Oh Oh Something Shiny!!!

No Theme Required – Just Whatever comes up in my Brain

Plated Cookbook Review — August 31, 2016

Plated Cookbook Review

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the food delivery company, Plated, but the idea behind it is to provide people with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients + chef-designed recipes so that anyone can make their own meals at home, and this book definitely reflects that philosophy.

The book is divided into the following chapters:
-Kitchen Basics (covers how to outfit your kitchen, what to stock in your pantry, “kitchen commandments,” knife skills…)
-Flavoring
-Weeknight Dinners
-Great For Leftovers
-Make Ahead
-Weekend Feasts
-For A Crowd (recipe menus include…Date Night, Cocktail Party, Fancy Pants Dinner Party, Sunday Supper, Weekend Brunch, Backyard Barbecue, and Thanksgiving Dinner!)
-On the Side
-At the End

Learn how to make all kinds of different spice rubs, marinades, dressings, sauces, and infusions, or check out the quick weeknight meal recipes, make-ahead recipes for bulk-cooking (includes storage instructions), leftover meal ideas, weekend feast recipes, menus for entertaining (complete with timelines on how to make everything so you don’t have to ignore your guests), recipes for side dishes, and desserts!

There’s an appendix at the back with a seasonal produce guide and glossary. Each recipe includes a short intro, serving size, the ingredient list and the instructions.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books

Home Cooked – Anya Fernald — May 6, 2016

Home Cooked – Anya Fernald

Home Cooked by Anya Fernald  caught my eye because everything is made from scratch.  I enjoy making everything homemade even though it is more time consuming.

 

When I got the cookbook, I was very excited.  Unfortunately, most of the stuff I will never make.  She wasn’t lying when she said everything is homemade from scratch!  There are a few things that I will probably try like Biscuits, Aioli, and a few egg recipes.  Other than that, it is all stuff I have never heard of or things that are difficult to get.

For instance, what in the heck is Maltagliati?  Well, I just googled it and it is some sort of noodle.  It has homemade sausage recipes and lots of canned items.  However, if you don’t have the equipment to make sausage it isn’t worth it.

I thought by the description it would be like having some of my grandma’s recipes.  That is definitely not the case.  I am sure it is great for some people but honestly , it took me three weeks to even want to pick the book up long enough to write this review so I could order my next one.

 

I received this book in return for my honest review from blogging for books.

 

 

Around the Fire — April 6, 2016

Around the Fire

I admit, I am not the grill master.  The way it works in my house is I season the meat or veggies and The Hubs does it.  For the most part, this system works for us.  However, I have learned that he is not allowed to grill while I am not home.  He has used (and not replaced) too many of my cake pans to catch drippings or for whatever else.

Hello!!!  Use a sheet pan dude!!!

I saw Around the Fire on Blogging for Books and decided to order it for my next Cookbook review.  I had never heard of Ox Restaurant before but I figured it must be good.  Come to think of it, I don’t even know anyone who has ever been to Oregon actually.  I wonder if it is one of the less traveled vacation spots that everyone is missing out on.  I may have to check into that….

Okay, this isn’t about me.  Its’ about the book.  Sorry I got off track for a minute there.

It is a very nice book I have to admit.  It has your basic sections:

Entradas

Chilled Seafood

Grilled Meats

Grilled Seafood

Grilled Vegetables

Salads

Warm Vegetable Dishes

Desserts

Cocktails

There is a section on the restaurant, explaining the experience you may have if you go the restaurant.  There is a huge grill in the middle of it. That sounds pretty cool. She also explains how the owners, Greg and Gabi, have a different approach to the whole grilling game.  It isn’t just throwing something on the grill. So far, to me, this makes it sound like “fancy grilling”.

There is a section on Grilling Basics which I am most anxious about.  It goes into the styles of grills, different fuels, woods, grilling tools, etc.  It also speaks quite a bit about smoking.

Being a Texan, the recipes are good because they’re not just steaks on a grill. I like that fact that there are lots of different things listed in the book along with the directions.  I am trying this whole healthy eating thing so this book seems to be helpful from what I see.  They even have a grilled halved cantaloupe stuffed with Ricotta and Prosciutto!!!!  How dreamy does that sound????

There are several Froie Gras recipes, quail, a lot of seafood, and lamb.  Of course there is beef and chicken as well but I like the different choices especially when I am in the mood to try something new.  Some things will need to be purchased at a specialty store but not much.  Most of the recipes are Argentina based.

I think this cookbook will be great for if you’re having a party.  Mind you, a lot of them are not just season and throw it on the grill.  Most of them require steps before hand that could take 3 or 4 days.  To some, that may sound difficult but to me I like it.  I can prepare, mess up my kitchen, etc. before hand so when I do invite people over, all I have to do is take it out and do the final stages.  This allows me to sit and have my Argentinian wine with all my friends while The Hubs grills it.  This also allows me to monitor (hover) and make sure he does not use anymore of my good baking pans.

 

 

I quit sugar book review — March 28, 2016

I quit sugar book review

I am all for cooking healthier and try to for the most part.  Of course, my “healthy eating” consists of only allowing myself one tortilla with my order of fajitas vs. all four.  Perhaps that is why no matter how much I work out I have never had “abs”.

The recipes in this book are very interesting and I do have every intention of trying a few of them.  However, a lot of it is hard to find ingredients.  Sarah Wilson ‘s cookbook, I quit Sugar, has a lot of great information though.   I do not see myself following it to a tee but I could see myself trying it out for certain items or using the facts.  I live in a suburbia area so therefore, a Whole Foods is not very close for me to locate all the ingredients.  I do have a sprouts and tried to locate some of the different oats in the bin area the other day and they were not available.

When viewing her blog, I see that she has several other cookbooks that may be of more interest.  She has an Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook!!!  A Sugar Free Chocolate Cookbook??!!  Yes, I definitely want to try that one out.

Here are a few of her recipes online   if you would like to try a few out before purchasing the cookbook. I was lucky enough to receive this book in return for my honest opinion from blogging for books .

 

Cravings Review — March 9, 2016
Cravings Review  —

Cravings Review 

Chrissy Teigen is becoming my new girl crush.  She is funny, loves to eat, and loves to drink. I mean, what else would you want!

I have never watched her show.  I don’t have cable 😦  I first saw her on Lip Sync battle when people share the videos on FB or I search for them on You tube when I am bored.  When I heard she was with John Legend, I was thinking he was a singer from back in the day but now I don’t know.  I have no clue who he is honestly. I have heard him sing though and I do like this songs. I guess you can say I am not a “fan” though.  I would go to a concert of course but wouldn’t pay for them from my own wallet.

I was really excited when I saw her cookbook coming out.  However, I was scared that all her book would have is the same recipes available on  her website.  I feel like if I buy a cookbook I should have something the rest of the world doesn’t.  I was more intrigued when I noticed she hadn’t added any recipes in quite sometime so maybe she was understanding where I was coming from (cause we are friends like that).

Well, I got the best of both worlds!  I received the book from blogging for books in exchange for my review!!!  Win Win!!!  Honestly, I love it!  I would’ve paid for it.  Her humor shows through the entire book.  She is so down to earth (besides all her matching pajamas she wears ) in all her pictures.  It’s not healthy food at all.  There are quite a few salad recipes that honestly look good to me.  I am not a salad adventurer. I like lettuce, veggies, maybe a meat along with dressing.  No nuts, fruits, or anything else.

Normally, I wouldn’t be able to try a recipe mid week since I do meal prep most of the time. But this weekend, I was a bad girl and went day drinking with my friends. Therefore, I am having to come home and cook every night.

So… while I was waiting on my pork tenderloin to cook, I decided to go ahead and try Chrissy’s Caesar Salad recipe since I had nothing better to do anyway.  Plus, I had some romaine lettuce that needed to be used.  I normally use The Pioneer Woman’s Recipe but I decided to step out of my box.  I didn’t have Anchovy Paste though so I subbed three anchovies just as I would use in The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.   It was very good!!!!  I didn’t use the Sarriachi though because my daughter doesn’t like it.  I did leave the lettuce like “boats” though and I admit I like this better.  With the lettuce like this I didn’t have to dirty another dish for the salad (since my food can’t touch each other).  The hubs just ate it like a taco.  It was kind of fun.

When you’re old, you look for anything in your life to be exciting. 

Here is her recipe for the dressing:

1 Cup mayo

4 Cloves of garlic

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan / reggiano cheese ( I only had parmesan)

2 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce or more to taste ( or none in my case)

1 1/2 tsp Anchovy paste ( I used three anchovies from a can)

1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp kosher salt * see note

1/4 tsp black pepper

I just threw everything in the blender and turned it on.  I also made homemade croutons as well since the tenderloin was taking so much longer than expected.

*At the beginning of her cookbook, she explains that the salt she uses is Diamond Chrystal Salt .  She says if using any other brand to use half the salt she says to use.  You can always add more.

I love how she is “real” and puts herself out there.  The food isn’t fancy but it’s not junk either.  She has quite a bit of Thai recipes also which I am excited about.  I also think since my daughter is a fan, she will be more intrigued to get in the kitchen and try a few things out herself.



Sorry I was late for work…. —

Sorry I was late for work….

 

but there was a naked lady dancing on an 18 wheeler in traffic.

Yes, there is that excuse that people in Houston can use if they were late to work on this past Monday, March 7, 2016.

I was actually at the doctor with Jordan when I first heard the “news”.  I was scrolling through the news feed and saw this article come across my feed.  I actually didn’t even read the article much less open it at first. I just immediately thought it would be humorous to share and say “Sorry if I made you late for work this morning.  I just felt the need to dance”.

In reality, I was just wanting to save the article for later so that I can read the comments people write.  People get in these crazy arguments on these public forums with total strangers.  It is quite entertaining how THOSE people have nothing to do.

Please ignore the fact that I plan on reading these posts at 3:00 AM when I cannot sleep.  It’s my past time when everyone else is asleep and I am bored.  I love to read them and think how much better of a person I am because I am not engaging in there democracy.  🙂  Oh, and to steal memes from people who are only there for entertainment as well. 

Surprisingly, there were not that many mean comments about the Crazy Dancing Lady.  Yes there were your few fat comments and of course the drug questions floating around but for the most part, people were actually sympathetic for her.  There were people saying how this is someone’s mother, sister, daughter, etc. and everyone making fun of her was rude.

When I read that I honestly felt guilty .  They were right.  Then I asked myself what my friends would do if I did some crazy crap like that……

My Wharton friends would laugh at me the first chance they got.  They would tell me the next time they saw me that they told me I couldn’t dance worth a crap before why in the world would I do it in front of traffic, much less naked.

My Winnie friends would tell me I really need to quit drinking so early in the am.  The adult (meaning my mom’s friends or people I grew up with) Winnie friends would put me on the prayer list at church.

My husband would totally just deny the whole situation and become more of an introvert than he already is.  He is very worried about what others think of him (and he denies that every time I make this comment even though he has still not told anyone in his family that Jordan is pregnant) .

My daughters would be mortified!!!  Jordan would cry and be totally embarrassed.  Avery would slam me all over social media because she is still at the defying teenage stage where I mean nothing to her.

I do honestly feel sorry for this lady.  However, when I have done stupid stuff or embarrassed myself in the past, I know no other way to handle the situation than through making fun of myself.  Laughter has always been the best medicine.

Who knows, maybe she is  going through some serious issues and to take her mind off of it she decided to do something ridiculous to take her mind off of it.  I know when I am having a bad day I will try and make others laugh to make me feel better.  Well, I am looking at it like that.  She wants others to laugh cause I am sorry….  this is funny.

I mean who wakes up in the morning and says I am going to climb an 18 wheeler, strip butt naked and twerk for two hours in traffic?

Or maybe she just has a thing for firemen.

 

Here are some of the memes of her.  I did the shaving one myself.  I just know I am very proud when I shave.



  

Homemade Pizza Night  —

Homemade Pizza Night 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of changes in our house.

1. My daughter announced she is pregnant. In anyone’s world this would be life changing but for me it is Quadruple life changing. Why? Well, she was a virgin one day talking to me about her options for B.C since she has a boyfriend and telling me she had made an appointment to being pregnant a week later. Obviously, she did not wait until her B.C. appointment came around.

I mean, you waited 19 years and 8 months, could you have waited 30 more days or at least worn a condom?

But, whatever! It’s done and a great thing is going to come from this.

2. The boyfriend’s (aka “Baby daddy”) father kicked him out when he found out my daughter was pregnant

3. We had to move him in as well

4. Three days after moving in Dustin lost his job so now he is there full time

5. Did I already mention my daughter is a junior in college and is pregnant???!!!

After I have all that out of the way, I guess it is obvious to anyone who reads this that our life has turned upside down. Not only do we have a baby coming into our lives but I have also inherited a 20 year old boy. I have never had boys before!!!! I have no idea what to do with them. Heck, I barely know what to do with my husband I surely don’t know how to treat a kid living with us !!!!

As we discussed in a our family meeting regarding the living arrangements, there would be crazy times coming into the near future. Some days we will love each other, some days we would  hate each other, etc. The point is the ending result which is this cute little (girl) baby coming into our lives.

Last week was one of those weeks we hated each other. Well, not hated but was very very angry with each other….. After arguing all day on Friday and crying all day on Saturday I decided it was a night to Shake it off.

(Please feel free to job in place and sing the Taylor Swift Song here).

While the guys worked in the yard I started whipping of my favorite  pizza dough recipe .  What brings the family together more than cooking (and drinking) together in the kitchen?

Greg and Dustin got into it more than I thought they would.  They rolled out the pizza and helped me cut up the veggies for the pizza.  We turned on the music and “knocked it all out” together.

 

Now I will be honest here…  Greg rarely (never) helps in the kitchen so this was a huge shock to me.  We were discreetly letting Dustin know that we would appreciate his help around the house and Greg was demonstrating how we all “knock things out” as a family.  When he didn’t know where the cheese grater was nor the pizza pans, I think Dustin became skeptical that this was all a trick.  At one point Greg tried sneaking off but I quickly found him and made him continue to help.

Several times during the process, I would remind them that I do this every  meal 🙂

Dustin specifically requested to “decorate” all the pizzas.  Go for it!

For the Italian pizza, I did slightly cook the bell peppers and mushrooms before putting them on the pizza.  As soon as we cooked the crust, Dustin covered them with sauce, the cooked veggies, Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, salami, and pepperoni.

For the taco pizza, I (Dustin)  put some homemade salsa for the sauce, cheddar cheese, conjita cheese, the bell peppers and jalapenos.

While the pizzas were cooking and  the guys were cleaning, I made margaritas.

By the time I bought the stuff to make everything I think I spent about $150 on for three pizzas and four margaritas.  Talk about a cheap night in right?

When I think about it that way, it is almost frustrating.  I mean, anyone who has made pizza dough or anything that needs to be rolled out, knows it is a mess.  Then there is the money and time cleaning, chopping, etc.  But if we had ridden down to the restaurant, had pizza and margaritas we would’ve been done in an hour.  After we came home, we would’ve laid on the couch and watched TV or played on our phones or whatever.  I think after a rough two days, this was the perfect way to bring us all back together and make us remember that we will always put the fun in Dysfunctional.

Both turned out really good.  I remember taking the girls to CiCi’s pizza when they were little and loving their Taco pizza.  I have been craving one so that was the reasoning behind that.  Well, my ground beef was starting to turn brown too. I had to do something with it.

CiCi’s PIzza?  No…..  CiCi’s Castle!

The Indian Family Kitchen — February 27, 2016

The Indian Family Kitchen

I love Indian food there is no doubt about that. I received this cookbook today and cannot wait for my Sunday Funday of cooking meals to cook a few of these up! 

Anjali Pathak is the author. Honestly, I have never heard of her (should I be embarassed about that). The book is full of recipes she enjoyed growing up with. I like it because it is not full of your traditional Indian recipes you get in a restaurant. It is full of recipes that I actually grew up on but with Indian spices (not just curry added in) . 

If you are bored with cooking the same thing but your family isn’t into true Indian cuisine I would recommend this cookbook. It’s just different techniques to everyday food. 
   
   

Once Upon a Secret — February 25, 2016

Once Upon a Secret

I am always listening to audio books at work.  It helps me try and block the stupidity within my office.  🙂  Today, my boss was gone so I was able to listen to an entire book in one day and get tons of work done!! Yay!

 

I have always been interested in President Kennedy.  Not that I care about politics but because he was cute.  🙂  Also, because there are so many books about him, more than other presidents anyway. I downloaded Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with John F. Kennedy and its’ Aftermath .

At first, I was kind of bored with hearing about how she was raised but once she got the job at the White House it was very interesting. She got hired making $67 per week her Freshman Summer of college in 1962.

Isn’t that a good salary for an intern back then?

The President didn’t waste anytime. Within the first week, while issuing a tour of the The White House, the president takes   Mimi Beardsley for a detour and shows her his bedroom (Yes, him and Mrs. Kennedy had separate rooms).  While showing her the room, he proceeds to have sex with her!!!!  She was a virgin!!!  I am not saying it was rape.  She explains how at that age how influenced you are.

I mean, this is the President of the United States. What would you do?

Over the next 18 months, they had a secret affair.  Through his assistant, Dave Powers, they would meet up, go for afternoon swims, etc.  When traveling, she would play the “waiting game” in a hotel room.  When he had time away he would have Dave let her know where to go for their hook ups.

I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes.  I had a few uncomfortable situations growing up with “powerful” men.  I was young though. At 19, I am sure even though she was innocent, she still had to be star struck as well.  No it wasn’t right but he should have been more ashamed by using his power to control these women he was having affairs.

They were still seeing each other the day of the shooting. They had actually had plans to meet up after.  While everyone was in shock, she was grieving but couldn’t tell anyone.  At her age, I am sure she was in love.  She explains for years that the media was always sniffing around trying to figure out who all the women were that he had affairs with.  That is her reasoning for writing the book after all these years.  She wanted to bring it to the surface before the media did. None of her family had known. She kept the secret all those years.