Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Honda Interstate

So, last Friday, we had my old bike loaded and ready to go. When I got home from work, I worked out, fed the girl, showered, packed and waited for the fireman to get home from work. He had taken his last 12 hours off, so he got off at 7pm instead of 7am. The fireman relieving him got there a bit early, though so he was home by 6:35.

He got his shower and we were off!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Congo Bars with Sea Salt a/k/a Unspeakable Badness

My new goal is that I'm allowing myself once per week to eat some unspeakable badness called dessert. I'm not going overboard here, but I'm gonna eat what I want, just once per week. It still follows the Dukan Diet, 1-2 celebration meals per week. And I'm going to try to stick to that, but once a week?

Unspeakable badness.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Adobo Chipotle Beef

This recipe blew my mind. I bought some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce a while back. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I knew I wanted to try them. The Pioneer Woman uses them with stew meat, so I thought I'd try that, so this is inspired by her recipe, Spicy stewed beef.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Spring has sprung!

I, for one, am loving it. The fireman grumbled last night that this year he hopes we have a proper winter.

What!?! Is he insane?

Most probably.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Story, Courtesy of The Girl

I found this in my drawer. This was given to me a while back by my girl.

It's titled: Three Chipmunks In My Closet.
This one.

Pardon our basement.

Paraphrased for those without young children:

There was a girl and her name is Rose and I opened my closet and it surprised me.
I could not believe my eyes. I saw three chicmunks (I'm going with chicmunks cause it's cuter.) standing side by side and do you know what I said?
The end.

This is just adorable and sweet and cute.

And if you don't have little ones, you may not think so and therefore may avert your eyes.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Orange Sesame Tofu

What? Don't look at me like that.

Tofu isn't gross. Seriously.

I know it's weird, but it's not that weird.

I've bought tofu before. Eventually, it goes in the trashcan, because I'm too scared to do anything with it or don't know what to do with it. But this time?

I went home with a plan. Picked it up along the way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spinach Ricotta Chicken

Not exactly Irish, but it's a pretty, green recipe. Perfect for March.

I came up with this recipe on the fly. We had been eating a lot of beef and I thought we needed a chicken night. Then, I thought about spinach artichoke dip. That stuff is good! Maybe....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Magic Cereal Bake

What is this?

Well, it is a creation of mine. It is the reason I exist.

Foodwise, that is.
This is it for me, folks. This is what I think of when I want something sweet. It's what I dream about.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Painting again, coffee mugs galore

I have finally finished the coffee mug portion of my mural.

I feel like I've really accomplished something. Another step in the process is complete. I'm happy with it.

It still is far from done.

I need to walk around it and look at it and 'see' where it wants to go next.

This cranberry colored cup is my favorite.
I really love how there's a touch of blue in it. It's definitely my favorite. It's funny because I was so frustrated with this one. I just couldn't get it to work. It was too dark and I couldn't get it to show up right.

I added white and used black to shade. Lightening it up really helped to see it against the green. I added the blue just for texture and interest.

I did this grey one the same time, but I wasn't happy with it. So, I had to fix it up last night. There's a little pink in there to break up the grey, not sure if you can see it. I'm happy with how the lighting came out. It's easier to see in person.

Then, I did this blue one right at the top. It's bright and fun. I like the deep cuff of the mug.

Lastly, this little pink one. The pink was so light and bright that I had to add a darker color to give it depth and shading. Grey just took out the pink, so I used dark purple. Then pushed it back with more bright pink and accented it with some white to brighten it up.

I think it's cute!

I cleaned up my owl a bit.
Here's my mess. Lots of colors and mixing.

You know, when  I started this project, I wasn't even sure I could do it. If you remember, I had a muralist come by the house to bid it. I was totally going to pay someone to do this. I was afraid. I hadn't ever really painted before.

This isn't about how amazing I am, or how I became an overnight painter. Cause I'm not.

It's about the fact that you can change your life. You can decide, I want to learn to paint, or write and do it. I don't care if you're 20 or 50 or 73. You can start a new chapter of your life every day.

If you're 74, apparently, it's too late....

Sometimes I think about what my life's going to be like in 5 years and I haven't a clue. I quit trying to make a hard plan years ago. Plans change, you change. And you know what?  That's the best part. I love not knowing. I love the fact that I can change and grow and learn forever after. I'm not scared to change, not anymore.

Does that make me sound flighty? Weird? Maybe.
But I really like the feel of it. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gooey Brownie in a Mug

This is one of those diet inventions. I needed a chocolate infusion and didn't want a pan of brownies in the house.

This is a typical chocolate cake in a mug recipe. But, I substituted the flour for cornstarch, which produces a silky finish with much less carbs and I substituted the butter for fat free mayo. This lowers the fat, but the big thing it does is turns it from a cake like texture to a heavy, dense brownie texture.     

So, it's a dessert, not diet food, but it's one that's not going to break the bank. The diet bank. That made more sense in my head. Oh, and it actually tastes good. Like rich, decadent good.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Cinnamon Bread

So, yesterday I wanted to make cinnamon bread, but I didn't want to just remake my cinnamon rolls, I wanted really soft, sweet bread. Kinda like a pastry. I definitely wanted something moist. I hate dry sweet breads. So, I bloomed up some yeast with sugar and hot water, threw in some honey and olive oil, and a bit of salt.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Dill Salmon Patties

When I was a little girl, I thought my mom bought these prepared from the store? Like in little round patties that you just popped into the skilet to cook. I had no idea that they came in a can! I might have even thought that they were 'grown' like that. You know, like scallops.

Crazy talk!

Her patties were so uniformly, er formed.

And I loved them, even as a kid.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Just Brickin' It

We finally have lovely weather! It's beautiful.

It's warm and the sun is shining. It's fairly windy, but I kind of like that!

With the wonderful weather, the fireman got outside and cut all of the small filler pieces for the brick wall.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ham, Swiss & Broccoli Frittata

Last night, I whipped up this quick frittata.

Like, literally. I whipped the eggs.

Painting Coffee Cups

I started the coffee cup portion to my ever expanding wall mural.

Finally, I know. It's taken me forever to continue the work on it.

I blame the economy......and Spiro Agnew.

I don't know what I'm saying.

The real problem was that I had decided what to do with the coffee cups, but I think I realized that it was the wrong plan. Somewhere in my mind, I didn't want to start because I knew it wasn't right.

So, I kept rolling the idea around in my head until I finally got the right picture.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sloppy Joe's

I love Sloppy Joe's.

My kids inhale it. They request it regularly.

It's rich, hearty and a little sweet.

And you can have it on the table in about 30 minutes. Total win, win.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Overnight Crockpot Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Hello March! With St. Patrick's Day approaching, I'm feeling my Irish roots.

I love Irish Steel-Cut oats. They call it Irish-Style because they're cut oats, not rolled oats. Rolled oats are regular oats, rolled flat, quick oats are rolled and ground up so that they cook quicker. Steel cut oats are whole raw oats cut into smaller chunks. Rolled oats are also steamed a bit so that they cook up quicker. But they are all oats, just cut differently.