Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Minion Fun

Banana Minions???

Yes, I say!

I, mean how totally cute are these?

What kid or grandkid wouldn't want one of these?

Hey, I am not a kid and I want one of these.

Right. Now.

If you want one too, and trust me you do, then head on over to the cool website where you can get a free printable.

Party Delights

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Improv Cooking Challenge: Chicken and Noodles

This months ingredients chosen by Lesa for the Improv Cooking Challenge were chicken and noodles. Well, it just so happens that I had bought some couscous a while back and had been meaning to try it, but just never got around to it. I thought why not use it in the cooking challenge?  So, I headed over to one of my favorite cooking sites Epicurious to see what I could find for couscous and chicken. There were so many recipes that choosing was not easy. Let's just say I had to try a few different recipes. They were all soooo doggone good. My family, who are my unofficial, official taste testers, are my toughest, but most honest critcs. And I was pleasantly surprised because they actually enjoyed each recipe I tried.  In the end they chose the recipe I am sharing today as their favorite one. 
Yep, it's a keeper recipe. I've already tucked it away in my recipe binder for next time. I did tweak the recipe just the tiniest bit to leave out the olives and I replaced the currents with dried cranberries. Also, I used canned chicken chunks, because I had then on hand. I think next time I would definitely use the roasted chicken. Other than these changes the recipe remains the same. 

Couscous and Chicken Salad with Orange Balsamic Dressing
4-1/2 cups water
3 cups couscous
1 cup dried currents (I substituted dried cranberries)
1-3# roasted chicken, boned and cubed (I substituted 1 can of chicken chunks, drained)
1-1/2 cups , diced and drained roasted red peppers
1-15.5 oz. can of chick-peas, drained
1 cup chopped and pitted kalamata olives
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Orange Balsamic Dressing
3/4 cup Orange juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup olive oil

Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan, add the couscous.  Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.  Mix all remaining salad ingredients into the cooled couscous.  Set aside while you mix the dressing.  Mix together first four ingredients, then gradually whisk in the oil.  Pour over salad and toss to incorporate.  Serve immediately on a bed of romaine lettuce leaf, or can be made one day in advance and refrigerated.  I actually enjoyed it more on the second day when all of the flavors have had a chance to mix and mingle and get happy. 
This makes a really nice spring/summer salad and serves 8 people.
...check out some of the other fabulous recipes in this month's:

Improv Cooking Challenge

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Yeasty Waffles

My baby boy, OK, he's not so little anymore.  He's actually a senior who is about to graduate the from the University of Arizona. Go Son!!!   He is home for spring break and can I just say that I am one happy mama for sure.  I have been cooking up some of his favorite foods.  Starting with some yeasty waffles. 
They have all the goodness of regular waffles plus all of the wonderful yeasty flavor.  If you eat these you will never go back to the boxed kind again.  Oh, these freeze well too; so you can make ahead if you like. 
Here are the ingredients you need:
2-1/2 cups flour
2 cups warm milk
3 tbls. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. yeast
2 tbls. vanilla bean paste (you can use plain vanilla, but the vanilla bean paste adds all the wonderful seeds that make the waffle look so nice, plus they're just so doggone cool)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl mix the eggs and vanilla and the melted butter. Slowly add the warm milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until there are just a few big lumps left.  Cover and set in a warm place for about an hour till it becomes all yeasty and bubbly. Cook them in your waffle maker for about 5-7 minutes.  Serve warm with maple syrup or your favorite fruit syrup.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Where Have You Been All My Life...

And how did I ever live without you!
I first saw a butter crock on Paula Deen years ago.  Now that I've tried using it I am wandering why I waited so long to buy myself a beurrier à l'eau, a French butter crock, butter bowl, or a butter bell as this one I purchased is called???  No matter what you call them, they are simply wonderful.  In my humble opinion I think that they might just be the best thing since sliced bread.  I mean soft, silky and ready when you are, spreadable deliciousness.  Need I say more.  
Invented in the late nineteenth century in France the two part system is perfectly designed for storing butter.  The water which is kept in the bottom part creates an air tight seal when the lid with the butter bell is put in place.  Simply put, oxygen can not get in to spoil the butter.  It can be kept perfectly fresh and at the perfect consistency for spreading for up to one month when you change the water once a every few days.  Well, I've been switching out the water every time I use the butter and that's everyday.  This butter crock is just genius, pure genius I say.
I am so happy I purchased mine.  They can be found just about anywhere online. If you do a google search you can even find artisans who fire them in clay.  Etsy is a great place to look as well. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015


*Disclaimer: This blog post has nothing to do with food or kitchen adventures, and everything to do with "real" life. However you might find my "real life" mis-adventure amuzing. My family did.

Multitasking  may not always be the best idea y'all. Just sayin. Life is gonna get real here. So. Listen. Up. In an effort to save time this morning I decided to have my coffee while removing my nail polish at the same time. Ok, ignore the fact that polish remover and coffee smell horrid when the smells are mixed, but I was in a hurry, so be kind and don't judge. So here's what  happened, in my hurry I reached out for what I thought was my coffee and almost took a swig of my polish remover. Yes, It could have been bad and I might have been blogging about the taste of polish remover or how to find poison control number instead of wisdom when multitasking.
 Yeah, let's just say I won't be doing my nails while drinking my coffee anytime ever again. On a side note my family did think it was funny that I almost chugged polish remover. Is my family weird or what???