Spaceballs: “Lonestar” Stuffed Crust Skillet Pizza & Sassiness

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See, it’s “Lonestar” because I made a star out of the pepperoni and I was watching Spaceballs while making/eating my creation.

If you haven’t seen Spaceballs you need to remedy that in the near future!

Alright, on to the yumminess!

I love pizza! I try to make it myself as much as possible instead of ordering out. This is a really easy way to get a deep-dish-esque stuffed crust pizza. You will need a cast iron skillet (mine is about a 10 inch diameter), and I highly recommend parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up. I prefer parchment paper because it doesn’t get hot like foil and it will be easier to handle.

Ingredients:

Pillsbury Grand’s Buttermilk Biscuit Dough (1 package of 8 biscuits)

4 slices of cheese – whichever kind you want to stuff your crust with – I used provolone

1 Tbs of BBQ sauce

1/4 cup regular tomato pasta sauce

1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella

1 egg

Garlic powder, Parmesan, and Italian Seasonings to taste

Your choice of toppings – I used pepperoni and olives

Directions: Line the inside of the skillet with foil/parchment paper and smush “Pillsbury Grand’s Buttermilk Biscuits” into the bottom and up the sides.

I cut a few slices of provolone into strips with kitchen scissors and laid them against the edges with some pepperoni. Yes, the crust on this pizza is stuffed with cheese AND pepperoni. If you’re not a pepperoni person just nix the pepperoni.

Fold the edges down over your crust stuffing and press into the bottom dough.

Whip up an egg until it’s frothy and brush it over the dough on the edges of the crust – basically anything that’s not going to get covered with toppings.

Sprinkle with a little bit of garlic powder, Parmesan, and Italian seasonings.

If you’re a fan of BBQ I highly recommend adding a tablespoon of BBQ sauce to a quarter cup of regular tomato pasta sauce to use on your pizza.

Smear your sauce in the middle.

Add your cheese, add your toppings, and put it in the oven.

If you were baking regular biscuits it would be in for 12-17 minutes at 350 degrees. Your pizza will likely need longer. This came out pretty perfect and was in for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Your crust should be a nice golden brown when it’s done.

When it’s done baking take your skillet out and set it on something heat resistant.

This is the best part…

Lift your pizza straight out of the skillet with the parchment paper and onto a cutting board.

Loosen the bottom edges with a spatula and slide it right off onto the cutting board to be served.

Easy clean-up after nomming on delicious pizza is always a good thing.

I’m sorry I don’t know what the international equivalent of Pillsbury biscuits are, but 176.7 degrees Celsius is the equivalent of 350 degrees Fahrenheit if you manage to get some and want to give it a whirl.

Alright, now on to the sass!

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This is my “sassy” face, not to be mistaken with my “gremlin” face which looks like this:

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Let’s go over that one more time…

“Sassy”

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“Gremlin”

Gremlin

The gremlin face indicates “I feel like crap today and I’m making a goofy face to distract myself from the crappiness”. C’mon we all have a face like that! There’s quite often a nose wrinkle and a mouth twist to go with it – it’s like you tasted something sour and you didn’t squint your eyes. That’s not the important face today. I just threw that in there in case you feel like crap today so it would make you laugh and offer distraction.

The important face today is the SASSY FACE! The sassy face indicates “I feel like a strong confident mixture of comedy and badassery – let’s take on the world”! It’s such a very important face and I find that many people don’t ever refine their sassy face because for whatever reason they don’t allow themselves to feel sassy. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you do, or what you deal with on a day to day basis – if you have DNA you have the capability to express sassiness in you somewhere. I urge you to find that part of you that can feel and be inexplicably sassy. Stand in front of the mirror and practice. Let me be clear this is not a war face! There is no seriousness to this face whatsoever. Your sassy face doesn’t need to be anything like my sassy face. It can be like mine if making that face makes you feel empowered, but your sassy face needs to “fit” you like a favorite pair of jeans. Go head to a mirror right now. Look at yourself and wave!

“Hi me!”

“Hi me, you’re lookin’ good today!”

“Oh, thanks. I’m feelin’ sassy!”

*strike a pose*

It may take a few tries until you find it, but when you find one that makes you laugh and think “oh, I like that person in the mirror” you’ve found the winner!

This is your homework for this week: Superman arms up at least once at any point in time – and find your sassy face!

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¡Ay, carambas! : Sweet Mini Peppers With Shrimp And Bacon

¡Ay, carambas! : Sweet Mini Peppers With Shrimp And Bacon

Since I’m growing sweet mini peppers in my garden I’ve been looking around for some good sweet mini pepper recipes. I saw a recipe for “La Roca’s Little Bulls – Toritos” from Wilson Produce. The ingredients didn’t sound particularly good to me, but I liked the idea of stuffing ’em with shrimp and wrapping them in bacon!

This dish takes a lot of work, but it was so good it doesn’t bother me to think of taking the time to make it again.

Alright! Here we go!

You Will Need:
1 package (12 slices) of bacon
12 sweet mini peppers
½ pound of large shrimp (at least 12 peeled, deveined, tails removed)
Approx. 40 toothpicks

Shrimp Marinade:
1 Tbs taco seasoning (your choice of brands)
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp lemon pepper
1 ¼ cup milk

Cheese Spread:
8 oz whipped cream cheese
½ Tbs paprika
2 (4oz) cans Ortega diced green chilies

Citrus Cilantro Rice:
1 ½ Tbs fresh cilantro leaves
1 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups white (or jasmine) rice
5+ cups of water

Start by putting all of the toothpicks in a bowl of water to soak. Let them soak for at least an hour before use.

Mix the lemon juice, lime juice, cilantro, and apple cider vinegar in a small dish. Refrigerate this mixture. The rice takes about 45 minutes in a rice cooker, and it may take longer than that to put everything else together. I didn’t want the rice sitting while I was finishing everything else so I waited a bit. It’s your choice though. Let the cilantro leaves soak in the juice for a little while prior to making the rice either way. Pour 3 cups of rice in a rice cooker. Pour the citrus cilantro mixture into a 1 cup measuring cup (the mixture will only fill about a quarter of the cup) and fill the rest with water. Pour over the rice. Add 5 more cups of water. Stir everything up in the cooker before turning it on.

Cut a slit down one side of each mini pepper from the stem to the bottom. Place them in a pot of water on the stove. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil for 30 minutes.

For Softer Peppers: Line a colander with paper towels and set on top of a plate. Scoop the peppers out of the water and into the colander. Cover with paper towels immediately. Steam peppers in paper towels for 10-15 minutes. Stems will easily pull off. Pepper will fall open from the slit you already cut. Be careful! Some peppers will still have hot water in them. Seeds may pull out with the stem. Scoop the seeds out if necessary. Peel the thin translucent skin off the peppers. I find that peeling for the pointed bottom towards the top is the most efficient. (HINT: Red peppers are easier to peel for whatever reason. If you’re going for this method choose all red peppers.)

For Crunchier Peppers: Drain peppers in a colander. Being cautious of hot water still in peppers de-stem, and scoop seeds.

I suggest putting the peppers on to boil and getting the shrimp marinade put together while the heat works its magic on the peppers. Choose an oven safe dish that will hold ½ pound of shrimp and the marinade. I chose a small oval glass casserole dish (about the size of a large bread pan). Add dry ingredients and cover with milk. Whisk ingredients together. Pour in shrimp. Cover. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the whole dish in the oven for 25 minutes. They won’t be completely done at this point. I used a BBQ basket to finish cooking them over the flames. You want them cooked before putting them in the peppers however you choose to cook them. A frying pan would work too.

Strain the diced chilies, mix with the cream cheese and paprika with a spatula. You will have excess cheesy-goodness after. It makes a great dip for tortilla chips. Mom decided to cover her pasta with it last night and heat it up. I’m not brave enough to try this, but Mom said to tell people it makes a great pasta sauce.

Lay the strips of bacon out flat on a plate. Place a mini pepper laid open at one end of each strip. Smear the cheese spread along the inside of the pepper and place a shrimp on top of the cheese. Wrap the pepper sides around the shrimp and roll it into the bacon slice. Use 3-4 toothpicks to hold it together making sure the toothpicks go through the shrimp. I suggest using a BBQ basket if you have one large enough. If you don’t you can place them directly on the grill and turn them individually (this is how I did it). The toothpicks will get very charred, but they will hold enough moisture to keep it all held together. Leave on the grill turning periodically with tongs until the bacon is cooked. Remove onto a plate and take out the toothpicks. I chose to serve them on a bed of the citrus cilantro rice. This was really, REALLY good. Sometimes my homemade recipes only turn out so-so. I’m saving this one FOREVER!

It might help if you sing “The 3 Caballeros” theme song while you put them together and shout: ¡Ay, caramba!

So, if you’re up for the craziness of putting this together I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor! Let me know how it goes.

Ramen Noodle Pad Thai With Amino Acids

Ramen Noodle Chicken Pad Thai With Amino Acids

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged lately. I’ve been doing far “too much thinkin’ and not enough writin'”! I have awards I need to catch up on! I am very grateful and I’ve been wanting to show some extra attention to these. They will take me awhile, but will be handled with much gratitude! In the meantime I’m going to post one of my favorite recipes – PAD THAI!

My dad always loved Asian food and we cooked lots of different ethnic foods as a family when I was growing up. We usually ate pad Thai with satay, peanut sauce, and a cucumber salad.

I like to use Ramen noodles for all sorts of things like stirfry and egg drop soup. Plus, Costco sells Ramen in big boxes for really cheap! Awesome noodles in large quantities at a low price? Yes please! Everyone knows the “seasoning” packets that come with Ramen are super high in sodium and most likely lots of other not-so-good-for-you ingredients. But at 15 cents a pack for the noodles why use the seasoning packets? Make your own broth or sauce!

Alright, time to get down to business!

My mom wrote down this recipe out of a magazine in the 1980’s onto a recipe card. She even cut out the little picture to put alongside it! Neither of us can remember which magazine it was or have any idea who to credit for the original recipe. We’ve obviously tweaked the recipe here and there.

There are some ingredients that are nice to have, but not necessary. You’ll notice I didn’t put bean sprouts or green onions in mine – I like bean sprouts and green onions, but I didn’t have any on hand and they’re not completely necessary.

The original recipe did not call for Ramen noodles – it called for 12 oz of Thai noodles (cooked). If you want to use those you’re more than welcome to, but there is a noticeable price difference since Ramen is so cheap.

Also, the original recipe did not have amino acids! Let me just say that I absolutely LOVE the “Bragg’s” company and I use their apple cider vinegar and amino acids in A LOT of my cooking! Bragg’s makes a “liquid amino acids” product from NON-GMO soybeans that tastes just like soy sauce and is good for you! We always substitute soy sauce with Bragg’s liquid amino acids – it’s a blend of amino acids and they all have different health benefits. You can check out Bragg’s amino acids on their website, and have a look at the health benefits of amino acids here.

We also substitute agave syrup instead of sugar!

Here’s the break down of what’s been swapped out.

We use 4 packs of Ramen noodles instead of 12 oz of Thai noodles.

We use Bragg’s liquid amino acids instead of soy sauce.

We use agave syrup instead of sugar.

Bean sprouts and green onions are yummy, but not necessary.

Fish sauce might be a new ingredient to you if you don’t already do a fair amount of Asian cooking. We use “Thai Kitchen” fish sauce that comes in a little bottle at our local super market. If you can’t find it locally you can purchase it on Amazon.com here.

I’ll be putting metric measurements (in parenthesis) next to US measurements if anyone in the international audience wants to give it a go. The conversion doesn’t exactly come out evenly so you’ll have to round up or down as you see fit.

Finally! Here we go!

Ramen Noodle Chicken Pad Thai:
Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

4 packages of Ramen noodles (seasoning packets are not needed)

1/4 cup (59.1471 mL) vinegar

3 Tbs (44.3603 mL) Bragg’s liquid amino acids

6 Tbs (88.7206 mL) agave syrup

4 tsp (19.7157 mL) paprika

2 tsp (9.85784 mL) fish sauce

1/2 tsp (2.46446 mL) cayenne

1 Tbs (14.7868 mL) vegetable oil

2 cloves of chopped garlic – 2 squares of crushed frozen garlic works well too

1/2 pound (0.226796 kg) of boneless/skinless chicken sliced into bites size chunks (turkey, tofu, and shrimp are good options as well)

3 chopped green onions

1/2 pound (0.226796 kg) mung bean sprouts

1/4 cup (59.1471 mL) chopped peanuts

Put a pot of water on the stove on high with the noodles from the Ramen packs. Bring to a boil, and cook until noodles are tender (boiling times vary on preference 3-10 minutes so check the noodles and have a nibble to find what you like). Strain the noodles in a colander the same way you would strain Italian pasta. Combine vinegar, Bragg’s liquid amino acids, agave syrup, paprika, fish sauce, and cayenne in a large serving bowl. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and chicken (or meat of choice) and stirfry for 2 minutes or until the meat is cooked (if you’re using tofu just brown the outside a bit). Add chopped green onion and sprouts to the frying pan with the meat and cook for one minute gently stirring continuously. Add the meat, green onions, sprouts, and strained noodles to the serving bowl and toss until everything is coated with the sauce mixture. Use a pasta server to scoop servings into dishes and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

P.S. I am really behind! Coming soon: Update on Ichabod, The 3 Little Squirrels (visitors to my yard), Detoxing Tips, Award Responses, BBQ Mini Sweet Peppers Stuffed With Shrimp Wrapped In Bacon, Citrus Cilantro Rice, Homemade Marinated Mozzarella, and Awesome Hamburger Meat!

UPDATE (added June 13th, 2013): We noticed that even though the recipe just calls for “vinegar” that we’ve only ever used seasoned rice vinegar. I’m not sure if it makes much of a difference, but I thought I’d let you know!

Happy Mother’s Day – Let Me Introduce My Mom!

I survived my detox and I can eat things besides raw foods again! Woohoo! More on the detox in a future post, but that said, I made Mom a special Mother’s Day dinner!

Squid Ink Pasta with Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Garlic Havarti Herb Sauce

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I bought the garlic and squid ink pasta at the farmer’s market yesterday! Last night I BBQ-ed kebabs and some extra red bell pepper slices that I used tonight. Why havarti? Because that’s what was in the fridge! I threw the sauce together from scratch with stuff I already had. I’m sorry, I don’t remember the recipe. Somehow I got blessed with a knack for sauces. It’s a “little-bit-O-this-and-a-little-bit-O-that” kind of thing. It turned out freaking amazing though! Oh, let me show you the kebabs!

“Zesty” Kebabs

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Yummy kebabs with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, and meatballs. Why is it “Zesty”? Because I marinated the veggies in Kraft “Zesty” Italian Salad Dressing. By the way, have you seen Kraft’s “Zesty Guy” salad dressing commercials?

This commercial always makes me laugh, and my mom has a SUPER big crush on the “Zesty Guy”! Ladies, in case you were wondering, there are three more “Zesty Guy” commercials on the KraftDressing channel on YouTube (my favorite is “The Zesty Guy Slaps Some Dough”). Anyway, Mom loves Mr. Zesty and occasionally I’ll catch her watching zesty commercials on YouTube and having conversations with him. It goes something like this:

Mr. Zesty: Hey there

Mom: Hey there, handsome

Mr. Zesty: Isn’t this the most beautiful pepper you’ve ever seen?

Mom: YES IT IS!

*Off comes Mr. Zesty’s shirt*

Mom: Woo!

*Cue laughter and clapping*

Anyways, it’s hilarious and she’s going to kill me when she reads this! Yes, Mom reads my blog. She’s very supportive!

Hi Mom! Don’t kill me when you read this!

I told you before that my parents are among some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. You’ll hear plenty about them as I post blogs. My Dad passed away in 2005, but he was one of those people who you wonder how so much person fits in one body. My Mom is still with me, thank goodness!

Let me try and introduce you to her. She is an amazing woman. I call her “Captain Mom” because, yes, she has her merchant mariner captain’s license. My mom is a hilarious pirate, and for her 50th birthday I got her a hat “with a really long feather” a la Captain Barbossa from Pirates of The Caribbean. Thankfully we share the same sense of humor. We often go into laughing fits where our sides hurt and we almost pee ourselves in the riot!

She is where I got my love of books, reading, and writing. My mom is working on a novel! Did I mention I’m very proud of my mom? When I was a little kid she would read to me to encourage a love for reading. She she read fairy tales to me while I was still in her tummy.

I got spoiled with lullabies, and puppets before bed to help me go to sleep. I was scared of the dark for awhile and she would check for monsters under the bed.

My mom taught me that it’s important to let the people you love know that you’re thinking of them when you’re away from them. When I was very little my dad worked on construction sites and she would pack him a cooler for lunch with a little “I love you” note inside. She would do the same thing for me and stuff little happy notes in my lunchbox when I went to school. She is notorious for coming home from the store excitedly saying “I was thinking of you, and I got you a present”!

I was positively obsessed with the Disney Pocahontas movie for most of the fourth grade. When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut, a marine biologist, and a singer when I “grew up”. I would stand in the back of her office and sing “Colors Of The Wind” over and over again. I must have sung that song a thousand times and each time she’d tell me “it was better that time”.

My mom taught me how to make shadow puppets.

She did silly dances with me when I was a kid, and still indulges me in my love of silly dancing! Someday I’ll have to tell you about the infamous “Cookie Dance” in detail – it’s a regular occurrence in our household.

When I was little I liked kitchen toys a lot and I wanted a bunch of them for Christmas one year. My parents thought I might like it better if they got me utensils that I could use in “the big kitchen” with Mom. They were right! I still have the potholder’s that say “Rachel’s Recipe” on them. I was the kid that was sitting on the bar stool next to the stove and stirring the pasta pot thanks to my mom.

My mom is incredibly strong, and she’s the first person I’d want on my team of super heroes. She’s the kind of mom that has never given up on me – even when I’ve been incredibly difficult! She’s taken care of me and my dad through some pretty rough illnesses. Both of my parents taught me what unconditional love means by showing me how you treat people “for better or for worse”. My dad had so many health issues, and my mom just researched how to take care of him and make him better. She put his shoes on for him in the morning, made his food, pushed his wheelchair when he had to be in one, and I NEVER ONCE heard her complain about it. She’s shared with me recently that those times were rough for her, but it wasn’t like there was any other option for her. If you love someone you do what you have to to help them. No one else could have taken as good care of my dad as her.

My mom gives really good, heart felt pep talks. She’s incredibly supportive of whatever avenues I want to pursue in life. She likes to say she’s not a “soccer mom” she’s a “paleo mom” because I’m such a paleontology nerd. She’s pretty proud of my nerdiness.

I should probably tell her more often that she is an inspiration for strength. She tirelessly helps me along in life, and knows that sometimes a midnight ice cream run can make dark times seem so much brighter. She prays with me. She loves me. She’s an absolutely amazing mom. She’s patient, kind, and creative; and I hope someday I can be a wonderful mom like her.

So, I know she’s going to read this. She might need a tissue at this point. That’s okay, I kind of need a tissue too!

I love you, Mom!

Cheers to the moms, the moms-to-be, and the dads that need to be both parents! The world is a better place because of you!

Make sure you hug a mom today!

Love,

Rachie

 

*Fade To Flashback* Unposted Pie Quest Pie

First of all I’d like to thank Bishop Eddie Tatro for gifting me with a lovely bouquet of awards! Thank you, Eddie! I’m going to post a response in the near future. I want to give it due credit, and I tend to wait until I have a big chunk of time to do an awards post – they take me a little while.

Alright, here’s a quick post for y’all this evening. Slowly, but surely I’ve been able to read through posts from other bloggers. I have a lot to go through, and I don’t think I’ll catch up, but I haven’t visited everyone as often as I would have liked to and I need to go at least say “hi”.

*Fade To Flashback Of Pie Quest*

I baked little tiny muffin size “Petite Puppy Pies” for one night of Pie Quest. My dogs didn’t know what to do with them at first, but once I broke them open they were very pleased with the flavor. They licked the plates clean!

Please remember that this recipe is not meant to be appetizing to humans. In fact, you might feel a little queasy imagining these ingredients all mixed together, but my dogs found the final product delightful. I crushed up their milkbones and mixed it with peanut butter and egg for the exterior “crust”. Tuna fish went in a blender which made a “meat-paste” filling. I baked them in a muffin pan and then I topped ’em off with an egg pancake!

Yum! Right?

I was kind of wondering “what am I thinking” while making them, but the dogs were beyond pleased. However, I won’t be signing up to taste test them myself any time soon.

I have two puppy babies. They are 6 and 3 years old, so they’re not really puppies, but they’re my babies. Let me introduce Lana and Linus:

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They’re both mutts. We got Lana from the shelter when she was just a few weeks old, and we got Linus from a rescue program. Lana is the cute strawberry blonde girl-puppy, and Linus is the black and tan boy-puppy. Can you tell they get spoiled rotten?

Petite Puppy Pies

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At first they weren’t quite sure what to do with them or how to go about eating them.

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But once I broke them open they were very pleased with the flavor.

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So, that’s it for the “Petite Puppy Pies”. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of more updates on Lana and Linus because I’m one of “those” puppy mommy’s.

By the way, they recently got Summer haircuts, and Lana has been sporting a very cool Mohawk.

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Alright, I hope everyone has a beautiful evening/day in their part of the world!

I’ll end this post with the beloved “Don Qui-Puppy de La Linus”!

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Cake Quest?

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Okay, so I’ve been thinking of embarking on “Cake Quest” since my beloved “Pie Quest” has been completed. I was recently asked to make a patriotic dessert for an event. I have a few weeks to decide what to make so I thought I’d try out a few ideas. I see all these lovely layer cakes posted on Pinterest so I thought I’d try out my FIRST EVER LAYER CAKE! I got a grand total of ONE half way decent looking piece cut off of it. May I just mention that it looked fantastic as a square before I tried to slice little stars out of it. Alas, I do not have proof of its square gorgeousness. This only solidifies the need for “Cake Quest”. I obviously don’t know what the heck I’m doing with cakes, and now I have a big mess! I have a big, delicious, patriotic with strawberry and vanilla cream filling mess!

I’ve also recently acquired a ice cream cookie bowl pan. It’s like a muffin tin, but it’s fancy shapes and the basins are bigger. You’ll probably see a post about ice cream cookie bowls in the near future.

I have two screen names I generally go by online: Rachie Adventures, and Rubik’s Rachie. “Rubik’s Rachie” like a Rubik’s cube, but better! 😉

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If you’d like to find me on Pinterest you can “follow” Rachie Adventures at http://pinterest.com/rubiksrachie – have a look at my “Cake” board and let me know if there is a specific cake you think I should try first!

By the way, if anyone has tips on layer cakes please share! Or feel free to post a link to your blog tips in the comments!

I’ve had a lot going on lately, and I hoping to have some time in the very near future to sit down and read through other people’s blogs.

I’m not ignoring anyone!

Anyways, I hope you all have an absolutely lovely day. 🙂

Much Love,

Rachie

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Gardening Photo Fun & Holidays + Sneak Peek @ Stained Glass Jell-O

Before I get started, I apologize for not posting last night. In the early evening I found out that a friend of mine had passed away on Tuesday morning. In May of last year I had moved to Iowa and stayed there for a few months. “Bear” hosted karaoke at a few of the local pubs and was an amazing person. He and his wife helped me feel at home and like I belonged. He will be greatly missed by many people, and I know that he’s singing in Heaven. It was fun to be around him, and it was fun to watch him sing. So, last night I went out on a last minute whim to be among the people of the karaoke tribe. I sang “Cabaret” for my friend:

No use in sitting alone in your room, come hear the music play!

Life is a Cabaret old chum, come to the Cabaret!

Start by admitting from cradle to tomb, it isn’t that long a stay!

Life is a Cabaret old chum, come to the Cabaret!

Come taste the wine!

Come hear the band!

Come blow your horn!

Start celebrating!

Right this way, your table’s waiting!

Cheers, Bear – they must have had a table in the sky already picked out for you.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been cleaning up the yard and gardening as well as spending time in the kitchen. Spring and Autumn are my favorite seasons. I love the new flowers, the rain, and sunshine of Spring. I love to play in the dirt, and tend the garden, and plant new flowers. I’m crazy about rain – it’s soothing – and I’m one of those people that will go for walks in the rain, or just go stand outside while it’s raining. Strangest rain-induced Rachie Adventure so far is when I decided to go outside and shave my legs in the rain. It was warm, and I went marching outside in my swimsuit with a bucket, a washcloth, fruity shave cream, and my pink razor. I danced around in the rain to get wet and sat under the patio umbrella to shave my legs. It was the most pleasant and relaxing leg-shaving I’ve ever had. If only I could magically conjure up these weather conditions every time I need to shave my legs!

I’ve been germinating several seedlings over the past week, and I’ve been stalling posting about them because I’ve been wanting to wait for sprouts to take pictures to show you. Just wait, they’ll sprout tomorrow I’m sure because I’ve given them an introduction now. Until I have seedlings to show you I’ll share some of the pictures I took out in the yard today. I have a very active imagination, so I created a mischievous little sprite named “Thimble-Nip” to think about while I was gardening. Sometimes my imagination runs off without me, and then I have to chase after it with a butterfly net. “Thimble-Nip” asked to borrow the camera several times, but declined to pose for any pictures himself. He has agreed to letting me try to paint a portrait in the near future though – perhaps it will include his little snail friends, Wiggly and Stumpy.

“Alyssum”

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“Freesia”

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“Wiggly the Snail”

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“Stumpy the Snail”

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I’m hoping to somehow find the time to write Thimble-Nip stories. I’m planning on doodling some sketches of him tomorrow at the very least.

My dad passed away 7 and a half years ago, and we haven’t really celebrated holidays properly since then. We managed an amazing St. Patrick’s Day this year, and yesterday we baked hot cross buns for Good Friday (I will have to post about them eventually); but tomorrow is Easter, and I’m not sure what we are going to do. We’ve decided that we are going to create new traditions for ourselves for major holidays. I don’t want to scrap the egg-dying tradition because I sincerely hope to have my own children someday, and I will want to dye eggs with them; but, I still need to come up with something new. I’ve got a few ideas, but we’ll just have to see what we actually end up doing tomorrow. I’ll take pictures and share whatever we come up with!

Oh, and I had this gorgeous “stained glass Jell-O” put together – then I botched the last step and it got all ugly. I will remake it so the final piece looks nicer and post the recipe. May I just say, it may have lost it’s pretty edge, but it’s still very delicious. Here’s a picture from before I spaced out and messed it up.

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I’ve started following several blogs lately, and I’m hoping to read everyone’s posts in more detail soon. I was gifted with the Liebster award yesterday from Reality In Progress, and I will have to make sure and thank them properly in an upcoming post.

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All in all I greatly appreciate the wonderful feedback and interactions with the wonderful folks of the blogging community. I’m very grateful you’ve taken the time to say “hi” and welcome me so warmly. This is where my inner dork is going to take over and I’m going to end this post in the immortal words of Mr. Elvis Presley:

Thank you, thank you very much! 

Karaoke Night & Freezing Strawberries

I got out to karaoke tonight!

Which is why I’m posting at almost 2 am without anything to share but tips for freezing strawberries.

Here is what I sang:

I just sang “Take Me Or Leave Me” by myself. 🙂

“Georgia On My Mind” is one of my very favorites.

I had a friend help me out with “Summer Nights”.

I finished up my evening with “Dream A Little Dream”.

Now for strawberry freezing tips!

– Line a tray with paper towels

– Wash the strawberries

– Cut off the green tops

– Lay the strawberries out on the tray

– Freeze them on the tray

– After they are frozen transfer them to a plastic zip bag

I like freezing them this way so they hold they’re shape nicer and don’t bruise like when they are crammed into a baggie and stuffed in the freezer.

I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the new followers. It’s been inspirational and supportive for me to be making so many new connections! Thank you very much!

Cheers!

Homemade Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake!

Hi!

I’m sorry I haven’t updated in awhile! I’ve been busy with awesomeness I will catch up posting on here soon! 

I live in California and we have a phenomena we’ve endearingly nicknamed “strawberry men”. These are the field workers that stand on the corner in regular neighborhoods with stacks of the most amazing fruit in bulk for a better price than you could hope for at the store. Occasionally they will have flats of mangoes or bags of oranges, but most commonly we see them with strawberries. The biggest, best, sweetest strawberries you could ask for. Today we saw our first strawberry man of the season and couldn’t help but pull over and purchase a flat of “deluscious” strawberries.

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Yes, “deluscious” is our new word for edible goodies that are indulgently delicious! To tell the truth, there has been a serious hole in my life since the end of “Pie Quest” that can only be filled by the start of “Strawberry Madness”!

“Chocolate Milkshake with Marshmallow & Strawberry in Edible Chocolate Cups”

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Yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

I originally wanted to make smaller cups with water balloons. However, some anti-water balloon weirdo has stopped restocking our local grocer with them. Second best choice was a little bag of smiley face balloons. It turns out the reason the little balloon man was smiling is because he knew that he was about to be covered in chocolate. I poured 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips into a soup cup and microwaved them in 20 second intervals for 1 minute and 20 seconds stirring in between. This could have made much more than just two chocolate cups. I did use the excess for another project, but I wish I had thought to make more cups. Remember that hot chocolate will make the air inside the balloon expand. I was probably better off with the larger balloons because a smaller balloon would not have had as much give in the latex. I let the chocolate cool until it passed the wrist test. “The wrist test” is what I call that technique of checking the heat of the contents of a baby bottle before you actually give it to the baby. The best part of “the wrist test” is that you get to lick the chocolate off your wrist afterwards. If you have a significant other – I’m jealous – but, more power to you for mutual wrist chocolate licking goodness! After dipping the balloons in the chocolate set them on a tray lined with wax paper and place them in the refrigerator for about a half an hour. To remove the balloon trim a small hole in the neck and let it deflate – slowly peel it away from the inside of the cup taking care not to touch the cup with your fingers. I tend to run warm and I left a little melt smudge on mine. I was able to smooth it out, and return it to it’s smooth chocolate beauty, but in the future I will probably use a chopstick. 

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I sliced up strawberries and some marshmallows to throw in the milkshake. I used rocky road ice cream and some milk in the blender for a creamy milkshake to toss the strawberries and marshmallows into. 

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Top it off with some whipped cream and enjoy!

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Here’s a sneak peak at what I did with the rest of the melted chocolate.

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I hope to update with the other stuff I’ve been working on soon! I’ve been doing a lot of work in the yard gardening, and I won a raffle prize! Make sure you keep your smile on! Cheers, until next time!

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Ribbon Headband Tutorial

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’ve had an amazing day so far with lots of music! Here’s a little playlist of my favorites!

There are a few family recipes that are top secret. Corned-beef and cabbage with carrots, parsnips, homemade mustard and Irish soda bread is one of them. Some of the others are my mom’s famed meatloaf recipe, my smashed taters, my BBQ-ed ribs, my dad’s BBQ-ed salmon, my dad’s stuffing, my grandmother’s “Magic Milk”, and my other grandmother’s sopas. These are dishes my family has gathered around for many celebrations, dinners, and picnics. They’re very special, and only one of them has been written down and given to one very special person. These are not just recipes, they are part of my family identity. They’re history, and ancestral heritage that I hope to pass along to children of my own. Today we feasted! Every year I make this dish with my mom is another year I can learn it better and lock it into my own memory to teach my family.

CornedBeef

Don’t be fooled! It is not merely boiled vegetables atop tender corned-beef! The spices they’re cooked in and the mustard make them mouth watering. The Irish soda bread has the texture of a moist cake, but the flavor of a dinner scone. I start getting excited for this dish every year around January; pining away for March to roll around with it’s corned-beef goodness.

As far as ethnicity goes I am basically a European mutt with a sprinkle of Native American. This always made “ancestry day” at school a lot of fun because I had several choices to pick from. I am Portuguese, Spanish, Irish, Scottish, English, German, Swedish, French, and Cherokee. Someday I’d like to study my family history and personal genetics further because most of my physical characteristics are from my grandparents and not my parents. My dad had very tan skin, and my mom is fair; I’m somewhere in the middle and my parents used to say I’m “cafe au lait” because Dad was coffee and Mom is cream. My dad had straight black hair, and my mom is a blonde – my hair has several colors in it and it changes with the sunshine and the seasons. I once had a salon lady accuse me of lying when she asked where I had had my hair dyed and I told her it wasn’t. I’ve also noticed that, for whatever reason, when I spend time in the higher latitudes it stays darker; and when I’m home in California it gets lighter and reddish. Most of my life I’ve had long hair. I sported short hair a few times, but I feel much more feminine with it long. My Barbie dolls always had the most complicated hairstyles, and if you hang around me long enough with long hair you’ll probably find yourself as my newest “My Size Barbie”.

Yes, I love to play with hair! You will probably see several hair tutorials along the way in my blog. So, I present the first, and one of the ways I’m wearing green today.

“Ribbon-Headband in a relaxed Princess Pull-Back”

Ribbon Headband Tutorial

 

You’ll need 3 long ribbons, and you’ll have to choose their length depending on your hair. My hair goes to my low back and I used ribbons that were approximately a yard. You’ll need one shorter ribbon to tie it all back with, and several bobby pins. I also used a large pin-curl clip to hold the ribbons to a hardcover book to make things easier.

Use some bobby pins to pin the edges of one end of the ribbons together, and then use the large clip to attach it to the book.

Loosely braid the ribbons so they keep a mostly flat look.

Once you’ve braided all of it bobby pin the other ends together, and lay it out flat.

Next use the short ribbon to measure your crown. Hold the tip of the ribbon at your ear and pull it across to your other ear to use the length as a guide. Use the length you just measured with the shorter ribbon and lay it next to the middle of the longer ribbon. Place more bobby pins on the ribbon braid to mark a section in the middle with the length of your crown.

Part your hair down the center. If you’re like me you’ll want to use some kind of anti-frizz. I like “Tipsy” root to tip hair silkener by Got2B. I don’t believe in paying an arm and a leg for hair and make-up products. I’ve used the high end stuff before and I don’t think it’s any better than the stuff you can get in the drugstore.

Use bobby pins to pin your hair flat near your ears. Then lay the ribbon braid across your crown and secure it with more bobby pins.

Braid the ribbon into your own hair by separating your own hair into two sections and using the ribbon as the third.

Secure the end with more bobby pins.

Braid the other side now!

I used a pin to put the hair that wasn’t braided in a bun so it wouldn’t be in the way when I pulled the braids back. Pull the braids back and tie the short ribbon around them securely.

Remove all of the bobby pins and the pin and enjoy!

Now I’m off to sing in my green dress with my green ribbons in my hair! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!