Friday, March 25, 2011

Goodbye Derfwad Manor


Mrs. G. over at the Women's Colony is hanging up her blogging shoes for a while. Let's hope she comes back. In the meantime, read her farewell, where she mentions me by name. Apparently, I was the only male subscriber to the Women's Colony. Who knew?

http://thewomenscolony.com/

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tell All Your Friends

I am working on increasing my readership, you know, from tens of readers to something more than that. So, what better way to attract readers than to go with something they can't resist. Yes, that's right people, BABIES AND PUPPIES.

Oh yeah, I went there!

BABIES


PUPPIES


BABIES AND PUPPIES, BABIES AND PUPPIES, BABIES AND PUPPIES


BABIES AND PUPPIES, BABIES AND PUPPIES, you can't fight this!


OH YES, BABIES AND PUPPIES ARE IRRESISTIBLE, YOU HAVE NO POWER TO TURN AWAY!


TOO. CUTE. FOR. WORDS.


BE SURE TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS.

Collecting Jadite

Guess who else (besides me) collects Jadite? YEP, you guessed it y'all, Paula Deen!

Check out her blog here:
http://www.pauladeen.com/article_view/paula_collects_vintage_jadeite/

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What I Am Reading

People often ask me what I am reading these days. I love novels, nonfiction, and poetry, but my secret passion is design books. I love them. It is like going on a home tour from my living room. I get to peek inside other people's homes. Of course, these homes are fantastic because they have staged and tweaked and beautified.

Savannah Style

This was a gift. I love this book. Well, truthfully I love all things Paula, and I have always wanted to go to Savannah. It was written by Brandon Branch with Paula.


Vintage Vavoom

I found this at Half Price Bookstores while browsing the aisles. It caught my attention because of the dishes on the cover. I do have a passion for dishes. When I opened the book and noticed pictures of Jadite, I had to have it. I really do discover something new every time I open this book.


My Passion for Design

This book came out around Christmas time. It was about 60 bucks. I didn't really have extra cash to spend around that time, so I put this in the back of my mind and thought I will get it later. Well, while I was at Half Price Bookstores, I saw this in a box of books an employee was getting ready to shelve. It was priced $7.48. Yes, under 8 bucks. Can you believe it? I snatched it up before it even made it to the shelf. I do love decorating books, but I love a bargain more!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Milk Moustaches for Everyone!

Milk



Okay, so this website has me rethinking the whole "whole" milk thing. I haven't had whole milk in years. I started drinking 2% to cut fat, and then I heard that wasn't good enough so I switched to 1%. I draw the line at one percent. I will not do Skim. I can't stand Skim Milk. It is like white water, ick, blech, yuck. But what if whole milk is better? I am just saying, What If?

Read the following post on a website I found, and weigh in:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-whole-milk-is-the-healthiest-choice.html#ixzz1CYEGkSBB


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oven-baked Chicken Chimichangas

This Mexican dish is from a blog I used to read regularly called Cooking Ventures. It is filled with lots of great recipes, but the blogger is no longer blogging recipes. Thankfully, all of the recipes are still there. This is one of my favorites because it is a healthier version of Chimichangas. Check out Cooking Ventures at this website:
http://cookingventures.blogspot.com/


Oven-baked Chicken Chimichangas

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (or baby spinach)
3/4 cup salsa
8 oz freshly shredded monterrey jack cheese
7 flour tortillas (Taco-size, about 8 to 9")
Vegetable oil or olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, scallions, black beans, and cilantro. Add the salsa and cheese. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Brush 4 tortillas on one side very lightly with water then place them in a stack on a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the tortillas. Microwave the tortillas for about 25 seconds. This heats the tortillas enough to make them pliable.

Remove one tortilla from the kitchen towel and rewrap the others to keep them warm. Add 1/3 cup of the filling to the center of the tortilla. Wrap the chimichanga like you would a burrito. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla up over the filling then roll it starting from the bottom to completely enclose the filling. You should not roll the chimi too tightly or the tortilla will tear (or later burst during baking). Place the chimi seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other tortillas – heating additional tortillas in the microwave when needed.


Brush the tops and sides of each chimi with some oil. Bake for 23 to 26 minutes or until the chimis are golden and crispy. Serve with additional salsa, sour cream, or pico de gallo.

Alternative Preparations:
1) Use freshly grated 2% sharp cheddar. Regular cheddar is also tasty but releases a lot of oil when it melts. Pepper jack cheese works great for those who appreciate things on the spicy side. Feeling naughty? Use 12 oz of cheese. It's really tasty that way but increases the caloric content and level of saturated fat considerably.
2) Make it vegetarian! Instead of chicken, add some red bell peppers, corn, and additional black beans.
3) Use whole-wheat or low-carb tortillas.
4) Instead of regular salsa, use salsa verde. It's really tasty this way!

Mantel Maddness

Spring is here, well almost. Mary Carol featured mantels on her blog today, so I decided to share my Spring/Garden inspired mantel. These little flower pots were purchased mostly at My Favorite Things, and they look real, but aren't.

Mmmmmmmm.......CHOCOLATE!


Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

2/3 cups Sugar

1/4 cups Hershey’s Cocoa

3 tablespoons Cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon Salt

2 1/4 cups Milk

2 tablespoons Butter or margarine

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Whipped topping (optional)


Preparation:

In medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt;

gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly,

until mixture boils; boil and stir l minute. Remove from heat; stir

in butter and vanilla. Pour into individual dessert dishes. Press

plastic wrap directly onto surface; refrigerate. Garnish with whipped

topping and chopped nuts, if desired. 4 to 5 servings.

Recipe from Hershey Kitchens.



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Italian Chicken and Potato Bake


Italian Chicken and Potato Bake

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken tenders

5 medium potatoes, sliced very thinly

1/2 cup Italian dressing

1/2 cup lemon lime soda

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preparation:

Marinate chicken in dressing and soda mixture for a few hours. Coat 9 x 13 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Peel potatoes and place in the bottom the casserole dish. Place chicken on top of potatoes. Pour dressing and soda over top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until chicken is cooked through. Time will depend on how thick your chicken is. Take out of the oven and uncover. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and return to oven until the cheese is melted. I like mine to get a few spots of brown on top.

Optional: You can add 1/4 cup diced onions (mix with the potato layer on the bottom).