Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Red Beans & Rice Ayeee

Ayeeeee Peeps

As you know by now that we tailgated this past weekend at the Baylor ULM game.  Since the Hubster is a full blown Louisiana boy through and through so we had all kinds of yummy Cajun food and drink!

But I'm the Red Beans maker around here so I'm gonna share this recipe with you and tell you that if you want to make this, start a day ahead at least.  Slow and Low are the key words to remember.

Now if you want to make them in one day in the crock pot then I shall direct you right here to my crock pot version.  

If you got the time then I highly recommend this recipe for Red Beans & Rice.  It's really worth the time and effort.  I pinky swear promise!

The ingredient list is pretty long so the printable is printable is right here so you can follow along.

First things first, 1 lb. or red beans should be rinsed and soaked overnight.  If you forgot, ahem like me, then you can always do the quick soak method.  Cover beans with water + 2 inches over.  Bring to a boil, let boil about 3 minutes then turn off and let them soak for 1 hour.   I've had great success with t his method.  I recommend it if you are like me and can never remember to soak them ahead of time.

Now while those beans are soaking you can get started on the rest.  
In a large pot , heat the bacon grease, oh come on you know you have some and if you don't you should, on medium high heat.  Add ham and cook for about a minute.  Add onions, celery and bell pepper to the ham and season with the salt, pepper and cayenne and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage and ham hock. Cook until sausage and ham hocks are browned, another 5 minutes.   Add the garlic, Tony Cachere's and Tabasco and cook about 1 minute.  

Now it is time to add the beans and broth/water, stir well and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and let simmer a minimum of 2 hours.  Really really listen when I tell you that the longer the better.  SLOW AND LOW.  
If they are looking dry and thick you can add more water/broth as needed.

When you just can't stand it anymore remove from heat and use the back of a spoon or an immersion blender and mash about 1/4 of the beans.  Continue to cook until beans are tender and creamy.
I've found that when you cook them all day then you don't even have to do this step.

Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves (very important).
Serve over rice and yell ayeee!!

yeah, you can just taste that goodness can't you?

Hubster had to get in on the photo session and made the alligator bite the lid on the Tabasco.
By the way, the bowl above represents the leftovers from the tailgate. 
I'd say they went over well, or everyone had too much Cajun Kool Aid and didn't care.

I'm not kidding when I tell you, it is worth a day of watching the pot to make these.
It's as close to Cajun as it gets!

One last time here is the printable and in celebration of National One Hit Wonder Day I now present:

Peace, Love & Vanilla Ice

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Tumblings

Just when you thought it was safe to browse on the internets I come up and BOO surprise you!

(yes I am still finding this show hilarious!)

I did a massive clean out of our master bedroom closet
As you can see the dog approves.

The white bag is donations
The two brown shopping bags are going to the consignment store first then to donations.
It took me two whole days to get that closet cleaned out and vacuumed and organized but man I'm glad it's done!!

This past Saturday we went to the ULM Baylor football game in Waco.
Let me catch up:  Hubster went to ULM
Abogg goes to Baylor
I thought it was a win win either way the game went but Hubster was not happy with the 70-7 score.
Maybe ULM should go back to being the Indians and not the Warhawks.  It messed with their mojo.

It FINALLY feels like fall is coming around here.
No one is happier than Sir Winston Churchill who can sun himself in 80 degree weather.

I'm so happy fall is coming that I broke out the Pumpkin Spice Latte Via this morning.
It's pretty good AND I don't have to get dressed and drive anywhere to get it.
I've become such a recluse.

I'm not sure why this picture got transferred.
Must be to remind me of the horribleness that it is.

This is what my house looks like when the Saints are playing football.
Remember:  It's only weird if it doesn't work.
I think Bud Light should add a clip of my den to their commercials.

I got this awesome sample from Snapple.
Kcups of Snapple and that makes me HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY

One of my goals recovering from surgery was to go through all the magazines that have piled up.
When they come in loads like this....I may never get caught up!!

These things are the devil I tell ya'.

I made good ole' Rice Krispie Treats for the tailgate.
Not a single one left.  There is power is simplicity.

There's my Abogg and his sweet little girlfriend enjoying the Baylor victory.

We had a really cool looking full moon last week.
Picture totally does not do it justice.  I loved the amber ring with the clouds.

And finally, I made my first batch of this amazing stuff.
Took it to the tailgate and much like crack I have several more folks addicted to it.
I'm a candy drug pusher now.

oh, the recipe you say?  1 bag of BRACH's candy corn (it's the only good kind0
1 small tub of salted peanuts.  (gotta get the salted ones too)
Mix and enjoy then crave more and then make more and then want to choke me for doing this to you.
Seriously, this stuff is soooooo good, tastes like a payday candy bar. I kid you not!

So that's all for todays version of Tuesday Tumblings.
It's almost 1:00 and I should probably shower, dress and run a few errands don't you think?

Peace, Love and Football!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Fun

Friday Happy Dance!!

Since I cooked so much before my surgery and still have about .005% of my appetite back I haven't really been cooking anything.  However we have pretty much cleared out the stuff I made and it looks like next week we are back to making dinner again.  I am making red beans and rice to tailgate with tomorrow so that's a start.    So today it's just random things that I've enjoyed this week!

Click on the link and see 27 Food Hacks
Some of these I already do, some I think why??? but most I think SMH...why didn't I think of that!

This is another wonderful article on how we as moms need to stop berating ourselves and other moms:

This is a great article on how we are blaming "Miley" for our kids problems when it's really the parents

I'm going to the Baylor ULM game tomorrow.   Hubster went to ULM and Abogg and our money go to Baylor.   First of all I love football, always have, and I enjoy going to the Baylor games because we have watched them go from pretty bad to pretty good while Abogg has been in school.  BUT the most exciting part of the game tomorrow....

will be at the game!!!  Although I looked at the event schedule on the website and I can tell who will not be there as they are attending other events. There will be no Jase (sniff sniff), Willie, John Luke, Jep (sniff sniff), Jessica, or Miss Kay.   Soooo that does leave the slight possibility that my very favorite Uncle Si might be there.  Sadly probably none of them as Willie, Jase and Si are scheduled to be in Detroit on Sunday.  Oh well, guess I can get a tshirt from the merch. truck. or maybe a camo hat.

I'm sure I'll be posting pictures on Instagram so go here to follow me:
Also so I can follow you back.  I need more people to follow on Instagram and I know you would just looove to see more photos of Sir Winston Churchill. 

I ordered this shirt because according to Polyvore it must be the most perfect traveling shirt ever made

It came yesterday and I'm already loving it.   I also FINALLY found a pair of navy shorts and a pair of mint green shorts.  Yeah, nothing like waiting until the end of summer to buy shorts but I had like 2 pair of outside of the house presentable shorts to wear and I broke down and ordered them.  I also thought I ordered a pair of straight leg yoga pants but apparently I didn't.   The outfit above was what I planned on wearing on the plane to Florida in a couple of weeks.   It appears I will actually need to leave the house and go shopping.  Or maybe I just wear something else, it is a little casual for the plane ride.

Oh, if I could figure out a way to justify those shoes, I'd order those too.  
This is a link to my If I ever get out of my Yoga Pants board on Pinterest.
If you look at it I think you will see that I'm very slowly regressing to my high school preppy dress code.   I'm not worried unless I start wearing 2 polo shirts together with the collar flipped. However I really must get some leather Sperry's.  

I can honestly say I've never been more jealous of Taylor Swift

Luke Bryan...fine fine specimen of a good Southern boy.
Oh and Luke, keep turning that hat around backwards.  It definitely works for you!

I can also say I hope to NOT see this when I'm in Florida

Jimmy Parris and Chris Bent hoist the 10 1/2 foot gator onto the scales Tuesday afternoon at HarborWalk Marina. The gator tilted the scales at 345 pounds.

Although I would be THRILLED to see this

In case you wondered, those are Manatees.  Only my most favorite animal in the history of ever!!

So kind so gentle so perfect and so innocent.   I only hope these two find their way to a proper body of water soon although I would love to be that close to one.  I can tell you, I would have been IN that water!!

Okie I'm signing off for today.  It's like 1:15 in the afternoon and someone is still slomping around in her pj's.    If you have had surgery and had a difficult time sleeping afterward shoot me some tips because I'm going nuts over here.   Sleeping is one of my special gifts and for some reason it is eluding me ever since I had surgery.   You truly don't know what you've got until it's gone!

What kind of fun is your weekend including?

Peace, Love & College Football
"Sic 'Em Bears"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

R.I.P. well loved kitchen appliance.

Today we are mourning the loss of this wonderful item.  It was so loved it was a featured item in this post of my kitchen favorites.

In all the years of crockpot usage I have never ever cracked one.  This one had a huge crack in the ceramic liner and I have no idea how it happened.   I'm so very sad, especially since all the juice in my italian beef leaked out all over the kitchen counter yesterday.   sniff sniff 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thai Eye Opener Smoothie

Morning Peeps!!!

Just saying hi this lovely Sunday morning with an especially yummy morning smoothie.

I still don't have much of an appetite but I wanted something cold and frosty for breakfast today and since football isn't on yet I can't really start drinking beer.
Can I??

I flipped through my Vitamix blender cookbook and found this little gem and thought I would whip it up.  So glad I did because it was indeed yummy!!!   Of course it's tweaked a bit but I know you are not surprised.

Let's make a nice little morning smoothie for you, quick and easy peasy peeps and good for you to boot.

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks
4 ounces carrots, halved
1 medium apple, quartered and seeded (7.5 oz.)
sm nub of ginger root
1 cup ice cubes

I invested a whopping $9.99 in that little food scale up there.  Mostly because when Abogg was home he was quite appalled that we don't weigh out our food (whatever!) but when we got the Vitamix it kinda was nice to be able to weigh things out a bit.  Like in this case it called for 2 small carrots or 4 ounces.  I only had baby carrots so I needed to use the scale to get the proportion correct. Anywho if you happen to be in the ole Cost of Co and they still have them for $9.99 I might suggest you pick one up.  Comes in handier than you might think.  And if Abogg comes to visit you he will think you are awesome sauce. 

Just layer everything in the Vitamix in the order listed.
Set the machine to SMOOTHIES setting and hit START.
Allow the machine to complete its programmed cycle.

Pour and enjoy!

Then hurry up and get a little swiffer vacuuming done before your Hubster gets home and catches you doing housework.  :-)

Have a good Sunday peeps and get ready for some football!!!

Peace, Love & Smoothies!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Esparza's Grapevine

Happy Saturday Peeps!!!

Soooooo last night I went out for my big adventure at this event:

It is one of my favorite events (for obvious reasons) and I was feeling pretty good and ready to take on the Grapefest.   I shouldn't have taken it on for 4 hours but hey, live and learn.

Before we hit up the festival we made a little stop at this nice little restaurant.  I still don't have much of an appetite but the Hubster and Merebear let me get some photos of their dinner.

Hubster obliged the margarita obligation and enjoyed himself a nice cold one.
I opted for a beer.  I figured a margarita with little to no food in my tummy could be quite disastrous.
I should have at least got a sit of that margarita but I totally forgot.  As memory serves they are quite delicious and refreshing.  You know it's still close to 100 here in Texas.

Hubster had the Chicken Fajitas.  They looked quite yummy and he finished them off so I'm thinking they tasted as good as they looked.

This was the Merebears dinner, she had Build Your Own Tacos.

They both like this meal as well.  There was a conversation about the meat and how it didn't taste like regular taco meat but was equally delicious in a different way.  

I had a few chips and salsa but I just thought the basket of chips was quite pretty and colorful!

We ate at Esparza's last year before Grapefest and again this year.  It's one of those places where we always wonder why we don't eat here more often.  It's good food and an equally great atmosphere.  
Hopefully next time I will be able to report on my food as well. 

So do I recommend this place? Yep it gets a definite 

If you are in the Grapevine, Texas area and feel like some good Mexican food and a cold margarita then take a little trip over to Esparza's and if the weather is nice, steal a seat out front on the patio.

We always seem to order the same things when we eat Mexican food?  How about you?
Fajitas? Nachos? Tacos?.......

Peace, Love & Ole'

Friday, September 13, 2013

Post Op Week 1 & Roast Beef Sandwiches

Happy Friday the 13th Peeps!!

So this time last week I was still reveling in the joy that is anesthesia.
Just a short run down of the past week for you:

Friday:  Had the wonderful TLH LSO at the beautiful Forest Park Medical Center

(by the way:  I think if you have to spend the night in the hospital you should get 50% off of your anesthesia bill. This waking you up every 2 hours really takes the joy out of that amazing anesthesia sleep you paid good money for)
Also of note, do NOT EVER eat the broth and orange jello they bring you on a dinner tray.  You will never wish to smell broth or eat orange jello again after it comes out of your nose.

Saturday:  I hung out at the hospital until about 1:30 then I got to come home.  The warden I mean Hubster got me home safely and somewhat settled.  COULD NOT get comfortable.  I slept in the recliner and he slept on the couch.  Not the greatest night for either of us.

Sunday- Wednesday- I felt pretty good, already starting to get a little restless.  Thank goodness there is football to keep me company and the fact that most of the time you can doze off during a football game and not miss a whole lot. Saltine crackers and ginger ale are my life at this point.  Not from medicine nausea but from I feel like I already ate so much I'm gonna be sick nausea.  Blame it on the gas injected into my body.   Hubster is home making sure I behave myself while he works.  Pain has been virtually non-existent which was a very pleasant surprise!!

Wednesday & Thursday:  Home alone.  Wednesday about noon my pillow and I took a little drive to get this little goodie:
Not too shabby for $10, heh??
Thursday took me to my post op appt.  Everything looking awesome and she was happy with my recovery.  Then BAM slapped with news I did not expect.  Apparently I had a serious amount of small tumors embedded in my uterus and one tube.  All were benign (whew!) and I was reminded no pushing, pulling or lifting anything heavy for 6 weeks. Yep, that includes the vacuum.   She wasn't concerned about my lack of appetite and told me to just eat what I felt like in amounts that don't make me feel uncomfortable. You know, like kids meal size portions.

Now it is officially 1 week post op for me and I feel awesome, just walking a little slow and get tired pretty quick.  I've learned to be up and around and to busy myself doing small chores but rest every few hours.  I'm slowly plowing through months of magazines so that's a bonus.

Hubster has been awesome especially with this guy.
Poor thing just doesn't understand why we don't walk and play tug all the time.  
At 70 lbs he's a tad over my max weight limit.  

Wednesday Hubster left me this on my nightstand while he slipped off to work.

Thursday morning he gathered these from the yard before he left for work.

He's pretty good I think I'll keep him.

Today I'm being a VERY good girl and sitting and resting all day because as a nice reward for resting I get to go to GrapeFest tonight!!   yipppppeeeeee   Seriously one glass of wine and I'll be down for the count.  haha   

As a final note I told you that I cooked a ton of things before surgery so Hubster would have lots to eat and snack on in case I didn't feel like cooking.  This is one of the many things I pre-made and I tell ya, he has LOVED them.  I hope there is still one left when I'm ready to eat one!

These are from The Pioneer Woman and they look so yummy!!!  Hubster added a tad more horseradish to his but otherwise I think he loves them.  Pull out of the freezer and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes and you got yourself a yummy little sandwich. Thanks P-Dub, you never fail us!
I will probably make up more of these when we run out, they are nice to have stashed for a quick meal in the freezer. I tweaked the recipe a little so I'll include my additions for you then too.

Ok my sweet peeps, I'm off to get my shower and maybe get a few little chores done.
Don't worry, I have motivation to behave today!! See you next week when hopefully we will talk some more about food!!

Peace, Love & Yummies!!

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