Coconutty Bites

So the actual name of this recipe is No-Bake Almond/Coconut Energy Morsels. The recipe was created by Linda from Brooklyn and posted to the Tropical Traditions website on February 1st, 2009.

Yuck to the name, woo-hoo to the snack! From this point forward I will be calling these bites, Coconutty Bites. Sorry Linda from Brooklyn, I’m just going to take that liberty.

Per usual, I have made some changes to the original recipe. Where I use ground oats, Linda opts for almond meal. I also chose to use raisins rather than a different dried fruit.

Coconutty Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup assorted raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans)
  • ¼ cup ground oats
  • ¼ cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup raisins, dried cranberries or cherries
Instructions
  1. Chop raw nuts so they are in small chunky pieces. Place in a bowl and mix in shredded coconut.
  2. Lightly heat almond butter and coconut oil until melted, then add honey, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Mix ground oats into liquid mixture and fold in the nuts and coconut. Add dried berries last and mix well.
  3. Form mixture into bite sized pieces and refrigerate until solid.
 

  • These were great! They are perfect to find when you open the fridge hoping for something exciting. If you bring them with you on errands, bring a napkin as the coconut oil leaves its mark. I mentioned that I was given a jar of virgin coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. Here’s what it looks like.

My last jar of coconut oil lasted me a good 5 months, so I was a bit confused as to what I would do with a quart of oil! That was my first question, my second was…uh, what is virgin coconut oil? I still haven’t quite figured out what extra virgin olive oil is. There wasn’t a “Like an extra-virgin” Madonna video from my youth for that one.

So I have to add these words before telling you what I thought about this coconut oil; Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.  Ok, done.

While this jar is serious in quantity, it is better in quality. I didn’t think I would be able to tell the difference between coconut oils, Tropical Traditions is coconut oil as Plugra is to butter. *FYI: Plugra is the Euro-style butter in the silver or gold wrapping. It costs a bit more, but you’ll end up looking for any excuse to spread your butter on food.

Mmm, why have I never tried butter on apples before? Yum, butter in my yogurt is good. 

There are about 3.714 times a million coconut recipes if you visit the Tropical Traditions website. There is a huge page dedicated to coconut oil recipes alone.

 

This is our Elf, Mr. Nog, making snow angels on the counter. This morning he was found riding in Iron Man’s iron-mobile(?). No real reason to show you, just needed a photo to break up some text.

I am trying to use coconut oil more and more in place of other ingredients and am pretty pleased with the results. One of my favorite oil uses is as a lip balm or moisturizer. Honestly, this is where I can tell the difference in quality. There is no chemical coconut smell that I have found in other oils, and TT seems to be much smoother, without the little baby lumps I have always found in other jars.

Once I get a few more recipes under my belt, I’d like to do a giveaway.

Other than coconut oil, here is what’s up in my hood:

 

A bit cross-eyed, sloppy and Tammy-Fae Baker posing with Santa.

Thanksgiving at Grandpa Sean’s.

Have you seen Chris Rock’s Bigger & Blacker stand-up routine? Jy and I were able to see him perform it live back in the day and we still quote it all the time. Although he has one filthy mouth, Chris Rock wrote one of the best routines in the business.

Chris Rock: What does daddy get for his hard work? The big piece of chicken at dinner! My mamma would kill us if one of us ate the big piece of chicken by accident!
[Pretending to be his mamma] What the… you ate the big piece of chicken! Oh, lord no! Now I gotta sew up some chicken! Give me two wings and a porkchop, daddy won’t know the difference!

Jy got the big piece of turkey.

 

Bowl O’ Vitality

We have a few wonderful eateries in my hood. Two of my favorite have two of the worst names ever given to restaurants. The dessert bowl I made yesterday was inspired by Vitality Bowl, a healthy, yet caloric cafe, which offers a menu full of freshly created antioxidant bites for more than I want to pay.

The other restaurant I’m talking about is Fresh Millions.

Fresh Millions offers a complete selection of lunch or dinner entrees including specialty and made-to-order gourmet salads with a variety of healthy mix-ins, savory made-to-order hot bowls, hearty soups, and grilled paninis.

While there won’t be any awards handed out for best named restaurant, I do have to give some props to these places for offering simple, real food, quickly made. Why can’t I do that at home? Oh yeah, I can!

 

This bowl is full of healthy ingredients, sure. I wouldn’t be adding it to your Weight Watcher’s meal plan anytime soon, though.  There are no real specifics, just tips and tricks to make an ice cream like consistency out of frozen fruit. I originally figured Vitality Bowls just offered smoothies and toppings for $11 a pop. To their credit, there is much more involved.

To make a creamy base:

Blend frozen fruit – Frozen bananas make the best base for a creamy bowl. Fill the blender with a variety but keep berries with berries and tropical or citrus together.  Vitality Bowl uses a lot of frozen acai berries, but any type of fruit really works fine.

Add your liquids: You’ll want two types of liquids to create your base and coconut milk works best for one. The other can be a juice, chocolate almond milk or anything your giant heart desires.

Healthy stuff: They sky is the limit, er, your taste buds are the limit when adding good stuff like chia or flax seed, bee pollen or vitamin boosts.

 

Toppings are a matter of what you have at home. The more, the merrier. I used the Costco energy nut mix in the bowl above.

Try:

  • Dark chocolate chips
  • banana slices
  • strawberries
  • shredded coconut
  • peanut or other nut butters
  • honey
  • granola
  • dried fruit or veggies

Again, not super science here. Is there such a thing as super science? I think I would have enjoyed that more than regular science. I’m excited to have some rain falling outside today. I can experiment with my giant jar of virgin coconut oil sent to my by Tropical Traditions. I will give you all the run down once these kids stop pestering me and let me write. So, shall we say, in 20 years?

Quick laugh before my baking begins…

 

 

 

Dinner Battles

I went all Rumpelstiltskin on my kid tonight. I didn’t threaten to steal his baby, I just struck him a deal. I told him he would owe me three chores before earning back a playdate, which he lost after screaming like at dinner like he was Axyl Rose. He was fine with the agreement we had struck and I plan to hold out of the chores until I find something I really don’t want to do myself.

This is the Rumpel of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, not of German tale.

 

If you don’t watch the deal making Rumpelstiltskin on Once, you should! I can’t believe what amazing storytellers the writers of this show are!

Dinner was all over the place. It was easy to make and filling, but the kids nearly scratched their own eyes out when they were forced to try at least a bite. Luckily, ketchup and a time out helped cool things down.

This dish looks more fattening than it really is. Read through with me…

I’ve made cheesy cauliflower eggs in the past and revisited that dish for tonight’s dinner. Where did I get my cooking inspiration from? Well, a bit came out of the lack of meat in the fridge and the rest came from my desire to NOT go into a grocery store for the fourth or fifth day in a row.

While Max napped, I added four thick pats of butter to a 10×15 Pyrex and let it melt in a 350 degree oven before adding 1/2 head of shredded up, raw cauliflower.

Then came the drizzle of olive oil, a cut up green onion, one zuchinni, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme.

I let the veggies and butter cook in the oven a bit while I whisked together a cup of egg whites and 8 whole eggs. After pouring the eggs over the veggie mix, I added roughly a cup of shredded cheese. I wish I could say I timed this, but I just kept checking back until the eggs looked solid in the  pan. My best guess would be around 40 minutes. I topped one side with tomatoes and salt, then popped it all back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

A good dinner for the lazy nights when there ain’t much left in the fridge!

For those of you who I am not connected with personally on Facebook, I would like to ask you to join me in helping homebound elders.

Many of these people have no family or resources. To choose between paying bills, buying groceries or medication is a choice that these folks shouldn’t be forced to make. You can find your local MOW online, but here is the link for local friends.

https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1100

Do something good today!

Blue Bottle Love

Looks yummy, doesn’t it? I didn’t bake it, let me say that up front! You are looking right at a pumpkin buckle. What’s a buckle? Read over this glossary of cake toppings from the San Francisco Chronicle to catch up.

Crisp: One of the most common fruit desserts, the crisp boasts a topping made primarily from oats and nuts. Nearly any seasonal fruit works well. Though crisps and crumbles are often interchangeable, this dessert traditionally has more going on in the topping than the crumble does, and, as the name suggests, it gets a little crispier when baked.

Crumble: Not to be confused with a crisp (though they often are), this dessert has a simple streusel topping – essentially butter, flour, sugar and a little seasoning – that is sprinkled over the fruit of choice. When baked, the crumbled topping hardens and browns while simultaneously melting into the fruit underneath.

Cobbler: A baked deep-dish dessert with the dough on top rather than the bottom. The topping is normally a sweet cream or buttermilk biscuit, while the fruit usually is berries or stone fruit – even savory fillings like winter squash can work (see recipe). In some versions, the biscuit dough is rolled and cut into circles to place on the fruit, allowing some of the filling to peek through; in others, the dough is spread across the surface, hiding the fruit beneath.

Grunt or slump: Essentially a steamed cobbler, this fruit-and-dough combination is cooked on the stove as opposed to being baked. The dough – which resembles a dumpling batter – is dropped in spoonfuls over simmering fruit. As for the name? It can be either a grunt or slump, depending on where you live; the origins are said to trace back to different parts of New England. Some say the dish makes a grunting sound on the stove as it steams and bubbles; others claim that the dessert has a slumped appearance when spooned onto a plate.

Pandowdy: Said to be named for its homely appearance, this deep-dish dessert starts with a base of almost any fruit. Toppings can range from rolled-out pie or pastry dough to biscuit, but the catch is that about halfway through baking, the topping is broken up into pieces and pushed down into the cooked fruit, allowing some of the juices to bubble up and over the dough.

Buckle: Baked as a one-layer cake, this dessert is normally made by floating berries into batter, then sprinkling streusel crumbles on top. When it comes out of the oven, the cake has a buckled look – hence the name. With a loose, almost pudding-like batter, this has a very moist crumb, and works just as well for brunch as for dessert.

Brown Betty: This layered dessert is all about crumbs – breadcrumbs, that is. The fruit of choice – most often apples or pears – is placed in alternating layers with buttered, toasted crumbs, which either soften along with the fruit or harden up on top of the dessert. Leftover cake or pastry crumbs would work, too.

– Amanda Gold

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Seasonal-fruit-enlivens-crumbles-crisps-cobblers-2754965.php#ixzz2BCbpmQKB

 

Got that? Yeah, neither do I, but at least we have a nice reference for future recipes.

Last night, I ate the buckle created from a recipe by Caitlin Freeman, author of Modern Art Desserts and wife to James Freeman, the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee.

Caitlin creates desserts for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which are inspired by old French masterpieces. Just kidding. She is inspired by modern art and creates dishes to compliment exhibits at the museum. A slice of the Mondrian inspired cake you see above will set you back $8 at the SFMOMA, but it’s more of an experience than eating a slice of pound cake at Starbucks, right?

By the way, if you haven’t heard of Blue Bottle, take my word and order yourself a bag!

So yeah, upon visiting the Blue Bottle website you might ask why you should even consider spending $17 for a bag of coffee? How about this for proof, It has been called, “The best coffee you may ever drink.” And no, not by me. By CNN! They are serious people around CNN, right? Why would they lie?

James Freeman brewing it up. Slow style.

Wait, I almost forgot about the buckle. The recipe for this dessert works with most seasonal fruit. You can find this recipe at Epicurious, only as the  strawberry version, with lemon-pistachio streusel.  You’ll find the instructions for the pumpkin swap at the bottom of the article. This dessert is not overly sweet, which is a nice change of pace. It also tastes like actual pumpkin, not pumpkin pie or pumpkin spiced everything else. I think it would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving dinner for those who can’t decide between cake or pie.

Ok, so back to the coffee. You all know  how I feel about coffee.

I visited a local bookstore last night to enjoy a dinner of coffee-braised pork with white beans and roasted root vegetables. What? Your bookstore doesn’t offer dinner? That’s because you haven’t visited Rakestraw Books. If you are a local, please patronize this store!

The evening was a dinner, complete with wine and coffee to hear a bit from James Freeman about his book, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes. As far as author events go, this wasn’t exactly my favorite. However, I did enjoy tasting some Blue Bottle brewed up by James Freeman himself. This is the type of coffee you drink black, it’s that good.

I thought I was being served a second cup of coffee and quickly smelled otherwise! Blue Bottle Coffee also has a distilled liqueur, called Firelit.

 

I will give full photo credits to my husband’s iphone. Blech. Even the photo looks drunk!

I’ve just read this post and I’m actually a little bored by it. I should have just summed it up in two sentences. Go make the pumpkin buckle. Buy some Blue Bottle Coffee. Ah, shorter and sweeter. Now, it’s time for some schmaltzy family photos. I promise the next post will be a bit livelier!

 My little Mario.

 My sweet Thor.

 My seriously dramatic and temperamental five-year old.

 He calls me his, “Brave Little Lion.” Because that is what I call him.

 Grandpa helping out at the Kinder pumpkin patch field trip. He can’t figure out how to pose for a picture. All the other photos I took are too unflattering for the permanent record of the internet.

 While we are battling weekly tantrums, Dallas finds ways to sneak in cute moments like this.

 Grandpa again.

 The kid version of the fried turkey leg. Cotton candy.

 My cricut has been coming in handy lately. It made another debut at our school’s fall carnival. Thanks again Auntie Debi, for my paper cutting wizard.

And last, but not least. Honestly, shoulda been first.

 

The Pictures Are Worth About Eight Words

Like moms around the world, when Dad isn’t home for dinner, breakfast will be served. And yeah, I know the photos still totally suck. I’m working on a camera. In the meantime, squint a little to make the pictures blog-worthy.

Ok, so back to dinner.

We had already ate Fresh & Easy’s pumpkin pecan waffle mix for breakfast. Wait, you get that we ate them as waffles and not as a mix, right? Just checking. So no syrupy dinner would do tonight. Instead,  I cooked up something nice, cheap and comforting for a breezy fall night while the hubs was in San Francisco, rooting on the Giants!

White potatoes are a treat in my house. We always have chocolate chips on hand and ice cream is often found freezing away, but white potatoes are rare. They are such a guilty pleasure! And, I’m talking russets here. Not even sure they are organic.

That was nice of her!

Dallas once kissed a tub of potato salad at Whole Foods and promised to marry it. He then cried as we walked away. Nope, not kidding. He cries for lots of reasons.

Max said he wanted to eat “All and lots and lots” of the roasted russets I threw in the oven tonight. They were topped with some olive oil, salt, pepper and dried rosemary before roasting at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. The three of us sat, eating our dinner of white carbs and ketchup.

So, what’s new around here? Well, we watched the debate and I can tell you that Max was not happy. Not happy at all.

Time out, Romney!!!

Another family favorite right now is the Costco pumpkin bread mix (again, baked, not in mix form). I combine the ingredients called for in my bread maker and voila, an hour later my family has a loaf of irresistible butt expantion, calorific seasonal bread.

Now, the phone photo you see above just does not give you the pumpkin bread sense you might get from a photo taken from a regular camera. However, my little Samsung will occasionally offer a seriously fine art inspired snapshot of a hard-boiled egg. Let me show you what my phone turned out after snapping a shot over the sink.

The intention of the photo was to show you how the high of being a pro-egg boiler quickly fades when the next batch have shells which crumble and crack. How funny is that photo? Ok, granted, it’s not exactly funny, but it does kind of crack me up. Oh. Oh. Oh, I am just. so. sorry for that.

Pinteresting, isn’t it?

I’ve been all over kitchen sink beauty via Pinterest. If I wasn’t out of honey, there would be a yogurt/honey/cinnamon/nutmeg mask on my face right now. And Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner? Yeah, my face smells like feet (a “pinner’s” description), but I have never found a toner that works as well as the organic, stinky stuff. The smell is gone once it dries, in case you are tempted to try it out!

My mom told me about brushing with some baking soda long ago, but Pinterest sparked my interest and got me to actually try my own mother’s advice. (Yes, it works).  I now also use the little orange box to whiten my nails!

Wanna follow me around Pinterest? Hit the red button on the right and choose some boards to follow. These recipes are found on the Beauty Baby board.

This is my latest Pinter-find, lip exfoliator! All you do, according to the blog That’s So Cuegly, is combine equal parts honey, olive oil and brown sugar. My second batch (because I’ve been luh-huving it) was made with coconut oil, which works too. Rub a dab on your kisser, smack your lips together and back and forth a time or two, then rinse or wipe off. Give it a go, you’ll be glad you paid some attention to your neglected pout!

Second up, smooth leg city.

It looks a heck of a lot like the curd I made this summer.

This recipe however, slims you down (technically). It’s for leg shaving! Let me warn you up front to not swap your sugar out for salt. Ouch. I didn’t make that mistake, but it makes me feel like a responsible adult to warn everyone else.

Thanks to One Good Thing By Jillee for this leg/life changing tip. No exaggeration either! I knew I had to give it a try after reading the 100 positive comments on Jillee’s blog.

All you need is sugar, oil and citrus juice. Visit One Good Thing for the complete recipe. I’d love to post it here, but plagerism just ain’t cool.

As I have told you before, my mom starts much advice with, “Do yourself a favor”. So ladies (and some gents?) do yourself a favor and try this! Your legs will give your baby’s butt a run for it’s money. Or, for it’s diaper, since your baby’s butt most likely has no money.

 

She-Ra, Master of the Universe

 

Wait, how can She-Ra be Master of the Universe if He-Man was? And really, why were we not all a little smarter back then? Is He-Man the best name the cartoon writers could come up with? That’s almost as bad as Dog-Canine. Why wasn’t She-Ra named She-Lady or She-Woman? I think I’m really on to something here. or not.

I just had a few photos I thought I’d share. They have brought me joy and I thought they could deliver some to you as well. If they do not, you can always just have fun judging me.

– First up, top-left corner, the donuts made at Pier 39. Ah, heaven! I stayed on Earth however, as I didn’t start re-eating gluten until the next day.

– Next photo, 2 packages of boneless pork ribs cooked in a crockpot full of bbq sauce and apple juice. Easy-breezy cholesterol gonna make me wheezy.

– Third is Dallas working on his favorite new snack, Ants on “THE” Log. We were out of raisins, so his version is made with chocolate chips. I’ve always dreamed that Dallas would grow up to be a celebrity chef. Not a real, working chef who has to work on Christmas Eve and wakes up at noon. Just a celebrity chef. I think it’s in the works.

– Bottom left photo is a crowning moment in my journey through motherhood. Those aren’t carrots. That’s my two-year old passed out mid-Winnie the Pooh DVD, stained orange with Cheetos. Total artificial flavored awesomeness.

– The duck photo was taken at a local shopping plaza with man-hunting birds. They know when they see a toddler holding a white box, it means they are about to chow on some $1.98 duck seeds sold at the grocery store nearby. I’d say this was easily 1/3 of the ducks which would have eaten me and Max alive, had they been zombies.

– Lastly, Bob’s Gluten Free Bread Mix, once it found its way out of my garage sale bread maker. Holy heaven on a stick. It did not taste gluten free, but I know it was. Otherwise I’d be full of heartburn. It made up the second half of our meat/bread dinner. I kinda need to go veggie shopping.

Gotta hit the hay, it’s another big day of Kindergarten carpool and cleaning marker off the wall. G’night!

WAIT! I forgot the whole reason why I titled this post, She-Ra. I made some hard boiled eggs tonight and they turned out purrrrr-fect. No grey around the yolk, peeled like a dream. I felt like I could have conquered the world at that moment.

 

Wait, Wait!

Don’t think I won’t ever be talking about food, I still totally love food! I woke up and realized I may have sent the wrong message last night. Because we na-huh-heed to talk about Hungry Girl’s pumpkin pie as well as Autumn Casserole.
Happy Fall Ya’ll! (Do you say that Auntie Debi?)

I’m 35.

No, it’s not my birthday. It’s just really sinking in that I am 35. My eyes aren’t super sharp and I finally can find some crow’s feet if I study my smiling face in the mirror. I am not quite twice my 18 year old self and definitely not going to accept that I am half way to 70.

A fellow mom and I were chatting this morning about Kindergarten drop off. She feels like she’s the oldest mom there and I told her that I didn’t share that feeling. Where I live, many homes function by having both parents work full-time while one set of grandparents live in their homes and take care of the little ones. Thanks to all the grand-folk at drop-off, I feel pretty young. I may not be in a mini-skirt, but I don’t shuffle when I walk. The rest of the moms are around the same age as me, unless I’m just in serious denial.

I am finally however, coming to the realization that need to spend more than $6.99 at CVS for a skin-care routine.

By the way,  you noticed my blog has become less and less about food?

You can blame it on 35. Our good friend Sharron once told Jy and me that every seventh year is considered a transitional year. I’ve mentioned that before, I know. Things are really changing however and Jy always remembers to remind me of our transitional year! I won’t bore you with all the details, but my life is slowly shifting.

So yeah, I’m gonna be talking less about food. Probably not less about coffee though.

Explanation? Click.

What will be on my mind that I’ll probably be sharing?

 

I might be talking about a particular HBO series I may or may not be in love with. It may or may not rhyme with Game of Phones.

I might be talking about papercrafting projects and all things Close to My Heart.

I might be talking about my friend Pete and his fun app that’s about to come out.

I might be talking politics. Just kidding, I’ll be talking about the Today show.

I won’t be talking about Calliou. I totally hate Calliou.

I’ll be talking more about family. I want to learn how to somehow merge my old family blog with this one. Anyone know?

Here’s what is really goin’ on…

Have you ever thought about something you’ve wanted to do, only to be constantly greeted by opportunities, inspiration and plenty of not so coincidental reminders?

I have something in the works that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve been reminded of it over and over each time I walk by myself, take a shower or really do anything where there aren’t small voices at my leg asking for apple juice.

I’ve been bombarded lately with lots of funny little run-ins that remind me where my heart belongs and what I should be doing.

Ready for it?

I’m training to become a tattoo artist.

Just kidding.

I’m writing a book. It is already started, it consumes my thoughts and I don’t want to talk about it. I want to bury my head in the sand (unless there are those nasty sand-flies) and just pretend it’s not happening.

But, it is.

It’s about faith and it’s funny. Ugh. Faith. Dont. Want. To. Write. It.

Then again, I can’t not write it.

That’s all I want to say about it for now. No more talking.

Tell ‘Em Large Marge Sent Ya!

I can remember three different quotes from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Large Marge makes the cut! I made a breakfast fit for a big mama this morning, which is why I have Marge on the mind. Accepting my gluten-free fate has caused me to take a second look at breakfast. Especially now that I have run out of gluten-free oats and haven’t made it back to Trader Joe’s to buy a reasonably priced bag.

I had scant one cup (does that sound right?) quinoa sitting in the fridge and took it upon myself to do a bit of experimenting. I mixed together the quinoa, 3 egg whites, a smashed banana and a teaspoon of vanilla before “frying” it all up in a non-stick skillet. (Don’t add butter, oil or spray). It takes about 3 minutes for this pancake to bind together and form a skin suitable for flipping. I was THIS close to mastering the flip, alas my quinoa-cake did not survive. It was beautiful, you’ll have to believe me.

With a little syrup and berries on top, this quinoa pancake is totally going to become part of a new routine. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I found a breakfast that keeps me seriously full all morning long.

CONFESSION TIME

I bought a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks yesterday. And again today. And I freaking loved them. I promise myself I will get some canned pumpkin soon and make my own pumpkin syrup.

So, guess what? After I confessed the above to my husband (we are on a tight budget right now), he confessed the same. Except, he opted for the salted caramel mocha. We are so coffee-weak.

My sweet husband and I celebrated our seven-year anniversary on Tuesday. We work well together, except when it comes to reality television. Jy prefers any show with judges. I like any show that isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses. Honey Boo-Boo, anyone?

I ran into my pal Jen at yesterday’s Starbucks visit and we had a good chuckle about our hometown. There is a serious case of “keeping up” around this area, but no one really knows who the Jones’s are. The golden treadmill will just never end and I’m trying my best not to hop on. Hence, Honey Boo-Boo.

The Other White Meat

I’m so proud of my dinner tonight. It took no effort, was cheap and tasted awesome. Those are the three best ingredients, aren’t they?

Here’s all you do:

Cover a bunch (technical term) of boneless pork ribs, (country-style) in taco seasoning. Grab a packet or skip the additives and make your own. Place ribs in a large crockpot and pour 1 cup apple juice over the meat. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Set it and forget it! Wait, is that line copyrighted?

The pork was awe-to the-some, friends. I ate mine over green leaf lettuce with sliced apples, avocados and some balsamic. Hot dang! The boys took theirs burrito style and everyone was pleased!

Fall is in the air and I am itchin’ to make some Autumn Sausage Casserole. Off to bathe the dirty ones…

 

 

 

Wedding Joy and Some MVPs

We were guests at the beautiful wedding of Jy’s cousin and his bride this weekend. I blame the rise of the scale on that cocktail you see in the photo above.

It totally couldn’t be because I ate this whole plate of food (plus a serious brunch feast at a party in the morning and lunch at my sister in-law’s baby shower in the afternoon), right?

Our self portrait. I had to sneak my mom’s bracelet into the photo. Not that sneaky, was it?

Jy and his four brothers. From the top left: Jy, Holt, Sonny. Bottom Left: Lonnie, Faith and Don. Faith is Don’s wife and I jokingly told her that being in the photo made her the girl their mom had tried repeatedly for. When people ask if I plan to try for a girl, I laugh and think what life would be like with five boys! One of my favorite brother stories Jy has told me is about the time he was forced to stop wrestling in the pillow-padded room that he was playing in. Lonnie had ran into the wall and couldn’t see for a minute. Yeah, that’s life with boys for ya!

After a crazy Saturday, I woke up early to take Dallas out to breakfast with his buddies he met as a baby. They are all within 4 months of each other and have been playing together for over four years. I have a photo of Dallas and I from our breakfast morning, but I don’t think I’ll be publishing a nice bloated photo of me on the internet, gracias.

Wanting to reel it in, I made one of my favorite dishes, eva. Jamie Oliver’s Asian Chicken Noodle Broth. The post I wrote about this recipe is my second most popular. At least two people a day find my blog because of it. I hate the original photo, so this was an opportunity to redo!

My number one most popular recipe, thanks to Pinterest is Hawaiian Dip. Somehow, this dip got legs. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever made. Sure, it’s fun, but I would suggest a few other things first. You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth though, and bringing 200 new viewers a DAY to my blog earns Hawaiian Dip an MVP (most valuable post) award.

This dip could NOT be easier to make!

  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut (I prefer flaked over shredded)
  • 20 oz. can pineapple (chunks or crushed)
  • nuts or cherries to top dip with

Blend all ingredients together in food processor to crush up pineapple and coconut pieces. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. I think it tastes great with Trader Joe’s Pita Crackers, but I am sure there are plenty of dipping options you can find!

**UPDATE**

I’ve had readers tell me they have tried fresh pineapple, all the juice in the can, no juice in the can and it all works! My favorite dipping suggestion thus far has been graham cracker sticks!

Most popular post #3: Midnight In Paris post

One of my FAVORITES:

The pre-gluten free days of yore. Sigh.

Number five always throws me for a loop. Can you believe that 2 people a day, EVERY DAY, google the term, “confused Asian” and wind up at my page about Pho. It’s all for a photo of Jackie Chan.  

Next up, Moneyball and Garlic Fries.

Going down the list:

One that you MUST try:

It’s ok if it’s ugly, it’s healthy and tastes good.

That’s enough for one day and it’s time to run to the store. It’s 5:20 pm and there is no dinner in sight. Nice, eh?