Monday, February 17, 2014

Mystery Meat Monday

It was interesting deciding which recipe I would review for today's post.  I personally love quick meals as much as those meals involving hours of preparation.  Although I intend to do reviews on both types of recipes I decided to start with something I created myself (and because I was sick in bed this week so I didn't get to throw some pots around).  The last recipe I tried was actually an easy 'make it up on the spot as you go' recipe I did for a potluck event at church.  It's so easy that I'll even throw in our favorite treat recipe to round out the meal.  

Now, as procrastinators tend to do, I waited until the last minute to figure out what to cook for this event.  I searched on line and through our shelves of recipe books.  But everything I found either had too long for cooking time, was too involved with prep work for such a late start or we didn't have all the ingredients already on hand.  It was 4 hours before the event (yeah I know, I told you already I procrastinated).  I needed something that could cook and travel in our large crockpot. I didn't really care what, since my dishes always had leftovers (oh, except my cornbread, info on that further down). That is until this dish hit the table, finally I got an empty pot back from a potluck.  'Yeah me!' (hey, it's the simple pleasures in life that get you through).  This was awesome because this pot was twice as big as what I would normally take to such an event. It felt great that everyone enjoyed the dish.  

So what was this super easy yummy dish I made up on the spot.  We'll I dubbed it 'Steph's Canned Soup Mix', of course there's a little extra not from a can.  Like what?  I'm glad you asked, here's the recipe:

'Steph's Canned Soup Mix' 

1 can of each:
    Black beans
    White beans
    Red beans
    Creme style corn
    Tomato paste
    Stewed Tomatoes
    Creme of Mushroom soup
    Diced Potatoes

    Canned chicken, shredded, reserve liquid 
    Canned roast beef, shredded, reserve liquid

Other Ingredients:
    1 Smoked Hamhock
Pour a nice size lump of each in palm of your hand (the one time I don't use measure cups, zeesh):
    Season Salt, do this twice actually
    Garlic Salt, I also ended up doing this twice
    1/4 stick on butter (not margarine)
    1 teaspoon of Minced Garlic
    Handful of real BACON bits (oooohhhhhhh, yummmmmm, bacon) 
And my new favorite secret ingredient for everything new to me in cooking and when I'm not sure of what something will taste like, lol, hold you horses, are you ready?!  Steph's secret ingredient of the year is 'Mexican Vanilla'!  Yep, that's my go to make it taste good secret!  Shhhhhhhh, we don't want the word to get out it would create a shortage of the stuff, lol.  Okay, add about 1 tablespoon of the secret ingredient, Mexican Vanilla (I suppose any will do).

Take this opportunity to mix the reserved liquids (from canned chicken and roast beef) together into one container, mix.

1.  Mix all canned items in the crockpot and mix well.
2.  Add small amount of the reserved liquids, and stir, eh, use your own judgement on this one.
3.  Add the seasonings, butter, and secret ingredient, :-) teehee, then stir.
4.  Lastly, add the smoked Hamhock, stir.  I made sure to leave it right in the middle of our oblong shaped crockpot and sitting on the bottom floor of the pot.  In my mind the flavor would rise and wow, POW! (too over the top?)
5.  Cover with lid and cook normally on low for 8 hours OR if your in procrastinator who waited until the last minute mode on high for 4 hours.

This was yummy and I'm not bias, if something does not taste good to me I can not hide it!  I took homemade buttermilk cornbread with it, which was also a last minute rush.  It was eatable but not my best, I think I forgot something.  Anyway, I can't give you that family recipe.  You'd freak out about the fat content volume, lol, I don't make it often but when I do man oh man, yum yummmm! 

But, I will give you a little quick treat recipe I got from my co-worker Barbara (before I became stay at home mom to homeschool our 15 year old knucklehead, son).  It has now become a family favorite and a tradition in our home.  My son and I make them for almost everyone we know and deliver them for Christmas or any large gathering. Last year he said, "Mom, I'm going to do this with my children and continue the tradition.  Then we'll all talk about how Grandma Steph started it all." Sniff sniff, love that kid.

'Cake Cookies'

    Cake mix (any flavor you like - Devil Foods Cake is best, my favorite is actually Red Velvet cake                          mix)
    8 oz. Creme Cheese, soften
    1 stick of butter
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon Vanilla :-) {no I did not add that to the recipe, lol it came that way}
    Powdered Sugar

1.  Blend together the creme cheese and butter first.  I left them both out on the counter several hours before hand to soften them, makes the process easier.
2.  Then add the cake mix, egg, and vanilla.
3.  Mix we'll and refrigerate mix until it is firm (approximately 2 hours). [or again if you are in procrastinator mode with a really good freezer you can get by with putting in freezer uncovered for 10 minutes, not ideal but it'll most definitely do the job enough!]
4.  Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar (like making meatballs, that's a nice).
5.  Bake on top shelf of oven @ 350 for approximately 10 minutes.

I let then sit a minute on the baking sheet on the counter, then immediately removed them and put them on a cooling rack for a few minutes (usually until the next pan is ready to come out and i'll be needing that rack again).

These are delicious!! Personally I'm done with them in about 2 days, that's if any are left.  That's because I feel they start to dry out after that, no matter how good I wrap them or put them in an airtight container.  The guys however do not seem to mind them several days later.  Eh, to each his own!

So there you go hon, my first Mystery Meat Monday review.  I was a little hesitant on that name because it won't always be meat in the review.  But every time I thought of recipe review I giggled thinking about mystery meat school lunches, so the title stuck with me, I hope you will to!

Love and shimmies,
Next month's review will be an awesome and delicious Pinterest dish involving......, oops, almost told ya, you'll just have to come back again!

P.S. {I apologize for not having pictures, but at the time I had not decided on these reviews.  For future reference I do intend to have pictures with each step of the reviews and finished product!}

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quiltography App!

This is with my new Quiltography app for the IPad!  Since I'm sick in bed and can't play with my beloved CindyLoo (my main sewing machine) and fabric this is  the next best thing. Of course, it would be greater if I had taken the time to actually load all my stash into the program. Heavy sigh, at the moment I only have 5 to 7 fat quarters loaded into the app.  This quilt design still has a way to go but It was just something to play around with for now. 

Oh well, tomorrow I'll try again to get around only much slower and no heaters!

Maybe at some point this weekend I'll get the rest of my stash into the app.  I've created a block, at least I think I created, I don't recall seeing it on any other site or any books I have (but it probably is, quilting has been around for so long and the shapes they had were pretty common). Oh well, it's my creation in my mind for now, 'Yeah me!'

Love and shimmies, Steph!

(I love technology, to be able to blog from my bed with my cool blogger smartphone app, awesome sauce !!) 

P.S. I Do Have A Valentines Make-It, But Unfortunately I Won't Be Able To Make It For My Guys Since I Was Sick Half Of this Week. But I Will Still Do It Later And Maybe You Can Find It On Pinterst For Next Year's V-Day Special Gift. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Make-It-Monday's V-Day - late

I've decided to make this Monday a Valentines day make it project. However, today I've been ill and in bed all day.  My apologies, but I will place the step by step with pictures project up as soon as I'm feeling better, or at least the room stops spinning every time I sit up.
Thank for your patience!
Love and Shimmies,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Monday Madness - The End and The Beginning

The End...

Sometimes in life things we love come to an end.  That's just the way it is sometimes.  It's okay, the world will not end, just that part of your life.

There are many things in life that we put out hearts and energy into.  We set our hearts on a specific goal and when opportunity presents itself we jump at it.  We plan and plan on what we need to make it work, then we take those steps to bring those thoughts, passions, and dreams to a reality.  Then we work to make it a positive experience not only for ourselves but for all those we share it with.

So what happens when interest doesn't pan out, when all the promises don't stand, when other things prevent would be supporters, or others just don't know about the opportunity at hand.  Do you blame yourself, do you think you fail, do you think you suck? Well heck, of course you do, at first.  I mean we are only human.

But, then we have to come to realize that the answer is no (well, sometimes, yes you make actually suck, but that's where good and honest self evaluation comes in, along with evaluations of those you hold in high regard).  Everything that happens to you is an opportunity to bring you one step closer to who you are meant to be.  In my case I like to think everything that has happened to me, good or bad, brings me one step closer to the daughter my father in Heaven wants me to be.  Because something you tried failed doesn't make YOU a failure.  What makes you a failure is not seeing the value in stepping out there and facing your fears.  Going after something that brings joy into your life and taking the opportunity to share it with others is all the better.

Let me explain, after spending 20 something years afraid of my own shadow I have learned the biggest failure is NOT trying for fear of failure.  If you have the opportunity to do something you love by all means take it.  Of course, you want to research it, make a plan, pray about it, but most of all DO something with it!!  So many times I have not done something because I was afraid I would fail.  Worried about what people would say, how would it look?  Frankly my dear, who gives a rats butt what people think of you taking the opportunities that life has presented to you.  People who want to look down on you will always find a reason to do so,  you don't live your life to make them happy.  If you're not breaking the law or the moral codes by which you live, and not infringing on the rights of others, honey press forward.  My happiness will not be placed in the hands of the very negative people who wish me ill will. 

In my 30 somethings I learned whenever an idea poped into my mind, I'd say, "Ohhhh, I like it so I'm going to go do it".  Was I still in fear, lol, yes most of the time.  But I pressed forward anyway and man oh man what a grand time I have had.  Have I been a great success in all of them?  Heck YEAH!  You know why, because the fear didn't keep me from doing something I wanted to do and most times I was decent to pretty good at whatever is was.  When I was not good at it I still learned so much about the task at hand that I still walked away a better person for it.  It gave me a better understanding the task if not for myself then to be used later to help someone else.  

So I stepped out there and did a very scary thing, forcing me out of my comfort zone and now I am more than I thought I could be because of this great experience.  How?  Well, let's see, I grew, l learned, I put myself in front of people (terrified), I shared what I loved, met new people,  I found out "Oh, honey, yes you can do this or that, even with shaking hands and knees!".   It was a nerve reckoning experience and I had blast every step of the way.  I know I am a better person for this experience.

But it is now time to say goodbye to that experience, well actually part of that experience.  Do I feel sadness, yes, am I depressed, no.  Will I miss it, yes of course.  It was a vital part of my life and at a much needed time in my life.  I hate change, but I know it is necessary in order to grow.  So as one chapter of my life ends so many more chapters have already begun. 

I feel so blessed to be at a point in my life where I now know these things.  So blessed for the amazing husband that I have, my own personal paparazzi, and to have a wonderful family who loves,  supports, and encourages me!  I love them all so very much!!   Now we have...

The Beginning...

Love and Shimmies,