork on your serving platter to rest (essential because this finishes the cooking process, and let the juices settle). Now put the pan on medium heat (I know, but keep going, it's soooo worth it). Add the clams, rosemary, oregano, and 1 T of the parsley. Cover and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 minutes (or until clams open). Taste it.. If it needs salt and pepper, add it. Now arrange the clams around your pork all pretty like. Ladle some broth over the pork and clams. Take the rest and add it to a gravy dish. Now serve and garnish how you like, and enjoy!! I like to have a nice glass of wine and some nice crusty bread with this!

Have a great evening, and I'll catch you on the flip side. Bye!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day!

So does anyone have any big plans for tomorrow? I am pretty sure we are waiting till Friday to do anything. I figure it would just be easier as it's the end of my love's work week. Very excited though! I can not come up with the perfect Valentine gift yet. I'm pretty sure I'll have to sneak out to get it. 

So what is trending right now? I'm seeing a lot of posts with #iHateHowPeople so I shall put this up right now.. This is my very own list for:

...don't shut shower curtains
...leave lights on
...judge me by hearing a story that is just that, a story
...knock something before trying it
...hate on my music choices
...have pictures with everyone else, but not with me :(
...say things that hurt you intentionally
...are spiteful things without thinking
...think they are their mistakes
...give up on learning
...lose sight of their imagination
...choose to not learn to cook
...never find something to be passionate about
...are content without making a difference in the world
...can not see the good in people

Ok... That is it for now, as I am sure I could come up with a million. I'm going to end my post how I normally do, with a recipe. 

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad
(serves 6)

  • 1 Clove of Garlic 
  • 1 T coarse Salt
  • 1/2 t Cayenne (unless you want more kick)
  • 1 t Paprika (smoked if you have it)
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 2 t Lemon Juice
  • 2 Lbs. Peeled and deveined Large Shrimp
  • 1 lb 50/50 Salad Blend (Spinach/Springmix blend)
  • 1 T Butter
  • 1 C dried Cranberries
  • 3/4 C Slivered Almonds (blanched)
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • Goat cheese to taste (optional)

Mix all ingredients from the Garlic to the Lemon juice together, mix and marinate shrimp. Place on a preheated grill and cook till opaque. About 2-3 minutes on each side.

Place almonds in a pan and cook with butter till lightly toasted. Place Salad blend in a large bowl, top with cranberries, almonds, avocado and grilled shrimp. I add goat cheese to mine, and usually make a red wine vinaigrette. I hope you enjoy!


Chocolate Souffles
(serves 6)

  • 1 T Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 C Granulated sugar, plus more for coating ramekins
  • 4 Oz. Bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C Cold water
  • 1/3 C Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Large egg whites, at room temp
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting the tops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter six 1 C ramekins and coat with granulated sugar (tap out the excess). Place ramekins on a good baking sheet. In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the coarsely chopped chocolate. Remove from heat, whisk in the water and cocoa powder until smooth. In another bowl, use a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the 1/3 C of granulated sugar and beat at high speed until the whites are firm and glossy (about a minute). Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mix, then fold in the rest until no streaks of the egg remain. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and smooth the tops. **HINT: Run your thumb around the inner rim of the ramekins to clean the spills and help the souffles rise evenly.** Bake in the center of the oven for 16 minutes, or until very puffy and set around the edges. Dust the tops with the confectioners sugar and serve to your love :)

Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day!!!

Now, if you enjoyed that, you should check out this blog for some more great ideas! :) It's the katherinemartinelli blog! You can thank me later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In the Clouds

Happy Tuesday!

It's another day for me. Trying to decide the best paths for me to take. I'm sure I will get there someday. My life has regained stability finally. I could not be happier!

Today I've been looking at paint sets so that I can get back into painting. There are some nice sets out there. I tend to buy a basic set and then buy specific colors from places like Hobby Lobby. I've been looking so much at things that I want to do. I have yet to send out my Valentines cards. I have just not had the time to send them. I should get to it today or tomorrow. I love making cards and sending them out to people. I will post pictures of some of them soon. What I am doing this Valentine's Day is sending a piece of origami to everyone. Want to see how I learned? Click here! That site that I just linked to, has tons of instructions  for many different pieces. Another thing I've been doing, cooking! Oh how I love cooking. I recently rediscovered my great grandmother's cook book, and have been considering throwing together a whole new one that has her traditional recipes, as well as my own. Of course, some of the recipes will be needing some updating, considering they are from the 1930's and up! (see below for a new recipe)

My life has changed a lot over the course of the last year or so. Many ups and downs. I swear it has been a roller coaster. I have learned, changed, and grown throughout it. Excited for the few changes that are still coming. Maybe not in the next few months or even year, but they will get here. People have tough times, and that is what makes us who we are. How we react to situations shows our character. People must remember as well that we are not our mistakes, yet they are a learning experience, a part of life. One tough lesson is to know who will truly be there by your side, through the thick and the thin. I've had my share of fair-weather friends. It hurts for people to not be a part of your life anymore, but never regret them. Some people have come into our lives to help us learn lessons, but they were not meant to stay a part of your life.I know who my friends are, and those are the ones I can count on. I am so incredibly lucky to have the friends and family that I have. Thank you to each and everyone of those people!

To end my post for the day, I'll be posting one of my family recipes. It is for Cloud Biscuits. These are incredible! Definitely the only homemade biscuit recipe I ever use.

Cloud Biscuits -Georgia Graham

  • 2  C Flour
  • 1 t Sugar
  • 4 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/2 C Shortening
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2/3 C Milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift together all dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening. Combine the egg and milk. Add to the the dry mixture all at once. Stir till dough follows fork around the bowl. Turn on floured surface. Knead gently with the heel of your hand. Around 20 strokes. Roll dough 3/4" think. Place on ungreased baking sheet. If desired, chill 1-3 hours.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-14 minutes.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Long time, No see

Just the right place to find a schadenfreude

Oh my! It has been an extremely long time since I have blogged. Well, this is my come back, and that was the end of my break. Life has changed so very much for me since the last time I was here. For a while it was extremely tough, but now is regaining sanity. I am in the midst of quiet a few new projects on my plate. 

As of right now, my big one, getting back online! I know, I know, I'm a tad bit rusty but I think I shall give it a go. I think I shall post one of my favorite recipes!

This recipe is not too terribly expensive to make, but mighty delicious.
Here it is, my version of Chicken Piccata! Now don't knock it till you try it, and any of the additions are optional. If you have you're own version, let me know!

Chicken Piccata

(serves about 4)

  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, quartered (optional)
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 1 6 oz pkg of fresh spinach (optional)
  • 1/2 a 10 oz pkg of mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking brown rice (follow directions on packaging)

Gather all your ingredients and have them readily accessible. You can tweak this recipe to suit your tastes FYI!

Take you chicken breasts, trim the fat, and then slice into little strips. Heat your pan to about a medium to a medium high heat, with the half the oil and butter. Toss in your chicken breasts, salt and pepper to taste, your paprika, and just enough lemon juice to add some flavor to your chicken. Cook till golden. Remove from pan and set aside.Start your brown rice. Add the rest of your olive oil and butter back to the pan you cooked the chicken in. Now toss in your garlic, artichoke hearts, crushed red peppers, and sliced mushrooms. cook until a caramelized color is on the garlic. Once this happens,  add the rest of your lemon juice, white white, and chicken broth. Let simmer until it reduces. Add your chicken back in, add the capers, and the spinach. Serve with or on the cooked brown rice. 

Hope you enjoy, and let me know how it turns out for you!

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