Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Of Course it was Shepards Pie

My family is Irish in heritage.
I always try to keep some of the family traditions going to my kids.
This is one of their hands-down favorites
I start with 2 lbs of ground meat (usually pork and beef, but knock yourself out with whatever you fancy( brown them with a chopped onion IN A CAST IRON skillet.
There is no room for substitution here.
When almost completely brown but not quite, drain the fat pour in a bottle or can of Guinness beer and a handful or two of sliced mushrooms
let it simmer on med low for 10 min
add a small bag of frozen mixed veggies (carrots, peas, corn, beans, potatos, etc) and a can of golden mushroom soup. stir top with mashed potatoes (home made or box...up to you) bake in cast iron @350 for 30 min.

Bacon Mushroom Swiss Turkey Burger

Thursday, February 14, 2013

 was raised on seafood and am very comfortable working with it, cooking it, and experimenting.

my bff jill (who is a spark sister as well and is looking amazing) , not so much.

so today she and her hubby went to one of our amazinf fresh seafood markets here on the coast and bought a couple dozen oysters in the shell and brought them over for she and i to prepare while we watched the very rained out daytona.

First of all...DONT BE SCARED OF SEAFOOD. it's amazing for you and is really easy and quick to prepare. you could have a fabulous seafood dinner before you could go through a drive thru

we started with a bag of closed, fresh oysters. the closed part will take you some time, WAY easier if you can get them raw on the half shell, but if you have some time, closed fresh ones are very affordable and EASY, just takes a little time.

scrub the oysters in cool water with a scrub brush. sand and loose shell tend to add unwanted crunch ;)

pre-heat the oven to 400

use a cookie sheet or large roasting pan

lay cooling racks or rock salt along the bottom of the pan to prevent the oysters from sliding around

place the scrubbed oysters on the racks rounded side down. sometimes you cant tell for certain which side is the bottom, don't stress it.

place them in the 400 degree oven for 15 min, then check them for the first time. they will begin to open themselves.

as soon as they start to open, take them out. it can take from 15 - 25 min just check every 5 min or so.

do not worry about fish smell in the house. you actually get a sea smell from the shells and it's lovely

once you take them out, use a hot pad, or oven mitt in your non-dominant hand to hold the oyster. this will protect you from cutting and the heat.

use a butter knife or the very best is one of those grapefruit knives that is dull (slightly square) on top and serrated on both sides to slide into the area that is opening and the top should pop quite easily. if they don't throw them back into the oven for a little while. don't get frustrated fighting them. they will open eventually. oysters are such a delightful experience to eat it's necessary to not stress yourself out.

because the meat is only partially cooked, sometimes the meat will try to adhere to the top and bottom, just pry it off the top

place all of your veryy pretty half-shells on another cookie sheet

make stuffing: (you can change this up to your own taste. it's more about the technique)

a can of petite tomato drained
1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheese
2T fat free creamy caeser
3T crushed almond slivers
2T bread crumbs
garlic powder to taste
pepper to taste

spoon stuffing onto the oysters. pop the cookie sheet under the broiler for 4-5 min until you see the cheese bubble.

scoop meat and stuffing out of shell with a fork and eat in one bite. some like them on crackers, i HAVE to hit them with hot sauce.


tequila lime chicken makeover

my tequila lime chicken used to be
fried chicken
tequila shot (s)
lime chaser

in a gallon freezer bag
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup lime juice
2 garlic cloves
dash of cumin
one chopped onion

marinade boneless skinless chicken breasts over night in the marinade and then grill em. yummmmmmm

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

coke chicken

for those who don't know, my kitchen is my happy place. that is the one place in the world that i am in complete control. life is good in the kitchen. i'm one of those crazy people who bounce out of the bed at 6am on thanksgiving and christmas just because i know i get to cook all day.

i'm very much looking forward to making the (diet) Coke chicken. i'm actually making it with diet dr pepper. i've made ribs with diet dr pepper adn the flavor is fantastic.

later today...going to do a little strength training on the total gym that is no longer a big dust getter. i wanted to get out and walk but it is definitely freaky cold for florida. where the hell is that global warming guy now?

then going to have some girl time with my daughters and watch 'the help' and finally cap off the night flipping back and forth between the cowboys game and next iron chef.

life is good. not living too out loud today, but may if i need to

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

have you ever wanted to bitch slap a yogy?

me neither, til today....it had been coming. i have a FANTASTIC job that allows me to work out 1 hour 3 times per week. i'm on a schedule. the class is a 50 min class and is a 5 min walk from the office. should be easy right? WRONG! this chick addresses one of my biggest pet peeves....those who don't value others' time. my time is valuable. your time is valuable. behave accordingly.

often she doesn't start on time so i had adjusted the time in which i go over from 1015 (supposed start) to 1030. i get there at 1030 today and she's sitting on the floor b.s.'ing with folks from her previous class. SERIOUSLY!?!?!! completely unprofessional. i left the class....

what to do now, make lemonade. how do you make lemonade in the gym with flip flops on? hmmmm. got it...stationary bike and hand weights.

note to self...ditch the idea of attempting to guess her schedule, find my own damn zen and always bring kicks to the gym

Thursday, September 20, 2012

as any of you who have read my blogs, i'm not politically correct. i don't intend to offend, but i don't apologize for who i am. i was navy wife barbie in public for almost 2 decades and i will not surrender my identity for anyone or anything.

so...obviously i'm not crude, but if you are of the sensitive nature and any of my writings offend you, just move along. you are welcome to not read them...

ahhhh...with all that said, i have not offended any of my spark brothers or sisters to my knowledge. i just started with that disclaimer after i wrote the word 'chick' in my title and considered re-wording. why would i re-word. they are mine. i own them.

onto the actual topic...my awesome 16 yr old daughter and her future farmers of america chapter made it to state yet again this year for another category! yay them. they work and study so hard.

i was unable to chaperone the last overnight state trip so i was thrilled when i got to do this one.

i get an email from the teacher that me and another (who i happened to know is extremely over protective and treats her perfectly normal daughter like an invalid and reminds me very much of kristen chenovich's character on the GCB) and told us we would have to figure out driving arrangements since the kids would all be riding in the van and that we would be sharing a room.

here's my driving arrangement. i'm going the 5 hour drive thru florida, top down on the jeep getting some rays. you are welcome to join me other crazy mom.

she'd love to she said and she's bringing her 5 YEAR OLD GRANDBABY THAT SHE IS RAISING WITH US.


so i've already decided that i'm not sharing a room with a 5 yr old that isn't blood or that i'm required to love. i didn't like sharing hotel rooms with my own kids when they were little. oh hell no

so i send a side email to the teacher who is equally mortified. she suggests i stay with 3 of the teenage girls (including mine) and the crazy mom's daughter can stay in teh room with her and the 5 yr old.

crazy mom didn't like that. she thinks her daughter would rather (really? rather?) stay with the other girls.

the most awesomist teacher found a diplomatic way to let the crazy mom know that this was her apple that upset the apple cart so basically get over it or pay for your own damn room.

seriously? who does that?

3.5 miles made me feel better but it didn't make her less of space invader oblivious dumb A**