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Thai Tea at Home  — February 25, 2016

Thai Tea at Home 

The Hubs and I were riding around trying to figure out what to eat one evening.  Finally, we decided on Thai food.  I got on yelp and found the nearest restaurant near us.  I can’t remember the name of it now but it was a Maw and Paw place off the beaten path in Houston.

We had eaten Thai food many times before but had never had Thai Tea.  The reviews on Yelp were all raving about this particular tea so we had to try it!  For $2.99 you get a huge mug of it.

Unfortunately, there is no refills but after googling the recipe while there, that is probably a good thing:

  1. It was 7:00 pm and I don’t need that much caffeine that late
  2. It has tons of whipped cream!
  3. Has lots of sugar also !

But it is ssssooooo good!!!!!  If you have never tried it, I highly recommend.

For the record, I do not like Chai tea. This tastes nothing like that.

When I googled Thai Tea Recipes, they were saying to buy this tea.  Immediately, while at the table, I hit purchase.

There are lots of recipes but from what I read, they’re mostly all the same. You adjust the cream, sugar, and tea ratio to your personal taste.

The tea is loose leaf tea.  This was a huge problem since I don’t know how to make tea from loose tea leaves, much less a large amount.   I finally  just decided to try it out in the coffee pot which worked out great!!!!!  I filled up my coffee bin with the tea leaves and waited on it to fill up.

Some recipes said to make it while its’ hot, some said its’ best the next day, etc.  To me, I like to make it then divide into mason jars and add the sugar so it will dissolve.  When I am wanting the tea, I just open up a jar, add some ice and my cream.

The pictures below are me making it my first time.  I was very upset I didn’t have the fancy layering the restaurant had. I was thinking surely it was the order the drink had to be poured.  Then I saw in one of the recipes that the layering comes from the sugar in the tea. Therefore, you can’t substitute the sugar if you want the layering look.  I tried this method the next time and I had my layers!!!!

My first attempt…. no layers 😦

No matter what if you start out with layers or not, it eventually turns orange no matter what

Here is a recipe along with some interesting facts as to why the tea is orange, different options you can try, etc.

Fat Girl Problem # 26554466544 —

Fat Girl Problem # 26554466544

I know! I know!  By my Featured Image I appear to be a classy, well put together individual headed to work at my classy job.

Yea right! This is an everyday occurrence for me I swear!  People often ask me why I am so perky and hyper (Isn’t that a nice word for annoying?) all the time.  The answer is simple:

I have to laugh at myself.  I am a hot mess.  There is no other way to describe my disFUNction.  Since 12:31 AM (Well, I didn’t have my glasses on. That is the time I saw on the microwave), my morning has been…..  well, normal (for my life).

At 12:30 AM, Hercules is crying.  We have him on a leash next to our bed because he likes to roam at night. When he roams, apparently he gets bored and likes to poop in the house.  Therefore, now when he gets bored (or actually wants to poop) we have to let him go outside and either do his business or just walk around for a few minutes while we are annoyed.  Usually, the Hubs gets up with him since Hercules is on his side of the bed.  Plus, I have a huge fan blowing right by my ear so I “can’t hear” Hercules when he cries.  Last night, Hercules kept crying and the Hubs kept saying, “Go to sleep”.  Finally, after the fifth “Go to sleep” I decided it was pretty boring laying there pretending to still sleep while they were having their argument. I got up and let him out.

Five minutes later, I call for him to come inside.  Of course, he has to go through the kitchen to make sure someone hasn’t accidentally left the trash can out or some food on the kitchen counter tops. After he is done with his patrolling I get him upstairs and put him back on his leash.

Now that I am wide awake, of course, I get on Pinterest.  Of course all these fitness and weight loss ideas are showing up in my feed.  Yep at 1:00 AM I am hyped. I am going to wake up at 5:00 AM this  and do one of these Cross Fit work outs!  I am going to get up every morning. According to this blog it is easy and only takes 15 minutes per day.

1:45 AM – Turn off phone and think about how hot I am going to look now that I am going to wake up at 5:00 AM and work out from now on

2:00 AM – staring in space thinking, “Well maybe I will wake up at 5:30 AM”

2:15 AM – Okay, I will still wake up at 5:30 AM but hit snooze JUST ONCE

6:00 AM – Pops come to tell me bye and says “Your alarm has been going off”

7:10 AM – Crap I should get in bed

When I am in a rush, I can always depend on my leggings to make it appear as if I actually tried to look cute.  I put on my trusty Denim (Or Chambray whatever ya’ll call it) shirt on with my leopard leggings. I couldn’t find my black scarf so brown had to do which meant I had to wear my brown boots.

Curl the hair and grab the boots.  Yes, its’ 7:20 I am good !

I put my left boot on and of course my boots have shrunk!  So I get the trusty hanger out and manage to pull them up.

IMG_5434[1]

Then comes the right leg.  Well, these come up much easier.  Whew!!!  I still have time to get out the door by 7:25 AM.

When I stand up

“Can I call and say I will be a few minutes late I am having fat girl Problems”

No!

So, I just head on to work! I am a trooper like that!

But of course, once I got to work, my friend helped me!  The boss can never say we do not work together.

While he is helping me, I remember I have a hole in the crotch of these leggings.  Don’t worry, I won’t show a picture of that.

 

 

“I will hold it while you pull”

 

Then I realized I could take the boot (and remembered the crotch thing) off and it would probably be easier.  He takes my boot to the back and gets the zipper back on track.  Dang cheap boots!!!

 

Finally!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky Rice Cookbook Review — February 18, 2016

Lucky Rice Cookbook Review

One night last week, I clicked on some link and found this website Blogging for Books .  I wanted to check it out because my book addiction is interfering with my alcohol addiction.  There has been a few times I couldn’t go out for margaritas because I spent too much on Amazon buying cookbooks or buying the “daily deal”.  Really???  They just do that to women to make us have to back out of GNOs.

I was really excited when you could request a book and it is a REAL PHYSICAL BOOK! I have been asked several times to review free books but had to be read through their website on my Kindle.  Yes, I am a huge Kindle fan and read most of my books on an electronic device but I do not like cookbooks on electronic devices. I want to make notes, fold the pages, make lists, etc.

This cookbook is great!  It is broken up into several categories such as Street Foods, Weird Foods, etc.   A lot of the ingredients will need to be bought at an Asian Grocery store.  I happen to love going to the one close to me but it is a Saturday kind of thing I Have to admit.  If you have never been in one, it is an experience.  I live in Houston.  When I go to the Viet Hoa in China Town here it is always an experience.  Well, you can look at it like an experience or you can go in a rush, get upset( cause they shop like they drive), or just enjoy it all.

If my post convinces someone to buy this book and go for an Asian Grocery shopping field trip just go with open eyes.  I love it!  Some weeks I buy all my groceries at the Asian grocery store. Warning:  They do not like white people in their store.  At times, the short older man in the meat market has refused to help me.  Its’ actually quite funny to me so if you’re the type to get upset and take things personally, don’t go.

Now back to the book…..    sorry I am sort of excited about going this weekend can you tell?

Danielle Chang is the author of the book.  In the book, she tells about her family moving to Houston and her trying to fit in by hiding her Asian heritage at first.  I also like how she includes the English version or explanation of the Asian names as well.  The photography is nice as well.  There are a few “out there” recipes like 1,000 year old eggs but for the most part, I would make everyone of these recipes.  I didn’t see any chicken feet listed 🙂

My favorite part about the book is in the back she has Party Menu ideas!  I am a sucker for having friends over for dinner, etc. so when I do It is always themed.  This makes it great and may even make me try something I normally wouldn’t make.  I do know Thai Beef Salad is on the menu for tonight!

 

 

 

 

 

Gumbo – John Besh Style — February 1, 2016

Gumbo – John Besh Style

gumbo 1

 

I am from Southeast Texas.  It is about 30 minutes from Louisiana.  Therefore, I consider myself on fleek when it comes to  Cajun food (notice I didn’t say eyebrows), especially gumbo.

 

I grew up with every mom knowing how to make gumbo. They were all basically the same.
You boil a chicken
Make your roux
put in your onions, parsley, etc and cook for awhile
Add the chicken and sausage later then simmer some more

Don’t get me wrong… this is probably still my favorite way. It is delicious and it just reminds me of home.

However, I have recently been on a cookbook kick. I swear I have ordered like 25 just this year. That may actually be down scaling it quite a bit honestly. I heard of John Besh, a Louisiana Chef, so I wanted to try his cookbook. I ordered his Louisiana Restaurant one but surprisingly it did not have gumbo in it. Really? That is just weird. Thankfully, his home cookbook did. It had an entire different technique as well.

Yesterday, when I was making my meals for the week, I started boiling a chicken and decided I was going to try John Besh’s recipe. Well, after I already started boiling the chicken I realized that his technique was totally different. He browns the chicken and sausage in the roux before even adding any chicken stock!!!! Weird!!!! Has anyone else ever heard of this technique? Thankfully, I had taken out some chicken thighs as well so I threw those in the roux and browned them. I was scared the entire time the roux was going to burn since I hadn’t added any liquid yet. All went well though.

After browning the chicken thighs I added the sausage and browned that as well then added the chicken broth from the chicken I was boiling along with some store bought broth. Yes I know that isn’t the proper way to do things but like I said before, I had intended on boiling the chicken for my gumbo.

Surprisingly, this was the easiest way I have ever made it before. It didn’t make as much as usual but I didn’t have as much chicken as usual and I didn’t want it t be all broth. So, it was just extra thick. I am on the fence as to which way I like it….. it basically tastes the same but a different texture because of the thickness. I made a batch of rice and packed them all up for our lunches this week. Here is his recipe.

Now I actually do not have the recipe in front of me so I am going to type it as close as I remember.   It is more about the steps than the measurements so here I go:

 

Heat one cup of oil in a nice dutch oven.  I personally like Magnalite.

Let it get hot but not too hot

Add one cup of flour and stir consistently not letting it burn

It will thicken up and turn dark brown. you want it on the verge of burning

Add one onion and let it caramelize

Add one bellpepper and brown it also

Add your chicken pieces.  I used thighs and brown, cooking until it is done.

Add your sausage and do the same

Add your salt, pepper, cayenne, and some file to your taste. Let it all simmer

Add chicken broth to the thickness you want.  It will thicken up a little since you still have to simmer but not too much. you can always add more is my theory.

Let it simmer for about 45 or more minutes.

Adjust spices again

This method is easier than what I was raised doing.  I also like the option that I can use only thighs!!!  I have never been a boob fan.

The picture enclosed is a picture of just the roux, chicken and sausage before adding the liquid.  I would guesstimate I probably added about 6 cups of chicken broth.  It was not quite half way full but not at a quarter either.  I really did enjoy it.  I felt guilty for not staying with the tradition but everything needs to evolve a little right?

I just won’t ever tell the family.  In the meantime this method is easier for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas and OCD  — January 21, 2016

Christmas and OCD 

Just a little OCD

It’s Christmas Eve and I finally sat down to wrap everyone’s gifts. I do this every year . Of course I always have to run to the store and buy one or two cheap gifts for one of the girls because even though Avery is 18 years old she has to have the same amount of gifts as Jordan. She still doesn’t care I spend the same amount. I keep hoping one day she will get past this. Until then , I try to make sure she has more gifts. Even if it’s gum , she has to have more.
But that has nothing to do with my topic….

Today I spent three hours wrapping all the gifts. I wrapped everything ! Even gum in their stockings? Why? Because I have a budget of $200 plus dollars for each child. When they’re as old as my kids that is approximately two to three gifts. Mostly of that ugly Karen Scott jewelry too so Christmas isn’t fun as it use to be. Since there isn’t much, I try and focus on presentation. I am no professional of course but I try to make the presentation pretty.

Today I finished everything and stepped back to admire my tree. I was pleased with the color coordination .
Jordan comes home with her gift for Avery . I am sure you can guess which one. Now every time I walk in the living room I see one present. It yells at me !!!!! I am laying in bed fighting the opportunity to go wrap the gift in my coordinating paper. I feel as though I did three hours of work for nothing 🙂

 

Fish and Chips  — December 7, 2015

Fish and Chips 

One weekend morning, I woke up and checked my Facebook page and saw my friend was in England having Fish and Chips.  I was very upset by this since the closest place for me to get Fish and Chips is The Red Lion Pub in Houston. By the time I would get dressed and head that way a few hours would already go by.  Plus, at $22.00 per plate, it would take some convincing to the Hubs.

I remembered I had some fish in the fridge so I started googling recipes.  Of course my man Alton Brown is always my first choice.  Here is his recipe.  As always, he never disappoints.

Of course, I had to cut up an onion and try that out also. I used the same batter I used for the fish.  I swear I will never pay $22.00 per plate again.  Besides double frying the fries, everything was pretty quick.

I was so proud when the first batch turned out like it should!

 

Don’t forget the Malt Vinegar!!!

 

Now isn’t this a healthy breakfast!  I don’t know why I can’t lose weight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower pizza  —

Cauliflower pizza 

 

I haven’t jumped on the crazy Cauliflower craze full heartedly but I have tried a few things.

My favorite thing I have tried has been the Cauliflower biscuits.  Those were great.  I don’t have any pictures of them but I do recommend them.  It isn’t like you can pour some gravy on them and you’ll never know but you could make a breakfast sandwich with them easily and have a healthy on the go breakfast.

Another thing I have tried is the cauliflower tortillas .  Surprisingly, they were pretty good.

I tried both of the above recipes before watching Chef Buck’s video .  Before, I just strained the cauliflower with a bunch of paper towels which was extremely messy.  I followed his recipe in the video and the pizzas came out great.  Now the people saying you can’t tell a difference…………  they’re lying!!!!  You can tell a difference !!!  If you’re craving pizza though and you are watching your carbs this is a great alternative though. It really isn’t bad at all.  I have made it several times since then and we enjoy it each time.  I did try another recipe since using the tea towel draining method and this technique worked better for me for the pizza.  It does take some patience but its’ still quicker than making real homemade dough.

 
  

Pumpkin Pie Moonshine   —

Pumpkin Pie Moonshine  

Last year I was on Pinterest and saw a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Moonshine. Well, everyone loves Pumpkin everything so I had to try it.

And what better excuse to make a big batch and Boo the neighborhood?!?! However, this year I decided to change things up and actually Booze the hood instead.  What do you know??? It actually took off !  By the end of the season, over half the neighborhood had participated in my little experiment.  Funny how I had Booed three years in a row and it never spread but put some alcohol on someone’s porch and everyone plays along!

Here is the recipe I use.  Everyone enjoyed it so much last year, I have made it several times since and have given it as gifts as well.  The only thing I do different is I cook everything to dissolve the sugar before adding the alcohol.  Also, I usually double the recipe so I add an extra cup of everclear in case I have a spill or something.  And of course you will see below that happens sometimes. 🙂

And yes I know this isn’t “real moonshine” but it tastes a lot better and you may (depending on how much you have) remember what you did the next day.  I personally like to refer to it as No carb pumpkin pie.

Here are all the spices ready to be mixed in


I love my magnalite pot !  It is the best thing my mother ever gave me!  Like I said, I double my recipe and this is a roaster full without the alcohol added yet.  Crap!  How am I going to fix this issue?

Guest of Honor

Ah Hah!!!!  I will transfer it all to my cooler then add the booze!  I am so brilliant!!!

Maybe Brilliant is a strong word???

Note to self:  check the spout thingy next time before you start adding things to a cooler.  Thankfully I put the extra cup of Everclear in. 

Its’ almost like the cooler was made to make moonshine don’t you think?

 

 

My finished product!  I also boil the jars after to seal the lids so it will last longer.  Plus, when I give them as gifts, it looks more professional after I “pretty them up” with material or ribbons or whatever I have around the house.

 

 

Who ya gonna call ?  —

Who ya gonna call ? 

Ever since my Wonder Woman Costume I hadn’t been able to come up with a cute costume idea. This year, I wanted The Hubs and I to do the couple thing. Yes, I know its’ cheezy but its’ fun. Plus, he isn’t creative at all and he is more cheap than me (if you can believe that)! I mean, when I was Wonder Woman that year, I told him he could be on his own thing and there would be no theme.

Do you know what he did? He went to Dollar General on the way to the party and bought a plastic cowboy set for a kid. Nobody knew what he was!!!! It was quite embarrassing. He thought it was hilarious but nobody “got it”.

Weeks before Halloween, I will give him some of my ideas. Of course, he comes up with a reason for every one why it won’t work. I decided to head down to Montrose to all the resale shops and see if something stuck out. I walked in one of them and saw the Ghostbuster jump suit for $10!!!!! I remembered seeing this on Pinterest so I grabbed it !

Of course I am not a cute college girl so I had to alter it and make it Collette friendly.  It still isn’t my favorite costume of mine but I think it was cute.  She didn’t have any specific directions so I had to wing it but I think I did okay.  Especially since I didn’t even know how to thread my machine.  Taking it out of the box and figuring it out was the most difficult part 🙂

Here is a summary of how I did it:

ARMS AND LEGS:

I used white satin since I am a girl and because it was cheaper than cotton.  I got three yards since I knew I would probably have a couple of mistakes.

Took the material and wrapped it around my calves leaving about three extra inches knowing the foam would take up some of the width.  Well, that wasn’t enough!!!  I am thinking at least five inches was what I ended up with.

Put the ugly sides together and sewed three sides then turned it inside out where the shiny side would be out

Sewed four lines along the width leaving an inch at each end.

Stuffed each “tube” then sewed the ends shut.  The first leg I did on the sewing machine but it was a pain in the butt with such little material and being so puffy making sure the fraying ends were inside when sewing so I ended up doing all the rest by hand. It probably took less time quite honestly.

Sewed Velcro on each end by hand.  Actually, I bought the little circles and sewed one circle in each section making sure they matched up.

BIB

This was actually the hardest part. I won’t give any directions because I honestly don’t remember what I did. I had to go back to the store three times to buy more material. Yes, I know, it should be very easy! I wanted it to be double sided though and was trying to make it look professional. By the time I was done, I was so excited I didn’t realize until the day AFTER Halloween that I forgot the white ribbon.

BOW

I was quite proud of myself for this one. I just sewed a piece of ribbon about an inch above the bottom of the bib and slid the red material through and tied a knot. Crazy cause that was the part I was stressed about most on how to do!

HAT

I cut the smooth part of a Fanta bottle and covered it with left over blue material using a hot glue gun. The letters are done with stencils and some paint I had sitting around.

For the white part, I got a pretty big piece of scrap material and just put polyfil in the middle of it all. I tied a rubber band at the bottom and it fit perfectly! I had to hot glue it to the blue part but that’s it!

Now I should’ve put more consideration into how to keep the hat on I do have to say! For the most part, it stayed on though but fell off while playing Hungry Hungry Humans!

I think hers did turn out cuter. After I finished the first leg, I had a realization that white pillow cases would’ve done the trick! All I would’ve had to do was sew the lines down and stuff them. Probably would’ve been cheaper too if I had found them at Ross or something! I am definitely going to use this idea for my Rainbow Brite Costume next year! I just have to figure out what The Hubs can be !

All together, our costumes combined were under $50.  I actually want to say $40 but I may be lying since I had to make three trips for the blue material.


There were a lot of Ghosts out!

Every Picture I have of him he is on his phone LOL!
  

Love the one you’re with — November 17, 2015

Love the one you’re with

love the one

I just finished reading Love the one you’re with by Emily Griffin . This is one of several books by her I have read or listened to via Audio and really enjoy them.  I tend to enjoy the “easy reads”.  When I do have a chance to read or listen to books, I am either trying to occupy my time at night between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. trying to distract my mind or I am listening to it while at work through my Audible app.

I really enjoyed this one. I found myself listening to it through my headphones while jogging instead of music because I liked it so much.

It’s the typical “what if” love story in my opinion.  Not all couples talk about it but I do believe every person, man or woman, has that “what if” past relationship especially with Facebook around now.  I have read many articles or heard several stories that people have “hooked back up” with an ex boyfriend or girlfriend from their high school years.  Lets’ face it… it starts out innocent and you start messaging each other and eventually a funny story comes up from the past or you start going down memory lane.  Suddenly you remember how easy things were and sparks start flying, etc.

Well yea… you’re married now and have bills, raising children, living with someone, etc.  Back then, your biggest concern was if your crush spoke to you in the hall way or what you were going to wear the next day; all of which are very serious concerns at that age of course.  🙂 For the moment, it takes you back to a time when things were easier.  I don’t think people realize it though and that’s why many have left their current relationships for “the greener side” .  I don’t know of any of these relationships that have lasted personally.  Maybe there are some. I don’t know.

In the book, Ellen (the main character) had every woman’s dream life: the awesome, attentive husband, the SIL who is her best friend (wouldn’t that be awesome??? Mine hates me and has never even had a conversation with me) , the in-laws who have money and do not judge her family for being “normal”, she doesn’t have to work, has the dream house, etc.  However, still, she runs into the “one that got away” and wonders…..  of course she realizes that although she still has feelings for this man and her crotch may throb just thinking of him, that her husband is the one she belongs with.  Thankfully, her husband ended up being understanding and he in the end, came after her to prove he still loved her.

I have to admit, I cried when he came looking for her knowing she may be with her ex.  I think when a man or woman starts searching there is reason.  I am not saying it is right but I am saying that a relationship needs “courting” even through the hustle and bustle.  Just because you’re married, the surprises do not need to stop nor does showing appreciation, surprising her, dancing, etc.

For the most part, when I get depressed and sappy wishing the hubs would pay attention to me or I feel pushed to the side as so many women do, I find comfort in blaming Walt Disney.  Well, sometimes Nicholas Sparks as well.  Oh, and the lady who wrote 50 Shades of Grey as well.  I have had to realize the hubs is never going to show up to pick me up to take me to dinner in his helicopter.  It’s been very hard to come to terms with this fact but I am trying.  I would be happy if he told me and my girls  to go shopping for something nice, get our nails done and be ready for us all to ride in the 2008 Highlander and surprise us with a fancy downtown dinner and take us to see “The Nutcracker” or any other cheezy play that men don’t like followed by a trip to the Chocolate bar after.  🙂  Okay, I am now depressed again!

Damn you Walt!